Dr S K Dhawan, the oldest PhD recipient from the Delhi IIT, has proved that learning never stops. It was at the age of 77 that the former CPWD engineer and visiting professor of IIT Delhi, got his doctorate.
Dhawan got his doctorate for ‘Expected Remaining Life of Existing Reinforced Concrete Building Structures’. Talking to the media, he said that his research would help in making the right decisions with respect to repairs, demolishing, retrofit, rehabilitation and future extension of the existing structures.
Born in 1942 in a small village in the Punjab province of present-day Pakistan, his family migrated to India when he was five years of age at the time of partition. After leaving all the property back in Pakistan, Dhawan said that this family had gone through the worst financial as well as emotional period. He said that he had to take up a job soon after his matriculation because of his family’s financial condition.
At the age of 18, he got a job in the CPWD. He was so inspired in learning that he cleared the examination of Associate Member of The Institution of Engineers (AMIE) and became a graduate junior engineer at the age of 22. Later he passed the combined Engineering Services Examination conducted by the Union Public Service Commission and became a Class I Officer with the Government of India.
He has an MTech from IIT Delhi, MPhil from Panjab University and Master’s in Urban Development from Birmingham University, UK.
Apart from his enthusiasm for studies, Dhawan said that his family, especially his wife had been an encouraging in his research works.