In 2022 SAAE elected three distinguished engineers as Fellows of the Academy namely Malani Padayachee-Saman, the CEO of MPAMOT (Pty) Ltd, and two Professors from the University of Pretoria namely Prof Hannes Gräbe, Associate Professor in the Department of Civil Engineering and Prof Ronny Webber-Youngman, Professor and Head of the Department of Mining Engineering.
Hannes Gräbe graduated as a Civil Engineer from the University of Pretoria in 1993 and he completed his PhD (Geotech) degree at the University of Southampton in the UK.
He is currently associate professor in the Department of Civil Engineering in the Faculty of Engineering, the Built Environment and Information Technology (EBIT) at the University of Pretoria. He is the Director for both the Chair in Railway Engineering sponsored by Transnet Freight Rail and the Chair in Railway Safety, sponsored by the Railway Safety Regulator. In terms of Railway track design and maintenance, the activities as coordinated by Hannes, is unique in South Africa.
During the last 5 years, Prof Gräbe served on the Transnet Freight Rail School of Rail Advisory Board and is a founding and board member of the South African Heavy Haul Association (SAHHA). Internationally he served on the RAILENIUM Scientific and Strategic Committee, an advisory board that oversees industry and government funded research projects carried out in Europe by various universities, laboratories and research organizations. His international collaboration stretches from African countries such as Ghana and Tanzania to France, the UK and the USA. He has been a committee member of the Transportation Research Board (TRB) Track maintenance group in the USA since 2010.
Ronny Webber Youngman obtained a degree in Mining Engineering from the University of Pretoria in 1984. He holds a PhD in Mechanical Engineering for North West University. He worked in industry before returning to the University of Pretoria in 1997. He has been the Head of Department of Mining Engineering at the University of Pretoria since 2007. He is registered as Pr Eng at ECSA and member of the SAIMM.
Ronny has been instrumental in obtaining funds from the mining industry to construct a 3D virtual reality centre where an underground mining scenario can be simulated for Health and Safety training.
As Head of Department, Ronny has managed to transform the Department of Mining Engineering at the University of Pretoria to be ranked among the top 50 worldwide for minerals and mining engineering by the 2020/21 QS World University Subject Rankings .
Malani Padayachee-Saman graduated as Civil Engineer from the University of Durban-Westville in 1991. Her activities have included feasibility studies, preliminary and detail designs, tender documentation and project management for various public sector clients in South Africa.
She is a certified arbitrator registered as PrEng with ECSA, where she served for two terms as Council member. She served two terms as Consulting Engineers South Africa (CESA) Council member while she is also a fellow of the South African Institution of Civil Engineering (SAICE) and a member of the South African Black Technical and Allied Careers Organization (MSABTACO).
Malani has been the CEO of Malani Padayachee & Associates (Pty) Ltd (MPA) since 1997. In 2020 MPA acquired 100% equity in engineering and development firm Mott MacDonald Africa (Pty) Ltd, the South African subsidiary of Mott MacDonald. She is currently the CEO of MPAMOT, the largest 100% black women-owned engineering and infrastructure development consulting firm of its size, capacity, and capability in South Africa. Malani has won a number of empowerment awards as leading female in the engineering and construction environment.