August 28, 2012, by Malvika Johal
NUStream hydro project
25 students from the University are currently undertaking a trip of a lifetime to provide renewable energy to a remote fishing village in Malawi.
The three-week trip, partially funded by the University’s Cascade fund, will give the students from the Department of Engineering and the Nottingham University Business School the opportunity to put the skills learnt on their course into practice.
Annie Goldie, a 2012 Civil Engineering graduate, is one of the students who have travelled to the village to finalise plans to install a small hydroelectric power system to provide electricity to the village’s community centre, primary school and health centre.
She explained: “I joined the NUSTREAM hydro project because I have always wanted to put my engineering skills and knowledge into use in developing rural areas.
“When I heard that the beautiful village of Ruarwe was located in one of the ten poorest countries in the world, with minimal electricity and power, I knew this would be a fantastic opportunity to kick-start my passion and make a difference where it is really needed.”
As part of the civil engineering team, Annie was given the principle task of designing the hydropower scheme so that the water flow available from the hillside could be used to provide a sufficient amount of power to meet the community’s requirements.
The work has not only given Annie practical experience, useful in her future career, but reinforced what she was taught during the Engineering Geology and hydraulics modules on her course.
In addition, she has been quick to praise the project for improving her team-working and communication skills, while the chance to manage employees, negotiate over land use and talk to villagers and charity leaders, has brought about unexpected opportunities to learn.
On returning to the UK, Annie said: “Overall, the trip was an extremely enjoyable experience. Ruarwe itself was a wonderful experience and I really enjoyed getting to know the community there.
“This project has the potential to change the lives of the community and has encouraged me to continue working with the team in future years to gain further experience and knowledge when investigating other hydropower schemes in similar areas within Malawi.”
A second group will be heading to Malawi in August to finish the construction of the hydroelectric power system.
To find out more about the NuStream project, please visit:
Thanks Malvika, it’s really great to hear more about this inspirational project as it approaches its next phase, with the students due to go back to Malawi to finish the power system. Definitely one of the biggest projects Cascade has helped to fund..!