Receiving the award from the Minister of Science and Technology, Mrs Naledi Pandor, is the CSIR’s Dr James Maina, with two members of his pavement design and construction team, (left) Dr Martin Mgangira and Dr Joseph Anochie-Boateng.
Members of the CSIR ‘team supreme’ at the NSTF-BHP Billiton awards ceremony: Chief engineer and research group leader, Dr James Maina (seated), with colleagues (from left) Dr Joseph Anochie-Boateng, Dr Martin Mgangira and Benoit Verhaeghe, manager of the transport infrastructure engineering area within which the team works.
Comprehensive research that enables the prediction of the performance of roads or airport runways over a period of time saw a CSIR team in pavement design and construction win an NSTF-BHP Billiton Award.
Dr James Maina and his team members received the award from Mrs Naledi Pandor, Minister of Science and Technology and patron of the awards event.
The award, which went to the team leader of the Pavement Design and Construction group. was made in the category: An individual or a team for an outstanding contribution to SETI (science, engineering, technology and innovation) through research leading to innovation.
Maina was furthermore a finalist for the TW Kambule Awards to an Individual for outstanding contributions to SETI through research and its outputs over the past five to ten years. He is one of a handful of chief researchers at the CSIR, the highest position to be held by a researcher in the organisation. His expertise areas include numerical modelling; characterisation of mechanical properties of materials; contact stresses between tyres and road surfaces; field testing; and the use of high performance computing.
Using this expert knowledge, Maina is the architect of a suite of software packages such as statFEMPA, dynFEMPA, viscoGAMES, meGAMES, meGRAMES, meCRAMES, backGAMES, etc. which cater for different road materials properties, loading characteristics and pavement (paved road) configurations. These packages will form the engine of the new South African Pavement Design Method; previous versions of some these packages are already used locally and internationally (e.g. in Japan) to identify primary responses (i.e. displacements, stresses and strains) within the road or airport pavement structure.
With their comprehensive research information, Maina and his team predict how roads or airport runways will perform over a period of time, enabling owners to plan proper road construction, rehabilitation and maintenance, taking into consideration recommended guidelines and available options.
Dr James Maina