Wilbard Mwetulundila is a marine electrician working on a mining vessel for diamond mining company Debmarine. He is an Engineering Institute of Technology graduate and esteemed alumni. He has an unwavering love for engineering, and despite the challenges he has had to overcome, he is developing into a skilled engineer.
It all started with the boyhood curiosity that grips so many: a fascination with technology.
“I was raised in a small village in the northern part of Namibia,” he said.
“When I was a toddler, I used to be very fascinated with battery-operated toys and how they operate. Since then, I have had persistent curiosity — I always had a picture of myself working in an engineering space. Given that burning passion, it was just a matter of putting in the effort to fulfill my dream”.
Upon completion of high school in 2008, Wilbard applied to study electrical engineering at one of the local universities in Namibia. He, unfortunately, did not get admitted on to the course he wanted to complete. It was a sudden turn of events for him which culminated in him having to enroll for another option.
However, he vowed that he would pursue a career in engineering by all means necessary. He dropped out of the course and took up a general electrical course at the local vocational institute.
Graduating in 2012, Wilbard went straight into employment. He began work for Namibia’s Elgin Brown & Hammer as a marine electrician. After gaining experience there for two years, he moved on to work for SABMiller Namibia, a multinational brewing and beverage company.
At SABMiller, he completed a course on SANS 10142 installation rules, which was a prerequisite to obtaining a wireman’s license so that he could formally become a professional certified electrician. At SABMiller, Wilbard saw that automation was taking over the electrical engineering field.
“I realized that it is imperative anyone in this field needs to cultivate a good understanding of automation in order to remain relevant. It is also necessary that one masters the basics of electrical engineering before tackling the automation part.”
Wilbard wanted to keep expanding his career and find new and exciting challenges. He wanted to go back into the marine industry while trying to find an institution that could further help him learn about the electrical engineering industry and the automation world. He went to work for Debmarine in Namibia in 2016. Debmarine is Namibia’s leading marine diamond mining company.
To further augment his skills and keep growing in his career, Wilbard decided in July 2018 to enroll for the Advanced Diploma in Applied Electrical Engineering (Electrical Systems). He doubled the course up with a national diploma in electrical engineering from a college in South Africa.
“I had been working for close to 7 years in the electrical industry before enrolling with EIT. Given the years of experience, I was under the impression that I knew it all, but one module into the course, I realized that my knowledge was only limited to the environment I was working in. Since then, I started seeing technical aspects from new perspectives.”
Wilbard says that his employer has been amazed by his improved workmanship and consistent compliance with engineering ethics – which he all chalks up to EIT’s training. He says he has become more productive and developed critical thinking skills.
The world is Wilbard’s oyster, as he decides what his next chapter is going to be. He says he is closer to achieving his career goals than ever before. For now, he is applying everything that he learned in his advanced diploma course:
“Life has been amazing ever since I left EIT. At this stage, I am still figuring out what I am going to do next, but I am thankful that EIT offers support to students even after graduating, and hence I still keep in touch with lecturers.”
Wilbard has floated the idea of doing a Bachelor of Science (Electrical Engineering) with EIT in 2021. In the meantime, he is enjoying his fulfilling job, where his daily challenges include maintaining, repairing, supervising, analyzing, and enhancing the electrical systems on-board the marine vessel. We wish him well in his future adventures.