Gandhinagar: IIT Gandhinagar Director Prof Sudhir Jain was awarded the Padma Shri for distinguished service in the field of Science & Engineering at this year’s Republic Day.
Dr Jain is currently serving his third term as director of IITGN, which he joined as the founder director in June 2009. He described this achievement as “a collective recognition of the entire community’s efforts, sacrifices, and hard work.”
Dr Jain is an internationally reputed scholar of earthquake engineering and a passionate academic administrator. He served as President of the International Association for Earthquake Engineering from 2014-18. He was elected Fellow of the Indian National Academy of Engineering in 2003, and conferred Life Membership by the New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering (NZSEE) in 2013.
Under Dr Jain’s leadership, IITGN has introduced several innovations in curriculum, student affairs, faculty recruitment, and institutional management to inculcate and promote excellence by faculty and students. He led the development of IITGN’s new campus, which has won several national awards and is the first campus in India to receive the 5-star GRIHA-LD rating.
At a flag hoisting ceremony at IITGN on Republic Day, Dr Jain said: “Eleven years ago, we had a chance to shape IITGN differently from other institutions in this country. We have to give IITGN a constitution, not necessarily in writing, but verbally or in practice, to think internally how we want to live, manage our relationships at various levels, and maintain our ethos. We have to speed up, make greater improvements to make IITGN an example for other educational institutions in the country and thereby contribute in nation-building.”
Dr Jain holds a Bachelor of Engineering from the University of Roorkee, and Masters and Doctoral degrees from the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena. He has made major contributions to earthquake engineering practice and education in India. He was instrumental in the development of several important seismic codes in India, and has trained thousands of professional engineers and college teachers in earthquake engineering through his continuing education programmes. He established the National Information Centre of Earthquake Engineering (NICEE) at IITK and developed the National Programme on Earthquake Engineering Education (NPEEE), supported by the Government of India.
Dr Jain has served as a consultant for several major projects, such as bridges, petrochemical pipelines and concrete dams and has published more than 150 scholarly papers. His research interests include the study of damaging earthquakes, reinforced concrete buildings, bridges, and seismic codes.