Dr Y K Murthy's (born 10th October, 1920) distinguished career in engineering has a backdrop in his equally distinguished academic achievements. He stood first and won a gold medal and two awards when he took his B E degree from the Mysore University in 1945. And it was again with honors grade that he obtained the M S degree in civil engineering from Harvard University (USA)(1948-49) and M E with specialization in water power engineering from Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (USA). He was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Engineering by the University of Roorke in 1970.
Dr Murthy began his professional career in the Public Works Department of the erstwhile Mysore State in 1944. When he retired in 1978, he was the Chairman, Central Water Commission (CWC) and Ex-Office Secretary to the Government of India. In between, he held such important additional posts as Chairman and Managing Director, National Projects Construction Corporation Ltd; Chairman and Managing Director, Water and Power Development Consultancy Service (India) Ltd; in addition to his normal duties as Member (Design & Research) and Chairman, CWC, in 1970 and 1977, respectively.
His rich and varied experience in the field of water resources development, including irrigation and hydro power development, his expertise in planning, investigation and design of river valley projects and his skill in management and consultancy were heavily drawn upon during the 33 years of his professional activities. Beneficiaries of his professional activity in India include over 32 major river valley projects and several Government of India undertakings on whose Board of Management he has served. The beneficiaries abroad include countries like Afghanistan, Burma, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Nigeria, the Philippines and Tanzania.
Some of the design and engineering services relating to special problems encountered during construction of projects for which he was personally responsible include: (i) Review and redesign of the right flank earth dam of Lingunamakki Dam in Sharavathy hydro-electric project, Karnataka; (ii) Power house structure for the Sabarigiri hydro-electric project in Kerela; (iii) Badua Dam chute spillway in Bihar; (iv) Kadana Dam foundation treatment in Gujarat; (v) Kalakote Thermal Power Station foundation treatment in Jammu & Kashmir; (vi) Foundation treatment for the flanking earth dams in Hidkal Dam in Karnataka; (vii) Detailed design of the pipeline system for Indore water supply project in Madhay Pradesh; and (viii) Rehabilitation problems of four old dams in Maharashtra State, namely, Lonavala Dam, Khadakwasla Dam, Panchet Dam, Bhandaradhara Dam.
Dr Murthy's contribution to International Commission on Large Dams (ICOLD) activities are specially noteworthy. At the 12th Congress, he was Chairman for one of the technical sessions. He served as Chairman of the Committee on Sedimentation of Reservoirs, and as Member of the Committees on Risks to Third Parties, Failures and Accidents to Large Dams, and Seismic Aspects of Dam Design. Besides being Chairman of the Indian National Committee, he was also Vice-President of ICOLD for the term 1975-78.
Dr Murthy continues to be actively associated, after retirement from Government service, as Chairman of a number of Consulting Boards and Panels Experts, both in India and abroad. He is also part-time Consultant with the World Bank for projects in Sri Lanka, Burma and India.Lt Gen R A Loomba Dr Y K Murthy M G Padhey Sam Pitroda T R Satish chandran