Electrical Engineer - EV & Charging Infrastructure, WSP New Zealand
Doctor of Philosophy
Climate change is the biggest threat the world faces and he wanted his PhD to make a difference, says Dr Muhammad Arif Syed who came to AUT as an international student from Pakistan, supported by an AUT Vice-Chancellor's Doctoral Scholarship.
“For my PhD research, I focused on eco-charging systems for plug-in electric buses. I chose this topic because I wanted to educate and increase awareness of the issue of climate change, and contribute to the scientific community.
“I enjoyed being able to use AUT’s electric bus for my PhD thesis, and am proud of publishing six peer-reviewed journal articles and sharing my work at three international conferences during my studies. I collaborated with Auckland Transport, Vector and the Yutong Electric Bus Company, and worked with Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) in Pakistan to publish my research work.”
Arif’s PhD research was supervised by Professor Tek Tjing Lie from AUT’s School of Engineering, Computer and Mathematical Sciences.
The right choice
As a passionate electrical engineer, doctoral study was the next logical step for his career.
“I wanted to increase my scientific knowledge in the field of electrical engineering. I came to AUT for my studies because it’s the only university of technology in New Zealand, has outstanding research facilities and is located in the heart of Auckland City where it’s easy to collaborate with industry organisations just like I did for my PhD.”
He has some great advice for other students.
“My advice for future AUT students is to work smart, and divide your research problem into smaller problems and solve them one by one. Follow your dreams and believe me, miracles do happen.”
A rewarding career
After graduating from AUT in mid-2021, Arif now gets to apply his expertise as an electrical engineer at WSP New Zealand, a well-known design, engineering and environmental services consultancy.
“We provide consultancy services related to electric vehicles – cars, buses and ferries – and their charging infrastructure to different organisations including Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency, the Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Education, Auckland Transport, Dunedin City Council and a number of different companies.”
He enjoys being able to make a difference through his role.
“As an electrical engineer in the electric vehicle and charging infrastructure department, I get to work on decarbonisation projects and provide solutions for electrical vehicle charging infrastructure to government and non-government organisations.”