Professor Syed Mahfuzul Aziz holds BSc and MSc degrees in Electrical and Electronic Engineering, a Ph.D. degree in Electronic Engineering from the University of Kent (UK) and a Graduate Certificate in Higher Education from Queensland University of Technology. He joined BRAC University in February 2023 as Pro Vice Chancellor and has been the acting Vice Chancellor. Winning the Prime Minister’s Award for Australian University Teacher of the year in 2009 was an important milestone in his distinguished academic career. Professor Aziz has been acknowledged for his national/international leadership and engaging teaching methods, which have been widely adopted. He has pioneered innovative Project-Based Learning and Assessment approaches to address student diversity. He has collaborated with leading European institutions to support the development of educational tools and learning resources that are used in thousands of institutions.
After graduation he worked as a research engineer at Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission (1985-86), where he led the development of the first batch of single-board computers and embedded systems in Bangladesh for various applications. He mentored colleagues at BAEC on microprocessor-based system development. His full-time academic career commenced in 1986 as a lecturer at Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET). He was awarded a Commonwealth Academic Staff scholarship (UK) to pursue his PhD focussing on VLSI Design (1989–1993). On completion of his PhD, he returned to his academic role in BUET and pioneered the introduction of ‘microchip design teaching’ in Bangladesh, initially through courses in Masters and then in Bachelor of Engineering programs. He was promoted to the position of Professor in 1998. During 1998–99, Prof Aziz led the establishment of a networked multi-operating system Computer Aided Design lab in BUET, the first of its kind in the country, to provide students practical training in VLSI Design. He trained and mentored academic staff in BUET and other institutions to help establish VLSI teaching programs across the country and shared his teaching materials widely.
In 1999, Professor Aziz took up the role of Program Director of undergraduate and postgraduate programs in Computer Systems Engineering at the University of South Australia (on leave from BUET) and served in that role for eight years. In January 2002, he relinquished his professorial position at BUET and continued his academic career at the University of South Australia (UniSA), where he has been a professor of Electrical and Electronic Engineering. Professor Aziz also served as academic director of common first year engineering program (2007−2012). His contributions in this role include the introduction of reflective portfolios in engineering education and strategies to support student academic success. He also served as discipline leader of Electrical and Electronic Engineering during 2013−2015 and as acting Dean in 2015. In the above roles he provided leadership for the review and benchmarking of engineering programs, quality assurance and accreditation.
Professor Aziz has been a research-active academic. At UniSA he led research projects in digital system design, low-power embedded processing architectures, and grid integration and energy economy of renewable sources and electric vehicles. His research has encompassed various sectors including energy, defence, health and the environment. He has been involved in many industry projects and attracted substantial research funds from government agencies, Australian Research Council and various industry sectors. He has 180 research publications including Quartile 1 journals which have been highly cited in recent years.
Professor Aziz takes keen interest in promoting academic excellence through strategies to enhance student experience and learning. He served as member of the Australian national teaching awards committee (2018−2021) and as assessor of educational programs and research grants internationally. He was a visiting scholar at the University of Texas at Austin (1996), invited professor at the National Institute of Applied Science Toulouse, France (2006) and visiting professor at University College London (2017). He is a Senior Member of IEEE and a member of Engineers Australia.