MIRPUR (AJK)-The state-run Mirpur University of Science and Technology (MUST) has won Rs9.35 million worth second Technological Development Fund (TDF) project 2018 from Higher Education Commission (HEC) of Pakistan, it was officially said.

The official sources told The Nation that the project was designed, developed, and submitted by Engr Dr Khuram Pervez Amber, chairman Department of Mechanical Engineering and Principal Investigator (PI) of the project, and Director (ORIC) Asif Javed who is also CO-PI of the project.

"MUST is progressing day by day under the headship of honourable Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Habibur Rahman (SI) who has always been a great inspiration. We are thank-full to the Vice Chancellor for his continues and consistent interest and support in research and development", the concerned official quarters said.

The project titled, "Development of a Multi-Purposed Environment Friendly and Efficient Smart Wood Stove" was submitted to HEC under Technology Development Fund (TDF) program in July 2018. The project intends to promote an energy efficient, environment friendly and cost-effective smart fuel-wood stove for household use in the hilly areas of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), Pakistan. The stove has been developed at the Mechanical Workshop and its testing was performed in the Heat and Mass Transfer Laboratory of Mechanical Engineering Department of MUST.

While considering two severe challenges: first there is a rising deforestation in hilly areas and the second, there is increasing incidents of the cases of Tuberculosis (TB) and other respiratory diseases overall in Pakistan and particularly in the hilly areas of AJK region of Pakistan. Use of conventional wood stoves in hilly areas of Pakistan, specifically AJK, is one of the major reasons for deforestation and growing number of chronical diseases in mountain communities. People in hilly areas of AJK, where the supply of liquid and gaseous fuels is not available, use wood for cooking as well as for room heating which ultimately results in an increase in the rate of deforestation. Deforestation is directly linked to climate change, a major concern across the globe. Further, due to wood's indoor usage especially in winter, family members are exposed to harmful smoke and catch chronicle / respiratory diseases especially TB.

There is an increasing need for collaborative research and technology transfer for adoption at community/household level for use of environment-friendly energy efficient, smokeless stoves. Directly, our smart stove will bring positive changes towards reducing deforestation which is a serious challenge in AJK. "Indus Gas Appliances Gujranwala" and Sukhi Development Foundation (SDF) will be working as partners with ORIC MUST for the development and promotion of this project. With the help of partners, adaptation strategies for the use of wood-stove among the communities living in the hilly area will be developed and implemented. Mirpur University of Sciences and Technology (MUST) is the only university in AJK which has won two Technology Development Fund (TDF) projects in one year so far.

Office of the Research, Innovation, and Commercialization (ORIC) is working efficiently as a team under the leadership of Mr. Asif Javed for the development and promotion of research, the sources added.