Shakuntala Bhagat

Shakuntala A. Bhagat (6 February 1933 – 14 October 2012), born Shakuntala Joshi, was the first woman civil engineer in India.[1][2]

Shakuntala Bhagat
An older South Asian woman with grey hair cropped to chin length; she is wearing a sari.
Shakuntala Bhagat, from a 2013 publication
Shakuntala Joshi

6 February 1933
Died14 October 2012
OccupationCivil engineer
Known forBridge design and construction
Spouse(s)Anirudh Shivprasad Bhagat

Early lifeEdit

Shakuntala Joshi was the daughter of bridge engineer S. B. Joshi (1906–1991).

In 1953, she became the first woman to earn a civil engineering degree at Veermata Jijabai Technological Institute in Mumbai. She earned a master's degree in civil and structural engineering at the University of Pennsylvania.[3]


Bhagat was assistant professor of civil engineering and head of the Heavy Structures Laboratory at the Indian Institute of Technology in Mumbai for much of the 1960s. In 1970, she and her husband founded their own firm, Bhagat Engineering; they also founded Quadricon, a bridge construction firm specializing in a patented prefabricated modular design.[4][5] She worked on design and construction of hundreds of bridges around the world, including projects in the United States, Germany, and the United Kingdom. She worked on concrete research for the Cement and Concrete Association of London.[3]

Bhagat was a member of the Indian Road Congress and a fellow of India's Institute of Engineers. In 1972, the Bhagats received an award from the Invention Promotion Board, for their Unishear connectors. In 1993, she was recognized as the Woman Engineer of the Year.[3][4]

Personal lifeEdit

Shakuntala Joshi married fellow civil engineer Anirudha Shivprasad Bhagat. She died in 2012, aged 79.[3][4]


  1. ^ Shukla, Palak J.; Desai, Atul K.; Modhera, Chetankumar D. (November 2018). "Women in Civil Engineering in India" (PDF). Journal of Emerging Technologies and Innovative Research (JETIR). 5.
  2. ^ "Meet Madhubanti Bhattacharyya". ICE News. 27 May 2020. Retrieved 2020-10-09.
  3. ^ a b c d Chattopadhyay, Anjana, 1950- (2018). Women scientists in India : lives, struggles & achievements (First ed.). New Delhi. ISBN 978-81-237-8144-0. OCLC 1045373879.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  4. ^ a b c "Shakuntala A. Bhagat, First Woman Civil Engineer, Bridge Superstructure". Projects Monitor. 2013-07-04. Retrieved 2020-10-09.
  5. ^ Bhagat, S. A.; Bhagat, A. S. (December 1979). "Quadricon Prefabricated System for Bridges". Journal of the Indian Roads Congress. 40 (3). ISSN 0258-0500.