Plenary Speakers

Dr Thabi Leoka [Biography]
S.A.: Dawn or Dusk?
As a board member of Corruption Watch, Dr Leoka is an economic strategist focussing on the upward growth of the South African economy. Thabi is currently with Argon Asset Management. She has held top positions at Renaissance Capital, Standard Bank Corporate and Investing, Barclays Wealth, and Investec Asset Management – she was based in London for the latter post.

Dr Francisco C. Robles Hernández [Biography & Abstract]
Current and Future Developments on Railway Steels
Railroads in the United States spend approximately $2.6 billion a year on rail replacement and repairs, making rail the most valuable asset for the railroad industry in North America. In the last 50 years the railways and rail manufacturers have improved railroad components resulting in better performance. Unfortunately, not as much progress has been made as far as rail’s fatigue performance and fracture toughness. The results presented in this work were used to develop new state-of-the-art metallurgies for railroad applications for heavy haul applications. In this presentation is covered newly developed technologies to improve fatigue life of welds such as laser cladding and vibration to eliminate porosity.

Keynote speakers

Colin Hautz [Biography & Abstract]
Steel in the 21st Century
As a material, steel has been known and used for thousands of years and since the introduction of the Bessemer Process in the 1850s it has played a critical role in the industrial and economic development of the world. With so much history behind it, against a backdrop of global warming and the development of exciting new materials, does steel still have relevance as a material for the 21st century?

Prof. Francesca Lessing [Biography & Abstract]
Future Prospects for the South African PGM Industry
The PGM industry has relied for many years on the autocatalyst industry and recent changes brought about by climate control initiatives, have made the future of this market uncertain in the medium term. Furthermore, efficiencies in the recycling of autocatalysts has reduced the demand for PGMs from the primary producers. The net effect has been a sustained period of oversupply in the global market. Weak prices for these metals have been observed in recent times.

Kenneth Brian Perel [Biography & Abstract]
Evolution of an Alloy: The “Alloy C” Family of Alloys
Nickel alloys may often be thought of in relation to modern technology – from aircraft engines to demanding chemical processes to the offshore industry and oil and gas recovery. However, some of these alloys had their origins in the early 20th century. There exists a range of Ni-Cr-Mo alloys that first came in to service in 1930’s and have evolved in response to application demands but this has required an understanding of the metallurgy of these alloys and its effects on corrosion resistance and mechanical properties. The presentation will trace these developments and will reference 2 local applications as well as the relevance of this family of alloys in South Africa in the future. Reference will be made to the impact of commercial factors on these developments.