Dr. Das and his DAST

Published in July 1992 (Computer Jagat)

With abstruse interest on computer, tanacity, hardwork and a business nose of software marketing any Bangali professional irrespective of discipline can excell internationally and of course with a solid base of reputation. Dr. Mukti L. Das is the most current and glairing example to this optimistic claim. Dr. Mukti Lai Das’s forefathers hail from Comilla, Bangladesh. At the age of one year he left Comilla with his family for Assam and he was brought up there. Dr. Das secured his Civil Engineering degree from Shibpur, Calcutta and went to USA for higher studies. In 1964 he started for Germany, where he worked as an engineer. From Germany he moved finally to USA in 1966.

Long back in the early sixties use of computer in Engineering field and computer aided engineering was just coming. It was a pleasant coincidence for Dr. Das as he started his career too in that era. Dr. Das with his bright foresightness realised the importance of computer in the days to come and slowly changed himself in mastering the art of computer applications, not only in civil engineering but all sort of Engineering. He was working with a Boston based large engineering company Chas T. Main Inc. at that time.

Afterward he joined as a civil engineering teacher in the University of Mass, at Lowell, teaching computer oriented courses for long 9 years. In fact, from this very placidity he honed and later launch his renowed Civil Engineering software DAST (Design and Analysis of Structure).

Dr. Mukti Das visited Dhaka recently to launch his product— DAST through well arranged and attended seminar in a local hotel. DAST is basically a software for civil structure. He markets it directly through his own company Das Consulting Inc. and also through distributors.

In Bangladesh Applied Computers Technologies Ltd is their distributor. Dr. Das got introduced with Mr. Faize Jamil, Mnaging Director of ACT while Mr. Jamil was studying and working in University of Mass, at Lowell. Mr. Jamil spoke very high of Dr. Das and humbly acknowledged— “he (Dr. Das) was very helpful.”

To remain competitive Dr. Das updates his much adored DAST every three months and an upgraded version is released. This software is copy protected by hardware lock, DONGLE as Europeans call it.

DAST teaming with AutoCAD forms a solid combination. AutoCAD designs the structure and with the DLINK module creates the input to DAST for the analysis of forces in members and docs complete structural analysis and design. Further, the different codes such as the American, British, Japanese and Indian Code are interfaced with DAST. In the near future Dr. Das promised to add the Bangladesh Code whenever available.

Dr. Das explained that input generation from graphic media is best way to define a structural model. In any structural analysis geometric definition of the structure is time consuming. On the other hand geometric definition of structure is very easier in graphical media. AutoCAD is an excellent graphical media for this use. That means AutoCAD is one of the way for generating input media for doing structural analysis and design by DAST.

Dr. Das informed that like Bangladesh in many developing countries the computer capacity utilisation of engineering firms are about 20% and that also for accounting and word processing. Development Design Consultant Ltd. is the first Major Bangladeshi engineering consulting firm to purchase DAST. They employ over 500 engineers.

Introduction and marketing of DAST in Bangladesh will be followed by joint venture between Applied Computer Technologies Ltd. (ACT) and Das Consulting Inc. for developing portion of the DAST modules in Bangladesh. At present work is being done at Calcutta, India and ACT and Das Consulting Inc. arc explorting ways for development of DAST in Bangladesh.

Emphesising rightly on the overdue importance of computer literacy among Bangladeshi Engineers, Dr. Das said “local experts must get familier with the popular engineering softwares to avail the high potentiality of lucrative overseas jobs. For that, Bangladesh’s eng-necring infrastructure must be commputer based.” He emphesised that construction firms also should use Computer for scheduling, critical Path Analysis etc.

Dr. Das informed that in the mamoth Kuwait Reconstruction work at least 50 to 60 leading multinational companies will be involved under the supervision of leading US engineering companies. The Bangladeshi engineering consulting firms could get sub-contracts in Kuwait and fromothercountries, had they been acquinted with widely used softwares. With his broad global vision and outlook Dr. Das appealed “Give the local engineers computer tools like CAD, CAE etc., they will be able to do outside work with ease.” He asserts that Bangladeshi engineers are no way infirior to others.

At this point Mr. Faize Jamil mentioned that one local engineer who got two months of training from ACT is working as CAD engineer in Singapore. Dr. Das suggested that both for getting outside contracts and sending technical experts overseas, Bangladesh must quickly embrace modem computer based engineering (CAD & CAE). Dr. Das emphasized that any delay will suerly lead to miss a segment of market opportunity. He added “We don’t only live in Bangladesh, we live in the world. What the world does, we in Bangladesh have to do”.

Dr. Das said that to support the computer based engineering infrastructure some software will be locally developed and will create job opportunities for the general graduates.

Dr. Das informed that 22 copies of DAST software were sold in one year in India. Das Delta Software (pvt) Ltd. is marketing DAST in India. Mr. Surajit Bhattacharjee a civil engineer by profession of Das Delta also delivered lecture and displayed DAST in that launching seminer in Dhaka. Bangladesh’s most respected and renowned Civil Engineer Professor Dr. Jamilur Reza Chowdhury (popularly known as JRC) inagurated the august seminar which was attended by Engineers and Computer Professionals. Faize Jamil, Managing Director of ACT and a Structural Engineer with work experience in the area of CAD and CAE in the USA, spoke on the occasion. He requested to contact him to see the demonstration of DAST and Auto CAD. ?

– Azam Mahmood

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