Prof. Nico Beute, 2010
At the SAEE annual banquet and award ceremony, held at Emperors Palace on 10 November the second Hall of Fame award was presented to Prof. Nico Beute.
He personally received the award, presented by Prof LJ Grobler. Prof Ernst Uken gave a tribute to Prof Beute.
Prof Nico Beute is the founder of the International Conference of Domestic Use of Energy that was started in 2002. DUE focuses on promoting sustainable development particularly in Southern African countries through the more effective use of energy. The successes of this conference lead to the development of an addition International Conference, Industrial and Commercial Use of Energy in 2004. ICUE focuses on promoting sustainable development particularly in Southern African countries, through the effective use of energy.
Prof Beute is employed at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology since 1969 were he has contributed and assisted in many projects. He is well known in the energy industry for his enthusiastic devotion to energy.
In the late 80’s and early 90’s he worked on energy related reports for the then South African National Energy Council. The reports dealt with energy efficiency and energy use issues mainly in the domestic sector. This lead to his doctoral studies in the use of electrical energy in the South African domestic sector. On completion of his studies he reported his findings to Eskom and various municipalities and this lead to the annual Domestic Use of Energy conferences which he organised and participated in.
These achievements and the active role he has played in other international events such as the EEDAL conference dealing with energy efficient domestic appliances speaks of the influence he has had in the past 20 years towards the effective use of energy in the domestic, industrial and commercial sectors.
He has also utilized many opportunities to promote the effective use of energy in the community and in education both at school level and at higher education level. An example of this is the way he promoted energy efficient compact fluorescent lamps in communities by taking a kit, developed by Bonesa to schools in developing communities, by developing the Wattlog meter, measuring the electrical consumption of appliances, for a programme to educate scholars on the effective use of energy in the home. He has also been actively involved in the Gateway Discovery project since its inception in the early 90’s and served as chairperson of this trust for many years. This project takes interactive exhibits, including energy related projects, to all sectors of South African schools.
He served on the working group developing the South African technology curriculum for schools during the late 80’s and the early 90’s. He was also actively involved in the international, Dutch based PATT (Pupil’s Attitude towards Technology) foundation. He is the chairperson of the Engineering Standards Generating Board that is responsible for developing standards for the Higher Education Engineering Sector in South Africa. He also served on various committees of ECSA, the Engineering Council of South Africa. In all this he was able to promote energy related engineering
He was able to drive IEEE’s Teacher-in-Service Programme (TISP) in South Africa, working with educators and engineers across the country, developing lesson plans in order to successfully execute the TISP. He presented papers discussing and demonstrating how to bring mathematics, science and technology to previously disadvantaged communities and schools. The South African national and the Western Cape Education Department (WCED) has worked with him and other role-players in the engineering industry, to develop in-service training programmes for teachers who teach mathematics, science, technology and engineering related subjects in Grades 10 to 12.
This included energy related studies benefiting the Further Education and Training (FET) sector during the implementation of a new curriculum in South Africa to develop scarce skills that will help the South African economy. Since 2008, the approach has been continued from FET to the General Education and Training (GET) sector, which has increased the span to grades before Grade 10 in the South African education system. In recognition of what he did, he received the IEEE Educational Activities Board’s Meritorious Achievement Award in Informal Education in November 2009.