It is interesting that there are significant differences between the expectations and aspirations of engineering students and engineering graduates on the one hand, and their employers on the other hand. And the two views are like oil and water. I've been doing some reading - judging from the experiences of graduates in the UK in the late 1980s and in South Africa in the early 1990s, the situation today is not dissimilar to those of 30 years ago.
When the Apostle Paul was talking about his pending departure during his last days, he said to his trusted disciple Timothy, in 2 Timothy 4 verse 7: "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith."
As I write this article towards the end of my presidency, and although I may agree that the Apostle had done a lot in his work that the Lord had assigned him, I am not sure whether I can say that I have fought the good fight, nor can I say that I have finished the race, and neither can I say that I have kept the faith. This is because my race, and that of the South African Institution of Civil Engineering, should still continue, and requires more effort and dedication from all members to ensure that we achieve the mission and objectives of our Institution.
Leading geotechnical solutions provider, Keller's Franki Africa, is busy with a number of challenging piling, pipe-jacking and other specialist contracts. Franki MD, Roy McLintock, says that being part of the Keller Group has already made a difference. "The Keller Group is the world's largest independent geotechnical engineering contractor. Being part of an organisation like this has obvious and significant benefits for Franki Africa, including access to a wide range of innovative technologies, finance for future growth and, of course, a wealth of geotechnical intellectual property and experience, and we're beginning to feel the impact of these benefits."
This exciting evening, celebrating the most outstanding engineering achievements of 2013/2014, was a resounding success, delighting the winners and audience alike. On the pages of this edition of our magazine we would like to share that with you.
During the 2009 drought experienced in the Southern Cape (described as the worst in 130 years), the town of Sedgefield ran out of water when the Karatara River, which is the town's main source of potable water, stopped flowing in January 2009. Water was then transported to the town by road tankers from George, Wilderness and Knysna at significant cost. The Sedgefield area was declared a drought disaster area in January 2010.
The pioneering conversion of the standard diamond KwaMashu Interchange to an innovative diverging diamond layout has provided a low-cost, effective means of enhancing the capacity and safety of the interchange. It is the first application of a diverging diamond interchange (DDI) in the southern hemisphere, that is also on a left-hand drive road system.
During the past decade, traffic accidents on bridges along Kaaimans Pass, a scenic and environmentally sensitive portion of National Route 2 between George and Wilderness in the Southern Cape, caused minor damage to the barriers on these bridges. However, on one of the structures complete dislodgement of the barrier panels had occurred.
Student housing in Stellenbosch - as in the rest of South Africa - is increasingly in demand. The Studios on Park development was initiated in response to this need. The development consists of a number of buildings of which Studio Vijf is the building discussed here. The building is configured to function as a student residence, comprising 62 units of 27 m2 each with communal kitchen and recreational facilities.
The Mgeni Water System in KwaZulu-Natal supplies water to approximately five million people, as well as to the industrial sectors in the Durban and Pietermaritzburg regions - the economic hubs of the province.
Eskom Corporate Engineering was instructed by its insurance company to do a shape deformation survey of all the existing cooling towers on the fossil fuel power stations (69 in total) to assess the structural integrity and remaining life of the cooling tower structures. No surveys of this nature had been done since they had been built more than 50 years ago. In fact, this had never been done before in South Africa, and all the research and development to execute the project was carried out in South Africa.
The collection and transportation of waste costs South Africa over half-a-billion rand every year! Therefore the focus of the new R135 million Electron Road Waste Management Facility in Durban is to move waste management towards a more sustainable municipal service.
Sani Pass is the only road linking KwaZulu-Natal to Lesotho. Over the years the pass had, however, deteriorated to such a degree that it was no longer safe for public use. Serious concern existed that sections of the road could be permanently lost due to catastrophic damage by heavy rains. The KwaZulu-Natal Department of Roads hence appointed Royal HaskoningDHV to undertake emergency construction measures. The emergency repairs were carried out on the switchback section between km 32.000 and km 32.437 on Main Road P318 between Himeville in KwaZulu-Natal and Mokhotlong in Lesotho.
The Grahamstown region has been severely affected by persistent droughts, with residents having to deal with intermittent water supply for around six years, to the extent that queuing for water from a truck or trekking to communal taps had become the norm.
Growthpoint Properties was commissioned to develop new state-of-the-art offices and a high-tech warehouse in Johannesburg for Grundfos South Africa. Two major challenges that had to be addressed were (1) a very sloped site, calling for innovative design techniques, and (2) implementation of an environmentally sustainable design to the highest standards.
The developer on this project wanted to construct a new vehicle showroom on one of the highly visible main arterial routes in East London. Due to its high visibility position, the structure itself had to be sure to capture the attention of potential customers in the passing traffic.
Bridge City Rail Link is the first project of its kind in South Africa where a new passenger rail line has been built to link the main regional line (Durban to Stanger) to a new underground train station. Furthermore, it is the first time in over 20 years that a new passenger rail line has been constructed in KwaZulu-Natal.
In 1995 the Minister of Transport embarked on an initiative to elevate public transport as one of the five pillars identified for socio-economic reform. Th is culminated in a White Paper on National Transport Policy which placed strong emphasis on public transport. Following on this was the emergence of the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system as the solution to mass transit within the major centres.
Safe, reliable public transport is a basic building block of a sustainable community. The extension of the signature MyCiTi Integrated Rapid Transit (IRT) system to include the existing urban corridor along Potsdam and Blaauwberg Roads has revolutionised the urban environments of Table View, Dunoon and Killarney. The project entailed the implementation of dedicated BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) infrastructure, the upgrading of pedestrian and cycling facilities and the management of complex interactions, prioritisation and safety measures.
The Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality (BCMM) in the Eastern Cape is facing a strong demand for residential development in the Quinera area south of the N2. This area, together with the Beacon Bay and Gonubie areas, is served by the Quinera (Gonubie) Wastewater Treatment Works (QWWTW). The municipality was aware that the works was nearing the limit of its capacity, and concerns about possible overloading resulted in the BCMM placing a moratorium on any new developments in the Quinera and Gonubie areas until the capacity of the QWWTW has been upgraded.