R Sundaram, Chairman and Managing Director, Sundaram Architects Pvt. Ltd, is renowned in the field of shell structures. Some of the shell structures designed by him are internationally acclaimed. A student of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA, Sundaram, has been practicing both as a consulting structural engineer and an architect since 1963.
He is one of the founders and past presidents of the Indian Concrete Institute and the Consulting Engineers Association of India, which play a major role in transforming civil and structural engineers in India into competent professionals. He is a long-time member of the International Association for Shell and Spatial Structures and served as one of the editorial members of the International Journal of Space Structures.
The International Association for Shell and Spatial Structures, Madrid, Spain, in May 2012, conferred the noted international Award ‘Eduardo Torroja Medal’ on Sundaram in recognition of his outstanding and distinguished contributions to design, construction, or research of shell and/or spatial structures’ during the IASS-APCS 2012 Symposium. More recently, the Prestressed and Precast Concrete Society, Singapore, also conferred it ‘Lifetime Honorary Membership’ on him.
Sundaram’s contributions include large concrete hypar shells, large span RCC and steel folded plate roofs, inverted umbrella, cylindrical shells, precast prestressed plates, segmental bridges etc. Many of his innovative works have earned him laurels and awards both nationally and internationally.
Sundaram has designed many outstanding structures in India and abroad, some of which include the famous 5,000-seat capacity Kanteerava Indoor Stadium Complex, Bengaluru, which is covered with an elliptical roof using state-of-the-art technology of precast concrete folded plates. This structure is a one of its kind in the world. It won the prestigious FIP International Award (Federation Internationale de la Precontrainte) for outstanding structures in 1998.
His other works include a large elevated 2.4-km viaduct/flyover using precast multi-cell segmental construction with columns of 30m to 35m c/c; food court for ITC at Saharanpur which is a conoidal kind of shell structure; food court (shell structure) for MICO-BOSCH, Bengaluru, which consists of a series of inverted umbrella concrete shells; and Infosys food court in Bengaluru.
R. Sundaram is currently the President of Structural Engineering World Congress, Inc. Worldwide, in USA, the first Indian to hold this position.