Humber’s Office of Research and Innovation (ORI) would like to highlight faculty member and researcher Savdulla Kazazi, PhD, after a successful research project completion with Hamilton Plastic Systems Ltd., funded through a grant from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC).
While this is Savdulla’s first NSERC project supported by ORI, he embodied the mindset of a seasoned Humber Researcher and always kept the experiences of his students at the forefront. Savdulla has made significant contributions to research and practical applications through his involvement in several projects, to name a few: “Lightning Characteristics at Tall Structures”, a project sponsored by Ryerson University and supported by Environment Canada; “Design of Industrial Applications” in collaboration with GE, Rockwell, and Siemens Canada.
Background & Expertise
Moving from a vocational school—Shkolla Industriale—to the Polytechnic University of Tirana in 1987, Savdulla obtained his Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering. After gaining some industry experience as an electrical engineer in Albania and Italy, he moved to Canada and graduated in 2005 from Humber College’s Electrical Engineering Technician and Technology Diploma program with a specialization in Engineering Control Systems while he was a part-time faculty.
Savdulla transitioned into being a full-time faculty member at Humber in 2005. Embodying the mindset of a lifelong learner, he acquired a PhD in Electrical and Computer Engineering, specializing in Lightning Phenomenon, from Ryerson University in 2016, obtaining a master’s degree along the way. He’s now the Program Coordinator for the Electrical Engineering Technician & Technology Control Systems Diploma & Advanced Diploma programs. He facilitates learning in courses on programmable logic controllers and human-machine interfaces. Savdulla has continuously assisted students with their capstone projects at Humber College for almost 15 years. He enthusiastically shares that witnessing his students excel, be involved, and be encouraged to pursue their passion is what drives him.
Savdulla’s expertise spans AutoCAD, Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs), microcontrollers, Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA), control systems, digital circuits, analog circuits, electronic instrumentation, signal and image processing, MATLAB, renewable energy/alternate energy, smart grids and micro-grids, electrical power systems, electrical machines and drives with power electronics. He has participated in several conferences and has authored many journal papers. Savdulla is also a member of Professional Engineers Ontario.
Project Details: “Microcontroller based self-contained material loader”
In 2019, Savdulla received an NSERC grant to work with Hamilton Plastic Systems Ltd. (HPSL) on updating the controllers for their Integral Vacuum Loaders, which had been 20 years out of date. Working with his former colleague, Javeed Ahmed Khan, PhD., and his student research assistants, Ba Vu Tran and Anand Vikram Muthusamy, they were able to provide a solution to the problem with the newest technology, newest components, all while being cost-effective.
“We [were] able to not only design the controller for them but even prototype it. We sent it to them for testing, and they were happy. Of course, on the production line, they may make changes. But the prototype from Humber was functional.” —Savdulla Kazazi
While communication was a challenge the research team faced due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Savdulla informs that the team effectively pivoted to an online environment; the project was only delayed a month.
“The research assistants were eager and wanted to go and implement the prototype on their (HPSL) machine... I would coordinate between the student’s homes and HPSL; delivered the prototype to them, and they tested it—via video conferencing. We'd have a meeting on Microsoft Teams and come up with modifications/changes in order to make it work. We extended the project for a month because of a shipment delay on components.” —Savdulla Kazazi
While Savdulla agrees that taking part in research projects may seem time-consuming, however, he expresses, “It’s extremely satisfying for me to keep relevant in the field of electrical engineering.”
“If you’re not working in the industry, research is an opportunity to keep up, keep fresh and keep up to date with emerging trends and technologies. Research is an excellent way for any professional to exercise, investigate and improve their knowledge. Research gives them a chance to demonstrate their observations and findings and provide further input and assistance to the field of engineering, or their relevant field of expertise.” —Savdulla Kazazi
The journey that leads to the implementation of a research project is sometimes years in the making before any grant applications are filed. Savdulla explained that his relationship with HPSL had begun years before he applied for this research grant; one of the main goals in undertaking this research was to get his students exposure to the industry they’re studying to become a part of.
“I love to let students have that hands-on experience. During my tenure at Humber, I have worked on building and creating labs or industrial applications that students can relate to when they graduate and enter the job market. So, all the applications in our labs are with the equipment used by industry; it's not just the simulation or a piece of the software that the students work with, but it's actual industrial equipment.” —Savdulla Kazazi
Savdulla believes that learning should be experiential and not just about grades. In his experience, students coming right out of high school, joining the diploma programs that he facilitates, heavily focus on grades. Every student in the Electrical Engineering Technician & Technology Control Systems programs has the opportunity to interact with leading industrial and state-of-the-art technology through Humber’s on-site labs. Savdulla encourages his students to get involved with applied research and make themselves aware of what the industry requires of them to be successful.
Savdulla is in preparation for his next project. Supported by the Humber’s Office of Research & Innovation, a proposal was put together to implement a smart grid within Humber College. There will be updates in the coming months.
Get to know Savdulla a little better
- When I’m not at work, I’m…? Spending time with my young children.
- Favourite Book? I read a lot of technical journals, monthly magazines and relevant engineering-relevant articles.
- Favourite Websites? Again, it’s all very technical and academic within the world of electrical engineering.
- Coffee or Tea? I prefer both. In moderation.
Chris Middleton, Anju Kakkar
We acknowledge the support of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC).
Nous remercions le Conseil de recherches en sciences naturelles et en génie du Canada (CRSNG) de son soutien.