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Department of Civil Engineering

Research Topics ~ 2017

1. Construction Engineering and Management


 Prof Jan Wium Page 2

2. Hydraulic Engineering
 Mrs Adele Bosman Page 4
 Prof Gerrit Basson Page 5

3. Hydrology
 Prof Kobus du Plessis Page 6

4. Pavement Engineering
 Prof Kim Jenkins Page 8

5. Port & Coastal Engineering


 Prof Koos Schoonees & Dr Andre Theron Page 12

6. Water Services
 Mr Carlo Loubser Page 14
 Prof Heinz Jacobs Page 15

7. Water Treatment
 Dr Isobel Brink Page 17

8. Structural Engineering and Civil Engineering Informatics


 Various lecturers Page 18
Faculty: Department:
Faculty of Engineering Civil Engineering

E-mail: janw@sun.ac.za

Lecturer: Prof Jan Wium Tel: +27 (0)21 808 4348

Office: S365

Field of Research: Construction Engineering and Management

General Description (field of research):


Research in Construction Engineering and Management focuses on the fields described below. The aim is to
perform applied research which can serve as basis for improved performance in the South African construction
industry. This is accomplished by improvement in various aspects of the industry, ranging from skills
development, construction methods, risk management, identification of hurdles and shortcomings, through to
management of large projects. Research often includes interaction and feedback from practitioners in the
industry.
Pre-fabrication in construction has the advantage of faster delivery of large projects, improved construction
quality in certain aspects, and potentially improved construction safety. In South Africa relatively little use is
made of pre-fabrication in construction projects. Although the concept may be well developed and applied for
structural steelwork application, not many construction projects in reinforced concrete are carried out using
pre-fabrication.
Municipal and national infrastructure needs careful coordinated planning, implementation and maintenance.
Although infrastructure management procedures have been well developed and documented, these are not
necessarily applicable to the local industry. South Africa has a shortage of infrastructure financing, but also of
managerial skills to implement provision of infrastructure and to maintain existing systems.
All projects have risks. Although risk management procedures have been developed and are widely used, these
are often seen from the perspective of individual project participants. Information is required on risks
experienced by different project participants in the South African context, and procedures need to be
developed which will enable collaborative risk management on projects.
Procedures to direct the process of design to suit construction requirements need to be identified and defined.
Information which is of practical use for designers need to be documented in such a way that constructability
can be incorporated along specific guidelines during the design process.
Large projects often exceed the anticipated project cost and duration. This may be related to a variety of
factors and procedures which are investigated in this research.

MEng
List of Research Topics: PhD Funding
(Research)

Hybrid Concrete Construction (prefabrication plus in-situ):


• Design and fabrication standards for hybrid concrete
construction Refer to the
1 • Application of hybrid concrete construction for X notes below
accelerated infrastructure delivery
• Behaviour of connections in hybrid concrete
construction under seismic loads

Construction Risk:
Refer to the
• Risks for South African consultants on design-build
2 X X notes below
projects
• Investigate the aims of the NEC form of contract and
how it relates to the realisation of these in the South

2
African industry - Collaborative risk management
techniques
• Risk based tendering methods

Infrastructure Asset Management:


• Community involvement in IAM
• IAM through a systems engineering approach Refer to the
3 • Optimizing the asset portfolios of State Owned X notes below
Enterprises
• Feasibility of a rapid transit system between Cape
Town, Stellenbosch and the Helderberg

Design management and large projects:


• A study on the failure of large projects : Compilation of
project data (case studies) and a synthesis on lessons Refer to the
4 learned X notes below
• Management of megaprojects towards improved Project
Delivery
• Identification of constructability parameters

Management & Modern Technology:


• Investigate how modern technology may be used to
assist in improving project execution (e.g. BIM
packages)
• Building Information Models and constructability
verification (see safety verification) Refer to the
5 • Remote monitoring of Construction Quality X X notes below
• Modern Communication systems and their impact on
Projects Management
• The future of Project Management & its methodologies
• Ranking tasks towards improved Project Management
• An evaluation of traditional Project Management
methodologies for modern engineering projects

Social, Environmental & Sustainability studies:


• Investigate the socio-economic impact of Green Roofs in
South Africa Refer to the
6 • Development of a risk management strategy to ensure X notes below
that SA is ready for climate change
• Corporate Social Investment towards improving the
Construction Industry

Notes regarding Funding:


• Industry organisations offer bursaries for postgraduate studies in Construction Engineering and
Management if the student meets their profile requirement. These organisations generally expect that
the student would work for them for the period that the bursary was awarded. Make contact with the
lecturer for further information.

Prerequisites or Requirements:
• Average of 60% mark over the 4 years of under graduate studies.

3
Faculty: Department:
Faculty of Engineering Civil Engineering

E-mail: abosman2@sun.ac.za

Lecturer: Mrs Adele Bosman Tel: +27 (0)21 808 4356

Office: S412

Field of Research: Hydraulic Engineering (River & Stormwater)

General Description (field of research):


Urban stormwater and drainage systems

MEng
List of Research Topics: PhD Funding
(Research)

Urban stormwater and drainage systems:


• Flood routing in urban environments
• Hazard classification and mapping
• Bridge hydraulics Refer to the
1 X
• Low level causeways and debris notes below
• Sustainable urban drainage systems
• Flood attenuation pond design
• Flood warning

Notes regarding Funding:


• Students may apply to outside funding sources.

Prerequisites or Requirements:
• Average of 60% mark over the 4 years of under graduate studies.

