The Study UK Alumni Awards 2019-20 recognise and celebrate the benefits that studying at a UK university has had upon the individual, their community and country.

What began as a pilot in 2015 in three countries is now a global awards programme open to alumni in every country, celebrating outstanding alumni around the world. All alumni are entered into the Global Alumni Awards, with additional national-level awarding ceremonies in 12 countries: Azerbaijan, China, Egypt, Greece, India, Kuwait, Malaysia, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Thailand and Turkey. The finalists and winners of the Global Alumni Awards will be announced online as part of a digital campaign to promote their stories from April 2020. The three global winners will be invited to the UK for a professional networking visit to build their networks and boost their careers.

This year, more than 1,200 applications were received from alumni in more than 140 countries, representing alumni from more than 80 per cent of all UK higher education institutions. In future years we hope to continue to celebrate and share the inspirational stories of many more outstanding UK alumni, showcasing the value and impact of a UK higher education.

Meet this year's finalists.

Professional Achievement Award - Murtaza Ali

University of Sheffield, Brunel University London

Murtaza joined NUST as an Assistant Professor in 2013. As Head of Department, he established the Department of Biomedical Engineering and research labs and has supervised over 60 post-graduate students. At NUST, Murtaza has secured more than 200 million rupees worth of research grants from various local and international sources, creating job opportunities for several Research Assistants.

Murtaza has also founded a start-up, Kounter Intuitive Technologies (KIT), incubated at NUST. This profitable venture is the only medical device company in Pakistan that is giving the industry of Pakistan, Middle-East and the European Market, technological services in terms of process automation machines, product testing machines and preparation of Clinical Evaluation and Biological Evaluation Reports, Technical Files and Design Dozier. The company has also developed its own product, i.e. Infant Resuscitation Unit, Infant Warmers and Phototherapy Lights, for Neonatal ICU and Intensive Care Units and has sold various such units to many hospitals in Pakistan.

In 2017, the Government of Pakistan, under the directive of the Prime Minister of Pakistan, assigned Murtaza to establish the National Center of Excellence, called as “Medical Devices Development Center”, with the objective to produce indigenous cost-effective Cardiac stents, Angiography Balloon Catheters and Angiographic Diagnostic Catheters – which is now running clinical trials and employs over 50 individuals.

Murtaza provides technical consultancy to IMECE, a member of the “Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan” and a chartered engineer in the UK Engineering Council. He has studied at Brunel University London, Queen Mary University London and the University of Sheffield. 

Professional Achievement Award - Moazam Fraz

Kingston University 

Dr. Muhammad Moazam Fraz completed his PhD (Computer Science) from the Faculty of Science Engineering and Computing, Kingston University London in 2013. His research area was application of machine learning / computer vision techniques for diagnostic retinal image analysis. His PhD thesis was nominated for IET excellence awards 2013. After completing his PhD, he has worked as post doc researcher at Kingston University in collaboration with St George’s University of London and UK BioBank on the development of an automated software tool to quantify and measure retinal vessels morphology and size; determine the width ratio of arteries and veins as well as the vessel tortuosity index. This tool enables the epidemiologists to analyze the association between systemic and cardiovascular disease and the retinal vessel characteristics as potential biomarker, on very large dataset of UK Biobank. Afterwards, he has joined NUST SEECS as Assistant Professor in June 2014.

 

Dr. Fraz received his MS and BS degrees in Software Engineering in 2008 and 2003 respectively. He was the recipient of two Gold Medals for 'Best Graduate Award' and 'Securing Top Position in the batch'. He has started his career in 2003 as a Software Development Engineer at Elixir Technologies Corporation, a California based software Company. He has served with Elixir until 2010 at various roles and capacities including software developer, development manager and program manager. He is a PMI (www.pmi.org) certified Project Management Professional (PMP).

He is awarded with Rutherford Visiting Fellowship by The Alan Turing Institute United Kingdom (UK's National Center for Data Science and Artificial Intelligence) to work on Deep learning‐based histopathological analytics for better cancer grading and prognostications. Under this fellowship he has worked as Senior Research Fellow at the Tissue Image Analytics (TIA) Lab, University of Warwick, UK from March 2018‐March 2019. At present he is working as an Assistant Professor at NUST SEECS and involved in teaching, research, student supervision and volunteering activities.

Professional Achievement Award - Winner - Sheraz Zaka

Cardiff University

Sheraz completed his LLM from Cardiff University with the goal of becoming an agent of change.

Since 2014 Sheraz has appeared in numerous public interest litigation matters/constitutional cases and provided free legal aid to the oppressed class of the society, representing his community before the Lahore High Court against the industrial units established in residential areas causing environmental pollution in 2017 and several other parties to protect the environment, domestic workers, disabled people, the Christian community, transgender community, film-makers and last year to protect the natural resources of Pakistan.

