Published: 01st September 2020
IIT Roorkee establishes Institute Chair in honour of Padma Shri Dr AS Arya on his first death anniversary
The Government of India awarded him the fourth highest civilian honour of the Padma Shri in 2002. Dr Arya was also credited with establishing the Earthquake Engineering Department in IIT Roorkee
Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Roorkee on Tuesday announced an Institute Chair Professorship in honour and memory of alum and professor, the late Professor Anand Swarup Arya on the occasion of his first death anniversary on September 1, 2020. The Chair is the result of a generous donation pledged by Kaushalya Devi Arya, his wife, and children Arun, Poonam, Anjali, and Anshuli so that Dr Arya’s professional contributions continue to inspire generations to come.
"An Institute Chair Professorship in the name of an alumnus and also sponsored by an alumnus and her family makes this occasion especially memorable for us," said Professor Ajit K Chaturvedi, Director, IIT Roorkee. He added "Prof A S Arya was truly a legend who spearheaded earthquake engineering and disaster management efforts throughout his life. IIT Roorkee is immensely proud of his contributions, both as an alumnus and as a faculty member. IIT Roorkee is deeply indebted to Kaushalya Devi Arya and her children for the generous donation to make this Chair Professorship a reality. Posterity will thank the family for their great service to Prof Arya’s alma mater."
Dr Arya was a well-known structural engineer, famous for his expertise in the soil and foundation engineering and earthquake disaster management. He was the former chairman of the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) Committee on Earthquake Engineering and a recipient of the United Nations Sasakawa Disaster Prevention Award in 1997. The Government of India awarded him the fourth highest civilian honour of the Padma Shri in 2002. He was also credited with establishing the Earthquake Engineering Department in IIT Roorkee. As the head of the faculty of Earthquake engineering at IIT Roorkee, Dr Arya started many courses in the subject at the institution as well as other institutions in India. He taught at IIT Roorkee for over three decades and his students remember him for his unforgettable lessons in Dynamic Analysis and Design of Structures ranging from small to multi-storeyed buildings, arched and shell structures, bridges, dams and atomic power plants.
In addition to being a renowned scientist, engineer, teacher and leader, Dr Arya was a dedicated philanthropist and humanitarian. His most notable contributions in Roorkee area include the establishment and continued guidance of Anand Swarup Arya Saraswati Vidya Mandir, Roorkee (founded 1996) and establishment of ayurvedic and homoeopathic dispensaries in 2019, just a couple of months before his demise.
Dr RK Bhandari, Visiting Professor to the Centre of Excellence in Disaster Mitigation and Management, IIT Roorkee, who has worked closely with Dr Arya said, "People of his kind never die, legends never die. I first met him in 1975, then in 2002, worked closely with him. He took science to the policymakers, also took it to the people, that's what was special about him. He would be known for generations as his legacy will be passed on through his students. And this Institute Chair Professorship in his name will motivate them to strive for excellence."
The Chair Professorship announcement event arranged through video-conferencing was attended by his family members, the faculty of IIT Roorkee, hundreds of his admirers, colleagues, professionals and students across the globe. On this occasion, the Arya family paid homage to Dr Arya adding, "Advancing and applying science and technology to practically solve problems was a passion for Professor Arya. On the occasion of his first anniversary, we are proud to establish Institute Chair Professorship in his name at IIT Roorkee that we hope will motivate others to achieve excellence in academics and research, and applying it for the benefit of the nation. The Arya family is grateful to IIT Roorkee for establishing the Institute Chair in the honour and memory of Dr Arya."