An engineer, Paul Ssali, from global engineering and infrastructure advisory company Aurecon, was recently appointed to the Engineers Without Borders South Africa’s (SA’s) Board of Directors.
Ssali has been involved with the organisation for over four years. He is honoured to be able to give back to an organisation that is committed to the long-term vision of building an engineering sector in which people can live their passion, unfold their potential and work with compassion.
Ssali started with Aurecon in 2017 after completing his BSc Engineering degree at the University of Pretoria. He joined the Gauteng Chapter of Engineers Without Borders South Africa (SA) when he was still a student, and has been involved in various roles within the organisation.
“I joined Engineers Without Borders SA as a student and I’ve gone from being a project leader to chairperson of the University of Pretoria Chapter; projects coordinator; brand manager, as well as a student representative on the organisation’s board of directors.
“Earlier this year, I applied to become a board member and I’m thrilled to have been accepted for the position. I look forward to making an even greater contribution to Engineers Without Borders SA,” he says.
Ssali’s role as a board member will include a number of key responsibilities, including assisting the organisation in meeting their goals and objectives, succession planning, recruiting, managing volunteer teams and assisting in developing a fundraising plan.
He will also be focusing on implementing initiatives to promoting design-led thinking among the organisation’s members.
“Approaching design challenges with a deep empathy for the end-users is a skill that needs to be cultivated when people are still young. By the time engineering students complete their degrees and enter the workforce, they are met with a number of opposing agendas and conflicting challenges.
“Teaching students about the importance of human-centric design is something that Aurecon and myself are passionate about,” says Ssali.
In May, Aurecon teamed up with Engineers Without Borders to host a series of Afrikan Design Innovation workshops for engineering students at the University of the Witwatersrand, University of Johannesburg, Tshwane University of Technology and the University of Pretoria.
“Aurecon is leading the way with design-led thinking because the company knows how important it is to teach students the techniques that will help them explore creative solutions and keep imagining what could be possible, while they learn other technical skills.
“Next year, we hope to roll out these workshops across the country in partnership with Engineers Without Borders,” concludes Ssali.