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SAIMechE Council 2016 - 2018

Office Bearers

President Prof JL van Niekerk (Wikus)
Vice President A Roos (Andre)
National Treasurer G van den Berg (Gideon)

Branch Chairmen

Central C Kruger (Carel)
Eastern Cape G van den Berg (Gideon)
KwaZulu/Natal Dr J Padayachee (Jared)
Mpumalanga Highveld N Lecordier (Noel)
Vaal N Swanepoel (Niekie)
Western Cape Dr M Venter (Martin)


Communications and Marketing G Bartholomew (Bart)
Professional Development Programme (PDP) Vacant
Technology Olympiad Programme/Procedures SZ de Nagy Koves Hrabar (Stefan)
Engineering Education and Constitutional Matters
Dr D Blaine (Debby) 
To be advised H Makwarela (Hangwani) 



Profiles of Council Members:

Prof Wikus van Niekerk

Portfolio: President

Wikus van Niekerk is a Professor in the Department of Mechanical & Mechatronic Engineering at Stellenbosch University.  He holds a PhD from the University of California at Berkeley.  

Prof van Niekerk is the Director of the Centre for Renewable and Sustainable Energy Studies established in 2006 funded by the Department of Science and Technology, Eskom and Sasol.  He has a keen interest in harvesting the energy from the sun, wind and ocean. 
Prof van Niekerk is a registered professional engineer with the Engineering Council of South African and has been practising as a consultant to industry for fifteen years. He has published more than 14 articles in refereed international journals and presented a number of papers at international conferences.  He is a fellow of the Southern African Acoustics Institute, the South African Academy of Engineers and a fellow and board member of the South African Institution for Mechanical Engineering; a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the Sustainable Energy Society of South Africa and a Board Member of the International Solar Energy Society.

A Roos

Andre Roos

Portfolio: National Treasurer

B Eng (Mech), MBA, Pr. Eng.

Andre is currently a director at MegChem and has been responsible for the Project Management function, for a wide range of projects on an EPC/EPCM/Consulting basis to the Petro-Chemical, Nuclear, Paper & Pulp, Metal & Alloys and Transport sectors, for the past ten years. Prior to that, he managed the Mechanical Engineering department for six years at MegChem. 

Before joining MegChem, Andre was employed at Sasol Technology, in the Mechanical Engineering Department, responsible for detail engineering assignments and also providing support on various projects.

Andre also spent 8 years with the SA Rail Way Services as a Mechanical Engineer in the New Works and Harbours Division, in the Chief Mechanical Engineer’s office and responsible for the mechanical engineering of various infrastructure development projects.



Gideon van den Berg

Portfolio: National Treasurer and Eastern Cape Branch Chairman

Pr Eng, B.Eng (UP) M.Eng (UP)

Gideon is currently working as a consulting mechanical engineer in the construction industry. He started his career as a junior engineer at Anglogold Ashanti but soon decided that he wanted to see more things "above ground” whereafter he worked as a project engineer on a number of railway projects on the London Underground railways.

He has since worked as a mechanical design engineer for consumer goods and served his time as a maintenance supervisor in the sheet metal pressing industry in the Eastern Cape. During 2012 – 2013 Gideon was the Technical Manager for Kestrel Renewable Energy designing small wind turbines and solar power (PV) installations. 

Gideon registered as a professional engineer in 2010.


Stefan HrabarStefan Hrabar

Portfolio: Technology Olympiad

Pr.Eng, C.Eng, CEnv, PMP, B.Sc. (Eng) (Mech) (Wits), G.Dip.(Eng) (Wits), MBL (UNISA), Senior Executive Programme (Manchester Business School), Hon.FSAIMechE, FSAIMechE, FSAAE, FIMechE, MEI, MSAIIE, M.PMSA, MSACorrI. Director Engineering and Project Management - Mirlem Pty (Ltd).

46 Years’ experience in Engineering, Project Management and Construction of large projects in diverse industries locally and internationally. Previously Director and Managing Director of various Companies within the Murray & Roberts Group and International companies in South Africa. Involved in the Offshore Oil and Gas Projects since 1983: Management of South Africa’s first gas offshore development and sub-sea pipelines and marine structures internationally.

Past President of SAIMechE and Chairman of the SAIMechE Technology Olympiad.  Served on the CBE Appeals Committee and the Engineering Professions Accreditation Committee (EPAC).  Previously Chairman of the NPA Offshore Oil & Gas Committee and Founder and Chairman of the South African Oil and Gas Alliance and Director of the International Pipeline Offshore Contractors Association representing Middle East and Africa. He has been selected to undertake Accreditation of engineering programmes at South African Universities. Appointed by the Minister of Transport to serve on the Port Consultative Committee of the Saldanha Port deputy to the National Port Consultative Committee.



Carel Kruger

Portfolio: Central Branch Chairman

B.Eng (Mech); Pr Eng; Pr Cert Eng


Carel is currently Engineering Manager at a Paper Manufacturing facility. He has extensive experience in managing of ‘in-house’ projects as well as maintenance.

He serves on the Mechanical Professional Advisory Committee at ECSA.

Noel Lecordier

Portfolio: Mpumalanga Highveld Branch Chairman

Profile to be updated shortly. 

Niekie Swanepoel

Portfolio: Vaal Branch Chairman

Profile to be updated shortly. 


Dr Martin Venter

Portfolio: Western Cape Branch Chairman

Dr Venter is currently a lecturer at Stellenbosch University. (Further profile details to be updated shortly.)

Dr Jared Padayachee

Portfolio: KZN Branch Chairman

BScEng (Mech), MScEng, Phd

Dr Padayachee has been working in academia for the past 7 years. He is currently based at the University of KwaZulu-Natal where he is involved in the lecturing of mechanical engineering design and the coordination of research and design projects.

Dr Padayachee is a member of the Mechatronics and Robotics Research Group (MR2G) at UKZN. He is currently involved in advanced manufacturing research with specialization in the design of new types of production equipment, the design of manufacturing facilities and the optimization of manufacturing operations.

Bart Bartholomew

Portfolio: Communications and Marketing

Bart is principal engineer and sole director at Nautilus Engineers, a company that specialises in the design of pressure equipment, piping and storage tanks for process industries.

Prior to him forming the company in 2005, Bart worked as a consultant, contractor and client for a multitude of companies in the petro-chem, pulp& paper, sugar and construction industries.



Prof Debby Blaine 

Portfolio: Engineering Education and Constitutional Matters


Hangwani Makwarela 

Portfolio: To be confirmed



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