“Claire (Habashy) initially joined my team fresh out of college,” said nominator Joel Ericson. “She went to school in Egypt and English is her third language. Being assigned to a team full of American English speakers with significant airfield experience had to be daunting. She jumped in nonetheless, applying herself to learning various aviation codes and standards. She rapidly became our go-to expert in ICAO standards as well as those of the Middle East. Working on DOD projects, she was quickly able to pick up those standards with proficiency.”
Habashy, senior civil designer, Aviation, Mead & Hunt, moved to the United States two years ago, starting over in a new place/market was nerve-wracking but she persevered, remembering her favorite quote, “Don’t be afraid to start over again. This time, you’re not starting from scratch, you’re starting from experience.”
“I enjoy the challenges that come with constructability planning when working in a live airport environment,” she said. “I also enjoy managing stakeholder expectations from project inception through completion on complex programs. It is a very unique and interesting field, and there is always something new happening. It’s never boring. I also love that wherever you go in the world, you will find that airport designs have very similar goals — they speak the same language, in a sense.”
Looking to the future, Habashy said she would love to have a positive impact on her junior staff and help them “see the magic” of airport design through her eyes.
“I would love to see more world-class airports that reflect the nature and culture of the place/country they are in,” she said. “I would like to see airport infrastructure and terminals use new and innovative technologies to be ready for any unforeseen situations, like the pandemic. I would also like to see airport operations become optimized to create collaborative environments.”