At the 2018 South African National Energy Association (SANEA) awards evening, held at the end of August 2018, the Renewable Energy Centre of Research and Development (RECORD) unit of the South African National Energy Development Institute (SANEDI) presented two awards in the RECORD Renewable Energy Research Excellence (RERE) categories. Both were won by women.
Ms Gamuchirai Mutezo, a PhD candidate at the School of Chemical & Metallurgical Engineering at Wits University, won the Young Researcher award for her contribution to renexable energy research. She is an independent researcher, conducting academic and applied research in the field of waste-to-energy, primarily biogas development in Africa’s peri-urban and rural areas and is the Chief Operations Officer at SEA Africa, a research firm that aims to ‘Link Business to African Markets’.
Ms Kimenthrie Pillay, a director and principal consultant at Thrie Energy Collective, won the Commercial Application award for her novel and commercially viable renewable research. She is part of a young, innovative and passionate sustainable consulting agency. It works with businesses, organisations and local government to help improve the sustainability of energy practices, enhance understanding of the needs of communities and advance the potential for technology and development to thrive in Africa.
“We applaud the efforts of all of the candidates for awards this year but are particularly pleased to be able to make these awards to women in science,” says Thembakazi Mali, interim CEO at SANEDI.
“They serve as role models to encourage young girls to enter the world of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), which we need given the low percentage of enrolment in these subjects. We wish them every success, as they continue in their career of renewable energy.”
The South African government established the South African National Energy Development Institute (SANEDI) to direct, monitor and conduct applied energy R&D, demonstration and deployment, as well as to undertake specific measures to promote the uptake of green energy and energy efficiency in South Africa. Its mission is to use applied and energy research and resource efficiency to develop innovative, integrated solutions that will catalyse growth and prosperity to meet its vision of sustainable living for growth and prosperity in Africa.