4
Faculty: Department:
Faculty of Engineering Civil Engineering

E-mail: grbasson@sun.ac.za

Lecturer: Prof Gerrit Basson Tel: +27 (0)21 808 4355

Office: S418

Field of Research: Hydraulic Engineering

General Description (field of research):


• Design of Hydraulic Structures,
• Design of Pipeline & Pumpstation Design
• River & Stormwater Hydraulics

MEng
List of Research Topics: PhD Funding
(Research)

Physical and mathematical (CFD) modelling of the 3D flow


patterns at hydraulic structures:
• Dam spillway hydraulics Refer to the
1 • Energy dissipation structures X
notes below
• River abstraction works
• Large diameter conduits
• Environmental impact minimization

Hydrodynamic mathematical modelling of river systems to


investigate aspects such as:
• Climate change and land use change impacts Refer to the
2 • Sediment transport and fluvial morphology X
notes below
• Reservoir sedimentation management
• Estuary and Lake hydrodynamics and salinity
• Erosion protection

Notes regarding Funding:


• Students may apply to outside funding sources.

Prerequisites or Requirements:
• Average of 60% mark over the 4 years of under graduate studies.

5
Faculty: Department:
Faculty of Engineering Civil Engineering

E-mail: jadup@sun.ac.za

Lecturer: Prof Kobus du Plessis Tel: +27 (0)21 808 4358

Office: S406

Field of Research: Hydrology

General Description (field of research):


• Flood
• Drought
• Water resources management
• Climate change

MEng
List of Research Topics: PhD Funding
(Research)

Partial Duration series vs Annual Maximum series vs Peak Refer to the


1 X
over threshold. notes below

Flood calculation review. (SDF / MIPI / CAPA / Slope / I / Refer to the


2 X
MAP / Size / ARF / RMF / PMF). notes below

Refer to the
3 Flood hydrographs X
notes below

Refer to the
4 Impact of veld fires on runoff X
notes below

Refer to the
5 Storm rainfall measurement X
notes below

Refer to the
6 Short duration storm analysis X
notes below

Refer to the
7 Rainfall / Runoff relationships (WRSM) X
notes below

Yield modelling (WRYM / Mike Basin) (Stochastic data vs Refer to the


8 X
Historical data) notes below

Refer to the
9 Monthly vs Daily time step for modelling X
notes below

Refer to the
10 Alternative resources: Desalination X
notes below

Refer to the
11 Integrated catchment management (Institutional) X
notes below

6
Notes regarding Funding:
• Students may apply to outside funding sources.

Prerequisites or Requirements:
• Average of 60% mark over the 4 years of under graduate studies.

7
Faculty: Department:
Faculty of Engineering Civil Engineering

E-mail: kjenkins@sun.ac.za

Lecturer: Prof Kim Jenkins Tel: +27 (0)21 808 4379

Office: S469

Field of Research: Pavement Engineering – Sustainable Road Construction Materials

General Description (field of research):


The Pavement Engineering Group at Stellenbosch University (SU) is addressing the need for sustainable
practices in the maintaining of South Africa’s road network infrastructure. Amidst increasing environmental
consciousness and societal challenges holistic solutions are needed that do not compromise on performance.
Four of the innovative ways that SU’s research is contributing to this is highlighted here:

Cold recycling technology


Research into the bitumen stabilisation of recycled granular, cemented and asphalt materials and blends of
these materials has shown that:
• the load bearing capacity and durability of old road materials is significantly enhanced using emulsion
and foamed bitumen as binders; and
• emissions can be reduced by up to 40% and energy consumption by more than 50% with cold
stabilisation; and
• robust long term performance should be considered with increasing recycled asphalt percentages.

Construction and demolition materials (NOT waste)


A large proportion of construction and demolition material are disposed of in landfills ignoring potential
inherent value of materials. Research has found that:
• characterisation and performance evaluation of Recycled Concrete Aggregate (RCA) and Recycled
Masonry (RCM) has proven to have significant potential for use in load bearing pavement layers in a
road; and
• can provide enhanced structural performance through self-cementing characteristics, based on residual
active cement.

MEng
List of Research Topics: PhD Funding
(Research)

Innovations in new material development and new R80,000 for


1 X
technologies associated with Warm Mix Asphalt WMA 2 years

Cold recycling technology development: Research of highly R80,000 for


2 X
modified cold mixes for high performance 2 years

Recycling of construction materials (crushed concrete and R80,000 for


3 X
masonry) and by-products (slag, glass etc) 2 years

Life Cycle Assessment LCA methods’ applicability within the R80,000 for
4 X
South African context. 2 years

8
Notes regarding Funding:
• Funding is not guaranteed, as yet. It depends on the NRF and industry support from standard
bursary providers. Some bursaries have requirements including commitments to working-back
periods after completion of the degree.

Prerequisites or Requirements:
• Average of 60% mark over the 4 years of undergraduate studies.

9
Faculty: Department:
Faculty of Engineering Civil Engineering

E-mail: kjenkins@sun.ac.za

Lecturer: Prof Kim Jenkins Tel: +27 (0)21 808 4379

Office: S469

Field of Research: Pavement Engineering – Product investigation and development, as well as design model
developments for industry

General Description (field of research):


Optimisation of Thin Surfacings
Research into the bitumen stabilisation of recycled granular, cemented and asphalt materials and blends of
these materials has shown that:
• More than 80% of the SA surfaced road network comprises of a variety of different type of seals (more
than a dozen) as they provide highly cost effective and environmentally friendly solutions for surfaced
roads. However, current seal design methods are highly empirical and restrictive. Numerical models
including constitutive material models for individual seal components of different seal configurations
were developed, using Finite Element Methods (FEM were).

