Scientific Bangladesh, in its pursuit to give Bangladeshi researchers at home and in abroad scope to talk about their present research, future plan, giving directions to future researchers and government, has talked (by email) with Dr. Rabiul Awual.
He is a senior Scientist at Japanese Atomic Energy Agency. Dr. Awual says that without research, there is no complete solution.
Scientific Bangladesh: Would you like to tell us about your academic and research life?
Dr. Awual: I have completed the BSc (Hons.) and MSc degree from the Dhaka University in Applied Chemistry and Chemical Engineering. Then I went to United Kingdom for higher study (Completed MSc). After receiving from Japanese Monoboshu scholarship, I came in Japan for PhD study in October 2004. The real research life was begun for my life.
Scientific Bangladesh: What has made you researcher?
Dr. Awual: I wanted to do something in my life because one of my University Professor insulted me. At that time, I wanted to promise to exceed his research publication or citation.
Scientific Bangladesh: How do you manage fund for research?
Dr. Awual: Supporting from research institute and collecting fund personally from Ministry of Japan.
Scientific Bangladesh: Where does major part of your research fund come from, home or abroad?
Dr. Awual: I am a researcher in Japan and the most of the funds were from Japan.
Scientific Bangladesh: Inadequate fund for research is a major problem in Bangladesh. What would you say in response to pointing fingers by many to this basic problem worldwide, not only in Bangladesh?
Dr. Awual: In Bangladesh, our main problem is thinking. We expect the outcome in short cut. However, research is long process and need patience. Moreover, the research or performance is not the basic criteria to get promotion in the professional life. Therefore, raising fund in research is always a big barrier in Bangladesh. In the developed countries, there are many private companies ready to invest. Then there is a solution but there is no solution in Bangladesh. Only one point need to focus “changing the mentality from top to bottom”.
Scientific Bangladesh: What is your research area? What type of research facilities/ infrastructures you have developed over years and how?
Dr. Awual: “Nano materials and Environment”. Fabrication or design of nanomaterial based organic and inorganic conjugation and utilize these materials for wastewater treatment. After an accident in Fukushima, the Japanese Govt. has invested huge money to get the solution. We made a plan what we want to do really. After six months, we had to report to the authority and the authority sincerely checked one by one. Then the laboratory was well established by 5-7 years. There was struggling but manageable.
Scientific Bangladesh: How many researchers (PhDs and Masters) have you developed by this time? What qualities you focus to develop in the researchers who work with you?
Dr. Awual: I have co-supervised 2 PhD students and also co-supervised 4 MSc students. We have focused only the dedication of the student.
Scientific Bangladesh: If the government had asked for your suggestions/advice for scientific advancement of Bangladesh, what would be three advices you would make as a researcher?
(1) Understand that without research, there is no complete solution.
(2) Post each officer in the right position.
(3) Make working as the main criterion to get the promotion.
Scientific Bangladesh: What's your suggestion for young graduates who want to be researcher in general and in physics, in particular?
Dr. Awual: Set you goal what you really want to do. Start to the work without any hesitation to realize your goal.
Scientific Bangladesh: Do you think different professional bodies of scientists playing their due role? What are your suggestions for the leading professional organizations of scientists?
Dr. Awual: If a boss is not a scientist, he/she will not understand what research is. This boss is only classified as manager and gives you many stresses only. It is important to have the professional man with significant knowledge in the appropriate position.
Scientific Bangladesh: How important leadership ability for someone to be a good researcher?
Dr. Awual: Without a good leader/boss, no one can be researcher. If the leader has nice record, the fellow will be guided automatically.
Scientific Bangladesh: Have we missed any point that you would like to share with our readers?
Dr. Awual: It’s fine.
Scientific Bangladesh: Thanks for your time.
Dr. Awual: Thank you so much.