Bernard Price Memorial Lecture 2012

International energy regulation specialist, Nick Frydas is headlining the South African Institute of Electrical Engineers’ (SAIEE) annual country-wide 2012 Bernard Price Memorial Lecture series, which will take place in September this year. The tour will begin in Cape Town on 19 September.

Nick Frydas works for global engineering and management consultancy Mott MacDonald and is recognized as an international authority in his field. Following Cape Town the lecture tour will go on to Johannesburg’s Witwatersrand University for the keynote event, then; Bloemfontein, Port Elizabeth, East London and final stop in Durban.

The title of the lecture will be ‘Integrating renewables in the power system of tomorrow - definitely not business as usual!’. The subject will review challenges around climate change and security of supply leading to the decarbonisation of the power system. It will move on to tackle issues of large scale integration of Renewable Energy Systems (RES) into power systems. With renewable energy capacity steadily growing worldwide, issues around integration are an increasing concern:  carrying reserve for response, uncertainty of wind and solar output and curtailing RES when ‘spillages’ can't be managed. These are all problems which keep dispatchers awake at night and Frydas will be exploring some of the technical and regulatory solutions to this.

The lecture series is named after the late Dr Bernard Price because of his great contribution as an engineer to the power supply industry in South Africa, as a President of the Institute and as founder of the Bernard Price Institutes of Geophysical Research and of Paleontology at the University of the Witwatersrand.

 Mike Cary President of the SAIEE said: “We are pleased to have such a renowned speaker for this prestigious lecture. The SAIEE Centre Chairmen, as hosts, would like to invite members, friends and students to attend these free lectures and benefit from the knowledge and experience of our visiting lecturer, Nick Frydas. Being present, will not only be of great interest to engineers and anyone recognizing the significance of this subject, but also allow attendees to pay tribute to the engineers, past and present, who have so greatly contributed to the course of technical excellence in this country.”


Media/Editor’s notes:

For further information please contact Jo Reeves, Mott MacDonald. Tel: +27 (0) 7698 44485 or email:


For further information on the various lectures please contact Gerda Geyer, SAIEE

Tel: 011 487 3003 or



Wednesday 19 September 2012 – Cape Town

Time:     18h00

Venue:  LT 5 Lecture Theatre Complex, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Cape Town Campus  

Bookings:  Dave Martin – 021 712 6463 or


Thursday 20 September 2012 – Johannesburg

Time: 18h30 for 19h00

Venue:  Great Hall, Wits University

Bookings:  by 17 September 2012 

       Gerda Geyer 011 487 3003 or


Friday 21 September 2012 – Bloemfontein

Time:  12h00

Venue:  Japie van Lill Auditorium, Central University of Technology Campus, Bloemfontein

Bookings:  Ben Kotze – 051 507 3084 or


Tuesday 25 September 2012 - Port Elizabeth

Time: 17h30 for 18h00

Venue:  Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University Conference Centre, North Campus, Port Elizabeth

Bookings: by 17 September 2012 for catering purposes – Nicole Truter 041 504 3137 or


Wednesday 26 September 2012 – East London

Time:  17h30 for 18h00

Venue:  East London Golf Club

Bookings:  by 21 September 2012 , Gerda Geyer 011 487 3003 or


Thursday 27 September 2012 – Kwa Zulu Natal

Time:   17h00 for 17h30

Venue: eThekwini Training Centre, 17 Supply Road (off Umgeni Rd), Springfield, Durban

Bookings:  Gill Nortier, 031 562 9537 or


About Bernard Price

Dr Bernard Price was born in London in 1877, was President of the Institute in 1915, and was elected an Honorary Fellow in 1940. He was well known as the Chief Engineer and General Manager of the Victoria Falls & Transvaal Power Co. As a young man he worked for Merz & McLellan and at that time developed the well known Merz Price method of power circuit protection.

Under his guidance the VFP expanded its electrical system and also developed a compressed air system, reticulating compressed air to the mines from Rose Deep to Crown mines by means of pipelines having a total length of about 50km and a maximum diameter of 700mm. In all, the system required 85 000kW to drive it and was unique in the world.

Price was instrumental in the formation and endowment of both the Bernard Price Institute of Geophysical Research, and the Bernard Price Institute of Paleontology at the University of the Witwatersrand. He died in 1948. To commemorate his name, the Institute's Council decided that in future there should be an annual lecture to be known as the Bernard Price Memorial lecture and, because of his association with the University, this lecture should be presented at the Joint Meeting.

The first lecture (at the twenty first Joint Meeting on 26 July 1951) was presented by Dr B F J Schonland (later Sir Basil Schonland) who addressed the gathering on the work of the Bernard Price Institute of Geophysical Research. In opening the meeting, the President of the Institute, Mr A W Lineker paid tribute to Dr Price. The Principal of the University, Dr H R Raikes, after expressing pleasure at having attended all twenty one of the Joint Meetings, said

"A special reason for pleasure is that this is the occasion of the first Bernard Price Memorial Lecture in commemoration of a man who had served his country in a most remarkable way and in particular had been of great assistance to the University of the Witwatersrand. Dr Bernard Price was a great son of South Africa; he was not born here but came here to devote the best years of his life to this country. The lecture to be given is about the work which he made possible but it is only one example of his work, and this meeting is to commemorate a very great scientist who developed the electrical industry in the Transvaal."

About Nick Frydas

Nick F Frydas: BSc, MSc, PhD, CEng, MIEE is a Power Systems Engineer and Energy Economist living and working in the UK. Since 2009 he has headed the Energy Markets & Regulation practice of the international Consulting Group Mott MacDonald Ltd. involved mainly in Energy Policy, Power Sector reforms and Market Design advising Governments, IFIs, Utilities, Developers, Lenders and Regulatory Agencies.

Having begun his career in the late 1980s with the Consulting firm Merz & McLellan, he was involved from an early stage with power industry restructuring issues and power system technical and commercial system operations within a competitive market environment. He subsequently worked in a variety of operational and management roles with electrical utilities including National Grid, the independent Transmission System Operator of England & Wales.

He has served as Director of Regulatory Affairs with two major European Energy Traders (Electricite de France Trading 1999-2004 and Merrill Lynch Commodities 2007 - 2008) and during the period 2004 – 2007 he was appointed by the United Nations as the Chairman of the Energy Regulatory Office of Kosovo, in order to develop the energy sector institutional framework of that country, in preparation of its independence.

Nick has been an elected member of the Electricity Committee of EFET (European Federation of Energy Traders), and OFGEM's "Transmission Access Standing Group", and is currently serving as a member of the Dispute Resolution Board of the Irish "all island" market.

Nick is increasingly involved in the region of Southern Africa, having advised the Government of Botswana (2009-2010) in setting the framework for an independent Energy & Water Regulatory Agency and more recently advising the Government of RSA in their IPP programme and energy sector reforms.