Dean's Diary

Updates from the Dean SBASSE

The activities of the Dean's office are partially supported by the Ahmad Dawood Chair Funds.

November 2021

Simulating new academic programs. I have assembled another group of eminent people who can see into the future and whose task would be to think about a masters-level programme in biomedical systems or variants thereof. 

My own inclination, shaped by many useful conversations with like-minded Faculty, is centered around a programme that focuses on:

  • devices and instruments to assist the biomedical and clinical profession,
  • tools and algorithms to assist healthcare at fundamental and applied levels, and
  • technology assisted techniques that can enhance medical education.

My immense thanks to the following members of this committee:

  1. Dr. Nauman Zafar Butt (convener, UET, Purdue, Intel, LUMS)
  2. Dr. Faisal Kashif (VP Engineering Masimo,
  3. Dr. Bruce Wainman (McMaster
  4. Dr. Adeel Razi (
  5. Dr. Faisal Cheema (
  6. Dr. Wasim Malik (
  7. Dr. Zahid Bashir (Principal Shalamar Medical and Dental College,
  8. Dr. Safeeullah (GIKI, KAIST, LUMS,
  9. Dr. Shaper Mirza (Karachi Univ., Alabama, Houston, LUMS)
  10. Dr. Shahana Khurshid (MIT, Texas, NIST, LUMS)
  11. Dr. Adnan Khan (NED, Delaware, Rensselaer, LUMS)
  12. Dr. Suleman Shahid (Tilburg, Eindhoven, LUMS)
  13. Dr. Naveed-ul-Hassan (Rsalpur, Ecole Superieure d'Electricite, Singapore Uni. of Technology and Design, LUMS,


New cohort of science writers. new cohort internsTwo new science writes have been hired as interns for the Carl Sagan Write for Science Internship program. 







26 PhD graduates. pHd graduatesI wanted to announce the successful graduation of 26 PhD students in the calendar year 2021, going up from 18 of the last year. These students have all partnered with Faculty on significant research questions and have contributed to furthering scientific and engineering knowledge and practice.







Task force for contemplating an MS programme in the area of lasers, optics and photonics. The task force consists of the following members:

Dr. Umer Shahid (UET, UNC Charlotte, Bright View Technologies, Tessera, Magna Electronics, Amazon) 
Dr. Joveria Baig (LUMS, Delft, Ecole Normale Superieure, Ecole Polytechnique, Oxford, Princeton, Thorlabs)
Hira Shahzad (LUMS, Dartmouth and Medtronic)
Dr. Imran Cheema (UET, FAST, McGill, LUMS)
Dr. Tayyab Imran (PU, KAIST, IST Lisbon, King Abdul Aziz University, COMSATS, LUMS)
Dr. Ata-ul-Haq (GIKI, Stuttgart, Sheffield, LUMS)
Dr. Muhammad Faryad (QAU, PennState, ICTP, LUMS)


Safety signage being revamped across SBASSE. new safety signageThe new version is bolder, easier to read and gets rid of clutter. This is to ensure a uniform, more efficient design for these important messages across the School. 







Third Math Circle. The Department of Mathematics organized their third Math Circle event at the Dean's Smart Lab. This time, the attendees calculated the value of Pi using different techniques. 3rd circle








Second Math Circle by the Department of Mathematics. Details about future Math Circle activties can be found here: circle








Research Assistant position. I have created an open position for a research assistant who can help with the our industrial liaison efforts. Applicants can send their resume to Dr Tauqeer Abbas, who is the associate dean for innovation and enterprise at the School.RA poster

October 2021

Team teaching encouraged at SBASSE. I have encouraged faculty to explore cross-department teaching for interesting, elective courses. I will try my best to provide any and all necessary resources that may be needed for executing such fascinating teaching ideas.


Recommendations of the Adhoc Committee on Undergraduate & Graduate Admission 2021. Subsequent to the very useful recommendations of the adhoc admissions committee in SBASSE, we are proposing to make some innovative adjustments to our admissions, including a science literacy test in lieu of subject-specific admissions test and a stronger thrust on internationalization.


