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Dr B R Somashekar in 1996

Dr P Nilakantan
Dr S R Valluri

Professor R Narasimha
Dr K N Raju

Professor Satish Dhawan
Dr R A Mashelkar
Dr PRamamoorthy
Prof U R Rao
Dr B R Somashekar
Mr K Venkatachalam
Dr K S Yajnik
Dr M V V Murthy
Dr A C Raghuram
Dr Indira Rajagopal
Dr S Srinathkumar
Dr M Shivakumara Swamy
Dr S Nagabhushana
Dr J P Pichamuthu
Dr Srinivas Bhogle

Dr B R Somashekar has been so much a part of NAL for about 35 years that it is hard to conceive of NAL without him.

Dr B R Somashekar
Citation read out at the special NAL Foundation Day function held on 18 Jul 1997

Dr B R Somashekar has been so much a part of NAL for about 35 years that it is hard to conceive of NAL without him. I vividly remember the day when I requested him to take over as the Head of the Structures Division when his predecessor left for UK on deputation. He was at that time a Scientist 'C' and not the seniormost person. From what little I had observed of him till that time, I had the gut feeling that he had all the makings to be a good administrator; he had, by then, already established the record of being a capable scientist.

Developments in the Structures Division since then, and the way Somashekar built up the Division over the years, more than justified the trust I had reposed in him. It is now considered the best run Division of NAL. Perhaps Somashekar's most important contribution to the Division is the development of capability, both for analysis and fabrication, in composites structures. The contributions being made by this group to the LCA programme (in carbon fibre wing and centre fuselage fabrication) are well known. The Division's contributions under his broad leadership in the other fields of structures such as vibration, aeroelasticity and computer based analytical techniques for tackling complex problems in structures have won rich accolades for Structures Division, and the reputation of being one of the best in its field of scientific and technical endeavour. I can't think of a more fitting tribute to an outstanding leader like Somashekar!

What many people do not know is the role Somashekar played from behind the scenes in running NAL effectively: whether it involved lending a helping hand in tackling innumerable problems of day to day management or becoming a sounding board to evolve policy on a number of issues ... Somashekar proved to be a valuable ally of every NAL Director, particularly after 1977. It is all too easy for a Director to make mistakes. Disinterestedly interested advice from well-intentional people can be very valuable in such situations and Somashekar played this role superbly.

With his self-effacing manners, his ability to give thorough attention to detail and his gift to get along with one and all, Dr Somashekar became, over the years, an indispensable part of NAL management, particularly in the last few years. All of us who have known him have come to admire him with a feeling bordering on affection. He will be missed in NAL, but we his friends and admirers wish him the very best in the years to come.

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