Harbans Lal Uppal obtained PhD from Panjab University, Lahore and DSc from Panjab University, Chandigarh. He served as Director, Irrigation and Power Research Institute, Amritsar (1951-66); Adviser, Flood Control, Punjab and Jammu & Kashmir governments for over a decade; Adviser, Damodar Valley Corporation and Assam Government; and Professor Emeritus, Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana.
Academic and Research Achievements:Uppal was responsible for: (i) finalizing the design of Bhakra Dam, Beas Dam, and Pandoh Dam with the help of model studies, (ii) design of a number of sediment extruders and silt ejectors, (iii) soil conservation and water management, management of water-logging and control of salinity, lining of canals, and (iv) planning, design and operation of models for rivers, dams, spillways, hydraulic, and hydroelectric structures. He traced practically all the rivers of Punjab: Beas, Ravi, Satluj, Ghaggar, and also of Jammu & Kashmir: Chenab, Jhelum, Tawi, Ujh, Basantee and Devak. He also wrote the book `Flood Control Studies in Jammu & Kashmir State’.
Other Contributions: One major work Uppal did during 1947-50 at the Hydraulic Research Station, Madhopur (Punjab) was using “soils technology” for Forward Defence Lines, a piece of work greatly appreciated by the Army.
Awards and Honours: Dr Uppal won the Kennedy Gold Medal (1945), Punjab Engineering College Medal (1945), Union Ministry of Irrigation and Power Gold Medal and Cash Award (1966, 1967), Sir Arthur Cotton Memorial Award (1967), Central Board of Irrigation and Power Gold Medal (1967), and Union Ministry of Irrigation and Power Cash Award (1973). He was elected Fellow of the Institution of Engineers (India).