Dian Dickson28 September 2022
Grantleigh - 2016
‘Inspiration should be drawn from anybody who strives to give their best and reach their goals.’ These are the word of Dian Dickson, Grantleigh Class of 2016, and if we were to agree (and we do), then Dian is someone from whom inspiration can be drawn! He is working hard at achieving his dream of becoming an engineer and wants to help and improve the living standard of others without damaging the environment, which isn’t always an easy task.
After matriculating Dian studied mechanical engineering at the University of Pretoria. ‘Since Grade 10 it was a challenge for me to clearly decide what I was going to study – all I knew was that I had to go study and it had to be something in engineering. I therefore decided to indulge myself in the broadest field of engineering by studying mechanical engineering. This was a tough four-year degree, but the knowledge I gained was remarkable,’ says Dian, and his studies didn’t end there.
‘I decided to stretch my mind further by continuing with an honour's degree, after which I was offered a position at the University of Pretoria to work on a project in the field of heat and mass transfer to also achieve my master's degree. I am currently working on this project,’ he explains.
His time at university has built on the life lessons learnt at Grantleigh. ‘I learnt how to work with people, build relationships and to be as effective as possible with the limited time I have to organise myself.’ Dian has many happy memories of his time at Grantleigh. He remembers Mrs Caroline Stevens welcoming him to the school and ‘bus number 6’ that would take him to and from school. His time with his friends was precious and he is still in contact with them today. Dian has particularly happy memories of participating in the annual mountain bike challenge with his dad. When he reflects on his time at school, he is awed by the location of Grantleigh. The lush greenery and sugarcane fields have left their mark on him.
Dian’s driving force is to help people. ‘I have been told that a good engineer is somebody who can use resources in the most efficient way to improve the living standard of people through sensible procurement without damaging the environment nor compromising anybody’s health,’ he says, while adding that he dreams of a country that protects its resources and supports its people.
He leaves us with some inspirational advice: ‘Always aim higher than what you think you can possibly attain. If you were ever to aim lower than what you are capable of then that is all you’ll ever achieve.’