The Director-General CERN, Prof. Dr. Rolf-Dieter Heuer visited Pakistan on 19-20 December 2014, in connection with the signing of Pakistan’s accession agreement as CERN Associate Member. Availing the opportunity of his presence in Islamabad, the Executive Director COMSATS, Dr. I.E. Qureshi and senior officials of COMSATS Institute of Information Technology (CIIT), including Rector CIIT, Dr. S.M. Junaid Zaidi, met with the distinguished visitor and offered full support of COMSATS Headquarters and CIIT in fulfilling the requirements of Pakistan-CERN collaboration. In his capacity as the member of “Joint CERN-SESAME Steering Committee” (JCSSC), Dr. Qureshi informed Dr. Heuer about the collaboration between CIIT and ALICE (A Large Ion Collider Experiment) of CERN. He noted that CIIT has established GRID computing facilities for ALICE collaboration, which will be enhanced to reach tier-2 level. A joint team of Physics and Electrical Engineering department is working on TCAD simulation of Si Pixel detectors to be used in the Inner Tracking System (ITS) of the ALICE particle detectors. Around 20 senior physicists and students are currently involved in Particle Physics related research at CIIT.
Dr. Qureshi also highlighted the need to have a broader participation of Pakistani physicists from different universities in CERN programmes. This would require concerted efforts to create human resources in relevant disciplines. Prof. Heuer emphasized that good science education is the key to producing sufficiently motivated students for taking up higher studies in particle and high energy physics. In this connection he offered CERN support for training science teachers. He informed that Science Teachers Training Programme has been going on in CERN for many years and is highly popular in all CERN Member Counties. Dr. Qureshi offered the support of COMSATS to conduct the CERN training courses in Pakistan and also in other COMSATS Member Countries. In principle, it was agreed to chalk-out specific plans for undertaking this programme jointly by CERN and COMSATS.
Dr. Heuer appreciated the efforts of COMSATS in promoting S&T in its 21 member countries including Pakistan.