Never Give up, Never Give in, Fight to Finish!

When talking to Dr AKMA Quader there is another presence: an aura of diligence and determination. Born in the village of Shoriotpur, Dr Quader graduated from the Department of Chemical Engineering, BUET in the year 1967. He earned his PhD. from the University of Bradford, London. During his academic years in London, Dr Quader formed the first ever Bangladesh student society and as president took forward many social activities.

On completion of is degree, Dr Quader was offered a lectureship at the university. However the same year the liberation war of Bangladesh was declared and Dr Quader sacrificed the lectureship for his involvement in the war.

Dr Quader started his career with a research organization in Bangladesh. Finding the prospect of research in chemical engineering gloomy and unpromising, he decided to join BUET as a teacher. He also worked at Chittagong Urea Fertilizer Limited (CUFL) as a design manager. However after two years of service at CUFL, he resumed as a teacher in BUET.

Author, academic and engineer, Dr Quader endeavored success in various fields. He has published more than 30 technical and research papers and presented more than 50 papers at international and national conferences, conventions and workshops. He was a consultant to organizations like BCIC, ERL, Petrobagla, BFSIC, for more than 35 years. Dr Quader established an incineration facility at KRC for processing of carbon disulfide for safe disposal. Since the year 2002, Dr Quader has prepared several papers for the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) dealing with the gas and energy sectors of Bangladesh. He has also implemented a chlorine based textile wastewater treatment process for the textile dyeing and finishing mills. “ChE Thoughts” gets face to face with this visionary engineer and academic who never deliberated to pursue teaching and who has a craving for good food!

Beyond the energy crisis what is the one single problem facing the world today?

When it’s about the world today there cannot be one single problem. The question of unequal distribution of resources in the developed and developing countries, globalization giving upper hand to developed countries only, price manipulation by the developed countries hampering the economic growth and corruption globally are the problems of the world.

Over the years you have devoted a lot of time to teaching. What other activities, if any, have you devoted yourself to?

Most of my activities are concerning the common people. I contributed to the development of education, electricity, roads and irrigation in my locality. One of the activities, that I consider the most significant, was my involvement in the Liberation War of 1971.

As a teacher what experiences do you think you have missed that ordinary people have?

Teaching gives the scope of meeting young and fresh minds that other people usually don’t get. It’s amazing to see how these bright minds grow to be diligent and successful. It is through this profession that I have found true sense of independence, setting my own rules and programs without conflict. I enjoy every moment of it, learning with my students by exploiting their creativity and innovation.

What would you say is your greatest strength and your greatest weakness?

My greatest strength, I would say is perseverance and diligence. And my greatest weakness is good food!

Some of us feel you would have made a good professional “lawyer” if you were not to become a teacher. What other jobs do you think you would have enjoyed?

Probably you are right! Firstly, I never intended to be a teacher. I wanted to work for a research or chemical engineering design company. After completing PhD, when I returned to Bangladesh in 1972, I started my career with a research organization. However I decided to leave the organization finding the prospects of research in chemical engineering not hopeful and worthwhile at the time in Bangladesh. So I decided to join BUET and after ten years of teaching I resigned and joined Chittagong Urea Fertilizer Limited (CUFL) as a design manager. After two years of service at CUFL, I joined BUET again.

So you can be said to have had a taste of both, working as a teacher and a design manager. Which one did you like the most?

Yes, both. Teaching keeps me young and alive. On the other hand, working at CUFL as design manager made me matured as an engineer. The two years of service at CUFL was a rich experience, so much so that it helped me write my book “Design and Building of Process Plants” to bridge the gap between theory and practice of chemical engineering in Bangladesh.

How do you relax after a long day?

After a long day I usually relax by reading, watching nature pro-grams or listening to soft music. I also play bridge at the BUET club and from time to time write on current issues for The Daily Star.

Do you have a favourite saying /song that you use in life?

Never give up, never give in, fight to finish!

Are there any important figures you would want to meet?

There are many, dead and live. Amongst them I would love to meet Nelson Mandela.

How would you like to be remembered?

[laughs] That is difficult to tell. However I would love to be remembered as ”A Chemical Engineer”.


To cite this article, please use following information:

(use the given format or any standard citation format)

Sultana, F., Never Give up, Never Give in, Fight to Finish: Prof Dr AKMA Quader, ChE Thoughts 1 (1), 25-26, 2010.


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