5 Pakistani Scientists You Should Know Of
A revolutionary researcher in natural product Chemistry, Salimuzzaman Siddiqui made indispensable contributions in the research of chemical compounds in naturally occurring organisms. He introduced the medical benefits of unique chemical compounds in Neem, Rauwolfia, and other naturally occurring plants of Southeast Asia.
He received his BA in Philosophy and Persian language from Aligarh Muslim University. He attended University College London, before transferring to Frankfurt University where he attained his Doctorate in Chemistry.
His academic achievements netted him the opportunity to establish and head the Pakistan Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, which was of immense importance in the industrialization of Pakistan after partition. Without his contributions, Pakistan would not have come as far as it has today. He passed away in the year 1994 at the age of 96 in Karachi.
Ahmad Hasan Dani
Pakistan is home to many ancient civilizations, the most prominent among them being the Indus Valley Civilization. Given the rich cultural history buried deep within this country, it is of paramount importance that the many cultural heritage sites across the country be preserved. Ahmad Hasan Dani, an archaeologist, historian, and linguistic, dedicated his life to Central Asian and South Asian archaeology and history.
He graduated with a Master’s degree from Banaras Hindu University, and a doctorate in Archaeology from University College London. During this time, he trained as an Archaeologist under eminent Archaeologist Mortimer Wheeler.
He headed excavation works on pre-Indus Valley Civilization sites, and lead a team of UNESCO scientists researching the Desert Route Expedition of the Silk Road in China, and the Steppe Route Expedition of the Silk Road in USSR. Later in his life, he conducted the renovations of Lahore and Peshawar Museum. He passed away in the year 2009 at the age of 88 in Islamabad.
Rafi Muhammad Chaudry
Experimental physics is concerned with observing physical phenomena and experiments. It plays an important role in understanding nuclear fission and fusion. Rafi Muhammad Chaudry was a nuclear physicist who laid down the foundations for experimental nuclear physics research in Pakistan, which consequently played an integral role in accelerating Pakistan’s nuclear program.
Chaudry began his journey in academia by obtaining a Bachelor’s in experimental physics and a Master’s in physics from Pakistan. He then went onto to get his PhD in nuclear physics from the University of Cambridge. When he returned to Pakistan, he established the High Tension Laboratory, where he set up the Cockcroft-Walton accelerator, thus allowing Pakistan to conduct basic research in nuclear physics.
He was the first director of Pakistan Institute of Nuclear Science and Technology, where he installed a nuclear particle accelerator. He passed away in the year 1988 at the age of 85 in Lahore.
On 28th of May, 1998, Pakistan conducted its first successful nuclear weapons test, Chagai-I, followed by another successful test two days later, Chagai-II. At the helm of these tests was nuclear physicist Samar Mubarakmand, who led the test teams for both Chagai-I and Chagai-II.
After getting his Bachelor’s and Master’s in physics from Government College University, Mubarakmand continued his studies at Oxford on a scholarship, where he completed his PhD in experimental physics. He engaged in detailed research on gamma ray spectrometer during his studies.
After returning to Pakistan, Mubarakmand joined the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission, where he contributed with his expertise in experimental physics. He built a linear particle accelerator to help resolve issues in the neutron generator. He was appointed as the director of the Diagnostic Group, the team responsible for conducting experimental testing of Pakistan’s atomic weapons. Due to his tireless efforts, Pakistan was able to fast track its nuclear program in time for experimental testing to take place.
A Computer Scientist and Entrepreneur, Umair Saif grew up in Lahore where he received his BSc in Computer Science from LUMS, and his PhD in Computer Science from the University of Cambridge. He is affiliated with MIT, where he formed an integral part of the team which worked on an Artificial Intelligence research venture, Project Oxygen.
Umar Saif’s greatest service to Pakistan lies in his Entrepreneurship. We live in an age where Startups can significantly impact economic and social spheres of life. A strong startup culture does much to elevate a country on an international scale. His excellence in Academia and his unbridled Entrepreneurial spirit has kindled the rising Startup culture in Pakistan. He has inspired many young Pakistani Entrepreneurs at his incubator, Saif Centre Incubator, and has been at the helm of successful startups such as BitMate, a BitTorrent client centered around low-bandwidth users, and See’n’report, Pakistan’s first community-powered journalism service.
Written by Farzyab Gohar