March 6, 2021

Après-Lunch with Mathematician turned Nuclear Analyst

This webinar took place on 4 March as part of the celebration of the International Day of Mathematics (IDM) which is actually on the 14th of March. The speaker of the day was Dr Guy Blaise Dongmo, an AIMS South Africa alumnus who is currently working as a Probabilistic Safety Assessment (PSA) Analyst at Eskom-Koeberg Nuclear Power station in South Africa. He shared his career experience before and after graduating from AIMS, challenges he faced as an African student growing up in Cameroon and insight about the transition from academia to industry.

“My main challenge was when people told me that when you are good at math, you can do anything. But not where to do it after junior degree?”

Furthermore, he described AIMS as a mission of transformation, the mission that transformed him into who he is today. He mentioned some of the transferable skills he gained while at AIMS. Such skills include programming skills and insight into Applied /Engineering Math skills. 

After AIMS I was prepared to walk into the future with hope and not fear”, he said.

Dr Dongmo also shared the main challenges that he encountered as he transitioned from academia with pure mathematics into the industry.

In industry, you have to learn the plant systems, the processes, understand industry language ‘jargon’, as well as adapting to the environment, that is, the interface with other departments and regulatory bodies. It is like entering the first year at university.”

He encouraged students to consider Applied Mathematical Science, Computer Science (artificial intelligence and machine learning); Engineering and Finance related fields areas to maximize career opportunities in industry after AIMS or Mathematical Sciences degree. He also advises students to update and maintain programming skills as well as seek internships as it gives them insight into the work environment and what is required of them in the working area.

 “With AIMS or Mathematical Sciences background, be bold knowing that the future belongs to you!”

During the Q&A, one of the participants asked Dr Dongmo about the significance of knowledge obtained from the university level in the industry field.

The qualification one receives at the university level is like training on how to work; it’s not exactly what you will actually do in life. University equips one with the skills they need to tackle real-life projects in the industry.” he responded

Participants of the day also had an opportunity to convey their appreciation for the transformative webinar. 

“I am inspired to see people who have walked the journey I am walking and are now looking back with experiential joy!” expressed one of the participants after the event.

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