Professor Sampson Mamphweli holds a master’s degree from the University of Venda and a PhD from the University of Fort Hare. He also possesses a number of certificates in Renewable Energy and a Mini-MBA certificate in Green Energy from the Green Power Academy in Britain. He has published more than 48 research articles in peer-reviewed journals including three book chapters. In addition, he has published 28 articles in refereed conference proceedings. He has also presented more than 30 research articles in national and international conferences including 12 invited presentations and keynote addresses. Prof Mamphweli has supervised and co-supervised 25 Masters and PhD students to completion. He began his career at the South African National Parks before moving to the University of Cape Town where he worked as a research technician. He subsequently joined the University of Fort Hare as an Eskom Research Fellow in 2005, conducting his PhD simultaneously. He moved up the academic ranks at the University of Fort Hare, from researcher, to senior researcher, and became an associate professor.
His primary area of specialisation is biomass gasification and biogas digesters. During his tenure at the University of Fort Hare, he raised significant funding and implemented a considerable number of renewable energy projects in the Eastern Cape. He also managed a number of renewable energy projects on behalf of the Faculty of Science and Agriculture. He is a recipient of the prestigious University of Fort Hare Vice Chancellor’s Emerging Researcher medal for the year 2012. Prof Mamphweli joined Stellenbosch University in July 2017 as Director for the Centre for Renewable and Sustainable Energy Studies (CRSES), a position he has held until present day. He became a full Professor in Process Engineering, and delivered his inaugural address on the 26th April 2018. Prof Mamphweli is a member of the South African Institute of Physics. In addition he is a member of a number of committees that deal with renewable energy issues at national government level. He was co-director of the African Research Universities Alliance (ARUA) until 2019.
Dr Bernard Bekker
Associate Director & Eskom Chair in Power System Simulation
Dr Bernard Bekker obtained his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Cape Town, studying off-grid electrification projects. He originally trained as an electronic engineer, working in banking as a systems and network analyst, before redirecting his career towards his two passions: green building and renewable energy. In June 2017, after eleven years working in consulting, rooftop PV installation and power electronics manufacturing industries, he joined Stellenbosch University. His research currently focuses on power system planning and operation, specifically related to the increasing prevalence of grid-connected distributed storage and generation.
Prof McGregor obtained his PhD in Reactor Optimisation from the University of the Witwatersrand. He is an experienced Principal Process Engineer, and an award-winning patent holder and author. He worked at Sasol for over 20 years where he concentrated on developing and commercialising renewable, sustainable and solar thermal technologies in order to increase profitability and reduce waste. He also led the development of a solar thermal collector, the Stellio heliostat, a career highlight. He left industry to join Stellenbosch University as an Associate Professor in the thermofluids division of the Department of Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering. He also serves as Director of the Solar Thermal Research Group (STREG) in the department. At CRSES, his focus is mainly on green hydrogen technologies.
Dr Neill Goosen completed all his studies at Stellenbosch University and holds a BEng., MSc.Eng. and PhD in Chemical Engineering. At CRSES, he has assumed the Directorship of the African Research Universities Alliance (ARUA) Centre of Excellence in Energy. ARUA is an alliance of 16 research-focussed African Universities that have realised the need to increase the quantity and quality of research emanating from the continent. Stellenbosch University hosts the Centre of Excellence in Energy, which aims to investigate how to best integrate renewable energy into African food systems and value chains in order to address the large climate impact of agriculture, and to increase yields and reduce post-harvest losses of agricultural produce. The Centre will do collaborative research with various African partner universities (both ARUA and non-ARUA universities), and also act as a platform to bring together multidisciplinary teams to address some of the most difficult energy-related developmental problems in Africa.
Karin holds a bachelor’s degree in commerce and a master’s degree in philosophy (renewable energy) from Stellenbosch University. Having originally trained as an accountant then farming for 16 years, she has a solid understanding of energy and resource flows. She has worked as an independent sustainable energy consultant and was the sector development manager of energy efficiency at the GreenCape Initiative until January 2013. In February 2013 she was appointed as a researcher at CRSES. Karin was the country partner lead for the Southern African Solar Thermal Training and Demonstration Initiative (SOLTRAIN), funded by the Austrian Development Agency (ADA), and is the regional representative for the Life Academy Energy Programmes funded by the Swedish Development Agency (SIDA). She leads the energy work at the Fraunhofer Innovation Platform for the water-energy-food nexus at Stellenbosch University; see: www.fip.sun.ac.za She is enrolled for a PhD at Stellenbosch University at the Department of Industrial Engineering under the supervision of Prof Jan van Vuuren (modelling new electricity generation and consumption patterns; a Tool for policymakers). Her research areas include energy policy and finance, energy modelling and local government.
