Cornelis Van Niekerk

Business Manager Defence Welding 

Cornelis Van Niekerk returned to Australia in 2022 and rejoined the Weld Australia team in the role of Business Manager Defence Welding. Cornelis will work to build and expand the capabilities of Weld Australia in this sector, and grow the current business with regards to the distribution and integration of new technology, including robots, cobots and Soldamatics.

An experienced researcher and educator in materials engineering, Cornelis initially joined Weld Australia in March 2020 as Assistant Training Manager. Prior to this, Cornelis spent five years at the University of Wollongong’s School of Mechanical, Materials, Mechatronic and Biomedical Engineering Department. He provided training and lecturing for the International Welding Engineer program and was an Academic Tutor and Laboratory Demonstrator for materials engineering and manufacturing subjects, including Materials in Design.

Before immigrating to Australia in 2015, Cornelis also held similar roles in the Materials Science and Metallurgical Engineering Department at the University of Pretoria in South Africa, where he was involved in collaborative research with the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research in laser welding-related areas.

In 2013, Cornelis won the international Young Person’s World Lecture Competition (YPWLC) in Hong Kong, hosted by the Institute of Materials, Minerals, and Mining (a UK-based engineering institution whose activities encompass the entire materials cycle). The competition invites young professionals from around the world to deliver a short lecture on materials, minerals and mining related topics and judges them on their technical and lecturing skills.

Cornelis completed his PhD in Materials Engineering in 2020, with his thesis investigating the topic The Role of Welding Parameters and Weld Metal Microstructure on the Incidence of Weld Metal Hydrogen-Assisted Cold Cracking in X70 Welds. His research was sponsored by the Energy Pipelines Cooperative Research Council (EPCRC) Australia. 

Professional Qualifications

  • PhD in Materials Engineering 

  • Master of Engineering in Metallurgical Engineering 

  • Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) in Metallurgical Engineering 

  • Bachelor of Engineering in Metallurgical Engineering

  • IIW International Welding Engineer (IWE)