SAIEE Western Cape Centre | Annual General Meeting & Chairperson's Invitation Lecture | 13 February 2019
13 Febraury 2019
18:00 - 21:00
CoCT Electrical Services, Bloemhof Complex, Bloemhof.
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Contact / RSVP:
There is no cover charge for this event, however there are limited seats available. Please RSVP as soon as possible to book your seat!
Dr Pierre Cilliers
How Space Weather can take your lights out, and more
Space Weather storms affect not only power systems, but a number of other technologies in a number of ways.
The presentation will focus on the origin and frequency of Space Weather storms, how they affect us, what SANSA does at its Regional Space Weather Warning Centre for Africa and what mitigation measures are being pursued to reduce the impact of Space Weather Storms, and keep the lights on!”
Short CV/Bio Dr Pierre Cilliers
Dr. Pierre Cilliers obtained two degrees at University of Pretoria (UP): a B-Eng. degree in Electrical Engineering in 1976 and a Honours degree in Electronic Engineering in 1978. He was junior lecturer in the newly established Department of Electronic Engineering at UP up to 1980 when he was awarded a bursary to further his studies in the USA. He obtained a M.Sc. in Electrical Engineering at The George Washington University and a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering at The Ohio State University.
In 1988 he was appointed as Professor in the Dept. of Electrical, Electronic and Computer Engineering at UP where he was responsible for guiding postgraduate research in Biomedical Engineering.
In 2002 he spent a sabbatical year at the Hermanus Magnetic Observatory to develop tomographic techniques for determining the total electron content of the Earth’s ionosphere by means of GPS data. At that time this was the first such research done in South Africa, and it stimulated his interest in space physics.
In 2004 he resigned from UP to join the Hermanus Magnetic Observatory as a space physicist, where he lead the research on ionospheric tomography. The field developed quickly over the past few years among others through several postgraduate students working in the field. In April 2011 the Hermanus Magnetic Observatory became the Space Science Directorate of the South African National Space Agency(SANSA). It is also the regional space weather warning centre for Africa.
Since 2007 Pierre acted as the project leader for an International Polar Year project on Space Weather studies which involved the deployment of new instruments for ionospheric observation at the South African research bases in Antarctica, on Marion Island and on Gough Island. Through this project he had the opportunity to participate in a summer expedition to Antarctica in 2007 and in an expedition to Marion Island in 2010 for international research projects on Space Weather.
At the time of his retirement from SANSA at the end of 2017 he was the group leader for research on Geomagnetically Induced Currents (GICs) at SANSA Space Science, and the PI for a collaborative research project with Italy on monitoring space weather impacts on the ionosphere in Antarctica by means of ionospheric scintillation receivers. He has supervised several postgraduate students at SANSA and has produced more than 30 peer reviewed publications since joining HMO in 2002.
He is currently working part-time at SANSA and part-time tutoring high-school learners in Physical Sciences at & M&R Education Centre in Hermanus.