Dr Chihota received his B.Sc., M.Sc., and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Cape Town, in 2011, 2015, and 2019, respectively. From 2019 to 2020, he worked as a Research Engineer with the Centre for Renewable and Sustainable Energy Studies (CRSES), Stellenbosch, South Africa. Since 2020, he has been a Post-doctoral Fellow with the Electrical and Electronic Engineering Department at Stellenbosch University, His research interests include distribution network planning using probabilistic techniques, load modelling and customer characterization, distributed energy resource integration, and autonomous control of inverter-based energy resources. Dr Chihota serves on the working group and committee of the South African Bureau of Standards for the SANS 507 standard, which deals with the design of low voltage networks in South Africa. He is also a member of the South African Institute of Electrical Engineers in the Load Research Chapter.
Dr Richmore Kaseke holds a PhD in Physics from University of Fort Hare. He was a founding member of the Measurement and Verification (M&V) Team at the University of Fort Hare in 2005 and worked as an M&V Team Technician since then. He was later promoted in 2007 to M&V Team Senior Engineer, a position he held till 2012. The role included assessment of the feasibility of Energy Management Opportunities (EMO’s), develop and plan methodologies for project assessment. He was then appointed from 2012 to 2020 as Measurement and Verification Researcher in the Fort Hare Institute of Technology. He has over 14 years of experience in Eskom IDM’s Measurement and Verification of energy savings (energy audits) in residential, commercial and industrial energy use sectors. He has over eight years of human capital and project management experience. He is now holding the position of Senior Research Engineer (Project Manager) at CRSES. A Certified Energy Manager and Certified Measurement and Verification Professional, Dr Kaseke is a seasoned energy professional with great enthusiasm and unquenchable thirst to achieve successful design, implementation, commissioning and performance evaluation of energy projects.
Ndamulelo is registered as a professional engineer with the Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA). He holds a BSc (Eng) and MSc (Eng) (with distinction) degree obtained from the University of Cape Town in 2013 and 2017 respectively. His MSc thesis focused on developing, modelling and simulation of control systems of hybrid power systems for rural electrification. He is appointed as a research engineer at CRSES and is currently working towards his PhD in Electrical Engineering at Stellenbosch University. His PhD is focussing on power system flexibility in grids with a high share of variable renewable energy.
Don holds a BSc and MSc in Mechanical Engineering from the University of KwaZulu-Natal, the latter of which focused on the design of a supersonic turbine running in the first stage of a liquid-propellant rocket engine turbopump. He began working for the CRSES in 2017 as part of an NRF-DST internship programme, after which he was hired by the Centre as a research engineer focusing on solar PV, radiometric data collection and various smaller consulting based projects. Don also acts as a supervisor for final year Mechanical Engineering students and interns at the CRSES.
Simnikiwe is a junior engineer at CRSES. He holds a National Diploma in Electrical Engineering (light current) from Nelson Mandela University as well as a Chemical Engineering Diploma from the University of Johannesburg. He currently coordinates the schools programme at CRSES.
Mr Oan de Waal obtained his M. Eng. in renewable energy (Mechanical) from Stellenbosch University, specialising in battery energy storage systems (BESS) decision making, simulations, control systems and financial optimisation of different system architectures. He also holds a B. Eng. Electronic degree from the University of Pretoria. Additionally, he holds qualifications in project management (PRINCE2 Foundation certified), Chartered Institute of Management Accounting (Business certificate), and Lean Six Sigma Methodology (Yellow belt). He has experience in the banking sector as a management consultant, worked as a system integration engineer on projects in France and Switzerland in the industry 4.0 and automation field, and as a project engineer in lithium ion battery manufacturing. He finally sought to follow his passion for renewable energy by joining the CRSES team.
Lavhelesani Maluleke holds a BEng degree in Mechanical Engineering from Stellenbosch University and a National Diploma In Mechanical Engineering from Cape Peninsula University of Technology. His focus at CRSES is low temperature solar thermal technologies.
Lewis Waswa holds a master’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Stellenbosch University. He is currently enrolled for a PhD at Stellenbosch University focused on active distribution network planning. He works at the Centre as a junior engineer, with primary focus on metering and energy monitoring and solar photovoltaics.
Nikkie holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Studies from Zuyd University in The Netherlands as well as a master’s degree in Sustainable Development Planning and Management which she completed with distinction. She works for the Centre for Renewable and Sustainable Energy Studies (CRSES) and WWF-SA on energy and local government related projects. She is an expert in the field of energy policy, with special regards to the integration of renewables and tariff designs within municipal electricity distribution systems. In addition, she assists the board of the South African Society of Engineering Education, SASEE, with research in Emergency Remote Teaching. She is currently working towards her PhD at the School of Public Leadership, Stellenbosch University. Her topic concerns municipal governance models in energy transitions using Systems Dynamics Modelling techniques. She focusses specifically on renewable energy policy interventions that are financially sound, socially equitable and environmentally sustainable. She has a clear enthusiasm and passion for teaching and is fervent about encouraging critical, creative and complex systems thinking.
