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Name:
Bhaskar and Vidula Patel
Photo:
Academic Field:
Civil Engineering
Years at RTC:
1960-1965
Town of origin:
Kiisumu, Kenya
Recent Residence:
London, England
Life after RTC:
After completing Cambridge School Certificate in 1959, I took up temporary teaching post at the Hinduja Secondary School in Kisumu for 6 months and, having played a lot of cricket, I was selected to play for Nyanza Province against the visiting Gujarat Cricket Club, which included famous test players from India. I SCORED A MEMORABLE HALF CENTURY !!!

I then joined Royal Technical College (RTC), Nairobi, on full bursary to study Civil Engineering from 1960 to 1965. Those 5 years at RTC, later to become Royal College, were some of the most memorable during which I was cricket captain for 2 years, hitch hiked all over East Africa, climbed Mt Kilimanjaro, witnessed and participated in Kenya's Independence, graduated with an honour's degree and, best of all, got romantically attached to Vidula who was studying Fine Art.

In June 1965 I joined Consulting Engineers Sir Alexander Gibb & Partners, Nairobi. After 2 years, with hard work and dedication I succeeded in getting transferred to their Head Office in London. By this time Vidula had also graduated in Fine Art and a year later she came to the UK and we got married in August 1968. Then Sir AG&P sponsored me for a post graduate degree course in Soil Mechanics & Foundation Engineering at the Imperial College, London, which I completed in 1969 and this led to my achieving the Membership of The Institution of Civil Engineers in 1970. During this time Vidula completed a Post Graduate Executive Assistant Course and worked as an administrative secretary in London and, wherever possible, when we were posted abroad. I owe my personal success and professional achievements to the dedicated support and encouragement from Vidula.

Between 1970 and '75 I was involved in the design and construction supervision of motorways, bridges, dams, airports and water supply projects in the UK, Iran, Kenya, Botswana and Swaziland. In 1975 I got the opportunity to return to Iran as an Associate Partner in a local firm, when the OPEC led oil boom saw massive spending in construction and infrastructure development in Iran. Vidula and I made a lot of friends and thoroughly enjoyed our life there, until the Islamic Revolution of 1979 and we returned to the UK. By now the global energy crisis created tremendous opportunities in offshore oil & gas industry. So in 1979 I joined McClelland-Fugro Engineers in London, providing geotechnical services for soil investigations, design and installation of foundations of near shore and offshore structures. Over the next 27 years Vidula and I traveled extensively in Europe, Asia, Africa, Americas and Middle East on project assignments.

I retired in 2006 and we spend a lot of time traveling, meeting and socializing with our families and friends here and abroad. The crowning glory of my life came in 2012 when London hosted the Olympic and Paralympic Games. I applied for and was selected as a cast performer in the Opening Ceremony, followed by becoming a Games Maker Volunteer during the Olympics. It was the most amazing achievement of my life at age 70!!! I consider 2012 as THE GOLDEN YEAR OF MY LIFE !!

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