Harm is a 25-year-old student from the Netherlands who is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering with a specialisation in Thermo-Fluids Engineering at Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e). His journey in engineering is driven by a fascination with solar thermal energy and a passion for creating a more sustainable future. Harm heard about STERG through a fellow student from TU/e who engaged in an internship with STERG a year ago. After hearing about his experience here, Harm was immediately excited to go to Stellenbosch and join the STERG team.

In a previous research project, STERG made use of an XCPC (external compound parabolic concentrator) as a heat source for a thermal energy and distillation system. During this project, the XCPC’s performance was found to be lower than expected. Consequently, Harm’s current research at STERG is focused on assessing and improving the performance of this collector.
His work at STERG, under the guidance of Prof. Owen, consists of a study of the XCPC, including the development of both theoretical and physical models. By conducting tests and experiments on the collector, Harm investigates 
the operation and performance of this collector with the objective of fully understanding the system and its performance.

In his leisure time, Harm indulges in a variety of hobbies, including basketball, skiing, and hiking. During the weekends here, he tries to make the most of his time by exploring the beautiful nature of the Western Cape, enjoying many of the great hiking areas, and as a great fan of wine, he tries to visit many wine farms. Although life here in South Africa can sometimes be very different from what he is used to in the Netherlands, he enjoys it very much and is having a great and very interesting time here. He is very excited about working with the STERG team and is looking forward to exploring the rest of the country in the upcoming months.