Students from the Southern African Institute of Steel Construction (Saisc) School of Draughting at Genrec Engineering, in Wadeville, Germiston, have excelled in the recently held October 2 Univer-sity of Johannesburg Department of Civil Engineering Technology’s yearly bridge building project.
Groups of students were required to build a 3 000-mm-long, 750-mm-high and 350-mm-wide bridge, which had to support a minimum load of 10 kN (about 1 t).
Saisc education director Spencer Erling notes that, even though the students have limited laboratory and workshop facilities, compared with their university counterparts, their results were as good as the best. “Just by using what they have learnt on the various draughting courses on structural design, failure modes, bearing resistances, load paths and the like, the students [developed] successful designs for the stipulated bridge using limited materials.”
Saisc students were divided into three groups, each undertaking its own design and drawings, and creating its own workshop. “All three bridges passed the test with flying colours and easily withstood the 10 kN load, with the best of the three bridges resisting 17 kN before failure,” Erling enthuses.
He says that this project clearly indicates that the Saisc Draughting School is achieving what it set out to do – to produce top-quality draughtspersons in structural steelwork detailing who become competent structural steel detailers with keen insight into the behaviour of structures. “With their knowledge, skills and experience in the field, our students have shown that they can become senior managers within industry.”
The Saisc School of Draughting opened its doors in October 2007 as a joint initiative between Saisc and fabrication, construction, automation and maintenance services provider Aveng Grinaker-LTA Mechanical and Electrical DSE Fabrication. Initially, the school offered a national diploma on a full-time basis to companies only. Today it offers a diploma, learnerships, skills programmes and short courses on a full-time and part-time basis to companies and private individuals.