Lilongeni Gurney Geiseb is a Process Automation and Instrumentation Specialist. He has a pair of qualifications from the Engineering Institute of Technology and is currently on track to acquiring his third. He has worked in the diamond mining industry and is now positioning himself in the ever-expanding automation sector. The opportunity for development through EIT, whilst maintaining full-time employment, has helped Lilongeni succeed in his career. He has seen many promotions within each sector he has contributed to – a testament to the unique methodology EIT employs to get engineering professionals educated, working, and fully developed in industry. From young apprentice to reliable technician, to capable automation specialist, Lilongeni’s journey is one of hard work and dedication.
“The courses I have completed and the ongoing course from EIT have immensely helped me perform in my roles over the years. The courses have made me understand the importance of professionalism, what it entails, and what is required to sustain it. Especially the application of international standards,” he says.
Completing High School in 2007 at the Academic Secondary School in Windhoek, Namibia, Lilongeni embarked on finding a profession that would give him real job satisfaction. He soon discovered he had an affinity for engineering, recognizing that good engineering projects could improve the lives of humans and the environments they live and work in.
By 2008, he had received a chance to fulfil an apprenticeship, which was sponsored by Namdeb Diamond Corporation. He commenced his Control and Instrumentation Apprenticeship at De Beers Lesedi Centre for Human Capital in Kimberley, South Africa.
After his apprenticeship ended in 2011, the following year saw him enrol, and work towards completing his Advanced Diploma of Electrical and Instrumentation (E&I) Engineering in Mining through the Engineering Institute of Technology. He initially was under the impression that he should abandon his plans to go straight into a working environment and opt to pursue academics first.
“Upon completion of the training program, I was employed as a Control & Instrumentation Mechanician at NAMDEB. 4 months into the role, I realized that I was punching below my weight. I approached my Chief Technical Officer about my wishes to leave work for further studies. After that discussion, he introduced me to EIT,” Geiseb recalled.
After completing his Advanced Diploma, and getting the qualification recognized through the necessary qualifications bodies in Namibia, he was promoted from C&I Mechanician to C&I Technician at work. Determined not to slow down in the development of his engineering career, Lilongeni registered for the Advanced Diploma of Industrial Automation in 2016.
Soon enough, he was promoted again to Senior C&I Technician, which saw him take on a host of responsibilities inside the company. He was supervising subordinates and doing complex technical oversight. He also had to take on leadership roles, leading a team of 3 technicians and 6 artisans. Together, they were all working on the various diamond-bearing ore processing plants and utilities in the Southern Coastal mines – the largest operation at Namdeb.
Organizational changes at Namdeb eventually saw Lilongeni switching roles, and providing new challenges for his set of skills. He was looking to still provide value in all the work that he did for them. However, he saw that some of the organizational challenges produced by the reorganization of the company required some proficiencies he still needed to refine. He thus enrolled for an Advanced Diploma in Management and Research Methodology. The electives in that course were: Financial Management, Public Sector Management and Human Resources Development.
In 2018, an opportunity arose for Lilongeni to work at Dundee Precious Metals in Tsumeb, Namibia. This is where he began working as a Process Automation and Instrumentation specialist. His work includes the optimisation of the plant operations relating to throughput, quality and reliability – whilst maintaining a safe environment. He tackles the technical workings of the Distributed Control Systems (DCS) and the Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC) at the plant as well. To master these systems, Lilongeni further added to his arsenal of skills.
“In January 2019, I enrolled for the BSc in Industrial Automation at the Engineering Institute of Technology. The course was directly in line with my career path. My aim in studying automation is to bring about change and exert influence in the world. To bring about change, one needs to be deemed competent. There isn’t a better competence than being a Registered Engineering Professional with Engineers Australia.”
The age of digitalisation has firmly been established, and is ongoing, Geiseb says. He says the most fascinating development in the industry is the arrival of artificial intelligence (AI). Thus, he is currently working through the Bachelor of Science (Industrial Automation) with EIT. Even though Lilongeni is still studying with EIT, he has seen the fruits of his labour after earning two qualifications prior.
“Life after EIT has been awesome, fulfilling and proving to be full of endless opportunities. As an individual, I have grown into a profession that values development. My quality of life has improved significantly due to the continuous growth and promotions,” he concluded.