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Monday, 25 July 2016

Researcher clinches prestigious fellowship

SELECTED: Dr Wilfred Fritz secured a coveted Alexander von Humboldt Postdoctoral Research Fellowship SELECTED: Dr Wilfred Fritz secured a coveted Alexander von Humboldt Postdoctoral Research Fellowship

Dr Wilfred Fritz has secured a coveted Alexander von Humboldt Postdoctoral Research Fellowship.

The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation is one of the world’s most prestigious funding institutions, and over the years has funded more than 26 000 researchers in 130 countries of which 50 are Nobel laureates.

"Only a few Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Fellowships are granted annually and it would be an immense honour to represent CPUT as a beneficiary of this prestigious fellowship and to eventually succeed in graduating as a Humboldtian,” says Fritz, who is based in the Department of Electrical, Electronic and Computer Engineering.

Selection for participation in the fellowship is tough, with applicants having to prove that they have an above average, independent academic research record.

The fellowship is also granted in recognition of a researcher's entire achievements to date, whose research and insights have had a significant impact on their own discipline, and who will continue developing research-based solutions.

Fritz has an impressive research record and over the years has won several awards and secured funding for research and student projects.

In 2012 he received the African-German Network of Excellence in Science award for junior researchers, which recognises outstanding achievements of researchers on the African continent.

His work in the energy sector has also been recognised by government, when in 2013 he was seconded to the Department of Energy as Chief Technical Advisor and tasked to determine the energy efficiency level of all sectors in South Africa.

As part of the fellowship, Fritz, who specializes in energy consumption reduction, will spend more than two years at the University of Stuttgart in Germany, where he will work closely with experts in his field.

“The main aim of my postdoc proposal is to improve the grid stability that is being degraded by the influence of upcoming grid-tied systems based on renewable energies in South Africa, through simulation and optimization” he says.

Fritz says participation in the fellowship will also benefit CPUT.

“Additional spin-offs to CPUT being an alumni of the fellowship would be lifelong guaranteed annual grants for the acquisition of scientific equipment, printing subsidies to publish research results, sponsoring guest visits by academics from Germany and funding of long-term research collaborations between academics in Germany and CPUT and an amount of 1 000 EUR per annum towards academic material.”


*Dr Fritz would like to thank CPUT Vice-Chancellor, Dr Prins Nevhutalu and Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Research, Technology Innovation and Partnerships, Dr Chris Nhlapo for their mentorship and support.

Written by Candes Keating

Tel: +27 21 959 6311

Provides coverage for the Engineering and Applied Sciences Faculties; the Bellville and Wellington Campuses, and research and innovation news.