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Event Organiser: ICE

Calcutta Lecture Series, online

  • Webinar
  • Online
  • 31 October 2020
  • 18:00 - 19:30
Calcutta Lecture Series, online

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Calcutta had witnessed phenomenal growth in the fields of commerce, industry, transport, health, education, amenities, public utilities, waterways, ports, literature, art and culture, which continues even today. Colonial development of Calcutta started in the 18th century with the construction of several buildings and it became the nerve centre of administration for Continental India. It was called the ‘city of palaces’ and was developed as second only to London, remnants of which are still quite visible even today. Several institutions were established in the early 19th century and further development occurred with the introduction of state-of-the-art infrastructure facilities.

Calcutta also sustained political events and calamities, e.g. partition of Bengal (1905), shifting of the capital (1911), Indian independence movement, air raids during World War II, great Bengal famine (1943), communal violence (1946), partition of India (1947) and, lastly, the creation of Bangladesh (1971), which led to a massive influx of refugees. Hardly any other city in the world had grown so rapidly and endured such enormous historical events.

Calcutta’s journey from a simple place of commerce to evolving into an administrative centre and eventually becoming a hub for Indian social, cultural, educational and literary development is quite unmatched. By virtue of its journey through various events, and accommodating its ever-increasing population and commuters, the Calcutta story truly becomes a ‘benchmark in urban vitality’.

This lecture series concentrates on historical development of Calcutta over the past three centuries, mainly focusing on its heritage of colonial civil engineering, with relevant lessons on sustainability that find their relevance even today with a vision for the future.

Meeting access

Please go to https://zoom.us/join and enter the corresponding Meeting ID: 815 0368 3226. The password is 202021 for all sessions.


Declan B Downey, PhD, CEng FIMMM

Principal, Trenchless Opportunities Ltd, Peterborough, UK

Victorian Brick Sewers for a clean flowing colonial city

Dr Downey did his graduation in Engineering Metallurgy from the University of Bath in 1970 and completed his doctoral studies at the School of Materials Science in 1975. He had spent 15 years with the Amey Roadstone Corporation, engaged in the development and international licensing of concrete pipe. He joined Insituform Technologies in 1987 as a Group Technical Manager and moved into technology licensing and licensee support as the Vice President of Asia in 1990.

Dr Downey took up a stake in Jason Consultants Group in 2003 specialising in pipeline rehabilitation projects until the company was acquired by Pure Technologies in 2010. He continued to practice as an independent consultant through Trenchless Opportunities Ltd.

He had joined the International Society for Trenchless Technology (ISTT) on its formation in 1986 and have served the organisation as a Trustee, Chairman (2007 to 2010), and recently was appointed as the Honorary President.

He had authored the NASTT CIPP Good Practices Guide, presented 15 nos. ISTT Masterclasses since 2010, published more than 80 conference papers and journal articles on pipes and pipeline rehabilitation.

Event venue


For more information please contact:

Ingrid Farmer

e: [email protected]