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Dr. Awtar Singh


Philanthropist  Dr. Awtar Singh Passes Away


Los Angeles, Nov 10. 2012

Encino resident since 1968, Dr Awtar Singh who was traveling with his sister, Deepi Singh and brother-in-law, Inder Singh (Chairman Global Organization of People of Indian Origin - GOPIO) passed away on November 7. He was going to Berkeley to attend  a function  where he was to be honored as a distinguished alumni of UC Berkeley on November 8, 2012. Emergency treatment by paramedics and physicians at Coalinga Regional Medical Center could not revive him. The cause of death was described as sudden heart failure.

Dr. Singh has been involved with philanthropic work mostly for education. In August 1998, he established a perpetual fellowship at the University of California, Berkeley to attract a top student every year from his alma mater, Punjab Engineering College, Chandigarh, India for graduate studies at Berkeley’s top-ranked College of Engineering.  The fellowship fund covers out-of-state tuition and fees, books, and living expenses (boarding, lodging and pocket money) amounting to over $30,000 annually. As many as, 14 top talents from Punjab have already come to UC Berkeley under this endowment. 
Dr. Awtar Singh also endowed a similar fellowship in the University of Colorado, Boulder for graduate and undergraduate students of Indian Origin. The scholarship grants $5000 per student annually to assist with tuition and living expenses.  Dr. Singh has established another program where he contributes matching fund for (Earn and Learn) program for students.

Dr. Singh has been sponsoring one Heritage award for excellence at middle and high school level, given by the Indian American Heritage Foundation annually in Southern California.

For the last 15 years, Dr. Singh has been donating his time for preparing students for SAT and GMAT examinations. The students’ scores go up significantly and they are admitted to universities of their choice. Dr. Singh also prepares students for GMAT and they get admitted for the MBA program in UC Berkeley, Duke University, etc.
Dr. Awtar Singh received his B.S. degree from Punjab Engineering College in 1949. He worked as an executive engineer on Bhakra Dam, 700 feet high concrete dam which was one of the highest of the world at that time. Dr. Singh came to the United States in 1962.  He got his Masters in 1963 from Colorado University, Boulder, Colorado and Ph.D. in Civil Engineering (Geotechnical) in 1966 from UC Berkeley.  He taught at University of California, Los Angeles. During his academic years, he published several papers in Geotechnical Engineering and was awarded the Thomas A. Middlebrook award for best paper of the year.
 He founded a consulting firm in 1972 by the name of Lockwood-Singh and Associates. After several thousand geotechnical and geological projects, he specialized in failure mechanism and mitigation measures of landslides and construction defects. On occasions, even the judges and mediators have called upon him for his technical opinion. He became an expert witness and testified in several large landslide litigation cases. He has been written up in several professional journals and LA Times and also in some Indian newspapers in the US for his philanthropic activities.

Dr. Singh has received numerous awards and honors from American universities and many Indian organizations including NFIA for his professional excellence and philanthropic work.   


 Dr Awtar Singh's death is a colossal loss for family, friends and beneficiaries of his acts of kindness and philanthropy, past, present and future.

Awtar Ji left for his heavenly abode on Wednesday, November 7, 2012, leaving relatives and friends stunned and in grief. To remember his many acts of kindness, philanthropy and pray for his soul to rest in peace, funeral arrangements and religious services have been planned as follows:

The final rites will be performed at: Church of the Recessional
Forest Lawn
1712 S. Glendale Blvd
Glendale, CA 91205

Friday, November 16, 2012
Ceremony starts  at 9 AM
Akhari Darshan (Viewing) 10:15 AM
Ceremony concludes 11 AM
Cremation 11:30 AM

After cremation, all are requested to proceed to Sikh Temple for langar and brief prayers:
Khalsa Care Foundation,
9989 Laurel Canyon Blvd,
Pacoima, CA 91331

 (818) 896-7700 .
Direction for the temple from Forest Lawn, Glendale are as follows:
Take Glendale Blvd going North and take left (west) on Los Feliz Blvd.
Take Fwy 5 going north and take Osborne exit.
Go east on Osborne, left on Laurel Canyon.  The temple will be on your left.