is the Deputy Vice Chancellor of Academics and International of Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM). He is a professor of chemical engineering, the founding director of UTM Process Systems Engineering Centre (PROSPECT), the founding Dean of the UTM Faculty of Chemical and Energy Engineering, the founder of UTM Sustainable Energy Management Program, the founder of Optimal Systems Engineering (OPTIMISE), a UTM spin-off company. He started his career as an engineer in PETRONAS and Hume Industries and has been an academic leader, educator, researcher, consultant and professional coach for more than 25 years.
As the UTM Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic and International), Prof Zain founded the UTM Synergy 4.0 transformation program to advance the mission of widening access to UTM quality engineering education. UTM Synergy 4.0 involved the creation of a synergistic collaboration platform across UTM academic eco-system through the historic consolidation of 18 UTM Faculties into 7 Faculties; designing flexible, future & 4IR-ready curriculum, educators and graduates; and providing access to UTM lifelong education programs via Trans-National Education.
Prof Zain has completed over 100 R & D & consultancy projects, has numerous patents and nearly 500 publications that include 15 books/chapters, 205 refereed journals and 250 conference papers on sustainable engineering of resources (energy, power, water, emissions & materials; [Google H-Index:40; Scopus:33]). He was the winner of Saudi’s Prince Sultan International Prize for Water (2008) and was awarded as a Top Research Scientist of Malaysia by the Academy of Science of Malaysia (2013). In 2014, he received the award as UTM Top Researcher, UTM Top Academician and the Pannonia Honorary Award from Hungary.
Prof Zain is a professional engineer, professional technologist, a chartered engineer, a certified energy manager, a registered electrical energy manager and the certified lead trainer for Malaysia energy managers. He has delivered over 400 invited talks in professional courses, conferences and seminars across the world, including the 2014 Imperial College Distinguished Chemical Engineering Lecture. Zain has coached professionals from more than 500 national and multi-national companies.
Prof Zain is currently the technical advisor and the co-chair of Energy Efficiency and Conservation Act (Thermal Energy) Drafting committee under the Malaysian Ministry of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change (MESTECC). He was a member/vice-chairman of Board of Judges of ASEAN Energy Awards (2006-2011) for the commercial and industrial sectors. He founded and spearheaded the UTM Sustainable Energy Management initiative that led UTM to achieve >USD 6 million energy savings (2011-2018), to win the ASEAN Energy Award (2012), and to be the first ASEAN Certified Energy-Efficient organisation.