College of Agriculture, Engineering
and Science (CAES)

Mr Riaan Fourie receives his Masters in Mechatronics Engineering with the support of his family.

A Qualified Mechanical Engineer, Riaan Fourie

Mr Riaan Fourie was the proud recipient of a Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering – Mechatronic at the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Graduation.

Fourie plans to continue to grow in his career and would like to become a professional engineer. ‘I would consider studying towards a PhD if I had the opportunity to pursue my studies full-time,’ said Fourie.

He attributed his accomplishment and determination to South African born physicist, engineer and entrepreneur, Mr Elon Musk.  ‘His constant innovation inspires me to be a better engineer and to push my own limit.’

He described his journey in pursuing his masters as ‘very challenging.’ ‘I completed my master’s part-time whilst working.  Over weekends I designed, built and wrote up my dissertation. At times it was exhausting but there was some degree of satisfaction to see things completed,’ said Fourie.

His research focused on the mechanical design of a prosthetic hand. ‘I used mainly computer-aided design to integrate the components of a mechanical and mechatronic prosthetic hand starting with a prototype to final design,’ said Fourie.

In his spare time, Fourie enjoys reading a book, being outdoors and exercising.

His message to aspiring Engineering students: ‘I would encourage them to pursue Engineering with a goal in mind. They should know which field they would like to work in once they have completed their degree. During the degree, they should work hard every evening so that they can afford to take breaks on weekends or when necessary as I believe rest time is as important as study time.’

Words: Manqoba Hadebe