Er Matur Gopal Rao born on September 10, 1917, had a brilliant academic career Having passed AMIE (India) examinations with the highest rank, he was directly recruited to the Gazetted cadre in the engineering field having topped in the selection by the Hyderabad Public Service Commission. Apart from investigations of water supply, drainage and other irrigation works, he had the privilege of constructing the largest masonry structure of the world, the Nagarjunasagar Dam, right from the foundations to completion. He was Chief Engineer in Andhra Pradesh and also Chief Engineer in Government of India, in the construction of Salal Hydro Electric Project. He served as Consultant to the Government of India in the Ministry of Energy, and as the Chairman, Andhra Pradesh State Construction Corporation Ltd, a Sate Government Undertaking. As Chairman of the Corporation, apart from construction of canals, buildings, he was associated with the construction of Srisailam Dam, the largest Hydro Power Structure then under, construction in India.
As an active Member of the Institution of Engineers (India) from 1945, he served as Chairman of Nagarjunasagar Sub-Centre for two years and was a Member of the Council of Institution of Engineers (India) in 1971. He was also the Member of Central Board of Irrigation and Power, the Vice President of Indian Society of Engineering Geology during 1972-73, and a Member of the Indian Standards Institution.
As a delegate of India, selected by the Indian National Committee, he attended the International Congress on Large Dams held in Montreal in 1970, He was deputed to Afghanistan in April 1973 for investigations and advice on water resources and finalization of the schemes for dams across various rivers in that country. He was selected by the United Nations Team for assignment of building dams in British Guyana in 1972. He visited countries around the
World –Europe, U.S.A & Japan and travelled in the Middle East Countries in 1978 for exploration of constructional activities.
He had authored a book “ Nagarjunasagar – the EPIC of Great Temple of Humanity” which was published by Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan.
Er M Gopal Rao breathed his last on 2nd September, 1997
The first Endowment Lecture was instituted on 10th September, 1998