TUT establishes team to advance hydrogen energy research and innovation

18 August 2023
The role universities across South Africa can play in building and securing a hydrogen economy, is often understated. Fundamental research and partnerships between universities and the private sector enable the innovation required to reduce CO2 emissions and achieve net zero.

Prof Mxolisi Shongwe, the task team leader who is also an Assistant Dean for Research and Postgraduate studies at the Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment.

In response to these developments, Dr Vathiswa Papu-Zamxaka, the Tshwane University of Technology’s (TUT) DVC for Research, Innovation and Engagement, has established a task team to work on a strategy for Hydrogen Energy Research and Innovation at the University. 

The Task Team recently visited Ireland to explore collaboration on hydrogen energy research. Ireland has recognised the potential of hydrogen as a clean and sustainable energy source to support its decarbonization goals. During the visit, it was established that Ireland aims to participate actively in international collaboration and partnerships to foster the development of a global hydrogen market. This includes sharing knowledge, best practices and experiences with other countries, as well as exploring potential opportunities for trade and investment related to hydrogen.

Explaining the need for establishing a task team, Dr Papu-Zamxaka said that given the country’s current energy crisis and the increasing problems related to the supply of coal-fired sources of electricity, the time has come to consider expanding South Africa’s current alternative energy sources. Dedicated to pursuing research that addresses societal challenges, the University has acknowledged the need to drive efforts on hydrogen energy as one of its focal institutional research and innovation initiatives.

The strategy on hydrogen energy will also play a major role in preparing students to be graduates with adequate skills to occupy roles in a new energy environment. “This is crucial as we enter an era of embracing cleaner, greener and more sustainable energy production systems,” said Prof Mxolisi Shongwe, Task Team leader and an Assistant Dean for Research and Postgraduate studies at the Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment.

He added: “Through research and education, the academic community will contribute to the faster decarbonisation of society.”

For more information on the Tshwane University of Technology, please contact Phaphama Tshisikhawe, Corporate Affairs and Marketing.
Tel: +27 12 382 4711   Email: tshisikhawerpt@tut.ac.za