Cold recycling technology


Research into the bitumen stabilisation of recycled granular, cemented and asphalt materials and blends of
these materials has shown that:
• accurate design models can be developed through the modelling of thermal capacity and conductivity of
foamed bitumen stabilised layers in a road; and
• robust long term performance should be considered with increasing recycled asphalt percentages.

Development of Performance Grading Binder Evaluation and Rheological Test Methods


At CAPSA 2015 in August of the same year, a Resolution was passed stating that:
• “The Conference charges Sabita to convene and international binder group meeting in 2015 to process
the PG concepts developed at CAPSA 2015, for the purpose of formulating a PG Specification for trial
implementation by SANRAL”.
The need for more advanced evaluation of bitumen performance in its application in the road industry, is
overdue. Current specifications and design methods of asphalt, and bitumen in particular, are out dated and
are in the process of being revised. Industry is looking to SU, at a technical level, for guidance with the
rheological specifications of binders.
The DSR (Dynamic Shear Rheometer) device will enable SU to research the necessary respective fields of
binder rheology to broaden the base of understanding and new specifications. This will lead to research that is
not only fundamental but also industry-relevant, and will culminate in a number of post-graduate degrees, both
at master as well as at PhD level.
The design and setup of new tests etc. required for new specifications can be developed here at our own
university. The applicant is currently well prepared to lead the research, as he has Chaired the SA Performance
Specification Working Group and SANRAL Pavement Engineering at Civil Engineering. The applicant also
supervises the newly formed DSR user group in South Africa, and needs state-of-the-art equipment to sustain
this leading role.

Construction and demolition materials (NOT waste)


A large proportion of construction and demolition material are disposed of in landfills ignoring potential
inherent value of materials. Development of models is needed to:
• provide enhanced structural performance through self-cementing characteristics, based on residual
active cement.

10
MEng
List of Research Topics: PhD Funding
(Research)

Cement stabilised material performance: understanding the


R80,000 for
1 mechanisms and key properties creating shrinkage and X
2 years
methods of retarding shrinkage cracking.

Performance grading binder specification development for


South Africa based on fundamental and appropriate R80,000 for
2 X
rheological research, in collaboration with SANRAL and 2 years
Sabita.

Development of high performance asphalts with special R80,000 for


3 X
modifiers or binders. 2 years

Adhesive properties of binders and the influence of precoats


R80,000 for
4 and additives on bitumen bond strength under adverse/ X
2 years
marginal weather conditions, allowing winter construction.

Validation of design models for performance evaluation and


design bitumen stabilised materials (BSMs) as part of R80,000 for
5 X
pavement recycling of granular and cemented materials, and 2 years
Reclaimed Asphalt (RA).

Design models for recycled construction materials (crushed


R80,000 for
6 concrete and masonry) and by-products, including self- X
2 years
cementation properties and durability models

Notes regarding Funding:


• Funding is not guaranteed, as yet. It depends on NRF and industry support from standard bursary
providers. Some bursaries have requirements including commitments to working-back periods after
completion of the degree.

Prerequisites or Requirements:
• Average of 60% mark over the 4 years of undergraduate studies.

11
Faculty: Department:
Faculty of Engineering Civil Engineering

E-mail: kooss@sun.ac.za / aktheron@sun.ac.za

Lecturer: Prof Koos Schoonees / Dr Andre Theron Tel: +27 (0)21 808 4362 / 4353

Office: S410 / S414

Field of Research: Port & Coastal Engineering

General Description (field of research):


• Waves, water-levels, climate change (Golwe, watervlakke en klimaatsverandering)
• Marine Structures (Kusstrukture)
• Sediment transport and Morphology (Sedimentvervoer en morfologie)
• Shipping, ship motions, ports/harbours (Skepe, skeepsbeweging en hawens)
• Sand spits (Sandtonge)
• Estuaries (Getyriviere)
• Water Quality, dilution and outfalls (Watergehalte, verdunning en uitlate)

MEng
List of Research Topics: PhD Funding
(Research)

Below is a selection of the research topics that are available


for 2017 – more to follow soon!
• The effect of sea level rise on flood levels in the Great
Brak Estuary: assessing the adequacy of a 5 m setback
line
• Options to reduce sediment build-up in a surf zone
trench protected by an open-ended cofferdam
• An Assessment of Accommodation Strategies for Coastal
Adaptation in Cape Town, South Africa, in Response to
Climate Change
• Characterizing long wave agitation in the port of Ngqura
using a Boussinesq wave model
• Configurations of a piled row breakwater for a protected
shallow water marina
• A dry port as an expansion option for the Cape Town
container terminal Refer to the
1 X
• The effect of structure slope and packing arrangement notes below
on the hydraulic stability of geotextile sand container
revetments
• Efficiency of tandem breakwater in reducing wave
heights and damage level : a Mossel Bay case study
• A feasible design concept for the deep water
breakwater of the proposed new Durban Dig-Out Port
• Hydraulic stability of multi-layered sand-filled geotextile
tube breakwaters under wave attack
• The impact of climate change effects on the planform of
a headland-bay beach on the southern coast of South
Africa
• Impermeable recurve seawalls to reduce wave
overtopping
• Methods for determination of coastal development
setback lines in South Africa.
• A non-intrusive video tracking method to measure

12
movement of a moored vessel
• A preliminary analysis of the sediment budget across
the Swartvlei estuary mouth
• A preliminary assessment of the hydrodynamics of the
Touw River and Wilderness Lakes system with emphasis
on the management of the estuary mouth
• A preliminary concept for an LNG import terminal for
Saldanha bay
• A re-assessment of wave run up formulae
• Reduction of seawall overtopping at the Strand
• Scale model validation of QUAYSIM and WAVESCAT
numerical models of ship motions
• Shoreline changes and longshore transport at the Port
of Ngqura
• An introduction to multifractal geometry of wave sea
states on the west and south-east coasts of South
Africa
• Calculation of the forces on a moored ship due to a
passing container ship
• Development of a wave energy basin to maximize wave
energy conversion
• Integrity assessment procedure for buffer dune systems
on the Cape South Coast, South Africa
• Investigation of marine components of large direct
seawater intake & brine discharge systems for
desalination plants, towards development of a general
design approach
• The long term impact of the Seli One shipwreck on the
Table Bay beaches
• A review of selected small scale seawater intakes in
South Africa and an investigation into abstraction from
the surfzone on rocky coastlines, by means of the
horizontal well method

Notes regarding Funding:


• Students may apply to outside funding sources.

