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Jasper L. Coetzee, Pr.Eng., Ph.D., M.Eng. (Industrial), B.Sc. (Eng.) (Mechanical), B.Com., G.C.C. (Mines and Works), G.C.C. (Factories), S.A.I.I.E., I.C.M.E.E., S.A.M.A., I.F.R.I.M., M.E.S.A., Akad.SA., is actively involved in the maintenance field in industry for the last 40 years. He is a well-known world leader in the field of Maintenance Engineering, is a member of IFRIM (International Foundation for Research in Maintenance), and has more than 40 research journal and conference papers to his credit. His contribution to maintenance was acknowledged in 2005, when he received the individual President’s Award for Excellence in Maintenance from the Southern African Maintenance Association (SAMA).
He received an intense introduction to the realities of maintenance at the Thabazimbi Iron Ore Mine of Iscor, a mine that experienced a particularly intense period of crisis in the seventies due to poor mine planning. At the same time there was a severe shortage of engineers, leading to him carrying the responsibility of two to three engineers for extended periods over a span of six years. This experience built a particularly strong basis for his passion for excellence in maintenance management, and his awareness of the dangers involved in the neglect of prevention in the maintenance of assets.
During the first three years of the eighties dr. Coetzee filled the Engineering Manager post at Sasol’s Sigma Colliery at Sasolburg, where he was responsible for all maintenance of the then largest underground coal mine in the world. During this period the young management team acquired a reputation for excellent management, originating from several world production records, safety achievements, and culminating in becoming the first coal mine to win the National Productivity Award from the National Productivity Institute.
For the next two and a half years he was appointed as the Manager of the Mechanical Department of Sasol One, responsible for all mechanical and civil maintenance of this petrochemical plant. This period was characterised by the development of the department to a particularly well-oiled example of excellent maintenance management. In 1985 he was seconded to Sasol’s Group Information Services to head a project to lead the maintenance fraternity in the Sasol Group of Companies towards a new dispensation in the use of maintenance information systems.
Dr Coetzee left Sasol in 1987 to establish a maintenance consulting practice. The main interest of his consulting work lies in the strategic management of maintenance, but he is also well known for his work in reliability and failure analysis. He is managing director of both M-Tech Consulting Engineers (Pty) Ltd and Maintenance Publishers (Pty) Ltd. Apart from its consulting emphasis, M-Tech is involved in maintenance knowledge development and transfer through the Terotechnica Maintenance College.
He joined the University of Pretoria in 1993 as the incumbent of the Chair in Maintenance Engineering. In this role he was responsible for the establishment and administration of a range of maintenance courses (including two full masters degree programmes). In February 2000 he left the university to devote his total attention to his practice again. He however kept his fingers in the academic world through an involvement on a part-time basis at the Rand Afrikaans University (now the University of Johannesburg) from 2001 to 2011, where he led a masters degree programme in Maintenance Engineering. Since 2011 he is a part-time Professor in the Centre for Asset Integrity Management (C-AIM) at the University of Pretoria.
He is also the author of a widely used textbook ‘Maintenance’, which is a prescribed source at various universities, and used fairly widely in industry. His newest textbook is ‘RCM ProAktiv: A proactive approach to Reliability Centered Maintenance - a complete view’, published in 2015.