SAICE UCT Student Chapter Visit to the Berg River Dam

Article written by Alice Chang.

On Friday, 20 May 2011, third and fourth year students from the University of Cape Town had the amazing opportunity to visit this concrete-faced, rock-fill dam, located in the upper reaches of the Berg River catchment area. The students were taken on a tour of the pump station, the intake tower and the dam outlet dam. The visit into the intake tower was interesting, especially for the more adventurous students who got a chance to trek all the way down to the bottom. The only problem was, once you got to the bottom of the tower, you had to climb 160 m back up to the top again! To round off the perfect field trip, the students were treated to a ‘picnic’ of pizza and cold beers.

The SAICE Student Chapter at UCT would like to thank Bruce (GOBA) and Wallie (DWA) for taking the time to share their extensive knowledge and experience. Thanks also to GOBA for sponsoring the refreshments and Bertrand van Zyl (DWA) for organising the permit for the visit. Finally, the UCT Student Chapter would like to thank Prof Kobus van Zyl (UCT) as it would not have been possible to organise this visit without his assistance.

Regional Awards 2011

This year three brilliant projects were entered into the Regional Awards, two in the category of Outstanding Technical Excellence and the other under Community Based:

•Controlled Demolition of the APS Cooling Towers – Technical Excellence – submitted by (Kayad) Knight Piésold;
•Buitengragt Pedestrian Bridge – Technical Excellence – submitted by VelaVKE
•Reconstruction of MR 172: Helshoogte to Boschendal – Community Based – submitted by VelaVKE

All three projects achieved high marks, with the winner in the Technical Excellence category the Buitengragt Pedestrian Bridge achieving 86,4%, with the Demolition of the APS Cooling Towers a very creditable second with 78% and the Community Based category being won by the Reconstruction of MR 172 with 80%. The adjudication sub-committee indicated that the Branch should support the entry of all three projects in the National Awards Competition.

Water Competition 2011

The schools water competition was held in the recently upgraded Liberty Promenade Mall in Mitchell’s Plain on 14 May. Vast crowds of people walking past and quite a few new schools in evidence after a lot of hard work by Quinten. On the day, the introduction by Prof Van Zyl – to whom our thanks – and Abdulla Parker and Alice Chang much in organising. We had joint winners, both from the same school, the Cape Academy of Maths, Science and Technology, with ridiculously low penalty points of 130ml each, with the third placed team, Brakenfell High, the defending champions only 10 points adrift!

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