Sebastian James Bode

Sebastian Bode is obsessed with natural energy. He knows his research into solar ray tracing for concentrating solar power layouts and energy balances can help South Africa to find effective ways to use one of its biggest resources, the sun, to solve one of its biggest challenges — renewable energy. Bode’s research, driven by his insatiable thirst for knowledge, is helping to put South Africa at the forefront of this critical technology. After presenting the research at Sasec, South Africa’s first solar conference, Bode went on to win the 2012 Record (Renewable Energy Centre of Research and Development) renewable energy research excellence award for most promising “blue sky” research project. But Bode is not merely a theoretician. When he’s not questioning how concentrated solar power can change the way we generate electricity he channels his energy into fighting fires as a volunteer and into competitive gymnastics, for which he holds national colours. — Caroline Cowan