Like Father, Like Son – Engineering is in the Genes!

Following in his father’s footsteps, Mr Tyrone Bright graduated from UKZN’s School of Engineering with a Bachelor of Science in Engineering (Mechanical Engineering) degree.

His father, Dean and Head of the School of Engineering, Professor Glen Bright, was elated. ‘Tyrone has been an outstanding university student who has accomplished academic success beyond expectations. He developed into a talented young Mechanical Engineering student at UKZN. His willingness to help and assist others in academia and promote engineering to scholars is exceptional.’

Sharing his journey, Tyrone explained: ‘I went to Glenwood Preparatory School and on to Glenwood High where I matriculated. When I started high school, I was an average student but as I matured and moved through the grades, my interest in maths and science grew.

‘My dad always had robots and rockets at work and I loved working with them. I became more and more interested in how things worked and I wanted to be someone able to change the world in a significant way. Because of this, engineering seemed to be the best option as I saw how my dad as an academic was able to change and influence the lives of other people.’

However, completing a degree at South Africa’s leading engineering school was no easy task for Tyrone. ‘It was definitely the most challenging thing I have ever done. It was highly rewarding revealing interesting ideas and concepts and also taught me how to think of innovative and new ideas to solve problems.’

Tyrone is currently reading for his Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering at UKZN with a particular interest in Human-Robot Collaboration (HRC) for Advanced Manufacturing Systems. ‘To put it simply, it’s about creating an environment where humans and robots can work side by side to create products.’

Tyrone said his research area had the potential to significantly impact on society as it was a relatively new industry in Africa that would create highly skilled jobs, reduce unemployment and effectively improve the quality of life. This, he said, would be achieved through the development, construction and implementation of the HRC system that is part of the 4th Industrial Revolution.

His message to UKZN students is simple: ‘If people before you have done it, there is nothing stopping you from doing it. Only you can prevent yourself from achieving your goals.’

Words: Christian Ishimwe

Photograph: Rajesh Jantilal