A Chat with Dr. Asad M. Madni, 2022 IEEE Medal of Honor Recipient (IEEE's highest award); Pioneering Inventor and Globally Transformational Innovator, Entrepreneur, Chairman / President / CTO; Distinguished Scientist; Worldwide Contributions recognized with 84 major honors, 6 honorary doctorates and 6 professorships, 69 issued/pending patents, 200+ refereed publications; top philanthropist with endowed scholarships, educational programs, and initiatives for empowerment involving financial inclusion and underrepresented minorities.
This week, Stephen Ibaraki has an exclusive interview with Dr. Asad M. Madni.
Dr. Asad M. Madni served as President, Chief Operating Officer & CTO of BEI Technologies Inc. headquartered in California, from 1992 until the completion of its $600 million acquisition by Schneider Electric in 2006. He led the development and commercialization of intelligent micro-sensors and systems for aerospace, military, commercial and transportation industries, including the Extremely Slow Motion Servo Control System for Hubble Space Telescope's Star Selector System which provided the Hubble with unprecedented accuracy and stability, resulting in truly remarkable images that have enhanced our understanding of the universe; and the revolutionary MEMS GyroChip® technology which is used worldwide for Electronic Stability Control and Rollover Protection in passenger vehicles, thereby saving millions of lives every year.
Prior to joining BEI, he was with Systron Donner Corporation for 18 years in senior technical & executive positions, eventually as Chairman, President & CEO. Here, he made seminal and pioneering contributions in the development of RF & Microwave Systems & Instrumentation which significantly enhanced the Combat Readiness of the US Navy (and its allies) and which provided the DOD the ability (not possible with prior art) to simulate more threat representative ECM environments for current and future advanced warfare training. Dr. Madni is currently an Independent Consultant, Distinguished Adjunct Professor and Distinguished Scientist in the Electrical & Computer Engineering Department at UCLA, Faculty Fellow in the UCLA Institute of Transportation Studies and Connected Autonomous Electric Vehicle Consortium, and Executive Managing Director & Chief Technical Officer of Crocker Capital, a private venture firm specializing in emerging technologies.
He received an A.A.S. from RCA Institutes Inc., B.S. & M.S. from University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), Ph.D. from California Coast University (CCU), S.E. from MIT Sloan School of Management, D.Sc. (h.c.) from Ryerson University, D.Eng. (h.c.) degrees from Technical University of Crete and Tufts University, Sc.D. (h.c.) from California State University and California State University Northridge (CSUN), and Ph.D. degrees (h.c.) from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia and National Chiao Tung University, Taiwan. He is also a graduate of the Engineering Management Program at the California Institute of Technology, the Executive Institute and Director's College at Stanford University, and the Program on Negotiation for Senior Executives and Promoting Innovation and Organizational Change at Harvard University. Dr. Madni is an internationally recognized authority with over 40 years of experience in the development and commercialization of "intelligent" sensors, systems and instrumentation. He is credited with over 200 refereed publications in archival journals, conference proceedings and book chapters; over 100 research reports & internal publications; over 100 keynote addresses, invited lectures, chairs and panels; and 69 issued or pending patents resulting in numerous "industry firsts".
Dr. Madni has served as a director on the board of 7 highly successful technology companies and on advisory boards of several professional and academic organizations. He was appointed Distinguished College Professor at TCI College of Technology (the first and only such appointment in the history of the Institute since its founding in 1909 by Nobel Laureate Guglielmo Marconi until its divestiture in 2017), Adjunct Professor in the Computer Science Department at Ryerson University; and on advisory boards at UCLA, USC, CSUN, UTSA, TCI, NCTU, IEEE Systems Journal, AutoSoft Journal, and as Honorary Editor of the International Journal on Smart Sensing & Intelligent Systems. In 2021 he was appointed a Founding Member of the Leadership Board of the Terasaki Institute of Biomedical Innovation.
