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Author : Simone Rambarun

The third annual SAICE National IP Showdown took place on 16 February 2017, at the SAICE House in Midrand, Johannesburg. The competition brought together the nation’s cream of the civil engineering student crop from the University of Johannesburg (UJ), the University of the Witwatersrand (WITS), University of Cape Town (UCT), University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), University of Stellenbosch (SUN) and the University of Pretoria (UP). ‘

The National IP Showdown is a flagship event in SAICE’s calendar and sees the top students from the leading universities across the country showcase their investigative research projects to an audience and an expert panel of judges. The panel comprised of transportation engineer, SAICE 2017 President and Director at Nyeleti Consulting – Sundran Naicker PrEng, Communications expert and Director of IDube Media – Debbie Besseling, as well as Geotechnical Engineer – Daniel Avutia PrEng.

The competition provides a platform for young professionals and practitioners to network and engage with key industry leaders within the fraternity.

The following presentations were made by the respective participating teams:

Tyler De Villiers, Ross Milsom and Peter Gill (WITS) wittingly presented their findings on the Labyrinth and Piano Key Weirs: The effect of internal sloped floors on the discharge efficiency.

Gerhard Olivier (SUN) looked into the behaviour of informal settlement shacks in fire.

Ebrahim Paruk (UKZN) shared his observations regarding the study into pumps as turbines for leakage reduction via pressure management and concurrent energy production.

Andre Broekman (UP) showcased the measurement of the origin of seismic sources (emission events) in sand using multilateration.

David Le Roux (UCT)  did a thorough investigation into the Southern Cape slope movement.

Ricardo Lopes (UJ) provided an analysis of the use of blended slag cements with wood fibre to produce a low cost building block for the building industry.

Each of the participants reported on the research carried out on their selected projects whilst bringing together an eclectic mix of technical capacity, communication skills and uniquely crafted presentations. This further reiterated the evolution of sustainable thinking, problem solving and action within the profession.

Walking away with first place was David Le Roux (UCT). David won a grand cash prize of R8000 generously sponsored by Aveng Infraset. He also pocketed a post graduate bursary to the value of R25000 courtesy of PPS Insurance. Gerhard Olivier (SUN) took second place and was awarded a R4000 cash prize. Ebrahim Paruk (UKZN) snatched third place and left with a R2000 cash prize prize sponsored by UWP Consulting.

The event showcased the quality and competency of graduate civil engineering students. It is indeed safe to say that the future of civil engineering in this country looks bright!

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