Prerequisites or Requirements:
• Average of 60% mark over the 4 years of under graduate studies.

13
Faculty: Department:
Faculty of Engineering Civil Engineering

E-mail: carloloubser@sun.ac.za

Lecturer: Mr Carlo Loubser Tel: +27 (0)21 808 4352

Office: S408

Field of Research: Water Services

General Description (field of research):


Water services planning issues, with a focus on hydraulic modelling of water distribution systems, pumps and
reservoirs. The key focus areas are:

MEng
List of Research Topics: PhD Funding
(Research)

Extended period simulation of water networks, also known as Refer to the


1 X
time simulation. notes below

Intermittent water supply, also known as controlled water


supply - referring to pressurised water supply systems that
are unable to meet the demand on the system. Modelling Refer to the
2 X
systems subjected to intermittent supply, and planning notes below
ahead to improve system performance to ultimately meet the
peak system demand is a particular challenge.

Refer to the
3 Small bore sewer systems, also known as solids-free sewers. X
notes below

Emergency supply systems designed for fire protection, for


Refer to the
4 example at strategic consumers such as refineries, ports and X
notes below
large industrial complexes.

Urban hydrology, with specific focus on rainwater harvesting Refer to the


5 X
as alternative water source. notes below

Notes regarding Funding:


• Students may apply to outside funding sources.

Prerequisites or Requirements:
• Average of 60% mark over the 4 years of under graduate studies.

14
Faculty: Department:
Faculty of Engineering Civil Engineering

E-mail: hejacobs@sun.ac.za

Lecturer: Prof Heinz Jacobs Tel: +27 (0)21 808 4059

Office: S413

Field of Research: Water Services (Urban)

General Description (field of research):


Water services planning issues, with a focus on end-use modelling of demand, methods for estimating water
demand and corresponding analyses. The novel application of end-use models to address practical water
services planning issues, including matters pertaining to water demand management, water conservation,
water balance, water loss and alternative household water sources ( greywater reuse and garden boreholes).
The key focus areas are:

MEng
List of Research Topics: PhD Funding
(Research)

End-use modelling of residential water demand:


• stochastical methods for modelling water use by Refer to the
1 X
considering water end-uses, also known as micro- notes below
components

Residential outdoor water demand:


• water use for urban agriculture and relevant issues of
climate change, water restrictions and food security. In Refer to the
2 relatively low income neighbourhoods socio- X
notes below
economically vulnerable consumers grow vegetables for
own consumption in back yard gardens, irrigated with
potable water supplied from the distribution system

The water-energy nexus at home:


• hot water use in a home and related water Refer to the
3 temperatures notably impact energy requirements. Both X
notes below
water and energy are viewed internationally as scarce
resources, facing increased stress over the next decade

Water demand analyses. Automated procedures, online tools


and “apps”, and real time applications are increasingly
incorporated for demand analyses. Advanced methods to
integrate modelled demand, measured demand and the
Refer to the
4 corresponding loads on a water network models. X
notes below
Government subsidised low-cost housing developments
constitute a growing portion of homes in South Africa, with
various challenges in terms of water service provision,
densification and subsequent water services modelling.

Research into sewerage flow and sewer hydraulics,


Refer to the
5 particularly as it relates to end-uses of water, water X
notes below
conservation and demand management.

15
Notes regarding Funding:
• Students may apply to outside funding sources.

Prerequisites or Requirements:
• Average of 60% mark over the 4 years of under graduate studies.

16
Faculty: Department:
Faculty of Engineering Civil Engineering

E-mail: icbrink@sun.ac.za

Lecturer: Dr Isobel Brink Tel: +27 (0)21 808 4195

Office: S416

Field of Research: Water Treatment

General Description (field of research):


Water treatment has diverse applications. Current research includes small scale water treatment systems, point
of use water treatment and modelling of dissolved pollutants in streams. Small scale water treatment research
is focussed on the optimal combination of different units (aerobic reactor, anaerobic reactor and disinfection) in
package plants designed to treat sewage from small housing clusters. Point of use water treatment research is
focussed on the optimal combination of low technology settling, filtration and disinfection units for application
to rural areas on a single household scale. Modelling of dissolved pollutants in streams is focussed on the
comparison of parameters estimated with different models and model solving techniques.
Future research envisaged includes general research into stormwater runoff pollutant reduction technologies.
Stormwater runoff contains many pollutants that need to be reduced before entering natural water bodies.
Engineering technologies have not advanced towards this goal and this may be partly attributed to a lack of
design information in the form of runoff pollutants as well as a lack of research into the efficiency of
stormwater structures. Research will be focussed on (1) compilation and statistical analysis of published runoff
constituent data with the goal of summarising typical pollutants that can be expected from land-use types and
(2) determination of efficiencies of stormwater structures.

MEng
List of Research Topics: PhD Funding
(Research)

Refer to the
1 Typical land-use surface runoff contaminants. X
notes below

Refer to the
2 Wetland stormwater pollutant removal efficiencies. X
notes below

Refer to the
3 Swale stormwater pollutant removal efficiencies. X
notes below

Notes regarding Funding:


• Students may apply to outside funding sources.

