Dave consults from home since he left the corporate world more than ten years ago. He has been involved in rock engineering since 1963 and jokes that the biggest challenge that rock engineers of his generation face is to keep on breathing in and breathing out for as long as they can.
On a more serious note, he says that younger ones rock engineers face huge challenges associated with the changing mining and political environment. Training and mentoring of newer recruits appears to be a particular challenge.
He plans to compile a history of rock mechanics in South Africa, which he says “…needs to be completed before all of us old toppies finally topple off our perches.” He expects his research role to be more challenging, as the traditional channels seem to have collapsed. However, he says it appears that the universities are rising to meet the challenge. He feels research is essential, as without it, the rock engineering discipline is headed for stagnation.
Dave describes himself as an old man who has lived a full and exciting life with no regrets, and who hopes to continue in the same vein for many, many more years. He and his wife had three sons, who have presented them with seven grandchildren that are now the focus of their lives.
He enjoys travelling, hiking, sailing, cycling, driving fast, reading and his longtime friends. His one regret is that he no longer flies gliders as often as he used to.
Ephraim works for Gold Fields Limited as a Manager, Rock Engineering. He has been in the industry for about two decades.
He notes two important challenges facing the industry - rock engineering capacity and the legislative environment.
On the subject of his portfolio, Ephraim says he would like to familiarise himself with the portfolio before commenting on his plans.
Ephraim and his wife, Tikanelo, have been blessed with four children, one son and three daughters. He likes watching football.
Jaco’s day job is being Principal Rock Engineer for Brentley, Lucas & Associates Mining Consultants. He has spent 16 years in the industry.
He thinks the biggest challenge rock engineers face is staying in touch with the latest developments in the mining industry. They need to keep up to speed with technology and technical information.
Jaco hopes to make the SANIRE website the preferred site to visit for SANIRE members. He wants it to provide the latest information on rock engineering worldwide, free tools for rock engineers to download and interactive communication.
It is clear that Jaco takes keeping up to speed very seriously. He is following up the host of rock engineering qualifications he already holds with a PhD in Engineering at Wits University.
Jaco and his wife have two children, a son of 14 and a daughter of 12. He spends some of his spare time on fly fishing and radio controlled aircraft.
Yolande is Harmony Gold’s Group Seismologist. She has been in the seismological and rock engineering industry since graduating from university in 1996.
She regards training and the limited number of qualified rock engineers as the industry’s major challenges.
Yolande hopes to make Rock Talk even more user-friendly and to increase the amount of information that rock engineers on the shafts can use in their daily activities.
She is married to Chris Jooste and they have two daughters, Keandra (4) and Mikke (1).
Given that Yolande is busy with her MSc in Rock engineering at the University of Pretoria, she finds that looking after her two daughters accounts for most of her free time.