The SAICE National IP Showdown, which was held at the University of Pretoria on 1 December 2014, was a runaway success seeing many high-profile industry players come to support and encourage the next generation of civil engineers as the best student teams from six universities across the country presented their final-year research projects while competing for a grand prize of R10 000 and an internship at Nyeleti Consulting.

The exciting and competitive afternoon delighted the audience, and SAICE looks forward to hosting more of these in the years to come.  


The Research and Investigative Project (IP) is part of the national curriculum for final year civil engineering undergraduate students. Students are required to select an issue which is current in the industry, and thereafter conduct research in accordance with pre-set deliverables over a fixed period that leads up to the final year examinations. Once all the research into the specific issue has been completed, the student teams present their findings to a panel of judges which comprises both industry leaders and non-engineers. The presentations are then adjudicated based on a set of agreed criteria.

This year, in a first for SAICE, the Institution joined forces with the Universities of Cape Town, Johannesburg, KwaZulu-Natal, Pretoria, Stellenbosch and Witwatersrand to bring together the winning teams from their IP Projects to once again present their findings in a national “showdown”.

SAICE would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank Vital Engineering for sponsoring the cash prizes, and Nyeleti Consulting for the internship.


Aspects such as methodology, presentation, aesthetic appeal and usefulness determined the winner of the IP Showdown.

The 2014 National IP Showdown champion was Idrees Solwa from the University of Cape Town. His technically sound and engaging presentation on The evaluation of the plastic deformation of leaks in pipes duly impressed the judges and saw him take home the grand prize. He will be using the R10 000 prize money to assist his local community.    

In second place, sharing the prize money of R5 000, was the team from the University of Witwatersrand comprising Pholani Dladla and Tshepo Tethea with their research into The feasibility of rooftop rainwater harvesting in urban schools in Gauteng East.

Tied in third place and sharing the prize money of R2 000, were the teams from the Universities  of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) and Stellenbosch (US). Mishlin Pillay from UKZN presented on The prevention of galvanic corrosion between bimetallic components and the effect on structural integrity, including a case study of the Millennium Tower on the Bluff, Durban, and Charl Ellis from US presented on Ship mooring analysis.

We thank the judges for taking the time to attend this event and for their efforts during the adjudication process.

1 Comment

  1. A great success that attracted Civil Engineering educators out of their silos to compare notes and learn from eaxh other. So important given the current skills scarcity. Thank you to the hard-working people who made it happen. It is definitely worth repeating, perhaps with the focus broadened beyond the competitive element (although that may be essential from the sponsors point of view) to encourage networking and cross-campus collaboration. For the next such occasion I will campaign to select the UKZN contender from a “regional shootout” that emulates the national event, to broaden student participation.

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