Making stronger connections

This year’s annual Sustainable Energy Futures May reunion was another huge success, with over 70 alumni and students heading back to the bunker to catch up with old friends, make new ones and discuss all things SEF.

Alumni travelled from far and wide to attend the reunion, which was the same weekend as the Imperial Festival, with some alumni returning to college for the first time in over seven years.

Andy and Adrien discussing the proposed alumni fund.

This year’s hot topic of discussion was the launch of the Sustainable Energy Futures Alumni Fund. The plan was discussed in greater detail by project enthusiasts Andy Hadland (08/09) and Adrien Lebrun (09/10) and the overwhelming support for the fund was evident by the almost 100% commitment rate of those who attended. [More details on the fund will follow soon].

The reunions biggest success came from the chance meeting of alumnus Styden Rwebangila (08/09) and Shashank Misra (13/14) who were also the reunions furthest travellers with Styden travelling from Tanzania and Shashank from India especially for the reunion. Having both spoken to Andy Hadland independently, Andy realised that Styden, who is the Acting Assistant Commissioner (New and Renewable Energy), Ministry of Energy and Minerals, Tanzania was in the perfect position to help Shashank with his new business venture Sagar Energy Solutions.

‘Shashank was trying to explain his business model to SEF colleagues and pointed out the difficulty they were having in getting someone in Tanzania who would guide them through the process explains Styden. It was just by coincidence that I was there at the event and I am the person who oversees the Renewable Energy Sector in Tanzania.’

Styden (08/09) and Shashank (13/14)

Styden was more than delighted to swap contact details with his fellow SEF colleague and there the connection was made. Shashank has already modified the front end of his business model based on their discussion and says that Styden’s input regarding the energy demand and necessity of the locals was valuable in understanding the essentials of the industry.

We look forward to hearing more on Shashank’s new venture and on how his new found SEF connection will help him to penetrate the Tanzanian market.

More pictures from the reunion can be found in the SEF alumni facebook group.

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