NED Engineering Alumni Celebrates ’Varsity’s Long History and Rich Heritage
By Riaz Haq
President, NED Alumni Association of Silicon Valley

What: NED University of Engineering and Technology Alumni Convention
When: Saturday, Sept 8, 2007
Where: San Jose, California
Attendees: Open to all Nedians and Non-NEDians
Registration: Register online at www.nedians.org or call 1-888-267-5951


Riaz Haq

NED University of Engineering and Technology is the alma mater to thousands of NEDians currently residing in North America with hundreds of them in and around Silicon Valley, the high-tech hub of the world. Established in 1921 as the Prince of Wales College, it was renamed in 1942 after a Parsee philanthropist Mr. Nadirshaw Edulji Dinshaw. Until 1977 when it became a university in its own right, it was affiliated with various universities including Bombay University, Sindh University and Karachi University in successive periods before and after Pakistan’s independence. It remains one of the oldest and best-known institutions of higher learning in Pakistan with a large number of very successful alumni as testament to its rich and glorious heritage. Hundreds of these alumni are gathering in Silicon Valley on Sept 8, 2007 to celebrate it.
Looking at the worlds of high-technology, engineering, finance, journalism, writing, sports, music, politics or business, you will find NEDians making their mark. Among the sports personalities, you will find famous names such as cricketers Saeed Anwar and Rashid Latif, Asian games swimming medalist Asif Kausar, and national hockey player Hasan Sardar. Among the published authors we have Dr. Naveed Sherwani with a book on chip design and Imran Qureshi with a book on Cisco Internetworking, Ali Hasan Cemendtaur with several books to his credit, just to name a few. In the world of music and entertainment, you know and love NEDians Mohammad Ali Shehki, Ali Haider and actor Mazhar Ali who have made their presence felt. In the world of finance you have a recognizable NEDian Zakir Mahmood as the CEO of Habib Bank, one of the largest banks in Pakistan and Mohammad Aboobaker, former Intel executive and venture capitalist in Silicon Valley. In academia, we have Professor Ali Minai at University of Cincinnati and Dr. Khalid Razzaqi at Illinois State and many more. It may come as a surprise to some of you that Arif Mansouri, the managing editor of this newspaper, is an NEDian.
Recently, several young NEDians have made their names as successful entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley. Of particular note are Raghib Hussain of Cavium which recently went public on NASDAQ, Naveed Sherwani of Open Silicon which is likely to go public soon, Rehan Jalil of Wichorus, a high-profile mobile WiMax start-up that just raised its second round VC funding of $25m. These are just a few names from a long list of very successful NEDian businesses and executives found in the Valley.
Other NED Alumni have had major impact in shaping this high-tech valley through their contributions at well known local companies such as Cisco Systems, Intel and Sun. Whether it is Intel CPUs, VIA chipsets, Sun Servers, Cavium Security processors, Cisco routers, Diebold or NCR ATMs, you will find NED Alumni fingerprints in creating these products and systems. So many of the advances in Chipset technology and Network Security Processors can be attributed to VIA and VP-Net; both these companies were co-founded by NEDians, Idris Kothari and Saeed Kazmi. Some of the VPNet alumni started Cavium. Earlier, Saeed, Idris and Zoaib Rangwalla served on the advisory board of another high-flying company called Exodus. Zoaib served as their first CFO. More recently, Idris and Saeed have a new start-up called Vertical Systems in the area of hospitality computing. In the field of manufacturing, there is NexLogic, founded by Zulki Khan, an NEDian. In the field of systems and software, away from the semiconductor tradition of Silicon Valley and highly successful without any venture funding, is Infonox (founded by Dr. Safwan Shah, an NEDian). Infonox is a market and technology leader in the delivery of complex financial services on Kiosks, ATM’s and other point of service devices. Each of these companies can boast of many fortune 500 customers and millions of users. Cumulatively, these companies and products have added economic value worth billions of dollars.
In addition to the well-known start-ups and mega successes, there are dozens of NED alumni who work in many Silicon Valley high-tech companies that are shaping the future.
You will see many of our well-known alumni in attendance at this convention.
Reasons to attend



