Thursday, 23 March 2017

Updating skills for the energy workforce

SKILLS: CPUT will roll out Electrical Engineering Masters and Doctoral programmes specializing in Smart Grids SKILLS: CPUT will roll out Electrical Engineering Masters and Doctoral programmes specializing in Smart Grids

Efforts to develop Africa’s future energy workforce will receive a welcome boost with several universities in Africa identified to benefit from the roll-out of Electrical Engineering Masters and Doctoral programmes specializing in Smart Grids.

The DAMOC project, short for the Development of a HArmonized MOdular Curriculum for the Smart Grid, is an ambitious programme funded by the ERASMUS + KA2 initiative, which promotes platforms for cooperation in innovation and the exchange of good practices in the international higher education sector.

CPUT’s Centre for Substation Automation and Energy Management Systems (CSAEMS) has been identified to participate in the DAMOC project, along with Stellenbosch University, University Of Pretoria, as well as two Tanzania-based institutions, which include The Nelson Mandela African Institute of Science and Technology and the University of Dar Es Salaam.

Director of the CSAEMS and a leading expert in Smart Grids, Prof Raynitchka Tzoneva, will lead the CPUT delegation, who this month will attend the project’s kick-off meeting in Germany.

Smart grid technology is a highly specialized area of electrical engineering, which focuses on development of standard-based monitoring, protection and control integrated power systems that allow electricity suppliers to monitor the flow of electricity, improve transmission and storage, as well as facilitate the distribution of energy generated from alternative sources, such as wind turbines. The skills developed in this area are crucial for the development of the energy sector and will help address Africa’s energy woes.

“Envisioned outcomes of this project are new, interdisciplinary master and doctor courses implemented at partner institutions in Africa, running laboratories, online courses, and improved networking between the partners,” says Tzoneva.

The Masters and Doctoral courses will include modules such as emerging standards for smart grid, power electronics, integration of renewable energy into the power system, cyber security, and virtual power plants.

Tzoneva says specialised laboratories will also be set up at CPUT and the Nelson Mandela African Institute Of Science and Technology.

The European partners include Dresden University of Technology in Germany, Università degli Studi Guglielmo Marconi in Italy, and Karlstad University in Sweden.

The project will receive support from the South African National Energy Development Institute – South Africa.

The DAMOC project will run over the course of three years.

Written by Candes Keating

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