Simon Alger (pictured), a second-year BSc Mechanical Engineering student at the University of Cape Town, walked away with one of two R15,000-00 Southern African Association for Energy Efficiency (SAEE) bursaries awarded at the organisations’ prestigious Annual Banquet and Awards Ceremony in November 2010. The second bursary was awarded to Lisa Mniki, also a second-year student, studying Town and Regional Planning at Durban University of Technology.
Bursary applications for the 2012 academic year are now open and the SAEE invites applications from students in their 2nd or 3rd year of study in the Engineering, Built Environment and Environmental fields of study, that do not have any existing financial assistance. The closing date for applications is 30 September 2011. Successful students will be invited to the SAEE Annual Banquet and Awards Evening and opening ceremony for the Energy Efficiency @ Work Convention and Exhibition on 16 November 2011 at Emperors Palace, Gauteng, to receive the bursaries.
The bursaries are funded by the SAEE’s Mining and Industrial Energy Optimisation (MIEO) chapter and are granted to deserving candidates who show a natural enthusiasm toward making a difference to the environment and the energy security of the country.
in the business of optimizing energy
The SAEE is in the business of optimizing energy which is a vital element in achieving successful sustainable energy supply in South Africa. Prof LJ Grobler of the North-West University, and President of the SAEE, said:
‘The SAEE is actively involved in initiatives to, not only secure the local energy future, but to conserve the environment through promoting responsible economic growth. In order to ensure that these efforts are continued by the next generation, it is imperative to invest in today’s youth as they will be building on the sustainable foundations that organizations, such as the SAEE, are laying now.’
Lisa’s field of study is in Town and Regional Planning, she is a member of the South African Planning Insitute and has been awarded Top Achiever in 2009 by the Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment at Durban University of Technology.
Through the work integrated learning programme at the University she became involved as a trainee at Pravin Amar Development Planners, which has sparked her interest in environmental compliance and environmental law enforcement. Lisa was overwhelmed at being awarded the bursary as it will vastly contribute to furthering her studies and assist in her aim to have a career where she can make a difference.
She enthusiastically said, ‘I am encouraged by Government strategies being put in place at the moment as it is helping the country move in the right direction. Ultimately I would like to work in the private sector as I would be more actively involved in assisting with development initiatives and the building of green cities through successful town planning.’
preserving our natural environment
At the age of 21, Simon Alger is already, not only conscious of his own personal carbon footprint, but actively implements measures to reduce it by commuting to university by bicycle, and encouraging his friends to do the same. Simon believes in the preservation of our natural environment for prosperity, and he regards improving energy efficiency as the single most important way to achieve this.
“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 am especially motivated to do this in Africa, where energy efficiency seems to take a backseat to other economic and political objectives,’ said Alger.
Prof LJ Grobler commented, ‘It is refreshing to meet youngsters who are being educated by our local system and are fully committed to remain in the country to make a difference to the African continent.’
Simon’s commitment to his business dream is already evident in his involvement in research and development through intern experience gained at Freeplay Energy (Plc) and the UCT Chapter of Engineers Without Borders, where he is involved in a number of projects aimed at uplifting disadvantaged communities.