Azad Madni, professor of astronautics and technical director of the Systems and Engineering (SAE) Program, was honored by Boeing during their 100th Anniversary celebration on August 6. Held at the Scriptorium of USC’s University Club, the formal luncheon marked the first occasion in which Boeing has honored a faculty member.
Madni was recognized for his pioneering contributions to aerospace engineering research and education.
“I have had a long working relationship with Boeing in education, training, and collaborative research that have led to several joint publications,” said Madni. “I’ve been doing research and educational courses for them for several years.”
The event was attended by department chairs and faculty, Boeing executives and several of Madni’s graduate students.
James Moore, professor and vice-dean for academic programs, began the event by speaking about Madni’s contributions to the SAE Program and the Viterbi School of Engineering.
Marcus Nance, director of competitiveness and integration at Boeing, talked about the impact Madni has had on Boeing’s competitiveness in the aerospace market, acknowledging that Madni’s convergence research has given Boeing unprecedented capability to quantify return-on-learning investments. He called Madni an “innovation integrator,” citing his ability to bring together advances from different disciplines in novel ways to solve problems.
Nance also recognized Madni’s efforts with the SAE Program. “This program has produced approximately a thousand top-notch Boeing engineers and is by far the most popular graduate program in the Boeing company,” said Nance.
One of Madni’s former colleagues, Allen Adler, vice president of strategy and integration at Boeing, described how Madni’s cross-disciplinary research in systems engineering and learning addressed Boeing’s problems in complex systems engineering and workforce development.
John Tracy, chief technology officer and senior vice president at Boeing, spent his last day at Boeing honoring Madni. “I am officially retiring,” said Tracy. “I chose to spend my last day at USC to honor Professor Madni.”
During his acceptance speech, Madni thanked Nance, Adler and Tracy for their unwavering support of his program and research, saying that he looked forward to continuing the mutually rewarding partnership between Boeing and the USC Viterbi School of Engineering.
Madni was presented with a Lifetime Contributions Award as well as a Visionary Systems Engineering Leadership Award.