Alumni Stories

Dear Reader,

This month we bring to you another story directly from an IITKGP alumni. 

Derek Michael D'Costa (1969/B.Tech/CHE/VS)

In May 1964, after graduating in the first division with a Senior Cambridge Certificate from St. Joseph's European (now Boys') High School, Bangalore in December 1963, I cleared the IIT Joint Entrance Examination held at the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore. At my subsequent interview at IIT Madras in June 1964, I was offered and accepted a seat in the 5-year integrated degree course in chemical engineering at IIT Kharagpur.

After traveling 1,250 miles by train from Bangalore, I arrived at IIT Kharagpur on July 1, 1964, and was rather taken aback at finding that my assigned VS Hall of Residence was still under construction. Luckily, I was able to stay for one month in Azad Hall, until one Block of VS Hall was completed. Thereafter, I spent a most memorable and happy 5 years of my life on the delightfully pleasant IIT Kharagpur campus! 

Upon graduation in May 1969, with a first class honors degree in chemical engineering, I arrived in Canada as a landed immigrant (permanent resident), and after passing 4 confirmatory examinations, and meeting the experience requirements of the Professional Engineers Ontario (PEO), I was registered as a Professional Engineer in Ontario, Canada in January 1976. Meanwhile, in October 1974, I had also become a Canadian Citizen.

Initially, I did have a few challenging years securing suitable engineering jobs in Canada, but eventually secured rewarding positions as a Design Engineer at Ontario Hydro (now called Ontario Power Generation), later as an Approvals Engineer for the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and later still as a Senior Safety and Process Design Engineer at AECL (Atomic Energy of Canada Limited).

I have also been very active in a volunteer capacity at PEO, serving as the Vice Chair in their East Toronto Chapter, and also as the Secretary in their West Toronto Chapter. Currently, I'm serving as a GLP (Government Liaison Program) Representative, and also as a Member-at-Large.

In November 2009, Engineers Canada, which represents all the 300,000+ professional engineers in the 10 provinces and 3 territories of Canada, rewarded me with a Fellowship for my exceptional contributions to the engineering profession in Canada. In addition, I have also received three Ontario Volunteer Service Awards in 2010, '19, & '24 for my public service to the Province of Ontario.

In January 2026, I shall be celebrating 50 years as a Licensed Professional Engineer in Canada. All this was made possible, because of the superb education I received at my beloved alma mater, IIT Kharagpur.

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our Alumni Stories?

Share your cherished memories and experiences with fellow KGPIans. Alumni narratives serve as potent instruments for inspiring and fostering connections within the IITKGP community. They illuminate the varied and triumphant journeys undertaken by KGPians, showcasing how their IIT education has propelled them towards fulfilling their aspirations.

Submission Guidelines:

  • Ensure your story is limited to one page (~500 words) to maintain a concise and impactful story.
  • Give us 1-3 photos to include with the story.
  • Submissions should be in Word document (.doc or .docx) or Google Docs format.
  • Submissions should be in a format ready for publication, with minimal editing required.

Submit you story here.

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