Dates & Venue

Tuesday and Wednesday, 25 and 26 July 2017. Emperors Palace, Ekurhuleni, South Africa.

Keynote presenters

Geoff Zeiss

Geo-tech evangelist, Geoff Zeiss, has agreed to keynote at SA GeoTech 2017. Zeiss is recognised for his efforts to promote geospatial in vertical industries such as utilities and construction. He has more than 20 years’ experience in the geospatial software industry and 15 years’ experience developing enterprise geospatial solutions for the utilities, communications, and public works industries. His particular interests include the convergence of BIM, CAD, geospatial, and 3D.

Currently Zeiss heads up Between the Poles, a thought leadership consulting firm. From 2001 to 2012 he was Director of Utility Industry Program at Autodesk Inc, where he was responsible for thought leadership for the utility industry program. From 1999 to 2001 he was Director of Enterprise Software Development at Autodesk. He received one of ten annual global technology awards in 2004 from Oracle Corporation for technical innovation and leadership in the use of Oracle.

Prior to Autodesk, Zeiss was Director of Product Development at VISION* Solutions. VISION* Solutions is credited with pioneering relational spatial data management, CAD/GIS integration, and long transactions (data versioning) in the utility, communications, and public works industries. He is a frequent speaker at geospatial and utility events around the world.


Vaughan Harris

Vaughan Harris is the founder of the BIM Institute for South Africa. He has over twenty-five years of experience in the construction industry and has provided training and consultancy services to the South African government, institutions and associations throughout South Africa.

He has an excellent relationship with the international estimating and architectural software community and with many of the major international corporations within the construction industry. Harris has been involved in various sectors of the construction industry locally and internationally before becoming interested in defining information management systems to better coordinate construction processes within the construction industry. As a result, he began studying and specialising in various information technology platforms while working with a range of parastatal clients throughout South Africa.

His seven years with Construction Computer Software gave him the opportunity to work closely with most of South Africa’s largest contractors to define their internal systems and processes as well as being involved in implementing information management systems on large capital projects.


Annie Bekker is the Director of the Sound and Vibration Research Group at the University of Stellenbosch. The group is currently focussed on human responses to sound and vibration in the occupational environment and vibration-related responses of polar supply and research vessels in the Arctic and Antarctic.

She will be talking about the work done by the Sound and Vibration Research Group and the work it has been doing on the SA Agulhas II. Emerging research focuses for the group include topics in operational modal analysis, rotational dynamics and the use of big data for decision aiding.

Bekker is a senior lecturer in the Department of Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering and teaches undergraduate courses in sound and vibration and strength of materials. Previously she worked at Optimal Energy, the privately owned South African company which endeavoured to design and engineer Africa’s first battery electric vehicle, the Joule. She has also conducted research into injury mitigation in the development of landmine resistant vehicles.


Johan Louw is the manager of the University of Pretoria’s world class Virtual Reality Centre. The centre strives to be an innovative resource for bringing real-world scenarios to learners to enhance their exposure to their chosen industry; and also allows technical and other practitioners to simulate plans and designs in a risk-free environment with minimal time and resource allocation.

Louw will be detailing how exposure to an immersive experience which portrays data visually, makes it easier for project managers to make decisions and improve on their project designs and other activities that operationalise their strategies. There are numerous operational benefits to be gained from interpreting and portraying actual data in the high-quality and realistic visual format offered by the Virtual Reality Centre. Operational productivity, overall effectiveness, and long-term and socio-economic consequences can be visualised by playing out different scenarios before committing resources.

Incidents impacting operational risk can be minimised when one can simulate activities without actually exposing people or equipment to harm, and virtual reality also allows multiple data sets to be converted into strategic business information.