The Higher Education Qualifications Framework was first published for comment in July 2004 in accordance with the Higher Education Bill of 1997. This new framework was designed to be the roadmap of qualifications for the future. It covers post Grade 12 qualifications at all levels, from a one-year Higher Certificate right through to a PhD. Technology qualifications in South Africa have a history of change every ten to fifteen years, and in this instance it was to be no different. The BTech as we know it, with the diploma as basis containing an industry component, topped up with an extra academic year to grant the degree, was afforded no place in the Framework, and will therefore be terminated. At the time of publication of the Framework for comment, a number of professions and industries, such as the tourism industry, health, financial and engineering professions, all petitioned the Minister, but the BTech was to be discontinued. The National Diploma, however, was allowed to stay, but some changes were introduced there as well.
Most final-year engineering students find the research project extremely daunting. This is mainly because, for most of them, it is the first time that they are not learning passively, and they are not adequately prepared for the challenge of executing a research project. During the first three years of their undergraduate studies the students are not prepared sufficiently for the difficult tasks the research project requires of them. Their time is largely spent sitting passively in classes listening to lecturers who have prepared the syllabi, provided notes and textbooks, and who coach them towards passing an exam. Universities traditionally teach mostly content. Students are overwhelmed by the amount of knowledge they are confronted with, and tend to retain just enough for just long enough to complete their examinations.
DR Andries Meiring Van Niekerk (Dok André), an internationally respected and recognised water/wastewater treatment plant design expert in the municipal, mining and industrial sectors, business unit leader, board member, strategic advisor and mentor passed away peacefully on the morning of 14 January 2016 following a short struggle with an aggressive cancer. Dr van Niekerk was born and bred in Pretoria, and he studied civil engineering at the University of Pretoria, where he obtained a BSc (Eng) in 1975.
On 20 February 2016 the transport industry lost a passionate and determined leader in a car accident. Pauline Froschauer had worked for thirty years in the transport sector, making her mark in more ways than one.
It was with great sadness that colleagues (many of them transportation engineers) and friends of Colleen McCaul heard that she had passed away on 5 February 2016, after a short illness. Colleen studied at the Universities of Natal and the Witwatersrand, and later at the University of Pretoria, and began her Johannesburg-based career with eight years as a researcher at the SA Institute of Race Relations, followed by some ten years with the transportation consulting practice of Stanway Edwards Associates. In 2001 she established her own transportation consulting practice.
The effective sealing of joints in concrete structures subjected to low heads of water, such as canals and small off-channel balancing storage reservoirs, has developed into a mailer of gathering importance. This is so on account of steeply rising costs of supplying water to consumers. Pumping from storage to storage and conveying water through tunnel systems and long interlinking canals, with the more elaborate and expensive control works they have come to entail, has underlined the increasing need to ensure that seepage losses through open or inadequately sealed canal joints be minimized.
It was illustrated in a recent study that a variation in the effective-length value for columns in unbraced steel frames can be responsible for a considerable difference in the design of such columns. It was also shown that such variation in effective length can easily occur when comparing results of effective-length cherts with solutions obtained from a rigorous elastic buckling analysis of the entire framework.
Until a few years ago transportation studies were rather simple mechanical processes, usually yielding questionable proposals, with the result that expenditure in implementing transportation schemes ran the risk of being wasteful. Two elements of this problem are the difficulty of sampling and collating base land-use and transportation data and choosing or developing models which will realistically project the data to the target dates chosen.