Prof Ismunandar: Ambitions of being a high school teacher but is now the ITB Headmaster.

By Mandeep Kaur Gill

Editor -

Bandung, “If you ask me, for a lecturer to become a Head Master is something to be proud of. We are only young once. We are much better than the earlier days of ITB, the era of our senior professors, the first lecturers of Indonesian origin, still professors after 30 years. And I am confident there will be much younger ones. Let this hot chair be passed from me.” That was Prof Ismunandar’s (38) comment regarding his status as the youngest ITB Headmaster. The classical literature lover was made the Headmaster of ITB FMIPA Chemistry Study Program. Born in Purwodadi, Central Java, Ismunandar is the tenth of eleven children. While in elementary school, Prof. Ismunandar admitted it was easy to teach his classmates. Meanwhile if the teacher was restricted, he would frequently request a change of teacher in his class. A traditional food lover once said that his father, a farmer to take on teaching school. “My ambition when I was in SMA was to be an SMA teacher, when in ITB I wanted to be an ITB lecturer, so many of my older siblings are SD and SMP teacher,” he said. Dr. Ismunandar is has been placed in office as Head of Inorganic Chemistry and Physics and Research Manager in ITB FMIPA. The best achievement appreciation receiver of year 1992 graduated with his bachelor’s degree from ITB’s Chemistry Department in 1992. He then continues his doctoral studies in University of Sydney, Australia and graduated in 1998. Among the appreciations he has received is the Gold Award Australian Institute of Nuclear Science and Engineering for research excellent, 1999 and Indonesia Toray Science Foundation Award, 2000; Fellowship from the Minister of Science, Technology, culture and Sports Japan, 2002; Hitachi Foundation; Research Fellowships to do research in Japan, 2003; Satya Lencana 10 tahun, 2006; Endeavour Australia Cheung Kong Awards, 2006. Dr. Ismunandar is a productive teacher who has many of his science papers published locally and internationally. Among the books he had written are “Solid Metal Oxides” (2006) and “Popular Chemistry” (2007), both published by ITB Publishing. Besides this he has also translated many popular chemistry books and e-books. Now carrying the role of GB in realizing ITB’s mission to be a world class university, Dr. Ismunandar has an opinion; with the infrastructure condition and government support right now, it is very difficult to realize this mission. “Even more so for those working in the experimental science field like us. I will do what I can, even if I can only contribute a little to step towards this ambition. That’s all…” he added. ITB Students should be Braver. When asked about students, Prof. Ismunandar had three opinions. Once was that ITB students today are amazing, critical and braver to talk to the lecturer. But ITB students should be braver to show their abilities and emerge to show their performance on a national, regional and international scale. “Don’t be great on the inside,” he said. Secondly, as a whole ITB students are equipped with several better facilities but there are all kinds of ‘temptations’ that seem more attractive until students forget their main foals. Finally, on tendency of students who seem to prefer instant. “…a few students want the cheap books to learn Physics, Chemistry and Calculus using the 16 hour system (the day before the exam)!” he joked. In supporting its ambition to become a world class university, ITB should now work to increase the number of headmasters. In a short time, a few names have been nominated for headmasters in ITB, among them are, Dr. Arwin Sabar (FTSL), Dr. Miftah Faridl (FSRD), Dr. Alibasyah Siregar (FTI) and Dr. Ubuh Buchara (FTI).