Dr. Jai Krishna (1912-1999) was an eminent civil engineer who specialised in earthquake engineering. He is known for his illustrious service at the University of Roorkee, from 1939 to 1971, going on to become its vice chancellor between 1971 and 1977. Jai Krishna made many pioneering contributions as an educator, researcher, innovator and institution builder.
On his visit to the California Institute of Technology, USA in 1956, he developed intimate and close relationship with Prof. G.W. Housner and late Prof. D.E. Hudson. This association resulted in the starting of a teaching and research program in Earthquake Engineering. He pioneered the study and application of structural dynamics and established the School of Research and Training in Earthquake Engineering (later called the Department of Earthquake Engineering) at Roorkee University. This is the only program of its kind in India even today.
He was the first in India to introduce courses on Soil Mechanics in 1948 and on Structural Dynamics in 1958. He was the prime motivating force behind the formulation of Indian Standards for Earthquake Resistant Design of Structures that was brought out by the Indian Standards Institution (now Bureau of Indian Standards). This standard is used extensively and is one of the most comprehensive in the world.
His work has brought in original ideas in the design of earthquake resistant structures and has led to the evolution of economic and safe construction practices. He was consultant on a number of projects involving design of seismically safe large structures all over India. He developed earthquake-resistant design of major engineering projects and initiated work on design, fabrication and installation of structural response recorders and accelerographs to collect data.
Jai Krishna was born on January 27, 1912, at Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh. He did his B.Sc from Agra College and then studied engineering at Thomason College of Civil Engineering, now IIT-Roorkee, passing with honours in 1935. He received his Doctoral Degree in Civil Engineering from University of London. He was a fellow of various professional bodies and academies.
Dr. Krishna was the recipient of several awards including International Award of Japan Society of Disaster Prevention (1988), Shanti SwarupBhatnagar Award of CSIR (1966), National Design Award of the Institution of Engineers (India) (1956), Padma Bhushan in 1956.
He died on August 27, 1999, in Roorkee, Odisha.