How do you feel about receiving the UGC Gold Medal for 2017?
When I received the news that I was nominated for the UGC Gold Medal for the year 2017, I was really pleased. I felt honored that our research work was recognized as a good enough fundamental research in the category of ‘Engineering and Technology’ by UGC, the apex constitutional body in Higher Education in Bangladesh. I also felt honored that I received the Gold Medal from the honorable President of Bangladesh Md Abdul Hamid.
Please share the job sectors of Electrical and Electronics Engineering (EEE) for the upcoming generation who are interested in pursuing a career in this discipline.
EEE graduates have huge opportunities to get job in both public and private sectors.They are regularly hired by major companies such as power generation, transmission and distribution companies (BPDB, EGCB, PGCB, DPDC, DESCO, REB) and the telecommunication companies (BTRC, BTCL, Teletalk, Grameenphone, Robi, Airtel, Banglalink). There are many national and multi-national companies available in Bangladesh in the ICT sector and they regularly need engineers from EEE discipline. There are many well known private companies available in Bangladesh which are manufacturing products related to power systems, renewable energy systems, embedded system, microprocessor and microcontroller based systems and these companies regularly hire EEE graduates. Moreover, EEE graduates have opportunities in Bangladesh Civil Services (BCSs) as well in different government organizations.
Tell us about your journey –what inspired you to pursue this profession?
It was really a long journey! It was my dream to get admitted to BUET during my higher secondary studies. Honestly speaking, I did not have any desire to become a teacher at that time. I did well in the BUET undergraduate admission test and enrolled in the EEE department. When I was a student in the institution, I found that a university teacher has huge opportunities to create, gather and share knowledge to and from both the students and societies through research, teaching, seminar, discussion and conference. These opportunities inspired me to become a university teacher. I worked hard to achieve my goals and now I am reaping the fruits of it.
According to you, to what extent students are enthusiastic in research and projects?
Engineering students are very enthusiastic in research and projects up to the implementation level. However, the facilities and opportunities available in our country are not sufficient in all areas to extend the research and projects. In most cases, the research works are limited to theoretical and simulation studies and the projects are limited to project board demonstrations.
What sort of extra-curricular and co-curricular activities can boost the students’ interest as well as skills in EEE?
All types of extra-curricular and co- curricular activities can boost the skills of students. For the EEE students, in addition to doing their class work, laboratory projects, participating in the debates, science and robotics club activity, project competitions, technical seminars and workshops can boost their knowledge, communication and problem solving skills significantly.
What are your perceptions about brain-drain from your discipline? Why does it happen? Why people after graduating from universities, consider the foreign lands as brighter career spots?
I believe that brain-drain from my discipline is significant and it is a massive loss for our country. Other than not getting the jobs as expected by our graduates, the poor quality of health, transport, housing and public services in our country compared to the developed countries is causing brain-drain.The carrier path in the developed courtiers like USA, Canada, UK and Australia are well defined where the skilled and hardworking employees with higher degree are getting higher salaries and positions. Most of the university graduates are capable and they are interested in higher degrees like masters or PhD. In contrast to that, due to lack of opportunities, graduates are getting mixed in the shuffle and as I mentioned before, they are not getting the jobs they desire.
What are the current problems faced by students (fresher & graduates) in this discipline? How can these be solved?
The course curriculum as well as the teaching and learning method at the university level is quite different from those in schools and colleges.The level and depth of the content of EEE studies are significantly high and sometimes, a course is taught following several books. A fresher faces difficulties to copewith the teaching and learning method of the university. Moreover, a change in teaching style from Bengali to English also causes problem to a fresher. Language barrier can be overcome by learning the English name for each of the science words in the text books of Bengali medium during the higher secondary study. During the graduate studies, students should read the text books followed by the course teachers and solve the related problems from the text books. EEE graduates face several problems due to lackings in communication skills, writing skills and lack of practical knowledge during the starting of their career. These problems can be solved by participating inmore extra-curricular and co- curricular activities during the graduate years. Moreover, EEE departments should arrangemore and more industrial visits and trainings for the students for gathering more practical knowledge.
At present, students of private universities are also giving a tough competition to the students of public universities in the job market. But have our job sectors in EEE kept pace in comparison to the graduates that are being produced?
Studies are absent on how many EEE graduates are needed in the public and private job sectors. Furthermore, there is no limitation, especially in the private universities, on how many students can be admitted in EEE program. So the number of EEE graduates is much higher than what is required and hence, there is a tough competition in the job market. This problem can be solved by creating more job positions for the EEE graduates or by making admission policy for students in EEE programs in all universities for creating proper balance between the number of students and the available job positions.