by Imran H. Khan

As Muslims across the world prepare for, typically, once in a lifetime travel to Mecca to fulfill their religious obligation, it is time to ponder upon its impact on our planet Earth. With the rapid growth in Muslim populations, the advent of aviation and relative prosperity, an increasing number of Muslims are performing Haj.  Last year three million people performed it and the number of Hajis ( as they are called) are only going to increase with time as the facilities at Mecca are improved and the availability of aircraft like Airbus A380 and Boeing747.

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by Imran H. Khan

Confluence of efficient solar cells, electric motors, energy harvesting techniques,composite materials, dense and sophisticated avionics is creating opportunities to develop Unattended Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UUAS). The first wave of UASs have enabled many applications that were unachievable with manned systems. As it turned out many of the UASs required more manpower on the ground than manned systems. There are still many more applications that become physically and economically viable if the humans are completely taken out of the loop.  This requires that the system be smart enough to take into account all eventualities, and have the ability to harvest energy from natural sources.

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by Shahzad Malik and Mehwish Nasim

The Core Communications and Networks Laboratory (CoNNekT Lab) at School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (SEECS), National University of Science and Technology (NUST), is a newly established research lab under the guidance of Dr. Saad Qaisar, a Michigan State University alum. The lab currently focuses on a diverse set of areas ranging from efficient multimedia coding and communication for telecom networks to e-health monitoring solutions and medical devices. The lab’s focus is on both applied and theoretical research. For theoretical research, the emphasis is on multimedia communications over packet networks; compressed sensing; video coding and communications over the Internet and wireless networks; modeling and analysis of the stochastic behavior of communication networks, applied information theory and network optimization. For applied research, lab’s particular focus is to improve the quality of life for low-income households in developing world through the creation and implementation of low cost technologies.

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by Shamyl Bin Mansoor, Osman Hasan and Dr Asif Zafar

Minimally invasive surgery (MIS) has revolutionized surgical care and treatment by reducing trauma to the patient, decreasing the need for pain medication, shortening recovery times and hospital stays, and improving cosmetic results. Laparoscopic surgery is accomplished by gaining access to the abdominal cavity, visualizing the cavity using a laparoscope, and performing diagnostic and therapeutic procedures.  The term “laparoscopy” comes from the Greek words “laparo” (the flank) and “skopein” (to examine). As surgeons became skilled in laparoscopic cholecystectomy, they began to use laparoscopy to perform other advanced abdominal operations.

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by Imran H. Khan

Core technologies and capabilities that drive the economies take a long time, large amounts of money and even bigger patience to bear fruit. But once they mature, the rewards are well worth the effort.  Malcolm Gladwell in his book “Outliers” makes a similar case for outstanding achievers, that it is more of their earlier start than their brains that make them excel. It is sustained practice of ones art or profession that over the period of time blossoms into an unsurpassed  ability.  Developing countries typically try to shy away from making investments in longer gestation technologies and therefore commit themselves to the path of perpetually playing catchup with developed countries. This is a story of a jet engine that propelled Air Forces possessing it into an unrivaled position. Read more

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by Dr. Mariam Hassan

Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital (SKMCH & RC) is a state-of-the-art specialist cancer center dedicated to providing the best possible care to all patients, irrespective of their ability to pay. The hospital was the brain-child of Pakistan’s star cricketer Imran Khan, and was built in the memory of his late mother, Mrs Shaukat Khanum who suffered from cancer in the late 1980’s and eventually passed away. The shocking lack of cancer treatment in a developing country, like Pakistan and the resulting agony of millions became the inspiration for a global fundraising campaign by Imran Khan for a cancer care facility which would eventually become Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital. His shared this dream with millions of people and after a ground breaking ceremony in 1990 and, with an estimated project cost of US $ 24 million , the hospital was completed as promised in a span of four years. Read more

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cartoonby Imran H. Khan

How we educate ourselves from childhood onwards is something that has evolved over the centuries, and the processes are deeply ingrained in our psyches. There are some very good evolutionary reasons for the existing educational system that seem to work just fine amongst the well to do in the developed countries.  At the same time we have seen that application of technology has revolutionized a number of other human activities and the old systems of doing business have either crumbled or have had to rapidly evolve with the changing environment. They range from journalism, advertising,  health delivery, travel, communications and so on. So it should be not surprising that technology also rock the education boat. When we typically think of the application of technology to education, the image that commonly comes to mind is that of students using computers and accessing internet. That may have been a start, but now there are a host of other capabilities that allow for our creativity to wander freely to explore. My goal here is to make you think about the new possibilities to restructuring how we educate the all humans that inhabit this planet. I would like you to be audacious with me for a while. Read more

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by Imran H. Khan

jadoo_comb1Seldom does something so small make such a major social splash as the JadooTV box. The reason is that the box is just the tip of an ice berg. The multimedia content aggregation, Jadoo Portal, globally distributed media servers and a high bandwidth global infrastructure constitute the whole iceberg. JadooTV is a palm size box that connects the internet to your TV set and allows you to browse and watch audio, video and multi-media content in your living room or wherever your TV is located. It could even be in a car. The concept of connecting TV is not new and there are other companies providing devices that do the same; like VuNow from VerismoNetworks and IPTV2000 from Netgear. Read more

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by Imran H. Khan

nif-1209-18049I was privileged to visit the most powerful laser on the planet at National Ignition Facility(NIF) at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory this week. NIF was created to generate a controlled Fusion Reaction that happens regularly on stars. The NIF houses a 1.8 Mega Joule laser that will be used to fire a laser pulse at a 2mm target of hydrogen atoms to create Fusion reaction consists of involving deuterium (D) and tritium (T). Deuterium is an isotope of hydrogen, so-called “heavy hydrogen”, and is found in seawater (about 33g per tonne). Tritium is an isotope of hydrogen, and may be produced by neutron reactions with lithium, which is widely available, both from ore from the earth and also from seawater. In each D-T fusion reaction 17.6 MeV of stored energy is released, along with a Helium nucleus (He) and a neutron (n). This is about one million times the amount of energy released from a chemical reaction, such as the burning of fossil fuels. This is how so little fuel can produce so much energy when fusion is employed. The answer to human energy needs may lie at the beginning of the periodic table rather than at its end. Read more

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by Imran H. Khan

monisI had the good fortune of meeting three amazing Pakistanis who are in the process of changing the Pakistani society. They are young in years but mature and savvy in technology, business and the art of managing dynamic organizations. They share traits that are common to global entrepreneurs of self drive, respect for time, global market awareness,  getting quickly to the bottom of things and balancing priorities. All three of them got their education and training outside Pakistan and are now inculcating and mentoring Pakistanis with what they learned abroad.  As it turns out they are spearheading in the three synergistic technological areas of education, research and industry. Sometimes the stars get aligned and the right opportunities are given to people with the right credentials and motivations. Read more

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