Hans Hesse

Engineering Physics, 0T7

Hans Hesse

While winding his way through EngSci, Hans Hesse became very interested in the intersection of technology and society, and after graduation, he wanted to pursue that theme.  Hans spent a few months working with Prof. Reeve on electricity policy, and then worked on helicopter control systems in Germany before volunteering with Engineers Without Borders (EWB) for a placement in Zambia.  He had worked with EWB during his undergrad, and found that the organization was a great way to have impact and work with an incredible group of people.  In Zambia, Hans worked with a local organization to improve agricultural input supply chains, and learned a lot about the realities – opportunities and challenges – of development work on the ground.  He also met and learned from a wide range of what he deemed to be truly impressive people, including the person who would later become his wife.  As he was finishing his placement, Hans met the founders of a mobile payments start-up named Zoona, whose mission was to expand access to financial services and create a cashless Africa.  He quips, “I drank the Kool-Aid and have been working with them since to scale the business.”  Today, Hans lives with his wife in Cape Town, South Africa and leads Zoona’s software engineering team.

Hans imparts his advice on success:

“While EngSci was teaching me perseverance, a fellow EngSci challenged me to find my focus.  Add perseverance to focus and great things tend to happen.”