Aurecon engineer’s paper on IoT in the energy sector secures European Utility Week spot

Aurecon Electrical Engineer, Keith Katyora, recently presented a paper at the Gen-X Theatre, the POWER-GEN & DistribuTECH Africa (Power-GEN) conference’s platform for young professionals and postgraduates in the power sector. Katyora was also named as one of the top three African presenters and his paper entitled Internet-of-Things (IoT) and its impact on the Power Sector, was selected as one of the top three papers.

Young, aspiring African engineers and professionals in the energy industry were given the opportunity to submit papers ahead of the Power-GEN conference in July. The authors of the top 10 papers were then selected to share their insights and engage with the main conference speakers as part of Gen-X Theatre. The initiative has received support from City Power, Matleng Energy Solutions, ABB South Africa and SAIEE since its inception in 2015.

“I am very excited that my paper received such positive feedback and enjoyed presenting ideas on how African utilities can use IoT to address several pressing issues in the electricity sector. I hope my suggestions inspire more young people to investigate digital solutions to solve some of Africa’s energy challenges,” says Katyora.

As part of his prize for being shortlisted as one of the top three presenters at the event, Katyora will be attending European Utility Week (EUW), which will take place on 6 – 8 November in Vienna. He has also been enrolled in the EUW’s Initiate! Youth Talent Programme and will receive mentorship from a South African energy industry leader for six months.

“Attending European Utility Week and being mentored by one of the thought leaders in the South African energy sector will broaden my horizons, and give me more insights into global and local trends and solutions. I look forward to seeing what these opportunities will mean for my career, as well as the enhanced input I will be able to contribute to the solutions that our team can offer clients,” concludes Katyora.

IoT the future of African electrification?

Katyora’s paper delved into possible scenarios where IoT could be used by various African utilities to address ageing infrastructure, accessibility constraints, democratisation of energy and electrification challenges.

“My paper for Gen-X Theatre explored the importance of the data management of electrical infrastructure; how IoT could be used to optimise the electrical grid and how existing utilities could consider reorganising their current business models to use these solutions to get access to funding. I also addressed certain potential pitfalls, such as the lack of internet access, unrealistic customer expectations and the privacy issues related to utilities using customers’ electricity data,” says Katyora.

Katyora is a member of Aurecon’s Limelight committee, which aims to give young professionals a platform to network and boost their careers. As Chairperson of the Young Professional Forum’s Gauteng North Division, which is part of Consulting Engineers South Africa (CESA), Katyora explores digital disruption, energy issues, and potential solutions to develop South Africa’s energy landscape in the future.


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