Engineer Md. Ali Zulquarnain graduated from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) in 1980 with a degree in Electrical Engineering. He then joined Rajshahi Engineering College (now called Rajshahi University of Engineering and Technology, RUET) and introduced the first ever course on high-voltage engineering for undergraduate electrical engineering students.
He left RUET in 1981 and joined the Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission (BAEC) the same year, serving the organization for about 36 years until his retirement in 2017 as the commission’s Chairman. In various capacities during his long professional career at BAEC, he significantly contributed to the construction, commissioning, operation, and maintenance of the only nuclear installation in the country, the 3-MW TRIGA Mk-II Research Reactor at the Atomic Energy Research Establishment (AERE), Savar, Dhaka, including as the Reactor Manager for about 10 years. His contributions also included preparation of safety analysis reports and various operational documents as well as the development of Bangladesh’s state system of accounting for and control of nuclear material, in compliance with the requirements of the international nuclear non-proliferation regime. As an engineer, Professor Zulquarnain received extensive training on and exposure to various aspects of nuclear technology in different renowned nuclear laboratories and installations around the world, such as the Los Alamos National Lab; the Argonne National Lab; the Sandia Nation Lab; the Oakridge National Lab, United States; the Orai Engineering Center, Japan; KAERI in the Republic of Korea; ROSATOM-CICE&T in Obninsk, Russia; BARC & NPCBL in India; BATAN-PPTN in Indonesia; ANSTO in Australia; the Institute for Nuclear Research at Pitesti, Romania; and Atominstitut, Vienna, Austria. While working at AERE, he was involved in the implementation of several of the government’s ADP projects in various capacities, including as Project Director. He also worked in collaboration with various international agencies under the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) umbrella and successfully completed several technical cooperation and regional cooperative agreement projects, in addition to serving the IAEA as an expert/resource personnel on research reactor matters. In 2011, while working as the Director General of AERE, he was selected as a Member of BAETE has been with BAETE since. He took part in several accreditation visits as a member (representing industry) of various Evaluation Teams. He also served the BPERB of IEB as an evaluator for about 2 years.
Engr. Zulquarnain was appointed a Member (Planning) of BAEC in December 2011 and then became heavily involved in the development of the Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant (RNPP) Project currently being implemented under a government-to-government agreement between Bangladesh and the Russian Federation with two units of VVER-1200 reactors. He significantly contributed to the development of various contract documents and the project’s Technical Assignment document. In addition, he worked as a member–secretary and a member of several high-level committees (e.g., HR committee, Power Purchase Agreement Committee, and committees that related to nuclear law and civil liability for nuclear damage), which were formed by the authorities to facilitate the implementation of the RNPP project. Being assigned by the Ministry of Science & Technology, he prepared the draft proposal for setting up an Engineering Research Council in the country.
Engr. Zulquarnain worked as a part-time faculty member of the Mechanical Engineering Department, BUET, from 2014 to 2017 and taught a course on nuclear engineering (NE-439) for the final year students along with the department’s late Professor Abdur Rashid Sarkar, PhD. He also delivered several lectures in various open courses arranged by the Institute on Nuclear Power Engineering, BUET. In addition to being invited to speak by various national and international bodies, he has delivered many lectures on nuclear technology to a wide range of audiences, including decision makers, professionals, journalists, students and members of the public.
Since his retirement from BAEC as its Chairman, Engr. Zulquarnain has been involved in teaching as a part-time faculty member of the Nuclear Science and Engineering Department of the Military Institute on Science and Technology, Mirpur Cantonment, Dhaka. He also worked as a part-time faculty member of the Electrical and Electronic Engineering Department of United International University for about 2 years. He has had several papers published in local and international journals/conference proceedings as well as in the IAEA TECDOCs.