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   Volume 3 | Issue 10 | March 13, 2011 |


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Nurturing Creativity: Department of
Chemical Engineering, BUET

Fauzia Sultana

Hon'ble Chief guest Mr. Dilip Barua is at the podium Seated persons (l to r): Dr. Sam Manna

Engineering is the most essential of human disciplines. BP, The Golden Gate Bridge, Mercedes-Benz, or the Big Things, like nanotech/biotech of the 21st century, all stand to testify the contributions to civilizations based on the foundations of engineering competence and advances. With time and necessity, engineering trends are changing apace worldwide, and consequently engineering education practices are changing too. To cope with this change and to facilitate communication of scientific ideas, Department of Chemical Engineering (ChE), BUET is undertaking several multidimensional initiatives, aiming to develop knowledge and efficiency in students to function in multidisciplinary working environments.

Scientific Posters, a popular alternate means of communication, are used in academia to promote and explain a piece of research work. ChE Dept., BUET regularly organizes Scientific Poster Competitions as part of the extensive course-curriculum. Posters are judged on criteria including choice of topic, technical content, presentation, etc. In 2009, ChemicalBUET, ChE Dept and ICChE 2008 jointly organised the first ever International Poster Competition 2009 for the BUET ChE undergraduate students. Besides departmental students, students from Monash University, Australia also participated in the competition, making the initiative a markedly successful one.

Chemical Engineering Thesis Award is yet another stepping-stone in the ChE Dept., BUET. This competition aims to provide students and early researchers a competitive environment to achieve skills and excellence in engineering research and to make them competent to present their findings to the larger scientific community. In January 2010, the Department of Chemical Engineering successfully organised, the foremost Chemical Engineering Thesis Award, in collaboration with Bangladesh Chemical Engineering Forum (BCEF). The Thesis Award competition is open to all fresh ChE Graduates, where participants are required to present scientific, social and economic significances and commercial value of their research projects to a judging panel of academics and professionals. Presentation skills and contents, punctuality, promptness in answering technical questions, etc are the evaluation aspects of the competition. In the near future, ChE Dept. plans to organise such competitions nationwide, involving other local universities in related fields.

Apart from competitions, ChE Dept., BUET arranges seminars and short courses where invited lecturers from both national and international universities address issues on cutting-edge researches like Petroleum, Process Control, etc. Workshops on 'Technical Writing and Presentation', 'Simulation Software', 'Process Safety and Risk Management', etc are frequently conducted in the department to broaden knowledge and communication aptitude in students, academics and engineers, that are meant to become handy tools in the course of work. The department also offers research assistantships to Graduate students and hosts two international publications namely, 'Chemical Engineering Research Bulletin' and 'ChE Thoughts' encouraging students, academics and professionals in scientific writing activities.

We live in a world essentially dependent on science and technology. There might be new technology, but as they say “technological progress itself is nothing new” and it only comes with learning, creativity and communication. But creativity needs nurture and practice to stay alive and grow and ChE Dept, BUET is surely adapting modifications in its educational practices to nurture its creativity.

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