Professor Nazrul Islam: Life and Works

-Abul Hashem


Professor Sheikh Mohammad Nazrul Islam is popularly known in his abbreviated name as Professor S. M. Nazrul Islam. Professor Nazrul is an educationist and researcher of international repute. He is presently discharging his responsibility as the Vice-Chancellor of BUET, currently the number one university of Bangladesh in international rank. He has already performed his responsibility as the Vice-Chancellor of Khulna University, one of the significant public universities in Bangladesh. Son of late Sheikh Abdul Wahab and Sabura Khatun, Nazrul Islam was born on 10th February, 1948 in the village of Hiron under the historic district of Gopapgonj, the birth place of the Father of Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

Nazrul Islam passed SSC Exam in 1963 from a secondary school at Bagda of Barisal. He passed HSC Exam from Jagannath College in 1965. After passing HSC with credit, Mr. Islam took admission in Mechanical Engineering into the East Pakistan University of Engineering & Technology, which is now BUET. He received B.Sc. Engineering in 1969 and M.Sc. Engineering in 1975 from BUET and Ph.D. in 1979 from the University of Windsor, Canada.

Dr. Islam in his academic life achieved a number of national and international awards. Among national awards, he got NIPA Foundation Gold Medal in 1999, IEB Gold Medal, Honours from BUET and Board Scholarship of East Pakistan Government during the academic session from 1965-1969. As international awards, he received Commonwealth Scholarship in the academic session from 1967 to 1979, Graduate Scholarship from the University of Windsor, Canada in the academic session from 1976 to 1977 and SEATO Scholarship in the academic session from 1968 to 1969.


Professor Islam has an excellent record of national and international academic services and research. His national services started through his joining BUET as Lecturer in March 1970 and served five years till July 1975. He became Assistant Professor in July 1975 and worked six years till July 1981. He was promoted to Associate Professor in July 1981 and worked at the same post for three years till 1984. He has been Professor in September 1984 and  working as professor for long 28 years till to date. He has been discharging the responsibility of Vice-Chancellor of BUET from the 31st of August 2010.

Prior to this, Professor Islam was elected Dean of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering of BUET for two terms from February 2004 to February 2006. Besides, he held different other responsible positions in BUET. He was Head of the Department Mechanical Engine-ering, Director of the Centre for Energy Studies, Director/ Manager of the  Foreign Funded BUET Project MOSTI, a project of World Bank, Director of Students’ Welfare, Provost of Nazrul Islam Hall,  Asst. Provost of Ahsanullah Hall and Sher-e-Bangla Hall. He was also Chairman of the  Standing Committees on Undergraduate Board of Studies and Board of Post Graduate Studies, Member of the Standing Committees on UBS, BPGS, CASR, Sports Committee, Academic Council and  Member of the Committees Constituted by the University on different inquiry committees, student affairs of universities and  of different international and national seminar committees.

Apart from his contribution to BUET, Professor Islam also contributed to the development other newly-built-up engineering universities in Bangladesh. He was Vice-Chancellor of Khulna University for four years from August 1997 to August 2001 and       Chairman of the Board of Governors of BIT Rajshahi, currently RUET for three years from March 1997 to March 2000.

Dr. Nazrul Islam started his international service through joining the University of Windsor, Canada as Visiting Teacher in 1979. He had been Professor of Al-Fatech University, Tripoli, Libya and served there from 1987-1989. He was also Professor of Maiduguri University, Nigeria and served the university from 1986-87 as Dean of  the Faculty of Engineering of Maiduguri University. Besides, Dr. Islam had been the Secretary General, Interim Secretariat of International Energy Foundation in Tripoli, Libya and worked there from 1988-1989.

This multidimensional personality, Professor Islam has made remarkable contribution to the professional developments of engineering in different ways by his varied experiences. His activities with many national and international academic and professional bodies prove that.

Among national organizations, he was Member of Public Administration Reforms Commi-ssion, Government of Bangladesh from 1997 to 2000; Member of the  Board of Governors of BIT Khulna from 1994 to 1997; Member of Syndicate of Shahjalal Science & Technology University from 1997-2000; Member of Planning and Development Committee of Shahjalal Science & Technology University from 2000-2001; Member of Diploma Engineering Course Curriculum Development Committee, Government of Bangla-desh from 2000-2001. He is currently Member of Syndicate of Khulna University of Engineering & Technology and Dhaka University of Engineering & Technology.