Professional Achievement Award - Hifza Johar

University of Leeds

Dr Hifza Rasheed obtained a BSc.Hons degree in Agriculture from the University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, where she was awarded a university merit scholarship and graduated in first class first position in her year. She then moved to Quaid-i-Azam University (QAU), Islamabad, where she gained an MPhil in Microbiology, finishing in the first position in the Department of Biological Sciences. In addition to QAU merit scholarship, she received the Academic Distinction Award for achieving the top position in the 2000-2002 class. During her studies, Hifza became interested in environmental protection, so joined the Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (PCRWR), where since 2002 she has performed research on water quality issues and technologies.

For the last 13 years, Hifza has contributed to multidisciplinary research and development projects designed to identify risks to surface and ground water sources, develop cost-effective and scalable water testing technologies, and provided solutions to mitigate chemical and microbial contaminants.

Her PhD research work at University of Leeds was focused on exposure to chemical forms of arsenic - a naturally occurring element with multiple toxic effects. Hifza has developed an integrated risk assessment approach to describe the sources, exposure routes and response elements of the overall risks to human health from inorganic and organic arsenic species. She expected that her findings will assist scientific communities, regulatory bodies, and policy makers in managing chemical contamination, as well as in the medical treatment of arsenic affected communities.

After completion of her PhD studies, Hifza has resumed her position at PCRWR to pursue a research career in water quality and environmental health. During last one year she has achieved ISO-17025 accreditation of National Water Quality Laboratory of Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (PCRWR), developed competency standards and curriculum for National Capacity Building Institute in collaboration with National Vocational & Technical Training Commission (NAVTTC) for 3 years diploma on water quality and resources management recently approved by NAVTCC. She has also completed the water quality assessment part of national nutritional survey of Pakistan (2018). Currently she is working on wastewater recycling, remote water quality monitoring, automation of water quality assessment process, Persistent Organic Pollutants, waste water recycling and interventions required for water and health. Her projects in pipeline include microbial profiling of water bodies, microplastics risk assessment, monitoring of pharmaceutical by products, and bioremediation.

 

Entrepreneurial Award - Muhammad Ali Farid Khwaja

University of Oxford

Ali Farid Khwaja is the Chairman of KASB Securities. KASB is one of the fastest growing investment bank in Pakistan with offices in London and Washington. Prior to KASB, Ali was a Partner at Autonomous Research in London (acquired by Alliance Bernstein). Before that he was the CFO of SafeCharge PLC. SafeCharge is a global fintech company listed on London Stock Exchange which was acquired by Nuevi for $1bn. Ali was ranked as the Top 3 Best Technology Analyst in Europe by Thomson Reuters in 2013. He has worked at UBS, Berenberg and Kudu Emerging Markets. He is a Patron of Bristish Pakistan Foundation, a member of Entrepeneurs Forum of the U.K. Conservative Party and a Rhodes Scholar. 

 

Entrepreneurial Award - Winner - Fauzia Idrees

City University London

Dr. Fauzia started her career as an engineering officer in Pakistan Air Force. She served PAF for 22 years and led the Cyber Security team, working on development of cyber security solutions for defence forces. She also worked as a lead researcher at Air University Islamabad and supervised the academia-industrial collaborative projects. Currently, she is the CEO of her company: Cynosure Technologies which provides cyber security solutions to financial institutions, banks, military and government organizations. She also serves as the founding president of a non-profit organization, Women in STEM Pakistan, working to promote STEM education for girls in Pakistan. Fauzia did her PhD in Information Security Engineering from the City University of London.

Entrepreneurial Award - Danish Dadabhoy

University of St Andrews

Danish has been assisting students with their international educational journey since half a decade. Having studied abroad himself, Danish possesses adequate command on the perks along with the challenges of being an International student.

In 2017, Danish opened his own educational consultancy firm by the name of Empower Education Consultants and to date has placed students in various top tier universities worldwide. The firm holds the accolade of assisting students to affirm scholarships totalling USD 145,000 in these 3 years.

In 2020 Empower plans on promoting quality education nationwide by ingressing in smaller cities of Pakistan.

Danish has studied Masters of Letters in Marketing from the University of St. Andrews.

Entrepreneurial Award - Sarah Qureshi

Cranfield University

Dr. Sarah Qureshi is working as the CEO and founding director of Aero Engine Craft (Pvt) Ltd. She is also a visiting fellow at the School of Aerospace at Cranfield University. Sarah has a PhD degree in Aerospace Engineering from Cranfield University, UK. Her area of specialization is Propulsion whereby she worked on the development of a contrail-free aero-engine that is a novel patented technology and she has furthered this work. During her PhD, Sarah supervised a number of MSc. students for their research projects on Jet Engine Technology. Sarah completed her master’s degree in the field of Aerospace Dynamics from Cranfield University, UK. Her research involved the design of an autopilot for unmanned aircraft (UAVs) flying in formation for the purpose of air to air refuelling. Sarah holds a Private Pilot License (PPL) with 70 hours of Flying Experience and has learned acrobatic flying while at Cranfield. Sarah was offered a University scholarship/studentship for her PhD and MSc studies at the UK.

