Home Technology USC Professor’s Simulation Software program Teaches Techniques Engineering Subjects

USC Professor’s Simulation Software program Teaches Techniques Engineering Subjects

USC Professor’s Simulation Software program Teaches Techniques Engineering Subjects


Azad M. Madni spent some 40 years engaged on synthetic intelligence and simulation applied sciences that allowed U.S. troopers to securely prepare for fight operations in digital worlds. Now Madni—a professor of astronautics, aerospace, and mechanical engineering on the College of Southern California—is working to rework engineering training. However he hasn’t deserted the world of simulation.

Azad Madni


College of Southern California, in Los Angeles


Professor of astronautics, aerospace, and mechanical engineering

Member grade

IEEE Life Fellow

Alma Mater

College of California, Los Angeles

In 2013 the IEEE Life Fellow created the Transdisciplinary Techniques Engineering Training (TRASEE) paradigm, during which professors use simulation software program to show matters via storytelling and role-playing strategies, permitting college students to use their engineering classes to real-world conditions.

For that and different “pioneering contributions to model-based methods engineering, training, and industrial affect utilizing interdisciplinary approaches,” Madni obtained this yr’s IEEE Simon Ramo Medal.

Ramo was a frontrunner in microwave analysis who headed the event of Basic Electrical’s electron microscope. Ramo served as a presidential chair and professor {of electrical} engineering at USC’s Viterbi College of Engineering from 2008 till he died in 2016.

Madni says the award is “the crowning achievement” of his profession as a methods engineer. It’s notably particular to him, he says, as a result of he and Ramo have been colleagues at USC.

From NASA to educating at USC

Madni, who grew up in Mumbai, turned captivated by the U.S. area program after listening to the 1962 “We select to go to the moon” speech delivered by John F. Kennedy at Rice College, in Houston. The president’s speech was designed to bolster public help for his proposal to land a person on the moon earlier than 1970.

Madni, who knew he wished to turn into an engineer, determined he wished to be a part of the “area journey,” he says.

He moved to america to pursue a bachelor’s diploma in engineering on the College of California, Los Angeles. Discovering himself drawn to methods engineering after taking a UCLA class within the area, he determined to merge his new curiosity together with his ardour for area.

After graduating in 1968, Madni joined Parsons Corp. in Los Angeles as a full-time methods engineer and analyst engaged on protection packages. At evening, he took graduate programs at UCLA, and in 1971 he earned his grasp’s diploma in engineering.

He went on to pursue a Ph.D. whereas additionally working full-time at Rockwell Worldwide’s area division in Downey, Calif., as a simulation methods engineer.

On the time, the corporate was the prime contractor for NASA’s area shuttle program. Engaged on this system was a dream come true, he says.

He developed a model-based evaluation program to just about take a look at the efficiency of the shuttle’s navigation system. He additionally led the creation of a simulation program that analyzed the navigation system’s efficiency below completely different high-stress situations. Madni’s model-based strategy decreased the necessity for intensive hardware-in-the-loop testing and consequently decreased prices, he says.

After receiving his Ph.D. in 1978 in engineering methods with a focus in laptop methodology and AI, he joined Perceptronics in Woodland Hills, Calif., as director of synthetic intelligence and software program analysis, finally rising to govt vp and chief expertise officer.

“IEEE is the premier engineering society.”

In 1980 he started engaged on a distributed simulation expertise for the U.S. Military. He led a workforce that was designing a program to coach troopers and permit them to finish follow missions in protected, digital environments. The Protection Superior Analysis Initiatives Company (DARPA) and the Military sponsored the work.

On the time, the coaching simulators used have been costly to construct, underutilized, and rigid.

Madni says he had two objectives for the brand new simulation system: to decrease prices, improve utilization, and permit navy personnel to change the eventualities as wanted. The expertise he and his workforce developed did simply that.

