STAFF REPORT IBD: Ministry of Science and Technology is mulling to establish a National Materials Science Research Institute with a centralized supercomputing facility for computational materials science or condensed matter physics. Like China, which is controlling 97 per cent of the worlds rare earth element market, Pakistan needs to develop a strong base of research in rare earth elements. These elements are considered as critical components of the high technology products and some of the emerging applications of smart materials are in textiles, coatings, electronics and sensors.
“Materials science plays a significant role in the economic progress of a country and contributes directly towards the growth of the industrial sector,” an official of the ministry told the media.
He said that it includes ceramics, plastics, metallurgy, aerospace, telecommunications, transportation, electronics, micro and optoelectronics, energy, healthcare, computing, consumer goods, and construction.
According to him, the relevance of materials science with modern technological developments needs to be underscored, he said.
“It is necessary to provide highly trained manpower in this field in order to meet the present as well as future needs of the country”.
Priority should be given to materials synthesis for prevailing ambient conditions of Pakistan and characterization techniques in order to understand and define the properties of materials.