DALLAS – OK. You’ve always wanted to work at the airport. Who doesn’t? But, unfortunately, the pilot thing didn’t work out, and you’re not quite the flight attendant type. What are your options: baggage loader, food service, fueling planes, security? Yes, all are reasonable choices.
But what if you are the type who likes to go hands-on, figuring out problems and finding solutions so that the whole place runs like clockwork? In that case, how about an airport engineer?
Meet Mohammad Taher, an aerospace engineer who works as the Aerodrome Systems Specialist at London Heathrow Airport (LHR). His job is to look after all the assets and the systems that are outside the terminal buildings, including the equipment on the airfield that interacts with aircraft, particularly from an electrical standpoint.
He is the subject matter expert, always looking for continuous improvement, understanding the things that have gone wrong in the past, figuring out how to prevent future occurrences, and working with the teams on the ground that maintain the equipment.
He’s the one who writes the maintenance schedules for the equipment and develops the maintenance strategy. Taher also keeps one eye on upcoming airport projects and works to understand how to leverage those projects to make LHR the most efficient airport possible.
In addition to his work at LHR, Taher is a TedX speaker and has an extensive social media presence. He’s Mo T, The Airport Guy on TikTok, mo_t_ivate on Instagram, and Mohammad Taher on YouTube. His LinkedIn profile says he is in the business of “inspiring future engineers through social media.” He’s an energetic and busy guy, posting online nearly every day.
In fact, that’s where I found him, on Instagram, where I watched one of his videos that showed an up-close and personal view of changing a tire on a Dreamliner.
“I look at future technologies and how we can implement them,” Taher says. “I also look at any asset and figure out how we can replace it, looking at the capital expense and investment required and determine when we’ll need to upgrade the equipment as it reaches the end of its life.”
Taher earned his aerospace engineering degree at Brunel University in London where he graduated with First Class Honors. While in university he worked at Lufthansa for a year maintaining landing gears, and after graduating, he joined the engineering graduate program at Heathrow Airport where he spent three years working across the entire airport, learning about all the different engineering and systems in each part of the complex.
He had his hands in everything at the sprawling facility, from maintaining the terminal buildings to enhancing the reliability of the baggage system, from analyzing data about the underground trains to the systems that feed water across the airport. “Literally everything and anything,” he says. “I even did a stint on the airfield, and I fell in love with it, being out and about, driving on the taxiways and runways themselves.
“That really drew me in. So, when I finished the graduate program, I applied for the role of the system specialist for the aerodrome, and I haven’t looked back.”
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Featured image: Mohammad Taher