Groundwater Sector Awards 2023

Groundwater Sector Awards 2023

05 Oct 2023
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During the Conference Dinner at the recent International IAH Congress, hosted at the Cape Town International Conference Centre (CTICC) in the week of 18-24 September 2023, it was a great honour and privilege to present two of our much esteemed colleagues with a well-deserved LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD for recognition of outstanding service and dedication to furthering the science and technology of groundwater:



Congratulations to Mr Julian Conrad and Dr Kevin Pietersen for this recognition by your peers in the industry of your exceptional contributions towards the Sector. 


Dr Kevin Pietersen accepting his Achievement Award at the Gold Restaurant Gala Dinner 

Dr Kevin Pietersen joined the Groundwater Programme at the CSIR in Stellenbosch in 1993, having just graduated from the University of the Western Cape with a B.Sc. (Hons.) degree.  Under the guidance of Dr Gideon Tredoux and John Weaver he set about developing his hydrogeological skills.  This included him getting a drivers license and being sent by the CSIR to read for a Masters degree at the Institute of Groundwater Studies at the then University of the Orange Free State.  He joined the Water Research Commission in 1998 where he guided groundwater research until his resignation in 2007.  On completing his Ph.D. through UWC in 2008 he entered the consulting world where he continued to be involved in the development of young hydrogeologists.  He relocated back to the Western Cape in 2015 from where he consults throughout the SADC region and serves UWC in a part-time capacity as an extra-ordinary Senior Lecturer and Research Fellow.

 Through his work at the WRC and his association with the University of the Western Cape, Kevin continues to play a major role in the development of hydrogeological capacity and in the research and development of groundwater related issues.  In his career Kevin has also played a critical role in making groundwater visible to other water specialists and politicians.  He has held many leadership roles within the water sector, including chair of both the Ground Water Division and the Water Institute of Southern Africa.  He has served as President of the Geological Society of South Africa. He has also been a Board Member of the University of Pretoria’s Institute for Water Studies and a member of the National Advisory Committee of the Minister of Water Affairs.  He is a Fellow of both WISA and GSSA.

 Importantly, Kevin played an instrumental role in resurrecting the biennial Ground Water Division conference in 2005 after a 10 year hiatus.  He repeatedly volunteers to head up the team responsible for putting together the scientific programme at our conferences – inclusion this IAH2023 event.

~Roger Parsons

Mr Fanus Fourie (outgoing GWD National Chairperson) awarding Mr Julian Conrad his Achievement Award during the opening reception at the Gala Dinner. 

Julian Conrad graduated from the University of Natal in 1985 as an Engineering Geologist.  He worked on the Rossing Uranium Mine until he joined the Groundwater Programme at the CSIR in Stellenbosch in 1990.  He was sent by the CSIR in 1994 to the University of Rhode Island to study for a Master’s degree in hydrogeology and Geographical Information Systems – then a new and emerging tool.  He resigned from the CSIR in 2001 to establish GEOSS, where he now holds the position of Managing Director.  Since its founding, many graduates have been employed or are employed by GEOSS - all benefitting from Julian’s mentorship and the hydrogeological practical experience while working for the company.

 In his quiet and unassuming manner, Julian continues to be involved in groundwater advocacy.  He was chair of Western Cape Branch of the Ground Water Division and took the reins of the South African Chapter of the International Association of Hydrogeologists.  He regularly arranges local seminars and has been chair or part of the organising committee for a number of conferences – including IAH2000, GWD2017, IAH Workshop 2020, IAH Recent research conference 2022 as well as this conference - IAH2023.  These events are critical for the exchange of information and knowledge; and play an important role in the growth of young hydrogeologists.

~Roger Parsons