Azizul Hasan Khan - Prof, Civil Engineering

By H Jawaid Ahmed (C70)

Prof Azizul Hasan Khan

Prof Azizul Hasan Khan taught us Strength of Materials and Mechanics. His office was in the Materials Lab next to the Principal's office. As you entered the lab, his chair was next to the opposite wall and he sat at the table facing the door.

He was a good teacher, but he could get caustic at times. He invoked a bit of fear among the students. Since he was visible at his table as you passed by the door to the Lab, the students had come up with a predictor for his moods. It was said that if he sat with his legs shaking up and down he was relaxed and in a good mood. Otherwise he was not in a pleasant mood and you better watch out!

During the Strength of Materials lab exam, we would approach his table and randomly pick one of the slips of paper on his desk. The slip outlined the test the examinee had to conduct, e.g. the tensile strength of copper or the shear strength of concrete. Based on the test chosen we had to pick the appropriate sample from the table. If a wrong sample was chosen (e.g. if you were assigned to test brass but you picked up steel specimen), you were guaranteed to fail.

We had a fairly unpopular Principal Soomro at the helm at that time. Around mid-1967, the Principal made some decisions about the assignment of the students to different disciplines which upset the students. A large number of students gathered outside the Principal's office and asked to be heard. They were ignored. The students got noisy. The Principal's office door was locked from the inside. Soon the students became unruly and started attempting to break the door down with the intention to rough Mr Soomro up. Things were getting out of hand. Some students were shouting themselves hoarse in expressing endearments for Principal Soomro's female relatives. There was one guy there in particular being very creative and colorful in Punjabi. I watched the 'tamaasha' from a safe distance under the big tree, and, frankly, was enjoying it. Prof Aziz, whose office was next door, came to the rescue, approached the students, talked to them and calmed them down. The students soon dispersed but poor Mr Soomro kept his door locked for the rest of the day. Quite likely he waited until dark, made sure no one was around and then scurried away.

Outside the classroom and the Lab, Prof Aziz was a fairly easy-going person. He joined the social occasions every now and then. He was also involved in Duty Society (see this picture) which provided assistance to the needy students. In the annual magazine of 1970, he wrote a long report in the Urdu section about the activities of the Duty Society. At the end of the article he summarized the year's financials. This summary is shown below.

Duty Society Income and Expense Summary, 1969-70.
Report by Prof Azizul Hasan Khan

Remembering Prof Azizul Hasan Khan

Muhammad Hasan (C70)

Prof. Azizul Hasan Khan was a great help to me. In those days (our third year) and, I couldn't afford buy books- he got me all books from book bank and, as well in 4th year. What a good soul !

I still remember Prof Aziz's presence in laboratory and, specifically the pendulum experiment. Anybody, who would forget to remove the stopper would simply fail. I had got that experiment and, religiously remembered to remove the stopper and, while doing saw Professor Aziz looking at me. I cannot forget that. Good soul!