PJ Vlok grew up in South Africa and holds a masters degree in Mechanical Engineering and a PhD in Industrial Engineering, both received from the University of Pretoria. PJ is a registered professional engineer and has worked and lived in Southern Africa, Europe, Asia, the Middle East over the last 20 years, advancing the field of Physical Asset Management.
PJ has been involved with research at the University of Stellenbosch for the last 10 years of which the last 3 were on a full time basis where he founded the Asset Care Research Group. He relocated to Knoxville, TN in April 2015 to join a tech-startup but still contributes to the Asset Care Research Group at Stellenbosch University where he is appointed as extraordinary professor. He was recently appointed as Adjunct Associate Professor at the Industrial Engineering Department of UT where he hopes to contribute to the field of Industrial Engineering over time.
PJ is a huge fan of classic American automobiles, is a big aviation enthusiast and is a humble student of the sport of football.
Over the last 15 years, the terms of the debate on preserving and extending the life of assets has evolved from maintenance to a much more sophisticated managerial philosophy, Physical Asset Management. With the recent release of ISO 55,000 (the new ISO standard on Physical Asset Management) and the rapidly increasing awareness of the field in industry across the world, massive opportunities to contribute are presenting itself for Industrial Engineers. This discussion will share some of the research that has been done in this field over the last 5 years at the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa including statistical residual life prediction of equipment, social network analysis, real options analysis, simulation for reliability intervention prioritization, motivational theory to enhance engineering business processes, redesigning production performance metrics, spare parts optimization with the analytical hierarchy process, data visualization, etc. Projects have been validated in some of the world’s biggest mining companies and published in international journals.