ISLAMABAD - The Higher Education Commission (HEC) Wednesday conferred awards on 32 outstanding researchers at the 3rd Outstanding Research Awards ceremony for the years 2010 and 2011.

The researchers were given awards in five categories including Best Research Paper, Best Young Research Scholar, Best Innovator, Best Book Publication, and Lifetime Academic Achievement.

Awards for Best Research Paper went to Dr Rohama Gill, Department of Environmental Sciences, Fatima Jinnah Women University, Dr Mubasher Jamil, Centre for Advanced Mathematics and Physics, National University of Sciences and Technology, Dr Muhammad Atif, National Institute of Laser and Optronics, Nilore, Dr Khalid Saifullah, Department of Mathematics, Quaid-i-Azam University, Dr Javed Iqbal, General Manager NESCOM, Dr Adnan Ali, Department of Physics, Government College University, Faisalabad, Dr Saeed Farooq, Department of Psychiatry, Postgraduate Medical Institute, Lady Reading Hospital Peshawar, Muhammad Ilyas, Centre of Excellence in Molecular Biology, University of Punjab, Dr Arshad Mehmood Abbasi, Department of Environmental Sciences, COMSATS Institute of Information Technology Abbottabad, Dr Abad Khan, Department of Pharmacy, University of Swabi, Murad Khan, Department of Biotechnology, University of Malakand, Dr Muddassar Abbas Rizvi, Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission, Dr Sher Jamal Khan, Institute of Environmental Sciences and Engineering NUST, Dr Abdul Majid, Department of Computer and Information Sciences PIEAS, Dr Khanji Harijan, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Mehran University of Engineering and Technology Jamshoro, Dr Muhammad Abdullah, Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission, Dr Faisal Jamil, NUST Business School, Dr Shafqat Hussain, Government MC Boys High School Mianwali, Dr Sajid Bashir, Department of Management Sciences, Muhammad Ali Jinnah University, and Dr Zafar Iqbal, Department of Media and Communication Studies, International Islamic University Islamabad.

Best Young Research Scholar Awards were given to Dr Sohail Nadeem, Department of Mathematics, Quaid-i-Azam University, Dr Naveed Ahmed Khan, Department of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Aga Khan University, Karachi, Dr Osman Hasan, School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, NUST, and Dr Muhammad Usman Awan, Institute of Quality and Technology Management, University of Punjab.

Best Book Publication Awards were won by Dr Shoaib Khan, Department of Computer Engineering, College of EME, NUST, Dr Wasim Ahmed Khan, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, GIK Institute, Dr Muhammad Iqbal Chawla, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, University of Punjab, Dr Ilhan Niaz, Department of History, Quaid-i-Azam University, and Dr Syed Nawab Haider Naqvi, FUUAST School of Economics.

Lifetime Academic Achievement Award went to Dr Jamil Anwar, Vice Chancellor Lahore Garrison University, Dr Muhammad Ashraf, University College of Agriculture Sargodha, and Dr Rasul Bakhsh Rais, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, LUMS.

Federal Minister for Science and Technology Zahid Hamid conferred awards on outstanding teachers. He said quality research deserves recognition. Dr Mukhtar Ahmed, Executive Director HEC and Dr Mazhar Saeed, Director General (R&D) HEC were also present on the occasion.

Congratulating the award winners, the minister said, "You are a role model for your colleagues and students. Hope you will be involved more energetically to boost research culture in your institutions." He requested the researchers and scholars to pay attention towards those areas, which can contribute to the development of the region in which their institution is located. "The existence of a university must be visible by its integration with the local community and universities must have role in community services," he said.