Dr Allyson Lawless FREng
Managing Director, South African Institution of Civil Engineering (SAICE) Professional Development

Allyson Lawless has had an extensive career in civil engineering consulting and has played a strategic role in advising government on engineering skills development. She holds a BSc in Civil Engineering from the University of Natal and an MSc, DIC in Structural Engineering from Imperial College, London. In the year 2000 became the first female president of the then 97-year-old South African Institution of Civil Engineering (SAICE).

Since April 2003, she has been involved in engineering skills research. In 2005, she published the book Numbers and Needs, which warned that South Africa would need 3,000 to 6,000 additional civil engineering practitioners to cope with the planned increase in infrastructure development. In 2007 she published a sequel, Numbers and Needs in Local Government, which highlighted the urgent need to rebuild civil engineering capacity in local government to ensure effective service delivery. In 2014 she played a major role in researching and writing Skills for and through SIPs, which outlined the skills required to deliver the Strategic Integrated Projects identified as part of the National Development Plan.

She is the MD of SAICE Professional Developments and Projects, a non-profit company set up to address civil engineering skills development. The company is proud of having assisted hundreds of engineering graduates to register as professionals with the Engineering Council of South Africa.