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As an avid football fan, Yash Madhan’s interest in building structures coincided with the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

“I was in Primary School at the time, in awe of the world-class stadia and infrastructure that South Africa was able to construct. During that time, if my mind wasn’t pre-occupied by soccer -it was fixed on trying to figure out how on earth the arch of the Moses Mabhida Stadium was able to stand and not fall over. Inevitably, later that year for Careers day I stood up in a classroom filled with my peers and said I want to be a Civil Engineer, I think it’s now quite safe to say I made the correct decision all those years back- and I happily haven’t looked back since,” he said euphorically.

The talented 23-year-old lad will be graduating Cum Laude at the Durban University of Technology’s (DUT’s) virtual Graduation ceremony for his Bachelor of Technology Degree: Civil Engineering: Specialising in Structural Engineering, on 01 December 2021.

“This is something that I had made a goal early on in my studies, so it feels good to see that the hard work and long hours have paid off. I feel extremely proud of this achievement. It brings me a great sense of pride and accomplishment having achieved what I have- even more so given the unforeseen difficulties and obstacles of the last two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.

Explaining more on his field of study, Madhan indicated that the built environment has an immense impact on society, comprising from residential dwellings to industrial structures. I hope to leave my footprint in this field by applying the knowledge and skillset that I have obtained here at DUT. Going forward, I am focused on gaining the necessary experience required to become professionally registered,” he conveyed.

Madhan is currently employed as a Structural Technician at a Civil Engineering Consulting Firm in which he specialises in the design and detailing of various structural elements and structures as a whole.

For him, undoubtedly being permanently employed whilst studying part-time was the greatest challenge.

“Working a normal day is tiring on its own; to then have to attend and concentrate on fast-paced lectures proved to be the strenuous bit. It also wouldn’t be true if I stated that that COVID-19 majorly impacted my studies in a negative light. I found that with the lectures being conducted online and recorded, I was able to manage my time much more efficiently. This allowed me to study at my own pace, whenever I wanted to – with the benefit of not being immediately drained after a days’ work. On that note, I have to acknowledge the dedication of the DUT lecturers towards the planning and carrying out of these lectures and/or recording,” said thankfully.

He also relayed that the tough part about being a student is that it is very hard work. One can’t expect to absorb the knowledge just because one was present in the class.

“To learn something, is to understand it – and for that you have to be willing to go the extra mile and make time to sit down, practice and repeat what’s being taught,” stressed Madhan.

When he is not immersed in his studies, Madhan can be found watching a game of football. He immensely enjoys playing football whenever he can and never misses the chance to watch (sometimes suffer through) his beloved Manchester United.

“I will also be completing my 10th Midmar Mile in 2022. I enjoy problem solving and activities that require me to use my thinking abilities. Surprisingly to most, the best activity of this kind is video gaming. You have to be able to anticipate what’s about to happen and react accordingly in the space of seconds- all without looking down to see which buttons to press. Chess, Cluedo along with FIFA and Thunee are enjoyable activities that require the exercise of the mind,” he added.

At this point in time Madhan has not decided yet whether or not he will be studying further, however he wishes to acknowledge his fantastic support-structure, ‘pun intended’.

“I would not have been able to accomplish this achievement without continued support, sacrifice and understanding of my family,” he said.

Pictured: Yash Madhan

Waheeda Peters

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