NAME: Muhammad Akram Khan
CURRENT TITLE: Hydrogeologist
AREA OF EXPERTISE: Hydrogeology, water resources assessment, groundwater, pump tests, geotechnical engineer, coal mines dewatering expert
YEARS OF EXPERIENCE: 35
EDUCATION/EXPERIENCE: MSc in Geology from the University of Peshawar (Kpk), Pakistan with more than 35 years of experience in water resources assessment, particularly in groundwater exploration and management for drinking and agricultural usage. Now working as a Hydrogeologist on Water Master Plan for Thar Coal Field to assess groundwater potential to be dewatered. The project includes 100 electrical resistivity surveys (ERS) for identification of faults, 15 short pumping tests (72 hours each), 5 long pumping tests (each 30 continuous days), 90 water samples for ionic analysis, 200 water samples from existing wells representative of individual aquifers. 25 test boreholes including 10 with data loggers to record groundwater fluctuations for 10 years. All activities are to be performed in order to get access to underneath one of the world’s largest coal deposits.
Performing aquifer test:
Collecting water sample:
What’s your job like?
Previously, I worked as a Hydrogeologist in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas Development Corporation controlled by the Ministry of State and Frontier Regions of Pakistan. Completed various projects of groundwater exploration and management for drinking and agricultural usage. After retirement, I handled various groundwater/hydelpower/road projects as a freelance Hydrogeologist, Geotech/Material Engineer.
What’s a typical day like?
My duty is at the company office, however, my day starts from 9.00 a.m The office work starts by going through all the emails from consortium members and then collecting and assimilating all the date from the previous day to send them. After that, I enjoy a cup of tea with mixed coffee. At 12 o’clock, I attend a General Body Meeting with the CEO, schedule to manage visits for different clients, prepare tender documents, and write reports for each work done. Fortnightly, I have at least a 3-day visit to a project area.
Assessment of water resources and selecting the parameters for its fruitful utilization, particularly groundwater sources both in alluvium and hard rocks, is often a job of common sense and fun based on experience and interaction with locals to understand their thinking and culture. Apart, I love to enjoy different tasks, particularly in remote areas that are extremely underdeveloped. I love to mixed with locals and like to have dinner or lunch with them (usually offered as hospitality traditions).
I am a citizen of an underdeveloped country – a man familiar with numerical not software and now over 60 years old. It’s a great challenge for me to use software. In Pakistan, there is no scope for a hydrogeologist and finding a job is a serious challenge for a hydrogeologist.
What’s your advice to students?
Learn the very interesting field of geology with full enjoyment of field work. Make sure to work abroad to only those who offer you service with respect and dignity (this message is only for Pakistani students).