Ian van Wijk is a Technical Director and a pavement engineering and pavement asset management specialist with more than 30 years of international experience.
He has extensive expertise in the application of appropriate design technology for the rehabilitation and design of road networks as well as airports, mine haul roads and industrial/port areas.
The most important lesson you learnt early in your career?
Patience and flexibility. Although many aspects of the industry will remain the same, changes are inevitable and frequent.
An essential key to innovative thinking?
Understand the principles of your field of expertise; read widely to understand the industry, needs and possibilities; and be prepared to think outside the box.
Keys to a successful project delivery?
The standard issues: understanding the client’s needs (and work towards addressing them), clear instructions, teamwork, communication and strong leadership.
How do you see trends in roads infrastructure developing over the next five years?
Road infrastructure will remain crucial for mobility of people, access in rural areas and transport of commodities. Incorporation of sustainability and whole-of-life considerations in road design will become more important.
Differences in design approaches for rural developing regions and developed urban areas will increasingly create challenges and opportunities for specialised service offerings. There could also be a shift in funding from new roads to more maintenance and rehabilitation projects. Larger projects will increasingly be delivered through design and construct and alliance type arrangements.
Consultants will need to demonstrate efficiency and innovation as well as providing a full range of services beyond “just a design” service, i.e. innovative, sustainable, constructible and cost effective consultancy.
Spending time with family and friends, completing a project successfully and a bit of running (on my own).