Markus Kaltwasser is a new intern of Dr Willie Smit at STERG, and is here from Germany. He is currently studying Mechanical Engineering at Hochschule Osnabrück and is in South Africa for six months to write his Bachelor thesis.

Markus is from Papenburg in the north of Germany. “If you know the Meyer shipyard you will know the town I am coming from”, he says.

About his project he explains: “My project is about the calibration of heliostats. I must write two programs which simulate the surface of the heliostats, so we can see the “error” in the surface. The first program has to show me the picture, so what is shown on the sensor of the camera. Therefore, I use a chess pattern as reference and a random function which represents the surface of the heliostat. At the end I should see a slightly deformed picture of the chess pattern, because of the imperfect surface of the heliostat. The second program is about recreating the surface by using a photograph. So, this time I will come up with a photograph in Matlab, which I created in the first program.  What I will do afterwards is not certain, because there are more ways I can go. One would be the practical way, where I would work with photogrammetry to recreate the surface”.

Of his interests, he says: “Sport was always one of my biggest interests and it doesn’t really matter which sport. Currently my biggest interest when it comes to sport is bouldering/climbing, but here at Stellenbosch I also want to try different activities like surfing, mountain biking, sandboarding (at least I heard that you could do that here) and so on. I am also interested in arts and try myself in drawing portraits or 3D Animations”.

We wish Markus all the best with his project at STERG and hope that he enjoys his stay in Stellenbosch.


Credit: Markus Kaltwasser, Leigh van der Merwe