Physics Graduate Refuses Failure
Mr Jashan Naicker has graduated with his Honours in Physics after an academic journey from a national diploma to being a current masters candidate, conquering failure to get there.
Naicker attended Raisethorpe Secondary School in Pietermaritzburg before completing a qualification in Electrical Power Engineering at the Durban University of Technology (DUT).
Naicker found the jump from high school to tertiary education a challenge, with less “spoon-feeding” involved. His first year of studies had setbacks as he failed after struggling with the Mathematics modules. He did not allow failure to deter him, however, deciding that it would soon become history.
After persevering to achieve his qualification, Naicker acquired a position in the pulp and paper industry as an Electrical Control Systems Engineer. Not satisfied to let his mental growth lag, he enrolled at UKZN for a BSc degree, majoring in Mathematics and Physics.
Naicker excelled at university, receiving awards for being the top Physics student, both in third year as well as in Honours.
His Masters research currently underway is concerned with electrodynamics, with application to Electrical Engineering, under the supervision of Professor Naven Chetty. He hopes to pursue a career in research and design.
‘All engineers need a thorough knowledge and understanding of Physics in order to produce innovative applications in the real world,’ said Naicker. ‘Physics makes our everyday living comfortable and possible.’
Naicker’s secret to success has included trying to maintain a healthy balance between body and mind, in his case by playing league-level indoor cricket when workloads and time allow. Naicker believes success is at some level due to the mysterious, encoded drive in humans to succeed, but also believes that in a money-driven world, education is a sure way to a better future.
He credited his parents, sister, grandmother and larger family for being a source of motivation and thanked them for their support, confidence and patience through so many years of study. He applauded his lecturers for dedicating their knowledge, experience and patience and for providing guidance and motivation to students.
Naicker encouraged other students to view failure as a stepping stone to success and to pursue studies that excite them. He said another source of motivation for him was the realisation that even “masterminds” of scientific discoveries went through the same studies he undertook.
‘If they could do it, what’s stopping any other individual from understanding whatever it may be?’ said Naicker. ‘I call it Chinese magic but it’s not magic at all; it’s Physics!’