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From solar research student to lecturer: Meet Hooman

This article appears in: Alumni stories, Engineering, Studying in Australia
CDU Engineering lecturer Hooman

Hooman Mehdizadeh Rad’s journey to CDU started with an interest in addressing global warming. With a PhD under his belt, he’s a part of world-leading research and sharing his passion for solving big problems with a new generation of students.  

After completing a Masters of Science in Mechanical Engineering, Hooman decided to apply his learning to a real-world problem.  

Global warming is a serious problem, so I decided to continue my study in the field of solar energy. 

"I found that prolific Professor Jai Singh was working on this topic at CDU, so I applied to do a higher degree by research at CDU and started my PhD under his supervision."

Picking the perfect research topic

Hooman’s research is based around solar energy and heat mitigation in tropical cities – the perfect research topic for the sunny city of Darwin.  

"Darwin is an ideal place for my research. We have been working on investigating the influence of different heat transfer mechanisms on the thermal comfort level of pedestrians that walk on the main streets of Darwin CBD. The research results are very positive."

Through Hooman’s work, he has come to believe that the Northern Territory can be a leader in the solar energy industry. 

I believe the NT has the potential to have a large solar energy industry and export the electricity to other states, territories and even countries.  

"This may look ambitious, but it is practical with an average annual solar radiation of more than 22 MJ per square metre. As a researcher in the field of solar energy and as a Territorian, I will do my best to reach this goal."

CDU Engineering lecturer Hooman

A first in solar goes global

Hooman made some amazing discoveries during his time at CDU. While completing his higher degree by research he fabricated the first organic solar cell in the NT and set up the first solar cell lab right here at CDU.  

"Since then, I have been fabricating more efficient organic solar cells in CDU’s lab, and I have been teaching the fabrication processes to Bachelor of Science and Master of Science students as part of their theses. My objective is to continue research in our lab and fabricate more efficient solar cells over the coming years."

The ambitious Engineer has also taken his work to the world stage. Hooman travelled to Rome, Italy where he won the best poster prize at the Hybrid and Organic Photovoltaics (HOPV19) conference.  

I was very excited that my work, from CDU, was selected as the best out of about 200 other universities including Oxford and Cambridge.

Passing on his passion

After finishing his PhD, Hooman was successful in securing a lecturer position with CDU. It’s in this role that Hooman has brought his passion for teaching and his interest in solar power solutions to a new cohort of students.  

"I really love my job, and I am passionate about teaching and doing research," says Hooman.

I always say to my students that their main objective of studying Engineering should be solving society’s problems. If they consider this, they will have great motivation to work hard to become a very good engineer. 

So, what does the future hold for Hooman? More teaching, more research and making Darwin his home for the long-term. 

"I studied, I grew, and I was trained at CDU. I want to contribute to the local community with the qualities and knowledge I learned from this land."

Learn more about Hooman's publications on CDU's Researcher Portal.  

CDU has also recognised Hooman's contributions with a nomination for the Alumni Awards.

Completing your Master by Research or PhD is an opportunity to specialise in your chosen field and contribute to delivering real and measurable impact in Northern Australia and beyond. Explore opportunities to study a higher degree by research at CDU.

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