Jai Krishna obtained his PhD (1954) from the University of London specializing in earthquake engineering. He served as Vice-Chancellor, University of Roorkee; Director, School of Research in Earthquake Engineering and Professor of Civil Engineering, University of Roorkee; and UNESCO Professor in Yugoslavia and Japan.
Academic and Research Achievements: Jai Krishna developed methods to safeguard engineering structures from damage during earthquake. He developed concepts of isoacceleration distribution for attenuation studies; designed and developed strong motion instruments and vibration measuring equipment. He devised methods to strengthen brick buildings against earthquake forces, and for designing concrete containers economically. He initiated analytical and experimental studies on behaviour of brick masonry structures under vertical and lateral loads with a view to assess their vulnerability in earthquake regions, and to evolve and incorporate appropriate measures to strengthen such systems. This was extremely topical and relevant to India as large number of casualties resulted from collapse of common mans’ housing. The International Association for Earthquake Engineering (IAEE) also published a manual on non-engineered construction, which was largely based on the work carried out initially by Jai Krishna. Realising that there was almost no ground motion data available in the country, Jai Krishna in early sixties, initiated work in design, fabrication and installation of accelerographs and structural response recorders in seismic areas of the country. Design of water towers in epicentral areas was of great concern to Jai Krishna since these are structures of post-earthquake importance and needed most in fighting fires following an earthquake. The efficacy of providing diagonal bracings in the towers in certain type of towers was also examined from the viewpoint of improving their seismic performance.
Other Contributions: Jai Krishna published two books: Plain and Reinforced Concrete and Earthquake Engineering. He was associated with the UNESCO Committee on Seismology and Earthquake Engineering. Within the country, he was member of several Experts Committees on river valley projects notably Bhakra, Brahmaputra, Narmada, Bhatsa, Koyna and Tehri.
Awards and Honours: Jai Krishna received the SS Bhatnagar Prize (1966), National Design Award (1972), Cautley Gold Medal, Calcott-Reilly Memorial Gold Medal, International Award of the Japan Society for Disaster Prevention (1988) and Padma Bhushan (1972). He was a Fellow of Indian National Academy of Engineering (Founder President), American Academy of Engineering, International Association of Earthquake Engineering (sometime President), New Zealand Society of Earthquake Engineering, Institution of Engineers (India), and Indian Society of Earthquake Technology (Founder President).