Lasting Memories

Bal Raj Sehgal
Sept. 2, 1933-Feb. 26, 2018
Stockholm, Sweden

Submitted by Ravinder Sehgal

Professor Bal Raj Sehgal, 84, passed away peacefully on 26 February, at the UCSF Medical Center, his family by his side. Active as usual and in the midst of travelling, his death was sudden and unexpected, but Bal Raj had been recently diagnosed with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and died due to complications related to influenza. Born in Peshawar in former British India, Bal Raj moved to New Delhi during Partition and spent his early years there before emigrating to the United States to pursue a doctorate in nuclear engineering at UC Berkeley. What followed was an exceptional career trajectory which led Bal Raj to become a leading global expert in nuclear reactor safety culminating with his professorship at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm where he established the Division for Nuclear Power Safety. Bal Raj is remembered by his colleagues and students as an outstanding scientist and researcher, a great teacher and mentor, a prolific author and a tireless servant to the community. During the course of his career, he was inducted into numerous societies and academies, notably as elected member of the Swedish Royal Academy of Engineering Sciences, the U.S. National Academy of Engineering, and the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences and fellow of the American Nuclear Society and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. For his wide-ranging and impactful contribution to research and science of nuclear safety, he was recognized with numerous awards, including the Seaborg Medal, the Technical Achievement Award and the Thomson Award for Reactor Safety from the American Nuclear Society. While work and research were his primary passions, Bal Raj also found immense pleasure in travelling the globe, enjoying classical music, visiting museums and cooking Indian cuisine for his family and friends. His contribution to society is only overshadowed by the unconditional love, devotion and support that he showed to his family. He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Aldona Sehgal, their three children, Vija Sehgal, Ravinder Sehgal and Sarita Sehgal, his daughters’ spouses, Herb Yee and Patrick Benoit Sehgal, his four grandchildren Daiva Yee, Jonas Yee, Satya Sehgal and Maya Sehgal, his brother Inder Raj Sehgal, as well as many loving nieces, nephews, cousins and family friends.

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From Rita Rapa-Sullivan
April 16, 2018

Such a beautiful and sincere tribute write-up for your Father ! I am so sorry to hear of this sad news. I was very fond of your Father too. I wanted to reach out to you, your Mom - Aldona, and your sisters to send my sincere condolences and say how wonderful I thought your Father was too. I’m so sorry. He is a person many will miss. I thought you had the most sincere, apropriate, and meaningful send-off for your Father. I think you made him proud once again. Respectfully and sincerely, Rita

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