Dr Valerie Bischof-Niemz, South African Wind Energy Association
Mr Gregory Landwehr, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research
The purpose of applied research is either to improve an existing path, process or product or to conceptualize new ones for a specific field of industry. By doing this, the global competitiveness of a national industry sector is increased and new knowledge is brought into the world.
An extensive dialogue between the wind industry and academia is a sine qua non prerequisite to achieve fruitful results in applied wind research. This is why the South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA) and the CSIR Energy Centre have embarked on a research collaboration which will be based on the requirements and needs of the national wind industry.
The research challenges of the wind sector will be formally investigated at this year’s academic WindAc Africa and industry-focused WINDABA conferences, where delegates of diverse backgrounds will get the opportunity to exchange ideas due to the co-location and overlapping of dates of both events hosted by SAWEA. First wind research projects have already been conceptualized and the ones addressed by the Energy Centre of the CSIR from 2018 onwards will be presented in this session.
Valerie works as the academic programme officer at the South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA) since 2015. She has been conceptualizing and organizing the academic WindAc Africa conference for the second time this year since its successful launch in 2016. WindAc Africa discussions cross geographical borders, envisioning a future for wind power that takes into account opportunities for innovation, covering the entire wind value chain and spanning technical, socio-economic, policy and environmental aspects, so that researchers can engage across academic disciplines. Valerie is passionate for identifying challenges and bringing people together for an effective and practicable solution implementation. She holds a master and a PhD degree in Mechanical Engineering from Technical University of Darmstadt, Germany. Valerie is married and has 3 children.
Greg Landwehr is the Principle Engineer in Supply Forecasting in the CSIR Energy Centre’s Energy Supply Research Group. Greg has spent a number of years working in the power transmission industry developing solutions for South Africa and Southern African Utilities as well as more recently, grid tie in solutions for Independent Power Producers. He is currently focusing on developing capacity at the CSIR in variable resource power prediction for the system operator. Greg holds an M.Sc. In Renewable Energy Physics from Oldenburg University in Germany and B.Sc.’s in Mechanical Engineering and Computer Science from UKZN.