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Urban planning research expert receives 2014 JD Roberts Award

04 August 2014

Johannesburg, 1 August 2014 - The 2014 JD Roberts Award was presented to Dr Louis Waldeck at a ceremony hosted at the CSIR International Convention Centre.

Dr Waldeck leads the Urban Simulation Component of the Integrated Planning and Development Modelling project, through which a simulation platform consisting of UrbanSim and MATSim is being adapted to South African conditions and which has been applied in eThekwini, Nelson Mandela Bay, Johannesburg and the greater Gauteng City Region.

Dr Waldeck's system allows for the modelling of a city and the behaviour of residents in choosing, amongst others, a place to live and travel routes.  This information is used for high level decision making in the development of a city.

The annual JD Roberts Award, sponsored by Murray & Roberts, is held in partnership with the CSIR. Instituted by Murray & Roberts in 1980 in remembrance of one of the group's founding fathers, Dr JD ‘Douglas' Roberts, the award recognises and promotes competitive and environmentally-sustainable solutions to human dilemmas and encourages scientific research into technology that will enhance the quality of life of all South Africans.

The finalists' research presentations are adjudicated based on the relevance and potential improvement to the quality of life of people of South Africa; the innovation, uniqueness and distinction of the work; the potential uptake and practicality of the research in the relevant sector and the potential impact of the research.

"All three finalists presented research of a very high calibre and determining a final winner was a challenging process" says Andrew Skudder, Sustainability Director at Murray & Roberts and member of the adjudication panel.  The first runner up was Dr Joseph Anochie-Boateng and second runner up was Dr Dirk Conradie.

Dr Anochie-Boateng specialises in transport infrastructure engineering and design.  He has actively pioneered and led the use of advanced laser technology to measure the shape and surface properties of aggregate and ballast materials used in roads and railway infrastructure in South Africa.

Dr Dirk Conradie's research is focused on predictive building performance analysis, particularly by passive methods such as natural ventilation.  Dr Conradie also specialises in advanced systems and software related to the built environment and is viewed as one of the CAD pioneers in South Africa.

The JD Roberts Award recognises the significant contribution made by researchers to improving global competitiveness of South African industry and improving the quality of life of all South Africans.  It is also an occasion to pay tribute to the memory of Dr Roberts and the association between Murray & Roberts and the CSIR.

About Murray & Roberts:
Murray & Roberts is South Africa's leading engineering and construction services company. It has delivered infrastructure throughout South and Southern Africa for more than 110 years and is today recognised as an international engineering and construction group. Murray & Roberts is a group of world-class companies and brands aligned to the same purpose and vision, and guided by the same set of values.

The company offers civil, mechanical, electrical, mining and process engineering, general building, procurement, construction, commissioning, operations and maintenance services. Murray & Roberts does so in the global underground mining market, selected international oil & gas markets, selected African power and industrial markets and selected African infrastructure sectors.

Murray & Roberts operates in Southern, Central and Western Africa, Middle East, Southeast Asia, Australasia and North and South America. The company is based in Johannesburg South Africa, where it has a public listing on the JSE Limited. It has principle offices in Australia, Botswana, Canada, Chile, Ghana, Mozambique, Namibia, United Arab Emirates, United States of America and Zambia.

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About the CSIR:
The CSIR (Council for Scientific and Industrial Research) is one of the leading research and development, technology and innovation institutions in Africa, with a track record spanning over 65 years. The CSIR strives for excellence in all its endeavours in order to improve the quality of life of South Africa's people and to increase the global competitiveness of South African industry.
The CSIR - our future through science

More information is available at  

For further Information:

Ed Jardim
Murray & Roberts Group Communications Executive
Tel: 011 456 1000
Tendani Tsedu
CSIR Media Manager
Tel: 012 841 3417

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