March 5, 2008 issue


Guyanese-born Professor cops prestigious German Humboldt Research Award
Dr Mohamed Jamal Deen

By Adit Kumar
Guyanese born Professor Mohamed Jamal Deen, has added yet another prestigious award to his list of stellar achievements. The distinguished Mc Master University professor has won the coveted Humboldt Research Award in Engineering and is currently in Germany as the Invited Professor at the Technische Universitaet Berlin, conducting research on modeling of nano-scale semiconductor devices and their applications to millimeter wave microwave systems.
These very high-frequency electronic systems are being proposed for applications in short range personal area networks, for high data rate communications (for example, a typical high definition movie could be transferred in less than one minute in such a millimeter wave system), near range radars for vehicular sensor applications including collision avoidance systems, and software defined radios. Near term consumer applications include wireless multimedia distribution and wireless gigabit Ethernet in offices and homes. Other applications being pursued for these millimeter-wave systems are real-time atmospheric profiling for air-traffic control use, forecasting severe weather conditions and atmospheric sensing for homeland security.
The Humboldt Research Awards, previously named the Humboldt Senior Scientist Award, is a very competitive award that is granted to outstanding scientists and scholars from all disciplines from abroad whose fundamental discoveries, new theories, or insights have had a significant impact on their own discipline and who are expected to continue producing cutting-edge achievements in future. Award winners are invited to spend a period of up to one year cooperating on a long-term research project with specialist colleagues at a research institution in Germany. The research award also honours the academic achievements of the award winner’s lifetime research work.
Professor Deen is currently spending six months in Berlin and was among five other engineers from around the globe who were also Award winners. According to an Alexander von Humboldt Foundation official, no researchers from Guyana or the Caribbean Region were ever recipients of the award. However, they do not have any statistics about researchers who were born in that region and later worked elsewhere by the time the award was given to them, as is the case of Professor Deen.
Dr. Deen is no new comer to awards as he has been honored several times by his peers. He has been elected Fellow of two of the three national academies in Canada – Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada – FRSC: The Academies of Arts, Humanities and Sciences of Canada, the national academy dedicated to the promotion of exceptional learning, research and accomplishments in the arts, humanities and sciences and Fellow of The Canadian Academy of Engineering (FCAE), which comprises many of the country's most accomplished engineers, who are elected by their peers “in view of their distinguished achievements” in engineering and in the “application of science and engineering principles in the interests of the country and its enterprises.”
In addition, he has also been elected Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (FIEEE), a Fellow of the Electrochemical Society (FECS), a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (FAAAS), a Fellow of the Engineering Institute of Canada (FEIC), and Honorary Member of World Innovation Foundation – the Foundation’s highest honor.
Dr Deen is presently professor of electrical and computer engineering, Senior Canada Research Chair in Information Technology and Director of the Micro- and Nano-Systems Laboratory at McMaster University.
Born in Georgetown, Guyana, Dr. Deen is a proud product of the University of Guyana where he completed a B.Sc. degree in Mathematics/Physics in 1978, winning the Irving Adler Prize as the best graduating Mathematics student and the Chancellor’s Medal as the second best student of the University. During his undergraduate studies, he was also a full-time Math/Physics/Science Teacher at Indian Education Trust College (now the Richard Ishmael Secondary School). During his graduate studies, he was a Fulbright Scholar under the Latin American Scholarship program.
The research work of Dr. Deen and his collaborators were recently the subject of several news articles in the popular press and news magazines including Globe and Mail, Hamilton Spectator, Canadian Business and Design Engineering for their work in developing new technologies for medical and environmental applications.
Dr.Jamal Deen is married to Meena and together, they have three sons – Arif, Imran and Tariq, aged 15 to 22 years. They currently live in Dundas, Ontario, Canada.


Concerns conveyed to Malaysia over ethnic Indians' grievances: Mukherjee

New Delhi (IANS) — India has expressed concerns to Malaysian authorities on grievances expressed by certain Malaysians of Indian origin over their social conditions and religious rights, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee told parliament last Thursday.
"During our interactions with Malaysian authorities, concerns expressed in India, including in the parliament, regarding developments pertaining to the Indian community in Malaysia have been suitably conveyed," Mukherjee said in a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha.
On Nov 25, 2007, a rally was organized by the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) in Kuala Lumpur to hand over a petition to the British High Commission to seek support for a class action suit filed in Britain over exploitation of Indians who were brought to Malaysia as indentured labour in the colonial days.
"During this rally as well as subsequently, difficulties and concerns pertaining to economic and social conditions and religious rights of the Indian community in Malaysia have been highlighted," he said.
Indians, who came to Malaysia mainly as indentured labourers, account for about eight percent of the total population and "are well-integrated in Malaysian society".
Mukherjee noted that Malaysian citizens of Indian origin were active in various walks of life including government and their rights were also derived from the Malaysian constitution.
"Members of Indian community have, however, also articulated their concerns and grievances regarding their standing in the country," he said.
He pointed out that he had made a statement before the house Nov 30, 2007 after concerns expressed by parliamentarians over the alleged harassment of participants at the Hindraf rally.
According to the written reply, the Indian government remains "deeply solicitous for the welfare of people of Indian origin living abroad and noted that there is a large community of people of Indian origin in Malaysia who are citizens of that country."
Mukherjee noted that India has friendly relations with Malaysia and was in "touch with Malaysian authorities in the related matter.


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