Engineering Students’ Final Year Projects – Untapped national resource

By Engr. Khalid Pervez, CEO

Each final year student must work on a ‘Final Year Project’ – or FYP as coined recently, which’s a group assignment allotted to 4 or 5 students. The FYP conducted under the supervision of a faculty member or external resource, is essentially an engineering application assignment, often involving innovation, indigenous technology, cost effective measures, etc. relating to sectors such as industrial, healthcare, defense, energy efficiency, etc. The outcome is a working prototype with the required software, as required, a comprehensive report with all the necessary details.

What’s next? Nothing. The matter ends here. The report is haphazardly stored to catch dust and the prototype is disintegrated to fetch components. What a loss of the extensive efforts of the faculty and very bright students.

Let’s do a little indicative calculation. To my best understanding in Pakistan there are about 75 engineering universities and their multiple campuses which offer electrical and electronics engineering. This does not include computer systems engineering, computer science, etc. If on an average, each university assigns only 4 FYPs each year, that makes a total of 300 FYPs per year, country wide. If only 60% of the FYPs are considered commercially viable. We’ve 180 indigenously developed ideas and prototypes available each year which have the potential of huge potential of import substitution and corresponding benefit to the national kitty.

And imagine the potential employment opportunities through start-ups and commercial alliances and the financial gains for our young generation, the universities, and the faculty.

The above picture isn’t that of a pie in the sky! Ideas need to be worked upon. All we need are concerned mindsets and concerted efforts, from the stakeholders under the leadership of a visionary person – indeed from the private sector. The stakeholders would be the business community, non-governmental professional organizations, such as IEEEP and IEP, Universities, etc.

I strongly feel that it’s the FPCCI which should play the lead role, taking along its constituent members (like KCCI, LCCI, etc.) to act in their respective areas.

We have lost enough. We must strive to find all such opportunities which could help us to stand on our feet. The earlier we do it, the better it would be for our economic stability, growth, and prosperous future.