Branch Newsletter 4 2017

Branch Newsletter 4 2017


SAICE Western Cape Branch: Project Awards

SAICE Western Cape Branch: Project Awards

During the SA Institution of Civil Engineering’ Branch dinner, recently held at Kelvin Grove, plaques were presented to the winners of the Regional Project Awards Competition.

Adjudication of the 2016 projects took place in May this year, with a panel’s scores bringing 60% of the marks and members at the presentations votes counting for 40%. Although top three projects were announced then, the entrants were unaware of how close the competition was until the Branch dinner.

The Western Cape project of the year: New Horizons Energy and Consulting Engineers JG Afrika continued to become a player in this global initiative when the FIRST large-scale waste-to-energy plant began processing material, in Athlone, Cape Town, early in 2017.

There is a lot going on on the triangular site in Athlone. From a daily dose of 600 tons of municipal solid waste, pure organic waste and wet trade waste, the state-of-the-art R400-million biogas plant, owned by New Horizons Energy, a subsidiary company of Clean Energy Africa, produces organic fertiliser, liquid carbon dioxide, compressed bio-methane, refuse-derived fuel and recyclables, leaving only 20% to go to landfill!

The project achieved 80,1% when the marks were added up – congratulations to JG Afrika’s Richard Emery and his team; and, of course, to the client whose commitment made it all possible.

When questioned about how he thought the project would fare in the national competition on 20th October, Mr Emery said he was “positive” – this after the guest speaker, André du Toit, the Big Positive Guy, had just addressed the gathering.

Second was another JG Afrika project where innovative methods were needed to shore up the sides of an exceedingly deep excavation while a house was being built in the middle of it all in Clifton, where no anchors were permitted underneath neighbouring properties – and naturally no instability of those properties. Hard on the heels of the winner with 79%.

And the close third on 78% was the City of Cape Town’s Implementation of Electrolytic Chlorination at Selected CoCT Reservoir sites, described by Mike Greener (appropriate surname!) as akin to your swimming pool’s chlorination but on a very large scale. It is very much safer than the conventional treatment using chlorine gas. The project design was handled by the City’s personnel.


ECSA Roadshow, Cape Town 2017

ECSA’s roadshow in Cape Town held at the Cape Town Lodge Hotel on 30 August 2017 got off to a rocky start. The promise of two CPD points for the roadshow meant that the venue was fully packed; however, it turned out that this was advertised in error and that only ½ CPD point instead of 2 would be awarded.

The CEO of ECSA, Sipho Madonsela, listed 3 reasons for the presentation of the roadshow:
1. To provide an update on annual reviews based on good institutional governance and administration;
2. To update and seek input on the review of the Engineering Professions Act (EPA); and
3. To implement the Strategic Plan and Annual Performance Plan.

ECSA’s strategic projects include:
1. The establishment of satellite contact centres (4 regions – Free State, Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Kwazulu Natal) to provide candidates and registered professionals with more points of contact with ECSA;
2. Accreditation of Academies to assist with the training and development of candidate engineers, technologists and technicians;
3. The development and launch of an online system in line with the New Registration System by the end of 2018;
4. A review of the Voluntary Associations (VA) and Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Frameworks.

The CEO further provided an overview of ECSA business, such as ECSA’s role as Secretariat for the Southern African Federation of Engineering Organisation (SAFEO) – interesting to note that ECSA is the only African country as part of the International Engineering Alliance (IEA). ECSA has taken on the responsibility to assist the rest of Africa to affiliate with the IEA.

He further described the oversight role of the ECSA Council, making mention of the reduction of the number of committees from 44 to 9. Mr Madonsela noted that the reduction in the number of committees does not affect the Peer Review process, as virtual panels would be created to increase the number of reviewers for applications; focus will be placed on effectiveness, efficiencies and accountability.

Some good news – the IEA confirmed and recognised ECSA’s standards and processes for the Washington Accord for an additional six years.

The latter half of the roadshow consisted of a rundown of the EPA Review – i.e. comparison with other countries (such as Botswana, Swaziland, Malawi, Mauritius) and other professions; and one of the big talking points was the issue of Compulsory Registration. Members are encouraged to comment on the potential changes to the EPA and/or complete the post-EPA workshop questionnaire to provide input on the possible amendments to the Act.

