High honour for metro director in Malaysia 28 Sep 2017

TunnelTalk reporting

Marcus Karakashian, an engineer and manager of projects in the international tunnelling industry, has received high honour in Malaysia for his delivery of the first line of the Klang Valley MRT metro in Kuala Lumpur. In a regal ceremony at the royal palace in the city on Saturday 9 September, Karakashian was presented with his honour by the King (Agong) of Malaysia himself. The honour is the Malaysian Panglima Jasa Negara (PJN) federal title and bestows with it the title Datuk.

Karakashian receives honour from King of Malaysia
Karakashian receives honour from King of Malaysia
Government tour of completed KVMRT Line 1
Government tour of completed KVMRT Line 1

The award is similar to a knighthood in the UK and is rarely bestowed on non Malaysian citizens. Karakashian was Project Director of MRT since establishment of the Mass Rapid Transit Corporation in 2011 to deliver the first 51km long Sungai - Buloh-Kajang Metro Line which includes a central 9.5km long underground alignment of twin tube running tunnels and seven underground stations, and started MRT delivery and construction of the second 52.2km Sungai Buloh to Putrajaya Line of which 13.5km is underground with 11 underground stations before his retirement at the end of this month (September 2017). The accolade for his management and directorship of Line 1 is that it was delivered successfully - on programme and under budget.

Regal setting of royal award presentation
Regal setting of royal award presentation

Karakashian is known widely in the international tunnelling industry having started his career in underground engineering in his home country the UK. Highlights of his career include his time on the London Underground Jubilee Line Extenstion and as Construction Manager of the C104 London Bridge contract from 1992 to 1996. Following this he moved to Singapore where he worked for LTA first as Senior Project Manager of the North East Line MRT Project from 1996 to 2002, then as Project Director of the Kallang-Payar Lebar Expressway, much of which is underground in cut-and-cover alignment, 2002 to 2006. This was followed also in Singapore for LTA as Project Director of the Downtown Line 1 MRT Project from 2006 to 2011 when he made his career move to take up the role as Project Director of the MRT Corporation for the first SBK metro line Project from 2011 to 2017.

Congratulations are extended to Datuk Karakashian and also for elevation of underground engineering achievements that this high honour attracts.


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