Inaugurated the first Maths Circle session. Around 32 school kids attended this event in the Dean's Smart Lab. The first Circle was instructed by Imran Anwar and Shaheen Nazir, from the Department of Mathematics.

circle 1circle 1 again







Stargazing activity. A star gazing session was organised to view the planets Jupiter and Saturn, along with the Moon. 

star gazing 1


SEM Sample Request Form. Students, RAs or faculty can generate an online SEM characterization request by filling out an "SEM Request Form" at the following link:

More information here:

September 2021

Forming a committee to brainstorm a new MS programme on "Earth and Planetary Systems". I have constructed the following task force with the mandate of brainstorming on the feasibility and rubrics of this programme.

Dr. Mian Muhammad Awais (convener)

Dr. Fozia Parveen

Dr. Talha Manzoor

Dr. Amna Ijaz (Afiniti Fellow)

Dr. Zahra Lakdawala (to be confirmed)

Dr. Muhammad Zaheer


SBARA Awards 2021. I present to you the winners of the 2021 cohort of the Syed Babar Ali Research Awards. You can read more about these awards here:

SBARA Awards 2021

Fall 2021 courses. New courses have been announced for Fall 2021. More details here:

Fall 2021 courses

Adhoc Committee on undergraduate and graduate admissions. I am pleased to announce the following committee to look at undergraduate and graduate admissions for SBASSE.

Falak Sher (convener)
Agha Ali Raza
Muhammad Awais
Adnan Khan
Shaheen Nazir
Rizwan Khalid
Muhammad Tahir
Nadeem Khan
Rahman Saleem
Amir Faisal
Kanzal Iman (PhD student)
Shahid Masud

The Particle issue 17 is out. You can now read issue 17 of the Particle here: 

Particle 17


August 2021

Honorific Fellowships have been launched. I am pleased to announce the creation of twenty-four (24) Honorific Fellowships for undergraduates in the basic sciences (biology, chemistry, mathematics, and physics). For more details, visit this page:

Honorific Fellows


September 2021 session of the Carl Sagan Write for Science Internship Programme has been rolled out. Carl Sagan Internship September











The School's undergraduate orientation this year is online. The programme is for 31 August and 1 September. Orienation SBASSE 2021








Calling prospective students for MITACS global internship. We are calling for students interested in being considered for an international 12 weeks long internship supervised by Canadian academics. See the weblink here: We will select ten students from across SSE.


Relocation of Sohrab server to another lab. Sohrab serverThe Sohrab server has been handed over to Al faribi team member Farhan and Abubakar. The server is being placed in Al-Farabi environment. 













Workshop on Scanning Electron Microscope. SEM workshopThe course will be conducted on an FESEM FEI Nova 450 NanoSEM system housed within the Syed Babar Ali School of Science and Engineering. More details here: A Hands-On Course on Scanning Electron Microscopy | SBASSE (








LUMS becomes a voting centre for upcoming PEC General Elections. The election will be conducted on Sunday, 8th August, from 8am till 5pm.


Change in SSE core curriculum. The school has approved multiple courses of Linear Algebra that will now be offered in Freshmen Spring each year by the Department of Mathematics.


Freshmen Peer Support System for 2021 has been launched. Peer advisorsThe names of SSE Peer Advisors for year 2021 have been finalised. Names of student mentors from the current academic year can be found here: The programme this year is led by Dr. Salman Arshad and Dr. Ammar Khan and my office.

July 2021

Established the SBASSE Peer Support System. The purpose of this program is to support incoming first year students in the online setting about non-academic concerns. Peer mentors, who are junior and senior students, guide freshmen about the available resources of the university, help them get accustomed to the LUMS and SBASSE environment and be accessible for students if they face any non-academic issues. More details can be found here: Peer Support System | SBASSE (


Initiated Research, Ethics and Compliance Training in Research by CITI. Thanks to an agreement made by our Office of Research, SBASSE Faculty, staff and students can receive this training through an institutional license. 

