Participants of the LEAP Project Evening Event at USP's Laucala Campus.
The University of the South Pacific’s (USP) School of Engineering and Physics hosted an event on 30 March 2016 to disseminate the activities of its Project L3EAP. This three-year ACP-EU funded energy project is undertaken by a consortium of universities that include USP, the Hamburg University of Applied Sciences (lead partner) and the University of Mauritius.
The aim of the event was to provide an update of the Project’s list of activities, including the status of development of its online course on energy access, security and efficiency. The event also provided participants with an opportunity to discuss and learn about USP’s research areas that directly impact regional development.
In a stimulating introduction to the evening, the Director of Research Dr Jito Vanualailai spoke about the importance of research at USP and the role of the Research Office in the realisation of these aims for the University.
He discussed the position of USP on the global research ranking ladder, and suggested ways in which this position can be improved.
He further stated that for the first time, the University has decided to encourage research that is of direct relevance to the region, thus having greater impact on the welfare of the region. He said Project L3EAP, whose main aim was capacity building in the area of energy, fell under this category of research.
Associate Professor at USP’s School of Engineering and Physics, Dr Anirudh Singh mentioned that one of the aims of Project L3EAP is to introduce tertiary staff and students to the research areas of relevance, in particular to capacity building.
He added that some of the benefits of this project at the university level are, better trained tertiary staff to cater for the vocational needs of the student community; student training and introduction to academic conferences and workshops and the promotion of the university as a centre for research excellence in energy capacity building.
Master of Science graduate, Krishneel Prasad, who participated in this Project, said it gave him the opportunity to be part of a presentation at the International Conference for Energy Environment and Climate Change in Mauritius last year.
“This was my first international conference abroad and I am grateful that our travelling expense, airfare and accommodation were paid for by Project L3EAP,” Krishneel said.
Vinal Prakash, who is currently pursuing his Master of Science, is also part of Project L3EAP as a student volunteer and said that his interest in renewable energy attracted him to be part of the project.
“Last year, I helped in organising a consultancy workshop, where overseas experts were present. Their presentations were beneficial to me as I am doing my studies in renewable energy and plan to work in the energy sector after finishing my education,” Vinal added.
Future activities of Project L3EAP include a Training Workshop for Project Managers in Energy and Climate Change in late April, a National Workshop on Energy in July and the launching of its much-awaited online course on LifeLong Learning in Energy Access, Security and Efficiency.
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