Expat engineers dream big for Bangladesh | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, February 26, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:24 AM, February 26, 2019

Expat engineers dream big for Bangladesh

Convention begins in Dhaka today

Non-resident Bangladeshi (NRB) engineers want to contribute to building a new Bangladesh through the transfer of their experience and world class consultancy services in mega infrastructure projects.

Besides, they want to get involved in different development projects and the information technology sector, including in issues involving cyber security, to minimise the government's expenses.

Arriving in Dhaka over the last couple of days to participate in a two-day conference scheduled to begin today, some of the 300 NRB engineers shared with The Daily Star their expectations, intentions and ideas of future contributory plans.

Azadul Haq, chairman of the Bridge to Bangladesh (B to B), a platform of NRB engineers which is a co-organiser of the conference, expressed his aspiration to get involved in mega infrastructure projects, particularly those in the energy sector. Haq is an electrical engineer at Kinder Morgan, the third largest energy infrastructure company in the US.

“The government does not need to spend millions of dollars to avail consultancy from foreign experts. We can help the government by providing consultancy services as we have global experience and the level of expertise is very high,” he said.

He said NRB engineers were working in different renowned global companies, sharpening efficiency in their respective fields.

He suggested that the government appoint NRB engineers in consultancy services and make projects sustainable while giving an indication of a change in mindset over the appointment of foreign consultants.

Another such interested contributor is Mizanul H Chowdhury, systems administrator at Zero Robotics of the MIT Space Systems Laboratory.

He wants to create the scope for Bangladeshi students to get involved with International Space Station (ISS) through the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

However, he said, as countries like Bangladesh and India were yet to partner with the international collaboration of the ISS, their students could not work with it.

“I negotiated with the MIT to allow Bangladeshi students to work with the International Space Station as a sponsor country,” he said. If Bangladesh sponsors its own students, then they will be allowed to work with the ISS as researchers, he said.

This education is very important and highly required for the next generation of Bangladesh as its economy is growing rapidly, he noted.

Alim Abdul, a cyber security expert living in the US, says he wants to provide training to 10,000 people in Bangladesh on ways to ensure security in the financial sector and to provide security solutions.

“The size of Bangladesh's economy is getting bigger for which Bangladesh should put emphasis on artificial intelligence to enhance cyber security,” he said, adding, “I would like to transfer my experience and knowledge to my country to ensure cyber protection.”

Jalil Khan, a transportation engineer at the California Department of Transportation, has vast experience in resolving traffic congestion. He wants to use his expertise to help Bangladesh address the issue in its biggest cities. “We are here to mitigate traffic congestion of Dhaka city. We have brought papers offering solutions on easing the traffic system,” he noted.

“We also have experts here on river training and how to protect rivers from pollution,” Khan said.

“We came here to contribute to the country's development by providing expert services for a new Bangladesh and for the country to become a high-income one,” he said.

The Bridge to Bangladesh is organising the conference, the first of its kind, jointly with Economic Relations Division and Access to Information (a2i) at Pan Pacific Sonargaon Dhaka.

A total of 300 NRB engineers from 30 countries including the US, the UK, Canada, Singapore, Sweden, Japan, Australia, the UAE, the Philippines, Qatar and South Korea would participate in the event.

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