SAICE Johannesburg Branch recently held the first of its kind – Avant-garde Forum. The initiative provided a platform for young professionals to showcase their present or recent projects where ingenuity was a primary catalyst for success, with the overall outcome of celebrating civil engineering excellence. The branch identified a gap and a sincere yearning for a space within SAICE, where Young Professionals could showcase, share and think out loud about innovative ideas that they have.
Avant-garde pushes the boundaries of what is accepted as the norm. The word is derived from the French word avant-garde d’armee, which refers to an army’s strongest force which is pushed out at a day’s march to the front, immediately behind the cavalry screen.
The process began with an invitation that was sent to SAICE members for candidates to submit their applications, according to the specified criteria. A judging panel reviewed the entries and four candidates were then chosen from the applications received to participate in the final forum.
As the youngest participant, Alvino Bezuidenhout is currently studying a civil engineering degree at the University of Pretoria. He is the founder of his own tutoring company and plans on furthering his studies in geotechnical engineering. His presentation at the forum was entitled: Stabilising clay by electro-osmotic treatment.
Daniel Avutia is a chartered professional civil engineer in the infrastructure and mining sectors. He is the recipient of several awards including the prestigious SAICE Young Engineer of the Year. Daniel’s project focused on Wind Energy Civil Geotechnical aspects.
Estiaan Roets, a civil engineering practitioner, completed his degree at the University of Pretoria in 2012. He has also achieved his bachelor of engineering (honours) in transport in 2015. In addition to his interest in transportation sector, Estiaan is passionate about business trends and finding solutions to complex issues. His presentation focused on connecting the workspace through digitization and optimum utilisation of resources.
Refilwe Lediga is a civil engineering graduate from the University of Pretoria. Refilwe is passionate about entrepreneurship and challenging the status-quo. He provided an insightful presentation on 3D concrete printing and the future of construction.
The event was attended by an interactive audience of SAICE members, who challenged the Avant-garde presenters in a live Q&A session reagrding their projects. The four participants undoubtedly set the standard for the newly formed Avant-garde Forum to give exposure to the young innovative ideas and talents of our young professionals in civil engineering.