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Consulting firm gets international recognition for valuing the positive impact engineering can have on society

Home Engineering Consulting firm gets international recognition for valuing the positive impact engineering can...

Established in 2020, Osmotic Engineering Group (OEG) is already making an impact on the local consulting engineering industry. Water and wastewater infrastructure director, Dr Tony Igboamalu was announced the winner of the International Federation of Consulting Engineers (FIDIC) 2022 Future Leaders Award at a high-profile gala dinner on 12 September 2022 in Geneva.

The awards acknowledge and promote the outstanding achievements of future leaders in the consulting engineering industry globally. Adam Bialachowski, chair of the judging panel and also chair of the FIDIC Future Leaders Advisory Council, says the judges were unanimous in their decision.

“Dr Igboamalu has shown a high level of achievement and a keen appreciation of the social impact of his work, which perfectly reflects FIDIC’s key values and the positive difference that engineering seeks to make in society,” says Bialachowski.

Dr Igboamalu is a professional chemical engineer who obtained a Global Excellence Stature (GES) 4.0 research fellowship in 2022 at the University of Johannesburg. He studied the application of 4IR in solving water challenges.

With 15 years’ experience in the water industry, he implements and manages multidisciplinary rural and urban development and poverty alleviation projects, including team, technical, financial (3P) and contracts management. His main focus is on socioeconomic development, maintenance management and privatisation, training, application and transfer of appropriate technology and skills.

“Emerging market problems are not just about engineering but have a socioeconomic basis as well. Solving these myriad problems requires a multidisciplinary approach combining finance, economics and politics. Engineers need to be open-minded. OEG represents the future of Africa in that we are driving the development of our future engineers,” comments Dr Igboamalu.

CEO Dr Frank Igboamalu highlights that this international validation from FIDIC means OEG is well-placed to serve in an advisory role with regard to infrastructure issues in Africa, especially in terms of water, energy and telecommunications. “We leverage our experience to address Africa’s problems, as such an award is recognition of the local and regional expertise available to us.”

Business development director Ronnie Khoza adds that FIDIC provides a global platform for consulting engineers to showcase challenges and solutions. “This recognition means that people sit up and take notice of us. Here is a company we can talk to and consult and partner with.”

Energy director Andrew Johnson says the award immediately places OEG on a global level. “It is important to note we received this recognition over other international entrants. In terms of an African context, it really means we have the right people here.”

Commenting on the progress made by OEG since its initial foray into South Africa and Nigeria, Khoza reveals it has opened new offices in Ghana to focus on West Africa and Uganda and Kenya to serve East Africa. The local office covers the entire Southern African region, including Botswana and Namibia.

“One of our biggest achievements to date has been our initiatives in other countries. We approach this with due consideration and care as we always aim to partner with local companies. Our focus on technical advisory as the main service offering of the future at
OEG has improved our portfolio of the type and size of advisory projects with government and the private sector, adding respected clients like Rand Water, MTN and others to our list of clients.”

Another key differentiator for OEG is its capability to partner with financiers and investors to drive infrastructure development on the continent. “While the client is the main anchor, we offer complete solutions. This means bringing in external services that fall outside our scope if need be, such as environmental and legal,” he concludes.

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