The name of Dr. MA Rashid is deeply woven into the history of BUET. He was the founding vice chancellor of BUET when it was established in 1962 as a university (then EPUET) by upgrading the former Ahsanullah Engineering College. BUET, as it is presently famous to all for its high standards of education and discipline, is primarily attributed as the result of the meticulous leadership, strict regulation and high moral courage with which Dr. Rashid administered BUET throughout his tenure.
Dr. Rashid hailed from Habiganj, Sylhet and was born on 16 January 1919. He earned his BSc in Civil Engineering Degree in 1942 from Indian Institute of Engineering Science and Technology, Shibpur in West Bengal, India. He obtained his MSc and DSc degree in 1947 and 1948 respectively from Carnegie Mellon University, USA and became the first in East Bengal to have an engineering doctoral degree. On return from the USA, he joined Department of Civil Engineering, Ahsanullah Engineering College as an Assistant Professor and was later became Professor in 1952. He was appointed as the Principal of Ahsanullah Engineering College in 1954 and served till 1960. He was appointed as a member of the Education Commission of Pakistan in 1958 and it was on the basis of one of its recommendations that the East Pakistan University of Engineering (later BUET) was established. He became chairman of the East Pakistan Public Service Commission in March 1970. After the liberation of Bangladesh, he was made a member of the National Pay Commission in 1972 and a member of the Industrial Workers Wages Commission in 1973. In 1975 he was appointed as a member in the president’s council of advisors and was put in charge of the Ministry of Works. Later he remained as a faculty of Civil Engineering Dept. till his death. He died on 6 November 1981 as a result of an unfortunate car accident.
Dr. Rashid received Slater Memorial Gold Medal, Tate Memorial Medal and Trevor Memorial Prize and Gold Medal while he was a student in Carnegie Mellon University. In recognition to his performance in executing the duties assigned by the govt., he received ‘Sitara-i-Pakistan’ award in 1966. He posthumously received the highest state award ‘Independence Day Award’ in 1982.
Biography compiled by Dr. K.M. Amanat.