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Sep 14, 2012

Institute organises international conference

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The International Institute of Welding (IIW) Regional Congress, organised by the Southern African Institute of Welding (SAIW), will be held on November 7 and 8 at Emperors Palace, in Johannesburg.

The theme of the congress is ‘Advancing the science and technology of welding in sub-Saharan Africa’, which the SAIW notes is motivated by two main issues in welding, nondestructive testing (NDT) and other related industries in sub-Saharan Africa.

SAIW executive director Jim Guild says the congress is expected to attract between 200 and 300 attendees from various industries.

IIW president Dr Baldev Raj will be the keynote speaker at the event, addressing the topic ‘Advanced nondestructive evaluation for comprehensive quality assurance of high-performance steel weldments’.

The congress will address welding and nondestructive welding in the automotive, energy, processing and transport sectors. It will also include an exhibition of new products and technologies.

Jaeger Lecture

Professor Andy Kourasaris will present the introductory Jaeger lecture, named in honour of Professor Hans Jaeger, of the Netherlands, who was instrumental in the development of the IIW and president of the organisation from 1951 to 1954.

Kourasaris was awarded an IIW gold medal in 2010 in recognition of the impact he made in the area of training for welding engineers, as well as his contribution towards the development of the IIW. Born in Cyprus, Kourasaris came to South Africa in 1975 and joined the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), carrying out research which led to his PhD. He became a lecturer at Wits in 1979.

He has been the coordinator of the Wits/SAIW welding engineering programme for over ten years. He took over the programme at a time when it was undergoing significant changes and has been primarily responsible for its rationalisation and alignment with the IIW’s International Welding Engineer programme. The programme has produced over 100 welding engineers to date.

Kourasaris will provide an overview of welding developments in sub-Saharan Africa.

Other speakers at the congress, will include Professor Madeleine du Toit, of the University of Pretoria, Professor Thomas Boellinhaus and Professor Michael Rhetmeier, of the BAM Federal Institute of Materials Research and Testing in Germany, Doug Luciani, of the Canadian Welding Bureau, and Christian Ahrens, of the German Welding Institute Modern Development for Education and Training in Welding and Testing.

The speakers will host 14 sessions, covering topics such as NDT and inspection, welding in the power generation sector, welding consumables and laser welding.

Guild says the congress is of great importance to South African welding and its related industries.

“Not only will international scholars share their knowledge with us, but international relationships will be strengthened,” he says.

Edited by: Chanel de Bruyn
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