K-State leader leaves legacy on campus
By Hayli Morrison
Dr. Alok Bhandari accomplished a lot in 44 years before succumbing to cancer in 2013. He was a passionate teacher and prolific scholar, dedicated to his students and his duties as head of K-State’s Department of Civil Engineering. He also served as the founding director of the Urban Water Institute at Kansas State University-Olathe.
He received the National Science Foundation’s CAREER award, the Kansas-Science to Achieve Results First Award and his alma mater, Virginia Tech University, granted him the Civil Engineering’s Outstanding Young Alumni Achievement Award. He authored or co-authored more than 100 publications, with a particular teaching and research emphasis on environmental engineering.
“Dr. Bhandari possessed a kind, gentle spirit that touched and inspired everyone he came in contact with,” said Dr. Robert Stokes, head of the Department of Civil Engineering. “I will remember Alok for his constant smile, enthusiasm and genuine concern for his fellow human beings.”
With his wife, Nidhi, and daughter, Mira, Bhandari enjoyed life in the K-State and Manhattan communities.
“He was a great listener and an amazing friend,” said Indira Mohanty, a friend of the family for more than a decade. “He loved K-State and was always excited about everything that was happening.”
Toward the end of his life, he was pleased when his friends suggested creating the Alok Bhandari Civil Engineering Scholarship at K-State in his honor.
“He loved having his name associated with K-State forever,” Mohanty said. “This is a small way for all his friends and people who knew him and loved him to honor his memory and his love for the institution.”