Brig.(R) Dr. Nasim Akhtar Khan, 533/Qasim

Dr. Nasim Akhtar Khan - 2004

By Kazi Zulkader Siddiqui, 671/Latif

Brig.(R) Dr. Nasim Akhtar Khan, kit no. 533/Qasim House joined Cadet College Petaro in 1964 and left the college in 1969 after completing his Intermediate.

He was born on 28 October 1952 and got married to (late) Mrs. Sadaf on 28 September 1980. They had 3 children - Sheeraz, Faraz and Anum. Sadaf Bhabi expired on 17 March 2005 due to an asthma attack.

A year later, Nasim then married Mrs. Shaheena. They have a daughter named Laraib.

Nasim is my batch mate (1964-1969), and he is probably one of the most vibrant of Petarians. When we parted in 1969, he was probably the shortest guy in our class. I never met him again for 26 years. And then when we met again in 1995, it was like we had never parted. He was now a tall guy - over 6feet tall.  It is amazing that he finally grew up after the age of 17.

And then I met Sadaf Bhabi. She was the light of his life. And I think I wouldn't be wrong to say that she was the one who took Nasim's spark to its heights. She seemed to be the driving force behind him. She was one of the most vibrant of personalities and one of the most caring and loving.  Though Nasim is no less, but her laughter and constant talk ring in my ears.  She was so full of life. She was amongst the most wonderful of people and had an impact on me the very first time I met her in 1995. 

Indeed she was the center of her family. I have yet to see a more loving couple than Nasim and Sadaf Bhabi.  It seemed like they were the life of any gathering - never ending. And I say this without any exaggeration. Her death had a great impact on all of us.

Nasim joined NED College in 1969 right after Petaro, and graduated with a degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1974. While he was still a student at NED, he had joined Pakistan Army in the EME Corps as well.

Over the next three decades, Nasim's career was closely linked with the Army. Despite this, he turned more and more towards academics and generation of new ideas and thoughts. Therefore, it was not surprising that he chose to do his M.S. and Ph.D. as well. In 1981, he proceeded to the University of Pittsburgh, and completed his M.S. in Energy Resources in 1983. He came back to Pakistan, but 5 years later in 1988 he got admission to the Colorado State University in the Ph.D. program. He completed this in 1992 with an emphasis on solar energy.

He was now a professor par excellence. He was inducted into the EME College, Rawalpindi as a professor, where he built a solar laboratory - the first of its kind in Pakistan. During those years, he was deep into research and development work and made prototypes of more than 20 different solar products with different applications like the solar heaters, shamsi mashks, solar cells, solar cookers, solar sterling engine, solar house, solar tents, solar roof insulation, solar stills, solar generators, solar pumps, etc. He had products for different types of markets. Many of these products were tested in different parts of Pakistan and in extreme climates like in the heights and cold of Siachen and the deserts of Sindh and Balochistan.

While he worked on solar energy, he got deeper into other areas of alternate energy as well. In particular, his work on wind energy, geothermal energy, bio-energy and other areas is of great importance.

During this period, he published a number of books and over 30 articles in journals of international repute. His first book was "Solar Energy Guide and Data Book for Pakistan" published in 1986 by the EME College. He was given the award for writing the Best Technical Book of the Year by the National Book Council.

He received a number of awards and research grants during this period. The organizations that supported his work include the Pakistan Science Foundation, UNESCO, Ministry of Science and Technology, Pakistan Army, WAPDA, Dr. A.Q. Khan, and Green Solar.

He remained professor of Mechanical Engineering at the EME College, Rawalpindi for many years. Then finally, when the Alternate Energy Development Board (AEDB) was created in 2003 under the Prime Minister's office, Nasim was given the position of Secretary of the Board. In this position, he was instrumental in developing an alternate energy policy for the country, promoting a program for development of wind farms, wind mapping of the country, and development of a bio-diesel policy for the country which was approved by the Economic Coordination Council of the Federal Cabinet in February 2008.

Nasim had come to the end of his career with the Pakistan Army, and he retired as a Brigadier in April 2008. At the same time, he also resigned from the AEDB to move to the pinnacle of his career.

Even before he resigned, he was picked up to become the Vice Chancellor of Hamdard University in Karachi. He now has a massive task ahead of him to make this university into one of the finest institutions in the country.

Nasim is recognized as one of the greatest authorities in Pakistan in alternate energy, and particularly in wind and solar energy. He is in great demand as a speaker at conferences and seminars on energy and alternate energy.

During the Golden Jubilee celebrations at Cadet College Petaro, Nasim delivered a lecture on alternate energy in Pakistan on 24 February 2007. You can see this lecture by clicking on to the following links:

  1. "Alternate Energy in Pakistan" part 1
  2. "Alternate Energy in Pakistan" part 2
  3. "Alternate Energy in Pakistan" part 3

It is an honour for me to be the batch mate of Dr. Nasim Akhtar Khan.

Cadet Nasim Akhtar 1969