Vice Chancellor - Prof. Dr. Hassan Amir Shah, Sitara-i-Imtiaz

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Engineering NEWS



Smart devices put on display at GCU


The engineering students from different universities including Information Technology University Lahore (ITU) put on display their self-made smart devices, robots and innovative technologies at the Annual Projects Exhibition (APEX 2017), organized by the Electrical Engineering Department of Government College University Lahore.


About 21 smart devices were put on display which included a military spying robot, power distribution system for satellite, automatic solar irrigation system, autonomous self-balancing robot, visible light communication system, wireless water quality monitoring system and object positioning robotic arm with auto path-finding vehicle system.     


Speaking on the occasion, Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Hassan Amir Shah said these students representing different universities had worked hard on over the past semester or two on these projects ranged from power electronics to surveillance and embedded systems. He said that different companies and funding agencies were also invited to APEX 2017 to witness and fund theses student projects. The Vice Chancellor also guided the students about the further research on their projects.


GCU Electrical Engineering Department Chairperson Dr Junaid Zafar said knowledge was nothing without its practical implementation, and new knowledge was created through the process of disseminating and applying existing knowledge. He said GCU APEX did not only provide opportunities the outgoing students to demonstrate their knowledge and technical skills to the companies but also educate and motivate the other students to come up with more innovative ideas and technologies. He said that around five private universities were also participating in the APEX 2017.


GCU Dean Faculty of Engineering and Technology Prof Dr Raiz Ahmed said that the market has become highly competitive for the engineers, and so have to be highly innovative and technically sound to survive. He said thousands of engineers were jobless in the country, so they were needed to be motivated and guided towards entrepreneurship. 


Later, the object positioning robotic arm developed by the team of GCU students secured the first position and cash award at the APEX 2017. Briefing the audience, the GCU students Rana Zeeshan Ahmed and Azeem Rasheed said that system included a servo-controlled robotic arm that carries and places objects at the positions on the vehicles. They said that it could be used in packaging industry, and also in operation theaters to carry surgical equipment and act as a helper.


The military spying robot having different detection sensors secured the second position. It was developed by the students of a private university. The wireless control unit of induction motor was adjudicated third.




Conference on future prospects of clean energy in Pakistan


Speakers at a conference at the Government College University Lahore on “future prospects of clean energy in Pakistan” laid a stress on research on producing clean energy from indigenous resources. The one-day conference was organised by the university Electrical Engineering Department where eminent industrialists and energy experts presented different views about the challenges faced by Pakistan and other under-developing countries in going green for their energy requirements.


In his opening remarks, Engr Almas Haider, the former member Engineering Development Board and NTDC, said energy security should be Pakistan’s priority instead of just clean energy. “We should prefer generating energy from our available resources whether its coal, wind or solar instead of relying on imports,” he said. 


Engr Haider, who developed the ‘Engineering Vision 2012 for Pakistan’, said that Pakistan had been importing about $14b oil and gas every year which was the root cause all foreign loan. He said that in case of war Pakistan could face severe energy crisis. He said the previous governments in Pakistan had only added oil power generation projects, and even power generation plants had been installed away from the power consumption centers without any planning. However, he said that, slowly things are improving now and future would be certainly better.  He said that Pakistan had huge potential for coal power production, and now technology for producing power from all kinds of coal was available. He said that world over countries had been producing power from even least efficient coals.


However, Pakistan Engineering Council Chairman Engr. Jawed Salim Qureshi believed that Pakistan was moving in opposite direction from the world in energy sector, where smart grids were getting popular with energy source on the rooftop of very house or building causing no line-losses of billions of rupees and transportation cost. “Use the energy you want, and send the excess to the national grid via smart meters. This is what the world is planning or doing,” he said. Engr. Qureshi also said that the sustainable energy solution for Pakistan was only in solar, wind and hydropower mix. “We don’t need energy from any other source in the long term,” he said, laying a stress on the government to build national consensus on all dams including Kalabagh.


The PEC Chairman said that engineers were the only community in Pakistan which didn’t yet get service structure. He said that there were 50,000 jobless engineers in Pakistan, and demanded the government to announce national internship program for the engineers. He said that PEC had made it mandatory for all CPEC projects to appoint seventy percent of the engineers from Pakistan. “And, I assure we will get this clause implemented,” he said.


Talking about accreditation process for universities’ engineering programs, the PEC chairman said that “it is very unfortunate for Pakistan that education has developed as one of the most profitable businesses here, and there are very few private institutions which are working truly for the promotion of education.


Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Hassan Amir Shah said GCU had been seriously deliberating on going solar, and would soon initiate a pilot project in this regard. He said that GCU electrical engineering program was relatively new, but their first few batches of graduates had done very well in the market.


Dr Nouman Zafar, Associate Professor of LUMS, said the energy production was not the only challenge for Pakistan where there had been a century old manmade evolving power distribution system. He also laid a stress on using advanced technologies for real time load management and controlling power theft. He said that solar smart grids could only become successful in Pakistan if a group of consumers are integrated into a micro smart grid at the community level which would reduce per consumer cost as well.


GCU Electrical Engineering Chairman Dr Juniad Zafar said the electrical power distribution network in Pakistan was a complex system with many geographical regions suffering from blackout, limited and intermittent supply. He said that investment in mega-scale solar energy generation projects could help mitigate these supply related problems and counterbalance the country’s growing dependence on imported oil. GCU Dean Faculty of Engineering Prof Dr Raiz Ahmad, Dr Syed Aun Abbas, Engr. Suleman Najeeb, Engr. Shahid Hussain and Dr Hassa J. Zaidi also addressed the seminar on the topics of rural grid evolution, challenges for hydropower generation and wind as renewable energy source.






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