AllyCAD Showcase

'A NEW PATH'


Christa Fourie,
SSI Engineers & Environmental Consultants, Bloemfontein

Christa Fourie from SSI Engineers & Environmental Consultants in Bloemfontein has two role models that she holds in high esteem. These amazing senior gentlemen based at SSI's Pietermaritzburg and Woodmead branches have given their whole life to Civil Engineering and now dedicate their time to mentoring inexperienced engineers, a gesture which she finds truly inspirational.

Christa tries to be an equally positive influence in her role as Area Sector Manager at SSI's Free State Transport Division and interacts closely with everyone in the department. "We are a strong team consisting of a CAD Technician who manipulates project data in AllyCAD while the rest of the Civil Engineers work in Civil Designer. We also learn from each other and draw from our collective experience as a team," she explains.

Christa graduated in Civil Engineering at the University of Pretoria and began her eventful career at Kwezi V3 Engineers where she remained for seven years. Here she accumulated valuable experience in Road rehabilitation projects and found her site work experience gained during the process to be equally valuable. Christa joined SSI Engineers & Environmental Consultants in Bloemfontein in November 2003 and feels grounded in her new position.

"I enjoy road rehabilitation projects the most and one of our recent projects was the N6-Reddersburg rehabilitation project which was awarded in a joint venture by the National Roads Agency (NRA). The section of road between Bloemfontein and Reddersburg required ongoing patching and potholes. The consultant were appointed for the design in May 2004 and the project went on construction in January 2006. The existing road had an initial design speed of 90km/h but we provided various cost estimates for an 80km/h, 100km/h and 120km/h road. In the end the client settled on an upgrade to 80km/h design speed towards Reddersburg with the rest of the road designed at 110km/h."
  According to Christa the project was a fairly straightforward one. The venture did however require extensive surveying information on the existing road. All the data on the road was then analysed so that a recommendation could be provided to the client on an ideal design speed according to the required standards."

"We relied quite heavily on Knowledge Base design software to help us complete our designs and I find their Support Desk to be very useful. I'm sure they know me very well by now," she says laughing.

When asked about a typical challenge Christa replies quickly, "project red tape!" "Sometimes it happens that the ground of a particular project falls within another state department. This is where it starts to get sticky because you have to transfer everything from one department to another which can cause a huge delay. It also places everyone under pressure because you have to deliver within a specific timeframe," she explains.

"The nice thing about working at SSI is that you get exposure working on both national and international projects. The company has recently acquired majority shareholding by the Netherlands based DHV Consulting Engineers. The organisation has a network of offices in almost thirty countries globally and provides extensive services in management consultancy, design and engineering, project management, contract management and operational management."

"There is also a cross exchange policy in place where engineers are sent over to complete specialised projects and acquire new skills in the process. They are impressed by our own high standards in South Africa and the cross exchange seems to be working well. When you are a civil engineer the learning never ends because there is always something new to learn and people are always willing to guide you on your way. It's a good environment to be in," she says smiling.

image Christa Fourie is the Area Sector Manager at SSI's Free State Transport Division. After graduating in Civil Engineering at the University of Pretoria she worked at Kwezi V3 Engineers and then moved to SSI Engineers & Environmental Consultants in Bloemfontein in December 2003. Christa is married to her husband Carel and they have two daughters aged two and three. In her leisure she explores interesting hiking trails like the Tsitsikamma trail.

 
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