Professor Islam was also Member of Site Selection Committee of the Proposed 12-Storied  Science and Technology Universities in Bangladesh from 2000-2001; Member of Ordinance Committee of Newly Proposed 12-Storied Science and Technology Universities in Bangladesh in 2000; Member of National Encyclopedia Committee from 1997-2001; Member of National Education Committee in 1997; Member of the Association of Universities of Bangladesh from 1997- 2001; Member of Drilling Rig Selection Committee from 1990-1992; Member of Academic Council of IIT from 1990-1994; Member of the Council of Institution of Engineers, Bangladesh from 1994-2002; Member of Board of Governors of Bangladesh Institute of Management from 2004-2006; Member of Academic Council of IUT from 2004-2006; Member of Examination Committee of the Institution of Engineers, Bangladesh from 2004-2005; Member of the Council of four BITs, Bangladesh, currently KUET, DUET, RUET, CUET from 1997-2000 and Member of Academic Council of IUT from 1990-1994. He is also current Member of Academic Council of KUET, DUET, RUET and CUET.


These are not all. Professor Islam was Member of the National Committee, set up by the Government of Bangladesh to investigate the Automobile Industry in 1982; Chairman of the National Committee, set up by the Government of Bangladesh for Multiple Juice Concentrate Plant in 1983; Member of the National Team for Tender Evaluation of Drilling Rig Specification of Petro-Bangla in 1984; Member of the Technical Committee for Dera Irritation Project in 198; Member of the Technical Committee for Kaitala Irrigation Project in 1986; Member of the Technical Evaluation Committee for Compressed Water Supply System for ICTVTR in 1985; Member of the Technical Committee for Swimming Pool of Dhaka University in 1985; Member of the Technical Committee of Teesta Irrigation Project in 1984; Adviser of the LAEKINOMIK, Dhaka, a consulting firm from 1985-86 and Consultant of Sugar Industry for Process Development in 1986.


This vast experienced person, Dr. Islam has played a notable role in many international professional bodies. He was Member of Management Committee of Energex’88, an International Energy Forum, during November  25-30, 1988 in Tripoli. He is currently Enlisted Consultant of Asian Development Bank; Member of Steering Committee of Renewable Energy Conferences (WREC) from 1994 till to date; Member of the Federation of Institution of Engineers of South and Central Asia (FIESCA) and Member of the World Federation of Engineers’ Organization (WFEO).

Professor Islam also performed his responsibilities as chief executive of different professional organizations and implemented many development schemes for enhancing the conditions of these institutions and meeting the demand of the age. He was President of The Institution of Engineers, Bangladesh from 2009-2010; Convener of Solar Energy Development Committee in 1993; President of Bio-medical Engine-ering Association from 1993-95; Convener of Workshop on Industrial Energy Efficiency,  held  between 17-18 July 1993 in collaboration with EMCC, GOB; President of Teachers’ Association of BUET in 1995 and Chairman of IEB Dhaka Centre from 2007-2008.


Professor Nazrul Islam has  written a good number of papers on different issues of engineering challenges and developments and already achieved a high name and fame for research and writing technical papers on the issues of engineering challenges and developments. Some of his significant technical papers already published in leading international and national journals are categorically mentioned here.

These papers are published in international journals:

01. Flow in the Initial Region of Axisymmetric Jets, published in ASME Journal of Fluids Engineering, Vol.102, No.1, USA in 1980 with Tucker H.J.

02. Noise Effects and Jet Turbulence in Industries, published in Quarterly Journal of the Institution of Engineers, Sri Lanka in 1981.

03  Flow through a Jet Issuing from a Square Nozzle in Atmosphere, published in Journal of Thermal Engineering, published in Vol. 1, No.4, India in1981 with Islam Q.M.

04  Turbulence in Axisymmetric Jets in Still Air, published in Journal of Institution of Engineers, Vol. 62, Pt. ME 4, India in1982 with Tucker, H.J.


05  Measurement of Mean Velocity in Turbulent Jets Issuing from a Rectangular Nozzle, published in Journal of Thermal Engineering, Vol. 2, No. 4, India in 1982 with Islam Q.M.

06 Energy Recovery in Manpowered Pumps, published in AMA Farm Machinery Industrial Research Co., Vol. xiv. No1, Japan in 1983.

07 Prandl’s Mixing Length in Free Turbulent Jets, published in Journal of Institution of Engineers, Vol.64, Pt. ME.04, India in 1983.

08  Transition from Laminar to Turbulence in Jet Flows with Parabolic Velocity Distribution at Exit, published in Journal of Thermal Engineering, Vol. 3, No.2, India in 1983.

09  Laminar Jets with Parabolic Velocity Profile at Exile, published in Journal of Mechanical Engineering, Vol. 68. No. 04, India in 1986.

