Endowed in 2021 by Dr. Abul Sharah, the Dr. Abul Sharah Graduate Bursary in Engineering is reflective of his passion to give back to his community through philanthropy and volunteerism. Despite the challenges faced by Dr. Sharah as a young child growing up fatherless in Uttar, Pradesh in northern India, his hard work and commitment to his studies led him to pursue a PhD in Mechanical Engineering (1969) from Carleton University. He later rose to senior engineering and management positions at Tectonics, Honeywell and MTS systems during a career that spanned 27 years.
Dr. Sharah’s own humble beginnings made him feel compelled to give back, and in 1996 the opportunity arose during a business trip to Calcutta, India. After being received as a visitor to Mother Teresa’s Home for Dying Destitutes, Mother Teresa urged Abul to pursue a mission to dedicate his life to love and human service. This was the impetus behind Abul’s early retirement from his corporate career to embark on a trip back to his home villages of Uttar Pradesh in 2001. He helped establish a healthcare program in 2002 and an English medium school in 2018.
He then founded International Village Clinic (IVC), a 501©(3) non profit in Minnesota, USA in 1999, and currently serves as both the Founder and Executor Director, where he marries his passion for giving kids a brighter future with his own industry skills. IVC supports several programs in India. The healthcare program includes both disease treatment and prevention. The preventative program provides nutritional supplements, vaccination, health education and family planning, employing local medical personnel in an area where illiteracy and disease are rampant. IVC is currently serving approximately a ¼ million people annually. Abul spends half the year at his home in Bloomington, Minnesota, and the other half at the project site in India.
Following his 50th graduation reunion at Carleton in 2019, Dr. Sharah approached the Planned Giving team with a strong desire to make a difference in the lives of graduate students in engineering by helping to reduce the financial barriers they may face during their studies.
Awarded annually by the Dean of Graduate and Postdoctoral Affairs on the recommendation of the Chair of the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, to graduate students in demonstrated financial need who are enrolled in any program of study within the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. Eligible recipients will have a shared dedication with Dr. Sharah to give back to their community through their participation in volunteer and/or civil minded extracurricular activities.