Prof Pierre van der Spuy bestowed with Engineer of the Year title at SAICE SANRAL Awards

[Article by Amber Viviers]

Prof Pierre van der Spuy, Adjunct Associate Professor at the Department of Civil Engineering, was named Engineer of the Year at the prestigious South African Institution of Civil Engineering (SAICE) SANRAL National Awards in September 2022. The SAICE SANRAL Awards celebrates and rewards outstanding individuals and projects that act as a catalyst for innovation and excellence in the industry.

Prof van der Spuy is an associate at the international engineering consultancy firm Zutari and one of the top bridge engineers in South Africa. He is also registered as a Professional Engineer with the Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA).

At the hybrid event, Prof Marianne Vanderschuren, President of SAICE, advocated the importance of the civil engineering industry and its pivotal role in enhancing economic development to help drive the infrastructure of tomorrow. “The SAICE SANRAL Awards affirms this critical role – we recognise outstanding individuals, projects, companies and our members, who go the extra mile in showcasing engineering ingenuity, innovation and excellence in our profession,” she said.

Prof van der Spuy completed his BEng degree (cum laude) in 2008 at Stellenbosch University (SU). In 2020, he obtained his PhD in Structural Engineering at SU, focusing on bridge traffic load models and the associated reliability measures. He has a keen interest in the probabilistic assessment of existing bridges and structures.

He lectures final-year undergraduate students on the structural component of their Advanced Design module, postgraduate students on their Advanced Concrete Design module, and supervises postgraduate students in their research.

Findings from his PhD and research that followed have been published in leading international journals, while he has also presented and published widely at international conferences. Apart from being an accomplished academic, he has received numerous industry awards for incrementally launched bridges and long-span arch bridges.

Prof Nico de Koker, Head of the Civil Engineering department shared the following: “Our students are fortunate to be able learn from and work with an engineer of Prof van der Spuy’s caliber”.

  • Photo: Prof Pierre van der Spuy