Visiting students from The Netherlands reflect on their time at the Chair

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We are three students, Sky (English), Luuk and Twan (Dutch) from   and Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands. As a part of our university we got the opportunity to work for the University of Johannesburg on a three month long internship from November 2023 to January 2024.

After our arrival in Johannesburg early in November we were instantly welcomed by UJ-TRCTI, the Trilateral Research Chair in Transformative Innovation. Everybody in the office was so excited to work with us, and we felt a part of the team from the start. Being paired with Dr Oluwagbenga Apata, who mentored us throughout our internship was a massive help, as he was able to support us in developing our ideas.

The project we were working on looked to implement renewable energy into areas which have limited electricity supplies. Our job was to conduct a pre-feasibility study to determine whether the areas selected were suitable for renewable energy, and whether the local community was responsive to our ideas. To do this we conducted energy audits in both Victoria Yards (Johannesburg) and Fisantekraal (Cape Town).

Besides our internship, we also had the opportunity to explore Johannesburg, and other parts of the country. We quickly fell in love with the country and its people. Everyone’s enthusiasm over our visit and pride of their country was infectious, and we quickly made many friends who were willing to show us all the amazing spots of Johannesburg and some true South-African things, like a ‘braai’.  We also explored some of South-Africa’s nature, which we found to be simply breathtaking.

All in all, our experience in South-Africa and with UJ-TRCTI exceeded all our expectations, and we would highly recommend anyone to come, and we would love to come back ourselves!