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Construction & Engineering News South Africa

#BehindtheSelfie: Raymond Mhlongo, engineering manager, Sedna

Raymond Mhlongo is a highly skilled mechanical design engineer with extensive experience in a range of technical industries. Currently serving as the engineering manager at Sedna, Mhlongo's journey began in 2009 when he was awarded a bursary from MerSeta to study mechatronics engineering at the Tshwane University of Technology.
Raymond Mhlongo, engineering manager, Sedna
Raymond Mhlongo, engineering manager, Sedna

With 10 years of experience under his belt, he has developed a vast knowledge base in mechanical and electrical engineering, production, and project management.

We go behind the selfie with Mhlongo as he shares a bit about his professional journey thus far, what he finds most rewarding about his work, and advice for those looking to pursue a career in engineering.

Share with us a bit about your history and how you discovered your passion for engineering.

I am a qualified mechatronics technologist and an experienced mechanical designer with 10 years of experience in various industries including mining, design, manufacturing, production, security, solar and railroad. As an engineering manager at Sedna IIT, I am responsible for the engineering and production team.

I discovered my passion for engineering through watching documentaries like Megafactories, which showcases the manufacturing processes of some of the world's largest brands.

I then wanted to know how robotic machines function, hence I decided to pursue a career in mechatronics.

You're a qualified mechatronics technologist - what are the skills that come with this?

I have mechanical and electrical design skills, computer and control systems skills, as well as expertise in robotics and mechatronics.

However, the greatest talent is the ability to combine all these engineering skills to solve real-life problems daily.

As an engineering manager at Sedna, what does a typical workday look like for you?

A typical day at work consists of compiling scope of work for projects, engineering designs, development of products, coming up with new ideas, solving problems, planning production work, testing the quality of products, liaising with clients, suppliers, and other teams to provide technical support.

What do you enjoy most about your work/industry?

What I love about my job is being at the forefront of technology innovation and continuously solving engineering problems for Sedna and its customers.

How is the 4IR likely to impact the work that you do?

4IR is already impacting my work and surroundings daily. In recent years, we've been exposed to systems which operate on artificial intelligence, there’s been the introduction of 5G networks, and cloud and edge computing.

These technologies have really accelerated the implementation of autonomous vehicles in mining and other related heavy industries.

What's been the highlight of your career so far?

One of the greatest highlights of my career was the ability to make a smooth transition from being a design engineer to being an engineering manager. This opportunity has broadened my scope of work, responsibility, and accountability.

What are you currently streaming/reading/listening to?

I am currently streaming content about organisational change management and organisational culture.

What's your favourite gif?

Who inspires you?

I am self-inspired; I believe the best version of myself that I can become is me.

What advice would you give to others eager to join the field of engineering?

As a young person, it's important to expose yourself to different engineering fields before you decide which will best fit your interests.

You can do this by streaming engineering content and attending expos. Lastly, continuously keep yourself up to date with the latest technological innovations so that you remain relevant and innovative.

About Sindy Peters

Sindy Peters (@sindy_hullaba_lou) is a group editor at on the Construction & Engineering, Energy & Mining, and Property portals. She can be reached at moc.ytinummoczib@ydnis.

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