Obituary: Prof. Dr. Ir. H Wiratman Wangsadinata

By Okta Indah Sulistyorini

Editor -

BANDUNG, – Institut Teknologi Bandung is grieving over the passing of its influential figure. This time is the passing of the late Prof. Dr. Ir. H. Wiratman Wangsadinata, an influential figure in construction and infrastructure. Prof. Wiratman, widely-known as the figure behind the megaproject Jembatan Selat Sunda, passed away on Wednesday afternoon (05/04/17) at Pondok Indah Hospital (RSPI), Jakarta.

Prof. Dr. Ir. Wiratman Wangsadinata was born in Jakarta, 25 February 1935. An alumnus of Civil Engineering Program of ITB in 1954, he contributed to infrastructure for more 50 years. His brilliance includes Ampera Bridge in Palembang, the restoration of Borobudur Temple, Port of Belawan in North Sumatera and Wisma Dharmala Tower in Jakarta. Aside from brilliant works, he was recognized as an expert in structures, specifically earthquake-resistant structures. He lead a team that compiled SNI 1726-2002 which becomes the standard of earthquake resistant design in building and non-building structures. His futuristic works and innovations raised his name comparable to nationally and internationally recognized figures, namely Prof.Ir. RM Sedyatmo. Ir. Sutami. Ir. H. Djuanda Kartawidjaja. Ir. AR Soehoed, and Prof.Dr(HC). Ir. Rooseno Suryohadikusumo.

A Lecturer, an Excellent Scholar, an Innovator, a Planning Engineer and an Entrepreneur
Before his retirement as a lecturer of ITB, Prof. Wiratman taught earthquake engineering subject at department of Civil Engineering ITB. As a lecturer, he delivered the materials through extraordinary perspective. “When other lecturers taught about balance in static structures, Prof. Wiratman taught about dynamic response,” recalled Prof. Ir. Bambang Budiono, a Professor in structural engineering, Civil Engineering ITB who is also a student of Prof. Wiratman.

His example and leadership confirmed when Prof. Wiratman was appointed the Chairman of Indonesian Reinforced Concrete Regulation Committee. Discussion he lead discussed earthquake resistance concrete structures that would adopt USA standard (ACI-Code) or New Zealand standard (NZ-Code). He decided to combine the two into an innovation, the SK SNI T-15-1991-03 which is a renewal that was accepted by all. “Most formulations in this standard were done by him,” said Prof. Bambang.

On 16 November 1976, Prof. Wiratman established Wiratman and Associates, a company engaged in consultancy services, which is among the giants on its field in Indonesia. It employs 433 persons, including 225 engineers and 31 architects, with 5 Strategic Business Unit (SBU), including Structural and Geotechnical SBU. Prof. Wiratman confirmed his limitless capabilities; not only as a lecturer, a researcher and an engineer, but also a brilliant entrepreneur.

Prof. Wiratman will forever be remembered as the master of infrastructures building of Indonesia. His dedication and influence throughout these years will always be the fundamental in the development of civil engineering. His brilliant ideas and thoughts will never fade with many of his pupils have become influential figures in Indonesia. Rest in peace, Mr Wiratman.