Unarine Bridget Mudau funnels her environmental advocacy towards her work at the South African National Energy Development Institute (Sanedi). Since graduating with a BA from Tshwane University of Technology, she has been researching, designing and testing solar systems — sourcing energy from the sun and transforming it into electricity.
The impact of her work is both clear and meaningful, as is illuminated by her proudest achievement: she was involved in the construction of a 1MW rooftop solar photovoltaic system, which has offset about 31 500 tonnes
of harmful carbon dioxide emissions.
Mudau’s passion for environmental protection extends beyond her day job. She positions herself against pollution because of its tragic impact on the beauty of nature and the safety of endangered animals. She also urges her fellow South Africans to be more conscious of their personal choices when it comes to protecting the environment.
She is an advocate of the three Rs – reduce, reuse and recycle. To this end, incentivisation is a tool she views as fundamental on the path towards a greener, more habitable world.
Before working at Sanedi, Mudau spent time researching and designing solar power systems, leading to the operations and management of four solar photovoltaic ground-mounted and rooftop plant systems. She also has prior experience as an electrical technologist at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research as well as in consulting, having worked with a variety of companies to share her expertise on solar photovoltaic business cases and energy management. Right now, she’s wrapping up an MA in electrical engineering at the University of Johannesburg.
Amid all these successes, Mudau has learned the value of managing the unexpected through careful preparation. Her advice? “Projects don’t always go according to the plan, therefore it is good to have a backup plan.”
Be more conscious of your personal choices when it comes to protecting the environment