MSc Degree for Jubilant Chemical Engineer
A jubilant Mr Ashir Daya graduated with an MSc in Engineering (Chemical Engineering) from UKZN following intense research in the area of carbon capture and storage.
He was supervised by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Research at UKZN, Professor Deresh Ramjugernath.
Daya’s goal was to develop a performance rating model to assess the efficiency by which a solvent captured CO2 from flue gas streams.
‘This study was unique since the number of factors taken into account was more than that previously found in the literature,’ said Daya. ‘This allowed for capture efficiency to be evaluated with a more holistic approach rather than focusing on singular aspects of the process.’
Daya has been working as an Energy Efficiency Consultant in the mining sector for the past two years. His desire to improve his marketability motivated him to pursue a postgraduate degree in Chemical Engineering as he believed this would open up other career opportunities in the financial and consulting sectors.
Daya said that while studying fulltime was a pleasant experience, his degree became much tougher once he was employed and switched to studying and managing a full time job simultaneously. The satisfaction of having finally completed his degree under such circumstances was thus all the sweeter.
He said it was an accomplishment he was truly proud of since it was self-motivated and self-executed.
Daya’s role model is his father. ‘As a renowned surgeon in his field of plastic surgery he has motivated me to hold a similar status in my own field someday,’ he said.
For now, Daya’s future plans involve pursuing a career in management consulting at Bain and Company as he finds the corporate environment one that stimulates and attracts him.
Daya encouraged aspiring engineers to pursue a postgraduate degree if the opportunity arose.
‘During your undergraduate degree, everything is laid out for you and the challenge is predominantly just coping with the large volume of new knowledge,’ he said. ‘A postgraduate degree allows you to plan and execute an entire project over a long time span, primarily through your own will power and ability.
‘While supervisors can offer guidance, ultimately you have to become an expert in your field of study,’ said Daya.
Words by: Manqoba Hadebe