by AKANI CHAUKE
JOHANNESBURG – SOUTH African Professor, Roland Schulze, has received a Lifetime Achievement Award for his prominent role in hydrological and applied climate change research over the past 50 years.
The award has been conferred at the just-concluded Africa Utility Week Industry Awards in Cape Town, South Africa.
Hailing from Pietermaritzburg, Schulze pioneered formal scientific hydrological studies at South African universities by piloting the country’s first hydrology degree course in the early 1980s and then seeing the discipline grow from that of a single lecturer with a handful of students to a fully-fledged Centre for Water Resources Research.
Schulze has initiated and been involved in national and international level hydrological research for the past 50 years, and in applied climate change research in the fields of agriculture and water for the past 30 years.
“I’m proud not only for myself but also for the many colleagues and my family that have helped me achieve this,” Schulze said after receiving his award.
The winner’s vision for the water industry in general is the efficient use of water, particularly in light of population increases and climate change.
“That means efficiency in the main sectors that use a lot of water such as agriculture, industry and households.”
Meanwhile, Mozambican utility, Electricidade de Moçambique (EDM), Azuri Technology, Siemens and two water sector pioneers were some of the big winners at the African Utility Week Industry Awards.
The awards received major industry support in the form of sponsorships from Aberdare Cables, Eaton, ESI Africa, Lucy Electric, Mazars, SBS Tanks, Siemens, Standard Bank, and Steinmüller.
African Utility Week is the flagship energy event organised by Spintelligent, leading Cape Town-based trade exhibition and conference organiser, and part of Clarion Events Ltd, based in the United Kingdom.
Ambassador Thembisile Majola, South Africa Deputy Minister of Energy, was the guest of honour at the awards gala.
Outstanding Contribution Award: Water: Dr Paul T. Yillia (Sierra Leone)
Outstanding Contribution Award: Power: Dr Mateus Magala, CEO, Electricidade de Moçambique (EDM)
Power Utility of the Year Award: EDM
Water Utility of the Year Award: Sénégalaise des Eaux (SDE)
Outstanding Contribution Award: Young Leader: Dr Rebekah Shirley (Director of Research at Power for All)
Grid-Tied Renewable Energy Project Award (10MW+): Xina Solar One Thermo Solar Plant, Abengoa, South Africa
Small-Scale Renewable Energy Project Award (Under 5MW): Rafiki Power, Tanzania
Deal of the Year Award: Winner: Albatros Energy Mali
Innovative Technology of the Year Award: Azuri Technologies
Digital Solution of the Year Award: Siemens.