Professor Dr Dayang Hajah Zohrah binti Haji Sulaiman (Professor Dr Zohrah) began her career as a school teacher in 1988. A year later, she joined Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD). She obtained PhD (Genetics) from the University of Southampton (United Kingdom) in 1994. Professor Dr Zohrah was Deputy Vice-Chancellor at UBD when she joined Universiti Teknologi Brunei (formerly known as Institut Teknologi Brunei) as acting Vice Chancellor in November 2012. She was appointed as Vice chancellor on 1st January 2015. She spearheaded the transformation agenda of Universiti Teknologi Brunei (UTB), to be amongst the best 10 Universities of Engineering and Technology in Southeast Asia by 2018. The Vision of which was preceded in 2017 when UTB ranked 9 among universities of Engineering of Technology in Southeast Asia. This made UTB the youngest university, below 10 years of age, to be entered into the QS Asia University Rankings within the top 165. The same year, UTB debuted in the QS Star Rating, attaining 4 stars in Teaching, Employability, Internationalisation, Facilities, Social Responsibility, and Inclusiveness, and in 2018, UTB achieved 5 stars. In 2018, UTB ranked at 442 by QS World University Ranking, it improved its performance by 63 places, to 379 in 2019.
She was accorded the ASAIHL Fellow in 1996, the national nominee for the ASEAN Young Scientist and Technologist Award in 1998 and sat on various committees of ASEAN Committee on Science and Technology (ASEAN-COST in short) including as Chairman of the Advisory Board on ASEAN Plan of Action for Science and Technology (2006-2008), Chair (2011-2014) and national focal point (2002-2014) of the ASEAN-COST Sub-Committee on Biotechnology. In recognition of her contribution to ASEAN-COST, she was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal of ASEAN Science and Technology in July 2008. She is also a founding member of Asian Society of Ichthyologists (2014-). She serves as member of several national committees including Brunei Research Council, BDTVEC Council, National Accreditation Council and Knowledge Convention (Majlis Ilmu).
She had the opportunity to attend Senior Executive Fellow programme at Harvard Kennedy School (Harvard University, Boston) for 4 weeks in 2010 and WISE programme for Education Leadership, sponsored by Qatar Foundation in 2013.
Her research interests are on biodiversity, aquaculture, molecular phylogeny and biogeography of fishes. In 2006, she discovered 3 new Gastromyzon fishes (Gastromyzon aeroides, Gastromyzon cranbrooki and Gastromyzon venustus) in Temburong river with her co-researcher from National University of Singapore. She co-owned two patents involving biodiesel production from local paddy “Laila” with her PhD student. She taught genetics, population genetics and molecular genetics to students at UBD from 1994-2013. She was appointed as adjunct academic staff (2014-2018) and visiting Professor (2019-) at UBD. She is also appointed as Honorary Professor in College of Science at Swansea University for a period of 5 years from 1st September 2018.
She received four state honorary medals from His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam: PIKB medal in 2001, Bintang PSB in 2006, Bintang SMB in 2011 and Bintang SNB in 2017.
She is married to Dr Haji Kassim bin Haji Daud and is blessed with a son.