AECOM’s Danie Badenhorst wins Engineer of the Year at 2016 SAICE Awards

10 November 2016
Danie Badenhorst, Dams and Hydropower Lead at AECOM, won the prestigious title of Engineer of the Year at the 2016 SAICE-SAFCEC Civil Engineering Awards. Badenhorst was honoured for a 40-year career that has seen him working on more than 120 dam projects in Africa.
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One of South Africa’s premier dam-design engineers, Badenhorst won the Engineer of the Year award at the event held on 13 October 2016 at Emperors Palace, Johannesburg. He has more than 20 years’ experience in major water resource and hydropower development projects, involving master planning, feasibility studies and design, totalling a 40-year career in civil engineering.

He has carried out numerous tasks as an approved professional engineer, a requirement in South Africa in terms of the Dam Safety Act. In addition, Badenhorst has contributed to national and international best practice in dam engineering, including safety designs, and has also excelled as a meaningful mentor to many young engineers.

In line with creating awareness for civil engineering in South Africa, Badenhorst has represented the country at the annual meetings of the International Congress of Large Dams for several years. He has been Chairperson of the South African National Committee of Large Dams (SANCOLD) for the past seven years.

Badenhorst’s work with AECOM has seen him involved in leadership roles with some of the most prominent current dam projects. These include the Itare Dam Water Supply Project in Kenya, the Mooi Mgeni Transfer Scheme for the Spring Grove Dam and Appurtenant Works, and the Umkhomazi Water Supply Project, together with the rehabilitation of 20 large dams for the Department of Water and Sanitation.

Badenhorst is currently Project Manager and Study Leader for the engineering investigations for the bilateral Noordoewer/Vioolsdrift Dam Feasibility Study. On this project, he is training client and sub-consultant staff on various aspects of dam-design considerations at the feasibility level.

He was also involved in managing repair works at the 145-m-high Mohale Dam during Phase 1B of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project, together with his role as Dam Design Engineer. His mentorship on this project saw him win the BKS Prize for Innovative Engineering for the design of a river diversion mechanism using a breaching section for the coffer dam.

Badenhorst says his most challenging project to date was Corumana Dam on the Sabie River in Mozambique, where his project proposal was accepted by the World Bank, resulting in considerable cost and time-savings for the client. Skills development is a key focus, with Badenhorst currently mentoring six candidate engineers at AECOM to build technical and professional skill sets in dams and hydropower.

Badenhorst was also responsible for organising the highly successful 2016 ICOLD annual meeting and symposium in Sandton in May 2016. The symposium was attended by 1 200 public and private-sector delegates from a record 75 countries, with 24 countries from Africa.

The SAICE-SAFCEC Civil Engineering Awards is an annual celebration of engineering excellence, whereby civil engineering companies, projects, institutions and individuals are all honoured for the most outstanding civil engineering achievements during the previous year.


Notes to the editor
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