We commemorate Women’s Month in August as a tribute to the more than 20 000 women who marched to the Union Buildings on 9 August 1956 in protest against the extension of Pass Laws to women. Government declared August Women’s Month and 9 August is celebrated annually as Women’s Day.
South Africa is set, once again, to celebrate the unique and defining roles that women play in various industries throughout the country, be it as leaders, professionals or nurturers. In keeping with the Women’s Month celebrations, we acknowledge and focus on the critical role women continue to perform in the energy and climate change sectors.
At the beginning of the year, the SAEE formed Females in Energy Efficiency (FEE), a division that focuses primarily on supporting and celebrating the role of women in the energy efficiency industry. FEE brings together women from all energy sectors, including energy efficiency, renewable energy, engineering and Built together to provide a space where they can network with peers and gain access to people, information and career opportunities.
In an effort to reach and engage with women nationally, the FEE recently hosted its first Kwa-Zulu Natal networking evening at the ICC in Durban. SAEE Board member and FEE founding member, Lisa Reynolds facilitated the event in collaboration with Faith Mkhacwa, Project Manager at National Cleaner Production Centre, SA.
Jerusha Joseph, the guest speaker at the event, shared her refreshing thoughts and insights on her energy journey, encouraging women to pursue success, regardless of their circumstances.
Jerusha, a Mechanical Engineer, completed her BScEng degree at the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal in 2009. After graduating, she immediately joined ACSA 2010 and continued studying for her MScEng degree on a part time basis.
In February 2010, Jerusha undertook the study of a solar-assisted air conditioning system and was privileged to be a part of the test team of the first ever installed solar powered absorption cooling plant in Pretoria. Upon completing her study in March 2013, she was approached by a German Publisher to publish her work. The study is commercially available worldwide, entitled, “Study of a Solar-Assisted Air Conditioning System for South Africa”.
Jerusha, who is employed as an Engineer at King Shaka International Airport, currently chairs the ACSA Energy Forum, part of the implementation and operation of the Energy Management System at all ACSA airports and, additionally, is the team leader of the King Shaka International Airport Energy Team in an effort to establish Energy Efficiency and Energy Management as a culture within King Shaka International Airport. The Energy Forum has developed a “Standards and Guidelines for Energy Efficiency” document and a six year “Energy Efficiency Roadmap” for each airport which is under review for approval.
Jerusha has served as a member of the Advisory Board for the African Utility Week Conference for the past two years and is a formidable speaker at many energy related conferences. Having worked closely with the Industrial Energy Efficiency (IEE) Project since November 2011, Jerusha has completed many of their courses.
In pursuit of her Engineering PhD last, Jerusha began her research project entitled “Energy Efficiency in Developing Countries” last year. She recently received international status as a recognised “Certified Energy Manager” from the American Association of Energy Engineers (AEE). Having recently passed an additional exam, Jerusha is currently in the process to receive AEE “Certified Energy Auditor” status.
Jerusha will be in Orland Florida at the end of September, by invitation of the AEE, to receive a “2015 Legend in Energy” award at the 38th World Energy Engineering Congress (WEEC).
For women interested in joining the dynamic Females in Energy Efficiency, please visit the SAEE website : www.saee.org.za