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     PEC mourns the loss of Alumnus Dr. Awtar Singh

Dr. Awtar Singh, 86, renowned scientist, educationist, philanthropist and alumnus of 1949 batch suddenly passed away on 7 November 2012. Born and raised in Lyallpur (now Faisalabad) Pakistan, Dr Awtar Singh graduated from Punjab Engineering College in 1949 as Civil Engineer. After earning his bachelor’s degree Mr. Singh was promoted early in his career to be an executive engineer. He moved to USA in the early 1960’s, and earned his master’s degree in soil mechanics and foundation engineering from CU-Boulder in 1963 and his doctorate from the University of California at Berkeley in 1966. He then taught civil engineering at the University of California at Los Angeles until co-founding Lockwood–Singh & Associates in 1972. The firm completed more than 5,000 geotechnical and geological projects before Singh sold the company to Exponent Failure Analysis in 2000. Dr. Singh was in charge of construction for half-million kilowatt hydropower plant for one of the highest concrete dams of that time, Bhakra Dam, and other large-impact engineering projects.

Dr. Singh has had a profound impact on the process of dispute resolutions, involving earth movement, through introduction of analytical methods and intellectual rigor. He became an expert witness who performs autopsy on damaged properties. Whenever a significant geologically induced landslide occurs in Southern California, more likely than not, the lawyers, property owners and government officials turned to Awtar Singh to unravel the failure mechanisms and mitigation measures. Dr. Singh was selfless when it comes to helping others, a tenacious player on the golf course, a life master in contract bridge, a research scientist in the academic field and a leading consulting engineer.

In memory of his late wife Teji, Dr. Singh established the fully endowed Awtar-Teji Singh Fellowship. The fellowship supports outstanding students of Civil and Environmental Engineering from PEC who wish to pursue graduate education in related fields at University of California at Berkeley. Dr. Singh received numerous awards and honors from American universities and many Indian organizations including NFIA for his professional excellence and philanthropic work.

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