MSc Research Identifies Energy Losses and Ways to Reduce Them
Research into energy efficiency opportunities in the pulp and paper industry was rewarded when Mr Hilton Maverengo received an MSc in Engineering (Mechanical) from UKZN.
Supervised by Professor Freddie Inambao and co-supervised by Dr Samuel Ilupeju, Maverengo’s research aimed to verify the source of energy losses throughout the pulping process at a South African pulp mill, with his work focusing on energy efficiency barriers, drivers and technical opportunities.
‘Industrial sectors are vital to the economy but at the same time they consume the most energy causing global warming,’ said Maverengo. ‘My research gives a strategy for identification of energy losses and ways of reducing them, which is very relevant in South Africa.’
Maverengo described his Masters journey as an opportunity to gain in-depth knowledge on industrial operations. His investigations helped him acquire exceptional skills such as energy auditing at Sappi Saiccor Mill where he was the project leader as well as planning skills. He also learned to overcome numerous practical difficulties in the implementation of his ideas and in tackling a task with limited resources.
‘My supervisor, Professor Inambao is my role model because of his resilience, determination, integrity and also his amazing work ethic,’ said Maverengo.
His advice to aspiring engineers is to use all resources available. ‘Your biggest resource is your professor’s time outside of class,’ he said. ‘Likewise, remember that a textbook is more than just a place where homework problems are listed. Read chapters and use the internet wisely as well.’
Maverengo wants to continue with a PhD in Mechanical Engineering, focusing on heat exchange network design, ‘as this will unveil energy reduction methodologies relevant to our industrial sector.’
‘I am motivated when I realise that learning and developing my knowledge of energy efficiency will contribute to the industrial fraternity through suggesting practical and projected solutions for energy management,’ said Maverengo.
Words by: Manqoba Hadebe
Photograph by: Abhi Indrarajan