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Utpal Chakravarty

  • Your College Name & Place: Assam Engineering College, Guwahati, Assam
  • Total Years of Experience: 37 years
  • Your Idol / Mentor: Atul Bhobe
  • Your mantra for success: Keep learning new things
  • You want to be remembered as :A successful Engineer/person
  • Steel Projects that you are Currently Working on: Zuari Cable-stayed bridge in Goa

“Talking About Life’s Engineering Saga. ‘TALES’ is a segment that exclusively focuses on the top Project/Structural Consultants across the globe sharing their engineering journey in their own words.

He is a man with a humungous 37 years of experience & counting under his belt… his love for engineering started very young while shadowing his father & his profession was a natural course for him… he is clear-headed and knows how to keep up with the changing times…

We have Utpal Chakravarty,
Vice President, TPF Engineering Pvt Ltd., getting candid here…”

What inspired you to take up engineering as a profession?
It all started when I was very young. My father was an engineer and from a very young age I used to accompany him to different project sites; so, it was natural for me to take up engineering as my career.

How was your learning curve from a student to a pro today?
It has been quite a journey for me of 37 years. When you are an engineering student, you of course keep absorbing knowledge and keep learning different things throughout those years of engineering college.

The growth starts when you graduate and start working in a particular niche. It is then when real professional learning starts when you are exposed to real-world engineering works; up until then, it is all just in theory and in books.

What various challenges do you face as a Structural Consultant?
Nowadays things are changing rapidly including but not limited to the materials of construction. So, as structural engineers, we need to keep updating and upgrading ourselves because otherwise, we will fall behind if we keep to the old-fashioned ways.

If you can change one thing, what would that change be?
I think a lot of professionals with years of experience under their belt become stagnant, they stop learning. So, I think people should be ‘educated’, try out new things, learn about their benefits and apply them in projects. This is how real change can be brought about as a whole.

How has your relationship with steel been?
A As civil engineers, we are in a relationship with steel from day one; reinforcement steel has been used for hundreds of years but when it comes to structural steel, it really depends on the kind of projects I am handling. Structural steel-based projects are megaprojects, especially with bridges. In one of the projects, I am currently working on, we have used about 10,500 MT of structural steel for the superstructure. So, one can say my relationship with steel is a long-standing one, a career-long relationship.

Which is your best work in steel so far? What is so special about it?
My best work so far should be the one I am currently working o, Zuari Cable-stayed Bridge in Goa. It is a cable step bridge with eight lengths and with 360 meters of central span, that is one.

The advantage of this project is that different chunks of work can be done parallelly since the steel fabrication and other related works are being done at another place nearby the site. At the same time, other works like laying the foundation substructure, which is in concrete, etc., are going on simultaneously on-site. So, this gives us an advantage in terms of the time frame of the project.

Which international steel-specific project inspires you the most for its structural elegance? Why?
An international structure that inspires me the most would be the Millau Viaduct in France, a cable-stayed bridge over a valley of the River Tarn near Millau. This breathtaking steel bridge is an icon as it stands as the tallest bridge in the world. It was completed within a very remarkable period of approximately three years. Given the location and size of the bridge and the entire project as a whole, I doubt that we are equipped in India yet to finish this kind of project within that time frame yet.

How do you update and upgrade yourself with the changing times?
I keep it simple and best- I keep reading relevant magazines and literature and of course, the internet is a wonderful medium to update and upgrade yourself on the latest technologies and changes.

How do you think the Steel Construction Expo by MXBN and SSMB Magazine will help the industry as a whole and give a boost?
These kinds of expos are a wonderful initiative for the entire industry. Everything comes under one roof and we, as professionals get complete exposure to every niche without the need to visit each company or factory individually to view the newly developed products. Everything and every product that we need to know is at the same place at the same time which serves as a great advantage for us professionals. I think these kinds of expos should happen at the very least, once every year.

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