Born in 1941 in Golaghat, Assam, Dr. Dhirendra Nath Buragohain did his Ph.D. (Civil Engineering) in 1969 from IIT-Bombay. He worked in the civil engineering department of IIT-Bombay from 1968 to 1978. During 1973-1974, he carried out post-doctoral research at University of Wales at Swansea, UK. In 1994, he moved to Guwahati to set up the sixth and new IIT and retired as its founder director in 2003, after attaining the age of superannuation.
Dr. Buragohain’s field of work has been ‘computer analysis’ and ‘finite element stress analysis’ of structures and development of software for analysis and design of structures. He has successfully developed general purpose software, based on the finite element method, for the static and dynamic analysis of all types of structures, which was later acquired by the German firm, CSI, for use in the building industry and in structural engineering problems and marketed in Germany under the name ‘FEBA’.
He carried out a large number of consultancy projects for government agencies and state PWDs, BARC, AERB, DRDO, BHEL, Post & Telegraph, Space Applications Centre, HCC, Gammon, STUP, Jyoti, L&T, Davy Power Gas, Gherzi Eastern, Crompton Greaves and TransPower, which included multi-storey buildings, nuclear containment structures, Pelton wheels, transformer tanks, transmission and microwave towers, various types of bridges, blast pen, cooling towers, tall chimneys, pressure vessels, pump blades, large antenna, and development of software for special structures.
Dr. Buragohain also served as a non-official director at General Insurance Corporation of India and Bongaingaon Refinery; as a member of the Scientific Advisory Committee to the Union Cabinet; as a member of the Insurance Regulatory Development Authority of India; and as a member of the Board of Management of several central universities. In 2007, he joined Civil Engineering Network Systems (CE-N) as Chief Technical Officer, with its head office at Bochum, Germany, dealing mainly in international projects, notable among which are the special building projects like the Lou Ruvo Brain Institute in Las Vegas, USA, and the Louis Vuitton Foundation building in Paris, France. In 2009, he received the Distinguished Alumnus award from IIT-Bombay and the KK Barua National Award for Science and Technology for 2006. He was appointed by the President of India as Chancellor of Nagaland University in 2012.