Meet Kobus Steyn, Structural Engineer

Inspired by a documentary he watched as a boy, Kobus knew exactly what he wanted to do from a very young age. He now brings his lifelong passion to life as a Structural Engineer at Lithon. When he’s not tackling challenging projects at work, he’s outdoors spending quality time with his family.

 

What inspired you to become a structural engineer?

When I was a kid, I watched a documentary about the Golden Gate Bridge in America, and that inspired me to become a structural engineer. I have a passion for buildings, how they transmit forces, and all those fascinating factors.

 

When and why did you join Lithon?

I started in January 2024, knowing Lithon was where I wanted to be because of their core values. It’s particularly their focus on serving people that really resonates with me. The interesting projects they’re involved in made me even more keen to be part of the team.

 

What does a typical day for you at the office look like?

A typical day is basically working according to plan as best as you can and then designing. Sometimes you have to deal with a little bit of variation, which keeps me busy and interested.

 

What do you love most about your job?

I take pride in knowing that my work contributes to building sturdy and functional structures that are safe and reliable.

 

What’s the most valuable thing you’ve learned during your time at Lithon?

Lithon’s value system and morals have really highlighted the importance of putting people first and prioritising good work. I’ve also learned a lot about how our different departments work together and how that impacts our finances.

 

Do you think engineering can lead to a better future?

Yes, I think engineering really is changing the world for the better. Without the infrastructure we’ve built, the world wouldn’t have been able to support the current population size. Engineering also teaches us to use and manage our natural resources responsibly. Which is good for us, and the environment.

 

What are your favourite projects at Lithon, and why?

I’ve been working on a road upgrade project, particularly inspecting the culverts, which was really interesting. I also got some exposure to the geotechnical investigations that we performed. Another project was a bus shed for a mine where we played a key role as the main consultant. We really had to think out of the box for this one, which I enjoyed.

 

Do your strategies vary across residential, commercial and transportation projects?

My strategy changes depending on the project. Residential ones are quite straightforward, while commercial projects can be a bit more complex and need a flexible approach. Transportation projects need more analysis. I just make sure to focus on the important parts and give them the attention they need.

 

Who has been your greatest inspiration (both in life and your career)?

I find inspiration in my faith. It guides me, teaches me to learn from my mistakes, and inspires me to walk a path of continuous improvement.

 

What is a professional goal you’d like to achieve this year?

I’m working towards my professional registration and aiming to make a significant contribution to Lithon’s structural engineering department.

 

What do you get up to when you’re not working?

I like to spend time with my family. We spend a lot of time outdoors, playing in the garden, taking drives through Windhoek, looking at different areas, and being a little bit adventurous.

 

What is something most people don’t know about you?

I have hairy toes!