Loughborough University
Leicestershire, UK
LE11 3TU
+44 (0)1509 222222
Loughborough University

Centre for Renewable Energy Systems Technology (CREST)

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Francis Mujjuni

PhD Research Student

Tel: +44 (0)1509 635018

Location: MBG.0.L01, Garendon Wing

Francis graduated with a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering from Makerere University, Uganda in 2010. His undergraduate research mainly focused on various aspects of small Hydropower technology which included constructing and testing of pico-scale Pelton and Turgo turbines, testing of electronic load controllers and design of microgrid hydropower plants.

Shortly after his graduation, he became a Freelance Consultant working on reconnaissance and feasibility studies of over 15 hydropower projects in just 3 years. Francis worked on the construction and technical commissioning of Bwindi Community Hydropower, Suam Community Hydropower, and Gwere Luzira and Okabi Pico Plants; these schemes, in particular, were built to supply electricity to some of the most isolated communities in Uganda at that time.

In 2013, he joined Loughborough University, UK, as a Master's student for the Renewable Energy and Systems Technology course. His research was the first attempt in the UK using geostationary satellite images to predict hourly solar irradiance values for 53 sites and subsequently producing solar irradiance maps on monthly and annual temporal scales.

Following the MSc completion in 2014, he returned home to Uganda to work as a Consultant in both the energy and mining industry. Francis worked as a Design Engineer on several Small Hydropower Projects including the newly commissioned Nkusi Power Plant. He also was part of the Concessionaire's team that for a while (2014-2018) had revised operations at Kilembe Mines and Mobuku Hydropower Plant.  In 2017, for 8 months, he joined as a Consultant on the 600 MW Karuma Hydropower Plant where among other duties, he undertook Factory Acceptance Tests for the plant machinery.

In 2017, August, he joined Makerere University as an Assistant Lecturer and in  October 2019,  he joined Loughborough University's Centre of Renewable Energy Systems Technology as a Ph.D. graduate researcher to explore means of developing resilient electrical systems in developing countries. Francis hopes that his research will make significant headway in devising a framework and a model that is able to holistically detect, consider, evaluate and respond to critical system vulnerabilities in a timely, precise and effective manner.

2006, Government of Uganda Merit Scholarship for Bachelor’s degree

2013, Commonwealth Shared Scholarship for MSc at Loughborough University

2019, Commonwealth Commission Scholarship for PhD at Loughborough University

  • Electricity Mini-grid Design & Optimisation
  • Renewable Energy Resource Modelling
  • Modelling Energy Yield for Renewable Energy Systems
  • 2019, KFW/IUCEA Scholarships for 2019-2022 (I won this award for the Department of Mechanical Engineering in Makerere University to offer full scholarships to international students on the MSc Technology Innovation and Industrial Development for 3 years)

A synopsis of Francis' research

7 out of 10 people who have no access to electricity in the world live in Sub-Saharan Africa where access is only to 4 out of 10. The need to expedite electricity access has been the main driver of nearly all electricity interventions but unfortunately, the performance has been dismal at best, and at worst, the interventions have been ill-conceived. Also, electricity access has not substantively transcended basic usage from lighting and powering of appliances, say to, cooking and productive use. In many places, electricity access has not had as much envisaged impact on local productivity, welfare and environmental conservation.

In addition, conventional systems are usually developed to respond to predictable disturbances rather than the dramatic low-frequency high-impact threats which disrupt social order and welfare. Whilst the operational conditions are incessantly changing, modern electrical systems are required to maintain an acceptable level of service, valuable interconnectedness and interoperability with other interdependent systems. 

To this effect, the resilience paradigm offers the opportunity for conceptualization and operationalization of a framework that focusses on the overarching objectives of sustainable development whilst reducing the residual, extensive and intensive risk drivers in order to advance a set of developmental freedoms from which an entity is able to choose its own desired position. It is an organizing concept through which the impact of climate change, human mistakes and subversive threats can be examined, and the requisite mitigation plans devised. 

Francis is working on a holistic framework for measuring and enhancing resilience in electrical systems using a multi-criteria decision approach categorizing metrics by their substantive inherence, levels of organization, goals of society, functional responses, constituent system components and capacity enablers. This framework will succinctly specify entity’s vulnerabilities, consequences of threats and the necessary response capabilities in the various states, levels, and dimensions in which they are borne or exist ultimately facilitating timely, precise and effective resilience action.