Prerequisites or Requirements:
• As per the policies of Stellenbosch University.

17
Division of Structural Engineering and Civil Engineering Informatics
MEng Research: Topics available in 2017 You are welcome to discuss the topics with the lecturers

Note that all prospective MEng[R] students will be required and assisted to apply for alternative sources of funding, such as NRF, Wilhelm Frank, DAAD etc., even where a bursary is
available from project funds.

Bursary
Research
Preliminary title of research Workstation and
No Lecturer Brief description of project material
project 1st year 2nd year internet costs
expenses

The Institute for Structural Engineering (ISE)


will provide two bursaries based on academic
merit. These bursaries will be allocated prior to
the deadline for topic submission and are
ISI Any Any R 95 000 R 95 000
available for any of the topics below. A separate
application form has been distributed for this
purpose, which should be submitted by 30 June
2017.

Some areas in the Western Cape are at risk to natural


seismicity. The fuel reservoirs at Milnerton refinery
each have a capacity of approximately 20 million
litres. These fuel reservoirs are considered a strategic
Resistance of fuel reservoirs to
H1 Dr T Haas resource. Should failure of 1 of these fuel reservoirs TBC TBC Covered none
earthquake loading
occur, it could result in a catastrophe not only for the
plant but also have severe consequences on the
businesses which heavily rely on fuel in the Western
Cape.

The new code of practice for the analysis of civil


engineering infrastructure was recently approved for
use. Many civil engineering professionals had
Evaluation of the new seismic
H2 Dr T Haas problems using the previous code of practice. The TBC TBC Covered none
loading code of practice
purpose of this investigation is to determine how
practicing engineers are embracing the new code of
practice.

Concencrete Filled Double Skin Tubular columns can


be used to enhance the construction process and is
Ultimate load predition of
H3 Dr T Haas also viable alternative in seismic prone areas. The TBC TBC Covered none
Square CFDST columns
aim is to develop a generic FE model to accurately
predict the ultimate load capacity of these sections.

Concencrete Filled Double Skin Tubular columns can


be used to enhance the construction process and is
Ultimate load predition of
also viable alternative in seismic prone areas. The
H4 Dr T Haas Square CFDST columns TBC TBC Covered none
aim is to develop a generic FE model to accurately
subjected to eccentricity
predict the ultimate load capacity of these sections
when subjected to eccentric loading.

An innovation in construction and architecture is


represented by 3D printing extrusion of concrete. A
facility for 3D printing is to be designed and
constructed in the Structural Engineering laboratory.
Printable/extrudable concrete mixes are to be
Z1 Prof GPAG van Zijl 3D Printing concrete R 95 000 R 95 000 yes yes
designed based on rheological parameters of shear
stress in the fresh condition, and compressive
strength and interlayer bond in the hardened stage.
The project combines concrete technology, structural
and construction engineering principles.

Several unreinforced load bearing masonry buildings


in the Western Cape were built before seismic design
was included as a requirement (1989) in the South
African loading code. A shotcrete application of fibre
concrete for overlay retrofitting has been developed
at Stellenbosch. Perform a mix cost-mechanical
Structural retrofit strategy for optimisation for a typical 4-storey masonry building.
Z2 Prof GPAG van Zijl seismic resistance of multi- The structural seismic design must be performed to R 95 000 R 95 000 yes yes
storey masonry buildings ensure compliance sith design standard SANS10160.
However, make appropriate provision for improved
ductility of the retrofitted masonry wall structure.
Validate the results by appropriate laboratory testing.
Division of Structural Engineering and Civil Engineering Informatics
MEng Research: Topics available in 2017 You are welcome to discuss the topics with the lecturers

Note that all prospective MEng[R] students will be required and assisted to apply for alternative sources of funding, such as NRF, Wilhelm Frank, DAAD etc., even where a bursary is
available from project funds.

Bursary
Research
Preliminary title of research Workstation and
No Lecturer Brief description of project material
project 1st year 2nd year internet costs
expenses

A relevant topic in building façade design for energy


efficient, sustainable buildings is to be formulated in
consultation with the study leader and local
Z3 Prof GPAG van Zijl Façade design for sustainability. R 95 000 R 95 000 yes yes
consulting companies. This is a challenging topic,
requiring mastering of building physics and
computational analysis.
Optimisation of structural systems – Details to be
R1 Dr G van Rooyen Informatics None None None None
defined in cooperation with the student
Optimisation approach to project scheduling,
R2 Dr G van Rooyen Informatics resource allocation and management – Details to be None None None None
defined in cooperation with the student
Software models for structural analysis / design /
R3 Dr G van Rooyen Informatics reliability – Details to be defined in cooperation with None None None None
the student

The design of culverts is dominated by the variable


traffic loading in association with the height of soil.
The current THM-7 is to be updated, Eurocode does
L1 Dr R Lenner Culvert Loading Model not provide enough guidance. Investigate culvert yes yes
loading and propose a new loading model and design
One of the One of the
procedure for culverts. The problem complicates for
topics R95000 topics R95000
skewed structures.

Implement a Monte Carlo simulation for the


Dr R Lenner & Dr G van
L2 Monte Carlo calculation of traffic load effects based on weigh-in- yes yes
Rooyen (co-supervisor)
motion recordings.

The interaction between a heavy vehicle and bridge is


important in terms of the total action effects. There
are different values specified in different international TBC, NRF TBC, NRF
L3 Dr R Lenner Dynamic amplification design codes for normal traffic. It is however not funds may be funds may be yes None
clear how to approach dynamic amplification locally available available
for existing bridges. Thorough investigation of
dynamic effects is necessary.

