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Prof. Josephine Kaviti Musango - Research Leader

Prof Josephine K Musango is an Associate Professor with the School of Public Leadership (SPL), Stellenbosch University. She previously worked for Gauteng City-Region Observatory as Senior Researcher, Department of Energy as Deputy-Director, and Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) as Resource Economist. She holds bachelor degree in Agribusiness Management; master degree in Agricultural Economics; and a Transdisciplinary Doctoral in Sustainable Development.

Since May 2014, she is the Deputy-Programme Director: Sustainable Development, and is also responsible for the Renewable Energy Stream of the Postgraduate Diploma in Sustainable Development, in collaboration with the Centre for Renewable and Sustainable Energy Studies (CRSES). She is NRF-rated researcher and her on–going research relates to the application of system dynamics modelling in managing change in resource management and policy related challenges, especially in the energy sector, green economy and African cities resources issues. For the last ten years, she has utilised system dynamics modelling in various contexts including resource flows analysis, aquaculture management, energy assessment, technology assessment and green economy. She also has expertise in other modelling approaches including material flow analysis, agent based modelling, discrete event modelling, Bayesian networks and econometrics. She is also the Research Group Leader for Urban Modelling and Metabolism Assessment (uMAMA) Research Team.

Prof Musango is also one of the Founding Members of South Africa System Dynamics Chapter and presently serving as Organising Secretary of the Chapter. She has published widely in peer reviewed Journals and in international and local Conferences. Her PhD thesis was on “Technology Assessment of Renewable Energy Sustainability in South Africa”.

Fields of Interest: Resource Economist; Technology Analyst; System Dynamicist


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Prof. Alan Brent - Research Co-Leader

Prof Alan Brent holds bachelor degrees in engineering (chemical) and philosophy (sustainable development); master degrees in science (environmental engineering), engineering (technology management), and philosophy (sustainable development); and a PhD in engineering management. He is a registered professional engineer with the Engineering Council of South Africa and a NRF-rated researcher, with a focus on sustainable technology management. Since 1995 he consulted to a variety of industrial and public sectors in South Africa and other developing countries in the fields of environmental engineering and management, and as a project manager. Currently he is appointed at Stellenbosch University as a professor of engineering management and sustainable systems in the Department of Industrial Engineering (IE), and as the associate director of the Centre for Renewable and Sustainable Energy Studies (CRSES). He is also the Co-Research Group Leader for the Urban Modelling and Metabolism Assessment (uMAMA) Research Team.

Prof Brent is one of the Founding Members of South Africa System Dynamics Chapter, of the International System Dynamics Society, and presently serving as President of the Chapter. He has published more than 150 papers in scientific journals and conference proceedings, as well as a variety of chapters in books; with over 2000 citations and a h-index of 25.


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Paul K Currie - Researcher & Team Coordinator

Growing up between New York and Johannesburg, Paul has a significant obsession with cities. Paul delved into evolutionary biology at Stony Brook University (New York) before returning to South Africa to do his MPhil in Sustainable Development at Stellenbosch University. He has a fascination with people and places, an interest he has been able to cultivate as a volunteer in Brazil, a student in Ghana, a traveler in India, a researcher in Nairobi, and a trekker in Nepal. His academic disciplinary pairing alongside his fascination with the dynamism of urban systems has led Paul to uMAMA to delve into resource flows, resource efficiency and resource equity in African cities. 

Current Research: Paul is comparing top-down and bottom-up approaches to collecting data on resource consumption in cities. The first output is a baseline of Cape Town’s resource consumption profile. Next steps require examining whether household metabolism is a useful scale for understanding city metabolism, potentially through presenting a differential urban metabolism of the city. Understanding different resource consumption patterns and their drivers throughout the city is useful for targeting new infrastructure development.

Fields of Interest: African urbanisation; urban metabolism; informal systems, social inequity; sustainable development; urban planetary boundaries


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Dr. Jacquie Walubwa - Post Doc Researcher

A cross generational researcher straddling the arts and science fields, Jacquie is tickled by the outdoors and anything moving to interview it or standing to count it. Having lived in very cosmopolitan cities in Africa and Europe she embraces multiculturalism, is a passionate trail chaser and an ardent art collector.

Current Research: Dr. Walubwa is an enthusiastic Urban Geographer who has devoted her time to co-producing answers to urban informality and livelihood inquiries. Her research interests include urban governance, urban food systems value chains and the urban environment. She is currently directing her energies in the field of urban energy metabolism and systems thinking by co-designing energy communities in three informal settlements in the global South.

