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SAICE Members' Function January 19, 2010  
SAICE Annual Members' Function  

The next members' event and presidential inauguration will take place on 17 March 2010. Details will be posted on this page soon.

This event was sponsored by:

On 19 February, Professor Elsabé Kearsley was inaugurated as the president of the South African Institution of Civil Engineering (SAICE) for 2009, during the SAICE-Lafarge Inaugural Event and Presidential Address held at the prestigious The Forum on The Campus in Bryanston. Guests at this dazzling event toasted Kearsley’s success at becoming the second woman in the SAICE’s 107-year existence to be elected to this select office. Furthermore she is the first woman to hold the post of Head of the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Pretoria.

In her inaugural address, “Engineering a Better Future’, Kearsley highlighted the changed environment in which civil engineering professionals find themselves, the engineer of the future and the ability to stay relevant.

“I believe that a large part of the changing environment around us, as civil engineering professionals, has to do with increased access to information and how to deal with it in a professional manner. The fact that you can download information from the internet does not necessarily mean that you are capable of designing civil engineering Infrastructure!” The following has been said of development in the field of engineering: One has to watch out for engineers - they begin with the sewing machine and end up with the atomic bomb. - - Marcel Pagnol, Critiques des Critiques.

Although South African engineers have always been highly regarded internationally, many problems have been solved through the sheer creativity of locally trained experts. South Africa undertakes about 0,5% of global research. To date the civil engineering community has been very slow at investing in research and the time is ripe for the industry as a whole to develop a collective approach to support research and development.

“We can make a difference and every one of us has to ensure that our profession obtains and retains the status it deserves. As civil engineering practitioners we need to ensure that we promote the understanding of civil engineering by ensuring that all decision-makers know exactly what the extent of the contribution of civil engineering is in any modern civilization.”

Click here for the complete inaugural address.

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For more information please contact Zina Girald at the SAICE National Office on 011 805 5947 or [email protected]

Previous Presidential addresses:

Presidential Address 2008: Johan de Koker's "Growing together as an Institution"
Presidential Address 2007: Neil Macloed's "A time of opportunity for Civil Engineering in South Africa"
Presidential Address 2006: Sam Amod's "The Ecology of Construction"
Presidential Address 2005: Mike Deeks's "Safety in Numbers for Construction"
Presidential Address 2004: Ron Watermeyer's "The Sustainable Lifestyle: Our Responsibility for the 21st Century"

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