M. A. Wazed Miah was a famous Bangladeshi physicist. He was the former Chairman of the Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission, writer of a number of texts in physics and some books on social and political issues and memoirs. He was the husband of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
On February 16 in 1942, M A Wazed Miah, affectionately called as ‘Sudha Miah’, was born in a respectable Muslim family of Laldighee Fatehpur village in Pirganj upazila of Rangpur. His father was Abdul Quader Miah and mother was Moyzunnessa. He was the youngest among three sisters and four brothers. He studied up to class four at the primary school at his village and then up to class six at a high school in Pirganj. To get the best education, from class five he was sent to board at Rangpur Zila School, from where he passed Matriculation in First Division with distinction (with letter marks in some subjects) in 1956. He was enrolled in Rajshahi Science College from where he passed the Higher Secondary Certificate examination in 1958.
After passing the HSC exam, he took admission into the Department of Physics, Dhaka University. In 1961 he graduated with a Bachelor of Science in physics and was placed 2nd in the First Class. In 1962 he finished his Master of Science securing the top position. He completed the Diploma of Imperial College London Course in 1963–64. In 1967 he received his Doctor of Philosophy degree in physics from Durham University, England. His thesis was on the bootstrap hypothesis in theoretical particle physics, and he worked under Professor E. J. Squires.
M A Wazed Miah joined the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) on 1 April 1963. he was initially attached to the Atomic Energy Research Center (AERC) in Karachi. In 1969, Miah got an associate position at the International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) in Italy. In the same year, he returned home to Pakistan and continued with the AERC. In Karachi, Wazed Miah was the chief scientist at the Karachi Nuclear Power Plant but the Pakistani Government unjustifiably terminated his job by revoking his security clearance and that led him to return to Bangladesh before the liberation war. After the liberation, he resumed his job at Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission. In 1975, he was in the then West Germany to pursue higher training on nuclear reactor science. Sheikh Hasina was also with him at that time during which the Father of the Nation was brutally martyred along with his family members. During the period of exile of the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in India, he was engaged in research work at the New Delhi-based laboratory of the Atomic Energy Commission of India (1975–1982). After his return from India in 1982 Wazed Miah joined his post in the Atomic Energy Commission. He became the Chairman of Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission and retired from that position in 1999. He also taught as a guest faculty at the Physics Department of Dhaka University. His fields of specialization were fundamentals interaction and particle physics, nuclear and reactor physics, solid state physics, electromagnetism, health and radiation physics and renewable energy.
Wazed Miah was a politically active person in his early life. From 1961 to 1962 he was the Vice-President of the Fazlul Huq Muslim Hall unit East Pakistan Muslim Chhatra League (currently known as Bangladesh Chhatra League) at University of Dhaka. He contested for the post of treasurer once and again for the post of Vice president of the F.H. Hall Students Union.He was arrested for movement against education commission and was imprisoned in 1962. Even with the load of student’s politics and burden of Vice Presidentship of the hall, and his internment in jail for waging the 1962 education movement, he illuminated himself with even better result. Surprising to many but within his expectation he stood first class first in the M. Sc examination. He married Sheikh Hasina on November 17 in 1967 when Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was in jail awaiting the trial of Agartala Case. They had a son Sajeeb Wazed Joy and a daughter Saima Wazed Putul. Wazed Miah never played any active official role in the Awami League after his marriage.
M AWazed Miah had published a number of books that include "Fundamentals of Electromagnetics", published by Tata-McGraw-Hill in 1982, "Fundamentals Of Thermodynamics", published by University Press, Dhaka in 1988, "Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibke Ghire Kichhu Ghatana O Bangladesh", "Bangladesher Rajneeti o Sarkarer Chalchitra", etc. A teacher namely Abdul Latif Patowary was primarily his mentor who suggested him to read science and emerge as a humanitarian scientist. Dr. Wazed, in his late life dedicated one of his books to the memory of his beloved teacher and did never forget to give complements to his other mentors and councilors at education institutions.
Dr. M A Wazed Miah was the President of Bangladesh Association for the Advancement of Science (BAAS) during 1995-2000. He was the general secretary of the Atomic Energy Scientist Association in 1972-73 and was the president of the organization in 1983-85. He was the general secretary of Bangladesh Physics Samiti in 1985-88 and was elected its president in 1997. Between 1994 and 1996 he was the president of ‘Bijnan Unnayan Samiti’.He was awarded the "Sir Jogodish Chandra Basu Gold Medal' and MABS International Gold Medal.
A number of academic and research institutes and establishments have been named after him at different parts of the country. 'Wazed Miah Science Research Centre (WMSRC)' is a recognized centre of excellence of Jahangirnagar University. ‘Dr. M AWazed Miah Institute of Advance Studies’ has been established at Jashore University of Science and Technology (JUST). 'Doctor Wazed International Research and Training Institute' has been established at Begum Rokeya University, Rangpur. The Institute provides higher degrees like M.Phil and Ph.D degree based on research work. 'Dr. M A Wazed Miah Textile Engineering College', located in Rangpur is a public engineering college and is affiliated with the Bangladesh University of Textiles. A science building in Rajshahi University is named as 'Dr. M A. Wazed Miah Academic Building'. Two other academic buildings at Shahjalal University of Science and Technology (Dr. M.A. Wazed Miah IICT Building) and Hajee Mohammad Danesh Science and Technology University have also been built in his memory. A central laboratory has been named after him as 'Dr. M. A. Wazed Mia Central Laboratory' at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Agricultural University, at Gazipur.
Dr. Wazed Miah contributed his mite and life for the cause of science, made science as instrument of the up-liftmen of the living standard of the people especially the rural mass. He retired, as chairman of the Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission but before retiring he spearheaded the effort for enlivening the Rooppur Atomic Energy Project. He campaigned for the establishment of ministry of science, Division for Rangpur and a university at Rangpur. Some of his expectations were given concrete shape by the Honourable Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
Wazed Miah breathed his last in Dhaka on May 9, 2009 at the age of 67 and was buried at his family graveyard in his native Laldighee Fatehpur village at Pirganj upazila.
Source: Wikipedia, Banglapedia, The Daily Star, The Daily Sun.