William JoughinKeeping up the good work and making SANIRE even better – that's what William Joughin, SANIRE's new President, hopes to achieve in his two years in office.

As a strong team player, William Joughin is looking to his fellow SANIRE Council members to help him achieve great things for SANIRE while he is in office.
He says: "As SANIRE President, I intend to steer our council to maintain and improve the current functions our institute provides."
Several components will come together to achieve this:

  • The rock engineering examinations (Yolande Jooste);
  • Developing the future education of rock engineers (Jody Thomspon);
  • Communication through the website (Jaco le Roux) and newsletter (Lawrence Rwodzi);
  • Compiling the history of rock engineering (Dave Arnold);
  • Administration and finance (Friedemann Essrich);
  • Maintaining close ties with sister organisations (Robert Armstrong), such as the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (SAIMM), South African National Committee on Tunnelling (SANCOT), the South African institute of Civil Engineers (SAICE) Geotech division, the South African Institute of Engineering Geologists (SAIEG) and the Geological Society of South Africa (GSSA);
  • Liaison with the Chamber of Mines (CoM) Rock Engineering Technical Committee (RETC) (Les Gardner, Riaan Carstens and Dave Arnold) and the Mine Qualifications Authority (Dave Neal);
  • Monitoring rock engineering research activities and influencing the direction of research (Jannie Maritz);
  • Maintaining links to the International Society for Rock Mechanics (ISRM) (Jacques Lucas);
  • Placing increased emphasis on young members (Jannie Maritz); and
  • Continuing to recognise outstanding rock engineering practitioners through the SANIRE Awards (Michael Du Plessis). A new award for the best paper by a young professional, the Dave Ortlepp award, will be introduced.

Exciting developments

William continues: "I personally liaise with the SAIMM as an elected council member and play an active role on the Publications Committee (SAIMM Journal) and the Technical Program Committee, which organises conferences and seminars. During my term, we plan to organise and host three international conferences: SARES 2014, Slope Stability 2015 (Chairman – Robert Armstrong) and AfriRock 2016. AfriRock 2016 will also be the first African rock engineering symposium (ISRM regional symposium) and we are bidding for it to be recognised as the ISRM international symposium in 2015."

He is pleased that the process of grandfathering of surface mining rock engineers with the purpose of awarding CoM Rock Engineering Certificates has commenced. Glen McGavigan and Gerhard Keyter imitated it to ensure that existing qualified and experienced open pit rock engineering practitioners are recognised as legally competent.

A committee will be established to develop a framework of rock engineering competency, which will be led by Glen McGavigan. Guidelines for levels and areas of competency in rock engineering will be established.

Sound base

William is encouraged by the fact that, during the past four years, the SANIRE financial reserves have increased significantly. He explains why: "We intend to use the current surplus of funds to the benefit of our members. Video lectures on important and interesting rock engineering topics are to be created, which will be freely available to all members through the website. Also, the Salamon and Dave Ortlepp awards will include an overseas trip to a relevant international conference to present the winning paper."

In conclusion, William says: "I am fortunate to have a very strong and dedicated SANIRE Council and I look forward to working with them over the next two years."

Meet William

William Joughin is a Principal Mining Geotechnical Engineer and Partner of SRK South Africa. He is a South African professional engineer with over 20 years' experience in mining and rock engineering. He holds a BSc Mining Engineering, MSc Engineering, CoM Advanced Rock Engineering Certificate, and a Mine Manager's Certificate of Competency, all from the University of the Witwatersrand.
William gained operational experience on the deep South African gold mines before joining SRK in 1998. He has subsequently provided consultancy services for mining projects on five continents, with various orebody geometries and rock mass characteristics, exploited with a wide range of mining methods.

A specialist in geotechnical investigation, numerical modelling, seismic risk analysis, rockburst and rockfall risk analysis applied in the design of underground mining excavations, William has over 40 publications in journals, books and conference proceedings in the field of rock engineering. He has received an SAIMM gold medal and the Alec Wilson Award for outstanding papers.

He and his wife, Sharon, have two sons, Michael (10) and Brandon (12). They love getting outdoors, into nature, and often spend time hiking, particularly at Retiefskloof in the Magaliesberg.

William also enjoys taking the boys mountain biking and regularly enters cycling events such as the 94.7 Cycle Challenge.
When he takes a moment to sit still, he enjoys watching rugby or the Tour de France and reading, particularly popular science publications and Terry Pratchett novels.