In conversation with visiting Prof Johannes Koke of Germany

Johannes Koke is a professor of mechanical engineering. He specializes in especially process engineering at Osnabrueck University of Applied Sciences, located in the north-western part of Germany.


He is currently spending his research semester on invitation by Prof. Craig McGregor at our department’s Solar Thermal Energy Research Group (STERG).


In Germany, Prof Koke is primarily involved in the dual study programs which combine study with in-company training. Much of his research relates to renewable energy, particularly solar thermal. While at STERG, he is researching solar processing of heat for the beverage industry. He works with Francois Rozon, a PhD student who has extensive experience in the beverage industry.


Asked about why he decided to come to Stellenbosch he says “The good academic reputation combined with the beauty of this area made it very attractive to do my research in a different environment. Of course, it is also exciting to escape the German Winter and spend Christmas during Summer. It is the perfect place for hiking, cycling and even for cultural activities. I enjoyed several impressive concerts in Stellenbosch”. His family will visit him for Christmas and New Year’s, and they plan to travel and explore the Garden Route.


Highlights of his stay include the opportunity he had to join the STERG technical tour of the solar-power plants in the Northern Cape and his participation in local conferences, colloquia, and departmental meetings. (Not to mention the many good conversations around the coffee machine).  “It was also fun to lecture a fluidmechanics class and teach the students a little bit about the fluid dynamic challenges in a James Bond movie.”


There are plans to continue collaboration with STERG in the future and Johannes Koke and Craig McGregor are currently working on a joint teaching concept and student exchange opportunities.


We thank Professor Koke for the valuable insights he added during his visit with us and wish him an enjoyable rest of his stay.