Prof Pat Naidoo, a professional engineer and specialist consultant, who serves on the ESKOM Board of Directors, joins the University of Johannesburg (UJ) from 1 July 2016 as Research and Innovation Chair: Green Economy. The Chair was jointly established by UJ’s Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment (FEBE) and the Directorate of Economic Development, City of Johannesburg (CoJ).
His appointment strengthens FEBE‘s quest for sustainable development, as well as the City of Johannesburg‘s aim of a resilient, livable, sustainable urban environment underpinned by infrastructure support for a low carbon economy. Prof Naidoo’s portfolio is seeks sustainable development through disciplines associated to sustainable energy.
He will commence with a “just do it” approach in five key areas, he says.
“The five areas include the engineering and development of Microgrids to promote the deep penetration of natural renewable energy resources into daily application; and the launch of a menu of energy-efficient solutions for residential, commercial and industrial use.
“In addition, there will be focus on the forward planning on key issues to unlock institutional reform, policy, legislation, regulatory and environmental factors for a sustainable city.
“The project management of the City of Johannesburg’s green portfolio of entrepreneurial job creation projects from the integrated energy, transport, waste, water and ICT sectors, will be boosted to achieve lock down of time, cost and quality. I will also promote cutting-edge research and innovation in fusing together the agricultural, industrial and post-industrial societies within the City of Johannesburg,” says Prof Naidoo.
The city is challenged by increasing urbanization that is actively driven by people migration and climate change. Johannesburg is the most attractive home for South Africans seeking jobs and a better quality of life. For the community of Continental Africa, Johannesburg is the “City of Gold” and prosperity. For the international community, Johannesburg is the home of Mandela and De Klerk; of the Constitutional Court that leads the land of freedom, respect and human rights, he observes.
“With an increasing population, the primary challenge will be food, health and waste. A research question is how to feed a rapidly growing population. The answer may be found in growing our own food within the city. Let us employ the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, as adopted by the UN Council in August of 2015, as our reference for research and innovation in sustainable living,” concludes Prof Naidoo.
Prof Naidoo was the Associate Professor of Electrical Power Engineering at the Durban University of Technology and is a visiting Professor of Practice to the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering Science, FEBE, UJ.
He is a Fellow of the South African Institute of Electrical Engineers, a Senior Member of IEEE, a member of IET, CIGRÉ and the Institute of Directors, Southern Africa. For the period 2014/2015, Prof Naidoo was the 105th President of the South African Institute of Electrical Engineers.
In 2010, he completed his 27 years of industrial employment at Eskom South Africa; from engineer in training to post of Senior General Manager of the Transmission Group. His accountabilities included Eskom National Control, Eskom Power Pool and System Operations, Eskom leadership at the Southern African Power Pool and Eskom Joint Venture appointments as Technical Director of the Mozambique Transmission Company and as Chief Executive of the Western Power Corridor Company of SADC.
In 2014, Prof Naidoo was appointed to the Board of Eskom Holdings SOC Limited as Independent, Non-Executive Director. He currently serves on the Board Committees of Recovery and Build, Investment and Finance, Social, Ethics and Sustainability and Audit and Risk.