Between 1965 and 1971 R T McCutcheon worked as an engineer (on power stations and for consulting engineers) and as Chairman of the South African Voluntary Service (SAVS). During the SAVS work he developed an interest in community development in relation to housing and the provision of low-cost infrastructure. He pursued further studies in this field by reading for an MSc (1972) and a DPhil (1980) at the University of Sussex (School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences).

From 1975 to 1987 he worked in Iran, Botswana and East Africa. He was responsible for the initiation and implementation of several projects and programmes of road construction and maintenance using labour-intensive methods. In Botswana and Kenya, he was employed by the International Labour Organisation as a Chief Technical Adviser / Project Manager.

From September 1987 to December 2007 he was a Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of the Witwatersrand. From 1994 to 2000 he was Head of the Department of Civil Engineering. In January 2008 the University conferred Emeritus status on him. In January 2017 he was appointed an Honorary Professor.

From 1994 to date McCutcheon has contributed to the formulation and implementation of SA's National Public Works Programme and Expanded Public Works Programme (current annual budget R18billion).

Since 2009 he has been a Research Associate of the Centre for Full Employment and Equity at the University of Newcastle, Australia.

He is Head of the Employment Creation and Development Unit, Malani Padayachee and Associates, Consulting Civil and Structural Engineers, Randburg.


Academic Qualifications: BSc(Eng), GDE (Wits), MSc, DPhil (Sussex).


Professional Qualifications: FICE, C Eng; FSAICE, Pr Eng; FSAAE.


Summarised Publication Output: 6 technical books; 34 articles in peer-reviewed, accredited journals; 40 papers in refereed conference proceedings; 29 reports for national and international agencies; co-founder and co-editor (1990-2004) of an accredited journal Urban Forum.

Married to Carol. Three sons Keir, Ian and Martin.

Clubs and Other: Rand Club and Old Edwardian; Society for the History of Technology; Institute of Municipal Engineers SA; PMISA.


CV: 8 page CV

Supervision of completed student research (i.e. awarded degrees):

  • University of the Witwatersrand: PhD: 9 and MSc(Eng): 53
  • In association with the University of Twente, the Netherlands: MSc: 49; Other Institutions: 5

Current: 5