Shailesh R. Gandhi was born on August 19, 1955, at Bhavanagar in Gujarat. He obtained his B.E. (Civil) in 1977 from Lukhdhirjee Engineering College, Morbi, under Saurashtra University, M.Tech. (Soil Mechanics) in 1979 from IIT Madras, and Ph.D. from IIT Madras in 1985 where his thesis was on ‘Load Transfer Characteristics of Piles Socketed in Weak Rocks’.
After his M.Tech., Dr. Gandhi worked as EIL Research Fellow at the Ocean Engineering Centre at IIT Madras from 1980-82 and joined its faculty as Senior Scientific Officer in October 1982. During 1982-90, Gandhi worked mainly on marine foundations, foundations for port structures, coastal erosion protection etc. including teaching and guiding graduates. Since 1990, he has been working in Department of Civil Engineering and is involved in teaching both undergraduate and graduate courses.
Dr. Gandhi’s research areas are pile foundation, including design of piles, rock-socketed piles, laterally landed piles, pile group effect under lateral load, negative skill friction on pile, pile instrumentation, pile drivability and low/high strain integrity testing, ground improvement, design of vertical drains, stone columns, compaction by deep explosion, design of compaction piles, instrumentation to monitor improved ground, and disposal/utilisation of fly ash, properties of fly ash, design of ash pond and tailing ponds, compaction of deposited fly ash in ash pond, use of fly ash in embankment and ash dyke, reclaiming low-lying land and landfill liners.
Apart from teaching and research, Dr. Gandhi has been an active consultant advising various government and private organisations in the design and analysis of foundations for various projects. He also takes an active role in Indian Geotechnical Society. He has been a member of the national executive committee of the society for four years. At present, he is also chief editor of Indian Geotechnical Journal. He organised the Indian Geotechnical Conference during December 2006 at IIT Madras.
Some of Dr. Gandhi’s technical research publications in collaboration are ultimate capacity of pre-cast driven piles in stiff clay, tie-rod forces measurement in cargo berth, parametric study on pile drivability-selection of hammer and other components, group effect on driven piles under lateral loads, vibration of pond ash due to confined blasting, densification of pond ash by blasting; non-linear finite element analysis of piled raft foundations and behaviour of stone columns based on experimental and FEM analysis.
His noteworthy research projects are densification of fly ash with vibro floatation stone columns for Vijayawada TPS in Andhra Pradesh and densification of ash deposit by deep explosions for Mettur TPS in Tamil Nadu.