Winner: Best Presentation - Young Geotechnical Professionals Conference (YGPC 11) 2016


Earlier this year Mondli Magagula submitted an abstract entry for a competition hosted by the Australian Geotechnical Society. The abstract was titled "Site Characterization of the area surrounding a sinkhole, a case study". It describes a geotechnical investigation and design of remedial works which followed the formation of a sinkhole. His abstract was subsequently chosen to represent Africa at the Young Geotechnical Professionals Conference (YGPC 11) held in New Zealand [Queenstown, October 25 – 28, 2016].

Mondli, Geotechnical Engineer at Jones & Wagener (J&W), is currently registered as a candidate engineer with ECSA. He has been with Jones & Wagner for three years now, following the completion of his studies at the University of Pretoria. His main area of interest includes lateral support, piling, opencast mine rehabilitation and other common geotechnical projects which include geotechnical investigations.

The project, which he wrote his paper on, came about when the client requested J&W to inspect a sinkhole that had formed. His involvement on the project was as project engineer, but he also managed the entire geotechnical investigation under the supervision of Mr Gavin Wardle. Under Gavin's watchful eye and guidance, he wrote the final report for the investigation which was used to design the remedial works. He describes the project as being very stressful at times as he had to manage client expectations, deadlines as well as managing contractors. "It was, however, a good experience and I grew a lot during the process".

A few months after the project was completed, the Australian Geotechnical Society advertised a competition where they were looking for one representative from Africa to attend YPGC 11. He submitted an abstract to the organising committee and a few months later received news that he had been selected. He describes it as one of the best feelings he had ever experienced as he had never been overseas before.

The conference was attended by 50 delegates from Australia and New Zealand, Mondli being the only representative from outside these two countries. Even after more than 28 hours of flying and very little time to recover from jetlag, he delivered his presentation which was ultimately chosen as best presentation at the conference.

Jones & Wagener would like to congratulate Mondli on his achievement and we hope to see many more awards from him in the future.

Awards & Achievements



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