NEDAASC President’s Speech
Ladies and Gentleman, Assalam-O-Alaikum,
It is my distinct pleasure and privilege to welcome all of you to the 2009 NED Alumni International Convention. We have attendees from all over the United States, Canada and Pakistan.
We are honored to have with us several distinguished guests. We have:
The Consul General of Pakistan Syed Ibne Abbas and Sadaf Abbas,
The Pro Vice Chancellor of NED University Shamsul Haq and Mrs. Haq,
The Dean of the Faculty of Civil & Environmental Engineering at NED University, Professor Sahibzada Rafeeqi
The Sheriff of Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca, along with his wife, and the Sheriff of Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchin.
This is the first time that a gathering of NED Alumni, their family and friends has taken place in Southern California. The NED Alumni Association of Southern California, better known as NEDAASC, is your host for today's event.
As the founding president of NEDAASC, it has been a unique experience to work with a Board of Directors who are all engineers from Karachi. Engineers tend to analyze, question, work within a budget, and create a final product that stands on its own merits. This Convention is the hard work of what this board is capable of. These amazing individuals, with full-time careers, love Pakistan and simply want to give back to their alma mater and support the profession of Engineering in Pakistan.
This is a get-things-done organization. In the short time that we have been around, we have accomplished a few things:
One of the focal points of our organization is the NED student scholarship program. This past year, we provided 20 scholarships to deserving NED students. We intend to increase that number each year by 10 for the next 2 years to reach 40-awarded scholarships in 2011. If you would like to contribute to the scholarship fund, please feel free to complete the form on your tables and hand it over to one of our board members or volunteers.
Another initiative undertaken was to organize and conduct education seminars at the NED Campus in Karachi and help in the dissemination of current engineering practices. Our first seminar this year was on February 13 entitled an “Introduction to Electronic Packaging and Interconnections” in collaboration with Mr. Ahmer Syed, a mechanical engineer. This first seminar had well over 100 students and faculty attending. Since then, we have held two more seminars by Mohammad Bilal Siddiqui on June 27 and 29 on “IT Today” and another on “Today’s Economy and E-commerce” coordinated with Syed Anis-ul Qadr, the Director of the Continuing Engineering Education Centre Academy at NED. Our members are planning more seminars for 2009. The topics currently under consideration are air pollution quality and control, and water purification/supply.
On a humanitarian note, we were able to help one of our emeritus professors of the University, who is currently in need due to health problems. We wish him a speedy recovery and our prayers are with him and his family.
NEDAASC is also in the process of evaluating a financial support package for NED students and faculty to present technical papers at established international forums. It is our hope to raise funds to give the financial support necessary to allow the faculty and students to share their expertise and knowledge with the rest of the world. We believe that this will greatly benefit Pakistan and give greater exposure to the research being done at NED.
Now we come to the highlight of this Convention: The essay competition for current NED students sponsored by NEDAASC.
The topic “BRIDGING THE GAP IN ENGINEERING ADVANCEMENT AT NED” was promoted in conjunction with the controller of student affairs Mr. Sohail Fazil Usmani at NEDUET and our website.
We received a tremendous response from the students.
A select group of five distinguished impartial judges who are Jami J. Shah, Syed Qaisar Madad, Riaz Haq, Pervez Lodhie, and Nadeem Moghul, then evaluated the short listed essays.
Our first place winner was Muhammad Turab Mehdi who was awarded Rs. 35,000,
The second place winner was Abdur Rafey Zafar and he was awarded Rs. 25,000,
The third place winner, Sanna Iqbal Piran, was awarded Rs. 15,000.
I invite you to visit our website www.nedaasc.org to read the winning essays in their entirety.
NEDAASC board member Zaid Ahmed will present the certificates of achievement and prize money to the students later this month at the campus in Karachi.
This competition would not have been a success without the hard work of the judges and the chairperson of the competition, Mr. Mujeeb Ahmed. Please give a big round of applause for our judges, winners, competition participants and our essay coordinator, Mr. Mujeeb Ahmed.
I would like to take the opportunity to introduce our board of directors. Please stand as your name is called and hold your applause until I complete the list. Shariq Raza, Mansoor Khan, Moqueem Ansari, Mujeeb Ahmed, Farhat Siddiqi, Zaid Ahmed, Arif Mansuri, Altaf Godil, Naim Siddiqi, and Nadeem Moghul. Please give them a big hand. All of them have done a wonderful job and without their hard work and input, NEDAASC would not have been able to accomplish what it has. Also, please give a hand to our volunteers who will be helping during the day to make sure everything goes well.
I would like to thank our many supporters and recognize our Platinum sponsors for today’s convention, Qaisar Madad and Meher Tabatabai, who both believe in opening doors of opportunity to those who need it. Qaisar was also a judge for the essay contest. Thank you Qaisar and Meher.
Our other platinum sponsor is Mr. Ashraf Habibullah of Computer & Structures from the NED Class of 69, who is also tonight’s keynote speaker.
I would also like to acknowledge attorneys Ms. Alia and Mr. Shahzad Qadri for their continued professional help. They have been instrumental in helping us earn 501c3 status as a nonprofit organization. The process is ongoing and I am confident that we will be granted nonprofit status very soon.
Many thanks to Altaf Godil for our website. Altaf and his crew have done a wonderful job.
A very special thanks to Arif Mansuri and his staff here in LA and in Karachi for their help in preparing and running the ads in his newspaper, the Pakistan Link. I would also like to thank other media outlets who have helped cover today’s event. They are: Mr. Zafar Abbas of the Urdu Times, Mr. Naushad Sarwar of the Pakistan Times, and Mr. Waqar Khan of Safeer-e-Pakistan besides all area news outlets covering this conference.
I would also like to thank our editor, Dr. Farhat Siddiqi. We continue to receive great feedback about our newsletters, especially the “ Memory Lane” pieces. I would like to encourage our readers to continue to contribute to our magazine by writing columns and submitting photos for everyone to reminisce.
We have in our company Mr. Nooruddin Ahmed, NED graduate, and Mr. Faheem Ahmed who came from Karachi to join us for this convention.
I would like to recognize our senior most NED alum, Mr. Syed Arshad Ali, a graduate of 1951; we at NEDAASC welcome you, sir.
Many thanks to our moderators and the panelists in our day session.
And a special thanks to Dr. Jami Shah for his great luncheon keynote speech.
I hope you enjoy the rest of the evening and thank you again for coming.
The 2010 NED Alumni International Convention will be in Chicago. We look forward to seeing you again next year. Thank you.