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Shaeel Baliram from Merebank, will be graduating Cum Laude with a Dean’s Merit Award for his qualification of Bachelor of Technology Degree in Electrical Engineering: Heavy Current, at the Durban University of Technology’s (DUT’s) Virtual Spring Graduation Ceremony at 12:00 pm, on Wednesday, 01 December 2021.

When asked on his thoughts upon receiving the accolade, Baliram said it was a dream come true.

“Obtaining the prestigious Deans Merit Award has been a dream of mine that has manifested into reality! At the onset of my qualification I had set my goal to pass with Cum Laude, which I worked exceptionally hard to achieve and was extremely proud of. To be honoured with the Dean’s Merit Award in addition, was a huge surprise and it exceeded all my expectations and I am super elated,” he replied jovially.

He relayed that he is extremely happy and tremendously proud of this achievement and of himself.

“It has been a tough journey with many challenges and to finally see all the hard work payoff in the end is definitely rewarding. This achievement not only signifies my best academic performance but it also represents my triumph over a mountain of challenges,” he added.

He confessed that the tough part of being a student is always the constant pressure of meeting tight deadlines for assignments, tests and exams that are always due in short durations of each other.

Therefore, it is imperative to allocate one’s time accordingly to start preparing early and to rest as well. However, he indicated that there were fun times, especially in power engineering which is the creative capacity this field allows for.

For him, Electrical Engineering: heavy current was his first choice of study. He has always been fascinated by the world of electrical technology and always been curious to discover the workings behind these technologies.

“Over the years, I have developed a keen interest in learning about electrical components and how electricity is uniquely harnessed and utilised to bring the world to life. My keen interest in the electrical field, along with my passion for mathematics, physics and problem-solving motivated me to peruse a career in Electrical Engineering. The design projects always require industry investigation and your unique electrical designs, research and simulations to solve real world problems. As engineers and technologists, these unique ideas and solutions is what will shape future technology and the world,” he said.

As a natural strategic and innovative thinker who enjoys embracing new challenges, Baliram would like to utilise his knowledge in power engineering and his skills and abilities to make impactful contributions to an organisation and to society by implementing solutions to mitigate the power crisis faced in the country.

Baliram added that the COVID-19 pandemic presented a number of challenges in which he had to overcome.

“The first challenge was transitioning from physical to online classes which was a completely new experience. Thankfully the lecturers of the Electrical Power Engineering department were able to deliver quality teaching and academic support that bridged the social distancing divide. Another challenge was trying to be mentally and emotionally strong to help family and friends cope during the pandemic while trying to stay focused and committed to achieving my goals,” he confessed.

Going forward, his intentions are to gain enough industry experience to ultimately register as a Professional Engineering Technologist (Pr Tech Eng) with the Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA) and to work my way up in an organisation to more senior positions and to be able to lead and manage significant engineering projects.

His advice to fellow power engineering students would be to always begin each task by setting clear and tangible goals and then make a commitment to achieving those goals.

“As the saying goes, ‘Motivation is what gets you started. Commitment is what keeps you going’, and it is absolutely true. Whatever challenges life throws at you, you have to remain committed to see your goals through,” he said.

Pictured: Shaeel Baliram

Waheeda Peters

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