School of Engineering


Dr Elena Friedrich and Mr Evashan Moodliar.

Alumnus makes Civil Engineering Proud

UKZN Civil Engineering graduate has scored second prize at this year’s prestigious Civil Engineering University Research and Investigation Project (IP) Showdown.

The project he entered for the competition is one he had done while still a student.

Mr Evashan Moodliar graduated with his BSc Civil Engineering degree in 2017 however; this high achiever ensured that he left his mark within the School of Engineering.

During his final undergraduate year of study, Moodliar had to submit an investigative project in the form of a dissertation. Supervised by Dr Elena Friedrich, Moodliar’s dissertation project was titled Energy and carbon emission implications for the retrofitting of an existing office building – A case study of the eThekwini Municipality Electricity Office Building.

The project looks at the core energy consuming components in a conventional office building and investigates its potential to retrofit the building to optimise on the buildings’ environmental performance. It focuses on several energy consuming categories and recommends energy efficient implementations.

These implementations are analysed in conjunction with the reduction in energy consumption, carbon emissions and a feasibility assessment. The retrofitted building is thereafter awarded points that is benchmarked by the Green Star SA standards in the energy category to recognise leadership qualities in the level of sustainability practised.

Recognising the excellent research done in this project, Moodliar proceeded to enter his final year dissertation into the Civil Engineering University Research and Investigation Project (IP) Showdown.

The event which was held in Cape Town on 8 February is part of the national curriculum for final year Civil Engineering undergraduate students. Students are required to select an issue, which is current in the industry. They do so by conducting research in accordance with pre-set deliverables over a fixed period, leading up to the final year examinations. Once all the research and investigations on the specific issue is complete, the student then presents findings to a panel of judges made up of selected industry leaders and non-engineers. The presentations are then adjudicated based on a set of agreed criteria.

Moodliar was placed second in the competition and was awarded a prize of R7 000.  Currently employed by Bigen, Africa where he focuses on water conservation and water demand management, Moodliar was interested in Civil Engineering from a young age.  ‘I was always intrigued by the work of art done by engineers. Entering secondary school afforded me the opportunity to thoroughly learn more about the exciting world of Civil Engineering and the broad spectrum of disciplines it has to offer. This paved the way to pursue my career in Civil Engineering on a tertiary level. Now as a qualified Civil Engineer, I am driven by passion to have a positive impact on society by adding meaningful value in the work that I specialize in,’ said Moodliar.

With Dr Elena Friedrich serving as his role model, Moodliar wants to pursue a master’s degree at some stage.

When not busy at work, Moodliar enjoys outdoor activities such as soccer and cricket.

Words: Prashina Budree

Photograph supplied by Evashan Moodliar