20116 November 2020
Ashlin completed a BSc(Hons) Environmental Science degree in 2018 at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. His thesis investigated the socio-economic impacts of solar water heaters in low-income households in Cato Manor, KwaZulu-Natal, which was published in the Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews Journal.
In 2020 Ashlin took the opportunity to work for the City of Cape Town Municipality, Energy and Climate Change Directorate. The core function of this position is to focus on the various fields that relate to the Municipality’s journey to carbon neutrality by 2050. Initiatives to achieve this target include data management of liquid fuels, air pollution, transport and electricity databases and energy modelling.
Ashlin has been pursuing his Master’s degree at Stellenbosch University in Mechanical Engineering: Renewable energy.
He writes of his recent experience as a DBREV scholar:
“Having a science background and choosing to do an engineering-based master’s has had me up against the wall several times over the last year. During these times, we question our capability and worth. I had to learn to become comfortable with my own ignorance, I had to learn to ask questions even when the answer might have been obvious to my classmates, in doing so I realised that although I had the least amount of knowledge in the subject domain that is engineering; I also had the most to gain. This unquenchable thirst to learn more about renewable energy coupled with the support of the DBREV Foundation, colleagues, and some lectures- I have prevailed. Every day I live my dream.
It was not too long before the knowledge gained through my masters found me leading and advising on energy projects at the City of Cape Town. I was able to add value to the City and its people- the ultimate goal of any civil servant.
My thesis will focus on solar and wind resources in and around the City and modeling this with hydrogen to assess the possibility of meeting the City’s electricity demand. “