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Off-Grid Microgrids Workshop in Belém, Brazil

28 September 2018

Dr Sam Williamson from the University of Bristol’s Electrical Energy Management Group recently attended the British Council delivered Off-grid Microgrids for the Electrification of Remote Communities Workshop, in the northern Brazilian city of Belém on edge of Amazon rainforest. The workshop was organised by Cardiff University and Universidade Federal do Pará. 30 researchers from the UK and Brazil across disciplines from engineering to social science and policy attended, with the aims to develop new and stronger research links between the two countries.

The workshop encouraged the delegates to present their research areas and to try and find potential collaborations with other attendees, which happened through facilitated sessions and social networking events during the week-long event. One day of the workshop was dedicated to visiting off-grid Amazonian communities, which was the highlight of the event for many people.

Sam said “Visiting the communities really put into context the research ideas we had been discussing during the workshop. It was only a 45-minute boat ride from Belém, but the reality of life for the people was completely different, having to rely on diesel generators for electrical power and boats for transport.”

Alongside the research goals of the workshop, there were career development talks from experienced researchers from the UK and Brazil, who led several mentoring sessions to support Early Career Researchers.

“The workshop has provided an amazing opportunity for me to meet Brazilian colleagues working in the same or complimentary fields, and I’m really looking to developing these relationships further to co-produce research and develop my career.”

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