Pakistani scientist Wasif Farooq wins prestigious research award in Germany


Wasif Farooq, an Assistant Professor at School of Chemical and Materials Engineering, NUST, has won the prominent research award ‘Green Talents – International Forum for High Potentials in Sustainable Development’ in Germany. His project ‘The integration of micro-algal biotechnology with fossil fuel based power plants for improved CO2 capture in bio-fuel production’ was chosen for the award by the highly-ranked jury of German experts.

The award ceremony was held under the supervision of German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and extremely competent judges; all have won a number of research awards. Minister Professor Johanna Wanka arranges the Green Talent Award every year to encourage the young researchers who’re trying to provide innovative solutions for a sustainable future. The winners are chosen from diverse academic backgrounds. The aim of the forum is gather the brilliant minds from around the world at one place where they can contribute significantly towards a sustainable future.

More than 750 candidates from 104 countries had submitted their projects for the Green Talents. The honorable jury has chosen 25 projects for this year’s award from 22 different countries. Here’s the list of all the awardees. Wasif, 35, has contributed significantly towards the betterment of global society through his project. Especially, looking at the prospects of utilizing the solution in a 3rd world country like Pakistan, Wasif has given Pakistan the stepping stone to switch to renewable energy sources, which seems an impossible thing otherwise.

Carbon capture and storage via energy-efficient mechanism unlike fossil fuels, and generating green energy using algal biotechnology is the theme of his research. It is a major breakthrough not just for Pakistan but also for the entire world. It holds particular significance for Pakistan which is way behind others in adopting energy-efficient innovative solutions. Micro-algae provides a clean carbon storage environment and can also lead to green energy generation.

Wasif has a PhD from Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) which was fully funded by the HEC as well as KAIST. Having featured in several eminent journals, Wasif has been a faculty member at SCME, NUST, Islamabad as an Assistant Professor since 2015. The honorable jury at the Conference was very pleased with his efforts which, according to them, will go a long way in helping Pakistan achieve a sustainable future.

Wasif is just one example. There are so many brilliant minds in Pakistan, which can help Pakistan achieve its sustainable development goals and overcome all prevailing challenges, given the right direction is shown to them. Our government needs to appreciate such enthusiasts and it will help Pakistan in the longer run without a doubt.





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