A large focus was placed on the EPA review process:
• Currently incoming engineers <<<< outgoing engineers (realised in skill shortage);
• Out of the 44 VA’s, only 25 are recognised and only 13, including SAICE have responded to the call for comment on the EPA);
• Comparative benchmarks have been undertaken by ECSA with Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, England, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and Canada;
• Should engineering work only be undertaken by registered engineers (Pr. Eng’s, Candidate) – compulsory registration is in the spotlight! Currently 62% of practising engineers are unregistered.
o Registered professionals - 38%
o Unregistered – 52%
o New graduates – 10%
o Hindrances to compulsory registration – ECSA capacity, ECSA readiness, resistance from unregistered engineers, resistance from interest groups, competition commission;
• Definitions will be overhauled in the new EPA;
• Reduction in the number of appointed council members, council term of office, delegation of powers is being reviewed;
• Elimination of corruption and fraud.

While feedback from ECSA on their activities and overview of the EPA Review was appreciated, this was overshadowed by the court case between ECSA and the Voluntary Associations, and the poorly managed registration process; as was evident from the audience’s grilling of the President, Cyril Gamede, and CEO, Sipho Madonsela.

There are differing accounts of the ongoing dispute between ECSA and the VA’s (led by the SAICE). For example, both claim that the other party would not attend meetings, see Youtube 1 and Youtube 2.

What exactly is the court case about? According to Mr. Madonsela, the process that should be followed when appointing a new council is that the outgoing council elects a recommendations committee, whose job is to take applications from those that are interested in serving on the council. A selection of 50 nominees is made (30 members from the engineering profession, 10 from the public and 10 from government), which is then appointed by the Minister of Public Works. According to the VA’s, the Minister of Public Works does not have the power to change the names on the list of nominees; whereas ECSA’s argument is that the ‘committee selects and the Minister appoints’.

For young professionals, the foremost concern is the impact that this court case has on the registration process. Many candidates’ applications have been delayed, some up to 14 months (which is unacceptable), and several candidates in the Western Cape have had to fly to Port Elizabeth or skype with reviewers in Johannesburg for their professional review. Why are no reviews, specifically for civil engineering candidates, being conducted in the Western Cape? Mr Madonsela acknowledged the challenge encountered when a mass resignation of the reviewers occurred in response to the Council’s embracement of the new model of processing applications for registration. He attributed this to the ‘tense relationship’ that ECSA has with SAICE. He further stated that the previous way of doing business with reviews being undertaken by external parties (VA’s) was unworkable, and ECSA felt a lack of control over the process. But what is being done to resolve the issue of the lack of reviewers? Answers provided by the ECSA CEO and President were evasive and left many candidates still wondering when and how these issues would be resolved, and whether they could see themselves being registered within a reasonable period. ECSA have committed to a 3 month registration turnaround time, but time will tell.

Some unanswered questions: How is this bigger and improved ECSA being funded? New reviewers are paid R200 per review – will this produce a quality service given that a review should take about 6 hours? What is being done to get reviewers approved in the Western Cape? And how many reviewers are there currently versus the number previously?

The leadership of ECSA and the VA’s need to resolve their differences sooner rather than later, to minimise the negative impact that this dispute has had on the engineering profession and the morale of candidates.


The SAICE UCT COCKTAIL EVENING 2017

On the 24th August 2017, the SAICE UCT Student Chapter hosted its annual cocktail evening in the New Engineering Building at the University of Cape Town. This event provided an opportunity for students and people in industry to interact to assist students with finding bursaries, vacation work as well as discovering more about the working world.
The evening started with an inspiring talk by Manglin Pillay, the SAICE CEO and our keynote speaker, about his vision for the young and upcoming engineers. Then, representatives from each of the participating companies and organisations spoke to the students about the type of work they do and the opportunities available in industry. Once talks had been completed, there was time for students to visit each of the company’s stalls while enjoying refreshments provided by the student chapter.
A huge thank you to the following companies for their participation in this evening: Aurecon, Bigen Africa, BYG, CESA, Fairbrother, Group 5, JG Afrika, Kantey & Templar, Martin & East, PRDW
Should you wish to get involved with this event next year, please email the committee: uctsaicestudentchapter@gmail.com


