University of Cape Town (UCT)
Leslie Ann Ashburner has a background in education and development. She obtained her MPhil in Climate Change and Sustainable Development at the University of Cape Town (UCT). At UCT, she has worked on several collaborative climate and energy curriculum projects across Africa including the Southern African Regional Universities Association (SARUA) and the PAUWES curriculum projects. Currently, she leads the Transforming Energy Access - Learning Partnership (TEA-LP) with specific focus on supporting new universities in the partnership with innovations in curricula at Masters’ level.
Jiska De Groot
Jiska De Groot is an energy and development geographer based at the University of Cape Town’s African Climate and Development Initiative. She holds a PhD in Human Geography focused on renewable energy and stakeholder engagement, an MSc in International Development Studies and a MA in Cultural Anthropology. In her current position as Senior Researcher at the University of Cape Town, her work focuses on the human dimension of sustainable energy access, energy poverty, gender and capacity building. She has a strong interest in conducting research that is policy-and practice-relevant with a focus on achieving local development benefits, whilst assisting with local change processes. Jiska currently leads the research support programme of the FCDO-funded Transforming Energy Access Programme, the establishment of a network of southern expertise for the energy access sector, and provides Gender and social inclusion support to a range of international energy and climate change programmes.
Mascha Moorlach has a degree in Architecture, Building and Planning from the Technical University of Eindhoven, the Netherlands. She has worked at the University of Cape Town as a researcher since 2006, and contributes a variety of perspectives to the energy sector. She has been involved from an engineering perspective, as a certified measurement and verification specialist for energy efficiency projects in support of the local demand side management. She has furthermore been involved in knowledge building on the impacts of engineering on the social and natural environment particularly in undergraduate curricula, as well as a capacity building through the Transforming Energy Access project which supports Universities with curriculum design and development of CPD courses.
Kai Forster is an Engineering Management Master‘s graduate, with an undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering (both from the University of Cape Town). Despite a technical background, Kai has gained most of his professional experience in the higher education field, and has lectured courses on Sustainability to final year electrical engineering students at UCT, first year Physics to veterinary physiotherapy students, and more recently, courses on an ’Introduction to the Energy Sector‘ and Risk Management - aimed at junior employees working in the energy and off-grid energy sectors, which formed a part of his work for TEA-LP in 2023. Kai has also contributed to TEA-LP as a Learning Design and Course Curriculum consultant, and he is currently working on projects developing three Master’s-level courses aimed at enhancing energy access around Africa, CPD courses for working professionals, and career development courses to equip individuals working in the energy and off-grid energy sectors with the necessary management skills to fast track their careers.
Rabia Karriem is the Logistics Manager for the TEA-LP project, using her excellent organizational, communication and people skills to arrange travel, accommodation and expense reimbursements for participants to TEA-LP workshops and events. Rabia joined the African Climate and Development Initiative (ACDI) at UCT as Administrative Assistant in 2014. With her 27 years administration experience and deep knowledge of UCT policies and procedures, she is responsible for General Office Administration as well as Human Resources and Financial Administration.
Andrea is part of the TEA-LP Communications team under Work Package 3. She holds an MPhil in Climate Change and Sustainable Development from the University of Cape Town, where her research focus was on social equity and sustainability considerations in multi-lateral funded Nature-based solutions projects across Southern African. She has worked as a consultant for various research, training and capacity building initiatives, ranging from climate change to ecotourism. She also has a BA in Visual Communication Design from Stellenbosch University and hopes to combine her transdisciplinary academic background with consulting experience to contribute to the intersection of climate change and sustainable development.