Sulaiman Patel says that being announced as one the youngest ever doctoral graduates in electronic engineering from University of KwaZulu-Natal counts as a proud but humbling moment. What made the moment more special was seeing how his achievements were inspiring and motivating his community.
Thinking of himself as representing more than himself but also his family, community and religion is something that gives Patel the motivation to excel.
Getting to where he is wasn’t an easy journey but Patel had support and encouragement from the people around him. At the end of his master’s, he experienced personal problems but, with support from his supervisor, he was able to produce work that was presented at a conference in Europe. His paper was also awarded at the conference.
“Knowing the personal challenges that I had to overcome, receiving this award was both the biggest surprise of my career and one of my proudest moments,” he says.
One of the things Patel has learned is to never be afraid of making mistakes. He believes mistakes should be used as opportunities to grow and improve.
Patel doesn’t just want to use what he knows to get ahead for himself. He wants to use what he knows to make a difference in the world.
“I believe that technology is the greatest tool for uplifting our country, which has really been highlighted during the lockdown,” he says.