Ziad Shawwash

Ziad Shawwash

Assistant Professor

Department of Civil Engineering

Research focus:

Zaid Shawwash holds the BC Hydro’s Assistant Professorship in Hydropower Engineering and his research involves mathematical programming of water resources and energy systems primarily focusing on hydroelectric reservoir operation and integration of renewable sources of energy in electric power systems. Shawwash’s research group has primarily targeted BC Hydro’s core business of operations planning of the hydroelectric system in British Columbia, one of the largest hydropower systems in Canada. The position is supported by Grant-In-Aid Agreement between UBC and BC Hydro. The Agreement objectives include the following:

  • To carry out research on the development of an overall framework for the optimal operation of a hydro-electric system. The framework includes several operations and planning mathematical models that are developed and used by BC Hydro operations engineers, including models to help the BC Hydro engineers how to run individual water turbines, to renegotiate the Columbia River Treaty and to ensure that there will be enough energy and capacity to meet electric power demand in the future. 
  • To develop and offer undergraduate and graduate courses on Water Resource Engineering, Modeling and Optimization of Civil Engineering Systems and Water Resources Systems Planning and Management.
  • To ensure that hydropower engineering has a presence in UBC’s Civil Engineering curriculum and to expose undergraduate and graduate students and researchers to the complexity and sophistication of today’s hydropower systems and the business of hydropower. 

Dr. Shawwash’s research interests include: modeling and optimization of large-scale civil engineering systems; planning, design and operation of hydroelectric generating facilities; use of decision, policy and risk informed decision making and analysis techniques in water resource planning and management and use of artificial intelligence systems in water resource and hydroelectric systems. Dr. Shawwash is also a faculty member in the Clean Energy Research Centre at UBC.

Prior to UBC:

Before coming to UBC, Shawwash completed his BASc at New England College, New Hampshire. He then worked for ten years building and planning water and irrigation projects in Jordan. He received his MASc and PhD degrees from the University of British Columbia.


Shawwash`s research work is sponsored by BC Hydro and NSERC Collaborative Research and Development grants and has been published in the IEEE Transactions on Power Systems, Hydropower Review, Canadian Water Resources Journal and presented in many conferences and forums on water resources management, hydropower and mathematical programming. For his graduate studies at UBC he received the prestigious King Hussein of Jordan Scholarship and the Earl Peterson scholarship.

Personal interests:

In his free time, Shawwash enjoys playing Arabic and Circassian music on his keyboard and accordion, traveling with his family, drinking good coffee and barbecuing shish kebab when the weather in Vancouver allows.

Department/School profile