Martin Masemola started studying with the plan of obtaining a Master of Engineering degree. He is now one of EIT's first students in our flagship Doctor of Engineering program.
Martin’s quest to obtain a Master of Engineering degree started in 2003. As a student from South Africa and working full-time as an engineer, there was little option but to enroll in a programme that molded around his needs.
He was employed by the City of Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality (located in Pretoria, South Africa) and enrolled for a Master of Science at the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal in another South African province.
“It was a tall call at the time since I had to travel to the university monthly and spend one week at the university for 12 months. After completing the coursework, I changed jobs, and suddenly had to travel more for work and spend time away from South Africa.”
While his career was thriving, the itch to complete a postgraduate qualification was still there. And that’s when online education became a viable option.
"I was involved early with EIT when they conducted several surveys on online education when I learned the Master of Engineering qualification were being offered, I checked if the programme would allow me to register as Professional Engineer or if it was a Washington Accord accredited qualification.”
The course was accredited and the rest, as they say, is history
A mesmerizing aspect of enrolling was the fact that Martin had a lot in common with his new peers.
“It’s common that students are working in the engineering industry and have thriving careers,” Martin mentions.
With his Master of Engineering studies coming to an end last year, he knew he’d like to continue studying.
“I strongly believe in lifelong learning, I believe continuous improvement is the best way to stay relevant in any field. It also assists you in sharing your knowledge with young students.”
This is especially true for Martin, who has been involved within the academic fraternity in terms of engineering.
He’s currently the chairperson of the Department of Electrical Engineering Academic Advisory Committee at the Tshwane University of Technology. Here the group advises the South African government on industry requirements to recruit young blood engineers.
“I wanted to obtain the highest level in my engineering career which will allow me to consistently advise and train young engineering graduates. I will further utilize my Doctor of Engineering qualification for research and development,” he adds.
What is also working to his advantage is a love for academia, something he says he’s always been in touch with.
“I am the current chairperson of the Department of Electrical Engineering Academic Advisory Committee at the Tshwane University of Technology, which advises the Department on the industry requirement for engineering graduates,” he says.
But his involvement, especially in young minds, does not end there.
“Currently I am the Managing Director and Principal Consultant at Medupi Energy Resources, a company I founded in 2010 which provides engineering consulting and construction services for energy-related projects,” he adds.
At the helm of his own company, it doesn’t mean he gets to take a rest. He’s an on-the-go businessman.
“My MacBook and iPhone make everywhere an office for me, they enable me to work anytime and anywhere. And that makes a big difference, especially when you start to run your own business,” he laughs.
According to him on a typical day, you’ll find his part of the daily meeting covering designs, current projects and outcome timelines. Student mentorship also forms part of Martin’s professional life for the Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA).
What kept his postgraduate studies prevailing all these years was the ease of access.
“The delivery methodology and the information available in the e-library can’t be beaten. The other important aspect of online education is recorded lectures. You can review the tutorial and lessons on repeat when you need to understand the concept,” he says.
But with his Doctor of Engineering loading, Martin at least makes time for himself.
Hiking and cycling are high up on his mind-body list. He also has an affinity for classical music, but the kitchen has become something of a hobby.
“I enjoy cooking delicate meals and serving people. I think it’s a hobby I took from my late father as he was a chef in Pretoria,” he laughs.
On top of that, he sees himself as an excellent mixologist behind the bar and has an appreciation for fine wine.
It’s a reward when you look at some of Martin’s accomplishments as an engineer – which has been helping communities.
“The most exciting projects in my life has been rural electrification projects that resulted in a total of 850 000 household connections to the grid, and building several bulk substations and sub-transmission networks.”
The project made a significant impact on his life and career. The communities that received the connections had never had electricity before – and that joy was surmountable.
“Most of the projects were located in rural areas of South Africa. The communities had never experienced an electricity connection and when it arrived the joy in their faces could not be compared with anything. That was my engineering joy in action. Even after years of service to the engineering community, I still have memories of community songs and chants, when they experience an electrical connection for the first time.”
With a Doctor of Engineering, there’s a lot of hope that this sort of upliftment will continue.
To find out more about the Doctor of Engineering at EIT visit the course page.
This accredited qualification runs over three years and will equip students to take a leading role in the development of research investigations into current and future problems of industrial and community concern within their area of expertise.
The program will give candidates the skills and experience to act as independent researchers or group leaders for investigations of practical importance in their professional area over their professional life.
Applications are open for the February 2022 intake of students. You must submit your application at least six weeks before the start date to be considered for your desired intake.
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