islamabad - Convocation 2016 was held at Pakistan Institute of Engineering and Applied Sciences (PIEAS), the leading engineering institution of the country, with Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms Ahsan Iqbal as chief guest.

The minister conferred degrees on the successful candidates of PhD, MS, and BS in the disciplines of nuclear engineering, systems engineering, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, nuclear medicine, radiation and medical oncology, medical physics, physics, materials engineering and process engineering. The outstanding graduates received degrees and awards including 27 PhDs, 437 masters and 97 BS, 11 gold medals, 34 merit certificates and 32 certificates of appreciation, says a press release issued here yesterday.

Speaking to the gathering of scholars, intellectuals and scientists, the minister lauded the research output and quality education of PIEAS and appreciated the work strategy of PAEC and said that PAEC is contributing in all areas of socioeconomic development of the country by doing quality research in agriculture and by curing cancer patients in its cancer hospitals. He urged the graduating scholars to look at positive side of the picture and try to strengthen the scientific knowledge base of the country and materialise all their energies for the development of Pakistan.

He emphasised the importance of applied research for the country and said the world has identified the key areas of development in the fields of IT & telecom, robotics, manmade materials, biotechnology, chemical processing, and sustainable energy. By adopting modern techniques in research, universities can play a major role to develop a modern society.

In his welcome address, Chairman PAEC Muhammad Naeem thanked the federal minister for his presence and briefed the audience about the culture of merit that is the hallmark of PAEC.

He said, “PAEC is an exemplary organisation, with the support from SPD and government of Pakistan; it continues to play significant role in the socio-economic uplift of the country. Through integrity, creativity, commitment and patriotism, our scientists and engineers have established their credibility by achieving the targets assigned to us in the fields of nuclear science & engineering”.

He reiterated that a measure of the caliber of PIEAS graduates can be ascertained by the fact that 75 of them are the recipients of national civil awards and are also at the helm of affairs of different strategic organizations.“We set very high goals, strive very hard, and with the help of Allah, achieve those goals and then look further to achieving fresh objectives. Through good planning and proper resource allocation we have been able to achieve our targets in the shortest possible time,” he shared.

The chairman PAEC said, “PIEAS has consistently been recognized by HEC and QS Asian Ranking as one of the top public sector universities in the engineering discipline. It has also launched bachelor level engineering programs and their graduates will soon be entering the productive stream of the country.”

He added, “At the higher level of learning, PAEC has been organizing the International Nathiagali Summer College (INSC) regularly since 1976, which offers the exchange of information on new frontiers of knowledge between the scientists of the West and those from the developing world.” He apprised the audience that PAEC is very active in collaboration with many international organizations like IAEA, CERN & ICTP. With CERN, the leader of basic research in the world, PAEC scientists, engineers and technicians are actively taking part in research at the frontiers of science.

Talking about PAEC’s research and development centres, he recalled the contribution of PINSTECH, one of the largest and premier R&D Centre of Pakistan, which continues to provide a sound knowledge-base for applied research and has contributed to the indigenous development of several products.

Throwing light on the contribution of PAEC in the field of ensuring food security, he said, “PAEC has established four agriculture research centres to promote food security and agriculture research. These agriculture centres have developed 88 new crop varieties to date.”

In the health sector, he added, PAEC has pioneered the use of nuclear technology for diagnostic and therapeutic use. 18 cancer hospitals of PAEC spread all over the country are providing services to more than eight hundred thousand patients annually in state of the art facilities.

He also mentioned the utilizing of nuclear technology for power production, for over four decades with an impeccable safety record.In the end, he thanked the support of the Planning Commission, SPD and HEC for developing a number of new laboratories and acquiring state-of-the-art equipment, which has enabled PIEAS to carry out advanced research in Pakistan.

He concluded with these remarks, “PIEAS has become a provider of quality manpower to all the strategic organizations of the country including PAEC itself, NESCOM, KRL, and PNRA.”He advised the graduating scholars to concentrate on the frontiers of knowledge to master the cutting-edge technologies. Earlier, Rector PIEAS told the audience that PIEAS acquired degree awarding status in year 2000 and within a short period of six years it was ranked as No.1 Engineering Institution of Pakistan by the Higher Education Commission (HEC). He praised his faculty as PIEAS consistently retained this prestigious position in the subsequent HEC rankings held in 2010 and 2013.It is to mention here that PIEAS has 143 regular fulltime faculty members. One hundred of which haveacquired PhD degrees from reputed universities of USA, Canada, UK, France, Germany, Japan, China and Australia.