on March 12th, 2024

Anyone who has followed this path will testify that committing to tertiary education while also balancing a full-time job and other daily responsibilities is no small feat. However, for Kavehuurua Tjiuma, from Namibia, it became a reality, thanks to the convenient online study options available through the Engineering Institute of Technology (EIT).

Kavehuurua Tjiuma: An Electrifying Educational Journey With EIT

In this exclusive student story interview, Kavehuurua shares his insights into why he chose EIT for his online Master of Engineering (Electrical Systems) from a wide selection of engineering schools.

His experience sheds light on the convenience of online learning, the utilization of virtual labs, and the inspiration behind pursuing a specialized master’s degree in electrical systems.

What led you to choose EIT for your Master of Engineering (Electrical Systems) among the many engineering schools available?

As a full-time employee, with Namibia Power Corporation (NamPower) I needed an institution of higher learning that would offer me an opportunity of studying while working. With the option of online learning, EIT offered me what I was looking for, and the flexibility of choosing different time slots was ideal for my demanding work environment.

Have you had the opportunity to use EIT’s virtual labs during your studies? If so, could you share your experience with them?

Yes indeed. I used the virtual labs to run simulations on Simulink to build rectifiers, simulate Capacitor banks on electrical networks, and use the Triangle Test Suite Pro to simulate the sending of GOOSE messages over the substation ethernet network.

I also simulated load flow analysis using DigSilent Power Factory installed on virtual labs, as well as transient stability analysis using MATLAB and PowerWorld software. The virtual labs we readily available and they had flexible booking hours. Making use of virtual labs aided in understanding the different concepts covered during lectures.

As a student from Namibia, how did you find the convenience and accessibility of distance learning with EIT?

With online learning, all I needed was a stable network to attend my classes, to do research while completing my assignments, and to perform experiments in the virtual labs platform. There were no hassles of having to travel for classes and I could do all my schoolwork in the comfort of my house. The lecturers and learning support officers were always available for any questions and learning materials were also sufficient.

What inspired you to pursue a master of engineering specifically in electrical systems?

As a holder of a bachelor of electrical engineering, I needed to upgrade myself by adding a master of engineering to my degree collection. Going further in my career, this master’s will become a requirement, so the inspiration was for me to stay relevant in the ever-changing landscape of the electricity industry. By pursuing studies for a master’s, I saw it as an opportunity to expand my technical knowledge, and it also serves as a gateway to attaining a Ph.D. one day.

How has obtaining your master’s degree from EIT impacted your career trajectory so far?

I have not gained any promotion yet, but looking ahead, I am optimistic that with a master’s degree in my possession, I stand a good chance of landing that promotion that I have always dreamed of.

What challenges did you face in your journey to secure a job in the engineering field, and how did you overcome them?

The challenge is that the engineering landscape is changing with new technologies being developed, and therefore, securing the job requires a good grasp of technical knowledge because of the high competition. How I overcame it, was by always staying current with the information, and with the lifelong learning strategy.

Do you have any plans for further studies or professional development in the future?

Yes, I have plans to obtain my Ph.D., but the idea is to first get an opportunity to lecture on a part-time basis, only then I will be comfortable choosing my area of research interest at a Ph.D. level.

Can you offer any advice to aspiring engineers in Namibia and across Africa, particularly regarding navigating the job market and pursuing their educational goals?

My advice to all budding engineers is that they must follow the market trends to know the type of engineers who will become relevant, more especially, with the disruption by the 4th and 5th industrial revolution and the renewable energy technologies. They should read current journal articles, join engineering bodies, and attend networking events to get updates on available job opportunities.

In what ways do you believe your engineering background can contribute to addressing societal or technological challenges in Namibia or Africa?

My engineering background will help Namibia minimize the over-reliance on foreign expertise to test and commission our electrical installations. My knowledge will also help in designing electrical equipment and systems that are suitable to our landscape and environment. My background is already serving as an inspiration to young people from my society to further their studies in engineering.

Looking back, what do you consider the most valuable lesson or experience from your time at EIT, and how has it shaped your professional outlook?

My most valuable lesson is that of conducting research, studying what other scholars have written on the topic of interest, knowing how to summarize that, and drawing an engineering conclusion from it. This has shaped my professional outlook, by improving my ability in solving engineering problems utilizing available research data in a shorter duration of time.

Engineering Institute of Technology