10 Energy Utilization Scenario at a Pharmaceutical Industry in Bangladesh, published as Proceedings of IX ISME Conference, India in 1994 with Sarkar M.A.R.

11 Fuel Consumption and Pollution Levels of Automobiles in Bangladesh, published as Proceedings of 5th International Conference on Small Engineering, Reading University U.K. in 1995 with S.M.R. Talukdar A.B.M. and Sarkar M.A.R.

12 Energy Resources and Renewable Energy Prospects in Bangladesh, published as Proceeding of the First Jordanian Mechanical Engineering Conference, Amman in 1995 with M.A.R. Sarkar.

These papers are published in national journal:

01        An Application of Operation Research to Material Handling, published in Tech. Journal, BUET in 1975.

02        Measurement of Turbulence in Jets, published in Mechanical Engineering Research Bulletin, Vol. 1 No. 3 in 1980.

03        Starting Flow Prediction in Axisymmetric Jets, published in Journal of Institution of Engineers, Vol. 1, No.3 in 1980 with Tucker J.J.

04        An Experimental Investigation of Performance of Multi-cylinder Reciprocating Pumps, published in Mechanical Engineering Research Bulletin, Vol. 1,  No. 4 in 1981 with Islam Q.M.

05        Self-Preservation of Submerged Jets at Start, published in Journal of Institution of Engineers, Vol. 1, No. 3 in 1981 with Khalil G.M.

06        Flow Development in a Pipe with a Specified Entrance Cone, published in Chemical Engineering Research Bulletin, BUET, Vol. 62, Pt. Me. 4 in 1982.

07        Flow in a Confined Turbulent Wall Jets, published in Journal of Institution of Engineers, Vol. 10, No. 2 in 1982.

08        Flow in the Developing Region of Concentric Annuli, published in Research Bulletin of Chemical Engineering, Vol. 7, BUET in 1985 with Islam A.M.N.

09        Finite Difference Solution of Wakes for Turbulent Flow behind a Flat Plat, published in Mechanical Engineering Research Bulletin, Vol. 14, PP. 35-46 in 1991 with Islam M.T.

10        Solid Wastes in the Metropolitan City of Tripoli, published in Journal, Institution of Engineers, Vol. 1 in 1992.

11        Solar Thermal Energy Transfer to Soil, published in International Journal of Solar Energy, Dhaka in 1993 with Sarkar M.A.R.

Professor Islam took part in many national and international conferences, seminars and workshops at home abroad. Valuable proceedings of all those conferences, seminars and workshops have also been published at home and abroad.

The proceedings of international conference, seminar and workshop  published are as follows:

01        The Transition Region of Asisymmetric Turbulent Free Jets, Fifth ISME Conference in Allahabad, India, published in 1982.

02        Prospects of Wind Energy in Libya, International Conference in Bologna, Italy, published in 1988 with Muntassar, M.A.

03        An Overview of Wind Energy in Bangladesh, ENERGEX’88, Vol. 3 in Tripoli, Libya, published in 1988.

04        Development of Community Sized Solar Powered Could Storage in Libya, ENERGEX’88, Vol. 4 in Libya, published in 1988 with Sassi M. Ansari, F.A.

05        Laminar Flow Development through Concentric Annuli, 36th Meeting of American Physical Society in Houston, USA, published in 1993 with Islam A. K. M.S.

06        Energy Resources and Renewable Energy Prospects in Bangladesh, ENERGEX ’93 in Seoul Korea, published in 1993.

07        Energy Consumption in a Textile Mill of Bangladesh, First Jordanian Mechanical Engineering Conference in Amman, published in 1995 with M.A.R. Sarkar.

08        Solid Wastes in the Metropolitan City of Dhaka, 11th International Conference in Philadelphia USA, published in 1995 with M.A.R. Sarkar and R.G.M. Hasan.

09        Energy Scenario in a Jute Mill of Bangladesh, International Seminar, ESDDSM in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia, published in 1995 with M.A.R. Sarkar.

10        Energy Savings by Industrial Cogeneration in Bangladesh, Second International Seminar of Jordanian Mechanical Engine-ering Conference in Jordan, Amman, published in 1997 with M.A.R. Sarkar and M.Y. Ali.

The proceedings of national conference, seminar and workshop published are as follows:

01        Manually Operated Shallow Tube-Wells, Seminar on Solar Drives and Shallow Tube-wells UNICEF, published in 1980.

