There Is Knowledge in Failure—If Followed by Root Cause Analysis
I obtained my B.Tech. degree in Mechanical Engineering from I.I.T. Mumbai in 1973 and joined the 17th batch of Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) Training School immediately thereafter. After completing the training, I joined Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research (erstwhile Reactor Research Centre). After working for 15 years in the area of structural analysis and design of fast reactor components, I joined the Reactor Engineering Division of BARC in 1989. Subsequently I assumed the charge of Head, Reactor Safety Division and later Director, Reactor Design & Development Group. I retired in Sep 2014 after 40 years of service. During my tenure at BARC I carried out extensive work in the areas of Nuclear Reactor Safety, Earthquake Engineering, Structural Integrity Assessment, Leak-before-break, Structural Analysis and Design, Fatigue, Fracture and Failure Analysis.
In all of these failure investigations the investigating team was necessarily a multi-disciplinary one and consisted of: K.K. Vaze, V. Bhasin, K.M. Prabhakaran, D. Munshi, L.M. Gantayet, H.S. Kushwaha, A.R. Biswas, B.K. Shah, P.R. Vaidya, P.G. Kulkarni, S.C. Mahajan and Dr. A. Kakodkar.
As a postscript, I would also like to acknowledge the role played by the BARC work culture in my career. The complete absence of adherence to hierarchy was exemplified by the panel on the door of our boss Dr. Kakodkar, which proclaimed “Disturb”. One could walk in with your problems and be sure to get a patient hearing or walk in with suggestions and be sure to get an enthusiastic audience. The willingness of others to share the knowledge/expertise was also contagious and if I were to summarize my innings in one sentence, it would be a quotation: “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” I loved everything I did during those 40 years, it was done in the most congenial atmosphere and I did not have to work for even a day.
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