Nompumelelo Patience Nxumalo

Engineer-in-Training (Control & Instrumentation), Ubombo Sugar Limited (Illovo group company)

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Look into yourself, society and environment, and find the best way to make things better.

What do you do?

It is process monitoring and control. The use instruments, controllers and a system in conjunction, to assist in monitoring and controlling process variables in sugar production.

Why did you choose this field?

To be honest, at first it wasn't clear until I got exposure during a job shadow programme(Juniour Achievement) in high school. I had observed how in Eswatini our farmers are investing so much money into farming without doing the due diligence of studies(soil type and nutrition, water resources, climatic conditions and even the target market) and how it can be done and steered to give desired outputs.These sparked the interest in process control, as from that experience I started closely observing systems functionalities, i.e. inputs, processes, outputs and controls from an engineering point.

What do you look at and think, "I wish younger me would have known this was possible"?

My achievement is simple being a woman in engineering. If I would have let my upbringing, personal obstacles and family's financial background define me, then I wouldn't have dreamed big and worked towards this older me.

Why do you love working in STEM?

Each day I wake up looking forward to end my day having made at least one thing easier to achieve(new solutions for better efficient processes and outputs). I love having new challenges and learning opportunities beyond my trait of study and work.

Best advice for next generation?

Look into yourself, society and environment, and find the best way to make things better. This is the way you will find yourself(your strengths, dreams and purpose) and give world class futuristic solutions through STEM.

Inspo quote / fun fact / role model

Do not be afraid to be different because that is what makes you stand out.

NOMINATE a woman in STEM

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