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Talking About Life’s Engineering Saga (TALES)’ is a segment that exclusively focuses on the top structural Consultants across the globe sharing their engineering journey in their own words. We have – DHANANJAY HIRWE – sharing his deep knowledge with us…

An engineer whose love for steel can be seen right from his college days and his works across different sectors is an example of the same.

With over 45 years of experience Dhananjay Hirwe, Structural Chartered Engineer, CSA is here to share his journey with us…

I am a structural Engineer from PUNE from an average middle-class family. My father was the first graduate of the science faculty in his entire family. He was very much strict on securing the education part of children. Hence, I feel lucky enough to be born into such a family. I completed my schooling in Pune and did my initial studies at Fergusson College, Pune.

I was not having any liking for the Biology subject. I chose Maths as an optional subject and started learning engineering at COEP which was the only college in Pune then. After completion of the first year, there was a bifurcation of courses. Our family did not have any exposure to this field at all. One of my relatives, who was S. E., guided me to join the Civil wing. Hence, I graduated as a Civil Engineer in 1975. Due to my keen interest in design subjects, I further joined the M. E. course in structures in COEP and got postgraduation in 1977 thus becoming ready for a further career in structural engineering.

To start with and to get experience, I worked in Mumbai with a renowned consultant and then with a renowned Civil Engineering Company as a structural designer. I was working for about sixteen – eighteen hours, which gave me enough experience and confidence in this field of Structural Engineering. In 1983, I started my consultancy in Pune and am working full-time in the same field. So far, I have designed so many Projects, Buildings such as Residential, Commercial, Industrial, Institutional, Infrastructure, etc.

Every project is different and Structural design is based on various parameters such as architectural designs, site conditions, wind velocity, and seismic zones. Hence, each structural design is unique. To produce proper structural design we must have backing calculations for each design while materials also play an important part in structural designs. Earlier we were using only M20 grade concrete, Fe 415 reinforcing steel, and Grade 250 for structural steel. Today we are using various concrete grades, Higher grade reinforcing steel as well as structural steel. Different sections are also available in the market, hence, various combinations can be used in structural designs. When I started my practice, we were doing hand calculations while the availability of software structural designs has now made it easy with various codal provisions. It is also clumsy and uneconomical, as far as the Indian scenario.

I initially used Jindal wide flange sections in 2002 for one of our Industrial Structures, which was designed and erected using these sections. Aesthetically it looks elegant as sizes are less as compared with conventional ones. At that time cost was high, but, the client was keen to use it. Recently we have used these sections in a project, abroad. However, I think the availability of wide flange sections should be easy and there should be enough choice to select these sections from the market.

As far as the profession is concerned, I am sorry to state, that irrespective of having the highest responsibility on the shoulders of structural engineers they are lowly paid in this fraternity which needs to be changed drastically. The structural engineering profession is highly technical and nowadays lots of codal revisions have enforced constraints on the structural design. Hence professional fees must be at least two and half times that of those given to structural engineers today. This change is of utmost need only then the Structural designers and their staff can lead a dignified life.

I am using structural steel at will as I am designing industrial projects on large scales. Each industry is different. In my career, I have done so many types of industries. But I think the structural design of foundry structures is most complicated. This is because it has so many levels, cranes, other machines, pouring lines, conveyors, structures below and above ground, etc. As far as steel structures are concerned, I like designs of steel bridges, stadia and so.

In structural design, one has to upgrade himself with the current trends. This is possible with different magazines, attending seminars, etc. I am of the strong opinion that unless and until professional fees are standardized comparing the efforts involved, time spent and responsibility shouldered it is very much difficult to attract youth in this field easily by choice, in the future.

College Name & Place: College of Engineering, Pune
Total Years of Experience: 45 Years
Idol/Mentor: All my Teachers and Seniors
Success Mantra: Be humble and time strict in your profession
You want to be remembered: Loving friend to all
Some Steel Projects currently working on :

  • Stanley Black & Decker, Pune
  • Serum Institute of India, Pune
  • CIPLA Ltd., Kurkumbh
  • RMX. Pune
  • Derricks at Various locations.

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