In one incident in Dubai this year, a worker was killed while fixing a washing machine. It was a case that puzzled a lot of people – but the first Emirati woman in the police’s forensic engineering section cracked it and explained what exactly went wrong.
Solving the case wasn’t easy, though, said Hamdah Majid Al Ali, an electrical engineer. “It took me 10 days to investigate what the man had done with the washing machine and file a report.”
“It turned out the worker modified the electricity cycle of the machine in a way that made him the only person that could understand how to use it properly,” Ali said.
“Changing the cables would require a special method, which he knew. However, once, he forgot to switch off the electricity and used the cable. So he ended up getting a strong electricity shock that killed him.”
It was the most interesting incident she has handled so far, since she joined the Dubai Police in September last year. She has unraveled several others and every case closed is a fulfilment for her.
“The forensic engineering section, where I work, is very important, as it is mainly responsible to check cases that are related to any engineering failures that caused harm or damage to people or properties. It can be related to buildings or machines, such as incidents of electric shocks, among others,” Hamdah said.
She loves her work, which she described as “very exciting”. “It’s very challenging, interesting and unusual.”
First woman on the job
Soon after she earned her electrical engineering from the American University in Sharjah, she applied for a vacancy at the Dubai Police.
“I trained for almost five months and was immersed in both theoretical studies and field missions, with her colleagues,” Hamdah said. She aced the qualifications and became the first woman to do such a job – not only in Dubai but in the UAE.
A case starts from the moment an incident report lands on the police’s desks, either at the operation room or the police station, she explained. Officers go to the scene, carry out all checks, gather all the evidence they could find, and then take them to the laboratory for an examination. Finally, a report will be written for the authority that needs it.
“The forensic engineering section typically receive four main cases, including: Problems with planning or design, implementation issues, manufacturing problems, or failure to follow safety rules and procedures,” Hamdah said. Her work starts at 6.30am and usually ends at 3.30pm, she added.
“I am very proud to be the first Emirati woman in our team,” Hamdah said, as she stressed that every woman should always choose to do something they love.
“Always chase your dreams,” she said, offering an advice to women in the UAE.
“Now, I dream to continue studying for a master’s degree. Someday, I hope to invent a thing or carry out a research that can help humanity.”