Last Updated
Thursday 28 May 2015, 18:00 pm.
Herman Coetzee buried

MAUN: Herman Coetzee, a senior renewable energy engineer at the Botswana Technology Centre (BOTEC), was buried at his home village in Maun on Sunday.
By Staff Writer Fri 29 May 2015, 18:08 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Herman Coetzee buried








Coetzee who was pursuing a PhD programme in the United Kingdom, (UK) died in Gaborone on Sunday December 5, from a suspected heart failure.  He had just arrived from UK the previous day. 

Some of his friends who were with him on Sunday evening, could not believe it when they were told on Monday morning that he passed away. 

Some of the mourners at his funeral included the Batawana senior chief representative, Charles Letsholathebe, a member of Ntlo ya Dikgosi, Kegaisamang Ramokwena, and a prominent Maun businessman, John Wellio. 

According to his obituary, Coetzee joined BOTEC in 1986 as a technician in the Renewable Energy Unit (REU).  At that time his qualification was an Ordinary Technician Diploma in Mechanical and Electrical Engineering from Botswana Polytechnic.  He pursued further studies while in the employ of BOTEC.

In June 1993, he attained a Higher National Diploma in Mechanical Engineering from Coventry University in UK. 

Later he studied for a Bachelor of Engineering degree, which he acquired from the same university in 1997.

To orient himself more appropriately with the activities of the REU, Coetzee registered for a Master of Science degree in Renewable Energy Technology systems at Loughborough University in UK which he successfully completed in 2001.

At the time of his death, Coetzee was in the final year of his PhD studies at the University of Warwick, UK.  He had come on a very brief trip to Botswana to collect the data needed for his research.

While in the employ of BOTEC, Coetzee played a very active role in almost all the research projects undertaken in the REU.  Noteworthy are the 5.7 kW central photovoltaic station in Motshegaletau, which operated from 1998 to the time it was decommissioned in 2007. 

Another project he was involved in was the photovoltaic systems lighting at 20 primary schools in Kgatleng and the PV solar water pumping system for vegetable production at Manyana, Xanagas and Charleshill villages. 

There was also the Mark 4 photovoltaic charge controller and mostly recently, the solar chimney, a ground breaking research project which was also part and parcel of his PhD studies.   Coetzee also had a very strong passion for research in alternative sources of energy. 

He was considering researching on the development of bio-fuels from algae which  occurs in abundance in Botswana's wetlands.

Coetzee also served in several technical committees between BOTEC and other government and corporate institutions. 

He was a member of the Solar PV Standards Committee at Botswana Bureau of Standards (BOBS).

He also had a keen interest in matters related to staff welfare such as growth of staff, pension fund and advocated for better conditions for service for staff.

Coetzee is survived by his daughter Anita, his brothers and sisters.



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