Atta-ur-Rahman, D.Phil., TI, SI HI, NI, is a leading scientist and scholar in the field of organic chemistry from Pakistan, especially renowned for his research in the various areas relating to natural product chemistry. With over 840 publications in the field of his expertise, he is also credited for reviving the higher education and research practices in Pakistan.
Atta-ur-Rahman has had a prominent record in Cambridge Overseas School Certificate in 1958, and ‘A’ Levels in 1960 from the Karachi Grammar School. In 1963, he received B.Sc(Hons.) in Chemistry, followed by M.Sc in Organic Chemistry from Karachi University. He received Commonwealth Scholarship in 1965 to study for Ph.D in Organic Chemistry under supervision of Dr. J. Harley Mason and received Ph.D at Kings College, Cambridge in 1968.
He was subsequently awarded a Doctorate of Science by University of Cambridge in 1987, a Doctorate of Education by Coventry University in 2007,a Doctorate of Science by Bradford University in 2010, a Doctor of Philosophy by Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand in 2010 and honorary Doctor of Scıence by Unıversıty of Technology Mara. Malaysıa.
Atta ur Rahman started his career in 1964 as a Lecturer at University of Karachi. He remained Fellow at Kings College, Cambridge between 1969 to 1973. In 1977, he became Co-Director of Hussain Ebrahim Jamal Research Institute of Chemistry at University of Karachi to become Director in 1990. He has over 852 publications in leading international journals in several fields of organic chemistry including 662 research publications, 18 patents, 110 books and 59 chapters in books published by major U.S. and European presses. Seventy sıx students have completed their Ph.D. degrees under his supervision.
In recognition of his eminent contributions in the field of Organic Chemistry, he has been conferred with four civil awards, including:
- Nishan-e-Imtiaz (2002) (highest national civil award),
- Hilal-e-Imtiaz (1998)
- Sitara-e-Imtiaz (1991)
- Tamgha-e-Imtiaz (1983)
His international awards iclude:
- TWAS Regional Prize for Institution Building (2009)
- Decoration for Services to the Republic of Austria in Gold with Sash (2007)
- Honorary Doctor of Educationhonoris causa (Coventry University,UK) (2007)
- ISESCO Prize (2001)
- ECO Prize (2000)
- First Muslim scientist to receive the UNESCO Science Prize (1999)
- Federation of Asian Chemical Societies Award, Hiroshima, Japan (1997)
- First Prize at the 6th Kharazmi Festival in Iran (1993),
- The Islamic Organization Prize by Government of Kuwait (1988)
- Honorary Doctorate of Science (Sc.D) from University of Cambridge (1987)
- Honorary Doctorate of Philosophyhonoris causa(Ph.D) from Asian Institute of Technology (2010)
- Honorary Doctorate of Science (Sc.D) from Bradford University (2010)
- Honorary Doctorate of Science (Sc.D) from University of Technology Mara (2010)
- Member UNESCO Hıgh Level Scıence & Technology Panel (2011)
- Vice-President Academy of Science of Developing World (TWAS)
He writs weekly column in daily Dawn newspaper.