Professor Firuz Zare

ARC Future Fellowship

School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering
Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology
f.zare@uq.edu.au
+61 7 334 69180

Overview

Prof Firuz Zare received his BSc (Eng) in Electronic Engineering, M.Sc in Power Engineering and PhD in Power Electronics in 1989, 1995 and 2001, respectively. He has spent over 20 years in academia, industry and international standardization committees and has been collaborating with several international research centres and industry in Europe, USA and Japan in the fields of:

  • Power Converters: topology, control, design and optimization
  • Power Quality Analysis: device and system levels
  • Nanosecond Pulsed Power Technology: topology, concept and applications

Prof Zare is an academic staff at the University of Queensland in Australia and has published over 250 peer-reviewed journal & conference papers, 40 technical reports and five patents in 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 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$ 9M since 2007.

  • First Chief Investigator, ARC Linkage grant (2018-2021, LP170100902)
  • First Chief Investigator, ARC Linkage grant (2017-2020, LP160101675)
  • First Chief Investigator, ARC Future Fellowship (2016-2020, FT150100042)
  • First Chief Investigator, ARC Discovery grant (2007-2009, DP0774497)
  • First Chief Investigator, ARC Linkage grant (2007-2009, LP0774899)
  • One of the Chief Investigators, ARC LIEF grant (2008, LE0883074)
  • First Chief Investigator, ARC Discovery grant (2009-2011, DP0986853)
  • Second Chief Investigator, ARC Discovery grant (2010-2013, DP0774092)
  • First Chief Investigator, the Danish Innovation Fund (2014-2017)
  • One of the Chief Investigators, NHMRC Idea Grant (2020-2023, APP1182038)
  • One of the Chief Investigators, Global Innovation Linkage (GIL) Fund (2020-2023)

Prof Zare has received several awards such as:

  • Certificate of Appreciation for Lead Editor Services and Contributions towards the advancement of IEEE Access and the Engineering Professions (April 2020)
  • One of the high-quality journal papers of May 2019 nominated by the IEEE Power Electronics (TPEL) Committee
  • The 2015 Innovation and Excellence Awards (the 3rd place) under the 10th European Conference on Innovation and Entrepreneurship ECIE 2015, Italy.
  • Pasteur Program 2015 leadership program, Harvard Business School in Boston, USA and Denmark, Jan-Dec 2015
  • Innovation Competition at Danfoss Company in 2015.
  • Recipient of the National Safe Work Australia Award by Queensland Government, (2011)
  • Dean’s Commendation Award for high-quality supervision of two PhD graduate students (2011)
  • Recipient of the Australian Academy of Science International Linkage Fellowship (2010)
  • Recipient of a prestigious QUT Vice-Chancellor’s Research Fellowship (2009)
  • Recipient of the John Madsen Medal from Australian Institute of Engineers for the best journal paper (2009)
  • Certificate of Appreciation for an outstanding contribution to symposium workshops and tutorials at Asia-Pacific Symposium on Electromagnetic Compatibility in conjunction with the 19th International Zurich Symposium on Electromagnetic Compatibility (Singapore, 2008)
  • Recipient of QUT Early Career Research Award (2007)
  • Awarded the Australian Academy of Technological Science Symposium Fellowship by Australian Academy of Technological Science (2001)
  • Awarded Cigre student paper prize at AUPEC 2000 conference in Australia (2000)

Editorial Membership:

  • Editor in Chief of International Power Electronics Journal, July 2016 - August 2019
  • Associate Editor of IEEE Journal of Emerging Topics in Power Electronics, Sep 2014 -present
  • Associate Editor of IEEE Access journal, Dec 2015.present
  • Associate Editor of IET Generation, Transmission & Distribution, March 2020 -.present
  • Associate Editor of MDPI Journal of Electronics, April 2020 -present
  • Editorial Board member of an International Electronic Engineering Journal (AIMS Press), Sep 2017- present
  • Editorial Board member of International Power Electronics Journal, August 2019 - present
  • Guest Editor, IEEE Journal of Emerging Topics in Power Electronics, SPECIAL SECTION on Modelling and Analysis of Interaction between Grids and Grid-Connected Power Electronics Converters in Distribution Networks (2020)
  • Guest Editor, IEEE ACCESS SPECIAL SECTION on POWER QUALITY AND HARMONICS ISSUES OF FUTURE AND SMART GRIDS (2018)
  • IEEE Journal of Emerging Topics in Power Electronics SPECIAL SECTION EDITORIAL Board Member: on Harmonics Stability and Mitigation in Power Electronics (2016)

Memberships

  • Member of Danish Standardization Committee (2013-2016)
  • Member of International IEC Committee Working group 1, 8 and 9 (2013-Present)
  • Member of Australian Standardization Committee (2017-present)
  • Senior Member of the IEEE

Leadership

1: 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

2: 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.

3: Ethos Leadership Program (Feb-Dec 2009)

He has also an Academic Leadership certificate from Ethos Australia.

