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University of Balamand > Administration > Administrative Offices > North America > Alumni > Diana Maamari

Diana Maamari

Diana Maamari, PhD
Electrical Engineering, Class of 2009 (B.S.), and 2011 (M.S.)

Diana Maamari was born in Chicago, Illinois, and grew up in Tripoli after her parents moved back, so that she and her siblings could get acquainted with their Lebanese heritage and culture. Dr. Maamari recently completed her Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from University of Illinois at Chicago, and is currently a Senior Research and Standards engineer at Huawei Technologies.

DM: I would have to say that my main influence is my parents. My father, who is also an engineer, and my mother who is a teacher, had such an encouraging environment that helped me get a more hands-on approach at a younger age, and made it easier for me to pursue an engineering path.

ONA: What do you miss most about home?
DM: I definitely miss the warm weather– living in Chicago where the winter is never ending made me realize how blessed we (Lebanese) are with such warm beautiful weather.

ONA: Tell us a little more about what you do at Huawei.
DM: My Ph.D. in electrical Engineering and Computer engineering was specifically in Wireless Communications and next generation wireless technologies. More specifically, the research scope I specialized in was on advanced LTE (cognitive networks) and 5G networks. In Huawei, I was lucky enough to continue with a similar research scope. More precisely, I have to come up with solutions to research problems encountered in next generation Wireless Local Area Network WLAN (widely known as WiFi) and 5G cellular networks (successor to 4G LTE).
I also work as a standards engineer. A standards engineer has to write technical contributions and present them to a consortium of competing companies. The contributions should be based on scientific findings that allow devices such as WiFi devices to operate properly.

ONA: Did you have a relatively straightforward or alternative educational path, and what have you learned along the way about yourself, your interests, and the world?
DM: I had a straightforward educational path into engineering. Along the way, I’ve learned that it is important not to be afraid to ask for help, advice and to engage in open honest communication with peers. I also learned that life is short, so I try as much as possible to take it easy and enjoy the amazing memories.

ONA: As a young female engineer, were there certain hurdles or stereotypes that you felt you had to overcome in order to fulfill your educational or career goals? 
I think my decision to leave the comfort of my home in Lebanon to pursue an advanced degree in Chicago was not an easy step. At that time, there were always preconceptions about the single woman leaving to pursue her education, away from the expected understanding of settling down right after graduating.

ONA: What are you most proud of in terms of your accomplishments?
DM: I would have to say being able to fulfill the PhD requirements was milestone achievement. During my graduate studies in Chicago and in my current position at Huawei, I’ve met people (PhD advisors, friends, colleagues) from all around the world. I got to learn about different countries, cultures and history and it has been such an incredible experience.

ONA: Can you share with us the best career advice you have received in the past?
DM: The following is advice I’ve received many times from different people: enhance your communication skills, talk to people, and ask a lot questions.

ONA: Looking back, how do you feel your time at UoB has helped you get to where you are today?
DM: At UoB, I’ve taken a variety of courses from different specializations in Electrical engineering. This helped me in choosing and narrowing down my specific area of preference, and therefore my area of expertise. I have also had emotional encouragement from UoB instructors to pursue my PhD.

ONA: What would you say have been the highlights of your time at Balamand? 
DM: My UoB friends are definitely what made UoB so special. I made close friends that have become my family throughout the years– shout out to Randa Ayoubi!

ONA: What advice would you give to current UoB students, and to our future young women in science and engineering disciplines in specific?
Don’t be afraid of taking risks and accepting challenges, you never know how your story will unfold.

Thank you, Diana! It’s been a pleasure getting to know you. You’re a great role model for future women engineers in the making, and we are looking forward to watching your professional journey unfold.
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