Civil Engineering is the application of science and technology in the control and use of forces and materials of nature, for the progressive benefit of all the peoples on planet Earth. Construction is an essential human activity that rivals few in its consumption of resources and its potential to harm the Earth. Many decisions have environmental and ecological consequences, which may not immediately affect any of the primary actors in a project, but which still require wise ethical judgement. Codes of conduct established by the Built Environment Councils regulate the behaviour of professionals. They do not inculcate a value system within which choices between rival goods or ills can be made. A code of ethics is therefore required to provide a framework within which decisions between alternative courses of action can be made.
The project consisted of 70 No piles of 900 mm diameter, all of which had to be socketed into medium-hard rock. A limitation of CFA piling is that, once refusal is encountered, the pile cannot be advanced further. However, with Ground Engineering's legendary Bauer MG 48 Piling Rig having the ability to drill through hard material with its 26 ton crowd force, this was not a problem. Ground Engineering site manager, Hendri van Zyl, comments: "This was the first project where we were required to construct socketed bridge piles using the CFA method, and our system worked extremely well. Our high production rates gave us the potential to gain time on the project programme, proving that CFA is a note worthy alternative to SICA and Oscillator piles."
If one considers that the ballast bed contains approximately 1 200 to 1 600 m3 of ballast stone per kilometre, there is approximately 42 000 000 m3 of ballast in the South African railway network. At an estimated conservative price of approximately R150/m3, the ballast asset value is in excess of R6 300 million, excluding equipment and labour for transportation, installation and regulating.
Maintenance makes up a significant portion of the total life cycle costs of a railway track. The condition of the formation layers of a railway track dictates these maintenance costs to a large extent. The purpose of this study (a final-year BEng research project) was to aid the progression towards more cost-effective railway infrastructure by understanding the strain recovery process of the formation layers.
South Africa is currently the seventh largest coal-producing country in the world, and annually roughly 70 million tons of coal (for export) are transported across the country by means of heavy haul train operations. Coal is used worldwide in a number of different applications, and each application demands a coal sample with very specific chemical, geological and physical properties. Chemical and geological properties of coal have been studied intensively over the last few decades, with physical properties - although important - rarely being included in these studies.
One hundred years ago South Africa, as part of the British Empire, was at war with Germany. The first objective of the Union Defence Force was to take control of German South-West Africa (GSWA, today Namibia). A part of this offensive was to bridge the gap between the two national railway systems, from Prieska in South Africa to Kalkfontein (today Karasburg) in GSWA. This was a daunting challenge delegated to a newly formed South African Railways (SAR) and was executed successfully under trying conditions. This article (part two of three) describes the bridging, within five months, of the formidable Orange River at Upington. The first article in this series appeared on pages 50-63 in the March 2015 edition of Civil Engineering.
In 2014 an innovative approach was followed with the final-year structural engineering design project at Stellenbosch University, in which students had the tough task of designing a glass-processing facility. Th e lessons learnt (both by the students and lecturers), challenges, successes and thoughts for the future are discussed in this article as we contemplate how to produce structural engineering graduates who are well equipped for the design office. Items such as site visits, oral presentations to practicing engineers, YouTube videos, marshmallow and spaghetti models, and a lot of hard work helped create an interesting project (and hopefully better engineers for our society).
For many years the South African Institution of Civil Engineering (SAICE) has been maintaining a list of Mediators, Adjudicators and Arbitrators (the President's List) comprising the names of members of the Institution who are willing and able to act as the foregoing in the case of disputes arising during construction contracts. This article gives pertinent statistics regarding the practical use of the list during the past years and presents some trends with respect to the nature of these disputes.
Construction of 544 litres per second gravity line under way
At 50 Gedore is just getting warmed up
Putting a dampener on fire damage
ReMaCon products' flexible modular wall system proves a winner
New research funding for CoMSIRU
CMA announces 2016 awards for excellence
Hydrostatic concrete dumpers ideal for tough operating conditions
R200 Million hallmark house to enhance expanding regeneration of Maboneng precinct in Joburg CBD East
Coega undertakes R126 million sanitation upgrade at Eastern Cape schools
Construction of the Prieska-Kalkfontein Railway line 1914-15: Part 1
(Civil Engineering March 2015 pp 50-63)
Misconceptions in Water Resource Studies
(Civil Engineering June 2014 pp 56-60)
Letter by Prof Geoff Pegram in response to the article
(Civil Engineering March 2015 pp 76-77)
In late 2014 SAICE sadly learned about the passing of Roy Donovan, the South African Institute of Civil Engineering Technicians and Technologists' (SAICET) 1981-1982 President, and later Honorary Fellow. (SAICET, formed in 1974, merged with SAICE in the early nineties.)
The Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA) has reiterated its call to all engineering practitioners to register with the Council.
"The nature of engineering and related fields is such that regulations and guidelines have been put in place to govern the industry," says the president of ECSA, Cyril Gamede Pr Eng. "It is a process that has seen the South African engineering profession being recognised locally and abroad, and that assures stakeholders of verified credentials and a commitment to continuing professional development."
After fostering continued networking, collaboration and learning, locally and across borders, for the last 30 years, the UJ Civil Student Society (UJ-Civils for short) of the University of Johannesburg became an official SAICE Student Chapter in 2014, and was nominated as one of the top student chapters of the year.
Onwards and Upwards was the attitude of the group of hikers who recently tackled Constantia Nek to reach the majestic Woodhead Dam on Table Mountain. The hike was inspired by the SAICE YMBI feeling a need to make a heritage site visit so exciting that young people would not be able to resist learning more about the civil engineering history in the Western Cape.