TEA-LP Collaborates with Faraday Institution for UKERC Summer School

By Nomanesi Makhonco, 27 June 2023

The TEA Learning Partnership has collaborated with the Faraday Institution to select PhD researchers, working on battery storage related topics, to attend the UKERC Just Transition Summer School.

The UKERC international summer school took place in Newcastle, UK from 19-23rd June 2023, under the theme Global Just Transition: Equity in Net Zero. The event had an international, interdisciplinary, and cross-sectoral approach. The week-long summer school aimed to develop the next generation of academics, decision-makers and professionals currently completing their doctoral training, and help them appreciate both the complexities and opportunities related to the global implementation of net zero. The two PhD students who were sponsored by the Faraday institution to attend the UKERC summer school are: Best Khoza and Qin Chen.

                  Best Khoza (left) and Qin Chen (right) at UKERC Summer School

Best Khoza, PhD Candidate in Electrical Engineering and participant at UKERC          Summer School

Best Khoza is a PhD candidate in Electrical Engineering at the University of Cape Town. His PhD research focuses on multipurpose application of Phasor Measurement Unit (PMU) data, in distribution networks. PMUs promise to provide the much-needed advanced monitoring, control and operation of distribution power systems, that will enable the deployment of renewable energy resources, at a larger scale and facilitate smooth energy transition.

The summer school went beyond my expectation. It was very informative, thought-provoking and an incredibly enriching experience. It was a group of very diverse participants from all over the world and covering a lot of aspects in the energy transition space. This definitely broadened my perspective and understanding of energy issues. The experts were great and demonstrated real life application of scientific knowledge in their respective research areas. The facilities from the accommodation and the classrooms used for the sessions were of high standards as well. The programme was well designed and covered a wide range of aspects such as career development, networking and of course, one of my favourite, a site visit to the InTEGReL facility. I am confident that I have made lifelong connections that will be useful in increasing my impact in the energy space . I want to thank the organizers and the Faraday Institute for sponsoring me and allowing to experience such a  transforming summer school.-Best Khoza

Qin Chen, PhD candidate in Electrical Engineering and participant at UKERC Summer School

Qin Chen is a PhD candidate in Electrical Engineering at the University of Cape Town. His research interests are artificial intelligence, dynamic pricing, integrating electric vehicles (EVs) with the power grid, and renewable energy. His research aims to provide a dynamic pricing EV charging/discharging strategy that can effectively reflect the power system conditions that EV owners can use to make an informative charging/discharging decision.

I am very grateful to represent the University of Cape Town to attend the International Summer School on the Global Just Transition: Equity in Net Zero, held at Newcastle University and organized by UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC). It was great to meet many Ph.D. candidates and early career researchers with different nationalities and backgrounds in my field and discuss net zero and just transition throughout the week-long summer school. I learned how to network with fellow researchers and industry experts and built on our pitching and presentation skills for our careers. We learned that the transition to net zero is essential, and just transition is equally important. We should not leave anyone behind during the transition to net zero.

Other than gaining insightful knowledge from professionals and industry experts in the classroom, we also visited a hydrogen homes research and demo center named InTEGRel, in Gateshead and performed a group project to provide two strategies for Zambia to have a just transition by 2063. We used the knowledge learned in the week to create two contrast scenarios based on the current content in Zambia. To top the week off, our group won the best briefing paper for developing two just transition strategies for Zambia.

I’d like to thank all the staff members of UKERC, Newcastle University, and financial support from Faraday Institute. Lastly, I’d like to thank everyone who attended the event and made this summary school memorable.-Qin Chen

       Group photo of participants of UKERC summer school