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Hydroelectricity in Uganda

Hi, my name is Balázs Vincze and over the summer I worked as a low-cost hydroelectricity researcher in rural Uganda.

Our team of six Warwick engineers were building low cost hydroelectric power schemes in three villages. I did not have any previous experience with this kind of practical work but I was able to apply knowledge gained from different parts of the first year engineering course to help me with the project.

This knowledge mainly came from the Design for Function module where we studied different engineering materials and also my optional module Technology for International Development.

I learnt an incredible amount about concrete and hydropower and I hope to apply this knowledge in future modules. I also learnt how to weld and lay formwork and am confident that I will be able to apply these skills later in life.

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Outside of my time working on the hydro schemes, I was able to interact a lot with the local people and this was an amazing experience. One of our main aims was to educate them on the hydro schemes to ensure that they were able to repair the existing ones and potentially build their own ones once we left Uganda.

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It was really interesting to see their way of life and how a local community operates on a day to day basis. I would like to go back in the near future to analyse how the schemes have developed and see whether our team was able to increase an average person’s quality of life in the long-term.