Pipeline rehabilitation - Focus on CIPP

Instead of stainless steel we heard about Cured-in-Place Pipe lining (CIPP) and other trenchless technologies for the rehabilitation of pipeline systems and instead of Craig Bennett, Michiel (Amie) Colyn was our informant. CIPP – a polyester or glass fibre non-woven fabric (Kevlar: only Germany) with a resin impregnation, with structural strength (up to 100MPa!) – can be used in water supply, but only with epoxy resin. In sewers, curing can be ambient (only with chemical curing), hot water, steam or UV light (a train of lights moves down the tunnel), the latter having the advantage of the process being able to be stopped if there is a hitch, re-starting after the problem has been overcome. However, where deformation exceeds 10% pipe cracking or other methods must be used.


JSD 80th Celebration and the ISE Presidential Visit

JSD 80th Celebration and the ISE Presidential Visit. For those at UCT’s Chem Engi Seminar Room privileged to listen to ISE President Ian Firth on Engineered Elegance – the Art of Bridge Design, this was a real treat. He started by quoting Marcus Vitruvius, the famous Ancient Roman architect, who believed that an architect should focus on three central themes when preparing a design for a building: firmitas (strength), utilitas (functionality), and venustas (beauty). The bridge designer must deal with strength and stability, buildability and maintainability, economy and much more, but should not neglect the venustas, with scale and proportion, light and shade and the contextual being of great moment.

One of the earliest examples he noted of the latter was the Great Belt East Bridge in Denmark, where the architect had in his office a multitude of models of the towers, with different numbers of cross-members at different levels, where he’d come to realize how important such things could be. He also liked the anchorages of the catenaries, seeing them as beautiful examples of form following function (tremendous forces to be coped with without overturning or over-stressing the foundation or being overly bulky). Interesting: the deck is only laterally supported at the towers, not in the vertical.

Other beautiful bridges included the Sunniberg (right) and Salginatobel (further right) and the Gateshead Millenium (far right), with his own Swansea Sail Bridge (below, left) not looking too shoddy.

Perhaps not clear in the Google Map on the right, is the location of the Sail Bridge bridge, marked in red. The clients started off wanting to have it further north, delivering traffic through the parking area of a supermarket, but the Engineers engineered a re-think.

Mr Firth admitted to being influenced by Calatrava but said that Calatrava was not always practical, claiming that the Alamillo Bridge, for example, was not to be easily maintained. He works with architects, but only a very select few. Inevitably, Millau Viaduct had to come up – he seemed to have divided loyalties on this, recognizing the Engineer (Michel Virlogeux) whose idea it was, but equally impressed by British architect Norman Foster’s role.
Mr Firth showed a clip of the Millenium Bridge (near the Tate Modern) on the day it was opened and closed, with the people first staggering around because of the wobble and then trying to synchronise their efforts.
(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eAXVa__XWZ8). His firm, Flint & Neill, subsidiary of COWI International, was called in by Arup (who designed it) to fix what Arup claimed was an unknown effect at the time (not true). He’d been on the Boomslang in Kirstenbosch and confessed to having tried to get it to misbehave. (No comment from Engineer Henry Fagan, in the audience)


SAICE WC 2018 Newsletter 3

MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIRMAN

Sadly, in June we said final goodbyes to Harry Mills (one of the Masterminds of Tony Murray’s Megastructures and Masterminds) and Cedric Barker (a regular at our Branch Lecture series). Former Provincial Roads Engineer John de Kock (not a SAICE member) died in July and on the 24th July, our 2013 SAICE President (111th), Peter Kleynhans. For more than 30 years Peter served on several SAICE divisional committees, was chairman of the Institution’s Finance and Administration Committee, a member of SAICE Council and he served on the Executive Board in various capacities. Derek Visser of TNPA has died very recently. Our deepest sympathy to all their families.

