Azra Quraishi

Azra Quraishi was a leading botanist from Pakistan. She became known for her work on tissue culture, she was given the Borlaug Award in 1997 and the Ordre des Palmes Académiques in 2002. She is credited with raising potato production in Pakistan by 5%. Quraishi was born in 1945 in India, to Abdus Sattar Quraishi and Salma Quraishi, her family moved to Rawalpindi in Pakistan in the upheaval caused by the British orchestrated "partition of India". She obtained her first degree from Gordon College in her home city and, in 1966, she obtained her master's degree from the University of the Punjab in Lahore. After lecturing for several years at Viqar-un-Nisa Girls College in Rawalpindi, Quraishi traveled overseas on a Government of Pakistan scholarship; as a result, she obtained a master's degree in 1973 for her tissue culture research on Solanum tuberosum var. BF-15. Within three years she had obtained her doctorate from the University of Paris-Sud in Orsay, France for related work, a "Study of callogenesis and organogenesis from explant of in vitro shoots in Solanum tuberosum var. BF-15".

Quraishi created virus-free seed potatoes in Pakistan. This research effected her country's trading position as it reduced the need to import seed potatoes from the Netherlands as she had increased Pakistan's annual potato production by 5%; this contribution brought her national recognition. Quraishi "successfully launched projects of micropropagation of banana, date palm, screening salt tolerance through tissue culture in local wheat and rice cultivars." Her contributions earned Quraishi many awards, including the Hamdard Award in 1992, the Norman Borlaug Award in 1997, the PARC/PARSA Millenium Award for Best Scientist in 2001, France's PALMES Academique Award in 2002, the year she died. At a memorial ceremony in Islamabad on November 26, 2002, Badruddin Soomro, Chairman PARC, announced that the Institute of Agriculture Biotechnology and Genetics Research would be renamed in Quraishi's honour. Soomro acknowledged, she had been promoted to be the Chief Scientific Officer and Deputy Director General, Agriculture Biotechnology Institute, Pakistan Agricultural Research Council.

Quraishi had no children but she contributed towards her nephew and the financial costs of dozens of poor children. Quraishi was a member of several societies including the Pakistan Botanical Society Quraishi published over 140 scientific research papers in internationally recognized scientific journals and 85 popular science articles. Quraishi participated in over 70 national and international conferences, symposia or seminars in Pakistan, Canada, Philippine, USA, UK, Jordan, and, in the month before her death, China

Thomas Grubb

Thomas Grubb was an Irish optician and founder of the Grubb Telescope Company. He was born near Portlaw, County Waterford, the son of William Grubb Junior, a prosperous Quaker farmer and his second wife, Eleanor Fayle. Thomas started out in 1830 in Dublin as a metal billiard-table manufacturer, he diversified into making telescopes and erected a public observatory near his factory at 1 Upper Charlemont Street, Dublin. As makers of some of the largest and best-known telescopes of the Victorian era, the company was at the forefront of optical and mechanical engineering, his innovations for large telescopes included clock-driven polar mounts, whiffletree mirror mounting cells and Cassegrain reflector optics. Grubb helped build the famous telescope for William Parsons, 3rd Earl of Rosse, at Parsonstown, County Offaly, Ireland. One of his earliest instruments - the telescope for Markree Observatory in County Sligo in the West of Ireland, supplied in 1834 - was, for several years, the largest telescope in the world.

It was used to sketch Halley's comet in 1835 and to view the solar eclipse of 15 May 1836. He built telescopes for observatories worldwide, including Aldershot Observatory, Vienna and Mecca and others, he died in 1878 and is buried at Mount Jerome Cemetery, Ireland. He had married Sarah Palmer, their youngest son was Sir Howard Grubb. Thomas Grubb's cousin, John Grubb Richardson was a major Irish industrialist who founded the model village of Bessbrook. Works by or about Thomas Grubb at Internet Archive Grubb Telescope Company List of Grubb telescopes