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Meet MESA Solutions


Howard Charles Reader - PhD, Consulting Director

Howard Reader’s research in electromagnetics and HF metrology goes back to the mid-1980s when he completed a PhD on time-domain techniques for antenna analysis at St John’s College, Cambridge. His research and consultation in industry has included work in: complex metrology, time-domain electromagnetics, antenna engineering, and microwave dielectric heating. All of this has provided the platform for his sustained activities in EMC since the 1990’s. Howard contributes to a broad spectrum of technical problems in MESA and has been actively involved in the EMI characterization of South Africa’s SKA pathfinders KAT-7 and MeerKAT. Howard has been an academic since 1986 and presently holds the Chair of High Frequency Electronics at the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Stellenbosch University. He is a senior member of the IEEE, co-founding the South African IEEE EMC Chapter, is a member of the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), is a Chartered Engineer (UK), and serves as South Africa’s Union Radio-Scientifique Internationale (URSI) Commission E (EMI) Chair.


Braam Otto - PhD, Managing Director

Braam received the B.Eng degree in electrical engineering and the B.Sc. degree in information technology from Rand Afrikaans University (now University of Johannesburg) in 2002, the M.Eng. degree in electrical engineering from the University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa, in 2004, and the Ph.D. degree from the University of Stellenbosch, Stellenbosch, South Africa, in 2009. His dissertation was entitled “Direct current conductor corona modelling and metrology.” He was a Senior Engineer with Eskom’s Research and Innovation Department (ERID) and formed part of the South African High Voltage Engineering Center (SAHVEC) team from 2005 to 2010. He is a member of the IEEE, and joined MESA Solutions in January 2010 where he added his metrology and computational electromagnetic skills to the team.


Paul van der Merwe - PhD, Managing Director

Paul S. van der Merwe received his B.Eng in Electrical and Electronic Engineering form Stellenbosch University in 2006 and his Ph.D in Electronic Engineering focusing on EMC issues for the South African SKA bid in 2011. His major interests include EMC, high frequency electronics and high frequency metrology. Paul is currently working on development of a low-frequency array antenna element as a postdoctoral research fellow at Stellenbosch University.


Gideon Wiid - PhD, Consultant

Pieter Gideon Wiid was born in Worcester, South Africa in 1978. He received the BEng, MScEng, and PhD degrees in electrical and electronic engineering from the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa, in 2000, 2005, and 2010 respectively. From 2001 to 2007 he worked at South Africa’s Power Utility, Eskom, as a Technology Engineering Investigator. He resigned from Eskom in 2007 to pursue a full-time doctoral degree at his Alma Mater, after which he continued his research as a post-doctorate fellow. In 2011 he started lecturing at the university, while continuing research on the SKA Africa project. His interests include high frequency measurements and electromagnetic compatibility.


Ursula A Reader - PhD, Financial Officer

Ursula Reader has been involved in the structures of Mesa Solutions since its inception. She received a Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Stellenbosch in 2000, having graduated in 1984 from St John’s College, Cambridge, with an M.Phil. in Philosophy of Religion and Christian Ethics. As a part-time lecturer, she has specialized in teaching Applied Engineering Ethics and Philosophy of Culture and Technology both at the University of Stellenbosch and at Cape Peninsula University of Technology.