Standing at the crossroads of professional career, the million-dollar question for our youth is choice of a ‘suitable’ discipline. A majority of them fall an easy prey to some so-called rewarding career paths that are too glittering to resist. The result is obvious – unemployment, dissatisfaction, and even failure in practical life – thanks to the dangerous trend in our society of blindly following suit.

On the contrary, there are a few lucky and sagacious young students who prefer to go down the less-trodden paths and opt for newly-emerging fields – and that makes all the difference.

Nestled in the serene settings of a beautiful countryside, Pakistan Institute of Engineering and Applied Sciences (PIEAS), Islamabad, is one such institute which presents some less trekked paths for the budding Pakistani talent, followed by a career worth relishing for a lifetime.

Established in 1967 by Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) as an institute of academic excellence, it attained the status of a degree-awarding institute in the year 2000. PIEAS has been providing synergy between scientific research and technological development for national security and socio-economic benefits, encouraging. Here, lack of resources on part of deserving students is not an impediment to acquiring quality education.

Majority of MS / M Phil students at PIEAS are sponsored by national organizations. Students who prove their mettle in the admission test are entitled to receive a monthly stipend of Rs. 35000 along with full tuition fee-waiver, free hostel accommodation, transport and medical treatment throughout their studies. Not only this, PIEAS has changed the concept of job-placement altogether. On completion of their degree, graduates are inducted by the sponsoring organizations like PAEC in a special pay scale i.e. SPS-08 which surpasses the perks of BPS-18. In comparison with fresh job entrants at PAEC, these PIEAS fellows are entitled to receive three premature annual increments and consequent promotion to next grade i.e. SPS-09 after serving for only 2 years.

Although PIEAS offers BS, MS, M Phil and PhD degree programs, yet the postgraduate degree programs dominate. In addition to the degree programs, PIEAS also offers specialized short courses to engineers, scientists and other professionals for their continuing professional development. The length of these courses varies from 2 to 18 months and the areas covered have included reactor supervision and operation, health physics, medical physics, laser technology, vacuum technology, computer applications advanced reactor safety and management sciences.

Disciplines and Degree Programs being offered at PIAES include BS, MS, M.Phil and PhD programs in the fields of Chemical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Metallurgy and Materials Engineering, Nuclear Engineering, Computer and Information Sciences, Medical Sciences and Physics. The discipline of Cyber Security is a recent addition.

With more than 100 PhDs, PIEAS takes pride in highly qualified full-time faculty in the diverse fields of physical sciences, engineering and medicine. Majority of the faculty members have PhD degrees from the reputed institutions of USA, Canada, UK, Germany, France, China, Japan, Austria and Australia. Over a dozen faculty members have also earned respect at national level by conferment of civil awards.

PIEAS campus is sprawled over an area of about 150 acres with lush green grassy lawns that create a very tranquil studying environment which encourages the culture of discovering and making new inventions. It has a large number of well-equipped laboratories and a state-of-the-art computer centre with 200 computers which provides computational facilities 24/7. It is an associate of PERN network and has the access to HEC Digital Library that can be accessed from any one of the 1500 nodes of Local Area Network. Internet facility is available round the clock in campus as well as hostels. Its library holds a repository of more than 15000 artefacts and has also subscribed to both technical and academic journals. It provides hostel facilities for both female and male students.

PIEAS, today is a multi-faceted educational institution, with academic and training programs being conducted at the highest level in a broad spectrum of disciplines. These are complemented by an active Research and Development (R&D) program, which now also extends to working on industry-related projects.

Its excellence was recognized on the national level when PIEAS was declared to be the best Engineering University in Pakistan by the Higher Education Commission (HEC) in its first ever ranking of universities in year 2006 and subsequently in years 2010 and 2013. On international level, PIEAS won laurels by being declared top-notch university of Pakistan by QS Ranking Asia for the year 2014 and 2015.

Among its affiliated institutes are Karachi Institute of Power Engineering (KINPOE), National Institute of Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering (NIBGE), Nuclear Institute for Agriculture and Biology (NIAB) in Faisalabad and National Institute of Lasers and Optronics (NILOP) in Islamabad. KINPOE is doing a great service for the nation by developing qualified manpower for its nuclear power program.