Research Interests

  • Power Electronics and Control
    Power electronics refers to control and conversion of electrical power - from milliwatts to hundreds of megawatts - using semiconductor power devices operating in switching mode. Among the variety of power electronics applications; renewable energy, pulsed power, and industrial systems have been mainly taken into consideration in power electronics research area.
  • Renewable Energy Systems
    In this century, electric power production will face dramatic changes in both physical infrastructure and control systems. A shift will occur from relatively large concentrated generation centres to more diverse and distributed generation systems. Power Electronics is a key technology to utilize renewable energy systems for smart and future grids. Single-phase and three-phase Active Front End (AFE) systems are key bidirectional technologies which are utilized in all modern renewable energy systems. Developing an advanced control system with an optimum front end filter are the main challenging issues of grid connected renewable energy systems.
  • EMI/EMC and Harmonics
    Pulse width modulation (PWM) is a strategy which is used to control magnitude and/or frequency of output voltage in power electronic converters. It varies duty cycle of the converter switches at a switching frequency to achieve desired voltage and/or current waveform with minimum harmonics and ripples. Fast switching transients (which produce high dv/dt and di/dt) generated by power converters interact with parasitic capacitive and inductive couplings in different parts of power converters - including heatsink, cables and electric motors. These can cause many unwanted problems such as: grounding and leakage currents, shaft voltage and resultant bearing currents, conductive and radiated Electromagnetic Interference (EMI) and over voltages. Current and voltage harmonics at different frequency ranges are generated by Power Electronics systems both at load and grid sides which need to be suppressed by proper active and passive methods.
  • Pulsed Power
    Pulsed voltage with short duration and high amplitude - known as pulsed power - has a diverse range of applications such as in ozonising, sterilizing, recycling, medical and military systems. Power electronics systems are utilized in many applications in order to provide a flexible and a reliable pulsed voltage with controlled energy level suitable for many applications.
  • Wide Band Gap Devices
    For several decades, Silicon (Si) based power electronics switches have been used in many different low and high power electronics systems. New developments in semiconductors have allowed Si semiconductor technology to approach the theoretical limits of the Si material but these switches cannot fulfil new requirements such as operating at higher switching frequencies with fast switching transients. To overcome these limitations, new semiconductor materials for power device applications are needed. Over the past two decades, significant efforts and development have been performed on new semiconductor materials called Wide Band Gap (WBG) semiconductors, such as Silicon Carbide (SiC), Gallium Nitride (GaN) due to their superior electrical and thermal performances compared to silicon power switching devices. It is challenging to develop and design a compact high power converter based on WBG devices due to reliability and packaging issues of the whole system.

Research Impacts

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:

  • Grid-connected inverters for renewable energy systems
  • High efficient energy conversion systems (Motor Drive Systems)
  • Grid robustness and power quality of future grids (0 - 2 kHz and 2 - 150 kHz)
  • Impact of high penetration of grid-connected power electronics on distribution networks

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. 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:

  • shaft voltage and ball bearing analysis
  • active and passive EMI and power filters
  • high-frequency modellings of cables, AC machines and transformers

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.

Qualifications

  • Doctor of Philosophy, Queensland Institute of Technology

Publications

View all Publications

Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

View all Supervision

Available Projects

  • Pulsed power systems deliver energy over very short durations, resulting in huge peak powers released in the form of pulsed electromagnetic waves, plasmas, shock waves, radicals and light. The pulse signal has different parameters: polarity, magnitude, pulse width, frequency and rise and fall time. These various forms of highly compressed energy present many new, partially and unexplored opportunities for practical uses in industry, bioprocessing and medicine.

    Industrial applications of pulsed power show potential in many and disparate fields, including recycling (concrete and e-waste), pollutant control (reduction of gas and particulate matter), defence (electromagnetic waves and underwater shock wave) and plasma physics (sputtering and materials processing). The application of high-repetition and high-performance pulsed power to living organisms provides novel physical and chemical stress to biological systems, opening a new field known as Bioelectrics. By varying pulse properties, the cell membranes or the internal mechanisms inside the cell cytoplasm or nucleus can be affected. Bioelectrics may be applied to target cells, bacteria and complex environments and ecosystems including plant and animal species. Bioelectrics applications of pulsed power are still primitive but include decontaminations and sterilizations (water, wastewater and juice), food processing (pasteurization of milk, wine processing, advanced plant processing) and biotechnology (algae and waste treatment). However, there are potentially many more including barely explored biomedical uses.

    Project topics:

    1. Water treatment and decontamination
    2. Food processing (milk, wine, juice,..)
    3. Agricultural applications
    4. NOx, PM and pollutant control
    5. Mining dewatering
    6. Unconventional Gas Reservoir stimulation
  • When an electrical energy is stored in a system over a long time and is released over a short time, a huge amount of peak power can be delivered to a load. This is known as pulsed power, a powerful pulse with a short pulse width. There are two different types of energies which can create pulsed power such as a) switching of voltage (electric field) stored in a capacitor and b) switching of current (magnetic field) stored in an inductor.