Fields of Interest: Informality, governance and urban metabolism


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Nhlanhla May - GIS Technician

Nhlanhla is a Geographical Information Systems Intern for the National Research Foundation hosted at Stellenbosch University. He grew up in Klerksdorp, North West, then moved to Johannesburg in 2012 to Study at the University of Johannesburg. He completed a Bachelor’s degree in Geography and Geo-informatics, graduating in April 2016. He is interested in Sustainable Integrated Urban Planning through modelling and visualisation of urban space core functions and the natural environment.

Research: Nhlanhla is producing GIS visualisations and analysis of urban areas. This includes direct mapping of resource flows in formal and informal settlements as well as providing an overview of differential resource access in multiple cities. In the future, he hopes to further his expertise in urban studies and the future of Geo-Informatics on dynamic urban spaces.

Fields of Interest:
Visualising Resource Flows in the African Context


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Suzanne Smit - PHD Researcher

Suzanne is passionate about work that solves real-world problems and offers new insights and perspectives on bringing about change that is environmentally sustainable and socially equitable. Her qualifications include a Master of Philosophy and Post Graduate Diploma in Sustainable Development, both from Stellenbosch University; a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration; and a National Diploma in Public Relations Management.

Suzanne’s Master’s work involved an exploratory study on connecting the green economy with the informal economy in South Africa under supervision of Dr Josephine Musango. The PhD focus takes a broader perspective, and incorporates a systems approach in connecting the urban informal settlement to the city. The study uses mixed methods including a case study of Enkanini, Stellenbosch; a multi-scale integrated analysis of societal and ecosystem metabolism; and a system dynamics modelling exercise.

Her areas of interest include sustainable development, urban metabolism, green economy, informal economy, informal settlements, gendered aspects of growth and development, stakeholder engagement, sustainable and ‘just’ cities.

Research Topic: Connecting the urban informal settlement to the city: A systems approach


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Benjamin Batinge - PHD Researcher

Benjamin Batinge is a PhD Candidate in the School of Public Leadership within the Economic and Management Sciences Faculty of the Stellenbosch University. Benjamin holds an MPhil. in System Dynamics from the University of Bergen, Norway following a successful completion of a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Ghana. Benjamin worked as Research Assistant at the University of Ghana Business School, Teaching Assistant at the University of Bergen, and recently as a Visiting Faculty at the University of Stellenbosch Business School, tutoring: Systems Methods in Post Graduate Diploma in Business Management and Administration class, and Contemporary Decision-Making in Masters in Business Administration class.

Research: His research, under the supervision of Prof. Josephine K. Musango and Prof. Alan C. Brent, is entitled: Expediting transitions in unmet electricity markets: the case of leapfrogging renewable energy in Africa. It focuses on leapfrogging to renewable energy as a conduit for expediting transitions in unmet electricity markets. He is ardent on contributing in the field of sustainability research, translating research outcomes to practical output, and has a keen interest in policies relating to sustainable use of energy resources.

Fields of Interest: Energy transitions; renewable energy leapfrogging; electricity access assessment; sustainable development.


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Lwandle Mqadi - PhD Researcher

Lwandle is a 2nd year PHD student with the School of Public Leadership, Centre for Renewable and Sustainable Energy Studies, uMAMA, Centre for Complex Systems in Transition, Stellenbosch University, South Africa. Her background is in resource economics with extensive experience in policy and strategy development within the energy sector.  Lwandle holds a MSc in Agricultural Economics from the University of Pretoria. Her research interests are on long term planning tool and approaches in the context of sustainability transitions in South Africa. This also includes researching the role of sustainability transitions in complementing solutions aimed at solving complex public policy challenges in developing countries.

Research Topic: “Strategic Integrated sustainability electricity planning: A case of sustainability transitions in South Africa”. 


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Therese Luyt - Masters Researcher

Therese is a part time student with a background in Civil Engineering, Waste Management and Environmental Engineering. She has work experience in South Africa and Germany. She is currently employed by the Western Cape Government: Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning in the Waste Management Directorate.

Research Topic: Implications of urbanisation on future domestic waste flows in the City of Cape Town: a System Dynamics Approach


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GF (Rickus) Cronje - Masters Researcher

Bio: Rickus holds a B. Eng (Hons) obtained at the University of Stellenbosch

Research Topic: Rickus’ research title is: A Business Case for Renewable Energy Technology Leapfrogging in Urban Informal Settlements. Renewable energy has shown a potential to increase energy access for urban informal settlements. However, in a South African context, there has been resistance and limited uptake of such technologies because what is offered to the households is ‘technology’ and not ‘services’ to provide for energy needs. Developing a business model would enable renewable energy technology to leapfrog the national electricity grid in informal settlements

The aim of the research is to facilitate technology leapfrogging in urban informal settlements through the development of a business model that practical, desirable and feasible. This will be achieved through the examination of the current energy services that require electricity in urban informal settlements and the renewable energy business models that are offered to these settlements. A gap between demand and supply will be identified and through consulting other models found in literature, a business model will be developed.