He later returned to the simulation effort, this time centered on enhancing it with immersive story-telling strategies. The challenge was funded by the U.S. Air Pressure, Military, Navy, DARPA, and the U.S. Division of Power in addition to a number of aerospace and automotive firms.

Madni modeled the simulations after video video games and films, partaking a number of senses to create extra immersive experiences for customers.

In the present day the Military makes use of the 2 methods, referred to as the “game-based coaching simulations for part-task coaching” and the “VR-enabled distributed simulation system for collective coaching.”

Madni left Perceptronics in 1994 to assist discovered Clever Techniques Know-how, an R&D firm in Los Angeles that focuses on modeling and simulation expertise. He served because the startup’s CEO and CTO till 2009, when he joined the USC school as head of the interdisciplinary methods architecting and engineering grasp’s diploma program. Madni is the founding director of USC’s Distributed Autonomy and Clever Techniques Laboratory, which conducts analysis in augmented intelligence, autonomous methods, cyber-physical-human-systems, and transdisciplinary methods engineering.

“My father had a ardour for training and instilled that very same ardour in me from a really younger age,” he says. “His dream for me was to sometime be a school member at a prestigious U.S. college. By becoming a member of USC, I’ve fulfilled his dream and have contributed to remodeling engineering training for twenty first century engineering challenges.”

three men standing in suits for a portrait against a white background with black writingLife Fellow Azad Madni [middle] proudly shows his IEEE Simon Ramo Medal on the IEEE Honors Ceremony. He’s accompanied by IEEE President-Elect Thomas Coughlin [left] and IEEE President Saifur Rahman.Robb Cohen Images

Instructing methods engineering via storytelling

It was at USC that Madni developed TRASEE.

As an alternative of a typical lecture format, college students begin with a brief situation and a technical drawback to unravel. Every member of a bunch is assigned a job. The groups use a digital twin—a digital mannequin—of a machine related to the story to evaluate how effectively their efforts are succeeding.

Madni says the strategy helps college students decide up data quicker, achieve management expertise, and be taught to work with others exterior their self-discipline and from different cultures.

“By taking summary engineering ideas and embedding them in tales, I’m in a position to talk the concepts to college students rather more clearly,” he says.

In accordance with a 2018 examine, college students who be taught via role-playing workout routines rating 45 p.c increased on assessments than these taught via conventional lectures.

Madni has been acknowledged by a number of organizations for creating TRASEE. This yr he obtained the Nationwide Academy of Engineering’s Gordon Prize for Innovation in Engineering and Know-how Training. The prize features a US $500,000 award; Madni donated half of the cash to the NAE and half to USC.

Networking with engineers from completely different disciplines

Madni has been an IEEE member for 46 years. Since 1980 he has held a number of management positions and has offered papers at IEEE conferences worldwide.

In 2013, he cofounded the IEEE Techniques, Man, and Cybernetics Society’s technical committee on model-based methods engineering and serves as its chair. The committee creates academic sources, and members are concerned in standardization efforts. Members additionally hosted panel classes on the 2023 Worldwide Convention on Techniques Engineering Analysis and offered analysis papers. As chair, Madni has led a number of collaborative efforts with skilled engineering societies together with Worldwide Council on Techniques Engineering and the Institute of Industrial and Techniques Engineers.

Madni can also be an lively volunteer with the IEEE Aerospace and Digital Techniques Society, the IEEE Laptop Society, IEEE-USA, and the IEEE Techniques Council.

“IEEE is the premier engineering society,” he says. “It goes effectively past electronics and electrical engineering. It encompasses many disciplines together with biomedical engineering, management methods engineering, cybernetics, methods engineering, and engineering administration.

“IEEE being multidisciplinary makes it a super discussion board for networking with engineers from completely different disciplines.”

Madni says he enjoys mentoring aspiring engineering college students and younger professionals working in each academia and business. He says that is his approach of giving again and he enjoys serving to them to “notice and stay their dream as I did.”

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