PROF. DR. A. F. M. SAIFUL AMIN
Structural Engineering in Disaster Prevention
Professor Dr. A.F.M. Saiful Amin, renowned educator and expert in the field of engineering, is a leading proponent and promoter of engineering education and sustainable infrastructure in Bangladesh. As an experienced civil engineer and leader in groundbreaking engineering research, he has been teaching and researching as well as designing, constructing, repairing, and maintaining installations for over 25 years.
In 1996, as an undergraduate in Civil Engineering at Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology, he received the Gold Medal from Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for graduating in first place with first-class honors. He received his PhD. from Saitama University in Japan in 2001, researching earthquake-resistant bridge design, and since 2010, he has been Professor of Engineering in the Department of Civil Engineering at BUET.
Dr. Amin is the director of BUET's Institute for Disaster Prevention and Urban Safety, focused on research on disaster management and disaster risk reduction and creating a more skilled workforce for the country. He currently leads the country's largest research project on earthquake-related disaster management and natural disaster-related risk reduction. Run with the help of Japan, its results will play a major role in making national policy in a host of relevant fields.
Dr. Amin also plays a vital role in improving the quality of education in engineering as Vice Chairman and the Acting Chairman of the Board of Accreditation for Engineering and Technical Education of the Institution of Engineers, Bangladesh, a provisional signatory of the Washington Accord.
From 1998 to 2007, Dr. Amin conducted fundamental research on using high-damping rubber bearings to protect bridges from earthquakes in Japan, Bangladesh, and Germany. This internationally tested and successful technology has been directly applied in the construction of the second Kanchpur-Meghna-Gomti bridge recently constructed on the Dhaka-Chittagong highway, for the first time in Bangladesh.
On behalf of BUET, Dr. Amin also serves as the team leader in the Padma Multipurpose Bridge Rail Link Project, one of the mega projects of the Government of Bangladesh, and he is also serving as an expert in designing, constructing, repairing, and maintaining important buildings and infrastructure as well as Bangabandhu Bridge, Dhaka Elevated Expressway, Payra Bridge, Bangladesh Textile University, and various large and small bridges.
Leading Promoter of the Bridge Engineering Discipline in Bangladesh
A respected Fellow with the Institution of Engineers in Bangladesh, Dr. Amin has studied, participated in research and conferences, received awards and grants, traveled and given lectures in many locations, including Germany, Japan, America, Bangladesh, the United Kingdom, Canada, Malaysia, Thailand, and Europe. Throughout many of these countries, Dr. Amin has personally examined bridges in his efforts to advance the knowledge of bridge engineering in Bangladesh. Closely associated with the Institution of Engineers, Bangladesh, since 2001, Dr. Amin has also been an Editor for the Journal of Civil Engineering of the Institution of Engineers, which he helped with its online launch in 2006.
Founding and nurturing the Bridge Engineering discipline in Bangladesh to assist his country in sustainable infrastructure development, Dr. Amin has, since 2005, been the main organizer of a series of international conferences (2005, 2010, 2015, and 2020) that have become a primary force for innovation, acquisition, development, and application of appropriate technologies in Bridge Engineering for Bangladesh. As each conference has grown, both domestically and internationally, its contribution to the development of bridge-engineering in the country is profound and pivotal.
He is also the Chair of the Bangladesh Branch of IABSE, a Switzerland-based international association for professionals in bridges and installations. The IABSE-JSCE Conference on Advances in Bridge Engineering-III—held in Bangladesh in 2015—celebrated the Centenary of Hardinge Bridge (1915-2015) together with the theme of overcoming engineering and social challenges in owning a resilient infrastructure. Through this landmark conference, Dr. Amin was able to communicate the importance of direct application of bridge engineering to the common man. The subsequent international conference presented to the engineering community in 2020 focused on the need to improve the quality of engineering.
Background and Education
Dr. Amin's ancestral home is in Mohanpur village of Matlab thana in Chandpur district. He was born in 1971 in Dhaka. The eldest of three brothers and sisters, he was raised in Dhaka by his parents – his father, Dr. Muhammad Nurul Amin, a jute researcher, and his mother, Professor Hosne Ara Amin, who taught Home Economics in college. From a young age, Saiful Amin dreamed of becoming an engineer, and he became one out of his passion for it.
He passed SSC with Star Marks from Government Laboratory High School in 1987, and in 1991, he was admitted to the Civil Engineering Department of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology after placing fifth in Dhaka Board's HSC merit list from Dhaka College in 1989. In 1996, he took first place and graduated with first-class honors in Civil Engineering from BUET. Soon after graduation, he chose the Bangladesh University of Engineering as his workplace and began his teaching career as a lecturer. After completing his Master of Science studies at BUET in 1998, he moved to Japan for higher education with a scholarship from the Japanese government. Researching earthquake-resistant bridge design at Saitama University, he received his PhD. in 2001. Now he was ready to fulfill his dream of returning to Bangladesh and applying his knowledge and talents to helping his country. He joined BUET's Department of Civil Engineering as an Assistant Professor in 2001. In 2004, he was invited by the German government to study at the University of Kassel as a visiting professor, and in 2007, he was the first engineer from Bangladesh to be invited as a Fellow of the German government's prestigious Alexander von Humboldt Foundation to study at the University of Munich as a visiting professor. He became a professor in BUET's Civil Engineering Department in 2010.
In addition to his Malik Akram Hossain Gold Medal, a doctoral research scholarship from the Government of Japan (Monbusho), University Merit Scholarships, F.R. Khan Scholarship, the German government's Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Fellowship, and other honors, Dr. Amin has received numerous honors for his role in engineering education and research. He was the first Bangladeshi to receive the Japan Society of Civil Engineers International Collaboration Award (2017) for continued efforts and outstanding contributions to the infrastructural development of Bangladesh. In 2016, at the special invitation of the President of the Institution of Civil Engineers, United Kingdom, he was awarded an Honorary Fellowship, and in 2018, as the only South Asian ambassador among 13 special honorees from all over the world, he was invited to speak at a civic event in London marking the 200th anniversary of the Institution of Civil Engineers in the United Kingdom. In 2019, as an alumnus of Saitama University in Japan, he received an honorary invitation to give a speech in the presence of current university teachers, students, and prominent citizens of the greater Tokyo city.