A recently published German Guidline -


Nachrechnung von Strassenbruecken containts a
multi-level approach to the re-calculation of structural
TBC, NRF TBC, NRF
capacity of existing bridges. The last level - non-
L4 Dr R Lenner Existing bridges funds may be funds may be yes None
linear analysis and fully probabilistic approach are
available available
not entirely developed. Investigate the guideline in
local context (especially material properties) and
provide guidance for the last level.

A new wind map is being finalised for the SA


R95 000 (One R95 000 (One
standard for wind loading (SANS 10160-3). In
bursary is bursary is
Calibration of new partial related work, the wind load prediction model is being
available to the available to the
factors for wind loading based improved. These advances are likely to influence the
V1 Dr C Viljoen most deserving most deserving Covered Provided
on an updated probabilistic desired partial factor values for wind loads. The aim
student on student on
model for SA wind loads. is to achieve the desired level of reliability (safety)
academic academic
across the range of application or scope of the
merit) merit)
standard, without excessive conservatism.

Recent PhD research concluded that the existing


provisions of Eurocode EN1992-1-1 for shear in
beams are unsafe at high percentages of
Improvement of the shear
reinforcement. South Africa is adopting EN 1992-1-1
V2 Dr C Viljoen design provisions of EN 1992-1- Covered Provided
in the place of SANS 10100-1! Urgent work is
1.
required to extend the investigation to find ways of
adjusting the current formulation to achieve sufficient
reliability accross the range of typical application.
Division of Structural Engineering and Civil Engineering Informatics
MEng Research: Topics available in 2017 You are welcome to discuss the topics with the lecturers

Note that all prospective MEng[R] students will be required and assisted to apply for alternative sources of funding, such as NRF, Wilhelm Frank, DAAD etc., even where a bursary is
available from project funds.

Bursary
Research
Preliminary title of research Workstation and
No Lecturer Brief description of project material
project 1st year 2nd year internet costs
expenses

Heat of hydration (T1) values are important for the


design of reinforced concrete reservoirs against early
age thermal cracking. Existing numerical models
Prediction of heat of hydration
must be used to predict T1 values for South African
V3 Dr C Viljoen values for South African Covered Provided
concretes with different binder- and aggregate
concretes
contents. Laboratory work would likely be necessary
to establish some of the input parameters, and to
verify predictions.

Design reinforcement in water retaining structures


are often dictated by SLS requirements, i.e. crack
Assessment of the reliability
control. This study would aim to quantify the level of
levels implied by the restrained
reliability of current provisions for restrained
V4 Dr C Viljoen crack prediction models and Covered Provided
cracking. It would be ideal if some assessment of the
limits of EN 1992-1-1 and
desired level of reliability can also be made, based on
SANS10100-3.
cost and consequence considerations, for typical
structures.

The bridge loading model used by SANRAL (TMH7)


for design of highway bridges are being revised.
Traffic loads tend to increase over decades. The
Dr C Viljoen & Dr R Target reliability for existing treatment of existing bridges, should the loads be
V5 Covered Provided
Lenner (co-supervision) concrete bridges increased, need consideration. Since the remaining
design life of an existing structure is shorter, it may
be argued that lower target reliability levels may be
acceptable.

Dimensional stability of foamed Investigate the short term and long term deformations
AS1 Mr AS van Rooyen TBC TBC TBC TBC
concrete in foamed concrete

The design of floor systems using cold-formed steel


sections and lightweight concrete will be
investigated. The study will build on the research of
Design of light steel floor
other SU students where aspects of serviceability and Use of CDSS
systems as an alternative to
SSRU1 Mr E van der Klashorst ultimate load capacity have already been studied. None None Covered equipment as
conventional systems in multi-
This research must quantify the cost of an optimal available
storey buildings
light steel alternative to conventional flooring. This
will be a desk study making use of advanced
modelling and numerical optimization.

This investigation looks at a modern alternative


structural system namely cold-formed steel
structures. The use of lightweight cold formed steel
sections for single or double storey houses are well
The design of modular multi- Use of CDSS
known. This study will aim to quantify the design
SSRU2 Mr E van der Klashorst storey buildings using cold- None None Covered equipment as
parameters that govern or limit the potential for the
formed steel available
technology in multi-storey buildings. The study needs
to focus specifically on possible ways of using
modular construction techniques that speed up
construction time and the quality of the end product.

This investigation looks at a modern alternative


structural system namely cold-formed steel
structures. In South Africa, the industrial building
market is still largely dominated by hot-rolled steel
Use of CDSS
The design cold-formed steel construction for the creation of portal frame buildings
SSRU3 Mr E van der Klashorst None None Covered equipment as
industrial buildings and long span roofs. This study will investigate the
available
use cold-formed steel for building industrial
structures. The work should identify the possibility of
cost reduction while establishing a practical design
methodology.
Division of Structural Engineering and Civil Engineering Informatics
MEng Research: Topics available in 2017 You are welcome to discuss the topics with the lecturers

Note that all prospective MEng[R] students will be required and assisted to apply for alternative sources of funding, such as NRF, Wilhelm Frank, DAAD etc., even where a bursary is
available from project funds.