Media reports and communication from the CEO: SAICE dealt with the legal challenge by most of the Voluntary Associations – with SAICE the leading player – against the current ECSA Council and the Minister of Public Works. The date for the Court case is yet to be determined. Unfortunately, the decision by ECSA to change the tried and tested process of reviewing professional registration in the engineering field is impacting the industry.
Up until 2016, the registration process was as follows: (i) On application, the ECSA Administration sent the candidate’s application to at least 3 members of the Professional Advisory Committee (PAC) to conduct a desktop experience appraisal; (ii) Once accepted, a professional interview was arranged by SAICE with two experienced professionals from SAICE’s database; and (iii) PAC reviewed the application (and Interviewers’ report) and submitted its recommendation to the Registration Committee for approval.
The system for technicians and technologists differed with some candidates being considered for interviews whilst others were assessed without interviews. PAC members and interviewers were identified by the Voluntary Associations and recommended to ECSA’s Council for appointment.
Since April 2017, the entire process is managed solely by ECSA. The assessors, interviewers and reviewers, who must be in possession of an engineering professional registration, are sourced by ECSA. The process is as follows: (i) ECSA sends the candidate’s application to four Experience Appraisal Assessors to conduct a desk top assessment; (ii) ECSA sets up the interview with the candidate with two reviewers; and (iii) The application is then moderated by a panel of ECSA-appointed moderators for recommendation of approval of professional registration to ECSA. (Viola explained the process on 19 July). Voluntary Associations have no role to play. SAICE members need not be discouraged from making their own decisions to be Assessors, Interviewers or Reviewers. It should be noted that not all professionally registered persons are members of the Voluntary Associations.

BRANCH BUZZZZING: events you may have missed–

21 June and James Melvill told us more of the “Engineering Solutions for Crossrail at Bond Street Station”. James’s degree is from Durban, his Masters from Stellenbosch. He spent 5 years with contractors, and then 5 years with WSP on Bond Street Station, where WSP were overall managers with 7 different contracts to keep in line. A National Monument right next door, twin 260m long platform tunnels, to be bored, piles 30 to 40m deep, construction to within 4m of the crown of the Jubilee Line tunnel below them, ambient-noise-level –5 decibels prescribed, a TBM that couldn’t make a dent in concrete, and a very confined site at ground level…. You start to get the picture? Top-down construction with support walls built under existing slabs (with self-compacting concrete pumped into the base of the wall) and plunge columns (I found the Balfour description better when I looked up that one) among solutions along the way. A client making changes along the way helped, of course! (It helped the client, with property value doubled as a result of the changes). Demob. in September 2012, with all incentives achieved. First trains due in the tunnels this time next year.

19 July: Viola Milner presented to a full house at the Athenaeum on the new ECSA Registration System and mentoring thereon. Obviously it was a topic that appealed to a good spread of our members. It was great to see young, old and in-betweens attending. Viola is soon to register and is passionate about helping others as well and provided a thorough review of the process with which she has now become thoroughly familiar. She gave advice to Mentors, Mentees and how to overcome the generation gap and highlighting differing points of view. A comparison was presented between the new and old processes and guidelines on how to comply with the new and structure your reports. One major change is the omission in the process of the essay writing and a “Skype” interview process. The presentation is available on our web site and worth a read and is full of useful info. The evening ended with some debate on how to represent yourself at the interview with advice from the floor ranging from promoting yourself confidently to letting the interview process run its course by allowing the interviewees to ascertain that you are ready for registration. Thanks to Viola for a thorough and incredibly useful presentation.

7 August: JSD 80th Celebration and the ISE Presidential Visit. For those at UCT’s Chem Engi Seminar Room privileged to listen to ISE President Ian Firth on Engineered Elegance – the Art of Bridge Design, this was a real treat. He started by quoting Marcus Vitruvius, the famous Ancient Roman architect, who believed that an architect should focus on three central themes when preparing a design for a building: firmitas (strength), utilitas (functionality), and venustas (beauty). The bridge designer must deal with strength and stability, buildability and maintainability, economy and much more, but should not neglect the venustas, with scale and proportion, light and shade and the contextual being of great moment.

One of the earliest examples he noted of the latter was the Great Belt East Bridge in Denmark, where the architect had in his office a multitude of models of the towers, with different numbers of cross-members at different levels, where he’d come to realize how important such things could be. He also liked the anchorages of the catenaries, seeing them as beautiful examples of form following function (tremendous forces to be coped with without overturning or over-stressing the foundation or being overly bulky). Interesting: the deck is only laterally supported at the towers, not in the vertical.

