Leadership team

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Prof. Joubert van Eeden (University of Stellenbosch)

Joubert is an Associate Professor at the Department of Industrial Engineering at Stellenbosch University, and lectures in Project and Supply Chain Management. He obtained a PhD in Industrial Engineering and an MBA through the Stellenbosch University. Joubert developed the Container Demand Model used by Transnet Group Planning to inform port and rail infrastructure planning in terms of national port and domestic container volumes. He has a keen interest in macro-economic modelling and research within supply chain management and sustainable freight transport. Joubert provides research guidance to graduate students in the fields of supply chain and logistics management and freight modelling.


Dr Michael Atkins (University of the Witwatersrand)

Michael is a Lecturer in the School of Mechanical, Industrial and Aeronautical Engineering at Wits University. He completed his MSc (with Distinction) in 2015 at Wits and PhD at the same institution in 2021. In 2012 he won the Royal Aeronautical Society (UK) University Prize for the best graduating student. He is currently the Wits - representative principal investigator for the Sustainable Road Freight South Africa project (SRF-SA), working in collaboration with the CSIR, Stellenbosch University, University of the Western Cape, and the University of Cambridge. He has authored or co-authored 13 peer-reviewed journal articles, 3 book chapters and 8 conference papers. He is also specialized in fundamental and applied aerodynamics, flow control, thermo-fluids in gas turbine engines, thermal hydraulics in CANDU reactors, particle image velocimetry (PIV), planar laser visualization, and thermochromic liquid crystals (TLC's) transient heat transfer measurement techniques.


Prof. Bernard Bladergroen (University of the Western Cape)

Prof. Bladergroen, a former student at the University of Twente in the Netherlands joined UWC in 1998 as a PhD student and continued as a postdoctoral fellow in hydrogen separation (2003), hydrogen production (2004) and was appointed as research manager for industrial contract research in 2005, followed by a senior lecturer appointment in 2006. In 2011 he was promoted to the level of Associate Professor at SAIAMC where his main role is managing applied research and development activities. Since 2007 Prof. Bladergroen has been Deputy Director Operations, establishing the operational procedures at SAIAMC. In 2011, his portfolio included Innovation activities at SAIAMC and two HySA projects. Prof. Bladergroen is the Vice-Chair of the International Association for Hydrogen Energy Youth Division.


Dr Christopher de Saxe (University of Cambridge / Witwatersrand)

Christopher is a Senior Research Associate at the Centre for Sustainable Road Freight in the University of Cambridge, Fellow in Engineering at Robinson College, Cambridge, and Visiting Senior Lecturer at the University of the Witwatersrand. He is also a Board Member and the incumbent Information Officer for the International Forum for Heavy Vehicle Transport & Technology (HVTT Forum). Christopher holds BSc(Eng) and MSc(Eng) degrees in mechanical engineering from the University of the Witwatersrand and a PhD from the University of Cambridge, and is a registered Professional Engineer (Pr.Eng.) in South Africa. He was formerly Principal Engineer at CSIR Smart Mobility, Pretoria, where he was closely involved in overseeing the country’s national PBS pilot project in collaboration with the Department of Transport.

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Dr Paul Nordengen (HVTech, formerly withCSIR)

Paul is the Director of  Heavy Vehicle Transport Technology Africa. He spent a large part of his career as a Principal Researcher at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in South Africa. He obtained an MSc in structural engineering from Wits University in Johannesburg in 1988 and his PhD in the area of performance-based standards for heavy vehicles in 2013. He has been involved in the development of bridge, overload control and abnormal load management systems in various countries in Africa. He is Chairman of the South African national Smart Truck (PBS) committee for heavy vehicles in South Africa and Chairman of the Road Transport Management System (RTMS) national steering committee, a self-regulation accreditation scheme for heavy vehicles. He is a Council Member of the SA Road Federation (and Past-President) and has served as chairman of the SARF Education committee since 1997. He was President of the International Forum for Heavy Vehicle Transport & Technology (HVTT Forum) from 2010 to 2014; he now holds the position of Vice President: Africa.

Researchers & collaborators

Anton Steenkamp

Engineering Manager at BPW Axles (former Senior Engineer at CSIR Smart Mobility)

Lucia Khumalo

Researcher at CSIR Smart Mobility

Ruan van Schalkwyk

Masters student at Stellenbosch University

Lente Schoeman

Masters student at Stellenbosch University

Dominic Huskinson

Masters student at Stellenbosch University

Martin du Plessis

PhD student at Stellenbosch University

Themba Sibisi

Masters student at the University of the Witwatersrand