During an illustrious event held at the Avianto Hotel in Muldersdrift on 8 December 2015, the engineering and construction industry honoured Nazir Alli, retiring CEO of SANRAL, for his outstanding leadership over many years, and for modernising South Africa's national road network to world-class standards. What was organised as a surprise black-tie event, saw Trevor Manuel, Ketso Gordhan and Jack van der Merwe as industry speakers celebrating Nazir Alli's dedicated service to civil engineering and his exemplary contribution to SANRAL. Among the other prominent guests were Maria Ramos, Thuli Madonsela, Mac Maharaj, Trevor Fowler, as well as industry representatives such as Malani Padayachee-Saman, Danai Magugumela, and Werner Jerling from Stefanutti Stocks who acted as Master of Ceremonies.
DR GRAHAM ROSS, doyen of South African road engineers and transportation historians, passed away in December after a short illness. He was born in Cape Town and attended Christian Brothers' College, Green Point (a school which has produced several other notable engineers). Within a few days of matriculating in 1942 he volunteered for active service and was delighted to find his classmate John Clark (later Chief Engineer of the Western Cape Regional Services Council) next to him in the recruitment queue. Together they were posted to the Navy and Graham saw action in minesweepers off the Cape Coast, and later around the Indian Ocean islands and the Bay of Bengal, reaching the rank of sub-lieutenant.
THE CANDIDATE ACADEMY experienced a bumper year in 2015. Allyson Lawless, director of SAICE Professional Development and Projects, and driver of the Candidate Academy, says: "Companies used the quieter periods experienced in 2015 to invest in developing their young graduates. We hope to see the same level of commitment to training, if not more, in 2016." Well over 7 000 delegates have attended Candidate Academy courses since its inception in 2010.