Southern African Institute of Steel Construction (Saisc) Awards convenor Spencer Erling says the quality of the entries for this year’s Steel Awards easily matched the outstanding quality of previous years.
“We are going through very tough times in the steel construction industry, yet, in spite of this, we are able to produce world-class work – an indication that the future is a bright one,” he says.
Saisc’s thirty-sixth Steel Awards took place on September 3 and was held simultaneously in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban.
The main sponsor for the event was steel fabricator Aveng Steel, while the table décor was financed by steel construction provider Peddinghaus and information modelling software provider Cadex Systems SA sponsored the event’s photo competition.
Other sponsors included the Association of Steel Tube and Pipe Manufacturers (ASTPM), backing the Tubular category, with high-performance material designer Saint-Gobain sponsoring the Light Steel Frame category, roofing material manufacturer Global Roofing Solutions the Metal Cladding category and structural engineer B&T Steel the Factory and Warehouse category.
The event’s partner sponsors were steel manufacturing corporation ArcelorMittal South Africa, vertically integrated steel and vanadium slag producer Evraz Highveld Steel & Vanadium, steel services provider Macsteel, steel building materials supplier NJR Steel and a division of construction company Murray & Roberts, Genrec Engineering.
Overall Winner and Tubular Category Winner
The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) Africa Radio Antenna Positioner was the overall winner of the 2015 Steel Awards. It was also the winner of the ASTPM’s Tubular category. This is the second year in a row that the overall winner comes from this category.
The judges said this project “radiates excellence not only in the use of structural steel but in every aspect of its structure and purpose”.
The SKA Africa programme involves the construction of 64 antenna positioners by late 2016 on a site 90 km from Carnarvon, in the Northern Cape – a location without cellphone contact, far from engineering resources – so that by mid-2017 the SKA will be conducting scientific work.
Each receptor commprises three main components. The first is an antenna positioner, which is described as a steerable dish on a pedestal, which the judges thought was “superb” use of steelwork.
The antennae positioner allows for a vertical (tilt) range of 15° to 88° and an azimuth range of 360° to an accuracy of within 1.4- thousandths of a degree under optimal conditions and 7-thousandths of a degree during normal operational conditions. “That’s a degree of accuracy that is hard to grasp for structural engineers, given the fact that we normally work to the nearest 2 mm,” noted the judges.
“A scientific project of this nature that taxes the skills of South African engineers and scientists to rise above the challenges and make it work represents excellence in every way, but it is especially a triumph in the use of steelwork and is truly deserving of being the overall winner of Steel Awards 2015,” the judges concluded.