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Brett Cohen

Brett Cohen joined the Energy systems analysis and planning programme at ERC in 2009.


  • BSc (Chem Eng) (UCT); PhD (UCT)

Current research interests and focus areas
Brett's research spans a range of projects which fall at the technology/ sustainability interface, and is currently involved in projects related to national energy systems modelling and alternative energy technology development and deployment. He has extensive experience in stakeholder engagement and is an experienced facilitator on projects related to problem structuring and problem analysis in complex decision problems with multiple
stakeholders in the energy sector

Previous experience
After graduating with his PhD Brett spent some time in commercial consultancy in Cape Town, and then took up a research position at the University of Sydney in Australia, where his work focused on multi criteria decision analysis and development of agent based modelling frameworks for energy systems analysis. He also explored the application of these frameworks in the minerals, waste and water supply sectors. He returned to the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Cape Town in 2006 where he has been involved in lecturing and research on the undergraduate programme.

Selected publications

  • R. Kempener, B. Cohen, L. Basson, and J. Petrie, 2009. ‘A Framework for Analysis of Industrial Networks’, in M. Ruth and B. Davidsdottir (eds), The Dynamics of Regions and Networks in Industrial Ecosystems, Edward Elgar.
  • S. Burton, B. Cohen, S. Harrison, S. Pather-Elias, W. Stafford, R. van Hille and H. von Blottnitz, 2009. Energy From Wastewater - A Feasibility Study, Water Research Commission Project K5/ 1732, Water Research Commission, Pretoria.
  • J. Beck, R. Kempener, B. Cohen, JG Petrie, 2008. A Complex Systems Approach to Planning, Optimization and Decision Making for Energy Networks: A South African Bio-energy Case Study, Energy Policy 36: 2803- 2813.
  • G. Heinrich, L. Basson, B. Cohen, J. Petrie and M. Howells, 2007. Ranking Power Expansion Alternatives For Multiple Objectives Under Uncertainty, Energy 32 (12): 2350-2369.