Dr. Ganpat Lodha was a member of our Engineering and Geoscience Education Foundation (formerly the APEGM Foundation) from 2006 to 2021. As a member of the board, he was instrumental in working out details of an endowment fund at the University of Manitoba (2013-14) that would generate approximately ten annual ongoing bursaries to support students in the IEEQ (Internationally-Educated Engineers Qualification) program. This fund gives support to international graduates who are studying to meet the academic requirements for registration as an engineering/geoscience intern in Manitoba. Initially named APEGM Foundation Inc. (AFI) Bursaries for IEEQ Students, the fund has been renamed Dr. Ganpat S. Lodha Bursaries in 2022 to honour him as the fund’s founder. Ganpat, along with his wife Manju, has also established two philanthropic endowment funds at the Winnipeg Foundation: Sharing Circle of Wellness (2016) and The Lodha Family-150 (2018). Details of Ganpat’s life follow.
Dr. Lodha, in his scientific and technical career, worked in India, Canada and parts of the United States (USA). During most of his working career of 42 years, Dr. Lodha worked as a senior or staff geoscientist and manager of projects related to exploration of the following:
- Minerals (Geological Survey of India)
- Hydrocarbons (Oil and Gas multi-nationals Enterprises, Calgary, Canada)
- Groundwater, including environmental studies (Characterization of sites for safe storage of hazardous and nuclear waste-AECL Research, Pinawa, MB, Canada)
During his employment he traveled extensively for collaborative projects to the following:
- France (oil-mineral exploration research: Elf-Aquitaine)
- Sweden (nuclear waste disposal research: SKB)
- Spain (site evaluation project consulting for waste repositories: ENRISA)
- Vienna (nuclear waste repository safeguards regulation: IAEA)
Ganpat was born in a middle-class family in India as the eldest child with seven siblings. He received his initial bachelors and master’s degrees in geological/geophysical sciences at reputable universities in India and worked in the bush for eleven years. He subsequently came on a Commonwealth Scholarship to University of Toronto, Canada where he completed another master’s and a Ph.D. degree in 1977. During his studies/research, he developed and applied sphere and plate model applications to compare responses of various time and frequency domain electromagnetic (EM) systems for airborne, ground and borehole geophysical surveys, for mineral exploration available at that time. These models, with associated technical advancements, have been in routine use for exploration of mineralized targets at greater depths and with increased precision.
During his regular working career, Ganpat had organized and chaired various technical sessions for the Mineral, Geotechnical & Logging Society (MGLS) of the USA, Canadian Exploration Geophysical Society (KEGS), Canadian Society of Exploration Geophysicist (CSEG), and Nuclear Fuel Waste Organization in Sweden. He gave keynote talks during some of the above technical societies’ annual conventions and was President of the MGLS (USA) for two years.
Ganpat has extensively volunteered for Engineers Geoscientists Manitoba (EngGeoMB) on its various committees, including the Awards Committee, Nomination Committee, Public Interest Review Committee and lately its Heritage Committee. He was instrumental in the initiation of the India Chapter of EngGeoMB in 2016. He continues to provide advisory support to this chapter. Ganpat has also served as the Council-appointed Director on the Geoscientists Canada Board for five years. As part of Geoscientists Canada and subsequently, Ganpat took the lead in organizing an introductory course at U of M on the role of qualified person for reporting resources of Mineral Prospects (NI43-101) and Hydrocarbon Prospects (NI51-101) during 2017. This was followed by conceiving and leading a four-talk earth science session titled, “Cultivating your career in the Oil & Gas and Mining Industries” during the EngGeoMB Ingenium-2020 video conference workshop.
Ganpat directly contributed to the compilation of four EngGeoMB Heritage wiki articles (2019-21), half of which are under the process of final editorial reviews and uploading to the EngGeoMB wiki site:
- Flin Flon-Snow Lake mineralized belt (available to view)
- Vale/Inco’s Thomson mineralized nickel belt (available to view)
- Thirty years of geoscience and geotechnical studies in Nuclear Waste Management Organization, Whiteshell Research area
- Geology, Geological Survey organizations and evolution of geosciences
The latter three articles were written with co-authors Ernie Armitt, Neil Chandler and Michelle Nicolas, respectively. In addition, Ganpat solicited contributions of two other articles for the EngGeoMB Centennial issue from Nancy Chow and Michelle Nicolas, as follows:
- The Department of Geological Sciences at the University of Manitoba: 109 years strong (1910-2019) by Bill Brisbin, Brenda Miller and Nancy Chow. Clayton H. Riddell Faculty of Environment, Earth & Resources at the U of M
- Oil in Manitoba by Michelle P.B. Nicholas
Ganpat’s extensive community service has included serving on the Folklorama Board for six years, and volunteering on the Manitoba Mental Health Review Board for three years and the Discipline Committee of College of Registered Nurses for five years. He has also been active with East Indian Community organizations, such as the Hindu Society of Manitoba, India Association of Manitoba and Manitoba Hindu Seniors. He and his wife Manju continue to assist in running Seniors Wellness drop-in programs for the community at large at the Dr. Raj Pandey Hindu Cultural Centre, since 2012.
Ganpat has been recognized as Fellow of the Geoscientists Canada (FGC). Additionally, Ganpat has been honoured by the following awards:
- Outstanding Service Award in 2017 (Engineers Geoscientists Manitoba)
- Distinguished Service Award in 2018 (Indo-Canadian Cultural Heritage Association)
- Honorary Life Membership Award in 2019 (Engineers Geoscientists Manitoba)