LUMS Electrical Engineering Students: Fulbright Scholars

Monday, November 5, 2012

Five students from the first batch of Electrical Engineering (EE) at Syed Babar Ali School of Science and Engineering (SBASSE), LUMS have received Fulbright scholarships for graduate studies in the United States of America (USA). The Fulbright Scholars from EE department, include Aneeq Zia, Muhammad Asif Rana, Taha Hassan, Faryal Qasim and Muhammad Ali Syed. University placements cycles are yet to start in Autumn 2013, which will then determine the universities the scholarship-winning students will attend for their graduate studies.

The Fulbright scholarship programme funds graduate studies in the United States for a Master’s or PhD degree, which will be funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). These grants cover tuition, required textbooks, airfare, a living stipend, and health insurance.

The scholarships and student placement in top US universities is a manifestation of the high quality education that LUMS students are receiving in Electrical Engineering and SBASSE, LUMS. The Fulbright scholars unanimously agreed that choosing LUMS for their undergraduate studies has played an important role in deciding their future graduate studies trajectories.        

Asif Rana who will attend a two-year MS in Electrical Engineering with the concentration in Control Systems, Robotics and Artificial Intelligence, shared that the Summer Internship offered by the faculty at LUMS, played a vital role in developing his resume. Aneeq Zia plans to pursue his MS in Electrical Engineering with specialisation in Autonomous Robotics which will be a two-year programme that might as well extend to three to four years if he opts for a Ph. D.

While appreciating the perfect mix of academics and extra-curricular activities provided at LUMS, Aneeq said, “LUMS provided me with a balanced academic environment in the form of tough academics, active student societies and opportunities for going abroad for research internships. This did not only make me technically sound but also induced confidence in me that gave me a well-rounded personality. The rich experience of four years I spent at LUMS prepared me well enough to become a strong candidate for the scholarship.”

Aneeq pointed out, “The faculty at LUMS has always extended their full support in helping me out with the application process for the scholarship. Apart from the guidance, the letter of recommendations from the research active faculty of LUMS really made a difference in attaining this scholarship.”

It is encouraging to see the interest of students in the research and development side, which is considered the path less taken by the students. Asif expressed his desire about setting up a Research and Development lab at LUMS. When Asif was asked about the benefits of his chosen field of specialisation, he emphasised on the importance of Research and Development (R&D) in Pakistan and said, “I have noticed the lack of R&D in the industrial sector of Pakistan. I want to focus mainly on the R&D side, which will enable local development of control and automation solutions for the industrial sector. This will help immensely in automating the industrial sector.”

Similarly, Aneeq also shared his future plans regarding setting up of a lab at LUMS and said, “LUMS currently does not have an Autonomous Robotics Lab which is my area of specialisation. Upon my return, I would like to set up a research lab in LUMS which would add another dimension to the research being carried out. In the broader picture, this would eventually help Pakistan attain technological advancements in several different fields.”

He went on and said, “With the recent earthquake and floods in mind, I plan to work on the development of Autonomous Search and Rescue Robots which can bring a significant improvement in Pakistan’s emergency response system.”

“Even though life is a tough nut to crack, even the hardest of the nuts can be cracked if you hit it at the right spot. Nothing is impossible in life as long as your approach is right. Believe that you can do it. Always believe that even sky is not the limit. Never give up and keep asking for more. Like Steve Jobs said, 'Stay hungry, stay foolish!'” is Aneeq’s take on life and its major decision.  

LUMS is proud of its SBASSE students, who like students from other schools at LUMS; Mushtaq Ahmad Gurmani School of Humanities and Social Sciences (MGSHSS) and Suleman Dawood School of Business (SDSB), are bringing in wonderful news regarding future placements in the job market and graduate studies in leading institutions across the world.