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Dr Dilip Mase

‘Talking About Life’s Engineering Saga (TALES)’ exclusively focuses on structural consultants across the globe wherein they share their engineering journey in their own words.
Dr Dilip Mase, Partner, PT Mase & Associates, a seasoned structural engineer, brings a wealth of experience to the construction industry. With a strong legacy in steel construction and a focus on innovation, he shares his insights into the industry.

Quick Fire
College: Yeshwantrao Chavan College of Engineering, Visveswaraya National Institute of Technology
Years of Experience: 36 years
Idol/Mentor: My father-Late Er. P.T.MASE, Navin Bhagwati, MN Dastur
Mantra for success: Sincerity and commitment
You want to be remembered as: A dedicated structural engineer
Steel Projects you are currently working on:The food court, Kamptee, Nagpur,E-bus,charging station Nagpur, Jindal Shadeed Oman., Mahindra & Mahindra, Nagpur And Various Industrial Projects.

Your inspiration for taking up engineering as a profession…
The biggest reason is my background. My father was a structural engineer and started PT Mase & Associates. So, I took up civil engineering in 1987 and joined my father in his company. In 1990, I finished my BE in Engineering, then M. Tech in 1995, and Ph.D. in Structures in 2005. As a company, we have executed commercial, residential, and industrial projects; and I have designed more than 100 steel plants in India as well as in the Gulf, Africa, the Middle East, and more.

Now that I have transitioned more into auditing, my son, Er. Ketan Mase has joined the company after completing his M. Tech (Structures). This marks the third generation of our family in the company.

Your learning curve from a student to a pro today…
The journey from being a student to becoming a professional is an inspiring and transformative process. It signifies growth, learning, and the realisation of untapped potential. In every field, the sky truly is the limit when one is willing to invest time, energy, and effort. Success, as we have explored, is not restricted by predefined boundaries; it is a horizon that expands with determination and perseverance. In the end, it is the unwavering commitment to the pursuit of excellence that propels individuals towards their greatest achievements. As we continue on our own unique journeys, we must remember that our potential is boundless, and success is attainable through our own efforts and dedication. As a student, I had the privilege to be taught by some of the greatest teachers of my time. We were taught that ‘basic knowledge and fundamentals are key to any field of science’. These are the same basics which I learned in my early engineering days, and I use them even to this day.

The challenges you face as a structural consultant…
The first and foremost challenge is how to convince a client of the advantages that steel offers. We have to explain the entire economics for them to understand and agree. With the Unified Development Control and Promotion Regulations in Maharashtra, we want to take up long cantilevers in steel. Since this comes with a risk of vibrations, we have to be wary of safety as well. We faced difficulties in designing earthquake-resistant steel structures The new code has just been released for the same. Another issue we face as consultants is the non-maintenance of structure. All structures require some sort of maintenance. The need for maintenance in steel structures is greater. The greatest weakness of steel structures is corrosion, which can be easily mitigated with proper maintenance.

Your views on the usage of parallel flange beams in the Indian construction community…
Parallel flange beams play a significant role in the Indian construction community due to their strength, durability, versatility, and cost-effectiveness. When used in accordance with established standards and best practices, they contribute to the safe and efficient construction of various structures across the country. Parallel flange sections are convenient to use, easy to draft, and easy to connect with other members. In 1995, we designed the first steel plant in Bahrain where we made use of parallel flange beams. They are much more economical than the conventional sections. The future is in the universal beams. If you see the older structures designed with parallel flange beams, you can see that they are in excellent condition. In India, there are only a few companies manufacturing these. So we do see some gaps in the supply and demand.

One thing you would change in the construction practices in India…
When there are few suppliers, it is obvious that there will be shortages. While there are hiccups here and there, I have a more positive outlook towards steel construction in India. The major advantage that steel offers has been in the time constraints. In construction, synchronising the execution timeline with quality is essential. It satisfies client expectations, controls costs, and ensures compliance with regulations. Efficient planning, skilled labour, and rigorous quality control are necessary to maintain this balance. Effective project management and communication among stakeholders help to prevent delays and costly rework. In the long term, delivering quality construction on schedule builds a positive reputation, reduces lifecycle costs, and enhances sustainability.

Consulting a designer before making alterations to a structure is a critical step in ensuring structural integrity, safety, and compliance. Designers possess expertise in structural engineering and understand the complexities of how structures withstand loads. Their input helps to prevent risks of structural failure, safety hazards, and legal issues. Additionally, designers can offer insights to optimise modifications for functionality and aesthetics, enhancing the overall usability of the space. Ultimately, this consultation can lead to cost-effective solutions and long-term success in the modified structure while mitigating potential risks and ensuring regulatory compliance.

Your relationship with steel…
Nowadays even commercial structures, where carpet areas are a serious concern, are designed with steel. Steel columns only occupy half of the carpet area as compared to RCC. The construction timelines shrink dramatically. While we do have to put down higher costs upfront, steel offers other advantages that tip the scales in its favour.

Your best work in steel so far…
We designed a dome in Kamptee called Babasaheb Ambedkar Sanskrutik Bhavan. It was one of our earliest structures made of steel. We used a conventional steel structure with trusses in Brahma Kumaris Hall where the requirement was for a column-less space.

An international steel-specific project that inspires you…
Korea, Dubai, and the US have some of the most iconic buildings I have seen. There is a structure called ‘The Shed’ in New York. It is an extraordinary feat of engineering and design. The Shed is a kind of a façade and roof built into one. The main idea is to cover the building in the winter. The entire shed moves and covers the building. In the summer it moves over the main building and acts as a stand-alone covered space for events. These types of structures can only be made with steel. Steel allows designers and architects to explore new ideas and push the boundaries of structural innovation and creativity.

How do you update and upgrade yourself with the changing times…
Staying relevant and adaptable in a constantly evolving world involves a commitment to lifelong learning and personal growth. Embrace continuous education through courses, reading, and networking. Keep your skills up-to-date, particularly in technology. Seek certifications and mentors for guidance. Cultivate critical thinking and adaptability while staying informed about current events. Regularly assess your goals and well-being. Remember, personal growth is an ongoing journey requiring patience and persistence. Even after 38 years, I still think I am a student. Nowadays it is a lot easier with the internet. Before the internet, industry-related magazines were the only source of information. The world is an open book now, one must have the eagerness to learn.

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