With a process engineering background and after more than two decades in Africa and Europe building a sustainability-oriented research career focussing on energy, Alan moved to Aotearoa New Zealand in 2017 to start the Sustainable Energy Systems group in the Te Wāhanga Ahunui Pūkaha—Wellington Faculty of Engineering.
Through his journey he has come to realise and appreciate the complexity of the transition to a better society – in the face of global and local challenges – and the need for systems thinking and transdisciplinary approaches when investigating innovations.
He subsequently enjoys working with researchers and practitioners across all disciplines, and with stakeholders at different levels – to add value to society through innovations such as SMOULDER.
After studying Electrical Engineering in his home country of Iran, Soheil moved to Aotearoa New Zealand in 2018 to undertake his PhD research at Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington, focusing specifically on the applications of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) techniques in designing sustainable energy systems. Soheil’s research specifically looks at microgrids integrating renewable energy.
For Soheil, Aotearoa has set a standard for its renewable energy use and Te Herenga Waka was the perfect place to learn more about how to build a sustainable future.
With the support of Professor Alan Brent, Soheil has successfully completed his groundbreaking PhD research, which involved the development of cutting-edge computational tools and the application of AI techniques. This pioneering work aims to enhance the reliability, resilience, and affordability of utilising renewable energy sources. Through his innovative codes and algorithms, Soheil has contributed to advancing the field by enabling more accurate simulations and optimisation of renewable energy systems.
Wanting to better understand the market needs to further advance his tool and protect the intellectual property around his idea, Soheil was advised to work with Wellington UniVentures. The team has helped to shape his research for real-life application and upskill Soheil in his commercialisation development, leading to the production of SMOULDER.