    Project topics:

    1. High voltage pulsed power generators
    2. Nanosecond pulsed power technology
    3. high power and high frequency converters
  • There are a number of projects in different fields of power electronics technology and applications:

    1. Grid connected inverters (control and stability)
    2. DC grids (control, system architecture and protection)
    3. Grid robustness and energy efficiency of future grids
    4. Power quality and harmonic emissions in distribution networks: 2-150 kHz
    5. Electromagnetic Interferences in Power Electronics Systems (modelling and analysis)
    6. High frequency modelling of transformers, cables and AC machines
    7. Failure mode analysis of converters, adjustable AC drives, cables, transformers and renewable energy systems

View all Available Projects

Publications

Book

Book Chapter

  • Davari, Pooya, Zare, Firuz and Abdelhakim, Ahmed (2018). Active rectifiers and their control. Control of power electronic converters and systems. (pp. 3-52) edited by Frede Blaabjerg.London, United Kingdom: Elsevier. doi:10.1016/b978-0-12-816136-4.00013-0

  • Blaabjerg, Frede, Wang, Huai, Davari, Pooya, Qu, Xiaohui and Zare, Firuz (2017). Energy saving and efficient energy use by power electronic systems. Energy harvesting and energy efficient: technology, methods, and applications. (pp. 1-14) edited by Nicu Bizon, Frede Blaabjerg, Naser Mahdavi Tabatabaei and Erol Kurt.Cham, Switzerland: Springer. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-49875-1_1

Journal Article

Conference Publication

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

Possible Research Projects

Note for students: The possible research projects listed on this page may not be comprehensive or up to date. Always feel free to contact the staff for more information, and also with your own research ideas.

  • Pulsed power systems deliver energy over very short durations, resulting in huge peak powers released in the form of pulsed electromagnetic waves, plasmas, shock waves, radicals and light. The pulse signal has different parameters: polarity, magnitude, pulse width, frequency and rise and fall time. These various forms of highly compressed energy present many new, partially and unexplored opportunities for practical uses in industry, bioprocessing and medicine.

    Industrial applications of pulsed power show potential in many and disparate fields, including recycling (concrete and e-waste), pollutant control (reduction of gas and particulate matter), defence (electromagnetic waves and underwater shock wave) and plasma physics (sputtering and materials processing). The application of high-repetition and high-performance pulsed power to living organisms provides novel physical and chemical stress to biological systems, opening a new field known as Bioelectrics. By varying pulse properties, the cell membranes or the internal mechanisms inside the cell cytoplasm or nucleus can be affected. Bioelectrics may be applied to target cells, bacteria and complex environments and ecosystems including plant and animal species. Bioelectrics applications of pulsed power are still primitive but include decontaminations and sterilizations (water, wastewater and juice), food processing (pasteurization of milk, wine processing, advanced plant processing) and biotechnology (algae and waste treatment). However, there are potentially many more including barely explored biomedical uses.

    Project topics:

    1. Water treatment and decontamination
    2. Food processing (milk, wine, juice,..)
    3. Agricultural applications
    4. NOx, PM and pollutant control
    5. Mining dewatering
    6. Unconventional Gas Reservoir stimulation
  • When an electrical energy is stored in a system over a long time and is released over a short time, a huge amount of peak power can be delivered to a load. This is known as pulsed power, a powerful pulse with a short pulse width. There are two different types of energies which can create pulsed power such as a) switching of voltage (electric field) stored in a capacitor and b) switching of current (magnetic field) stored in an inductor.

    Project topics:

    1. High voltage pulsed power generators
    2. Nanosecond pulsed power technology
    3. high power and high frequency converters
  • There are a number of projects in different fields of power electronics technology and applications:

    1. Grid connected inverters (control and stability)
    2. DC grids (control, system architecture and protection)
    3. Grid robustness and energy efficiency of future grids
    4. Power quality and harmonic emissions in distribution networks: 2-150 kHz
    5. Electromagnetic Interferences in Power Electronics Systems (modelling and analysis)
    6. High frequency modelling of transformers, cables and AC machines
    7. Failure mode analysis of converters, adjustable AC drives, cables, transformers and renewable energy systems
  • The candidate(s) will have a master’s degree or 1st Class Honours degree or equivalent in Engineering and/or Science depending on one of the above PhD project topics (biomedical, electrical, mechanical or chemical engineering, biotechnology or biology)

    Domestic applicants should be eligible for an Australian Postgraduate Award (APA) or equivalent (for more information, please visit: http://www.uq.edu.au/grad-school/domestic-student-scholarships).

    International applicants must meet the University of Queensland's English Language Proficiency (ELP) requirements detailed at http://www.uq.edu.au/grad-school/english-language-proficiency-requirements.

    These projects are in collaboration with other research centres and schools at UQ and national and international research partners.