B.Sc. (New England College), M.A.Sc., Ph.D. (British Columbia). Dr. Shawwash is also an instructor in the UBC Master of Engineering Leadership in Integrated Water Management.

Research Interests

Modeling and optimization of large-scale civil engineering systems; planning, design and operation of hydroelectric generating facilities; use of decision, policy and risk analysis techniques in water resource planning and management; use of artificial intelligence systems in water resource and hydroelectric systems


CIVL 415 Water Resource Engineering
CIVL 556 Modeling and Optimization of Civil Engineering Systems

Student Research Opportunities

Applications are invited from outstanding individuals for a postdoctoral fellow position in stochastic hydropower system optimization within the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of British Columbia. The successful candidate will be expected to hold a Ph.D. in civil engineering, electrical engineering, operations research or a related field. Ideally the successful candidate will have experience in developing and implementing Approximate Dynamic Programming (ADP) methods including Reinforcement Learning (RL)/ Multi-agent RL and Sampling Stochastic DP algorithms to solve practical large scale stochastic optimization problems using mathematical programming languages and solvers and computer programming languages, such as C,C++, C#, Java, Fortran or other languages. Expertise in parallel and distributed computation will also be an asset.

Applicants should also have an interest in operations planning of large scale power systems in electricity markets and with particular emphasis on hydropower systems and clean and renewable sources of electric energy.

The successful candidate will be expected to be heavily involved in achieving the main tasks of a research program sponsored by BC Hydro and by a Collaborative Research and Development (CRD) grant from NSERC (CRDPJ 476296-14) to carry out research on evaluating the performance of ADP algorithms against other stochastic optimization methods, such as Stochastic Dynamic Programming (SDP), Stochastic Dual DP, and then to implement the most promising algorithms to solve the problem of long/ medium term operations planning of the B.C. Hydro’s reservoir systems while addressing the main uncertainties in the operations planning problem: river inflows, market prices, electricity demand and intermittency of renewable sources of energy. The candidate will be expected to participate in delivering a number of lectures in graduate courses on modeling and optimization of civil engineering systems and to serve on the supervisory committee of the graduate students involved in the research project. The research team includes faculty members at UBC, a number of Ph.D. and M.A.Sc. students and staff members form the department Generation Resource Management at BC Hydro (

The position is for one year with the possibility of extension for another year if additional funding opportunities are made available. The start date is flexible, but should ideally be no later than Oct. 1st, 2015.

Further information about the Department of Civil Engineering is available at Information on the employment environment in the Faculty of Applied Science and Post-Doctoral appointments is available at and at

Applications should include detailed curriculum vitae and a copy of graduate studies transcripts, a 1-2 page statement describing research interests and accomplishments, and the names and contact details of three referees. The closing date for applications is July 10, 2015. Recruitment for this position will stay open until filled. Applications should be sent by e-mail, mail, or courier to:

Ziad Shawwash
BC Hydro Assistant Professorship in Hydropower Engineering
Faculty of Applied Science | Department of Civil Engineering
The University of British Columbia | Vancouver
CEME 2035 - 6250 Applied Science Lane | Vancouver, BC Canada V6T 1Z4
Phone 604 822 2674 | Fax 604 822 6901 | Cell 604 649 2390

The University of British Columbia hires on the basis of merit and is committed to employment equity. All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, priority will be given to Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Canada.