NEWS RELEASE From SSI Engineers and Environmental Consultants Transport ● Water ● Industrial ● Environmental ● Ports, Aviation & Rail ● Mining ● Project & Construction Management BUILDING UP FUTURE CIVIL ENGINEERS AT HILTON COLLEGE A group of engineers from SSI Engineers and Environmental Consultants recently had the rewarding opportunity of investing in the lives of future young engineers, when they were invited by Hilton College to weigh up entries in the school’s bridge building competition. Founded in 1872, Hilton College is a private full boarding senior school for boys near the town of Hilton in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands. It is one of the most prestigious schools in the country. As part of the school’s Design Technology curriculum, Hilton College’s budding civil engineers were set the task of building a wooden bridge that spanned 75 cm, using only wood and carpenter’s glue. SSI civil engineers David Wright, Sarah Skorpen and Digby Johnn were called in to give a presentation on bridge design and to test the bridges to see how much weight each could support. The winning bridge held a load of 41kg and appeared capable of supporting even more, had the judges not run out of weights! Mentoring less advantaged young people SSI CEO Naren Bhojaram says: “We were delighted to have been able to give input into this valuable exercise at Hilton College and we wish these budding young engineers every success in their future careers. “As a company we’re totally committed to seeing engineers emerge from the ranks of high school pupils and we’re doing all we can to help make this happen. SSI is fully aligned with government’s aspirations towards developing sorely needed skills in our country and we share government’s concern at the lack of interest and the poor pass rate in maths, science and technology at school level. “In response, we’ve stepped up to the plate to do our part in preparing and supporting school leavers in these subjects and helping to direct them towards technical careers. We’ve been focusing on skills development, careers guidance and awareness programmes for more than ten years and, among other initiatives, have mentored a number of engineers and technical staff, supported post-Matric learners with bursaries — and generally worked hard to raise awareness among school learners about the consulting engineering sector. NEWS RELEASE From SSI Engineers and Environmental Consultants Transport ● Water ● Industrial ● Environmental ● Ports, Aviation & Rail ● Mining ● Project & Construction Management Page 2 of 2 “Social responsibility is a bedrock philosophy at SSI,” he says. “We measure our involvement in social programmes not by our input — but by the results we achieve. And we’re proud to be doing significantly more than what is required to achieve maximum corporate social responsibility points in the draft Construction Charter. “For instance, we run our own Saturday School for previously disadvantaged grade 11 and 12 learners in the subjects of science, maths and technical drawing. Our own engineers and technical staff teach at these schools, which presently operate free of charge in Pretoria, Bloemfontein, Johannesburg and Pietermaritzburg. SSI also offers a bursary scheme for undergraduate and post graduate studies. “In addition, SSI is a proud sponsor of Protec, another Saturday School initiative, and we’re involved in the Gauteng Department of Education’s 16 schools project, designed to impart technical, business and project management skills to emerging contractors.” SSI — a DHV company, is a black empowered, multi-disciplinary consultancy that tailors solutions for clients involved in infrastructure development. The company’s services cover the complete spectrum of lifecycle needs within the sectors of transport, water, environmental, electrical power & building services, mining and project & construction management. SSI staff number 900, operating from 20 offices in all major centres of South Africa and in, Botswana, Kenya, Mozambique and Zimbabwe, as well as project offices elsewhere in Africa including Lesotho and Madagascar. Its majority shareholder is the DHV Group, one of Europe's leading engineering firms with representation in 30 countries. For more information, contact Robin Hayes, Group Communications Manager, on (011) 798-6522. More news about SSI is available on the website, www.ssi-dhv.com ENDS Picture Caption Seen here with the winning structure are SSI civil engineer Sarah Skorpen and pupils Marlowe Brett, Diederik Putter and Cuan Thomas, all in Grade 8. Hilton College teachers Noel Robert and Mike Green teach the course and organised the event.