Dr. T. N. Subba Rao
(1928 - 2008)
Dr. T.N.Subba Rao was born on 27th March 1928 in illustrious Architect family and obtained his B.E. Degree from BMS College of Engineer ing, Bangalore. Among his contemporaries in the college were Dr. M.R. Srinivasan, former Chairman of Atomic Energy Commission, Dr. H.C. Visveswaraya, former Vice Chancellor of Roorkee University and late Dr. Ramesh, Professor IIT, Mumbai. Despite his father Mr. T.S. Narayanarao, being a well known Architect at the time, he choose to join the company immediately after graduation as an Apprentice Engineer in June 1950 on temporary roll, confirmed on 1st January 1952 and steadily rose to become a Director of the Company at the young age of 34. During his career spanned over four decades, he has held a wide spectrum of job responsibilities, including that of Technical Director until 1970, Joint Managing Director (1970–1972) and the Managing Director of M/s GAMMON INDIA LIMITED from 1973 to 1991.
His high academic qualifications and professional attainments as an engineer elevated Dr.T.N.Subba Rao’s status to that of a top technocrat in the field of structural engineering involving bridges, tunnels, dams, high-rise structures and various other civil engineering works which reflected in Gammon’s many sided activities. He was an active member of the Indian Roads Congress (IRC) and Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) and participated in almost all the Committees relating to bridges, cement & concrete, prestressing, etc. He chaired several forums sponsored by professional bodies in India and abroad, represented several government bodies at a number of international technical conferences and presented papers on civil engineering construction techniques. He was always sought after for consultation by firms in India and abroad for intricate and complicated design of bridges and other heavy constructions. Under his stewardship, Gammon was the recipient of two gold medals awarded by the International Federation of Asian & Western Pacific Contractor’s association IN LOVING MEMORY (IFAWPCA) in 1971 for the unique techniques used in the construction of the Thane Creek Bridge near Mumbai and Precast Fertiliser Silos. The 7th International Trophy for technological excellence presented by the Trade Leaders Club in West Germany, has also been awarded to them.
He was the founding Director of GILCON Projects Limited, Gammon Nirman Limited, Gammon Turnkeys Limited. He also steered through FPCC right from the formative years. He was also a Director of Gammon Middle East. He created a Foreign Operations Cell for the Company to take advantage of Middle East boom and was instrumental in securing contracts in Dubai, Sharjah, Libya, Iraq and other coutries.
In recognition of his eloquent contribution in the field of prestressed concrete and for his conceptualization and realization of structures having high sophistication in concept, design and construction, Dr.T.N.Subba Rao was awarded the gold medal by the Federation Internationale de la Precontrainte (fib) London in 1986. He was the Vice President representing India on the fib and a member of the Executive Committee of the prestigious International Association for Bridge and Structural Engineering (IABSE) Zurich. In recognition of his novel and technically outstanding designs of structures, he was awarded Dr. Ing (h.c.) by the University of Stuttgart, West Germany.
Though he started as a Designer, he used to visit the project sites regularly to ensure that his designs are faithfully translated into construction. During his extended stays at site, he had the opportunity to observe and improve construction practices. In the bargain he also developed into an outstanding Construction Engineer. His command over the English language and presentation skills endeared him to the leading engineering personalities all over the World. He had the unique perception to develop young Engineers both in designs and construction. A large number of them were exposed to International Conferences and Programs. Monumental works carried out under his stewardship include : - Air India Hangar, Bombay
- Kunu Syphon in pre-stressed concrete, Madhya Pradesh
- Almost all pre-stressed concrete bridges in 1950s & 1960s and major ity of pre-stressed concrete bridges until 1991
- Sone bridge on Dehri-on Sone, 3.2 Km long
- Ganga Br idge at Patna., 5.6 Km long
- The first all concrete Cable-stayed bridge in Sikkim
- Vidyasagar Setu in Calcutta
- Food Grains Silos in Libya
- Desalination plant in Dubai
- Airport project at Sharjah
- Thermal Power Station in Libya
- A number of pre-stressed concrete parabolic silos all over India, etc.
Dr.T.N.Subba Rao, FNAE, FIE (I), FICE (UK), FIStruct.E (UK), left the world on 13th August 2008. On his passage, during a prayer meeting held on 14 Aug 08, he was referred as ‘Brightest Star’ of his organisation.