Switched on: UCT student Simon Alger, recipient of a R15 000 bursary from the Southern African Association for Energy Efficiency
Simon Alger, a second-year BSc (mechanical engineering) student, walked away with one of two R15 000 Southern African Association for Energy Efficiency (SAEE) bursaries, presented at the organisation's annual awards this month.
Alger got involved in research and development through intern experience he gained at Freeplay Energy (Plc) and the UCT Chapter of Engineers Without Borders, where he is part of a number of projects to uplift disadvantaged communities.
The bursaries, funded by the SAEE's Mining and Industrial Energy Optimisation chapter, are awarded annually to students in the engineering, built environment and environmental fields of study. SAEE is in the business of optimising energy, a vital element in the sustainable energy supply in South Africa.
Energy efficiency is close to Alger's heart. The 21-year-old commutes to university by bicycle and encourages his friends to do the same.
"My dream is to start a business that will develop and implement technologies to improve energy efficiency in industrial operations, particularly in the manufacturing and metallurgical sectors. I'm especially keen to do this in Africa, where energy efficiency seems to take a backseat to other economic and political objectives."
Prof LJ Grobler of the North-West University and president of SAEE said: "It's refreshing to meet youngsters who are being educated by our local system and are fully committed to remaining in the country to make a difference to the African continent."
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