While many of its competitors are at sea when it comes to implementing successful marine solutions, Franki Africa, part of the JSE-listed Esorfranki group, has its feet firmly on the ground, successfully delivering solutions in this challenging environment. Some of the company's most successful contracts in the last decade are a testimony to this.
A common complaint raised at every strategic session in every engineering institution in the world is: ''We lack status. We are not recognised.''
The question then arises: Why is status so important, and if status is so important, why are engineering professionals so lethargic when it comes to conferring or recognising status that has been duly earned?
A career that saw Malcolm Jaros leave his geotechnical footprint on five continents was rightfully acclaimed on home soil recently. Not only was he lauded the winner of SAICE's Geotechnical Medal in 2009, he also received GIGSA's (Geotextile Interest Group of South Africa) biennial award for technical excellence in the same year.
Collapse potential in unsaturated soil was first identified and quantified by researchers in South Africa. A landmark paper was published by Ken Schwartz in 1985 presenting the state of the art at that time.
Penetration testing is used to gain both a qualitative and quantitative description of the ground to enable the design of geotechnical structures. The two penetration tests commonly used in southern Africa are the standard penetration test (SPT) and the dynamic probe super-heavy (DPSH) test. The SPT is carried out at specific intervals within a borehole, while the DPSH is driven continuously from ground level to refusal. Both tests apply the same drive energy to probes with similar diameters.
A new road between Ugie and Langeni Sawmill, in the Eastern Cape Province, has recently been constructed by the Eastern Cape Department of Roads and Transport. The final 17 km of the road crosses the Ncembu Plateau, and descends the 600 m high Langeni escarpment. This article describes the design and construction of a 200 m length of embankment which crosses steeply sloping talus deposits.
The first structure to use the Terramesh (TM) system was a 14,0 m high embankment in Sabah (Malaysia). This structure was built in 1979 in a very confined space to support a road embankment. It consisted of a vertical ''skin'' of rock-filled gabion mesh units that were anchored to the structural fill in the embankment using horizontal steel strips.
Although a grouting system may be theoretically designed and specified during the initial stages of a dam project, sufficient latitude in the specifications must be built in so that during construction variations may be invoked depending on the conditions encountered.
Part of the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project (GFI P) work package D2 consists of widening sections of the N1-21 Freeway. This article deals with the section on the western side of the northbound carriageway between the Atterbury and Lynnwood Road offramps in Pretoria. In order to accommodate the widening of the freeway, excavation of slopes bordering the western side of the freeway was required.
Some 180 million years ago, when the ancient super-continent of Pangea crumbled, a group of magnificent break-away isles began to drift slowly across the face of a primeval ocean, 1 600 km from what is, today, the east coast of Africa. It is this part of the granitic Mascarene Plateau which broke off from the Indian Plate about 65 million years ago in a necklace of sparkling island jewels strung with invisible threads of silver surf that make up the Seychelles.
The Geotechnical Division of SAICE held a short course on Problem Soils in August 2009. This course was a re-run of the 1985 Problem Soils Course focusing especially on students, young engineers and young engineering geologists. The intention was to make this course as affordable as possible and it was decided to charge a nominal amount for working engineers and engineering geologists; for students it was completely free of charge. This was only possible due to the support of numerous sponsors, to whom we are very grateful.