2008-2009 Annual Report
South African Academy of Engineering
11th Annual Report
1 April 2008 – 31 March 2009
R A Pullen
The engineering and construction industry can look back on a very successful year. Public and private sector spending on infrastructure have been greatly increased to support the country’s economic growth and in preparation for the 2010 Soccer World Cup.
SAAE responded to this national development by organizing a closed International Workshop on the Engineering Skills Shortage on 3 and 4 March 2008 at the University of Pretoria. A Report on the Workshop and all the presentations together with some photographs, can be seen on the SAAE website www.saae.co.za
The impact of the global financial melt down put a damper on growth towards the end of the financial year. Further slow down followed from uncertainties attached to the possible political outcomes of the approaching national elections in April 2009.
Exco and AGM Meetings
Four Exco Meetings took place during the Financial Year 2008/2009:
14 May 2008, 20 August 2008, 12 November 2008 and 28 January 2009. The 11th AGM took place on 28 May 2008. On 26 July 2008 a Bosberaad was held by EXCO on strategic aspects of the future of SAAE.
The following new Fellows were elected at the AGM held on 28 May 2008:
|Amod, Salim Abdul Sathar||Managing Director, Development and Engineering Consultants|
|Anderson, Francois||Chief Radar & EW System Engineer; CSIR Fellow CSIR DPSS (Pty) Ltd|
|Burger, Andries Jacobus||Prof and Departmental Chairman, Process Engineering, University of Stellenbosch|
|Hrabár, Stefan Zygmundt de Nagy Köves||Director, Merlim (Pty) Ltd|
|Lacquet, Beatrys Margaretha||Dean, Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment, University of the Witwatersrand|
|Lombard, Pierre Christo||Railway Engineering Consultant|
|Louw, Willem||Managing Director|
|Nurick, Alan||Head, Dept of Mechanical Engineering Science, University of Johannesburg|
|Nurick, Gerald Norman||Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Cape Town|
|Rohde, Gustav||CEO, Africon|
|Zingoni, Alphose||Professor of Structural Engineering, University of Cape Town|
The new Fellows were informed by the President and officially inducted at Induction Dinners held in Gauteng and the Western Cape later in the year.
NEW EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE 2008 – 2010
The following ten nominations for Exco were received and consequently no postal ballot was necessary for their election and confirmation at the AGM:
|Dr Con Fauconnier||Retired Chief Executive, Exxaro Resources Ltd|
|Mr Trueman Goba||Executive Chairman, Goba Moahloli Keeve Steyn|
|Prof Fred Hugo||Emeritus Professor and Director ITT, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Stellenbosch|
|Mr Braam le Roux||Retired CEO, Spoornet|
|Dr Bingle Kruger||Retired CEO, BKS|
|Prof Roy Marcus||Chairman, da Vinci Institute for Technology Management|
|Prof Tshilidzi Marwala||Carl and Emily Fuchs Chair of Systems and Control Engineering, University of the Witwatersrand|
|Mr Bob Pullen||Past President, ECSA|
|Prof Roelf Sandenbergh||Dean, Faculty of Engineering, Built Environment and Information Technology, University of Pretoria|
|Dr Mike Shand||Director, Ninham Shand|
|President :||Fellow Bob Pullen|
|Vice Presidents :||Fellow Roy Marcus|
|Fellow Trueman Goba|
|Fellow Roelf Sandenbergh|
|Treasurer :||Fellow Braam le Roux|
Fellow Bingle Kruger was not available to be re-elected as President and Fellow Bob St Leger was not available to be nominated for a further term on Exco. Both were thanked for many years of service on Exco as President and Vice President of SAAE. Fellow J Malherbe also indicated that he was not available for a further term on Exco. He too was thanked for his long service to SAAE.< /p>
Western Cape Induction Dinner:
Ninham Shand Consulting Engineers hosted the Dinner at Kelvin Grove in Cape Town on 30 October 2008. Fellow Hugo delivered an address on Engineering Skills Development. SAAE gratefully acknowledges the sponsorship of the dinner by the host.
