A Namibia-based Engineering Institute of Technology (EIT) student, Andreas Kahungu, chats about graduating with a Master of Engineering (Electrical Systems) and how it has enhanced his work and offers advice on achieving your engineering education goals even while holding down a job.
Andreas Kahungu tells us about the advantages of choosing EIT for his engineering education. He also touches on the determination and focus it takes to pursue a master’s degree while maintaining a balance between the demands of daily life in Namibia.
Furthermore, Kahungu offers valuable insights into the country’s engineering prospects and how to navigate them, as well as advice for budding engineering enthusiasts.
Why did you choose EIT for your Master of Engineering (Electrical Systems), and how was the online study experience?
I opted to study with EIT as it offers the best tailor-made engineering courses and a pool of experienced industry experts as lecturers and tutors. Studying online through EIT is fascinating and uses tutors and advanced online technologies.
It was well suited for me as a full-time engineer for Rossing Uranium Limited, a local mining company, as it allowed me to attend classes and do my daily work.
Have you used EIT’s remote labs in your studies? How has that practical component enhanced your understanding of electrical systems?
I have used EIT’s remote labs in my studies for practical assessments, including the simulation and modeling of power systems using PowerWorld simulation software for network transient stability analysis. The remote labs I used included the simulation and DIgSILENT, among others. They allowed me to conduct experiments, case studies, and system analyses of various magnitudes as if I were in a physical lab.
Are there any specific strategies that have worked well for you in balancing work, home life, and ongoing studies?
I balanced my studies by creating a strict schedule to avoid a clash between my life’s three equally important aspects. I prioritized each task for each scheduled activity, set realistic goals and expectations for my studies, and had to say no to many social events, which cost me friendships (LOL). Also, I communicated earlier with my work manager, friends, and relatives about my studies to align them with my schedule and availability.
In your experience, how have your EIT qualifications positively impacted your contributions to projects or advancements in the work setting?
It helped me understand project management, from initiation to execution, evaluation, monitoring, stakeholder engagement, and negotiations. It shaped the way I approach projects. Technically, I now better understand the design, sizing, testing, and commissioning of electrical systems, the effects of each stage on the environment and system performance, and how to optimize each. I now use these skills in my daily routine as a legal representative for the mine and as a leader in the engineering industry.
Given Namibia’s unique engineering context, how do you navigate specific challenges and opportunities within the local industry?
While young and compact since gaining independence in 1990, Namibia’s engineering community has made significant progress. We supply talent through two universities, yet the supply of engineers outpaces the demand due to our small economy.
I secured a bursary for my undergraduate program to stay competitive, ensuring job opportunities. Continuous skill improvement, networking, and affiliation with professional bodies, like the Engineering Council of Namibia, have been crucial for staying ahead and accessing more opportunities.
Do you have any favorite engineering jokes or anecdotes you’d like to share? How does humor play a role in your professional and academic journey?
LOL, yes, my favorite is this one:
An engineer and a doctor once loved one girl; the doctor did all romantic stuff: flowers, candies, chocolates, and roses. Meanwhile, the engineer only gave the girl an apple every day. The girl got curious and asked the engineer guy, “Why do you always give me an apple every day?”. The engineer answered, “Because an apple a day keeps the doctor away.”
What advice do you have for aspiring engineering students in Namibia, based on your experience in both work and ongoing studies?
My advice is to prioritize mathematics and science for a strong engineering foundation. Stay curious and explore your preferred engineering discipline rather than following the crowd. Join engineering clubs, societies, and professional bodies for mentorship.
Develop a collaborative mindset, as engineering often involves various stakeholders and demands effective time management. Embrace challenges as opportunities to learn and grow. Seek guidance from experienced individuals, pursue internships for practical experience, and have faith in your journey toward success.
As a Namibian native, how do you envision your expertise contributing to developing engineering practices in your home country?
I envision a thriving Namibian engineering industry with state-of-the-art technology, a skilled workforce, and robust development programs that rival international achievements like those of NASA, SpaceX, and Virgin Galactic. My goal is to inspire, mentor, and educate aspiring engineers in Namibia, providing learning opportunities and practical workshops in electrical engineering.