Maintaining her spark in electrical engineering

10 January 2020 | People

Ester Kamati

Growing up, Paulina Haixula’s father had always told her that she was destined to be a nurse, but fast forward to the present day, she is one of Sat-Com Namibia’s electronic engineers. Haixula had always been a naturally curious girl and was very handy growing up. Her brother used to repair phones and she found this admirable, which encouraged her to follow her brother’s advice and study electronic engineering.

Haixula’s performs a range of duties. When the company is in the mass-production phase, she performs factory acceptance quality testing for the company’s power supply units and filter boards. She then troubleshoots and repairs faulty electronic components and operates computer-assisted engineering or design software or equipment to perform electronic engineering tasks. If not in the mass production phase, she does substantial research and development within her field.

Haixula is proud to have spearheaded the mass-production, testing and commissioning project for testing boards, which was done within four months under her leadership. Among her list of accomplishments, Haixula takes pride in being able to obtain her Masters of Science in industrial engineering. Additionally, during the time that she has been at Sat-Com, she has developed an automated quality testing system for the company, which is six times faster than the old manual system.

The young woman has exceptional problem-solving abilities and works well under pressure, whether alone or as part of a team, while maintaining good communication. “I like to design new things and explore my creative ability,” she says.

Most people believe engineers to be the smartest people on the planet, which Haixula says is a misconception. “Most engineers are not born smart, they just work and think really smart and have an attitude of seeing things through.” She adds that engineering is not a gender-specific career and all that is required to excel in engineering is “a determined person who is solution driven”.

Haixula passed grade 12 with the minimum requirements, but was still determined to study engineering and thus followed through to the pre-selection process at the then Polytechnic of Namibia (now Nust). During this time, the lecturer who was assisting her asked, “Will you make it with these low points?” Nevertheless, with persistence and dedication Haixula not only graduated with a national diploma in electronic engineering four years later but went on to further her studies at Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) in South Africa, where she graduated with a B-Tech Degree in electrical engineering.

“Every human being is blessed with a God-given talent, and as young Namibians, we have so much to offer to our country and continent at large,” she believes. According to Haixula, these talents can be used to make a living and create jobs by following the simple steps of identifying your talent, developing your talent, and marketing your talent.

Raised by a workaholic mother, Haixula shares the same nature but she believes that a social life is as important as a career and tries her utmost to balance her time between the two.

“We all have 24 hours a day and how you spend it determines where your heart is. Since we need them both in life, I try to allocate time for both,” she says.

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