UKZN Co-Hosts Southern African Power Engineering Conference
UKZN and the Durban University of Technology hosted the Southern African Universities Power Engineering Conference (SAUPEC) at the UNITE Building on the Howard College campus.
The Conference brought together practising engineers, academics, students and others with an interest in electrical power and energy.
It is a well-established gathering which allows professionals and students in power engineering and related fields in Southern Africa to present their research work and network with top researchers in their fields.
Included among the topics were Condition Monitoring, Decision Techniques for Planning and Design, Distributed Generation, Electricity Economics, Markets and Tariffs, Electrical Machines and Drives, Energy Efficiency, High Voltage Engineering, Load Modelling and Demand Side Management, Maintenance and Asset Management, Microgrids and Smart Grids, Power Electronics, Power Engineering Education, Power Generation, Power Quality and Reliability, Protection and System Automation, Renewable and Low Carbon Energy Systems, Rural Electrification and Transmission and Distribution Networks.
The Conference, opened by UKZN’s Professor Cristina Trois, featured an inspirational keynote speech by Eskom’s Divisional Executive, Transmission, Mr Mongezi Ntsokolo.
This was followed by the traditional and well organised SAUPEC gala dinner at the UNITE Building.
About 82 papers were presented at the Conference. The sessional Chairs included well established researchers across South Africa including Dr Rudy Pillay Carpanen and Mr Andrew Swanson of UKZN, Professor Ken Nixon of the University of the Witwatersrand, Professor Gary Atkinson-Hope of the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Professor Hendrik Johannes Vermeulen and Professor Maarten Kamper of the University of Stellenbosch, Professor Willie Cronje and Dr John van Coller of the University of the Witwatersrand, Dr David Pentz of the University of Johannesburg, Professor Tony Britten of Eskom, Ms R Tshipa, and Mrs Kehinde Awodele of the University of Cape Town.
‘Each session included excellent presentations that sparked lively discussions,’ said van Coller while Kamper stated that the Conference was well organised and attended by delegates across South Africa.
Kamper said the papers presented were of a good standard and similar views were echoed by Vermeulen.
Carpanen said: ‘The excellent guest speaker from ESKOM Mr Ntsokolo explained the current status of infrastructure and future plans of the utility. The Conference papers received were of good quality and this shows that there are excellent research projects being undertaken by universities in South Africa.
‘In the session that I chaired on power electronics, there were some interesting applications such as audio amplification, flexible AC transmission systems and reduction of EMI.
Dr Akshay Kumar Saha of UKZN’s School of Engineering said: ‘The 2014 SAUPEC Conference gave students, researchers and academics an opportunity to present their research findings and establish new linkages with other collaborators.’ The sessions were well attended with a great deal of audience participation.
- Leena Rajpal