Aurecon Geotechnical Engineer, Dr. Gabi Wojtowitz, received one of five grants from the DFI (Deep Foundations Institute) Educational Trust and the DFI Women in Deep Foundations Committee. The grant of $1,750 is earmarked for women who work in deep foundations to attend the DFI’s 43rd Annual Conference on Deep Foundations, which is set to take place on 24 – 27 October in Anaheim, California.
“I am deeply honoured and excited to receive this grant. The Deep Foundations Institute is an international committee of industry-wide professionals who support the design and construction of deep foundations, which is an important field of work on large-scale projects,” says Wojtowitz.
“I am looking forward to networking with women and men from the DFI Women in Deep Foundations Committee from across the globe. The Committee is comprised of professionals who are advocates for retaining women in the deep foundations industry and foster greater success and interest of women in the sector, which aligns with my professional and personal goals,” adds Wojtowitz.
Wojtowitz’s work as part of the Deep Foundations team designing the foundation system for the iconic Dubai CreekTower in Dubai, of which Santiago Calatrava is the architect and engineer,required innovative deep foundations engineering, which assisted her application for the grant.
“The Dubai Creek Tower is an iconic new structure that is set to become one of the world’s most recognisable buildings. During my work on the modelling of this supertall skyscraper, I thrived on understanding and solving the challenges the design presented as we worked within a new design realm to find elegance and simplicity at the heart of complexity. Attending the Annual Conference on Deep Foundations will expose me to the latest thinking and innovations in this field and help me achieve my ambition of becoming a master of my craft and specialist in my field,” says Wojtowitz.
“I am also looking forward to becoming more involved with the Women in Deep Foundations Committee and DFI. I am passionate about the power of diverse thought and it is incredibly important that the engineering industry is viewed as a desired career for women because women add immense value to iconic, world-class and complex projects that require deep foundations,” concludes Wojtowitz.
Wojtowitz serves on the Geotechnical Committee of SAICE (the South African Institute of Civil Engineering) and is a representative of the ISSMGE (International Society for Soil Mechanics and Foundation Engineering). She is also a member of the Consulting Engineers South Africa (CESA) Transformation and Development Committee, is an external examiner at the University of Pretoria and is a guest lecturer and external examiner at the University of Cape Town.
In 2016, she won both the CESA Aon Excellence in Engineering “Young Engineer of the Year” award and the SAICE “Young Engineer of the Year” award. In 2018 she was announced as the SAPSA (South African Professional Services Award) Built Environment Young Professional of the Year.