Current job status and what it entails:
Currently my job title is a Development Engineer. It involves developing, maintaining and writing software that allows application software to interface to the hardware. I am employed by a company that manufactures set-top boxes (decoders) for satellite and cable TV. We facilitate video and audio feeds as it passes through the satellite receiver dish. (FirstStep says: Now thats heavy!!)
Where did you qualify and tell us about your degree as well as your experience at university:
My degree in Electronic engineering was obtained at the University of Natal in 2003. I completed my degree with a distinction pass – summa cum laude (FirstStep says: Two Thumbs up!!). In my final year of my studies I decided that I could make the most impact in the multimedia industry. Therefore I chose my courses and my design projects so that it was relevant to the industry. I then went on to complete my MSc in Electronic engineering, also with distinction (cum-laude), where I specialised in video and imaging. University life presented me with many opportunities such as meeting interesting people and the availability of sporting facilities. The best thing about studying engineering is that it opens your mind and thought process because the course gives you the freedom to think and make decisions.
Why did you study your degree, what drew you to it:
I have always been fascinated with electronics, especially the ease at which it can be used to solve everyday problems. Some of the major factors that influenced me to choose this career path are now explained. My first exposure into understanding electronics was in school, we were offered a subject called Technika Electrical. In this course, I learnt the basics in electronics. I participated in the Junior Science Expo. It was here that I gained experience in building and designing my own project by using electronic devices. During my schooling career I also attended a course in basic electronics at the University of Natal. Here, I acquired knowledge of interfacing computers and electronics, which intrigued me.
What are your future goals:
I would like to retire within the next three years (FirstStep note: Nice Try...). Seriously now, I want to begin my PhD in engineering in the near future. Other than that, I would like to educate South-Africans on the use of technology and multimedia. I think the use of multimedia can help learners achieve a greater sense of knowledge if utilised in an efficient manner. I would also like to become involved in developing an infrastructure that can offer low cost solutions so that multimedia can be easily accessible to the South African majority (including rural areas). Once this infrastructure is set up, distance learning will become a reality. (FirstStep says: That's brilliant!!)
Best moment/’s of your life so far:
Besides obtaining my degrees, another of my highlight moments was being chosen to represent my university cricket club. Prior to university, I had not played school or club cricket, so it was a big achievement for me to work my way up from their third team to their main team, based purely on my performance.
My major challenge is to compete with myself in hope that I can improve on my prior achievements. I always set very high standards for myself. A mind is like a parachute; it functions only when it is open. The other challenge is finding the balance between studying, work and sport.
Where do you envisage yourself in the progress and future of South Africa:
As mentioned above, I want to contribute to the development and advancement of technology and multimedia in South Africa. Our country, although classified as a developing country, has immeasurable amount of resources and skills. I want to help to convert these resources and develop the skills with my knowledge, in hope of providing our citizens with a higher standard and better quality of living.
1. City: Durban, The city where the sun never sets and the fun never stops, and there’s always a place where you can grab a top bunny-chow.
2. Part of your job: Watching TV. Since I’m currently working with satellite decoders, there’s always time to catch a glimpse of a sporting event or a programme.
3. Food: Mutton Biryani or Mince curry and mealie-meal roti.
4. What would you be if you weren’t an engineer?
I would probably have been a professional sportsman in either cricket or table-tennis, or both. If I were to take the academic route, I would have studied optometry – no specific reason, but I always think that you can tell a lot about a person by just looking at their eyes.
Your message for South Africa’s youth:
It is important for youth to have dreams and ambitions but more important for them to make it a reality. Nothing is impossible. All it takes is motivation, perseverance and hard work. As SA youth, we are lucky because today, we have infinite resources we can use to achieve our goals, such as print and electronic media. We have also been blessed with the freedom of expression, education and human rights. So there's nothing standing in our path to being successful career individuals.