"God created earth but we civilised it," is a popular saying amongst civil engineers. Come to think of it, what would our lives be without these industry crusaders who, time and again, through their landmarks have defined our socio-cultural identity? This holds as true for historic landmarks like Delhi's Qutub Minar and Mumbai's Victoria Terminus as modern-day marvels such as Mumbai's Bandra-Worli Sea Link. Even our day-to-day residential, commercial and infrastructural facilities owe their existence to the astute planning and design of civil engineers, who quite often don't get due credit for their creations.
Thus, in a bid to highlight the contributions of these unsung heroes, CW initiated a monthly column titled 'Encounter with Engineers' around two years ago to profile the works of some of the industry's most eminent engineers. With September 15 celebrated as Engineer' Day every year, here's a look at all the engineers who have peopled the pages of our magazine in the previous year.
Jagannath S Jadhav Chief Executive, BG Shirke Construction Technology Ltd Converting his passion for building into a remarkable career, Jadhav has to date been involved in several landmark projects such as the NH-4 Pune-Satara Road Project, JNPT Port Connectivity Project, Balewadi Sports Complex and the four-laning of the Dapodi-Nashik Junction in the Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation. With no plans to hang up his boots yet, this 61-year-old engineer from Shivaji University, Kolhapur, has left an indelible mark on both the Indian and Middle Eastern skylines.
Subodh Dixit, President (Construction Group), Shapoorji Pallonji & Co Ltd "It's no cakewalk being a civil engineer," says Dixit. Although he laments all the hard work, late hours, travel, and insufficient recognition, he is immensely proud to be associated with some very prestigious projects in a career spanning three decades. These include the Imperial Towers, Mumbai; Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Delhi; and ITPL Explorer, Bengaluru, which is an IT park.
Dr Narayan Nayak, Principal Advisor, Gammon India Ltd and Managing Director, Gammon Realty Ltd He defies the notion of old being gold. Constantly in search of new techniques and construction methods, this VJTI graduate has in the past four decades introduced several innovative techniques, such as development and execution of cement bentonite slurry walls, high-pressure jet grouting, rammed stone columns and well resting on pile foundation. He has also instituted diverse methods to achieve sustainable concrete. His notable projects include the JJ Flyover, Thane Creek Bridge, Kolkata Metro, 24 bridges for Konkan Railway, and the Godavari Bridge.
Dr Vasudev Nori, Chairman, Shirish Patel & Associates Consultants Pvt Ltd "To me, success means creating innovative structures for the benefit of society," asserts Nori. In the past five decades, this engineering ace has been involved in the design, planning and development of many award-winning projects in India and abroad. His structural ingenuity and passion for engineering led to his winning the FIP Excellence in Engineering Award in 1994 at the XIIth FIP Congress, Washington, for ECC's Administration Building in Chennai.
Mohan Patwardhan, Additional Chief Engineer, Mumbai Port Trust From assistant executive engineer of MbPT in 1982 to its additional chief engineer, Patwardhan's has been a steady rise. "This profession demands total involvement and hard work; otherwise, you cannot do justice to your work," says the 57-year-old, who has also shouldered the responsibility of the departmental vigilance officer for almost seven years and public information officer of the Civil Engineering Department under the RTI Act for about four years.
Deepak Moudgil, Director (Projects), Engineers India Ltd A firm believer that "the widest canvas of human engineering that makes a real difference to people's lives is civil engineering", Moudgil has handled projects across every sector in a career spanning four decades, from cross-country multi-product and gas pipelines, refineries, petrochemicals and fertilisers to airports, highways, bridges, technology parks, urban development, high-rise complexes and water/sewage management. In fact, of the total 16,000 km of pipelines executed by EIL to date, 6,500 km have been handled under his leadership within a span of three years.
Arun Karnik, Proprietor, AB Karnik and Associates Earning the epithet of æan expert with a magic wandÆ from the India Chapter of the American Concrete Institute in 2004 is just the icing on the cake of Karnik's five-decade long career. This civil engineer from VJTI, Mumbai, has handled over 500 projects to date, including the Bandra-Worli Sea Link, Chennai Port, Adani Port and Jawaharlal Nehru Port. Today, even at the age of 77, he continues to relish every new challenge that comes his way.
JK Dasgupta, Managing Director and CEO, JPM Engineers Pvt Ltd "Indian engineers are the best," proclaims Dasgupta. For his part, he has engineered some of the marvels of mod- ern India including the Kopar Khairane railway station and convention centre for Royal Palms Hotel. The architect of the growth of his proprietary firm into a private limited company, Dasgupta is also credited with hoisting the Indian flag in many foreign countries.
Aspun Battiwalla, Vice President-Projects, Ramky Infrastructure Ltd Although his dream project - an iconic structure of epic proportions that would stand as a distinct landmark or monument - still eludes him, Battiwala enjoys an extremely rewarding career. His portfolio boasts of a large variety of projects, ranging from residential complexes, commercial buildings and industrial plants to research labs, boiler houses, warehouses, silos, chimneys, roads, bridges, water storage reservoirs, drainages, effluent treatment plants (ETPs), and sewage treatment plants (STPs).
Kuldip Kumar Shrivastava, Chief Engineer, Uttarakhand Rural Road Development Agency (URRDA) Shrivastava believes that a civil engineer has the power to alter the geography of a nation. A look at his 28-year-long career affirms this statement. Starting as an assistant engineer in Samaj Kalyan Nirman Nigam, Shrivastava has come a long way with many landmark projects such as the Buddha Tourist Circuit and Srinagar to Pauri Motor Road project to his credit.
Keshav Varkhedkar, Additional Chief Engineer, City & Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO), Navi Mumbai "In civil engineering there's is no limit imposed on your thoughts, imagination and creation." These words from Varkhedkar represent his 30-year-old career spanning diverse sectors, from roads, bridges, drainage and water supply networks to chemical plants, housing, exhibition and business centres, rail corridors and railway station complexes. Still vigorously active at the age of 51, Vardhekar has his sights set on two iconic projects: the international airport and the metro rail.