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In January of 1973, Dr. Marachi moved to Iran. It was during the government of Shah, when Iran was pro-west and the local economy was enjoying a twelve percent annual growth in GNP. A half-million Americans and nearly 1 million Europeans, including engineers and technicians, were working on well paying and very interesting developmental projects in Iran.

He started by teaching at the Aryamehr Institute of Technology. This was a tenure track professorial position. He taught courses in:

  • Soil mechanics and Foundation Engineering
  • Seepage (in groundwater and through dams)
  • Earthquake Engineering
  • Dam Engineering
  • Soil testing – also set up the soil testing laboratory.

In April of 1974, Dr. Marachi and one of his former colleagues from UC Berkeley founded the “ Tehran Berkeley Consulting Engineers”. By September the firm had added 2 more partners and 15 employees. By the end of 1977 Tehran Berkeley had 4 subsidiaries with employees totaling close to 300. Subsidiaries were:

  • Tehran Berkeley Sounding Drilling, Ltd.
  • Wimpy Iran Laboratories, Ltd.
  • ENERTEC, Ltd. (energy technology consultants)
  • Nedeco Iran, Ltd. (harbors and transportation systems)

Highlights of this period for which Dr. Marachi was project manager or co-project manager included many planning investigations and designs such as:

  • Siting of inland and shoreline nuclear power plants:
    • Prepared ESAR for 160 miles of shorelines
    • Prepared ESAR for a 22,000 square mile section of west of the country
  • PSAR for Saveh NPP (2,400 mgw)
  • PSAR for Karun NPP (1800 mgw); Co-project manager with Mr. Kim deRubertis
  • Permitting of the Karun NPP site through the International AEC
  • Siting and investigations of 85 miles of aqueduct and protective levees
  • Siting and feasibility studies of Iran’s five major geothermal power resource regions
  • Siting and planning studies of 2 industrial towns
  • Siting, planning studies, and design investigations for two major dams
  • Design of widening and upgrading of some 400 miles of highway
  • Existing capacity evaluation and feasibility study of expansion alternatives of the 12 main harbors of the country.

He also participated as a member of an international committee of experts set up by the IAEA to review the aseismic design of the nuclear power plants proposed by the French nuclear plant suppliers (Framatome and Spie Bottineau). Eighteen units of this plant were being sold to be installed in South Africa, Iran, and Brazil.

Dr. Marachi’s total stay in Iran was just less than six years. He and his family left Iran in December of 1978 and came back to the U.S., fortuitously only two days before revolutionaries closed the Tehran airport. He fervently wished not to live under, work with, or be associated with the Islamic fundamentalists that have since defiled Iran’s 5000 years of glorious civilization, and have brought nothing but disgrace, shame, and infamy to a people who were torch bearers of civilization. Coming back to the U.S., however, was allegorically and practically coming back home.