Bursary
Research
Preliminary title of research Workstation and
No Lecturer Brief description of project material
project 1st year 2nd year internet costs
expenses

For more information on the UCM (Unit for Construction Materials), click here: www.sun.ac.za/ucm

Using fibre reinforced concrete (FRC) for road


pavements has been used for some time in South
Africa, but the mechanisms by which the fibres
actually contribute to the behaviour is however still
The role of fibre in Fibre unknown. One example of this is the UTCRFRC R 95 000 +
UCM1 Prof WP Boshoff R 95 000 Covered Provided
Reinforced Concrete Roads pavement at the Paarl side of the Hugonote Tunnel. Inflation
This topic involves investigating the behaviour of
FRC as a pavement materials and will include
modelling, experimental and field work.
www.sun.ac.za/ucm

The longterm, cyclic fatigue behaviour of fibre


reinforced concrete (FRC) is still not well researched
and the behaviour is also closely linked to the creep
A scholarship may become
Fatigue behaviour of Fibre behaviour of cracked FRC. This topics ties in with
UCM2 Prof WP Boshoff available if further funds Covered Provided
Reinforced Concrete Topic UCM1 as fatigue is an important design
become available
principle for pavement design. This project entails
the fatigue testing of FRC with a special focus on
FRC pavements. www.sun.ac.za/ucm

The UCM is part of a Rilem committee investigating


the tensile creep of cracked fibre reinforced concrete
(FRC). This unknown has to be addressed before
Creep of cracked Fibre FRC can be used with confidence. This project will R 95 000 +
UCM3 Prof WP Boshoff R 95 000 Covered Provided
Reinforced Concrete entail experimental and modelling work to support Inflation
the work of the Rilem committee and the final goal is
a structural creep model for FRC that can be used in
industry. www.sun.ac.za/ucm

Conventional concrete has a negative impact on the


environment, mostly due to the large carbon footprint
of cement. One solution to reduce the environmental
impact of concrete is to reduce the cement content.
This is currently being done to some extent. A scholarship may become
The viability of very low cement
UCM4 Prof WP Boshoff However, there is scope of reducing the cement available if further funds Covered Provided
content concrete
significantly more and still obtain the same become available
mechanical properties. This student will investigate
the possibilities of significantly reducing the cement
content of concrete. It will completely change the
way we design concrete. www.sun.ac.za/ucm

Cracking of plastic concrete includes both plastic


settlement and plastic shrinkage cracking. These
cracks occur mostly in large exposed concrete
elements such as slabs where conventional concrete
mixes are commonly used. However, these cracks are
not limited to conventional concrete and more and
more non-conventional cement based materials are
Plastic cracking of non- being used in practice in environments where plastic
UCM5 Dr R Combrinck conventional cement based cracking may occur. These non-conventional cement Covered Provided
materials based mixes include cement stabilized gravel roads,
roller compacted concrete, geopolymers, concrete
with an high extender content as well as various high
performance concrete mixes such as, self-compacting
concrete, high strength concrete and fibre reinforced
concrete. This study should investigate the potential
for plastic cracking of various non-conventional
cement based materials.
Division of Structural Engineering and Civil Engineering Informatics
MEng Research: Topics available in 2017 You are welcome to discuss the topics with the lecturers

Note that all prospective MEng[R] students will be required and assisted to apply for alternative sources of funding, such as NRF, Wilhelm Frank, DAAD etc., even where a bursary is
available from project funds.

Bursary
Research
Preliminary title of research Workstation and
No Lecturer Brief description of project material
project 1st year 2nd year internet costs
expenses

The cracking of plastic concrete occurs within the


first few hours after concrete has been cast and
includes both plastic settlement of plastic shrinkage
cracks. The behaviour of these cracks is greatly
influenced by the fresh properties of concrete.
Influence of rheology on the Rheology describes the fresh properties of concrete,
UCM6 Dr R Combrinck Covered Provided
cracking of plastic concrete which especially influences the behaviour of the
Two
concrete during casting and compaction. However, Two
scholarhips of
the influence of rheology on the cracking of plastic scholarhips of
R 95 000 +
concrete is unknown. This study should investigate R 95 000 are
inflation are
and propose a link between the rheology of fresh available
available
concrete and the cracking of plastic concrete.

Modern day concrete structures needs to be


constructed quickly and effectively. The concrete
must reach a specific strength as fast as possible to
allow the stripping of formwork and supporting
Early age strength development
falsework. However, structural collapses can occur if
of conventional and non-
the falsework is removed before the concrete has
UCM7 Dr R Combrinck conventional concrete mixes Covered Provided
reached the required strength. With this in mind, this
exposed to different
study should investigate the strength development
environmental conditions
with time of both conventional and non-conventional
concrete mixes at different environmental conditions.
This should include a variation in formwork type as
well as cement type.

The cracking of plastic concrete can result in serious


and premature durability issues. However, these
cracks can be prevented using preventative measures
Quantifying the effectiveness of such as admixtures, fibres, SAP, curing, finishing
UCM8 Dr R Combrinck preventative measures for the techniques and casting procedures. These measures Covered Provided
cracking of plastic concrete are often ineffective due to incorrect application. This
study should investigate and quantify the
effectiveness of these measures in preventing or
reducing the cracking of plastic concrete.

Mechanical limits for conventional masonry units


were developed using yield line theory and
superseded loading conditions. To assist the
Investigating the structural development of alternative masonry units, the
repsonse of single storey mechanical demands on masonry units in Category 1
UCM9 Mrs W de Villiers Covered Provided
masonry walls built of Buildings need to be verified. This is done by
alternative masonry units producing adequate alternative masonry nits and
consucting full-scale masonry wall tests in the
laboratory, including the simulaiton of wind and One scholarhip
One scholarhip
seismic loading. of R 95 000 +
of R 95 000 is
inflation is
Mechanical limits for conventional masonry units available
available
were developed using yield line theory and
superseded loading conditions. To assist the
Determining mechanical
development of alternative masonry units, the
demands on alternative masonry
UCM10 Mrs W de Villiers mechanical demands on masonry units in Category 1 Covered Provided
units for application in Category
Buildings need to be verified. This is done using
1 Buildings
finite element analyses, taking into consideration the
requirements of SANS 10160, including seismic
loading, and the requirements of SANS 10400.

