r Hafiz Muhammad Ali, an associate professor of Mechanical Engineering at University of Engineering and Technology Taxila (UET Taxila) has won the ‘Best Young Research Scholar Award’ for 2017 in the Engineering category. He was conferred the honor at the 7th HEC Outstanding Research Award Ceremony held the other day. The award is of immense value to scholars competing for the honor as there is only one award reserved in the Engineering Category for ‘Best Young Research Scholar’ across all of Pakistan.

Dr Ali is a noted faculty member at UET Taxila having thermal sciences, heat transfer and solar energy as areas of interest. Over the years, he has supervised several undergrad and postgrad students and his work, more than 100 papers, have been featured in various reputed international journals. Dr Ali has also represented UET Taxila and Pakistan at several international and national conferences as an invited speaker and delivered numerous keynote talks.

Besides the latest feather in his cap, Dr Ali has also had the honor of receiving HEC’s Best Research Paper Award (2013/2014) and Research Productivity Award by Pakistan Council of Science and Technology (2016-17).

Pakistani researchers should be focusing on local and national problems, especially in the fields of energy, water, textile and agriculture.

Talking to Academia Magazine, Dr Ali said the HEC Best Young Research Scholar Award in Engineering category was awarded to scholars working in the field of mechanical engineering based on article publications in ISI impact factor journals, paper presentations, keynote and invited talks delivered at national and international conferences, H-Index citations of the recipient and extensive supervision of postgraduate students.

Asked if Pakistani scholars/researchers got enough appreciation for their efforts, the academic said although Pakistani scholars received appreciation in the form of project funding by various bodies, the government should go a step further to facilitate scholars by providing them jobs worthy of their achievements, as an absence of the same was leading to brain drain at a national level.

Commenting on the importance of such awards, he said many young faculty members in Pakistani universities were actively involved in research and such recognition of their efforts played a vital role in encouraging them to continue research to find solutions to complex problems. Besides, such awards project a scholar at the national level.

On the issue of research, Dr Ali said Pakistani researchers should be focusing on local and national problems, especially in the fields of energy, water, textile and agriculture.

“The development of solutions and products at local level is the need of the hour to mitigate unemployment and government should take initiatives to facilitate small start-up businesses run by young professionals,” he added.

Apart from his academic duties, Ali is also actively involved with editorial duties at several international journals, notably Journal of Thermal Analysis and Calorimetry, Journal Thermal Science and Journal of Mechanical Engineering.

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