‘There were two reasons why I chose to do my BSc at UKZN,’ said cum laude Applied Chemistry graduate, Mr Kylen Moodley. ‘Firstly, UKZN is regarded as a prestigious university. Our Science department houses high-end equipment and laboratories that make our lives easier and more precise from an analytical viewpoint. Secondly, the University came highly recommended by previous graduates.’
Unlike the standard Bachelor of Science degree that has two majors, Applied Chemistry focuses purely on Chemistry. ‘It takes a deeper dive into the industry and gives students a preview of what to expect in the working world,’ explained Moodley. ‘Research is focused on current and newly-emerging fields. Students do a bit of everything, ranging from environmental analysis and industrial chemistry to the study of material science and integrated projects.
‘As a child I was always interested in how the world works and the mechanisms controlling it. In Grade 10 when I chose Physics and Chemistry, I immediately fell in love. The questions that I had always wondered about growing up were finally being answered.
‘My reason for choosing Applied Chemistry was simple: I wanted an in-depth analysis of the world we are living in and the advancements that are being made every day.’
For Moodley, chemistry forms the foundation of life, thus making all research in this area crucial. He stressed the importance of further investigation of complex concepts that need more characterisation to understand them better.
‘The chemical industry is a vital part of any country’s economic growth. Development and improvement of industrial processes and techniques can help grow economies. Applied chemistry takes the fundamentals of chemistry and applies it to industry, where many of us may be working in the near future.’
During his third year Moodley tackled his “integrated project”, part of the syllabus that helps students build an understanding of research and development in chemistry. ‘We were taught various analytical techniques used in quantitative and qualitative analysis as well as writing up research papers and reports,’ he said.
He is currently registered for his Honours in Chemistry at UKZN. ‘Where I go from there has not yet been decided,’ he said. ‘My options include studying further at master’s level, or working in the field.’
Moodley thanked his parents for their constant encouragement and involvement in his academic journey.
When not studying, Moodley spends time with his three dogs Hunter, Coco and Max, indulges his passion for gaming and dabbles in sport and recreation. ‘I am a Manchester United supporter and as painful as it may be, I am still loyal to my team,’ he quipped.
He said he was very grateful to have an in-person Graduation after the trials of COVID-19 and online learning. ‘All in all, my time at UKZN has been an enjoyable and memorable experience. We have some of the best academics in their respective fields, paving the way for us students.’
Words: Sally Frost
Photograph: Abhi Indrarajan