Syed Nisar Ahmed



Former Director General, Engineering Programs, Department of Communications.

Ancien directeur général, Programmes d'ingénierie, Ministère des communications.



S. Nisar Ahmed, Director General, Engineering Programs, presents the Suggestion Award to Brian Kasper, Methods and Testing Standards Specialist, for his suggestion to eliminate a form unique to Ottawa's Clyde Avenue office.


Obituary - Avis de décès

Syed Nisar Ahmed

29 August 1929 - 16 October 2018

SYED NISAR AHMED, retired Director General of the Department of Communications, Canada, passed away of natural causes on October 16, 2018 at the age of 89. The technical community will long remember Nisars innovative and inspiring contributions to the field of communication engineering. Those of us who loved him knew him as a husband, father, brother, grandfather, uncle, colleague, mentor, and above all a friend. 

Nisar was born in Mysore, India on August 29, 1929. He left India at the age of 19 after obtaining his masters degree in physics. He joined Marconi, a telecommunication company based in England. Always a practical, hands-on engineer, he opted to travel far and wide to set up telecommunication systems where none existed.


It was during one of his overseas assignments in Malaysia that he met his future wife, Mathina. They married shortly after and lived happily with their two sons, Jawad and Firoz, in England. Life was a mixture of family life, work responsibilities and travel. And in 1968, the family made a move to Ottawa, Canada where he worked initially at Northern Electric (Bell Northern Research) and then at the Department of Communications until his retirement at the age of 65. 

After retirement, Nisar and his wife travelled extensively around the world including several trips to his favorite place, Varadero, Cuba. He was always helping the less-fortunate people he encountered all over the world. He was especially passionate about education and has provided educational opportunities for hundreds of young men and women who could not afford it otherwise. 

Nisar will be remembered professionally as a colleague and a friend who was never hesitant to offer encouragement and support. Although his lifetime achievements were significant, we will especially miss his guidance and kindness. We grieve his passing. We knew that his matter-of-fact exterior belied a kind and gentle spirit a spirit that, saw, understood and helped, when help was needed. 

Nisar is survived by his loving wife of 61 years, Mathina (nee Kong), his two sons Jawad and Firoz (Susan) and three grandchildren Robin, Christopher and Molly. 

We would like to thank the nurses and doctors at Queensway Carlton Hospital ER and ICU for their caring treatment of Nisar in his last days. In lieu of flowers, the family would like donations to be made to the Queensway Carleton Hospital Foundation.

(Source: Ottawa Citizen)



We are saddened to hear of the passing of Nisar. He was a good friend and colleague. We worked together on many files in the DOC and travelled to far off places as diverse as Kyoto and Washington. Maureen and I, and my father the late John Arnold Gilbert, enjoyed get-togethers at the Ahmeds over wonderful Indian dinners. A particular treat for my father who had been raised as a young boy in India. Our condolences to the family.


John and Maureen Gilbert

6 November 2018


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