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A Structural Engineer with a Golden Mind: The inspirational story of Sherry Rakhra
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Construction agencies are one of the most in-demand industries in the 20th century. A vital position in a construction consulting agency is the structural engineer, who inspects, designs, and details the buildings, bridges, or other structures. Sherry Rakhra is one of the most skilled and top structural engineers who started her own consulting agency at a very young age. 

Sherry Rakhra was born in 1989, in a small town known as Nabha,  located in the district of Patiala. At that time, Nabha was severely underdeveloped and didn’t provide many opportunities for bright and young students. Coming through many difficulties, Sherry managed to become one of the top structural engineers in Northern India.

 

Education:

  • Diploma:

Sherry completed her schooling in Nabha. But, as the town was underdeveloped, but then too she managed to crack the Joint entrance exam (JEE)  for admission in the top college for engineering and She got admission to Thapar Institute of Engineering & Technology (Now Thapar University).

Hence, she got admitted to Thapar University in Patiala to get her 3-year diploma in civil engineering. This was extremely tough as she had to travel 50 km every day to attend the college. Sherry took a bus early in the morning to get to college on time and used to catch an evening bus to go back to Nabha. This is tough but still, she was so dedicated that she got the first position every semester  (6 semesters total ) with gold medal not only within her college but from all the Punjab polytechnic colleges. Soon, she passed with 6 gold medals and flying colors and wished to continue her bachelor’s in  Civil Engineering.

  • Engineering:

As Sherry wished to pursue Civil Engineering, it was essential to get a Bachelor’s Degree in a reputed college. Here again, she secured a good rank for the entrance test (LEET Examination) for admission in engineering college. Hence, she joined the popular DAV Institute  Engineering & technology in Jalandhar which is popular for the civil engineering course. As she had to go away from her hometown, she stayed in the hostel. As DAV was extremely reputed, she believed that an ocean of opportunities might be available. At that time, she didn’t know what to pursue or what to do after her engineering. But as the wish of God, A crystal clear way presented itself to her during her final year of engineering. She planned to start her research project in Structural Engineering in her fourth year. So in the 7th semester, she started her research under a Jalandhar-based structural engineering consultancy firm, where she gets started learning the basics of Structural Engineering.

As to get much exposure in the 8th semester (Industrial Training Semester) she moved to Chandigarh to gain more knowledge in the field but without knowing any leads, again God helped her (as she quotes) with better plans and she got a chance to learn and work under The former HOD of PEC University, Dr. V.K. Sood, who had started his own structural consultancy after retiring from the University. After a meeting, Dr. Sood gave a chance to Sherry to pursue an internship in his consultancy. This was a 6-month training. This was where she realized her interest and love for Structural Engineering and decided to get a Master’s degree in Structural Engineering. 

After the completion of her bachelor’s, she got Job placement offers from reputed companies like L&T & ESSAR but she insisted not to join as she desired to become a successful Structural Engineer for which needed a Masters’s degree.

  • Masters:

After completing Bachelor’s in Engineering, Sherry appeared for the entrance test for Master’s Engineering, and finally, Sherry joined one of the top reputed engineering colleges in India i.e. P.E.C. University, Chandigarh for the Master’s degree in Structural Engineering. She started staying in the hostel and She decided to work and learn structural design after her college hours. After her college hours, Sherry started to work part-time in Dr. Sood’s Consultancy. This was very difficult to balance both work and education simultaneously. But still, she never gave up and she worked there for a period of 2 years till the completion of her master’s degree. When she was about to postgraduate, the college found out that she was working part-time in Dr. Sood’s agency. As she was extremely well-known in the field, the college working HOD, impressed by Sherry, offered her a job in the consultancy cell of PEC University, and later she got campus job placement from different reputed colleges as an assistant professor to join them however, she refused to join as according to her, this was not the right pathway for her. 

 

Stepping into the professional world:

sherry-rakhra

As mentioned above, Sherry got offered a job by the University where she studied Masters. She accepted the job and started working in the construction wing of the university. Many other construction agencies and colleges offered jobs to her but, she stuck to her job with the university, even though it paid a lot less than others. This was because her main goal was to gain experience/knowledge/exposure in her field. Usually, this Consultancy cell of the University cross-check the works of other agencies and approve their designs. Therefore, working here helped her gain a lot of experience. Sherry worked here for approximately 2 years.