Other beautiful bridges included the Sunniberg (right) and Salginatobel (further right) and the Gateshead Millenium (far right), with his own Swansea Sail Bridge (below, left) not looking too shoddy.

Location of the Sail Bridge bridge marked in red, see map on right hand side. The clients started off wanting to have it further north, delivering traffic through the parking area of a supermarket, but the Engineers engineered a re-think.

Mr Firth admitted to being influenced by Calatrava but said that Calatrava was not always practical, claiming that the Alamillo Bridge, for example, was not to be easily maintained. He works with architects, but only a very select few. Inevitably, Millau Viaduct had to come up – he seemed to have divided loyalties on this, recognizing the Engineer (Michel Virlogeux) whose idea it was, but equally impressed by British architect Norman Foster’s role.
Mr Firth showed a clip of the Millenium Bridge (near the Tate Modern) on the day it was opened and closed, with the people first staggering around because of the wobble and then trying to synchronise their efforts.
(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eAXVa__XWZ8). His firm, Flint & Neill, subsidiary of COWI International, was called in by Arup (who designed it) to fix what Arup claimed was an unknown effect at the time (not true). He’d been on the Boomslang in Kirstenbosch and confessed to having tried to get it to misbehave (No comment from Engineer Henry Fagan, in the audience).

16 August: instead of stainless steel we heard about Cured-in-Place Pipe lining (CIPP) and other trenchless technologies for the rehabilitation of pipeline systems and instead of Craig Bennett, Michiel (Amie) Colyn was our informant. CIPP – a polyester or glass fibre non-woven fabric (Kevlar: only Germany) with a resin impregnation, with structural strength (up to 100MPa!) – can be used in water supply, but only with epoxy resin. In sewers, curing can be ambient (only with chemical curing), hot water, steam or UV light (a train of lights moves down the tunnel), the latter having the advantage of the process being able to be stopped if there is a hitch, re-starting after the problem has been overcome. However, where deformation exceeds 10% pipe cracking or other methods must be used.


ECSA Registration for Millennial Generation

Viola Milner presented to a full house at the Athenaeum on the new ECSA Registration System and mentoring thereon. Obviously it was a topic that appealed to a good spread of our members. It was great to see young, old and in-betweens attending. Viola is soon to register and is passionate about helping others as well and provided a thorough review of the process with which she has now become thoroughly familiar. She gave advice to Mentors, Mentees and how to overcome the generation gap and highlighting differing points of view. A comparison was presented between the new and old processes and guidelines on how to comply with the new and structure your reports. One major change is the omission in the process of the essay writing. The presentation is worth a read and is full of useful info. The evening ended with some debate on how to represent yourself at the interview with advice from the floor ranging from promoting yourself confidently to letting the interview process run its course by allowing the interviewees to ascertain that you are ready for registration. Thanks to Viola for a thorough and incredibly useful presentation.


Engineering Solutions for Crossrail at Bond Street Station

21 June and James Melvill told us more of the “Engineering Solutions for Crossrail at Bond Street Station”. James’s degree is from Durban, his Masters from Stellenbosch. He spent 5 years with contractors, and then 5 years with WSP on Bond Street Station, where WSP were overall managers with 7 different contracts to keep in line. A National Monument right next door, twin 260m long platform tunnels, to be bored, piles 30 to 40m deep, construction to within 4m of the crown of the Jubilee Line tunnel below them, ambient-noise-level –5 decibels prescribed, a TBM that couldn’t make a dent in concrete, and a very confined site at ground level…. You start to get the picture? Top-down construction with support walls built under existing slabs (with self-compacting concrete pumped into the base of the wall) and plunge columns (I found the Balfour description better when I looked up that one) among solutions along the way. A client making changes along the way helped, of course! (It helped the client, with property value doubled as a result of the changes). Demob. in September 2012, with all incentives achieved. First trains due in the tunnels this time next year.


Branch Newsletters 2017

Branch Newsletter 1 2017
Branch Newsletter 2 2017

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