STERG’s delegation at the conference (from left to right): Prof Theodor von Backström, Christoph Pan, Lina Hockaday, Frank Duvenhage, Willem Krog, Henk Laubscher, Dr Jaap Hoffmann, Bradley Da Silva, JC Nel and Dr Lukas Heller

STERG’s delegation at the conference (from left to right): Prof Theodor von Backström, Christoph Pan, Lina Hockaday, Frank Duvenhage, Willem Krog, Henk Laubscher, Dr Jaap Hoffmann, Bradley Da Silva, JC Nel and Dr Lukas Heller [Photo courtesy of Christoph Pan]

A group of students, professors and academic staff from the Engineering faculty represented the Solar Thermal Energy Research Group (STERG) at the SolarPACES 2017 conference, which took place from 26th to 29th September in Santiago, Chile. The annual conference hosts leading research institutions, industry specialists and experts in concentrating solar power and chemical energy systems with more than 500 participants from 38 countries. Eight Master and PhD students had the opportunity to present their innovative work to an international audience through oral or poster presentations and to discuss new developments in technology, politics and financing of concentrating solar power (CSP). Ten oral and eight poster presentations were conveyed, which evoked substantial interest from renowned researchers and industry representatives alike. The conference was an excellent event for information exchange and networking as well as to present STERG’s research to stakeholders in the field of concentrating solar power.

After the conference, some of the students and professors had the opportunity to stay in Chile to explore. The group had fun exploring Maipo valley, rafting, braaing, wine tasting and hiking in the snowy Andes Mountains.

Rafting on the Maipo river (from left to right): JC Nel, Christoph Pan, Gregory Prentice, Prof Theodor von Backstöm, guide Tiko (Natexplora), Willem Krog, Henk Laubscher and Prof Frank Dinter.

Rafting on the Maipo river (from left to right): JC Nel, Christoph Pan, Gregory Prentice, Prof Theodor von Backstöm, guide Tiko (Natexplora), Willem Krog, Henk Laubscher and Prof Frank Dinter. [Photo courtesy of Christoph Pan]