Dr R.K. Bhandari is an acknowledged authority in the area of Natural Disaster Mitigation and Management, with pioneering contribution in the discipline of geotechnical engineering. The main thrust of his work continues to be on sustainable development of Hilly Regions including the State of Uttaranchal where he spent more than a decade.
Dr Bhandari’s qualifications include a B.E., Rajasthan, M.Tech in Geotechnical Engineering, IIT Bombay, D.I.C, Imperial College, and PhD in Engineering, University of London. Dr. Bhanadari has served with distinction, earlier, with the Central Road Research Institute, Central Building Research Institute, as visiting faculty with University of Wollongong, Australia and the UN Centre for Human Settlements, and CSIR.
His very intimate involvement in study of major natural disasters in India especially the great Mapla tragedy, the Orissa Super Cyclone and the devastating Bhuj earthquake, eventually prompted him to move to Chennai as the Director of Centre for Disaster Mitigation and Management in March 2001 where he is currently placed. Dr Bhandari has nearly 200 research papers, half a dozen monographs and 8 patents to his credit. As a member of the High Powered Committee of the Government of India on Disaster Management Plan, he gave the vision of Disaster Free India. His report on Seismic Microzonation submitted to the Department of Science and Technology of the Government of India has become a landmark contribution. His idea of setting up a Disaster Knowledge Network for India is now a part of the recommendation of the High Powered Committee to the Government of India.
In recognition of his outstanding professional contribution, the awards bestowed on him include Bhasin Foundation Award in Engineering & Transportation; Plaque of Honour from the Japanese Society of Soil Mechanics; Plaque of Honour from the South East Asian Geotechnical Society; Jaikrishna Prize of the Institution of Engineers (India); AIMIL Gold Medal; IGS Kuekalmann Award and Eminent Engineer award of the Institution of Engineers.