Professor Bekker appointed as SARChI Research Chair

We’re proud to announce that Professor Bernard Bekker from the Department of Electrical & Electronic Engineering at the Faculty of Engineering of Stellenbosch University (SU) has been awarded the SARChI NRF Chair in Power Systems Simulation. 

This recognition is a testament to his expertise and contribution to the field of electrical engineering and, specifically, renewable energy. Moreover, the Chair aligns well with the research within the department’s Power Systems Research Group (PSRG). 

Improving Power Systems Simulation Research

The  PSRG studies the impacts of increasing variable renewable energy (VRE) generation and changing customer behaviour on the traditional electrical power system. The group is housed within the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at Stellenbosch University and is part of the Eskom Power Plant Engineering Institute’s Specialisation Centres network.

Professor Bekker explains: 

The Chair will focus on improving methodologies and input assumptions for simulating various aspects of current and future electrical power systems. The Chair’s vision is to optimally leverage SU’s existing ecosystem of renewable energy and power system simulation expertise and industry and academic relationships towards developing and strengthening a national competency in power system simulation within South Africa.

According to Professor Bekker, power system research is fascinating, given the rapid changes in technology, communications, data science and market models. He explains that: “South Africa’s increasing load shedding challenges have also highlighted the importance of research in this field, especially into long-term power system planning informed by accurate simulations. As such, I’m very excited to be allowed to build on and extend our existing competency in this research field at SU.”

Professor Bekker’s research currently focuses on power system planning and operation, specifically related to the increasing prevalence of grid-connected distributed storage and generation. You can follow his research here: