Understanding friction, lubrication and wear

SAIT Mission Statement

South African Institute for Tribology

The SAIT Annual Awards Dinner, 2020

The SAIT’s 2020 Annual Awards Dinner has been cancelled due to Covid-19 Lockdown Level 4 Regulations,

which do not allow for gatherings.


On Friday evening, 17 May 2019, CedarWoods of Sandton graciously hosted the Annual Awards Dinner of the South African Institute of Tribology, known to its Members, Executive Committee, Administrative Staff and loyal supporters as the SAIT.

This elegant event was held in the Kalahari Room, and was attended by many of the Engineering Elite of Johannesburg: Professor & Mrs Kucukkaragoz of the University of the Witwatersrand;Dr Jean-Patrick Leger of Vesconite and his wife, Dr Marianne Felix; Dr Natasha Sacks, Associate Professor at the University of the Witwatersrand; members of the SAIT Executive Committee, President Doug Herschell, Treasurer David Beard and Leon Bradley; and representatives of Corporate Members Astron Energy, Bp, Flexilube and Total.

Among those unable to attend this year were Professor and Mrs Philip de Vaal of the University of Pretoria, Past-Presidents and current Executive Committee Members of the SAIT, Dave Gamble and Patrick Swan and their wives.

As the guests arrived and mingled, cocktails were served and there was a warm buzz of conversation.

People found their seats at the stylish black, white and silver tables, joining friends and getting to know new acquaintances.

Everyone at the Flexilube Table seemed to thoroughly enjoy the company and the evening.

Another happy table was occupied by Dr Sacks and a group of her School of Chemical and Metallurgical Engineering students from the University of the Witwatersrand.

Representatives from Astron Energy and Total South Africa also enjoyed the evening.

The Wits Table

The Total Table

The Astron Energy Table

"Miss Astron Energy"

The SAIT Secretariat – Secretary Mrs Gill Fuller, Assistant Secretary Mrs Isabel Bradley and Bookkeeper Mrs Berice Fayard, attended with their husbands, Trevor, Leon and George.

Gill & Trevor Fuller

Leon and Isabel Bradley

Galina Fuller with George & Berice Fayard

SAIT President, Doug Herschell, was Master of Ceremonies. He welcomed the guests to the 2019 Annual Awards Dinner of the SAIT and introduced Dr Sacks, who proposed the traditional Toast to the SAIT before the delicious buffet-style main meal was served.

After mouth-watering desserts, the Annual SAIT Awards were made:

The prestigious Louw Alberts Award for 2018 was presented retrospectively to Doug Herschell: David Beard made the presentation, explaining that Doug was unable to attend the 2018 Awards Dinner.

Presentation of the Louw Alberts Awards for 2018 and 2019 Doug Herschell and David Beard

Leslie Frank Barker was the recipient of the 2019 Louw Alberts Award, for consistently upholding the values of tribology and perseverance in ensuring its survival in the face of great odds within the industry. Through his competence and tenacity, he has promoted this discipline in many areas. As Leslie was unable to attend this event, Doug Herschell accepted the Award on his behalf.

The Best Technical Presentation Award for 2019 went to Dr Jean-Patrick Leger of Vesconite for his presentation “Adventures in Wear: From Underground Gold Mines to Desert Railways to Ocean Floors” at the SAIT Technical Meeting on 15 May 2018.

The SAIT Student Award for 2019 went to Thuli Mkhaliphi for her MSc project “Influence of Ruthenium and Molybdenum Ion Implantation on the Machining Performance of WC-Co Straight Grade Inserts

Presentation of the Best Technical Presentation Award for 2019

Jean-Patrick Leger of Vesconite with Doug Herschell


Presentation of the SAIT Student Award for 2019

Doug Herschell with Thuli Mkhaliphi

David Beard then gave a fascinating and entertaining presentation on the Millau Bridge in France, which concluded the evening.

David Beard gave his presentation on …
… The Millau Bridge

We appeal to all Tribologists to join The South African Institute of Tribology in carrying out our Mission Statement:

“To promote technology transfer, whereby local tribological problems can be solved and products improved."

The 2018 SAIT Annual Awards Dinner was held in the Gala Room at the Wanderers Club in Illovo, Johannesburg

on Friday evening 18th May 2018.

The large, airy room was set with tables elegantly draped in white damask cloths, gleaming silverware and sparkling glassware, with artfully displayed pink and blue hydrangeas as centrepiece. Following tradition, the menus were combined with the evening’s programme, held the SAIT Logo on their cover as a subtle reminder of the Institute’s standing in the field of Tribology.

Louw Alberts Award, Best Technical Presentation and Best Technical Achievement

The Awards Table was impressively decked with the Louw Alberts Award trophy, the Best Technical Presentation Award shield, Best Technical Achievement Award shield, and a couple of beribboned scrolls containing certificates.

To the left of the Awards Table was another table, bearing photograph albums filled with fascinating SAIT History.

As the room filled, members of the Outgoing 2017/18 Committee and the Incoming 2018/19 Committee mingled with SAIT Members, Award-Winners, their colleagues, family and friends.

SAIT President, Dave GamblePresident of the SAIT, Dave Gamble, welcomed the guests, and the evening’s proceedings began. Dave Gamble proposed a Toast to The SAIT, helping to lubricate the throats of those present with fine wine.

The Louw Alberts Award of a floating trophy and a certificate was awarded, in absentia, to DR Herschell for his significant contribution to tribology and the SAIT over the years. This has been through driving the fundamentals of tribology, and understanding the application, operating condition and the base fluid and chemistry required to solve issues.

The Award for Best Technical Presentation – a floating shield and certificate – was received by Noel J Pipkin for his talk on ”High Pressure Systems for Diamond Synthesis” given at the SAIT Technical Meeting, on 5 September 2017.

Dave Gamble presenting the Award for the Best Technical Presentation

to Dr Noel J Pipkin

Dave Gamble presentingthe SAIT Student Award to Dominic M Smit

of the University of the Witwatersrand

Dominic M Smit, studying at the University of the Witwatersrand under Associate Professor Natasha Sacks, received the Best Student Award for his project “The effect of polishing method on the surface finish of a turning insert’s coating under continuous cutting”

Gill Fuller, SAIT Secretary since 1988, and recipient of the Louw Alberts Award in 2017, gave a humorous talk, illustrated with photographs, remembering some of the people who played a part in forming the South African Institute of Tribology.

SAIT President, Dave Gamble, with SAIT Secretary, Gill Fuller,

after her talk about the movers and shakers in the early days of the South African Institute of Tribology.

SAIT President, Dave Gamble, with SAIT Secretary, Gill Fuller, after her  talk about the movers and shakers in the early days  of the South African Institute of Tribology.

Students from the University of the Witwatersrand

Students from the University of the Witwatersrand

More Photographs of the Event

Thomas Surmon and David Beard, both Past-Presidents of the SAIT

Prof Philip de Vaal of Pretoria University and his wife, Corné

Prof & Mrs Kucukkaragoz of the University of the Witwatersrand

Kathy and Thomas Surmon

The evening ended on a delicious note with desserts, coffee and good company.

South African Institute of Tribology

Understanding lubrication, friction and wear


The SAIT Secretary
PO Box 1240
Kelvin 2054
Tel: +27 11 804-3710
Fax-to-email: +27 86 719-2261


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