ISFAHAN, 2 Oct. – Professor Ahmad Fauzi Ismail, Vice-Chancellor of Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM), has been awarded the prestigious 2023 Mustafa (pbuh) Prize, a biennial accolade celebrating the remarkable achievements of Muslim scholars and scientists since 2015.
The opening ceremony in Isfahan, Iran, featured Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi and 150 leading academicians and scientists from the Islamic world. While the award ceremony was attended by the Vice-President for Science, Technology and Knowledge-Based Economy, Dr Rouhollah Dehghani Firouzabadi with 800 attendees.
The Mustafa Prize acknowledges Muslim scientists in four categories: Information and communication science and technology, life and medical science and technology, nanoscience and nanotechnology, and all areas of science and technology. In this fifth edition, five Muslim scientists were recognized by the Mustafa Science and Technology Foundation.
Professor Ahmad Fauzi joins esteemed laureates, including Professor Samia J. Khoury (Lebanon) and Professor Murat Uysal (Turkiye), in the category of laureates from Islamic countries.
Professor Ahmad Fauzi’s recognition stems from his outstanding contributions to membrane technology research and its diverse applications.
This milestone achievement holds historical significance as Professor Ahmad Fauzi became the first Malaysian and the second Southeast Asian recipient of the Mustafa (pbuh) Prize.
In his acceptance speech, Professor Ahmad Fauzi expressed gratitude to his family, UTM, and various ministries in Malaysia that supported his work and research over the years.
He stated, “My gratitude goes to Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, my alma mater, in which I am now entrusted to lead as the Vice-Chancellor. My dedicated team at the Advanced Membrane Technology Research Center (AMTEC) and Faculty of Chemical and Energy Engineering, UTM.
“I am also indebted to Malaysia’s Ministry of Higher Education, Ministry of Science, Technology, and Innovation, and Ministry of Education for the opportunities and support throughout my academic and research journey,” added Professor Ahmad Fauzi.
The recognition of Professor Ahmad Fauzi highlights his groundbreaking work in membrane technology applications within Basic and Engineering Sciences. His impressive list of accolades includes The World Academy of Sciences Prize in 2020, the Merdeka Award for Outstanding Scholastic Achievement in 2014, the IChemE Malaysia Innovator of the Year Award in 2014, and Malaysia’s Research Star Award by Clarivate Analytics, underscoring his prolific contributions to academia and industry.
Reflecting on his research journey, Professor Ahmad Fauzi shared, “Research, for me, has always been more than just a career; it’s a deep-seated passion. It’s the thrill of discovery, the pursuit of knowledge, and the relentless curiosity that keeps me inspired.”
At the heart of Professor Ahmad Fauzi’s research lies the development of innovative polymeric, inorganic, and mixed matrix membranes. These pioneering membranes have found critical applications in water desalination, wastewater treatment, gas separation processes, palm oil refining, as well as the creation of hemodialysis and polymer electrolyte membranes for fuel cell applications.
His impact extends globally through visiting appointments at prestigious institutions, including Imperial College London, Tokyo University, and Kyoto University. His pivotal role in establishing the Advanced Membrane Technology Research Center (AMTEC) at UTM has positioned him as a leading figure in membrane science and technology worldwide.
Beyond research, Professor Ahmad Fauzi has demonstrated exceptional leadership and administrative prowess, catalyzing positive reforms and operational enhancements during his tenure as UTM’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation) from 2015 to 2020 and was appointed to lead various Research and Development taskforce and think-thank by the government.