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Giving up was never an option, says former SciMathUS student
Author: ​Amory Le Roux-Arries
Published: 22/09/2021

Amory Le Roux-Arries

SciMathUS class of 2004

Graduate Degree programme/s:  MEng (Civil Engineering)

I am Amory Le Roux-Arries, originally from Strand in the Western Cape. I wanted to be a civil engineer since I was 12 years old, and I could never imagine myself doing anything else.

Everything went well in my matric year, until my final exams. My mathematics marks were no longer good enough to gain admission to the engineering programme. It was absolutely heart breaking for me to see my dreams disappear right before my eyes. But I had a stubborn mother who wouldn't let me give up...

I eventually applied to SciMathUS, and the rest as they say is history! Today I am living my dream and am responsible for all civil and structural work on the expansion of the largest radio telescope in the world, the MeerKAT, near Carnarvon in the Northern Cape. I am incredibly excited to be part of this ground-breaking work being done in the field of astronomy.

Initially, at the beginning of my SciMathUS year, I felt that I had let my parents down and failed myself.  However, I was determined to complete the year successfully so that I could reapply for the degree course of my dreams. The support and dedication of the ScimathUS staff was such an enormous help to me. The friends I made during my SciMathUS year also helped me to stay focused.

After completing the SciMathUS programme, I was finally able to tackle my engineering studies at Stellenbosch University.  Since then, I have experienced so many new opportunities — I moved to Johannesburg; worked as part of the design team on an 80km road project in the Democratic Republic of Congo; completed a project management course and in 2018 obtained my Master's degree in civil engineering. As mentioned, I am currently involved in the MeerKAT expansion project.

My advice to every student who feels discouraged with their situation ... it's not the end, you're not a failure, this is just an obstacle in your road. Roll that stone away and carry on!

I would not have been able to achieve my dreams without the help of the SciMathUS team and for that I will be eternally grateful.