Centre to enable world-class research in coal, energy and environment engineering through seven new research laboratories


A recently established state-of-the-art facility for research in coal technology, energy and environment engineering was formally inaugurated on Wednesday at Punjab University (PU) New Campus.

Punjab Minister for Higher Education Syed Raza Ali Gillani inaugurated the facility, which has been set up in the university’s Centre for Coal Technology.

The new facility will enable world-class research in coal, energy and environment engineering sector through seven new research laboratories equipped with latest research gadgets, pilot power plant, four new classrooms, conference room, PhD cluster room, faculty offices and computer labs.

Pakistan has vast natural reserves of coal the potential of which is yet to be fully exploited. It is being hoped that with the setting up this facility, researchers would be able to make key breakthroughs in technology that will help the country put the invaluable natural reserves to proper use.

Others present at the ceremony included Punjab Higher Education Commission Chairman Professor Dr Nizamuddin, PU Vice Chancellor (VC) Professor Dr Zafar Moeen Nasir, Punjab Curriculum and Textbook Board Chairman Lieutenant General (r) Muhammad Akram Khan, University of Sargodha former vice chancellor Professor Dr Muhammad Akram Chaudhry and Punjab Education Foundation Chairman Engineer Qamarul Islam Raja.

Member Punjab Assembly Dr Farzana Raja, Centre for Coal Technology Director Professor Dr Shahid Munir and several other deans and faculty members, besides a large number of students also attended the inauguration ceremony.

Addressing the attendants, Raza Gillani said Pakistan needed to utilise its natural coal resources so that it could counter the energy crisis through coal power. He said Pakistan had made rapid progress in a short time and no one would be able to defeat China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

The minister said a few neighbouring countries were worried over the development taking place in Pakistan, adding that Pakistan was a country of peaceful people and terrorism had nothing to do with Islam. He said the country’s youth must not feel disappointed as they were full of talent and needed to take the country forward by excelling in their respective fields. The minster also announced an honorarium for the faculty of Centre for Coal Technology.

Punjab HEC Chairman Professor Dr Nizamuddin appreciated the state-of-the-art coal research laboratories at Centre for Coal Technology and said such meaningful research institutions were in limited numbers at universities. He added that curriculum must be brought in line with existing technology and it was necessary to promote entrepreneurship programmes and linkages with industry.

PU VC Professor Dr Zafar Moeen Nasir appreciated Gillani’s support and patronage to PU administration in various research projects. Centre for Coal Technology Director Professor Dr Shahid Munir explained that the centre was the first institution in the country to offer MSc and MS in Coal Technology and MSc in Energy and Environment Engineering. He said the equipment at Centre for Coal Technology was in anyway comparable to the standards and facilities in high-tech European laboratories. He further said that it was a big challenge to produce environment-friendly energy, adding that power generated from coal would meet future energy needs of the country.

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