Elke studied at the University of Pretoria, where she obtained her Bachelors degree in Industrial and Systems Engineering. This trained her in the development, improvement, and implementation of integrated systems, including topics such as operations management and research, health and safety, ergonomics and manufacturing. However, throughout her studies she has selected projects that were environmentally-based. Fortunately, her degree offered a wide choice in terms of the work environment and allowed Elke to move to the Netherlands where she completed a semester on industrial ecology. This entailed projects such as a sustainable innovation and social change analysis of the Ocean Ecopark on the island of Curaçao, the analysis of the Atlantic Blue-fin Tuna population as a natural resource for consumption until 2050, an industrial ecology approach to vertical farming, an industrial symbiosis application to a sugar company in China, and the sustainable urban development of an area in Rotterdam. Ultimately, Elke wishes to form part of a consulting firm, which specialises in providing services in the conservation (specifically fisheries) and sustainable development sector, and possibly work alongside non-profit organisations and research institutions.
The impact of South Africa's largest photovoltaic solar energy facility on birds in the Northern Cape, South Africa. (Supervisors: Peter Ryan, Samantha Ralston)