Mechanical and mechatronic engineering specialist, Professor Wikus van Niekerk of Stellenbosch University, has been elected as the Sustainable Energy Society of Southern Africa’s (SESSA) representative on the board of the International Solar Energy Society (ISES).
ISES, founded in 1954 and with representation in more than 100 countries, is the largest, oldest and most comprehensive technical body dealing with renewable energy technology and implementation.
Making the announcement, SESSA chairman, Henning Holm, applauded Professor van Niekerk’s keen interest in harvesting the energy from the sun, wind and ocean and praised the work he has done in this field over the years.
“Currently the director of the Centre for Renewable and Sustainable Energy Studies at Stellenbosch, Professor van Niekerk holds a PhD from the University of California at Berkeley and is a registered professional engineer with the Engineering Council of South African, a fellow of the South African Institution for Mechanical Engineering and the Southern African Acoustics Institute, and a member of both the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and the Society for Automotive Engineering.
“With more than 14 articles in refereed international journals and numerous podium appearances at local and international conferences, he is also an energetic member of SESSA as well as his academic community.
“We are certain he will add tremendous value to numerous ISES initiatives and assure him of the full support of the SESSA council and its solar office during his tenure,” said Holm.
Van Niekerk takes over the seat vacated by Professor Dieter Holm who has been actively working with ISES since 1974, in the latter years as SESSA’s representative. Henning Holm thanked him for all he has done to profile Southern Africa’s needs and causes within the global energy community.
ISES is a United Nations-accredited non-government organisation that, among other things, seeks to encourage the use of renewable energy everywhere, through appropriate technology, scientific excellence, social responsibility and global communication.
SESSA is dedicated to promoting the use of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies including solar-based energies, wind, bioenergy and hydro.
The Centre for Renewable and Sustainable Energy Studies at Stellenbosch University was established in 2006 to coordinate the postgraduate programme in this field and is funded by the Department of Science and Technology.