Searching for Sustainability: Prof Dr Ijaz Hossain

Professor Dr. Ijaz Hossain is one of the senior most professors of the Chemical Engineering Department of Bangladesh University Of Engineering and Technology (BUET), Dhaka. He is a successful academic, researcher and engineer consultant. His research interests are related to energy sector, in particular, the efficient combustion of fossil fuels, efficient utilization of biomass and energy efficiency. He has more than 30 national and international journal articles and over fifty international conference publications. He has been a guest lecturer of many universities both abroad and in the country.

In his academic career he has consistently maintained his academic excellence right from his childhood. He started off as a lecturer in the chemical engineering department, BUET in the year 1980 and reached the apex of his teaching career in the year 1993 by becoming the head of Petroleum and Mineral Re-sources Engineering Department, BUET followed by head of Chemical Engineering Department, BUET in the year 2001-2003 and 2009. During his headship he had worked very hard for the welfare of the department and brought about many changes in order to enrich student’s caliber by conducting various seminars and promoting multidimensional competitions among the students. He had been very active in meeting students’ requirements and had encouraged various co-curricular activities. In addition to being a professor he is also regarded as an expert of Bangladesh energy sector having wide ranging specialization.

Don’t confuse fame with success. Madonna is one; Helen Keller is the other. To attain success one has to set himself to fire and not wait for the results of spontaneous combustion. Success is not all that I crave for ,what I crave for is excellence and once I have achieved that I will be able to leave an impact in the society and success will come to me at it’s own pace.

He was asked to share with us his success story. He said humbly, “Just by being recognized in the country doesn’t mean being successful. Don’t confuse fame with success. Madonna is one; Helen Keller is the other. To attain success one has to set himself to fire and not wait for the results of spontaneous combustion”, (laughs),”Success is not all that I crave for, what I crave for is excellence and once I have achieved that I will be able to leave an impact in the society and success will come to me at its own pace”.

Born in the city of Dhaka in 1956 his one and only dream right from his childhood was to be a successful Chemical Engineer. According to him chemical engineering is a multi-disciplinary subject. He said that he is fortunate enough to be involved successfully in many national and inter-national projects that are purely based on chemical engineering. He earned his BSc (1980) and MSc (1983) in Chemical Engineering from BUET and PhD in Chemical Engineering from University College London, London (1987). Soon after completing his PhD he planned to come back Bangladesh with the thought of accomplishing something worthwhile for the country which many young stars do not think nowadays once they go abroad for higher studies.

He possesses over 15 years of experience in the field of chemical engineering with an emphasis on energy and environment both as a teacher/researcher and as a consultant engineer. In these practicing years he has traveled widely, overseas as well as different parts in Bangladesh. He participated in several international trainings, field tours, workshops, seminars and conferences on energy related issues, such as energy modeling, discounted cash flow analysis of energy value chain, etc. He therefore, possesses a solid foundation in fossil fuel technology as well as alternatives in energy sector development.

Since 1990, he has been heavily involved in Climate Change activities, pertaining especially to energy related matters. In recent years, he has been involved in the gas sector of Bangladesh. A team of energy analysts from the Chemical and Petroleum Engineering Departments of BUET has been studying several aspects of Bangladesh gas sector including demand forecast, reserves growth and utilization of gas. He is an active member of the Reserves Committee and Gas Utilization Committee. He is also one of the directors of Bangladesh Petroleum Exploration Company Limited (BAPEX). He has been an advisor to the Department of Environment, GoB on Climate Change issues, particularly on GHG (green house gas) emission inventory, mitigation options and CDM (clean development mechanism). He is also working as an expert for several international organizations such as IPCC (Intergovernmental panel on climate change), UNFCCC (United Nation Framework Convention on Climate Change), UNDP (United Nation Development Program) Headquarters and UNEP (United Nation Environmental Program). He has been engaged in several projects related to mitigation of GHG, most important of which is the ALGAS (Asia Least-Cost Greenhouse Gas Abatement Strategy) project. The ALGAS project was a multi-million dollar high profile project funded by GEF-UNDP and executed by ADB. In 2008 he was awarded a certificate by IPCC (Intergovernment Panel on Climate Change) in recognition of the contributions towards the IPCC winning the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. He is also engaged in a GEF (global environment facility) project to improve Brick Making Energy Efficiency. He participated in Plastics Waste Recycling Strategy, 2007 in association with Waste Concern and funded by Swiss contact KATALYST.

He was asked about one of the burning issues of Bangladesh that is whether setting up of a nuclear power plant is beneficial for Bangladesh. He replied, “I am an anti nuclear person” he explained in support of his answer that Bangladesh is not yet ready technologically and lacks security. Such a step can be taken when all the energy sectors will be procured and when Bangladesh attains political stability. He is also disquieted about the present energy crisis prevailing in Bangladesh. He added that setting up of a RDF (refuse derived fuel) plant which will not only be one of the potential solutions to energy crisis but also serve as a package solution to unemployment problems and handling solid wastes.

According to Prof. Ijaz such an RDF plant would produce energy of 500MW by the year 2020. He explained that bio fuel can be generated from waste water. He also added,” Government thinks this amount is very minute but I am sure one day such small drops of water would make up large ocean.”

He was been asked how he would describe himself in three words; he answered (smiling) “Searching for sustainability”. He expressed ,” The earth has become very unsustainable these days .Today though children grow up in a very technologically sound environment but they face a lot of environmental limitations which acts as a hindrance in their proper physical growth and creates a distressing impact in their social life hampering their healthy mental growth. Unlike the children of our times who grew up not in a very technological luxury but in a very natural glory as a result they had a peaceful social life and a clean mental growth. Almost everyone is passing through the same phase today that is searching for sustainability with the aspiration that someday we will be able to make earth-our motherland a better place to live in”.


To cite this article, please use following information:

(use the given format or any standard citation format)

Priyanka, T.T., Searching for Sustainability: Prof Dr Ijaz Hossain, ChE Thoughts 2 (2), 36-38, 2011.


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