Logo: University of Southern California

Distinguished Industry CEO Azad Madni Joins Viterbi School

Will Become Director of Systems Architecting and Engineering Program
James E. Moore
August 04, 2009 —

The founder and chief executive officer of Intelligent Systems Technology, Inc., has joined USC’s Daniel J. Epstein Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering as a professor of systems architecting and industrial and systems engineering.

Azad Madni will become director of the Systems Architecting and Engineering (SAE) Program beginning this fall.

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Azad Madni: "uniquely qualified for this truly interdisciplinary position"

Madni succeeds Professor Stan Settles, who joined USC in 1994 as chair of the Epstein ISE department, and has served as SAE program director and associate chair of the department since 2004. Settles will remain SAE co-director and associate chair of the Epstein Department after Madni takes the helm, and continue to teach courses in systems architecting, engineering, and management.

"Madni is uniquely qualified for this truly interdisciplinary position," said Epstein Department Chair James E. Moore, II.  "USC's Systems Architecting and Engineering Program is industry-driven and institutionally autonomous, and Settles' leadership in the past six years has led to rapid, sustained growth in the program's popularity and enrollment."

In recent years, the SAE master's degree  has been one of the most popular programs offered by the Viterbi School of Engineering's Distance Education Network.

“Azad Madni's addition will be highly instrumental in our ability to exploit new developments in the fiercely competitive and rapidly expanding systems field,” said Viterbi School Dean Yannis C. Yortsos.

Barry Boehm, director of research of USC's newly-won Department of Defense Systems Engineering Research Center (SERC) with the Stevens Institute, said, "We have been having productive collaborations with Azad in such areas as innovative interdisciplinary requirements collaboration methods and tools for over 15 years.  He brings a tremendous combination of creative human-system design and solid engineering to a wide variety of application domains, and is already contributing significantly to our SERC projects."
Prior to joining USC, Madni founded and grew Intelligent Systems Technology, Inc. into a leading provider of business process management and performance support systems.

He is internationally recognized for his pioneering research and technology innovations in modeling and simulation for human-system integration, concurrent engineering, agile manufacturing, and distributed training.

Settles called Madni's decision to join USC “a great step in building on the tradition of leadership in this field, which started with Dr. Eberhardt Rechtin in 1988.”

Madni is the recipient of several prestigious national and international awards, including the SBA's 1999 National Tibbetts Award for California for Excellence in Technology Innovation, Mass Mutual and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's 2000 Blue Chip Enterprise Award for entrepreneurship, the 2006 C.V. Ramamoorthy Distinguished Scholar Award for research excellence, and 2008 President's Award for science and technology leadership from the Socity of Design and Process Science.

He is the only two-time (2000, 2004) “Developer of the Year” Award winner from the Software Council of Southern California, and Computerworld's selection as the CEO of the elite 100 Emerging Companies to Watch in 2000. Madni was selected by DARPA's Information Processing Techniques Office (IPTO) for Sustained Excellence by a Performer and Significant Technical Achievement awards at DARPA Tech 2004. He has been a keynote speaker and plenary panelist on numerous international conferences and workshops and has lectured internationally on modeling and simulation approaches for concurrent engineering, agile manufacturing and distributed training.

Madni is also the recipient of the National Leadership Award and 2003 Businessman of the Year Award for California from the Business Advisory Council of the National Congressional Committee, and serves as its Honorary Co-Chairman for California. He has been profiled in several business and technology magazines including California CEO, Federal Computer Week, Information Week, L.A. Business Journal, and Scribe. He has been a featured guest on KCET TV, and KNX Radio with Bob McCormick.

Madni's research has been sponsored by numerous high-level organizations, including DARPA, HSARPA, DHS S&T, OSD, the Office of Naval Research (ONR), Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA), Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR), NRL, SPAWAR, Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR), AFRL, U.S. Army's RDECOM, CERDEC, ARI, and HEL, DoE, NASA and NIST.

He has received special commendations from DARPA, the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the U.S. Navy, and the U.S. Small Business Administration for his outstanding contributions to national “agility” and concurrent engineering initiatives.

Prior to founding ISTI, Madni was the executive vice president and chief technology officer of Perceptronics. Previously, he was head of modeling and simulation technology for the space shuttle program at Rockwell International, and a systems engineer at The Ralph M. Parsons Company.

Madni is an elected Fellow of the IEEE, International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE), Society for Design and Process Science (SDPS), and the Institution of Electronics and Telecommunicaions Engineers (IETE). He is also an Associate Fellow of AIAA.