An updated list of courses he has presented with IDC and EIT is so extensive that it would require a browser adjustment for the reader. All of this translates to a well-versed and adaptable engineer that can at the drop of a pin customize and present select courses to uplift and share the experience with fellow engineers or upskill employees. He attributes his wide technical background to this.
An enthusiastic instructor with a wealth of knowledge under his belt, students gain much from his practical approach and entertaining style, as thousands of others have benefited from his knowledge.
But like the ultimate professional, he runs his own business where he takes on the role of engineering consultant and course advisor and presenter.
It’s a natural progression from his time as a Chief Engineer at Kentron South Africa’s prolific armaments developer. Now he gets to sit back and help others achieve individual excellence by including his education and experience and disseminating it through specific courses.
We asked Frikkie some questions about his career, the adaption to online course presentations, and also his work as a published engineer and his impressive set of accomplishments.
I graduated from the Rand Afrikaans University (RAU), now known as the University of Johannesburg (UJ). My final year thesis as well as vacation work at UJ introduced me to the world of Power Electronics which became my specialization when I joined Denel Dynamics (previously known as Kentron). My bursary was with the SA Transport Services (Electrical Light and Power division) where I focused on Power Supply, Distribution, and Protection for the Harbor areas. A Diploma in Datametry from the University of South Africa (Unisa) was the start of my IT career which led to Inopsis Wireless Services which supplied ICT services to a large number of clients ranging from households to large businesses. Managing the Test and Integration department at Denel, which was part of the Electro-optical Division, led to the development of Infra-red cameras for machine vision applications in both military and industrial applications. Finally, working at the Gerotek EMC test facility gave me valuable experience to solve various Interference problems in the design and development environment.
An engineering degree is the basic building block and once in the industry, you are busy studying every day to either design new products or solve problems. In other words, in my approach, I use the bigger picture with some practical examples and experience to help explain difficult technical concepts.
The most positive aspect is the fact that you can reach people all over the world without traveling. Another huge positive aspect is that in this age we live in is the fact that lockdowns have no influence on the training.
The biggest problem normally is to determine on which level to present the course. The audience is usually a mix of different levels of expertise as well as basic qualifications. I often have to adapt the material and practicals as I progress.
As you can see from the previous answers, I embrace every aspect of my practical experience and am in the lucky position today to teach all possible disciplines or topics. There is no boring engineering field in my opinion.
Lecturing was always part of my interests and even part of my job description as a Line Manager. Project Management, as well as System Engineering, were part of my roles in the design and industrialization of products which prepared me for consultation work later in my career.
I enjoy trying to solve difficult technical problems in Power Electronics and EMC.
Your degree is only the first step in the learning process and your progressive learning (on-the-job training) will determine how fast you can adapt to the working environment and the changing technologies. Your whole career will be a learning experience. It doesn’t stop but only starts when you graduate. Always strive to be the “perpetual student”.
Many technical problems, especially those related to Electromagnetic Interference on system-level and designing of systems or subsystems from scratch.
Presenting Workshops for IDC Technologies took me to many different places in the world and that also help to relate to the people I now teach through online training.
The best way is to share your experience during the sessions or ask questions that will also lead to answers from all the people in the virtual class. We all learn from each other.
I’m not really surprised with the technology which allows us to teach worldwide but more surprised that it took so long for this to happen. My involvement in the IT Industry exposed me to the online technology possibilities a long time ago but it took a while to really get off the ground in both implementation and acceptance.
A difficult question, but to start, the technologies or scientific laws that gave us transformers and motors. What would we do without power and movement?
On the other hand, we have the development of electronic components which drive the conversion of power and all the ICT Technologies.
All technologies can be used either for the benefit of people or to harm people. A good current example is UAVs, which can be used to give us aerial pictures or kill from a distance.
I’m simply not really a number cruncher and only like to use a scalpel on a PCB board. Engineering was always the career that I was most interested in.
My faith and daily exercise always help to release the pressure.
Being involved in the development of products from basics which includes power systems, infrared cameras, missile systems, and various commercial products.
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