Zen Makuch, head of department at Imperial College London referred to the importance of scientific exchanges emphasizing that Iran is a world leader in engineering.
In an interview with IRNA-London on the sidelines of a water-management symposium, the leading researcher welcomed cooperation with Iranian scholars and research centers as follows:
Q. Would you describe the importance of techincal symposiums?
A. They are of great importance to both the UK and Iran, because what it signals is an opportunity for the world leading engineers at Imperial College London and arguably the world’s leading engineers in the universities sector for England to connect with one of the strongest engineering basis among middle eastern states.
Imperial college London recognizes Iran’s contribution of expertise in this regard because we have hired many Iranian nationals to work primarily as engineers and scientists within Imperial college London.
Hosting this event at the Centre for Environmental Policy, signals very appropriate selection because we have the highest Iranian nationals working as professionals but also post graduates in the department.
Our experience working with Iranian nationals both as advanced degree candidates and staff is that they are very gregarious in reaching out other nations in order to conduct collaborative research.
Q. What was the fruit of this symposium?
A. What this symposium was deliberately designed for was an awareness that Iran is a world leader in engineering, though it is water management that we are addressing.
We recognize that water management engineering is a source of expertise in England but we are coping with many problems in the water management field.
Although it sounds perhaps a bit unusual but Iranian engineers can make a contribution to solving some of the problems that we face but we are maybe a little bit too close to, to see objectively what the solution should be.
UK has significant problems with droughts in the South East of England but also flooding. On the subject of droughts we have not designed an infrastructure properly so that we can do basic things like providing water for agriculture or water for health, water for life. Iranian engineers are very aware of these challenges and have dealt with them for centuries. So as UK scientists and engineers this is a relationship which we will benefit.
In this session we have also drew some engineers from California who face similar problems to rather a longtime ago in Iran in respect of drought and also problems in respect of droughts in South East of England as they have been solved in California.
So from these sessions, three nations come together to compare solutions to see what will work best.
Q. Are such meetings going to have a follow up?
A. Because we have significance influence with the government departments as Imperial college London, because we are seen as objective analysts of circumstances to try to persuade the British government departments particularly FCO’s department of Business but also organizations like the Department for Energy and Climate Change to open their mind to the possibility of more exchanges of this nature.
It may sound like a political statement, but the warming up of relations between Iran and the west is a significant strategic opportunity where there is demands in Iran for exchanging expertise with us but it goes the other way as well.
We recognize that Iran is a fundamental importance as a research partner; so working together with Iran gives an opportunity to understand how these collaborations can set an example for other nations.