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Like father, like son: engineering is in the genes

Following in his dad's footsteps, Tyrone Bright graduated from the University of KwaZulu-Natal's (UKZN's) School of Engineering with a BSc degree in Engineering (Mechanical Engineering), on 3 April.

His father, dean and head of the School of Engineering, Professor Glen Bright, is 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 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."

The younger Bright 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."

Bright said his area of research had the potential to significantly influence society as advanced manufacturing systems 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 HCR system that is part of the fourth industrial revolution.