Shivaji D. Patil, who established SDP Group, a consulting architectural firm in Nashik, Maharashtra, in 1967, took up industrial projects because his strength lies in structural engineering. “My strength being structural engineering, I decided to take up industrial projects for small and medium scale industrial projects in Nashik Industrial Cooperative Estate,” he explains.
He is a Master of Science in Civil Engineering from New Mexico State University, USA, in 1963, and completed his Bachelor of Science from Utah State University, Logan, in 1961. He was the Chairman of the Institution of Engineers, Nashik Paper Centre, during 1989-90, and was the Governor’s Nominee of Marathwada University in 1979.
Patil has wide and rich experience having worked with several apex organisations in India and abroad. He has been associated with Sarabhai Engineering Group as structural engineer in 1966, National Mineral Development Corporation (Khetri Copper Project) as an executive engineer in 1965-66, senior structural civil engineer at Western Knapp Engineering (a division of Arthur G. Mckee & Co., USA) in 1965, pool officer for Council of Scientific & Industrial Research India in 1964-65, field engineer for C.H. Leavell & Co. at its Missile Rocket Testing Centre, Florida, in 1963-64, structural engineer at A.B. Peinado & Sons, Inc., USA, in 1962-63, and a teaching assistant for College of Engineering, New Mexico State University, for two years in 1961-63, besides other associations.
In 1967-70, Shivaji D. Patil simultaneously took up the responsibility of putting up a sugar plant near his village and also assisted in forming a cooperative sugar factory. “This was a dream project completed within the stipulated time period giving me vast experience and in-depth knowledge about the sugar industries sector,” he says with pride.
As a consulting architect engineer, Patil has been associated with several sugar factories, cogeneration projects, distillery and ethanol projects, several municipal councils, housing societies, private bungalows, other small, medium and heavy industries, hospitals, temples and other projects in India and abroad.
Reminiscing, Patel says that in those days the foundation for equipment was driven up to 1m to 3m deep in hard rock. “My first experiment, based on my knowledge and education and in-depth study of not only the civil but the mechanical segment of the industry, drove me to lay foundations only 600mm in murum and soil except for the turbine and other vibrating equipment foundations.”
He continues, “Even in the design of turbine foundations, we introduced sand filling and rubbers to absorb the vibrations thus reducing the cost of the foundations substantially. With the trust and confidence of our clients, we also got to experiment on practical grounds; however, I must say that we maintained and carried out structural designs and calculations even for small pumps and motor foundations, with separate design registers for each and every project even at that time. Presently, we have a vast array of computer assisted programmes to help us out on this. However, sometimes we still carry out some designs manually as in the past.”
Further, “We have always faced major problems in getting our fees released from our various clients in spite of giving the projects our 100 per cent. However, I must also state that we have been kept very busy due to our professionalism and at one time even the state government had to put some sort of restrictions on us, so that we were limited to taking up only four projects at one time,” Patil observes.
Shivaji D. Patil’s name figures in the Marquis Directory of ‘Who’s Who in the World’ and ‘Who’s Who in Asia’. He is also a recipient of the ‘Bharat Gaurav’ award of the India International Friendship Society, New Delhi. He has also been felicitated with the ‘Eminent Engineer Award’ and ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ by Association of Consulting Engineers (India) in 2010 and ACCE, Nashik Centre, in 2009. He is registered with the Council of Architecture, New Delhi, and is a Fellow of the Institution of Engineers (India) and a Fellow of the Association of Consulting Civil Engineers (India).
“For young aspiring civil structural engineers my only advice is to work very hard, pay attention to their remuneration, keep moving forward and enjoy their dreams as they see their works take actual shape,” he adds.