Author: Liesel Koch
George Kofi Parku, MEng student in Chemical Engineering at Stellenbosch University, was chosen as one of 25 winners in the Green Talents Science Forum, 2018. “This is a prestigious award for young researchers organised by the German Federal Ministry of Education (BMBF). The forum entails a two-week intensive research visit to top sustainability institutes in Germany and also the opportunity to meet with experts in renowned German institutions,” says Mr Parku.
With his research he aims to convert plastic and non-plastic wastes into useful fuels and chemicals via pyrolysis in order to create a more sustainable energy supply. He has built a significant amount of expertise in petrochemical engineering through his experience in past research projects.
BMBF hosts the prestigious Green Talents – International Forum for High Potentials in Sustainable Development to promote the international exchange of innovative green ideas. The award, under the patronage of Minister Anja Karliczek honours young researchers each year. The winners come from numerous countries and scientific disciplines and are recognised for their outstanding achievements in making societies more sustainable. Selected by a jury of German experts, the award winners are granted unique access to the country’s research elite.
“The effects of climate change are becoming more and more visible around the world – even in Germany. This is something that this year’s winners of the Green Talents competition are addressing. They are making important contributions worldwide to creating a sustainable society with their work in such areas as water management, bioenergy use and alternative economic systems. I would like to thank them all for their dedication and hope that they will continue to produce many more good ideas,” said Dr Georg Schütte, State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, at the award ceremony.
This year the jury has chosen 25 Green Talents from 21 different countries.
The awardees in 2018 attended a two-week Science Forum from 13-27 October 2018 leading them to different hotspots of sustainability science in Germany. Furthermore, the Individual Appointments provided them a platform to personally discuss their research and lay the foundations for future collaborations.
If you are interested in the Green Talents Competition 2019 please register for the Competition Alert to be informed as soon as the next submission period starts.
Photograph: George Parku (right) receiving his Green Talents Award from German State Secretary, Dr Georg Schütte.