The School of Engineering in UKZN’s College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science welcomed top KwaZulu-Natal matriculants into the class of 2022.

The bright-eyed acquisitions are:

  • Mr Rylan Odayan of Star College – eight distinctions;
  • Ms Samishka Amichund of Scottburgh High School – seven distinctions;
  • Ms Kriti Lalla of Westville Girls’ High School – eight distinctions; and
  • Mr Mohamen Banoo of Orient Islamic School – eight distinctions.

‘This is one of my proudest achievements and a highly valued reward for all the hard work I put in and the results I obtained during my matric year,’ said Odayan.

UKZN was his first option due to its high rankings and excellent facilities in Engineering. He believes his fascination with Physics is the reason he aims to become a mechanical engineer.

Meanwhile, Amichund – who has been accepted to study for a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering – says her main hobby is painting on canvas but she is also an avid reader and enjoys working in the garden.

How does she feel about being ranked among KwaZulu-Natal’s top matriculates? ‘I am actually quite shocked by this news. My matric results were very pleasing but I didn’t expect to do so well. I am proud of myself and I glad to be studying what I really want to at UKZN.’

Lalla believes consistency is the key to matric success. She enjoys Kathak – a form of Indian Classical Dance – and while studying for her tests and exams, she was actively involved in both regular Kathak dance lessons and solo dance performances.

‘From my childhood, I enjoyed building and designing things,’ said Lalla. ‘With my abilities in analytical, critical and creative thinking, I was drawn towards the engineering sector. I chose mechanical engineering as a foundation and want to specialise in mechatronics due to my interest in robotics and computers,’ said Lalla.

Banoo attributed his choice to study Chemical Engineering to the movie iRobot which is based on a 2004 American science fiction action film. ‘The futuristic technology shown in the movie fascinated me and that, coupled with a brother who also loves science and technology, naturally led me to the School of Engineering,’ he said.

The youngsters all attribute their success to their parents and mentors who they say played an integral and supporting role throughout their matric year.

Welcoming first-year students, the Dean and Head of School of Engineering Professor Glen Bright said, ‘The School of Engineering at UKZN is positioning itself to be the academic centre of choice for incoming learners. Excellent and quality education is a priority, along with providing Engineering students with a teaching and learning experience to prepare them for their careers. Incoming students are indeed fortunate and we are privileged to welcome them to the School of Engineering this year.’

Words: Christian Ishimwe