Three distinguished research scholars were honoured with research and development awards for this year in recognition for their scientific research works. The awards were given under the “Research and Development Effort Award Programme” of Science and Technology Department of the Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, said a handout.
A prize distribution ceremony was held in PC, Peshawar, on 24/03/2015 which was attended by the Minister for S&T and IT, Shehram Khan, Secretary S&T, KP, Farah Hamid, Vice Chancellor UET Peshawar Engr. Imtiaz Gilani, and a large number of senior academics and journalists. The renowned scientist Prof. Yaseen Iqbal was selected in recognition of his untiring efforts to University of Peshawar.
Prof. Yaseen Iqbal did his masters in Physics from Gomal University (KP) and joined the University of Azad Jammu & Kashmir as a founding faculty member. He moved to UK in 1993 and completed his PhD in Engineering Materials from the University of Sheffield in 1997. Because of his outstanding research capabilities, he was offered a number of Postdoctoral and Joint-consultant positions by the University of Sheffield, UK. During his stay at Sheffield, he worked as a joint consultant for UK industry such as Lafarge Brass Ltd., Royal Dalton Ltd., Wedgewood's Ltd., Morgan Materials Ltd., Filtronics Ltd. and Telcon Ltd. Prof. Iqbal was invited as a Foreign Professor by the Higher Education Commission, Pakistan and he joined the Department of Physics, University of Peshawar in Nov. 2004.
Keeping in view the mineral potential of the region and country, its role in economic development and poor research environment in Physics, Prof. Iqbal initiated a long term project of establishing Materials Research Laboratory (MRL) with Rs. 1 m released by HEC for his initial settlement in 2005. He worked as Director Institute of Physics & Electronics, Editor-in-Chief Journal of Pak Materials Society, and Founder President of the Pakistan Materials Society. His untiring efforts earned more than Rs. 80 m for a number of projects which materialized the establishment of the state of the art Materials Research Laboratory and the only Mineral upgradation pilot plant in academic sector, in spite of the discouraging social, political, academic, and security problems. Due to his group of sincere researchers & technicians, Materials Research Laboratory is now capable of designing and manufacturing new equipment for nano-fabrication, materials processing and characterization. His efforts attracted a number of faculty members and scholars towards research in materials and minerals which increased the number of research students in Physics to over 90. He personally produced 05 PhD and a number of MPhil graduates. To cope with the lack of state of the art equipment, he signed several MoUs with a number of National and foreign institutions to share facilities and expertise. His efforts extended research activities of Physics to Peshawar Medical College, Gandhara Medical University and now IRNUM. Recently, his projects worth more than Rs. 30 m were funded by KP government through the Directorate of Science & Technology, KP for further extension in Mineral Upgradation Pilot Plant and research in cancer diagnostics, nano-science and technology, and extraction of base metals from metallic ores. Prof. Iqbal received a Chartered Engineer Status from the UK Engineering Council in 2007 and was registered as Professional Engineer by Pakistan Engineering Council in 2013. Prof. Iqbal has Published more than 75 articles in peer reviewed national & International Impact Factor Journals of applied physics and materials science on materials ranging from clay based ceramics to ultra low loss soft magnetic materials and microwave dielectrics for wireless telecommunication systems with his overall Impact Factor of above 77. His outstanding contributions of 15 ICDD Reference Cards to the International Centre for Diffraction Data, Pennsylvania, USA are being used globally as reference material in characterization of materials. Prof. Yaseen Iqbal introduced a true materials research culture in the host institution. He founded the Pakistan Materials Society in 2007 which launched the Journal of Pak. Materials Society. He organized several national events such as conferences on Academia-Industry Linkages, Processing, Properties and Applications of Materials in the host institution. Prof. Iqbal gave several Invited Talks e.g. in “EMF 2003” Cambridge University, UK “Where Glass Meets Ceramics”, Pilkington UK, "Mullite 2000” Invited only Conference, Oban (Scotland), ”Mineralogy of Ceramics Meeting”, London.
Prof. Iqbal equally contributed to S&T activities at national level as an active Member of:
a. National Expert Committee for Nano Science & Technology, PCST,
b. OIC Consultative Committee for Physics, COMSTECH
c. National Curriculum Rev. Committee, Metallurgy & Material Engineering, Pakistan
d. HEC Task Force, Establishment of Engineering Universities and
In the field of social sciences, Prof. Iqbal has published 07 books in Pashto poetry and prose. He has a thorough knowledge of Pashto literature and national politics and has published more than 20 articles on education, Pashto literature and political scenario of the region. He is being invited time and again to Afghanistan, Voice of America, BBC, AVT Khyber and PTV to discuss and contribute expert opinion on the topics related to Science, Education, Pashtun culture and literature. His students and friends appreciated the Directorate of S&T, KPK for selecting the most deserving, honest and competent professor for this year award. Prof. Iqbal stressed upon the audience to develop a positive culture of competition in S&T rather than the prevalent leg-pulling culture. He thanked the Directorate of S&T for considering him worthy of this year prestigious award.