Social Impact - Marryam Khan

School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS)

Marryam Khan is a civil servant from the Pakistan Administrative Service. She has done her LLM International Law from SOAS. She also remained a Draper Hill Summer Fellow in Center for Democracy Development & Rule of Law. As DG CVE at National Counter Terrorism Authority Pakistan she led the process of development of National Counter Extremism Policy Guidelines for Pakistan through a multidisciplinary stakeholder consultative process. As Deputy Commissioner Okara Marryam was able to partner with local communities and carry out development work including completion of a maternity ward, establishment of a shelter home, electrification of rural schools with solar panels, massive tree plantation, provision of nutrition technician specified food to patients at government hospital and establishing patient attendant halls at hospitals for family members of patients, who otherwise had no place to sleep at night. The work also includes establishment of free food points and arranging mass wedding for underprivileged couples etc. She did not incur a single penny from the exchequer and executed all these projects through local partners. Her work model included extensive interaction with locals and philanthropists. Her work impacted a large number of people and improved their lives. Marryam believes in connecting with people and finding solutions through joint efforts. Through hard work faith and persistence we can find solutions to most intractable problems.

Social Impact - Talat Jehan

London Metropolitan University 

Talat Jehan, currently working as Deputy Provincial Secretary with Balochistan Boy Scouts (Provincial body of Pakistan Boy Scouts, affiliated with World Organisation of the Scouts Movement). Previously, worked with UN Women and UN Volunteers for nearly 1.5 years as Project Coordinator and successfully managed one community/youth led project, which later in March 2019 awarded with honourable mentioned award by UN in Bonn, Germany. Being a part of the world largest educational movement having 50 million scouts in over 200 countries, this platform provided me with countless opportunities to excel professionally and also part of different voluntary interventions and initiatives with an aim to work for the betterment of the society as a whole. Considering the voluntary services rendered, also awarded with Presidential Medal of Merit award.

Social Impact - Winner - Sosan Aziz

University of Sussex

Sosan started working in the Aga Khan Rural Support Programme (AKRSP) as Woman Forester in 1995. She was working with the men and women grassroots communities and grafting scientific knowledge with indigenous knowledge. She was awarded the British Chevening Scholarship in 2007. After completion of her Masters in Gender and Development the University of Sussex, she came back to work at the Aga Khan Foundation’s Education Project, Education Development and Improvement Programme (EDIP) as Deputy Coordinator of the Community Mobilization Component in Education in 2010. After the two years Project on Education I joined the Aga Khan Health’s Project on Maternal Care and Child Survival (MCCS) as Gender Advisor and serving there for one year I got the opportunity to join the Aga Khan Rural Support Programme (AKRSP)’s Gems and Jewellery Project as Gender and Social Development Specialist in 2013 and in May 2016 I joined my current Organization named as Economic Transformation Initiative Gilgit Baltistan (ETI-GB) funded by Govt. of Pakistan and IFAD as Manager Gender and Poverty (GPM). In 2007 I became Chair of the Board of Directors for ‘The Mountain School, Gilgit that is continued today. Since 2015, I have been a member of the Aga Khan Youth and Sports Board for Pakistan playing my role for the development of youth and young adults with a zeal. At Gilgit Baltistan and Pakistan level I have encouraged female and male youth for informed decision making to take ownership or their own actions considering ethical and cultural values. I also educated and motivated youth for holistic wellbeing determined by positive health and lifestyle choice. 

The whole journey of working in the development field has been 24 years and this is the sixth organization I have joined. In 2018, I became the Finalist for British Council Award in Social Impact Category at the national level.  On April 5th ,2018 I become member of National Standing Committee of Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation Project from Gilgit Baltistan, Pakistan. On November 19th ,2019 I became member of the National Commission on the Status of Women (NCSW) Pakistan from GB.  On December 12th ,2019 selected as a finalist for the Social Impact category from Pakistan in Study UK Alumni Awards 2019-20.

Social Impact - Mohammad Sohail Yunis

University of Southampton

Dr Mohammad Sohail is an Assistant Professor and Head of MBA program at IMSciences, Peshawar Pakistan. He has over fifteen years teaching experience nationally and internationally. He also served as a Head of Strategic at IMSciences and member of the Board of Governance, City University Peshawar.

 

Sohail has a special interest in youth empowerment through capacity building and research. He has empowered more than 500 young men and women through trainings, workshops and seminars. The broader philosophy was to empower youth (especially women) through knowledge creation and social-entrepreneurship. He has published widely on gender, women entrepreneurship and role of business in society. In 2018, he was selected by the US Department of State for the distinguish Global International Visitor Leadership program (IVLP).

Sohail studied PhD in Management at the University of Southampton.