Fields of Interest: renewable energy, technology leapfrogging, poverty alleviation, informal settlements


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Olufolake Abiola Makinde - Masters Researcher

Olufolake graduated with a BSc in Electrical Engineering. Her undergraduate Project was: Design and Construction of a solar Powered Cell-Phone Charger

Research Topic: Energy metabolism of a multi-structured urban settlement.

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Rosalia Neshuku - Masters Researcher

Research Topic: Investigating the potential for power generation from landfill site in windhoek city

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André Troost - Masters Researcher

Bio: Raised on a stud farm in Paarl in the Cape Winelands, André has a love for horses and works part time as a show horse trainer. He has a passion for the road less traveled, immersing himself in other cultures and languages. He completed his BCom Honours degree in Strategy and Innovation at Stellenbosch University after which he hitchhiked and hopped on buses, trains, motorcycles and boats for four months from Cochabamba in Bolivia to Sao Paulo in Brazil via the north of Peru and six months from Kampala in Uganda back home to Cape Town through Rwanda, Tanzania, Kenya, Zambia and Namibia. He then completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Sustainable Development with a focus on renewable energy and is now studying towards his MPhil in Sustainable Development. 

Research Topic: Towards electricity leapfrogging in sub-Saharan Africa: Exploring cross-sector collaboration between strategic investors and mini-grid energy service companies.
The research makes a contribution to the effort of exploring the barriers and solutions to unlocking private sector investment in rural electrification. The main focus is to determine whether strategic investments can assist in scaling up the mini-grid sector in sub-Saharan Africa. 

Fields of Interest: Technology leapfrogging; energy access; renewable energy investment; decentralised renewable energy; sustainable development.


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Emmanuel Lartey - Masters Researcher

Bio: Emmanuel Lartey is a Masters student at the University of Ghana reading MPhil in Public Administration and currently on a TRECCAFRICA Mobility Program at the School of Public Leadership, Stellenbosch University. He had his Bachelors Degree in Public Administration from the University of Ghana Business School and also served as Research, Teaching and Graduate Assistant at the Department of Public Administration, University of Ghana Business School.

Research Topic: Co-managing forest resources in Ghana: the realities, prospects and challenges. It focuses on the extent to which forest resources are jointly managed by government agencies, local communities, civil society organizations and the private sector towards realizing sustainability in forestry. The study assesses the twist and turns in this relationship as well as measures to address the key challenges confronted in the collaborative management process.

Fields of Interest: environmental governance, informality, urban metabolism, public administration


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Ryan Roberts - Masters Researcher

Bio: Ryan discovered his passion for the energy field whilst completing a Bachelors of Mechanical and Engineering.ThisledhimtocompletehisPostGraduateDiplomainRenewableandSustainableEnergy Studies and is now busy studying a Masters in Sustainable Development. He believes that a transition to a more a renewable energy dominant society can not only help many of the environmental problems, but also the social and economic problems the human race faces in the Anthropocene.

Research Focus: An investigation into the dynamics of energy cost on econ omic growth and human development. A time series analysis of countries from North America, Europe, Australasia and the BRICS union.

Fields of Interest: Energy Systems, Renewable Energy, Energy Policy



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Ebenaezer Appies - Masters Graduate

Ebenaezer is an activist that supports strategic interventions to help bring about a just and clean energy future. He worked in the civil service and NGOs on climate change mitigation and adaptation projects. His research focus is on sustainable energy solutions.

Research Topic: Energy Infrastructure Transition in Urban Informal Households in South Africa


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Reshmi Muringathuparambil - Masters Graduate

Reshmi graduated from UP with a bachelor's degree in Architecture. Thereafter, she worked for a trans-disciplinary green building design company in Cape Town, before furthering her education in sustainable development (SU).

Research Topic: Typology of representative building designs within townships for energy efficiency in the City of Cape Town


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Sumaya Muhamad - Masters Graduate

Sumaya Mahomed is a part time student with a background in Chemical Engineering and a Post Graduate Diploma in Engineering. She has work experience in South Africa and Angola. She has been driving renewable energy and energy efficiency programmes within the municipality for the past 5 years. She is currently employed by the City of Cape Town: Environmental Resource Management Department in the Energy and Climate Change Branch.

Research Topic: Assessment of the City of Cape Town’s Energy Efficiency programmes within its internal operations



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