The ICOLD Young Engineers’ Forum (YEF) was formed in Lucerne in 2011, following a number of discussions on the sustainability of the ICOLD body and the knowledge transfer within the body to younger engineers.

The original SANCOLD YEF was created at the annual SANCOLD event in 2012 under the leadership of then SANCODL Vice-Chairperson Ivor Segers – also a young engineer at that time. Motebele Moshodi of the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) was elected as the first SANCOLD YEF Chairperson during the 2013 SANCOLD Conference. Motebele’s three year term expired in 2016.

The name of the YEF was changed in 2017  to the Young Persons Forum (YPF), to not only include young engineers, but also other young persons involved and vital to the dam industry (e.g. technicians, technologists, scientists, environmentalists, engineering geologists, governmental officials and owners of dams). The main objectives, mission and strategy of the SANCOLD YPF were revised at the annual SANCOLD Conference YPF event of 2017 to encourage the involvement of young individuals. This included changes to the SANCOLD Constitution to accommodate the YPF as follows:

  • Name change from YEF to YPF;
  • Formation of a YPF Committee as part of the current SANCOLD Management Committee, consisting of a chairperson and two other portfolio members;
  • Change of the automatic qualifying age for YPF membership from 35 years to 40 years, with positions on the SANCOLD Management Committee and YPF Committee, prizes, and discounts for conferences reserved for individuals of 35 years of age and younger;

Jaretha Lombaard (term 2017 to 2019), Robert Greyling (term 2018 to 2020) and Guy Robertson (term 2019 to 2021) were elected as the SANCOLD Management Committee members and subsequently formed the SANCOLD YPF Committee. The current YPF Chairperson, Jaretha Lombaard, was elected in 2018.

There are currently approximately 50 SANCOLD members below the age of 40 years. 


The main objectives and mission of the SANCOLD YPF, in line with that of the ICOLD YEF, are to:

  • Encourage the attendance and involvement of younger persons at SANCOLD/ICOLD meetings.
  • Provide an opportunity for knowledge transfer to the next generation and ensuring the long term future of SANCOLD/ICOLD.
  • Provide an opportunity for younger persons to connect with each other to enable sharing of experiences.
  • Inspire younger persons to become active in SANCOLD to support the above three objectives nationally and internationally.
  • Provide a forum where strategies around the attraction, encouragement, development and support of the younger persons in the dam engineering industry can be shared.
  • Provide a format where strategies can be developed to support the above four objectives, and put forward to the SANCOLD Management Committee for acceptance and action.

We would like to ensure an active and dynamic YPF by hosting a number of events during the year, additional to the annual SANCOLD Conference. These events include:

  • YPF socials and networking events;
  • Short afternoon workshops featuring presentations by dam specialists;
  • Formal courses and workshops; and
  • Site visits.

One of the main events during the annual SANCOLD and ICOLD Conferences is the award for the best paper prepared and presented by a Young Person. The winners since 2013 were:

  • 2013: Mfundo Vezi (University of Cape Town) for his paper on Dynamic modelling of arch dams in the ambient state.
  • 2014: Christiaan Marais (AECOM) for his paper Computational fluid dynamic modelling of the Spring Grove Dam’s spillway.
  • 2015: Louis Coetzee (SMEC/University of Pretoria) for his paper Evaluation of the influence of 3-dimensional upstream flow and geometric parameters when designing an ogee spillway.
  • 2016 (ICOLD 2016 – Best Paper: Takahiro Koshiba (Japan) for his paper titled Development of a Bedload Transport Measuring System for Sediment Bypass Tunnels in Japan.
  • 2016 (ICOLD 2016 – Best presentation): Sonel Reynolds of the DWS for her presentation on De-Commissioning of Hammarsdale Dam by Transforming it from a Contaminated Problem Child into a Sustainable Wetland.
  • 2017: Guy Robertson (AECOM) for his paper on Innovative techniques used during upgrading of Kudube Dam outlet
  • 2018: Stephan Dreyer (Stellenbosch University) for his paper on Investigation of the Shape of Low-Level Outlets at Hydropower Dams for Local Pressure Flushing of Sediments


To find out how you can get more involved in the SANCOLD YPF or if you have any questions or suggestions, please send us an email at ypf@sancold.org.za

Please follow us on Facebook (and LinkedIn (www.linkedin.com/groups/13588029) for the latest news and updates on the YPF, as well as events.


Download YPF – Document here

Download YPF – Minutes of meeting September 1, 2015