AllyCAD Showcase

'The Horizon Ripe With Opportunity'

Eastern Cape

Paul Silayi radiates enthusiasm as he bounces down the passage, his face beaming with a confident smile. He is passionate about engineering and enjoys using engineering software, Civil Designer and AllyCAD. "At the last company I worked for, we received a job with a very tight deadline. I was adamant that the only way that I was going to meet the deadline was if we used this amazing software. They bought the program, I met the deadline, and today they are still using the package," he laughs.

Paul Silayi obviously subscribes to the view of Henry Ford who said, "Life is a series of experiences, each one of which makes us bigger, even though sometimes it is hard to realize this. For the world was built to develop character, and we must learn that the setbacks and grievances which we endure help us in our marching onward." Paul tackles everything with a singular intensity. He thunders into each experience with wholehearted passion.

He relates his part in the mighty Coega development. "This project challenged me, not only because of the designs I had to produce, but because it was a big responsibility just being part of the massive project that will benefit so many people." The project was Coega Recruitment Training Centre worth R14 million.

"Our primary role was the civil aspects, the roads, sewer and storm water designs. But the difficult part for me was the structure itself. About 1km away there was a lot of blasting taking place. So we had to design a building that would almost be able to withstand an earthquake," says Paul excitedly.

"During the design phase we worked hand-in-hand with the architects. As they made changes to their design, so we had to apply those changes to our design. This was a wonderful experience for me as this was my second assignment on structures. I used AllyCAD for the 800m2 brick structure design, which was built with a steel roof and steel columns."

"We did so well on that structure that we ended up saving on the budget. The architects said that we could use the savings to extend an adjacent building. Despite the nearby blasting, the completed structure only showed a few minor cracks which was easily repaired," he says proudly.

"The experience taught me a lot," says Paul thoughtfully. "This was the biggest job I have worked on. There was also a lot of time pressure associated with this job. Because I knew AllyCAD so well, I was able to work quickly and accurately and finished ahead of schedule. The program is as good as any product overseas and it is very user-friendly."
  "I was fortunate enough to be trained by a Knowledge Base trainer. "The quality of their trainers are excellent, they never spoon feed you, and they make you think about what you are doing and why you are doing it. That is why I am so good," he laughs unashamedly.

"I am currently working on a project where the client has requested us to use his software. I do the design in Civil Designer or AllyCAD and then export the data to the client’s software," he says, delighted at this elegant subterfuge.

Would he like to be involved in any projects around the 2010 World Cup? "Oh yes," he says. Paul is a committed soccer supporter; Bafana Bafana first and then Kaiser Chiefs. "I would love to be involved in such a prestigious project. You know, every project I design is special, I look at it afterwards and am proud of my contribution to it. But to be able to play a part in something as big as the Soccer World Cup would just be the best," he says.

What does the future hold for Paul? "My dream is to upgrade to a PR Eng. Everywhere I work, I learn something new. I really enjoy the civil side of my work. For instance I have done water scheme projects in rural Transkei. I did a reservoir and pressure tank as well as standpipes in two small villages, Mvnyana and Magqagqeni."

Albert Einstein said, "The only source of knowledge is experience." Paul Silayi will be a very knowledgeable man soon, given the unbridled passion with which he tackles everything in sight. His passion and enthusiasm are as infectious as his beaming and ever-ready smile.

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