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Izak was born in Johannesburg and grew up in Roodepoort. He matriculated from Florida High School in 1971. In 1973 he entered the Potchefstroom University for Christian Higher Education where he obtained the BSc degree with majors in Mathematics, Applied Mathematics and Computer Science in 1975. In 1976 he obtained the HHe completed the MSc in 1978 with a dissertation on the boundary value problem and associated with the calculus of variations. His study leader was the late Prof HSP Grässer. He also had joined the staff of UNISA as a junior lecturer. In 1979 he enrolled for a PhD in Applied Mathematics at UNISA with study leader the late Prof HSP Grässer. He completed his PhD in 1982 with a thesis on the transversality problem for higher order problems in calculus of variations.
In 1985 he visited Prof DG Edelen for post doctoral studies at the Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania and Prof AR Mitchell at Dundee University, Scotland. His research was focussed on variational problems and numerical methods. In 1988 he left UNISA to establish a short time event simulation facility at ARMSCOR. During his years at ARMSCOR he was involved with a large number of projects involving the calculations of the response of various structures to short time duration events in ballistics and explosions. In 2003 he joined the Defencetek Landwards Programme at CSIR to establish a simulation facility for short time duration events.
He is involved with solving problems in landmine protection and crew survivability