After two years, she thought of building her own company and taking it to heights. At the age of 28 years, Er. Sherry Rakhra got awarded as the youngest Structural Engineer in Northern India by INDIAN CONCRETE INSTITUTE.

She also got awarded for one of their designs for the Clarion inn hotel in Patiala, for which she retains the old structure of 2 stories and made it 7 story’s without damaging the existing again by INDIAN CONCRETE INSTITUTE.

 

Forming Rakhra Associates:

sherry-rakhra

In 2015 She got Married and she and her husband whom she had met during her Bachelor’s, formed the Sherry Rakhra Associates. It was truly an extremely difficult task. many other agencies like Dr. Sood’s agency were the direct competitions now. And most of Sherry’s competitor agencies were well experienced keeping in mind that Sherry started the agency with absolutely nothing in her hand.

The couple rented a 1 BHK house and turned it into an office. With just a 1 BHK house, they managed to attract clients and started working.

To date, Rakhra Associates have a staff of around 20 people with their own office building of 3000 square feet in the center of TRICITY i.e (Chandigarh, Mohali & Panchkula ). In just 4 to 5 years, Rakhra Associates managed to climb to the top and became one of the top structural Consultancy agencies in Northern India.

 

Accomplishments:

sherry rakhra

Rakhra Associates made a noticeable impact within 4 years of its origin. From not at all being noticed to being the 2nd best agency in Northern India, Rakhra Associates managed to accomplish a lot. Here are some of its works and accomplishments.

sherry rakhra

  • Sherry Rakhra Associates managed to complete 1800+ projects in just a span of 5 years. This is an immense achievement.
  • They are now working on constructing India’s 2nd largest planetarium, which will be located in Ambala and construction is in full swing.
  • Sherry’s team planned and designed Kashmir’s highest building. This was a residential building and consisted of 12 towers, each of 11 stories. This was an extremely difficult task as Kashmir is extremely prone to major earthquakes. The planning for this building took 1 year.
  • Many popular hotels and resorts like Radisson and Sheraton hotels are their clients. Rakhra associates designed buildings for them in Dehradun (Uttarakhand)  and Himachal Pradesh.
  • They are also working for DRDO, the team has come up with a one-of-a-kind avalanche control mechanism. This consists of a high wall that holds the impact of an avalanche and blocks it. This can back approximately 200-foot high snow. This will be implemented near Manali soon.
  • Coming to the out of India projects, the team managed to design buildings in Kenya, Mauritius, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, and Fiji Islands. 
  • The team also designed Main Gurdwara DERA BABA NANAK of 1st Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s for the recently announced and showcases “KARTARPUR CORRIDOR”.
  • The Team Is Also The Consultant For SGPC AMRITSAR For designing and retrofitting of all their buildings
  • Another mind-blowing project of this team is a basement designed for the 200-year old Shaheedan Gurudwara Baba Deep Singh Ji. As the place is very crowded, it was difficult to park as not much space was available. Hence, Sherry’s team decided to construct a parking basement without touching the Gurudwara. This is currently under construction. 
  • Rakhra Associates also designed the Air traffic Control tower for AAI towers in Varanasi.and the housing for the employee of AAI with (B+G+11)

 

Sherry managed to accomplish these feats in just a matter of 5 years. We can definitely believe that the team will reach its extreme heights and become known worldwide in the near future.

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Pratap is an avid reader and he wishes to give back the community something in return. He is currently pursuing Engineering in the field of Computer Science in Bengaluru. He has a genuine passion for writing and spreading it to everyone. He has a thirst for knowledge and always seeking it out and aiming to be a better version of himself.

Disclaimer: The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in the article have been curated for our audience and does not warrant a 100% accuracy. All the information mentioned in the article is subject to change according to the changing viewpoints. Feel free to reach us at [email protected] for any change or copyright issues.

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Pratap Simha
Pratap Simha
Pratap is an avid reader and he wishes to give back the community something in return. He is currently pursuing Engineering in the field of Computer Science in Bengaluru. He has a genuine passion for writing and spreading it to everyone. He has a thirst for knowledge and always seeking it out and aiming to be a better version of himself.

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