Prof. Dr. Deepankar Choudhury

Age: 38 years

Area of research: Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering, Foundation Engineering, Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering, Computational Geomechanics, Soil Dynamics

Name of my University / Research Institute: Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, IIT Bombay, Mumbai 400076, India

Research period at the TU Darmstadt:

January 2010 to June 2010, May 2011 to July 2011 and May 2012 to July 2012

Prof. Dr. Deepankar Choudhury. Photo: Felipe Fernandes

Questionnaire to the Research Fellow

My field of research is fascinating. To laymen I would explain it in the following comprehensible manner:

My field of research is fascinating and to laymen I would explain it in the following comprehensible manner. For infrastructural growth of a country, high rise or tall constructions are necessary. Hence deep foundations are essential for such tall structures. Local soil properties mostly guide about the selection of type of deep foundation and most of the cases pile foundations are used worldwide. But cost of such huge construction is always a burden for the society. To provide economic and safer alternative, design and actual use of Combined-Pile Raft Foundation (CPRF) has been practiced in Germany and other few locations in the world. Also the vulnerability of earthquake on infrastructures is well known, because earthquake never kills human being but damages of structures and foundations during earthquake for unreliably poor design and construction causes all devastating effects. In my area of research it is proposed to provide safe, better and economic deep foundations with earthquake resistant design approach for both dynamically liquefied and non-liquefied soils. Through these new findings from my research works for earthquake resistant design of various geotechnical structures like retaining wall, foundation, slopes, anchors, piles, railway subgrade, earth dam, landfills etc. consideration of local soil and site effects for earthquake motions with concept of seismic microzonation and mitigation techniques have been proposed.

My most important success in research to date is:

My most important success in research to date is the implementation of my proposed earthquake resistant design techniques in practice. For example, the pseudo-dynamic method of analysis through rigorous numerical modeling for seismic design of actual tailing dam in India in a seismically least vulnerable site through the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board, Govt. of India was a remarkable project which has been executed successfully.

Also the recognitions of my research works through a significantly large number of technical publications in high impact factor journals in our area of research and in various international conferences with significantly high number of citations of the works worldwide shows the worldwide acceptability of the research works. Also several national and international awards from IACMAG, USA for best ASCE Journal paper, APACM Young Researcher Award from Australia, Shamsher Prakash Research Award, USA through IIT Roorkee, Young Scientist/Engineer Awards from all prestigious national academies of India, namely Indian National Science Academy (INSA), Indian National Academy of Engineering (INAE), National Academy of Sciences India (NASI), Indian Science Congress Association (ISCA) and various other societies like Institute of Engineers India (IEI), Indian Society for Technical Education (ISTE), Department of Science and Technology (DST), Govt. of India, BRNSDepartment of Atomic Energy, Govt. of India, prestigious fellowships like Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellowship for Experienced Researchers from AvH Foundation, Germany, JSPS Fellowship from Japan, BOYSCAST Fellowship from DST, Govt. of India, shows the recognitions of my excellent research works.

Prof. Rolf Katzenbach with Prof. Deepankar Choudhury. Photo: Felipe Fernandes

Why chosen TU Darmstadt for the research visit:

I’ve chosen the TU Darmstadt because of the international reputation of my host Prof. Dr.-Ing. Rolf Katzenbach, who is very renowned worldwide in the area of Foundation Engineering, Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering. My area of research as a middle age professional i.e. as ‘Associate Professor’, when I started this fellowship, closely matches with that of Prof. Katzenbach. Coming from another world reputed institute like IIT Bombay, I looked for similar or higher level of institutes of repute and hence selected TU Darmstadt. Also the professional outreach and research activities of his research group were familiar to me through my other senior colleagues. Moreover the world ranking of the institute for Civil Engineering of TU Darmstadt in Germany is extremely good for any researcher to select this place for research collaboration.

Would you like to join TU Darmstadt, if you would have been a student?

If I were a student today, I would definitely pursue my academic career at TU Darmstadt.

What is the perfect balance of a stressful working day?

The perfect balance to a stressful working day is to work on various important aspects together like on research, teaching, meeting, professional activities like organizing meeting with various academicians and professionals from industry. It will be done with a balance of life full of enthusiasm and dedication for work.

Would you like to visit TU Darmstadt again?

With the help of my host Prof. Dr.-Ing. Rolf Katzenbach in Darmstadt, I would like to visit TU Darmstadt again and again in future as a Guest Professor. I shall be very glad to teach again the excellent students of TU Darmstadt here for the course GTE-09 on ‘Soil Dynamics and Machine Foundations’ which I already taught here for last three years in summer semesters of 2010, 2011 and 2012 and also to carry out excellent research work on ‘Foundation Engineering’ which can lead to good publications and bring up the recent knowledge and practices adopted in Germany to the world forum. Also I intend to maintain the present excellent professional activities and collaboration through various international societies and forum like International Society for Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering (ISSMGE), for which my host Prof. Katzenbach is the Chairman and I am the Secretary of ISSMGE Technical Committee TC 212 on ‘Deep Foundations’. At the end of my visit, I make sure that the visit will be a fruitful and productive one for both myself and also for my host.

Questionnaire for the host

Prof. Rolf Katzenbach. Photo: Felipe Fernandes

Guest of: Prof. Dr. Rolf Katzenbach

Department: Civil Engineering and Geodesy

You appreciate in your guest / your guest favourably impressed you by…

Prof. Deepankar Choudhury was already a known academician in the field of Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering before joining TU Darmstadt in January 2010 under the prestigious Humboldt Research Fellowship (experienced category). He was recipient of other renowned fellowships like JSPS Fellowship from Japan, BOYSCAST Fellowship from India and several awards with excellent academic and research records. Hence, after he joined TU Darmstadt, I found him as an established academician. But after interacting with him in close association, I found his other excellent characters like humble and polite behavior, not only with me but also with all my assistants and students at TU Darmstadt.

Additionally I found and observed him as an excellent teacher as he taught three consecutive years one of our course, GTE-09 ‘Soil Dynamics and Machine Foundations’, at TU Darmstadt during summer semesters of 2010, 2011 and 2012. Students were very happy with his lucid lecture and excellent mentoring capability and knowledge on the subject.

Prof. Choudhury’s very fast action on any international report preparation, meeting item, email correspondence etc. impressed me a lot for our International Society for Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering (ISSMGE) for Technical Committee TC 212 – Deep Foundations, for which I am the Chairman and he is the Secretary of the committee. His fast and positive action and approach was also acknowledged by our President of German Geotechnical Society (DGGT) and the President of ISSMGE. His intelligent, vast knowledge in subject and research with brilliancy in execution had impressed me enormously.

You, your team and the TU Darmstadt benefit from your guest’s …

Our team and the TU Darmstadt in particular will benefit through research, teaching and professional international activities from our collaboration as detailed below:

  • From the research collaboration, already significant numbers of technical papers, reports and book have been published by both of us together as listed separately below. Presentations of research papers at various International conferences gave an excellent visibility of the institute.
  • Teaching collaboration helped my team, including PG and Diploma students of TU Darmstadt to get available a course GTE-09 on ‘Soil Dynamics and Machine Foundations’ for three consecutive summer semesters in 2010, 2011 and 2012 in English which was taught by Prof. Choudhury.
  • For International Society for Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering (ISSMGE), organizing meetings, preparation of annual reports, correspondence with international members and preparation of international design guidelines for Combined-Pile Raft Foundation by Prof. Choudhury in collaboration with me gave international benefits for the institute, in terms of premier positions in International Scientific Community.