|Dr. N. Subramanian
Joined: 21 Feb 2008
Location: Gaithersburg, MD, U.S.A.
|Posted: Wed Feb 03, 2021 7:52 pm Post subject: Prof. D.K. Paul, an eminent Earthquake engineer passes away
|Obituary: Dr. Dilip Kumar Paul (28.05.1947 – 27.12.2020)
Professor D.K. Paul (DKP), born on 28 May 1947, passed away in the afternoon of December 27, 2020. With his untimely departure, India has lost an outstanding earthquake engineer, his scores of students across the country and abroad have lost an adorable teacher and his colleagues, friends and admirers have lost an exceptional human being, full of humility and grace. His absence will be felt as long as the memories last.
DKP obtained his BSc from the Lucknow University in 1965; Bachelor's degree in Civil Engineering in 1969, Master’s degree in Earthquake Engineering in 1971, from the University of Roorkee (now, Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee); and Ph.D. Degree from University College of Swansea, the UK, in 1982.
His academic track record was so remarkable that the University of Roorkee recognized him not only by award of a Gold Medal in 1971 but also appointed him as a Lecturer in the Department of Earthquake Engineering, in 1972. Since then, the University of Roorkee became his Karma-Bhumi where he served for about four decades. In 1978, upon receiving a Commonwealth Fellowship for doctoral studies, providence connected him with legendary Professor Zienkiewicz, a pioneer of the
Finite Element Method at the University College of Swansea. Later, the same University invited him as a Visiting Professor. He continued to serve IITR as Emeritus Fellow.
DKP very effectively utilized to build taller on the work done under Zienkiewicz, especially in the areas of Finite Element Method, Nonlinear structural and Soil Dynamics involving nonlinear fluid-structure interaction and Pore fluid interaction.
IIT Roorkee made an all-round progress in the field of Earthquake Disaster Mitigation during DKP’s two terms as Head of the Department of Earthquake Engineering. He later established the Centre of Excellence in Disaster Mitigation and Management at IIT Roorkee, and was instrumental in laying the foundation of multi-disciplinary programs in disaster mitigation centric research, development and extension activities. During his stint at IIT, he also served as Dean of Faculty Affairs, Deputy Director; and upon retirement as an Emeritus Fellow.
He also served as President, Indian Society of Earthquake Technology. Dr Paul was consulted on Seismic Safety of many structures in the country involving Earthquake Resistant Analysis and Design of Special Structures.
By 2008, he had already supervised 19 Doctoral and 51 Master theses; published 185 technical papers and completed more than 100 sponsored research & consultancy
National Capacity building programs
We see indelible foot prints of DKP in several areas of his impactful contributions. Throughout his professional journey, he never lost sight of the importance of National Capacity building programs.
Hundreds of professionals across the country, including field engineers, architects, planners and researchers benefitted from his well-designed short term technical courses. He also contributed significantly to uplifting the level of Earthquake Engineering courses run by the Ministry of Human Resource Development and Earthquake Risk Management programs run by the Ministry of Home Affairs. Many of India’s flagship development projects carry signatures of his contributions in Seismic Risk Evaluation; Seismic Retrofitting, Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering, Earthquake Resistant Design of Dams, Bridges, and Equipment and the related fields.
Another most significant dimension of national capacity building initiatives is reflected in his resolve to provide down to earth connection between best in science and technology and the felt societal needs.
Massive Awareness Programs
Throughout, it was his endeavour to make the masses aware of the basic knowledge on Earthquake Disaster Mitigation through popular lectures, well-crafted guidelines, attractive booklets, and TV films.
When the devastating Uttarkashi earthquake struck on October 20, 1991, DKP lost no time to proactively support the national disaster mitigation initiative of the government so much so that he and his team carried out a massive awareness program covering almost all the villages in Uttaranchal with a focus on promotion of Earthquake Resistant Design and Construction practices. Inter alia, the team
distributed booklets on Earthquake safe construction, spread awareness about Do's and Don'ts and, for Door Darshan, made a TV film on "Earthquakes-Surviving Nature's Fury" under the aegis of TIFAC (DST). Under the program, he also made notable contribution to the Manual on "Technologies for Retrofitting of Existing Buildings and Structures for Earthquake Resilience ".
Earthquake Resistant Design of structures
Yet another area of his professional expertise was design of earthquake safe construction of all kinds of structures, especially, buildings and dams. The scope covered gravity dams, earth and rock fill dams, nuclear power plants and buildings. He served on the Standing Committee for assessment of the seismic safety of Tehri rock fill dam, set up by the Prime Minister of India for the Tehri Hydro-power
Development Corporation. DKP took recourse to 2D nonlinear and 3D finite element seismic safety analyses which helped the Central Government in according approval for the construction of the dam.
He served as a member of Standing Advisory Committee on Seismological Network in Tehri Region; the River Valley Projects committee of the Central Water Commission, New Delhi; Project Review Committee, BRNS Projects, BARC, Bombay; and Dam Safety Review Panel of the Government of Gujarat, under a World Bank project. The scope of his engineering intervention included review & evaluation of design and reconstruction, rehabilitation & strengthening of earthquake damaged dams.
He was also closely associated with the Seismic Safety Analysis of Narora, Karapar and 500 MW Atomic Power Plants and addressed the threats arising from the anticipated future strong motion earthquakes; and seismic evaluation and retrofitting design of some of the iconic buildings such as AIIMS and TRANSCO. His participation in the Delhi Earthquake Safety Initiative involving Lifeline Buildings was supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Geohazard International (GHI) solicited his expertise in implementation of the pilot project of GTB hospital building.
He Chaired the Committees on Micro zonation of Delhi & Guwahati cities set up by DST; and served as a member of the National Core Group for Earthquake Mitigation constituted by Ministry of Home Affairs of the Government of India.
He also served as a member of the Steering Committee constituted by the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and as an Expert Member of Environmental Appraisal Committee, constituted by Ministry of Environment and Forest of the Government of India.
Development of IS Standards
He made tremendous contributions in the preparation of standards on criteria for earthquake resistant design of various structures as well as on seismic evaluation and strengthening of existing buildings. Under his leadership, as Chairman of the Committee, various Parts of IS 1893 as well as revision of IS 13920 were published.
DKP was a Life Fellow of many professional bodies which include Indian Association for Computational Mechanics ;National Group for Computational Methods in Geomechanics ;Indian Society for Wind Engineering ;Indian Society for Rock Mechanics and Tunnelling ;Indian Society for Continuing Engineering Education; Indian Geotechnical Society ;Indian Institution of Bridge Engineers;Indian Association of Structural Engineering, Indian Association of Structural Engineers; Indian Society of Earthquake Technology; and Institution of Engineers (India).
In 2009, he was elected as a Fellow of Indian National Academy of Engineering.
Awards received by him include A.S. Arya — IIT Roorkee Disaster Prevention Award for the year 2007; Khosla Annual Award; and Indian Service of Engineers Annual Award, among others.
He served as the President of ISET (2007-2009 & 2009-2011) after completing his terms as the Vice President (1995-1997 & 1997-1999).
Obituary of Prof D.K. Paul by R.K. Bhandari, Chairman, INAE Forum on Engineering Interventions in Disaster Mitigation, INAE News Letter, Vol. XII, Issue 2, Feb. 1, 2021, pp. 14-16.
Obituary of Prof D.K. Paul, IAStructE Newsletter, Jan 2021.
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Last edited by Dr. N. Subramanian on Fri Feb 05, 2021 4:44 am; edited 1 time in total