Alumni Spotlight

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Dr. Mohamed Abdalla Chookah

Dr. Mohamed Chookah is now the VP Fuel Development Projects and New Ventures at Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation. His journey started as a PhD student at UMD as a Mechanical/Reliability Engineering student.

After completing his doctoral studies in Mechanical/Reliability Engineering at the University of Maryland (UMD), Dr. Chookah went to have a good career trajectory that led him to his current role as an VP in the nuclear industry. His transition began with a project in the MENA region, where he spearheaded the nuclear licensing of four nuclear power plants. Through dedication and expertise, he not only secured construction licenses but also navigated the complexities of nuclear fuel procurement and core design, contributing significantly to the project's success.

Reflecting on his time at UMD, Dr. Chookah highlights the invaluable support he received from both faculty and fellow students. Their empowerment and encouragement fueled his drive to excel, emphasizing the importance of humility and respect in personal and professional growth. For Dr. Chookah, the mentorship provided by his professor was pivotal, guiding him through challenges and shaping his approach to leadership.

We asked Dr. Chookah how he balance life and work. He said “My workload is quite demanding and with that I find it many times difficult to spend enough time with my family. My -approach was always to provide a quality time over quantity time.” Dr. Chookah prioritizes quality time with family and maintains a strict policy of never missing summer vacations.

Dr. Chookah attributes many of his current skills and qualities to his graduate studies at UMD, where perseverance and resilience were essential for success. His unwavering determination and refusal to give up have been instrumental in his journey from academia to executive leadership.

In his career, Dr. Chookah's proudest accomplishment lies in establishing the R&D division at his organization, collaborating with stakeholders to develop a roadmap for success and founding the Emirates Nuclear Energy Technology Center at Khalifa University. His message to current students echoes his own experiences: stay focused, stay humble, and always seek support and learning opportunities from others.

Published June 12, 2024