HAMDARD UNIVERSITY PRODUCING ENERGY ENGINEERS FOR THE FIRST TIME IN PAKISTAN: COUNTRY HAS THE POTENTIAL TO JOIN INTERNATIONAL ENERGY LEADERS
INTERVIEW: PROF. DR. NASIM A. KHAN VICE CHANCELLOR HAMDARD UNIVERSITY
July 26 - Aug 1, 2010
Credit certainly goes to Hamdard University for producing Energy Engineers for the first time in Pakistan. These forthcoming energy engineers would certainly play a significant role when they come into their practical life to steer out the national economy from chronic energy crisis that is posing a serious threat to the socio-economic development of the country.
Hamdard University was the vision of its founder Shaheed Hakim Mohammed Said established in 1991. Comprised over 7 faculties, 9 institutes, three university teaching hospitals and three affiliated institutes.
The University having more than 13000 graduates have contributed significantly by producing 73 PhDs, scholars since its inception.
This was stated by Prof. Dr. Nasim A. Khan, the Vice Chancellor of Hamdard University in an interview to Pakistan & Gulf Economist. Dr. Nasim on the back of his impressive professional career that is gracefully substantiated by his PhD in Mechanical Engineering from Colorado State University USA, MS Energy Resources University of Pittsburgh, USA, MS Mechanical Engineering University of Pittsburgh USA besides his contribution in developing alternative/ Renewable Energy has an insight how to overcome energy issues persisting for quite sometime in Pakistan.
Dr. Nasim who carries an extensive experience especially in the energy sector has served as Secretary/Member technical, Alternative Energy Development Board at Prime Minister's Secretariat, Islamabad; he was also the Chairman National Commission for Alternative Energy, Ministry of Science & Technology. He was the Director Project HQ 10 Corps/ Solar System Lab (installed 100 systems) and was the Director Alternative Energy Group, Advanced Engineering Research Organization, Wah.
Actually his professional profile consists over three pages which indicates his outstanding services within the country and his international exposure being the key man in various global organizations.
Dr. Nasim who has worked hard towards positive and productive development of alternative energy resources especially Solar Energy and Wind Power was quite confident that Pakistan has enough resources not only to meet its own energy needs but to help neighbors if focused efforts were made to utilize available plenty of energy resources within the country.
SOLAR ENERGY CENTURY
Dr. Nasim has worked extensively on energy resources and his work has been duly acknowledged globally as he has received prestigious "World Technology Network Award" from USA and brought Pakistan in Lime light in Solar Technology by bringing Pakistani Project as finalist in "Energy Globe Award" in Europe. He is also Chairman of Pakistan Section of International Solar Energy Society. He is of the firm opinion that this century is well poised to be the Century of the Solar Energy going forward as the protection of environment. equally important for Pakistan as well as across the country. In this respect solar energy is one of the best options to save the environment.
Our country may not be oil rich but it can definitely be claimed as Solar Rich as there is abundance of solar energy across the country. The quantum of solar energy reaching Pakistan based on its total area estimated to be 2300 billion MW each year on sloped surface. This potential is 77 million times more than hydropower potential but it has not been given due importance.
Luckily Pakistan has enough quartz (silica) which is the basic raw material required in solar energy cell manufacturing, Dr. Nasim disclosed that over 5 million tons of quartz (silica) is lying near Jhimpir near Karachi. Another huge deposit of 50 million tons of quartz is available at "Chitta Pahar" (White Mountain) near Mansehra in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. Despite having such a huge deposit of quartz we are doing nothing to put this natural gift to good use for the entire country which is shocking of course.
Owing to abundance and long duration of the solar energy a large number of technologies have evolved to utilize it which has been classified in many ways. Despite the fact the country has ample potential for producing solar cells. So far the solar cells manufacturing industry was confined to one unit located at Taxila having a capacity of 3 mw per year, however recently Altwairqi Steel is also setting up a plant at Bin Qasim. This technology has a great scope for attracting investment in Pakistan.
Besides power generation through sunlight, Dr. Nasim demonstrated "Sooraj ki Duniya" established within the university campus which was a lovely surprise to look at simple devices for solar water heating which is being employed world over to provide hot water in the homes and industries and a variety of water heaters are in use even in the developed countries. Some of his simple but highly impressive technologies which can be used in every house hold for solar cooking etc were really amazing.
Realizing the acute shortage of energy and plenty of untapped energy resources Hamdard University is working in that direction and for the first time in Pakistan has introduced Energy Department to produce Energy Engineers. He was confident that when these future energy engineers will go into practical life they would resolve the energy issue by using the indigenous resources by using best of their knowledge. We have in fact laid the foundation now the ball is in the court of the policy makers to use them for nation building he said.
Dr. Nasim's remarks deserve to be treated as a wake up call when he said that solar energy is growing rapidly around the world and it must be pursued rigorously so as to avoid any gap in the field of Pakistan is so rich. The current market of solar energy products running in billions of dollars and if appropriate steps are taken Pakistan can join the global leaders of this technology.
Sharing his experience in the United States where he developed solar energy cells and approached Pakistan authorities to support this research work yet it was not taken seriously rather ignored while Indians working with him watched and pursued this project very keenly, since his project was not patented it was used by Indian scientists, who spent millions of dollars on the solar cells and obviously they must have used it for the benefit of their country.
It is unfortunate to see that Pakistan despite having enormous energy resources as well as dedicated people like Prof. Dr. Nasim Khan having knowledge to convert the available alternative energy resource into a reality at an affordable price are not being put to good use for the benefit of the people, economy and the country.