Professor Jamilur Reza Choudhury was born in Sylhet, Bangladesh and had his early education in Dhaka (St. Gregory’s School and Dhaka College). He obtained the B.Sc. (Engg.), Civil, degree in 1963 (First Class First with Honours) from University of Engineering & Technology, Dhaka, M.Sc. Engineering Degree (Advanced Structural Engineering) and Ph. D. degree from University of Southampton in 1968.
Dr. Choudhury joined the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) as a Lecturer in Civil Engineering in 1963 and was appointed a Professor of Civil Engineering in 1976. He was Head of the Dept. of Civil Engineering (1978–79, 81–83), Dean of the Faculty (1983-85) and Director, Computer Centre (1982-1992). In March, 2001, he joined BRAC University as its first Vice Chancellor and relinquished the position on completion of 9 years of his tenure.
Commonwealth Academic Staff Fellowship
He was awarded a Commonwealth Academic Staff Fellowship in 1974 and spent a year at the University of Surrey, UK, as a Visiting Associate Professor.
He was awarded the degree of Doctor of Engineering (Honoris Causa) degree by Manchester University on 20th October, 2010 – the first person of Bangladeshi origin to receive this honour from a British University.
Journals and Publications
Prof. Choudhury has authored about 65 papers in international journals and conference proceedings related to inter alia tall buildings, low-cost housing, earthquake resistant design, cyclones and storm surges, retrofitting of structures, IT Applications and Policy.
Expert Panel Membership
Prof. Choudhury has acted as Consultant to a large number of national and international agencies on projects related to tall buildings, industrial buildings, transmission towers, aircraft hangars, stadiums, ports and jetties, computerization of public and private sector organizations. He was a Member of Panel of Experts (advising the Government, the World Bank, Asian Development Bank and OECF, Japan) for the Bangabandhu (Jamuna) Bridge; he is now heading the International Panel of Experts for Padma Bridge. He was the Team Leader for the Multipurpose Cyclone Shelter Programme and prepared the Master Plan for Cyclone Shelters in the coastal areas of Bangladesh.
He is a Fellow of the Institution of Engineers (Bangladesh) and was its President in 1992-93. He is a Fellow of Institution of Civil Engineers (U.K.) and is a Chartered Engineer, UK. He is a Fellow and former Vice President of the Bangladesh Computer Society. He was elected a Fellow of the Bangladesh Academy of Sciences in 1999. He is the founder President of Bangladesh Earthquake Society. He is the Chairman of the Board of Accreditation for Engineering and Technical Education (BAETE), Bangladesh.
He was Chairman, Board of Directors of Bangladesh Shilpa Bank (Industrial Bank of Bangladesh) (1996-98) and was the Chairman, Board of Governors, Bangladesh Institute of Technology, Chittagong (1997-2004).
Adviser (Minister) to the Caretaker Government
He was appointed Adviser (Minister) in the Non-Party Caretaker Government in April, 1996 and was in charge of the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources and the Ministry of Water Resources.
Convener and Membership
He was Convener, Committee on Export of Software and Data Processing Services (1997), Convener, Committee for Formulation of IT Policy for Bangladesh (1999 and 2008), Convener, ICT in Higher Education Group formed by Ministry of Education (2005). He was a member of the IT Task Force headed by the Prime Minister (2001–09). In January, 2007, he was the Convener, Committee for Preparing Voter List with Photographs.
Awards and Recognitions
He has received a number of awards, e.g. SEED (Science, Education and Economic Development) Award, 2000 from Rotary Club Foundation, IEB (Institution of Engineers, Bangladesh) Gold Medal (for life-long contribution to Engineering) in 1999, Dr. M. A. Rashid Gold Medal 1997 for excellence in teaching and research, Lions International (District 315) Gold Medal for contribution to Science & Technology, 2001, Mercantile Bank Award for contribution to Science & Technology, 2001 and Bangladesh Computer Society Gold Medal, 2005, ICT Champion Award by Bangladesh Association for Software and IT Services (BASIS), 2009 and Sheltech Award 2011 and Qazi Azhar Ali Foundation Gold Medal 2011.