An immense contribution recognised
At the annual Chairman's Breakfast event of the inland branch of the Concrete Society of Southern Africa (CSSA) on 21 November, the Concrete Achiever of the Year Award was presented to Dr Reinhold Amtsbüchler, the recently retired manager of Lafarge South Africa's Quality Department Southern Africa (QDSA).
Presenting the award, Chairperson of the CSSA inland branch, Hanlie Turner, said: "It gives us enormous pleasure to present Dr Amtsbüchler with this award as a mark of the esteem in which he is held by our industry. He has had a huge influence on the South African concrete fraternity. Rarely has there been such overwhelming consensus in the Concrete Society as to who should receive the award."
Dr Amtsbüchler retired on 1 July 2013 after dedicating 31 years of service to Lafarge South Africa, the local presence of the international Lafarge Group, the world leader in building materials. In 1996 he established and, until his retirement, was in charge of Lafarge QDSA's SANAS accredited Civil Engineering testing facility at Industria, Johannesburg, and can boast seventeen years of continuous accreditation. The facility provides technical and laboratory services support for the Lafarge South Africa cement and fly ash operations, as well as other members of the industry. In addition, it assists Lafarge operations in sub-Saharan Africa with special testing requirements, quality and process related training and projects.
He graduated at Vienna University in 1973 with a Civil Engineering degree and obtained his Doctorate in Technical Science from Innsbruck University in Austria in 1993. He started his working career with consulting engineers in Austria and South Africa, and as a project engineer in Iran. Since 1976, Dr Amtsbüchler has been a registered Professional Engineer in South Africa.
He also worked for a major readymix concrete company in Austria as Group concrete technologist, before returning to South Africa in 1982. Joining Ash Resources as Technical Manager, he played a major role in establishing a sound fly ash business in Southern Africa and even export opportunities in the Middle East. His involvement with the local cement industry began with Blue Circle South Africa, which became Lafarge South Africa Holdings.
Dr Amtsbüchler has been involved in concrete mix design for many major concrete projects, as well as the development of innovative cementitious products, in particular fly ash based cements. Some of the notable projects include Katse Dam and other Lesotho Highlands Water Projects (the thesis of his Technical Doctorate was used for the tunnel lining technology of the shotcrete and shuttering techniques); Mozal Aluminium Smelter; Maguga Dam in Swaziland; Lesotho's Metolong Dam and projects throughout Namibia, Mozambique, Botswana and Lafarge South East Africa countries (Tanzania, Malwai, Zambia and Zimbabwe).
Two recent examples of his wide-ranging contributions to the industry were the development of concrete mixes for Metolong Dam in Lesotho, which resulted in the incorporation of a Lafarge CEM II Low Heat cement in place of the traditional CEM I products, and his aggregates assessment and development of a concrete mix for the aggressive environment encountered at the Kasane Sewage Works project in northern Botswana.
Dr Amtsbüchler's technical expertise has always been especially valuable through his ability and ready willingness to communicate his knowledge and wise counsel. One of his greatest legacies will be the dozens of chemistry and engineering graduates that have acquired the skills and passion for cement and concrete under his mentorship.
NOTES TO EDITORS
Located in 64 countries with 65 000 employees, Lafarge is the world-leader in building materials, with top-ranking positions in its Cement, Aggregates and Concrete businesses. In 2012, the Group posted sales of 15,8 billion Euros.
Lafarge places innovation at the heart of its priorities, working for sustainable construction and architectural creativity to help build better cities around the world: more beautiful cities that are better connected, have more housing, and are more compact and durable. Since 2010, the Lafarge Group has been part of the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index, the first global sustainability benchmark, in recognition of its sustainable development actions.
In South Africa, the company manufactures and supplies cement, aggregates, readymixed concrete, gypsum plasterboard and interior building fittings. It focuses on providing solutions to help the sustainable development of better cities that benefit the country's people. Through having a strong presence in all of its business lines, it is in a unique position to contribute to urban construction, while also helping to build better rural towns and villages.
Lafarge South Africa also demonstrates active concern for the conservation of the country's wildlife heritage and is a major supporter of the world's first dedicated baby rhino orphanage in Limpopo Province. The Group has for many years been a leader in sustainable development and was the first industrial group to enter into a worldwide ‘Conservation Partnership' with the environmental protection organisation, WWF International.
Additional information is available on the website at www.lafarge.co.za
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