21st July 1969, 1.48 am, India time! The entire world was listening on radio to the greatest drama of human history being unfolded. Man on moon! Neil Armstrong walking on moon was a giant leap for mankind. A small high school boy of 15 was all ears while listening to that thrilling radio commentary in a small town of Amravati in India. He was of an impressionable age, and this event made such a deep impact on him that he decided to become an Aerospace Engineer, and meet Neil Armstrong one day. Well, he didn’t just meet his Hero, but studied under him, and is proud that he is mentored by his hero, Neil Armstrong.
Dinesh was born in Rajkot in a middle-class familyin July 1954. Dinesh’s grandfather too was a brilliant academician, and had written books on the subject of Statistics. Dinesh’sfather Mr. AchyutYashwantKeskarwas an educationist teaching Chemistry in DharmendraSinghjiCollege in Rajkot.Dinesh was the second born of the three sons of Nalini and AchyutKeskar. When Dinesh was five, Sri Achyutdecided tomove to some place in Maharashtra and chose Amravati over Mumbai as the place to settle, so that his sons could study in Marathi, their mother tongue.
Dinesh went to ManibhaiGujrathi high Schoolin Amravati. He was thetop merit student in his final year of high school, and stood 8th rank in entire Maharashtra. His father bought a two-wheeler scooter for Dinesh in appreciation of his excellence in the final year of his school education. Then a sad tragedy befell Keskar family when Dinesh’s father died in an accident while he was in Mumbai. Dinesh was only 16 years old boy; and the family underwent a trauma, but eventually managed to get by. Dinesh’s mother looked after the family and educated her three sons very well. Dinesh fondly remembers among other memories how he and his father had kept awake at night and had together listened to the radio live-narrating Neil Armstrong’s moon-landing. He feels saddened that his father wasn’t there to see the good things Dinesh did in his life.
Dinesh joined VishveshwarayaRegional College of Engineering at Nagpur and received his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering with a Gold Medal in 1975. He was the Best Scholar, the Best All-rounder, and the Magazine Secretary. He stayed in the hostel for five years.He made some life-long close friends and he still is in regular touch with them. His friends visit him when he is in India for work.
After his B.E., Dinesh wanted to study further in the field of Aerospace Engineering. Unfortunately at that time there wereno colleges in India offering any such course. Dinesh wanted to go to USA to pursue further studies. Because of his Gold Medal excellence, he could get admission in many universities in US, but he chose University of Cincinnati mainly because Neil Armstrong taught there.Young Dinesh took this decision all by himself as there was nobody to guide him. He received Tata Scholarship, known as J.N.Tata Endowment Scholarship which was basically a student loan to be returned after completion of studies and when one starts working. It was a prestige to get this scholarship.
Neil Armstrong was not only an expert Space-Mission Commander, but he was a great human being as well. Dr. Dinesh reminisces that his classes in the University used to be very interesting. Armstrong used to teach flight testing. At that time, there were no text-books on this subject and no internet. He just used to talk from his experience as a flight test pilot. Students would find references from some books in the library. Dinesh received his master’s and doctorate degrees in aerospace engineering from the University of Cincinnati in 1976 and 1978, respectively, under the guidance of Neil Armstrong. To complete master’s degree in one year although somewhat rare is still not so uncommon. However, to complete PhD. in two years under the age of 25 is absolutely an outstanding feat. And to have Neil Armstrong as one’s mentor is definitely the most unique feat anybody can boast of.
Because of Neil Armstrong, Dinesh could do the practical training in Flight Test and Control System Design etc. at NASA during his PhD candidature. This is where he was spotted and was offered a job at Boeing Co. after completion of his PhD. At Boeing, from 1980 to 1986, he was responsible for research and consultation in the areas of system identification, digital signal processing and modern control theory. Dr. Dinesh developed the techniques to conduct flight tests and analyze flight test data to obtain airplane math models for the Boeing 737, 747, 757 and 767 flight simulators.
After his PhD, Dr. Dinesh started his career as an Engineer and nowis Sr. Vice President, Boeing International. This ascent has been interesting and again unique. Boeing employs about 160,000 personnel. Out of this huge number, only about 70 people are directly involved in frontline sales.Dr. Dinesh says, to get into sales is tough, because there are so many people competing. But once you get there, you can rise with your track record, tenacity and credibility. He says, he completely believes in being at the right place at the right time. There is no fixed formula to rise to the top. There are only five Vice Presidents that cover the entire world. It is a huge responsibility. Boeing makes commercial as well as military airplanes. 70% revenue comes from sale of commercial planes. Dr. Dinesh has done more than 300 billion dollars of sale so far.
DR.DINESH SERVES ON SEVERAL BOARDS AND ORGANIZATIONS