Joop van Wamelen was instrumental in forming the Southern African Society for Trenchless Technology (SASTT) in 1992 and for 24 years has steadfastly guided the society, both as a board member, President, Past President and more recently as Honorary Director.

He was extremely well liked and respected by members of the Southern African Society as well as his peers at the International Society of Trenchless Technology (ISTT).

Joop and his wife Diana attended several ISTT International Conferences and Exhibitions and represented SASTT at the ISTT Board meetings. The most recent being No-Dig Down Under, in Sydney, September 2013.

In recognition of Joop’s invaluable contribution to SASTT, The Joop van Wamelen Award of Excellence has been running for several years, whereby SASTT members compete for this coveted award by nominating their most excellent projects each year.

Joop was born on the 8 June 1939 in Delft, Netherlands. He was 12 when his parents immigrated to South Africa and they lived in Pretoria for all of his school and university years. Joop and his family also stayed in Pretoria for most of his career except for approximately 8 years spent in Kwazulu-Natal in his early career.

Joop studied at the University of Pretoria and obtained a B.Sc. (Mathematics and Applied Mathematics) in 1960 and a B.Sc. (Eng.) (Civil) in 1966. He was registered as a professional engineer in 1970.

He married his wife, Diana Brink on 6 October 1962. Together they had 3 boys.

Professional history up to retirement in 2005

From 1999-2005 he worked as a consultant for Agrément South Africa he was involved with technical assessment of non-standardised construction systems and products; performance criteria; web publishing and marketing.

In 1998 he was a manager for Energy Efficiency in Housing, Division of Building Technology and the CSIR.

From 1993-1998 he was a manager for Agrément South Africa.

From 1980-1993 he was a civil engineer for Division of Building Technology, CSIR, and was responsible for indoor environmental engineering; energy; appropriate technology for water supply, sewerage and sanitation; promoting trenchless construction and rehabilitation.

From 1977-1980 he was an Engineer for the Atomic Energy Board responsible for licensing of nuclear safety related civil engineering structures.

From 1973-1977 he was a senior engineer for Zakrzewski Associates Inc., responsible for industrial structures and bridges.

From 1972-1973 he was an associate for Owen Jones & Partners involved with township services.

From 1971-1972 he was a senior engineer for the Pinetown Municipality involved with sewerage.

From 1969-1971 he was an assistant city engineer in Welkom involved with water and sewerage.

From 1967-1969 he was an assistant resident engineer for Eskom involved with construction of power stations.

He retired from the CSIR with 25 years’ service. After retirement he served as the honorary director of the Southern African Society for Trenchless Technology.

Joop also served as a police reservist for a number of years and was involved with the church.

Joop passed away on 13th February 2015, and is survived by his wife Diana, and his 3 sons Paul, Arend and Riaan.