NED University of Engineering and Technology, Karachi

Besides the sumptuous Pakistani food catered by a Pakistani restaurant, nostalgic Pakistani music by NEDians and unique comedy by British-Pakistani comedian Shazia Mirza, the most important reason to attend for NED alumni is to socialize and network with other NEDians from around the world whom you may not have a chance to meet otherwise. For non-NEDians, it is an opportunity to get to know successful NEDians with a view to forming business and personal relationships. The value of social networking is not always obvious but it is beginning to be recognized more and more with the success of both online and face-to-face networking with the advent of Web 2.0 and various associations and clubs catering to specific interests. Another reason is to hear keynotes by well-known educator and speaker Dr. Pervez Hoodbhoy of Quaid-i-Azam University, NEDian and mega-developer business executive Aftab Siddiqui of Paragon Constructors from Karachi, Pakistan and great panels with fellow NEDians of distinction. Where else would you hear a discussion of “NED to NASDAQ” or “NED’s Heritage” or “Life beyond Engineering”?
This is truly a unique opportunity for both NEDians and non-NEDians.
A word about our sponsors:
Many of our alumni and friends have come forward to help fund this event. These are companies either owned or run by NEDians or in some cases generous individual NEDians have come forward and offered both time and money to make it a success. So far, we have Infonox, Jersey Precast, Nexlogic, K2 Ventures, Vertical Systems, Wichorus, Jeewanjee Insurance, Pakistan Link, Koshish Foundation, Taj Mahal Imports, Raghib Husain & Muder Kothari (Cavium cofounders) and Badar Baqai (semiconductor veteran and former VP at Fujitsu and LSI Logic). This list continues to grow as we get closer to Sept 8, 2007.
The Future
Yesterday’s excellence is today’s standard and tomorrow’s mediocrity. In science and technology, the bar is being constantly raised. So, along with the well-deserved celebration and genuine pride in our alma mater, we will talk about the present and the future of NED as an institution of higher learning. As NEDians and Pakistanis, we all have a big stake in the continued success of this institution and we will talk about how we can help it. Our keynote speaker Dr. Hoodbhoy has been focusing on ways of improving science and technology education in Pakistan. He has done a lot of research on this subject and looked at our neighbor India’s IIT system’s success. His insights will be helpful to us in coming up with specific, concrete ideas and plans in this pursuit of world-class competitiveness. This convention will help kick off a conversation that can lead to a serious, concerted effort to improve science and technology education for Pakistanis. In this day and age, the future of Pakistan depends on our success in science and technology as a nation. The stakes here are very high. Pakistan’s economic competitiveness, its political independence, its national security and its very survival as a civil society in this brave new world depend on the strength of its education system and the product of its schools. It is a huge challenge. We need to show that we are up to this challenge.
More information:
Please visit www.nedians.org for more details.
About the author:
Riaz Haq is the President of the NED Alumni Association of Silicon Valley and Chairman of the Convention 2007 steering committee. Riaz has more than 25 years experience in the hi-tech industry. Riaz has been on the faculties of Rutgers University and NED Engineering University. He has co-founded two high-tech startups, Cautella, Inc. and DynArray Corp and managed multi-million dollar P&Ls.
Riaz is a pioneer of the PC and mobile businesses and he has held senior management positions in hardware and software development of Intel’s microprocessor product line from 8086 to Pentium processors. Riaz's experience includes senior roles in marketing, engineering and business management. Riaz was recognized as “Person of the Year” by PC Magazine for his outstanding contribution to 80386 program. Riaz earned a MS degree in Electrical engineering from the New Jersey Institute of Technology. Riaz has a blog at Haq's musings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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