K C Iyer, Dean Infrastructure at the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, and Professor at the Department of Civil Engineering, died after a long battle with Covid Saturday. He was 60.
“We have lost Prof K C Iyer, our serving Dean (Infrastructure), to Covid today. He had been in theICU since May 2. Prof Iyer was such a valuable member of the community and the administrative team and no words of sorrow can explain what we are feeling. Every construction activity you see on the campus bears his signature. Personally, it’s a great loss to me,” IIT-D Director V Ramgopal Rao said in a communication to teachers, students, and staff on Saturday.
Associate Dean (Infra-Electrical) Abhijit R Abhyankar said Iyer and his family had contracted the virus around April 25. “His wife suffered a stroke around two months ago, so to take care of her, the entire family was involved in taking her to hospital. Possibly due to that, they contracted Covid. In some days, his health deteriorated, and he was admitted to Artemis Hospital in Gurgaon. He was put on ventilator,” he said.
Iyer is survived by his wife, son and daughter.
“He had been Dean Infrastructure for three years and Professor here for around 20 years. Under his tenure, we had initiated infrastructural projects worth Rs 700 crore. He was overseeing construction projects of around 1.8 million square feet currently. This included a Research & Innovation park, faculty housing, engineering blocks, among many others,” Rao told The Indian Express.
Iyer received his BTech from IIT-BHU, MTech from IIT-Kanpur and PhD from IIT-Madras. Before joining academics, he worked for 15 years in various organisations like Mazagon Dock Limited and Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
Abhyankar said Iyer was a “gem of a person”. “He was a stalwart in the area of building contracts and contract management. He was instrumental in getting new constructions on campus. He would sit with architects and CPWD. Some of the projects we were working on are on the verge of completion and we were expecting he will inaugurate them, but unfortunately, that can’t happen,” he said.
“He was also an expert in arbitration settlement. Judges from the Supreme Court and High Court would employ his services to get the arbitration done. We were in discussions with the Minister for Urban Development and were thinking of working with the Central Vista project. But now that he is no more, I don’t think that will happen,” said Abhyankar.
IIT-D Professor Arup Roy Choudhury, Former Chairman of NTPC (National Thermal Power Corporation) and NBCC (National Building Construction Corporation), was a PhD student of Iyer’s before becoming his colleague. “We both were very proud to be called Civil Engineers in an ecosystem where a Civil Engineer is not fashionable anymore… KC was a very hardworking and sincere individual who would never cut corners or allow anything which was not up to his high standards,” he said.