Lithon’s new assistant manager of economic development, Luzé Kloppers-Mouton, is a woman of many creative talents! She has a passion for all things green and sustainable, including fitting out her own house with green technologies. When she’s not working hard at making the world a better place, she loves to go camping with her three-year-old furr-child, a bassador named Hayley. Sometimes she lets her husband tag along too. 😁
We sat down with Luzé to find out more…
I studied and did my honours in interior architecture. I then went on to do additional qualifications in project management and Green Star certification. I’ve always been interested in green and sustainable construction and in the past few years applied myself to entrepreneurship with a small side business that focuses on waste recycling solutions.
I joined Lithon officially in September 2022. I am inspired by the social and environmental impacts that their projects bring about, and I wanted to be a part of making that happen!
Everyday is different and unpredictable! I am part of a small team that work together on various projects. My days often include meetings, project management, writing research reports, running training workshops, and more.
For engineers everything is calculated and measured to perfection. Something I’ve noticed is that things like furniture, papers, etc, all need to be organised at 90 degree angles. Nothing can ever be skew. Needless to say, we don’t usually let the engineers cut the birthday cakes, otherwise everyone would have to eat slices of the exact same size!
The diversity and unpredictability of it. It’s never mundane because I’m not doing the same thing every day. I get to work with diverse stakeholders across the board (not only my internal team). This includes people from all over the world. I enjoy the fact that I don’t have to be sitting at my desk all the time – I’m always moving around. This flexibility allows me to think outside the box and push boundaries. I feel there is plenty of room for growth here.
Every day is constant learning! Something that’s really stood out to me is the importance of a good team. I’ve seen that you can really change the world if you have a diverse and motivated team that has the same value system. It doesn’t help to have players running on the field, each going in their own direction, playing their own game. When everybody comes together and focuses on the goal (which includes having good leadership), then it’s easy for the team to win.
Engineering addresses some of the world’s biggest challenges (like shelter, energy, manufacturing, water supply, resources, waste disposal, and more) through problem solving and technical skills. But I think that the foremost challenge facing the world today is continuing human development in a way that preserves the planet. For that to happen, there needs to be a paradigm shift in engineering, moving towards social responsibility and a more sustainable, resilient and equitable world for everyone. For example, the problem that needs to be fixed now isn’t necessarily building a road, it’s connecting communities and understanding the environmental impact of building the road. The true value lies in the bigger picture, not really in the road itself.
I don’t have any favourite projects yet. All of our projects are so diverse and address such different needs that it’s hard to choose!
One of my plans was to hike the Inca Trail all the way to Machu Picchu in Peru. Unfortunately with all the instabilities there at the moment, it doesn’t look like that’s going to be possible this year. Another goal I have is to read one educational book a month. I started with a very thick book so that one’s taking two months!
I really love travelling. Camping with my dog and my husband is also one of my favourite things to do. And then of course, reading and design. I’m always busy designing and making something.
During lockdown, I designed and built a plastic shredder and an extrusion machine that turns the shredded plastic into beams/poles that can be used to make anything from school furniture to fencing.
To create visual and ‘in your face’ awareness on recycling, I also make earrings from plastics that are currently not being recycled in Namibia, and sell them to finance waste clean-ups in rural and remote areas in Namibia.
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