Professor Zi-Qiang Zhu

PhD, MSc, BEng

Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering

Professor (Personal Chair)

Electrical Machines and Drives Research Group

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+44 114 222 5195

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Professor Zi-Qiang Zhu
Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering

I graduated with a BEng degree (1982) and an MSc degree (1984) from Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China, and a PhD degree (1991) from The University of Sheffield, UK.

I am a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, UK, a Fellow of IEEE, USA, and a Fellow of IET, UK.

After working as a Lecturer/Assistant Lecturer at Zhejiang University from 1984 to 1988, I joined The University of Sheffield in 1988, initially as a Visiting Research Fellow sponsored by the British Council (1988-1989) and a Research Associate working on an EU funded project in co-operation with Philips (1989-1992), then on an established university post as a Senior Research Scientist/Officer (1992-2000), and am currently a Professor on Electrical Machines and Control Systems (2000-).

I hold the Royal Academy of Engineering/Siemens Research Chair (2014-) and am the Head of the Electrical Machines and Drives Research Group (2008-).

My research interests include the design and control of novel high torque/power density and high efficiency permanent magnet machines and drives for applications ranging from electric vehicles through domestic appliances to wind power generation and more electric aircraft.

By way of example, my research activities over last >35 years cover

  1. novel permanent magnet machines including Halbach machines, fractional slot machines, stator wound field machines, switched flux machines, magnetically geared machines, multi-3-phase machines, segmented stator machines, ultra-high speed machines, and novel linear machines;
  2. theories, and analytical and numerical modelling techniques of permanent magnet machines; (
  3. novel PWM, sensorless, and vector and direct torque control techniques;
  4. acoustic noise and vibration in electrical machines and drives.

These research activities have been sponsored by the UK/EU government and the global industries based in the UK, Germany, Japan, Denmark, France, and China (e.g. Rolls Royce, Siemens, Valeo, ZF TRW, Jaguar, Midea, CRRC, Toyota, Nissan etc.), with research funding of >£30M.

I am the Founding Academic Director of Sheffield Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy Research Centre on direct-drive permanent magnet wind power generators, the Founding Director of CRRC Electric Drives Technology Research Centre on the power trains for fast train propulsion, and the Founding Director of Midea Electric Machines and Controls Research Centres on low cost high performance electric motors and drives for domestic appliances.

I received the 2019 IEEE Industry Application Society Outstanding Achievement Award, for the application of electricity to industry.

I am very proud to have received the the prestigious 2021 IEEE Nikola Tesla Award for outstanding contributions to the generation and utilisation of electric power with the citation “For contributions to the design, modeling, control, and application of ac permanent magnet machines and drives".  

I am the author/co-author of >100 patents and >1000 papers, including >400 IEEE Transactions and IET Proceedings papers.

I received >30 Best Paper Awards, including 6 IEEE/IET society/journal awards, e.g. the 2018 IEEE Industry Applications Society Prize Paper Award (2nd place) on memory machine, the 2018 Premium Award for Best Paper in IET Science, Measurement & Technology on iron loss modelling, the 2018 IEEE Transactions on Energy Conversion Best Paper Award (3rd place) on magnetically geared machines.

I have served as the General Chair/Co-Chair of 2013 International Symposium on Linear Drives for Industry Applications (LDIA2013) and 2016 IEEE-Vehicle Power and Propulsion Conference (VPPC2016), the Chair/Co-Chair of the Technical Programme/Organizing Committee for 15 international conferences, including International Conference on Electrical Machines and Systems (ICEMS1995, ICEMS2005, ICEMS2008, ICEMS2011, ICEMS2014, ICEMS2017, ICEMS2019), International Power Electronics and Motion Control Conference (IPEMC04, IPEMC06, IPEMC 2012), IEEE-Vehicle Power and Propulsion Conference (VPPC2008), 2011 IEEE-Energy Conversion Conference and Expo (ECCE2011) etc.

I was a Keynote Speaker at >26 international conferences, including 2011 IEEE-International Electric Machines and Drives Conference (IEMDC2011), 2008 IEEE-Vehicle Power and Propulsion Conference (VPPC2008), International Conference on Electrical Machines and Systems (ICEMS2008, ICEMS2011, ICEMS2014, ICEMS2017), Int. Conf. & Exhibition on Ecological Vehicles & Renewable Energies (EVER2009, EVER2011, EVER2014, EVER2015, EVER2019), etc.

  • PhD, University of Sheffield 1991
  • MSc, Zhejiang University, 1984
  • BEng, Zhejiang University 1981
  • Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering
  • Fellow of IEEE, USA
  • Fellow of IET, UK
  • Chartered Engineer
Research interests
  • Novel high torque/power density permanent magnet machines
  • High-speed machines
  • Direct-drive permanent magnet machines
  • Low-cost permanent magnet motors
  • Control of permanent magnet machine drives
  • Parameter and condition identification of permanent magnet machines
  • Intelligent control of permanent magnet machine drives
  • Novel PWM strategies
  • Power trains for electric vehicles
  • Wind power generation
  • Domestic appliances
  • More electric aircraft


Journal articles


Conference proceedings papers