Bachelors of Civil Engineering
Naasir Bassier is a Civil Engineer who has been working at Aurecon for four years. When he was studying at the University of Cape Town, he was passionate about numbers, the application of mathematical principles and using physics and analytical models to bring ideas that could help people to life.
As a student, Naasir imagined that he would be taking briefs from architects and designing the plans that would eventually be passed onto contractors.
“What surprised me the most about the projects that I got involved in when I started working was that the development process isn’t as linear as I expected it to be. There’s a lot of interdisciplinary interaction that needs to happen within a project team before a project becomes a reality. The best projects are the ones where all the stakeholders are able to sit in a room, express their ideas and needs and discuss how everyone can accommodate each other. If that type of communication isn’t there, then there will be missed opportunities,” says Naasir.
With the benefit of hindsight, Naasir says that he would tell any engineering student to focus on developing their creative side while they are studying. Engineering degrees are generally very scientifically driven and many engineers are left brainers, but being able to tap into your creative side will help you focus more on innovation.
“Creativity and innovation is what sets Aurecon apart from other engineering consultancies. My mentors here at work understand that the real value is added when we are able to think outside of the box, tap into our artistic sides and visualise innovative solutions that don’t always exist yet. This type of thinking isn’t necessarily promoted in tertiary curriculums, but if engineering students can focus on their creativity a bit more then they will be developing skills that will serve them well in future,” says Naasir.
Working in Aurecon’s Infrastructure Design team has also been an eye-opening experience for Naasir. While he has been involved in storm water, sewer and water supply projects, he has also had the opportunity to get involved in a field that he didn’t really consider before he joined the team: solid waste management.
“The landfills in South Africa are filling up fast and the solid waste management projects that Aurecon has been involved in has opened my eyes to the solutions that can help solve this problem. I’ve been involved in solid waste management projects on a macro scale as well as a micro scale, where we focus on providing solutions that can help buildings such as hotels and commercial developments reduce their waste. I’m passionate about the innovative waste technologies that are being developed, such as, anaerobic digestion and vacuum waste systems, because these are new, unconventional ways to tackle the complex problem of reducing waste to landfill,” says Naasir.
The things that drive Naasir are his career development and making a difference in the world.
“I’m working towards becoming a registered Professional Engineer and I hope to one day own my own engineering consulting firm. What drives me on a daily basis is the way that people in our industry can be a catalyst for the changes that are needed to improve the lives of others. Many people in South Africa are still disadvantaged and as an engineer, I’m grateful and inspired by the projects that can improve communities, cities and environments,” says Naasir.
One project that Naasir found particularly gratifying was the City of Cape Town’s CRU Refurbishment programme, which was initiated to address the maintenance of the City’s 43 500 rental properties.
“The project demanded a high level of innovation and the upgrades really improved the lives of the people who live there. From a humanitarian perspective, this was a very fulfilling project. When the keys of the upgraded apartments were handed over to the residence, I remember feeling proud about how we contributed to the positive changes in their lives,” concludes Naasir.