Research development

Bangladesh’s only aviation university prioritizes research and development

Mohammad Nazrul Islam

Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Aviation and Aerospace University has strengthened its research and development activities in four areas, in line with the nation’s goal of becoming a knowledge-based country by 2041 .

The focus areas chosen for BSMRAAU are the construction of prototype single-engine light aircraft, medium-range drones, nano-satellites and indigenous rockets, said the university’s vice-chancellor, the vice-marshal of the tune Muhammad Nazrul Islam, in a recent interview with New Age at his Tejgaon. office in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh.

He noted that the National Perspective Plan 2041 has identified the need for professional and skilled human resources for the country’s aviation and aerospace sector.

While developing updates on the institution’s R&D activities, he told how they were trying to enlist the services of non-resident Bangladeshi experts to overcome the shortage of quality teachers by paying fees to them. affordable advice.

The VC also said they would move the Tejgaon University campus from the capital in July to its permanent site in Lalmonirhat, a northern town more than 300 kilometers from the capital.

Nazrul Islam, who was appointed VC of the country’s only aviation and aerospace university in July 2021, said the entity had prioritized research and development since its establishment in February 2019.

According to Nazrul, lack of research has been one of the main reasons for the country’s poor technological progress, he said.

He said the BSMRAAU will soon start building prototype single-engine light aircraft with the help of the country’s air force.

Hangers and sites are ready for these planes while procedures for importing equipment will soon be completed, he also said.

The production of medium-range drones, capable of traveling more than 100 kilometers, has become a priority for the establishment, with an emphasis on the development of nanosatellites and rockets to capitalize on the enthusiasm of students for research and Development.

Already, the fund for the R&D component has been raised 10 times in the current financial year compared to the previous financial year, he said without revealing the amount.

According to the BSMRAAU VC, drones can be widely used for agricultural and tourism purposes, while the demand for the item in the maritime sector is also high.

He revealed that they are also developing nanosatellites and rockets.

“Rockets are an integral part of space science,” he said, adding that they are progressing in this regard in a very methodical way, because rocket science is very critical.

Computer modeling of rocket designs is underway once the designs are complete, he said.

He revealed that they are also using Air Force assistance to carry out physical rocket tests in the coming days.

The university, he continued, has entered into collaboration with a number of reputable universities, institutions, research centers and experts in its four priority areas.

“We have signed MoUs with the Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh, leading manufacturers like Airbus and Marshall Aerospace and Defense Group of Canada, institutions of higher education like University of Dhaka, Cranfield University and the University of Surrey in the UK and Shenyang Aerospace in China. to name a few,” he said.

He also said that the eminent Indian space scientist and former President of the Indian Space Research Organization, Prof. AS Kiran Kumar, the Pro-Vice Chancellor of Cranfield University, Prof. Dame Helen Atkinson and Prof. Nazmul Ula of Loyola University Maryland in the United States, held sessions at training events.

The university has already built an antenna and installed it on a roof of its makeshift campus in Tejgoan to begin exploring space science.

‘This [the antenna] works because it can establish a connection with satellites,” said Nazrul Islam.

He said they were getting a good response from non-resident Bangladeshi experts against a request from BSMRAAU to take courses at the university because the consulting fees from foreign experts are very high.

The university will also organize the training of its teachers in foreign universities because they are determined not to compromise on the quality of education and training.

He noted that compromising on quality would not help them translate the dream of making the university into a center of excellence in the county’s aviation industry and space sciences.

He welcomed the government’s decision to make the university an important international entity in the field of aeronautical and space science and technology to meet the national aspirations set on the occasion of the country’s 50 years of independence.

The Vice-Chancellor noted that the country’s aviation sector is growing like in many other parts of the world.

He, however, lamented that the sector is mainly dependent on foreigners, forcing the country to spend foreign currency for their services.

He said they were preparing to move the university campus to Lalmonirhat in July.

Initially, undergraduate courses will be taught at the residential Lalmonirhat campus, facilitated by the Air Force, he added.

Nazrul Islam said a development project proposal had already been submitted to the Ministry of Education in relation to its permanent campus on government-allocated land in the same town.

He said he was overwhelmed by the desire of students to gain admission to the university.

At present, BSMRAAU has two batches of BSc in Aeronautical Engineering (Aerospace) and one batch of BSc in Aeronautical Engineering (Avionics) in the undergraduate program.

The university’s current graduate students include two master’s batches in aviation safety and accident investigation and an MBA in aviation management and a master’s batch in aviation and space law.

From July 2022, BSMRAAU will start offering MSc in Space Systems Engineering and MSc in Satellite Communications Engineering.

It also plans to offer MS in Autonomous Systems Engineering, MS in Aeronautical Engineering (Aerospace) and Aeronautical Engineering (Avionics) beginning in the 2022-23 academic year.

Nazrul Islam expected applicants for a higher science degree to give high priority to college in the future.

He also expected the number of students to reach 300 by June 2022 and 700 by 2025.