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Azad Madni is University Professor and holder of the Northrop Grumman Foundation Fred O’Green Chair in Engineering in the University of Southern California’s Viterbi School of Engineering, executive director of USC’s Systems Architecting and Engineering Program, and founding director of the Distributed Autonomy and Intelligent Systems Laboratory. He is founder and CEO of Intelligent Systems Technology, Inc., a high-tech R&D company specializing in transdisciplinary approaches to scientific and societal problems of national and global significance. He is also the chief systems engineering advisor to the Aerospace Corp. and was previously a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Dr. Madni defined the field of transdisciplinary systems engineering and is the creator of TRASEE™, a transdisciplinary engineering education paradigm that fosters out-of-the-box thinking while enhancing retention and recall of concepts and facts through innovative storytelling and role-playing approaches. His key areas of research include transdisciplinary and model-based systems engineering methods for realizing intelligent cyber-physical-human systems (such as autonomous vehicles, smart manufacturing, and outcome-driven health care), interactive storytelling in virtual worlds, and augmented intelligence in adaptive human-machine teaming.
He has served as principal investigator on 97 R&D projects totaling over $100M in funding. Federal sponsors of his research include DARPA, NSF, NASA, DHS, NIST, DOE, and AFOSR, among others; industry sponsors include Boeing, General Motors, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, and SAIC. He is the author of Transdisciplinary Systems Engineering: Exploiting Convergence in a Hyper-Connected World (Springer, 2018) and coauthor of Tradeoff Decisions in System Design (Springer, 2016). He has authored 19 book chapters and more than 400 peer-reviewed publications, and given more than 75 keynote presentations and invited talks at international conferences, major universities, and government agencies.
He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2021, and has been selected to receive the 2023 IEEE Simon Ramo Medal for pioneering contributions to systems engineering and systems science using interdisciplinary approaches. He is a fellow of ten professional science and engineering societies, including AAAS, IEEE, AIAA, INCOSE, and IISE.
He earned his BS, MS, and PhD degrees in engineering from the University of California, Los Angeles. He is a graduate of AEA/Stanford Executive Institute.