Prof Olawale Popoola awarded SASOL/DSI-NRF tier 2 research chair

by Phaphama Tshisikhawe

1 June 2023

The Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) is pleased to announce that Prof Olawale Popoola, Professor in the Electrical Engineering Department’s Centre for Energy and Electric Power (CEED) now holds an “Energy Solutions for Inclusive and Sustainable Societies” - Sasol/DSI-NRF Research Chair at tier 2. 


The aim of the Energy and Power Systems Modelling Research Chair at the Tshwane University of Technology is to develop expertise in the field of energy management to address numerous challenges the industry/sector is facing around the production and utilisation of energy. This is expected to contribute to the development of modelling competency in Energy and Power Systems that will improve and inform a national shift to a varied, decentralised, and dynamic energy demand and supply system in line with the National Research Foundation (NRF) expectations.

Upon receiving the news, Prof Popoola said, “This must be God”. I just did my part as expected by the institution and proceeded with other activities – daily routines and expectations. God never forgets his own”.

Prof Popoola further said that the research chair will undertake developments on energy management (e.g. energy efficiency and demand-side management), energy optimisation in process systems, energy economics, alternate energy sources, and conversion systems with an emphasis on mini-grid, smart grid, distributed generation, etc.

He further explained: “Affordable and sustainable electricity is a critical factor in social and economic development as well as the environmental friendliness of a nation. To reduce the imbalance between energy demand and energy production (supply) or avail energy whenever it is needed, energy management has been shown to be a medium that will alleviate the issue, especially for energy availability and reliability improvement. The same applies to electric power generation system that must meet high energy demand, especially during time-of-use (TOU) with emphasis on peak periods.”

In conclusion, Prof Popoola said he has always been a firm believer that “energy poverty” can be reduced considerably or probably eliminated if proper articulation of the problem is carried out with feasible solutions in mind. 

“Everyone has a right to “electricity access” which translates to the “economic bedrock of a nation”. However, there is the need to develop quality capacity to bring such to fruition, what better way to provide the young mind (undergraduate, postgraduate and postdoctoral fellows) the opportunity to embark on such a journey – next generation of modellers. The sustainability of the earth is a task that has to be accomplished for future generations. It’s an honour to continually contribute to the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals, Web of Knowledge and South Africa in its drive for Energy for All”, he concluded. 

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