CV's of all shortlisted PhD applicants are now available online. The School has decided that in order to encourage cross-pollination of ideas and laterally translatable supervision of PhD students, the CV's of all shortlisted PhD applicants will be made accessible to the faculty.

Announcing call for applications for SSE Peer Support System Year 2021-2022. SSE Peers advisors will help the school achieving its goal of successful transition of students into new environment and help them overcome any isolation or disconnection they feel during their transition phase. All Peers will be supervised by School Advising Office. They can approach at Please apply using this link: SBASSE Ambassador Program ( The deadline to apply is Tuesday, July 13, 2021. 

Instrument Cell launched. I am pleased to launch the School's Instrument Cell: The idea is to have a functional, accessible unit that can conduct repairs and troubleshooting of our scientific instruments and equipment. 

Instrument cell





Acquired institutional license for CAS SciFinder. sci finderI find great pleasure that working with the LUMS Library, our School has received an institutional license for CAS SciFinder which is the world's most recognized mining solution for chemical reactions, catalysts, yields, chemical substances, protein and nucleotide sequences. These resources will bolster our research in chemical and life sciences and will particularly help our synthetic chemistry, an area which we consider to be our forte in Pakistan.

June 2021

Summer semester advertised in newspaper. Newspaper advert summer semesterThe Jet Engine and Stars and Galaxies are two flagship courses from the summer semester that are the face of summer semester advertisement in the local news paper. The advert can be seen here:







New Chair of the Physics Department. Dr Adam Zaman ChairDr. Adam Zaman has been appointed as the new Chair of the Physics Department, for a period of three years, commencing from 1 July 2021.







Invited summer courses on the Jet Engine and Stars/Galaxies. For the second summer semester, we are excited to add two invited courses to our list that ought to invigorate the semester’s overall experience. These are ‘The Jet Engine’ and ‘Stars and Galaxies’.The full course outlines can be found here:

jet enginestars galaxies









Mandatory safety training for graduation. Schedule safety trainingI am pleased to announce that the SBASSE Safety committee and the undergraduate curriculum committee have approved the recommendation that "all undergrads admitted into the School, 2021 and onward, will be required to complete the safety training". The curriculum will be integrated with the LMS. The training will be required for every SBASSE undergraduate and will be marked as a pre-requisite to graduate.

More details on all safety initiatives have been placed here:



New setting for the Office of Science Communication's 'Ionic Room'. The interior of science communication cell has been re-arranged, resulting in a larger, more spacious working area. More work is expected to be done in the future to tag this 'ionic room' with inspiring artwork and decor.

Ionic room new setting


Science writing internship begins.Selected candidates Around two weeks ago, we announced the launch of the Carl Sagan Write for Science Internship Program - an opportunity for students to merge creativity of expression with the rigour of scientific research. Since then, we have received an overwhelming number of applications. Over the past two weeks, the Office of Science Communication has been sifting through each application and I am pleased to announce our first cohort.

May 2021

Snapshot of research grants (2020 and 2021). Grant stats 2020 and 2021The SBASSE Faculty have been extremely active in applying for extramural funding. Ove the past year and a half, they have submitted about 200 research proposals with a total sum value of Rs. 7 billion. This year's proposals are mostly under review. In 2020, the turnaround of acceptance (in terms of monetary value) has been around 14%.

Reading through the executive summaries of these submitted grant documents is a delightful experience in its own right, revealing the diverse, trans-disciplinary and high impact work these proposals promise. I want to congratulate all my colleagues on making these remarkable strides in the direction of sustainability.


Initiated the Carl Sagan Write For Science Internship program. INternshipThis internship offers to gel together creative writing skills with serious science emanating from the School, and help pave the way for active science journalism. It is open for all students of SBASSE and shall commence from 1st June. Each intern will be given an honorarium of PKR 15,000 after successfully completing the internship.






