Bangladeshi engr designs largest US civil work

Bangladeshi engr designs largest US civil work
Bss, Dhaka

A Bangladeshi engineer has earned the repute of being the coordinator or principal engineer of the ever-largest project in US civil work’s history to save its coastlines from hurricane onslaughts.

The United States army selected Anwar Zahid, a graduate of Bangladesh University of Engineers and Technology (Buet), to lead the construction of the two multi-billion dollars giant structures for the protection of its New Orleans and Louisiana states coastlines from hurricane and storm surges.

“As the super hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans and Louisiana, United States Army Corp of Engineers has taken the mega project at an estimated cost of around US$ 11 billion to build various types of mega engineering structures to protect the two states from future upsurge,” Zahid said here yesterday.

Talking to the news agency on the sidelines of a technical presentation at the Institution of Engineers, Bangladesh (IEB) in the city where he shared his experiences with Bangladeshi engineers, 40-year-old Zahid said as he was selected as the designer of record (DOR) or lead coordinator and project manager of these complex projects for his research background on the issue.

“I was offered the task to rebuild the Twine Tower in New York, but I preferred the task of using my expertise in building the structures to prevent hurricane or cyclone damages thinking that it may benefit Bangladesh someday or someway as the coastlines of the two states are largely identical to that of Bangladesh,” he said.

He said the US army chose him as the appropriate person on the basis of his Ph.D thesis on “wave propagation” which was considered crucial for the mega project.

“Under the project, we are constructing complex hydraulic structure ranging from floating steel gates, steel sector gates, vertical lift gates, closure gates, pump stations, concrete T-walls, levees, bridges and complex foundations,” he said.

Asked how he thought Bangladesh could replicate the project considering the cost involvement, Zahid said the project he designed allowed the constructors to build them in phases taking a long time while deltaic Bangladesh could also partly replicate it to protect the most vulnerable or economically sensitive parts of “our southern coastlines”.

“My experiences can be implemented, at least, to mitigate partly the recurring cyclone and flooding problems of Bangladesh,” said Zahid, who had won the gold medal from the government for his excellent academic performance in Buet.

A former associate professor of Buet, Zahid obtained a BS and MS from the same university and a PhD in structural engineering and mechanics from the US North Carolina State University and a researcher fellowship from the world’s top Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Saturday, July 16, 2011 © thedailystar.net, 1991-2008. All Rights Reserved

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2 Responses to Bangladeshi engr designs largest US civil work

  1. Engr M Emdadul Islam says:

    Indeed a great achievement. I also feel proud for Engr Zahid, as being a BUET Graduate.

  2. Mizan Rahman says:

    My heartiest congratulations to Dr. Zahid. You make us all proud. This is one good news out of so many depressing news coming out of our wretched country, and we should be all grateful for that. I hope there will many more Zahids in future.

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