Gauteng Induction Dinner
On 4 November 2008 the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Johannesburg, Prof Ihron Rensburg, hosted the dinner at the Waterford Restaurant at the School of Tourism and Hospitality on the Bunting Road Campus of the University. Prof Rensburg delivered an address on Engineering Education. SAAE acknowledges with appreciation the sponsorship of the dinner by the University of Johannesburg.
Fellow Bob St Leger represented SAAE at the CAETS Annual Council Meeting in The Hague on 25-27 June 2008 at the Conference in Delft on Delta Technology: Enabling Life in River Deltas.
The reasons for our representation were:
- To maintain and develop the cordial relationship we have established with CAETS at previous meetings with a view of joining the organisation.
- To draw on the experience of CAETS members in obtaining adequate financial support to operate effectively without loss of independence.
- To reinforce bi-lateral understandings between SAAE and various CAETS member Academies.
- To gather information on CAETS projects with relevance to our own situation.
Fellow St Leger’s detailed report to SAAE is available at the SAAE offices and a copy has also been forwarded to DST who kindly funded the costs of the visit. The report reflects on the Proceedings at the Council Meeting and at the Conference and on important discussions with representatives of other Academies. SAAE was advised to submit an application for Membership of CAETS in time for acceptance at the next Convocation at Calgary in Canada in July 2009. This recommendation has been accepted by SAAE and a formal written application was made.
DST Delegation to Japan
SAAE was invited by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) to nominate an advisor on their Technical Visit to Japan on 9-13 June 2008. During the visit Fellow Roelf Sandenbergh made valuable contact with the Japanese Academy of Engineering. Future cooperation in various areas to the mutual benefit to both countries was discussed. Contact with the Japanese Academy should be followed up at CAETS 2009.
The SAAE Draft Bill was finalized between SAAE and DST in 2007 and made available for comment. Following comment received by the DST from interested organizations, the merits of SAAE becoming a statutory body and its relationship with the Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA) and the Departments of Science and Technology and of Public Works, was again debated in 2008. No finality was reached and the move towards achieving statutory status was deferred to after the 2009 national elections.
The SACBE Draft Bill Following publication by the Ministry of Public Works of a Draft Bill on the proposed SA Council for the Built Environment (SACBE) to replace the present CBE and include the six Professional Councils (including ECSA) as Boards for the Professions, the SAAE made representations to the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Public Works. The SAAE also provided Fellow Trevor Manuel, former Minister of Finance, with an opinion on this important matter in response to his request. It is a matter of record that the proposed legislation was withdrawn from the legislative process late in 2008.
The Annual Hendrik van der Bijl Memorial Lecture was presented at the University of Pretoria on 28 May 2008 by Fellow Roelf Sandenbergh on the topic of Engineering Education. The presentation was very well received and is available on the SAAE website www.saae.co.za
Technology Top 100 Awards (TT100), 21 February 2008. SAAE, as an official sponsor of the TT100 Programme, supports this initiative for encouraging innovative technological development which is so necessary for South Africa to become more competitive in the global economy. SAAE Fellows assist in the adjudication process.
The SA Academy of Engineering faces an important challenge: raise its level of relevance and effectiveness as a reliable source of informed advice for government, or face stagnation and the dire consequences. Progress on various fronts was made during 2008/09 and the Academy goes into 2009/10 with good prospects for (a) joining the international fraternity, (b) expanding bilateral interaction with sister Academies and (c) fulfilling our role in South Africa.
The sound basis from which we can look forward is in large measure thanks to Fellow Bingle Kruger who was at the helm of the organisation as President for many years and to Fellow Bob St Leger who served as Vice President till May 2008. To them we say “Thank you!”.
2009 Annual General Meeting 27 May 2009
South African Academy of Engineering
Fellow RA Pullen PrEng