02        Wind Energy and its Prospects, Seminar on Energy for Development, AEC, published in 1981.

03        Noise and Its Impact, The Bangladesh Observer, published in 1981.

04        Manually Operated Rural Pumps for Irrigation and Drinking Water, 6th /7th Annual, published in 1982 with Islam A.K.M.S.

05        Irrigation Equipment and their Performances, First National Symposium on Agricultural Research, BARC, published in 1983 with Khan M.H.

06        Interaction of Two Parallel Axisymmetric Jets, 9th Annual International Science Conference of BAAS, published in 1984.

07        Experimental Investigation of two Dimensional Wakes behind Flat Plates, 28th Annual Conference of Institution of Engineers, published in 1984 with Faruq P.O.

08        Mechanical Engineering, Regional Meeting of UNIESCO, published in 1994 with Al-Noor M.

09        Development of Personal, Financial and Business Management, Regional UNESCO Seminar, published in 1984 with Kab, A.B.M.Z.

10        Self-Preserving Characteristics of two Dimensional Turbulent Wakes, Annual Convention, published in 1986 with Faruq P.O.

11        A Case Study of Agro-support Industries for Irrigation Equipment, German-Bangladesh Joint Conference, published in 1986 with Khan M.H.

12        Solar Energy Radiation and Development of Battery Charge Controller for a Photo Voltaic System, Energy Conference, BCSIR, published in 1991 with Sarkar A.R. and Huq. A.M.A.

13        Renewable Energy Development and Promotion through and Institutional Infrastructure, Workshop on Renewable Energy Develo-pment, AEC, published in 1990.

14        Solar Energy Research Work at BUET, Solar Energy: Its Prospects for Tropical Countries, Goethe Institute, published in 1993 with Sarkar M.A.R and Huq. A.A.M.

15        Energy Researches and Renewable Energy Prospects in Bangladesh, IEB Convention, published in 1993.

16        Teaching Methods in University, UGC Seminar, published in 1998.

17        Memorial Lecture, IEB Convention, published in 1999.

18        Unnata Jibanar Janwa Shikkha, Keynote Speech Education Week, Ministry of Education, published in 1999.

19        Lessons from Nigeria regarding Petroleum Industry, International Energy Seminar, IIT,  Gazipur, published in November,2000 with Hassan M.

20        Building Dam for Electricity and Its Environmental Consequences, International Energy Seminar, IIT, Gazipur, published in November, 2000 with Hassan M.

21        Village Infrastructure Develop-ment and Its Implications on Housing and Rural Environment, International Seminar on Village Infrastructure BUET, published in November, 2000 with Hassan M.


Professor Nazrul Islam along with Professor M.H. Khan pioneered the PhD Research in BUET that opened the door of continuing advanced research in 1981 in BUET. Since then, Professor Nazrul Islam has been working as supervisor of PhD, M.Sc. Engineering and M. Engineering research works of BUET students, especially on difficult subjects like Region of Mixing Layer, Wake behind a Flat Plate with Pressure, Developing Region of Laminar Flow in Annuli, Flow of Development in Symmetrical Jet, Turbulence Characteristics in Turbulent Wakes, Physics of Supersonic Mixing Layers in two Non-parallel Streams, Flow Visualization, and Pollution by Automobile Vehicle. Under his supervision, a number of students already received PhD, M.Sc. Engineering and M. Engineering degrees from BUET.

Dr. Nazrul Islam has been experiencing research since 1969, consulting since 1976, computer in the University of Windsor, Canada since 1977-1979 and in BUET since 1983 and consulting for mills and industries of Bangladesh since 1980. For over 43 years, he has been working tirelessly to the developments of teaching, research and profession of engineering, especially mechanical engineering in Bangladesh. His untiring efforts and contributions have made a place for him as an icon of mechanical engineering in Bangladesh.

Icon of Mechanical Engineering, Professor Islam has already visited almost all the parts of the globe, especially Canada, USA, UK, Italy, Australia, Nigeria, Libya, Singapore and India.

He married Mahmuda Khatun. His wife Mahmuda is a scion of a distinguihed  family. They have been blessed with three children, one daughter and two sons. Their daughter Mashkura Zaman is the eldest among the three children. She is a house wife and now living with her husband in Qatar. Among two sons,  S. M. Nafisul Islam is elder. He is a Civil Engineer and now living in Edmonton of Canada. Youngest son S. M. Naemul Islam is doing PhD in the University of Purdue in USA.

As a man, Professor Nazrul Islam is very simple and pious. He is soft-spoken and  a mild-mannered gentle man.  He is, by nature, always cooperative and cordial to others and an amiable person