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Dr. A. K. Mullick, A great authority on Cement and Concrete passed away

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Dr. N. Subramanian
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2020 4:56 pm    Post subject: Dr. A. K. Mullick, A great authority on Cement and Concrete passed away Reply with quote

Dr. A. K. Mullick, A great authority on Cement and Concrete passed away

I am sorry to report the death of Dr. A. K. Mullick, the former Director General of National Council for Cement and Building Materials in India (NCCBM) and student of Prof. A.M. Neville passed away yesterday. May his soul rest in peace. Our heartfelt condolences to his family and friends.

Excerpt from his biography published in the July 2012 issue of ICJ:

Dr. Ajoy Mullick is a Cement and concrete technology consultant, based in New Delhi and Visiting Professor at JP University of Engineering and Technology, Guna (M.P.). He had over 45 years’ experience in research,
design, consultancy, teaching and R&D management, and devoted his life to the propagation of sustainable concrete practices.  He had successively occupied positions of Director General of National Council for Cement and Building Materials (NCCBM); Director (Research and Technical Services) of Saurashtra Cements, Mumbai; Chief Technical Adviser, Vasavadatta Cements, Sedam (Karnataka); besides being Advisor/ Consultant to Grasim Industries (Cement Marketing Division), ELKEM (India), BEKAERT Industries (India), E.I. DuPont (India), SINTEF Building and Infrastructure, Norway, and many other organisations.

Dr. Mullick graduated in Civil Engineering from Patna University and obtained MSc (Engg.) and PhD degrees from the University of Calgary, Canada, with financial support from National Research Council (NRC), Canada and University of Calgary Dissertation Fellowship. Prof. A. M. Neville was his Guide for MSc (Engg) thesis, and Prof.R. H. Mills and Prof. B. R. Gamble in PhD work. His PhD topic was ‘Effects of stress history on the microstructure and creep properties of maturing concrete’.

After his return from Calgary, Canada, Dr. Mullick joined National Council for Cement and Building Materials (then known as Cement Research Institute of India) as Scientist.

Corporate concrete technology research in India has been demand–driven, often mundane - what the state-of-art of the profession required. Even after returning back to India, Dr. Mullick would receive information from his Professor abroad on the research being carried out at the University and suggestions on what more should be done, till the Professor had to be told respectfully, “ the research I did with you for my Doctorate is not required in my present job; the research I am doing at present may not fetch a PhD at the University”.

Nevertheless, such research work can be very meaningful and worthwhile, as Dr. Mullick found in his carrier. In addition, technology transfers through standardization and consultancy/trouble-shooting offer immense scope in improving the field practices. As long as these efforts help in ensuring quality in constructions, preventing failure or
premature decay of the structures and make the concrete sustainable, the pursuit is worthwhile and satisfying.

Dr. Mullick and his colleagues in NCB did the spadework to usher in the concept and assessment of cement plants in India on the basis of co-efficient of variation. Although there is no requirement of uniformity in Indian Standards at present, many cement manufacturers started making available data on the extent of variability, along with the mandatory test certificate.

Use of mineral admixtures in blended cements and concrete was another focus area of R&D. Dr. Mullick has been in the forefront of advocating the use of fly ash; granulated slag and silica fume in cement and concrete and pave their adoption in Codes of Practices and Specification.

Development of CRI – Non-shrink Grout for use in machinery foundations was a path-breaking research aimed at import substitution. This patented product has been used in foundation grouting in a number of fertilizer plants in place of imported products.

Incidence of ASR was established through path-breaking research carried out by Dr. Mullick and his colleagues in NCB. The reactivity was due to the presence of ‘strained’ quartz in aggregate, showing undulatory extinction. Many other countries now report occurrence of ASR due to such aggregates, which, in lighter vain, has been called ‘Mullick’s rocks’!

His research on ternary cement blends, especially in high performance concrete, is now well accepted in practice in India. He has been active in standardization activities of BIS, IRC and RILEM, Paris. Dr. Mullick has designed and taught Cement Technology for final year Chemical engineering degree level, Advanced Concrete Technology and Hydropower Engineering for final year Civil Engineering Degree level, and Sustainable Construction, for M.Tech course in Civil Engineering. He is known to be a popular teacher.

Dr. Mullick was chairman of 9th ICCC (International Congress on Chemistry of Cements) in 1992; the first person from India invited to deliver Fulton Memorial Lecture in South Africa (1995), and first person invited to deliver Plenary Presentation at 10th ICCC at Goteborg, Sweden (1997). Dr. Mullick is recipient of ICI-FOSROC Award for Outstanding Concrete Technologist (2001). He received ICI Lifetime Achievement Award for 2010. Has authored 170 papers, two books and two book chapters; co-inventor of six patents. He has travelled to 26 countries.
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