Samar Mubarakmand, born 17 September 1942), is a Pakistani nuclear physicist known for his research in gamma spectroscopy and experimental development of the linear accelerator. He came to public attention as the director of the team responsible for the performing the country’s first and successful atomic tests (see Chagai-I and Chagai-II) in the Chagai weapon testing laboratories, located in the Balochistan Province of Pakistan. Prior to that, he was the project director of the integrated missile programme and supervised the development of first Shaheen-I missile program in 1995. He was also the founding chairman of Nescom from 2001 until 2007. He was subsequently appointed by the government to assist the Thar coalfield project.
Samar Mubarakmand was born in Rawalpindi, Punjab Province of the British Indian Empire, on 17 September 1942. He earned his education from Lahore and matriculated from the St. Anthony’s High School in 1956. After passing the university entrance exams, he enrolled at the Physics Department of Government College University where he studied physics under RM Chaudhry. He earned his undergraduate, BSc degree, in Physics in 1958, and entered in the post-graduate school of Government College University. He conducted his research at the High Tension Laboratory (HTL), and his master’s thesis contained the detail work on the construction and development of the Gamma ray spectrometer. His master’s thesis was supervised under the close collaboration of RM Chaudhry and subsequently awarded the MSc in Nuclear physics in 1962 from Government College University.
In 1962, he won a doctoral scholarship and commenced doctoral research at Oxford University. At Oxford, he studied Compton scattering and the dynamical theory of Gamma spectroscopy with Shaukat Hameed Khan. After his long doctoral research, he submitted his doctoral thesis on experimental nuclear physics and was awarded his PhD in experimental nuclear physics from the University of Oxford in 1966 under the renowned nuclear physicist D. H. Wilkinson. During his time in Oxford, Mubarakmand closely collaborated and studied with Shaukat Hameed Khan at the Physics Department, learning about the Linear accelerators, and after returning to Pakistan he built one. At Oxford, he was part of the team that commissioned a 22 million volt atomic accelerator. After returning to Pakistan, Mubarakmand was posted by the government at the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission in 1966.
Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC)
See also: Project-706
In 1966, he was encouraged by senior scientist Naeem Ahmad Khan to join the Pakistan Institute of Nuclear Science and Technology (PINSTECH) to do his post-doctoral research in physics. In 1967, he was joined the “Nuclear Physics Group” (NPG) working under the direction of Naeem Ahmad Khan, and had worked closely on Bashiruddin Mahmood and Hafeez Qureshi on engineering problems involving the reactor physics and the methods involving the gas centrifuges.