Signage overhaul at SBASSE. Science Communications Office has been tasked with creating new signage across the School. Design for wing titles has been finalised. Office of the Dean has been renamed Al-Biruni wing.

Feynman Urdu correct

Fyenman urdu

Bob Byron english

Bob Byron urdu





Al-Farabi system has been launched. I am pleased to announce that the School of Science and Engineering is now offering a Windows and GPU based high-performance computing environment for all LUMS Faculty. A brief overview of Al-Farabi, which is how the system is named, is here:

Al Farabi


16th edition of The Particle is now available. 

Particle 16


Pakistan's Global Graduates Programme with UPSIGN. UPSIGN is partnering with the Syed Babar Ali School of Science and Engineering to train 40 students for the Pakistan's Global Graduates Programme. In this initiative, selected students will receive training in essential skills including interpersonal communication, technical writing, scientific conduct and ethics, inter-cultural competencies, and critical analysis. The programme will be conducted over summers in a six week long course and will be taught by leading academics from six British Universities. The programme is free and is open for PhD, MS students, juniors and seniors. Application link: 


Call for Afiniti Fellows ad published in the local newspaper. The ad has been published in The News.

Dawn afiniti ad

April 2021

Retrofitting of exhaust ducting in SSE Building.  An exhaust duct is installed in the central lab wing connecting all labs. Volume control dampers are installed on all connection points (in each lab), which can be controlled as per requirement and system design. This exhaust duct is extended to SSE’s roof and connected with an exhaust fan (capacity: 1500 CFM), and the exhaust fan outlet is further connected with an air stack to attain better air dilution. The project team includes the NMF department, Facilitate and Engineering department, the Central lab department, and the Safety office.

retrofitting ducts

Duct 1Duct 2Duct 3

Cultivation of SSE's experimental farms has begun.




Supporting the School in accreditation. A working cell has been established in the Dean's office that will look after the academic modalities required for accreditation. This cell comprises Anam Aftab (electrical engineering), Afaq Butt (computer science) and Shama Rashid (physics). They will be assisted by Dr. Shahid Masud and Dr. Qasim Imtiaz. Anam will lead this unit. The purpose of this cell is to remove duplicate efforts, streamlining information flow between the academic programmes, collating course objectives and learning outcomes for the core courses and providing support to the undergraduate curriculum committee who may like to assess the overall quality of the SSE core programme.


Matlab access for everyone at SSE. MatlabThe School has now acquired a Matlab license for everyone working at SSE including faculty, staff, researchers and students. It shall be valid up to 31 March 2022, and will also grant access to all Matlab toolboxes. I hope this licensing mechanism, and the training material that comes with it, will help our students in enhancing their computational prowess.




Letter from the Dean to welcome undergraduate applicants has been released.


Nobel Laureate speaker at 7th Abdus Salam Annual Memorial Lecture. Dr. Donna Strickland, Nobel Laureate in Physics (2018) was the guest speaker at the 7th Abdus Salam Annual Memorial Lecture. She delivered an exciting talk on her journey to the Nobel prize, including her groundbreaking work on generating high-intensity, ultra-short optical pulses.

7th Abdus Salam Memorial Lecture


Central Lab brochure has been published. Central lab brocuhre

Efforts are being made to spread the message, enhance productivity and garner student support and involvement for the Central Lab SBASSE, LUMS. Student apprenticeships, restructuring of the Central Lab committee, efforts to add new equipment and the attached brochure all speak to this.

