Karthik, a Chartered Structural Engineer, having previously worked in USA, Singapore and India, brings more than 10 years of global design experience. He is adept at using a variety of structural engineering software and specializes in the design of high-rise buildings, timber structures and long span structures.
With his vast international and local experience, Karthik fuses the best global practices with a keen understanding of local capabilities to deliver the best possible solutions for the project.
Best thing about being an engineer?
The best thing about being an engineer is that every day brings a new challenge and you learn something new from every challenge. It also changes your perspective - there is this funny quote that goes somewhat like this: The optimist says: “The glass is half full”. The pessimist says: “The glass is half empty.” The engineer says: “The glass is twice as big as it needs to be.”
What three projects have shaped your career?
My first tall building – was lucky enough to start off with a 65 storey tall building (IB Blu) that was being built in Mumbai, India. It was a terrific learning experience that set me up for the next decade of dabbling in the tall buildings world. Next on the list would be my first mass timber project (The Wave, Singapore). With a roof that spanned 72m, this was also the first large scale mass timber project in Singapore. The learning curve was very steep – no one in Singapore had any experience using this material and this was a challenging project even without accounting for the fact that we were all greenhorns as far as design with timber was concerned. By the end of this project, I was recognized within the Singaporean timber industry as one of the best in timber design and was asked to train the local population with mass timber design. I also co-authored a mass timber design guide for Singapore. This project literally changed the direction of my career. Another milestone project was the State Courts Building in Singapore. Consisting of twin tall buildings that were linked by sky bridges and multiple basements, this project gave me real world experience of how top-down construction worked and it was also my first tall building that used composite steel.
What excites you about the future in this industry ?
I love the fact that the construction industry is constantly evolving. The industry is responding to the challenges posed by climate change. “Green construction” is increasingly becoming the norm. Modular and pre-fab construction is booming across the world and this is making the whole industry a lot more safer since a lot of work is happening in controlled environments and not active work sites. The advent of Augmented Reality (AR) in this industry is very exciting for me – AR enables efficient project-staging, 3D visualization of future projects on their surrounding environment, and fast and affordable simulation of architectural and structural changes.