Prof Firuz Zare is the Head of School of Electrical Engineering and Robotics and the University Chair of Gender Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in Research and STEMM Committee at Queensland University of Technology and an Honorary Professor at UQ. He was a discipline leader of Power, Energy and Control Engineering at the School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering. He is also a Fellow of IEEE - the world’s largest association of technical professionals.
He has spent over 20 years in three main organisations - academia, industry and international standardisation committees as a leader, project manager and senior specialist. Prof Zare has team-building, management and leadership experience in emerging and multidisciplinary research and teaching activities, cross-institutional research and technology projects and national and international standardisation committees.
Prof Zare has been collaborating with several international research centres and industry in Australia, Europe, the USA and Japan in the fields of Energy Conversion Systems and Nanosecond Pulsed Power Technology. His core research areas are:
1) Advanced Power Converter Topology and Control in Grid Connected Renewable Energy, Motor Drives and Energy Storage Systems
2) Electromagnetic Interferences and Harmonics in Power Systems
3) Addressing Standardisation and Emerging Issues of Future Grids
4) Pulsed Power Systems for Bioelectrics and Industrial Applications
He has successfully initiated and established emerging cross and multidisciplinary research activities and groups in Nanosecond Pulsed Powerfields since 2007. More specifically, he has published, supervised researchers, secured ARC, NHMRC and industry funds and collaborated with other disciplines in the following areas:
Prof Zare is an academic staff at the University of Queensland in Australia and has published over 280 peer-reviewed journal & conference papers, 40 technical reports andfive patentsin the area of Power Electronics and Pulsed Power. He has supervised 13 PhD, 10 M.Sc and M.Eng and a high number of B.Eng students to completion. He has mentored and supervised 14 post-docs and research engineers in the field of energy conversion systems. Prof Zare established a joint chapter of the IEEE Power Electronics/Industrial Electronics/ Industry Applications Societies in Queensland in 2017 and has supported the chapter as a committee member till the present.
He has secured several research funds including eight ARCs, one NHMRC and one Danish Research Council competitive research fund and 20 industry-based projects, over AU$ 10M since 2007.
Prof Zare has received several awards such as:
National and International Assessor:
- Management Essentials, Harvard Business School (Oct-Dec 2020)
Management Essentials provides participants with key tools and techniques to become more effective managers and get things done.
- Technology Leadership, Harvard Business School (Jan-Dec 2015)
Prof Zare has a leadership certificate from Harvard Business School, Boston, USA (Jan-Nov 2015). He was awarded a technology leadership program by the Danish Innovation Council, to attend one year program delivered by Harvard Business School. The goal of this program was to educate innovators on how to develop new technologies. In his leadership roles, he has explored and discussed many challenging issues from project management to academic staff interaction and from different disciplines to maintain and expand collaborations relevant to these themes:
- Strategy & Innovation
- Negotiations, Organizations and Markets
- Commercialising Science
- Project Management
- Leadership & Networking
- Technology Leadership in Denmark (2014)
Industry project management and leadership training - from Lab to Product. Supported by Man on the Moon program at global Danfoss Drive research and development centre.
- Ethos Leadership Program (Feb-Dec 2009)
He has also an Academic Leadership certificate from Ethos Australia.
Professor Zare has integrated important design factors with fundamental research concepts and mathematical analysis to address "Emerging Issues of Future Grids" based on inter-disciplinary research projects. His research contributions have supported real-world projects in power engineering and have advanced knowledge in:
International Project Leader:
Professor Zare was nominated, then elected by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), Technical Committee 77 (Harmonics) in 2013 as a convenor and Task Force Leader in the area of “Grid-Connected Renewable Energy Systems”. His remit has been to manage and prepare a new standard for solar inverters and wind turbines to be utilised in all power networks around the world. This has been a very prestigious and challenging position, leading over 30 senior industry representatives from international companies in his team. His significant contribution has been the preparation of several technical reports, in collaboration with the members, which will be published as a new international standard IEC 61000-3- 16. The first edition of this standard has been developed based on many years of research work in the area of power quality and energy efficiency, in close collaboration with international partners.
He is an expert in harmonic and Electromagnetic Interference (EMI) issues in Power Electronics systems and has developed device and system simulation tools (virtual design approach) at the micro and macro levels. He has successfully completed many national and international projects to mitigate harmonics and EMI and analyse failure modes in grid-connected motor drives and inverters such as:
Innovative Teaching Design
His commitment to innovative teaching design and development to support power electronics engineers and scientists, as well as undergraduate and postgraduate students, is further evidenced by his development of a comprehensive Power Electronics Education E-Books (www.peeeb.dk). He published two books: introduction and advanced power electronics - which includes a virtual lecture with all teaching and simulation materials and interactive tutorials. Since 2007, on average, over 5,600 students and engineers from 75 different countries visit the website each year and download the free-access teaching materials. Its influence has been pervasive with copies sent to more than 300 universities.
Professor Zare proposed a new teaching approach for Entrepreneurship and presented to the 10th European Conference on Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Italy in 2015 received the third-place Innovation and Excellence Award. This concept introduces an innovative industry-based active learning, available to all students to be able to understand real-world project and challenges. The main aim is to connect Innovation and Entrepreneurship teaching content, and create active teaching and learning culture at the undergraduate level across all disciplines to:
- encourage students to practice innovation in an interactive way
- create dynamic synergy and communication between different disciplines.