Central lab website:

More on student apprenticeships:

ماسٹرز اور پی ایچ ڈی طلبہ کے لیے ایک مُفید تجویز۔

ماسٹرز اور پی ایچ ڈی کے طلبہ و طالبات کے لیے یہ بات مفید سمجھی گئی ہے کہ اُن کے حتمی مسودوں کے شروع میں کام کا عنوان اور خلاصہ صاف ستھری، سہل اور قابلِ مہم اُردو میں لِکھے جائیں۔ اس سے نہ صرف ہمیں سائنسی اور تکنیکی حلقوں کے باہر اپنی تحقیق کی اشاعت اور تفہیم کا موقع مِل سکے گا بلکہ تحقیق کو صحافتی حلقوں میں بھی نشر کرنے کے لیے یہ کوشش نہایت ضروری ہے۔


March 2021

Video showcase of research at SSE has been released. Three, high-quality videos have been produced that highlight and showcase some of the research streams at SSE. These include fundamental research on quantum computers, novel drug compounds to fight HIV and Hepatitis-C virus, and development of a new class of Perovskite based solar cells. They can be accessed through SSE's social media platforms and its YouTube channel.


The Quantum Revolution: 

Targeting Disease:

Go Green with The Sun:

Quantum revolutionTargeting diseaseTargeting disease


SSE MS/PhD Programme Videos. Video messages have been created to invite candidates for application to the SBASSE MS and PhD programmes. 

Electrical Engineering:


Computer Science:



MS and PhD brochures have been printed. FlyerThese contain details of the program including structure and courses offered.





Siemens Initiative on Medical Physics and Medical Technologies. Today I presented two proposals to prospective donors. They revolved around sustainable cities and medical physics. It appears that our school has developed highly advanced niches in these inter-disciplinary areas. I look forward to welcoming partners and collaborators to work with us on these matters, which have significant national value.


Sustainable Lahore








Mapping startups emerging at SBASSE. Innovation and impact are central to our mission. For this purpose, I am mapping the startups founded at SBASSE, LUMS by our students, staff and Faculty. The data will help refine our processes for encouraging academic entrepreneurship, can project these initiatives many of which have wide social and national benefit, will reward the inventors in the University, forge new connections and help us usher in a milieu that encourages innovation and invention.


Afiniti Fellow - call for applications. AfinitiI am pleased to announce on behalf of the School, the call for applications for the Afiniti Fellow. This Fellowship is aimed at attracting an outstanding young investigator working in futuristic scientific disciplines, generally under-represented in Pakistan. The Afiniti Scholar, preferrably a fresh PhD holder, will be expected to engage in teaching of the highest order, catalyzing research directions in her area of choice and taking up a leadership role to inspire other youngsters, especially women into STI careers.

Full details can be seen here:




  • Upgrading Noether Wing with modern exhaust systems. The Noether wing houses the central and physics laboratories. We have now received a go-ahead to retrofit these labs with a modern exhaust system. This will help improve the safety specifications of this vibrant experimental area.


  • Portal to access online courses. Our school's website now hosts a portal that provides access to diverse online courses produced by our faculty. The offered courses range from introductory to advanced levels.


Online courses webpage

February 2021
  • Making PhysLab covid-19 compliant. Separators, floor charts and hand sanitizers have been installed in the PhysLab. The effort was spearheaded by the team of Khadim, Ali Hassan and Hafiz Rizwan. This is to ensure our students can continue to work in the lab with necessary safety protocols in place. 

Footprint chartsSeparators

Floor lines


  • Another cloud classroom established. 5th Cloud ClassroomThe fifth cloud classroom has been established in the SBASSE basement floor. These classrooms are equipped with state of the art equipment including roving cameras with zoom capability and can provide the instructor with the ability to see a large number of students at any given time through a full-wall projection setup. 




  • Temporary staff position at the Dean's Office. There is a new temporary staff position in the Dean's Office, precisely the academic affairs office. The job description requires this resource person to have a background in a scientific or engineering discipline, with additional strengths in informatics, writing, researching the educational ecosystem, assessing our undergraduate programs in the School and the appropriate presentation of data. This will be more of a foundational and strategic position. For detail, please visit this link:


