Hendru Coetzer is an Engineering Institute of Technology graduate who completed the 52726WA - Advanced Diploma of Applied Electrical Engineering in May 2016. It has been a twelve-year journey for Hendru, as he endeavored to learn everything he could about the engineering industry across the world.
From a young age, Hendru was obsessed with the engineering industry.
“It all started at a young age, where I used to either work with my father in his workshop or trying to assist his team at the tender age of 13. It’s in my blood. I still call my dad on a daily basis to assist with the most technical questions out there. Also, there is a certain smell to greased overalls and uncomfortable safety shoes which simply keeps me coming back for more.”
His first job was as a Junior Construction Manager at a low-cost housing project, where he began to save money in hopes that he could fund his future studies. He enrolled at a NECSA (the Nuclear Energy Corporation) training facility, which saw him develop his skills as an electrician, and millwright.
After his training, he found it particularly hard to find a job, which he needed in order to qualify for a trade test. Many months went by with no luck, but eventually he succeeded. He joined a small group of technicians at SASKO Bakeries in Johannesburg. Hendru says, due to restrictions, he was not able to get placement as an apprentice and was instead employed as a general worker with a minimal salary —and the hours were long too.
After working his shifts at the bakeries, he had enough hours to qualify. However, to take the trade test, he would have to take time off work, and he had not saved up enough money to do so. He also didn’t know if he would be prepared enough for it. He was stuck in between a rock and a hard place. Consequently, he decided to pack his bags and move to Doha in Qatar for work.
In Qatar, Hendru worked in a major mechanical, electrical, and plumbing company named Arabain MEP. For two and a half years he was an Electrical & Mechanical Coordinator on large scale projects. While he was employed, he still had a niggling feeling that he should further his education so that he could ensure success in his career.
“After completing my apprenticeship as an electrician, I wanted to increase my knowledge on an international level and found that EIT courses were the best suitable. On the platform, I found so many industry experts transferring their years of knowledge and experience through each module covered. And, because I had this course assessed successfully by SAQA (The South African Qualifications Authority), it proves the weight this qualification holds once completed.”
During this time, Hendru’s contact ended in Qatar, and instead of getting another job there, he decided to move back to South Africa to see friends and family again. He found a job in the Western Cape on a restoration project for the South African Police headquarters and a medical center. He also went full circle when he went back to South Africa — he completed his trade test. Equipped with new knowledge and skills from EIT, he says, he found the trade test to be one of the easiest exams he had ever taken.
“I truly felt the value of my advanced diploma that day. My employers reacted well to the qualification too. The course work gives you a good practical approach, which employers appreciate. You still need to prove that you are eligible to do the work and meet the high expectations that come with this qualification.”
Hendru’s obsession with engineering and working in the industry has seen him and his wife go to Sri Lanka and New Zealand, but eventually they decided to settle back in Qatar with their newborn daughter. He currently works at the Qatar Primary Materials Company (QPMC) and is in charge of mechanical equipment maintenance. His daily responsibilities include:
- Developing, modifying, testing, and evaluating all mechanical plant equipment.
- Providing technical advice about the suitability of materials and diagnosing faults.
- Advising on, planning and organizing inspections, maintenance, and repairs.
- Overseeing operational quality control processes and liaising with suppliers, customers, and manufacturing/development staff.
- Supervising the engineering and technical staff.
Hendru Coetzer is a prime example of an EIT student. He is dedicated, equipping himself with a spectrum of skills in a multidisciplinary approach to engineering. He is a lifelong learner who is giving himself skills while balancing a family and working life at the same time. We are proud to call him an alumnus of the Engineering Institute of Technology and wish him further successes in his career.