Sedzani holds a Bachelor‘s degree in administration from the University of Venda and an MBA from the Regent Business school. She has certificates in project administration and compliance management from Getsmarter UCT and strategic management and knowledge management from UNISA. She recently completed a programme in advanced strategic management from UNISA School of Business Leadership. She has shadowed the ICT senior manager for the past five years, gaining a good understanding of cross-functional business activities such as IT business analysis, IT reporting and facilitation of IT risk assessments, maintaining IT risk register and risk reporting.
Carmen holds a master’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Stellenbosch University. She is currently completing a PhD in Electrical Engineering at Stellenbosch University, studying the spectral impact of atmospheric constituents and clouds on solar irradiance for photovoltaic applications. At CRSES, she has been appointed to manage the Renewable Energy Specialisation Centre (RE-SC) inter-university programme within the Eskom Power Plant Engineering Institute (EPPEI) at Stellenbosch University.
Elmien graduated at Cape Peninsula University of Technology with BTECH: Business Admin and after that PGDIP in Labour Law at University of the Western Cape. She is currently busy with a master’s in Labour Law at University of the Western Cape. She has been with Stellenbosch University for almost 15 years, currently working as the Administrative and Financial Officer for CRSES. Prior to that, she worked in the private sector.
Linda holds a Bachelor of Arts obtained at Grinnell College, Iowa, in the United States of America. Although her major subject is political science, she focused on marketing very early on in her career and has made this her chosen field. She has held brand management and marketing positions in a variety of sectors including ‐ services, retail, food and beverages, media, as well as trade and investment promotion. She joined CRSES in 2019 and is She is currently studying towards a post-graduate diploma in sustainable development at the School of Public Leadership.
Tshilidzi holds a Bachelor of Science Hons in Biochemistry and Microbiology from University of Venda as well as a Post graduate Diploma in Project Management from Regent Business School. She previously worked as a Research Assistant at University of Venda and as a Research Technologist at South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC). At CRSES her focus is project management at a technology deployment site in Limpopo.
Sandelize holds a National Diploma in Management Assistant from Boland College Stellenbosch, aiming to study further in the near future. She is our receptionist and assistant to the Director and Associate Director of CRSES.
Marketing, Short Courses and Postgraduate Applications
Nawaal Jacobs is an Education, Training and Development Practitioner. She has a post-grad in Tertiary education. She has worked in the private sector as a Project Manager as well as a Training Facilitator and presenter for Succeed Academy and CPUT. She is an administrator who deals with Short Courses, and Post-Graduate studies in Renewable Energy. She also works in the Marketing department.
Jafaru has a doctorate degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Cape Town, South Africa, with research expertise bordering on the Supply Chain Optimization of Alternative Energy generation. He also possesses a Master’s degree in Nuclear Engineering and a Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering both obtained from the University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria. He has over five years of experience working as a Scientific Officer with the Nigeria Atomic Energy Commission, Abuja FCT, Nigeria, and has previous stints working as a Business Development Analyst at a light manufacturing firm in Nigeria. His current research focuses on assessing the trade-offs and synergies in the water-energy-food nexus within the African context.
Centre Manager of the ARAU Centre of Excellence in Energy
Yumna holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Earth Science as well as a Master’s degree in Sustainable Development Management and Planning from Stellenbosch University. The latter research concerned energy-water nexus models using System Dynamics Modelling techniques.
Jainy Thomas holds a B. Eng. Electronic and communication Engineering from Manonmaniam Sundaranar University in Tirunelveli, India. She also holds certificates in Program in Project Management and Advanced Program in Project Management from the University of Pretoria that are PMBOK and PMI certified, as well as a Financial Management Business certificate. She has over 15 years work experience at Eskom specialising in the project management of power projects (Transmission Asset Management & Execution) as a Senior Engineer. She specialises in stakeholder management, quality management and logistics. At CRSES she will be focusing on the Department of Science and Innovation’s project relevant to the deployment of Green Hydrogen Technologies.
Joshua Phathutshedzo Magoro is an intern at the Centre for Renewable and Sustainable Energy Studies at Stellenbosch University. He is currently completing his National Diploma in Electrical Engineering (power systems) at Cape Peninsula University of Technology. He holds a NQF LEVEL 5 equivalent certificate from a Technical School.