  • New website for SBASSE is live. The new website outlines our safety enterprise, communicates our work to the citizenry, snapshots our research, and portrays the many exciting stories emerging from the School, enlists our human resource, reminisces about the past, and glances into our future. Original artwork enriches these pages. There are pointers to the research and teaching groups in the School, the tapestry of academic programs, a repertoire of activities and projects undertaken at the Dean's office and much more. Please visit this link to take a look:
January 2021
  • Presentation at the 2021 Advisory Board Meeting.Presentation given by Dr. Sabieh Anwar during the 2020 Advisory Board meeting Here is my presentation that, in addition to sharing a glimpse of the present academic and administrative status of the SBASSE, also talks to our place in society, our learning and education, research streams, culture, sustainability and an overarching look at the future of the school:





  • Magazine subscriptions of the Dean's Office. Magazines in Dean's officeThe SBASSE Dean's Office is subscribed to the following magazines and has received a fresh lot of latest issues.
  1. Popular Science (Quarterly)
  2. Discover (Monthly)
  3. Popular Mechanics (Bimonthly)
  4. Progress (Monthly)
  5. Maximum PC (Monthly)
  6. BBC Science Focus (Monthly)





  • High Voltage lab under-construction. High voltage lab wide angleThe high voltage lab is under construction. I hope this place will be set up expediently and could become a nursery for important work in the field of high voltage and power systems. I also hope previous investments in equipment would come to fruition and we could also develop expertise to help the professional community.






  • An elective course on Fundamentals of Bio-Nanotechnology. Elective course on bio-nanotechnologyThis elective course conducted by Dr. Samir Iqbal, will offer an insight into basics of nanotechnology, it's applications in biosensing and nanofabrication. This course will be open for public audit. 









  • Launch of The Particle (issue 15). The latest edition of SBASSE's quarterly science magazine features exciting science and technology stories emerging from the School, the University and beyond, amid the Covid-19 pandemic. It also highlights sub-continent's first Engineering College in Rourkee that conducted its education in Urdu. 
Front and back cover of The Particle


Article on Genome-wide Transcriptional Change

Article on Neuroscience









  • Filming for our research stories started today. (6) Our media consultants and filming crew started with covering our flagship research on quantum technologies. They will then move to green energy, drug discovery and vaccine research. A glimpse from the filming activity is here.
  • Grading approvals of courses will now be done by Department Chairs while I will approve courses with the SCI and ENGG course code. This will save time and bring academic decision making closer to the ground realities and disciplinary specializations. (2)
  • Increased timings of HVAC in chemistry and biology. We are totally committed to safe science. In this respect, we have planned to enhance the timings of ventilation at the fume hoods and safety cabinets. This system will now be operative from 8 am to 10 pm, Monday through Saturday. See the schedule below. (2)
  • The Physlab conducted a 5 S survey of a particular CNC machining lab and proposed practical examples of how 5 S could lead to better workplace organization.



December 2020


  1. Corporate credit card enabled for the School. Hopefully this will help in expediting purchases and facilitating the needs of our experimentalists better, who often require rapid access to materials, need to purchase from distributors in the local and international markets who only accept this mode of transaction and I hope this will help alleviate any remaining procurement challenges. Creating seamless processes for research remains our utmost mission. (22

  2. Looking for a photographer! Is there an SSE staff member in SSE whom I could engage for some DSLR photography on an ongoing basis---someone who loves to image, has the photographer's acumen and can devote about 5% of one's time to assist me. These photographs will assist the work of our science communication team, will build our image bank, will seep into the Particle and will help our team to create attractive advertisement material. This will count as service to the School, key is the passion for this form of artistic expression. (22)

  3. Head of the chemical engineering programme. I am pleased to announce that Dr. Qasim Imtiaz, Assistant Professor in chemical engineering has been appointed as the head of the chemical engineering programme, within the Department  of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering.

  4. Convener of the graduate programme committee. Dr. Muhammad Usman from the mathematics department is the new convener of the SBASSE graduate programme committee. He replaces Dr. Basit Shafiq who is taking up the leadership role of the Chair of the Computer Science Department. (23)

  5. In Physics, we are creating a new research project laboratory---a space for research oriented projects.