Technical Writing and Presentation Workshop

Engineers always have to work in a multidimensional environment and deal with administrators, executives, vendors, scientists, architects as well as with other disciplines of engineers. Communication skills in written and oral forms are therefore essential for technical personnel. In addition, technical com-munication skill is necessary to disseminate acquired knowledge and experience among various audiences.

Engineers are generally taught to solve engineering problems and usually lack proper communication skills. Need for technical communication as a part of engineering curricula was first realized by Society for the Promotion of Engineering Education (SPEE) in 1901 and expressed through the statement: “The writing skills of engineering students are deplorable and need to be addressed by the engineering colleges” . Colleges and universities worked on the comment and introduced courses on technical writing and presentation. However, we are still standing almost hundreds year behind and lacking any form of formal education on technical communication.

Dr. Mohidus Samad Khan from Monash University, Australia (currently working in the Department of Chemistry in McGill University, Montreal, Canada) came forward with a praiseworthy offer of a day-long workshop for the students and fresh graduates of Chemical Engineering department.

The workshop was jointly organized by ChemicalBUET, BUET Chemical Engineering Forum and Department of Chemical Engineering, BUET.

About the Instructor

Dr. Mohidus Samad Khan is a Chemical/Biochemical engineer and scientist working as a Post Doctoral Fellow in the Department of Chemistry, McGill University, Montreal, Canada. His current research project is on ‘Bioactive Papers’ which aims to develop high quality bioassays and paper diagnostics for health and environmental purposes. Dr. Khan has received his PhD from the Department of Chemical Engineering, Monash University in 2009. While working in Monash University, Dr. Khan and his co-researchers developed the first ‘dipstick’ test for instantaneous blood typing; it is a paper diagnostics, which costs just a few pennies to manufacture and can promote health in developing countries. He won Australian national award (AusBiotech-GSK Student Excellence Award, 2009) for his PhD research in life science and biotechnology. He completed his BSc Chemical Engineering from BUET in 2004. Dr. Khan’s research interest extended to Engineering Education and Environmental Engineering; he worked as an environmental engineer and consultant in his professional career. Dr. Khan has authored several research publications in prestigious journals and international conferences. He has also authored few industrial reports, inter-national patents, book-let and book-chapter.

In the workshop the instructor essentially focused on the conference and journal article preparation method and publication. Article structures, manuscript preparation, writing style, citation and bibliography were covered. Differences between different types of articles (e.g. review, short communications, letters, new articles etc.) were presented. Later on, he lectured about conference poster and podium presentation methods. Available softwares (Endnote®, Bibus etc) for citation and listing were also discussed in the workshop. Endnote® and it’s applications for preparing bibliographic database and managing different bibliographic styles for various journals and conferences articles were demonstrated in the workshop.

The workshop ended with focusing on thesis writing since most of the attendees were third and fourth year students.

Samples of different types of articles were provided as workshop material.

Post-workshop evaluation showed that the lecture was overwhelmingly appreciated by the attendees. “This initiative helped many of us to realize the differences between different academic publications and there implications relative to higher studies”, said Md. Maqsudur Rahman Chowdhury, one of the participants. B. M. Sirajeel Arifin added, “An important outcome of the workshop is that now we understand the significance of publishing in time along with performing the research”. The participants also requested for arranging such workshops on regular basis. Few participants requested to upload workshop lectures and supporting materials available on ChemicalBUET web-site for future references.


To cite this article, please use following information:

(use the given format or any standard citation format)

Kabir, K.B., Technical Writing and Presentation Workshop, ChE Thoughts 1 (1), 33-34, 2010.


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