“We have endured, just as concrete is durable!” exclaimed Prof Mark Alexander, President of the Concrete Society of Southern Africa, at the unveiling of a commemorative seat at the Faculty of Engineering, Stellenbosch University (SU) on 15 April. Although he was referring to the durability of the Concrete Society of Southern Africa (CSSA) which is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2019, his statement could also be applicable to the longstanding, solid relationship between the CSSA and the SU Faculty of Engineering, in particular the Department of Civil Engineering.
Prof Alexander continued: “The Golden Anniversary of the Society gives us an opportunity to celebrate our heritage and history, and to commemorate it by way of the donation of this seat to the University, recognising the sustained support that Stellenbosch University has given to the Society over many years. It gives us an opportunity to dwell on aspects related to this historic occasion, to assess where we are as the CSSA, and how we can move forward.”
Prof Jan Wium, Chair of the SU Department of Civil Engineering, congratulated the CSSA on the milestone and thanked the Society President for the concrete seat. He noted: “This is a joyous occasion. We, as a Faculty, have a healthy history with the Society. Two of our staff members have served as President of the CSSA. We feel like the older brother in this relationship as the Faculty is currently celebrating its 75th-year of existence. Over the years we have achieved excellent research outputs in the field of concrete material. A lot of this has to do with good collaboration and meaningful input by the CSSA. The concrete fraternity is fairly small and we are grateful for the continuous support.
The attractive concrete seat, made by Johan Coetzee of World of Decorative Concrete in Cape Town, was placed in a prime spot at the northern entrance of Engineering building complex.
Front from the left: Prof Gideon van Zijl (Department of Civil Engineering, SU), Prof Mark Alexander (President: CSSA) and John Sheath (CEO and Director: CSSA).
Back from the left: Prof Celeste Viljoen (Department of Civil Engineering, SU) and Prof Jan Wium (Chair: Department of Civil Engineering, SU).