Muhammad Umer Saleem, Pakistan
- Current position: Director of Student Affairs and Assistant Professor of Mathematics at the University of Education, Lahore, Pakistan
- Scholarship: HEC Pakistan Overseas Scholarship and Ernst Mach Follow-up Grant
- Duration: 06/2008 – 10/2011 and 08/2019 – 11/2019
- Motto: “Don’t work hard, but work smart.”
Since his time at college, Muhammad Umer Saleem always wanted to work in a field, where the results can be directly applied to the everyday life. During his bachelor in Mathematics and Physics at the University of the Punjab in Lahore, Pakistan, he realised that if something is proven right by mathematical calculations it can’t be challenged for its authenticity. Thus, he continued with Applied Mathematics in his master and PhD studies. Muhammad adores playing with numbers and their characteristics and wrote his first master thesis on the topic of cryptography, the subject he also describes as his first love in mathematics. Later on, his passion became the visualisation of the applied aspect of mathematics and he selected graph theory as a research topic. He got interested in decomposing larger structures like DNA to their simplest forms for studying certain properties and in the rebuilding of this complex structure again from the tiny components. During his studies at the Government College University in Lahore he was awarded an Overseas Scholarship for PhD by the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan. Initially, he was selected by the pioneer group of “Products of Graphs” at Montan University Leoben, Austria, under the supervision of Prof. Wilfried Imrich, a renowned Mathematician in the field of graph theory. When his supervisor retired, he got the chance to work with Prof. Franz Kappel – himself a pioneer of mathematical modelling and control of physiological systems with specialisation on the cardiovascular system – at the University of Graz, Austria, and to conduct research in the field of biomathematics. This again fuelled his interest to visualise complex structures. Muhammad’s research at the University of Graz enabled him to serve a big number of patients worldwide with Diabetes: Working in close collaboration with the Medical University of Graz, his PhD research project was to find the control of an artificial human pancreas improving the quality of life of patients with Diabetes.
Since 2012 Muhammad Umer Saleem is an Assistant Professor of Mathematics at the University of Education, Lahore, Pakistan. His main tasks include research and teaching, supervising PhD and master theses and handling the internal affairs of the Mathematics department. Furthermore, he is a member of the Board of Studies, Division of Science and Technology at his home institution and became a member of SIAM Chapter Graz in 2009. In addition, at the University of Education, Lahore, he was appointed Director of Student Affairs in 2015 and Director of Sports in 2017 and takes also part in the Editorial Board of the University Magazine “The Amozish”. Muhammad is not only focussed on his career, but is active in his leisure time too – he does Bodybuilding and is a professional cricket trainer. Moreover, he acts as a certified coach for “Countering Violence and Extremism”. Funded by an Ernst Mach Grant by the Ministry of Science, Austria, Muhammad recently worked at the University of Graz, Austria, performing research within his PostDoc on “Artificial Pancreas Control for Fully Automatic Artificial Pancreas”.
My stay in Austria has been a game changer in my life – speaking not only of my personal, but also of my professional development. I got the chance to come to Austria, a country with lots of greenery, clean cities, amazing landscapes, peace and a rich culture and diversity. All this helped me to conduct my research activities and to get in touch with people from a diverse population. Intercultural experience has always been important to me. In Austria I met many different people, got to know different languages, traditions, values and ways of interpreting the world. Thus, I learned how to lead conversations and to display emotions and I improved my management qualities and decision making. I was inspired to serve society and I found my place in the community, where I could take responsibility for societal challenges.