Vibration of Machine Modelling of machine vibrations and comparison


S1 Dr B Strasheim None None None None
Foundations with lab tests and typical analytical calculations
Probabilistic Seismic Hazard
Determine the building stock in selected cities and
S2 Dr B Strasheim and Risk Model for South TBC TBC TBC TBC
evaluate the exposure to seismic hazards
Africa
Modelling of Earthquake
S3 Dr B Strasheim response of liquid containing FEM fluid-structure interaction modelling None None None None
structures
Division of Structural Engineering and Civil Engineering Informatics
MEng Research: Topics available in 2017 You are welcome to discuss the topics with the lecturers

Note that all prospective MEng[R] students will be required and assisted to apply for alternative sources of funding, such as NRF, Wilhelm Frank, DAAD etc., even where a bursary is
available from project funds.

Bursary
Research
Preliminary title of research Workstation and
No Lecturer Brief description of project material
project 1st year 2nd year internet costs
expenses

Cable structures e.g. Apply structural modelling and evaluation techniques


S4 Dr B Strasheim certification of zip lines for to develop best practise approach to certification TBC TBC TBC TBC
insurance purposes procedure requirements for insurance purposes.

Modelling of structural impact Evaluate the impact of ASR on structural behaviour


S5 Dr B Strasheim of Alkali – silica reaction in using FEM applications with selected material None None None None
concrete. modelling options.
Composite steel structures in fire are normally
designed using full FEA models, but now a
simplified approach using a single, intelligent beam
Modelling of structures in fire
W1 Mr R Walls element has been developed at SU for this purpose. Covered TBC
using beam elements TBC (Min. TBC (Min.
Develop the element for analysing structures in fire,
R30k bursary R30k bursary
especially where structures are restrained against
for at least one for at least one
expanding.
of these topics) of these topics)
Investigate the behaviour of a new cellular beam
Structural behaviour of a new
structure when subjected to fire, as part of a research
W2 Mr R Walls cellular steel beam structural Covered Covered
team effort. Full-scale burn tests to be prosionally
system in fire
conducted in 2017/2018.
Develop methods for calculating the load required to
induce collapse on a structure when it is being
demolished. Steel structures are weakened by
Determine lateral loads required
demolition teams prior to collapse, and then have
W3 Mr R Walls to collapse a steel structure None None Covered Covered
columns pulled out of them to induce failure.
during demolition
Investigate how to cause failure through applying
lateral loads. Requires lab testing of weakened
columns.

Carry out full-scale burn tests on shacks in


conjunction with Western Cape Fire Services to
understand how shacks burn and how such structures
respond. Compare temperature results to those from
W4 Mr R Walls Behaviour of shacks in fire Covered Covered
existing models. Investigate how fire travels from one
shack to another. Consider different systems for
TBC TBC
protecting shacks such as intumescent paints and
(R85,000). At (R85,000). At
investigate what difference they make.
least one of least one of
these topics these topics
Numerous large fires have devastated informal funded per funded per
settlements in South Africa. Investigate previous fires year. year.
Understanding informal by interviewing experts in the field, gathering data
settlement fire disasters / from the literature, looking at satellite images etc.
W5 Mr R Walls Covered Covered
Strategies for improving fire Investigate the overall behaviour of fires in terms of
safety how fast they spread, what happens to structures,
how people respond or evacuate and what factors
influence the overall behaviour.

Light steel framed buildings (LSFB) are particularly


sensitive to fire and can collapse quickly if not
Mr R Walls / Mr E van der Behaviour of light steel framed properly protected. Investigate challenges being
W6 TBC TBC TBC TBC
Klashorst buildings in fire experienced by South African fabricators of LSFBs
and how to ensure that sufficient fire ratings are
provided for structures.
Division of Structural Engineering and Civil Engineering Informatics

MEng Research: Topics available in 2017 You are welcome to discuss the topics with the lecturers

Preliminary title of research Bursary Research Workstation


No Lecturer Brief description of project
project 1st year 2nd year material and internet
SSRU1 Mr Etienne van der Klashorst Design of light steel floor The design of floor systems using cold-formed steel None None Covered Use of CDSS
systems as an alternative to sections and lightweight concrete will be equipment as
conventional systems in multi- investigated. The study will build on the research of available
storey buildings other SU students where aspects of serviceability
and ultimate load capacity have already been
studied. This research must quantify the cost of an
optimal light steel alternative to conventional
flooring. This will be a desk study making use of
advanced modelling and numerical optimization.

SSRU2 Mr Etienne van der Klashorst The design of modular multi- This investigation looks at a modern alternative None None Covered Use of CDSS
storey buildings using cold- structural system namely cold-formed steel equipment as
formed steel structures. The use of lightweight cold formed steel available
sections for single or double storey houses are well
known. This study will aim to quantify the design
parameters that govern or limit the potential for the
technology in multi-storey buildings. The study
needs to focus specifically on possible ways of using
modular construction techniques that speed up
construction time and the quality of the end
product.

SSRU3 Mr Etienne van der Klashorst The design cold-formed steel This investigation looks at a modern alternative None None Covered Use of CDSS
industrial buildings structural system namely cold-formed steel equipment as
structures. In South Africa, the industrial building available
market is still largely dominated by hot-rolled steel
construction for the creation of portal frame
buildings and long span roofs. This study will
investigate the use cold-formed steel for building
industrial structures. The work should identify the
possibility of cost reduction while establishing a
practical design methodology.