Dr. Madni is also the recipient of numerous national and international awards and honors including, the 2022 IEEE Medal of Honor (Institute's highest honor), 2022 RAE Prince Philip Medal, 2022 Dean's Medal from Tufts University School of Engineering, 2021 IEEE Sensors Council Sensor Systems/Networks Advanced Technical Achievement Award, 2020 ASME Soichiro Honda Medal, 2020 IEEE Aerospace and Electronics Systems Society's Industrial Innovation Award, 2020 IEEE Heritage Circle Nikola Tesla Society Honored Philanthropist Award, 2019 Honorary Fellowship of the Royal Aeronautical Society, 2019 Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award, 2019 IEEE Frederik Philips Award, 2018 Hind Rattan ("Jewel of India") Award from the NRI Welfare Society of India, 2017 National Academy of Engineering's Heritage Society Medal, 2017 IEEE HKN Vladimir Karapetoff Outstanding Technical Achievement Award, 2017 Mahatma Gandhi Pravasi Samman Medal from the NRI Welfare Society of India, 2017 Gordon Medal for Engineering Leadership from University of California San Diego, 2016 Ellis Island Medal of Honor, 2016 Dean's Faculty Award for Service from USC Viterbi School of Engineering, 2016 IEEE San Fernando Valley Section's Visionary Leadership Award, 2015 IET J.J. Thomson Medal (IET Prestige Medal), 2015 IEEE HKN Eminent Member Recognition, 2014 Tau Beta Pi Distinguished Alumnus Award, 2014 World Automation Congress (WAC) Medal of Honor, 2014 National Academy of Engineering's Einstein Society Award; 2013 (inaugural) UCLA Electrical Engineering Distinguished Alumnus Award, 2013 UCLA Electrical Engineering Distinguished Service Award, 2012 IEEE Aerospace and Electronics Systems Society's Pioneer Award (the society's highest honor), 2010 IEEE Instrumentation and Measurement Society's Career Excellence Award (the society's highest honor), 2010 UCLA Engineering Lifetime Contribution Award, TCI College of Technology's Marconi Medal (the Institute's highest honor, 2007) and Citation of Honor (2011), 2008 IEEE Region 6 Outstanding Engineer Award, 2008 IEEE Region 6 South Outstanding Engineer and Outstanding Leadership & Professional Service Awards, 2008 UCLA Engineering Distinguished Service Award, 2008 UCLA Samueli School of Engineering Boelter Society Lifetime Membership Award (2008), 2006 WAC Lifetime Achievement Award, 2005 IEE Achievement Medal, 2004 UCLA Engineering Alumnus of the Year Award (highest honor granted by the school), 2004 Distinguished Engineering Achievement Award from the Engineers’ Council, 2003 George Washington Engineer of the Year Award from the Los Angeles Council of Engineers & Scientists, 2002 UCLA Professional Achievement Award Medal, 2002 Sensors Expo's Silver Award, 2001 Product Design and Development's Top 50 Innovations Award, IEEE Third Millennium Medal, Joseph F. Engelberger Best Paper Award at the 2000 World Automation Congress, CCU Distinguished Alumni Award (highest honor granted by the university), Association of Old Crows Gold Certificate of Merit, and is listed in all major Who's Who publications including Who's Who in America, Who's Who in the World, Who's Who in Science & Engineering, Who's Who in Technology, Who's Who in Finance & Industry, International Who's Who of Intellectuals, 2000 Outstanding Intellectuals of the 20th & 21st Centuries, Outstanding People of the 21st Century, and Asia Men and Women of Achievement. He has also been a featured guest on numerous television shows including CNN with Casey Wyan and BizNews 1 (now CNBC) with Mike Russell. In 2011 he was elected to the US National Academy of Engineering "for contributions to development and commercialization of sensors and systems for aerospace and automotive safety". In 2019, IEEE HKN named its top award "The Asad M Madni Outstanding Technical Achievement and Excellence Award" to recognize and honor his nearly 50 years of technical and philanthropic accomplishments, and visionary leadership.
He is also a Chartered Engineer, International Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering (UK), International Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering, Life Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors, Life Fellow of the Institute of Electrical & Electronics Engineers, Fellow of the Institution of Electrical Engineers (UK), Fellow of the Institution of Engineering & Technology (UK), Life Fellow of the Institute for the Advancement of Engineering, Fellow of the New York Academy of Sciences, Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Fellow of the Society of Automotive Engineers, Lifetime Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics & Astronautics, Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society, Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, Member of the European Academy of Sciences and Arts and Life Fellow of the International Biographical Association. He is also an Eminent Engineer of Tau Beta Pi, The National Engineering Honor Society; Honorary Member of Upsilon Pi Epsilon, Honor Society for the Computing and Information Disciplines; Honorary Member of Phi Kappa Phi, Interdisciplinary Honor Society; Honorary Member of Golden Key, International Honor Society; Member of Eta Kappa Nu, The Electrical and Computer Engineering Honor Society; Member of Tau Alpha Pi, The National Engineering Technology Honor Society; Member of Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Honor Society; Member of Delta Epsilon Tau, International Honor Society; Member of Phi Beta Delta, Honor Society for International Scholars; Life Member of the Association of Old Crows; Member of the Internet Society and Member of the Order of the Engineer. He has also been awarded Honorary Professorships at Technical University of Crete, University of Waikato, University of Texas San Antonio, Ryerson University, TCI College of Technology, and Chair Professorship at National Chiao Tung University.
Dr. Madni is not just a prominent and world-wide recognized innovator. He is a committed mentor to young professionals and a respected philanthropist. He has been a champion of diversity and inclusion (D&I) for underrepresented groups of individuals and equality for everyone for over 5 decades. His dedication to D&I is a synergistic part of his character that has always been fundamental in everything he does. He has shown us that recognizing and valuing the diversity and contributions of all voices is truly the only way to inspire innovation and make positive social impact. He has funded millions of dollars to academic institutions & professional societies. In 2001/2004, he sponsored the "MIT on the Road" Program in California. In 2008, he established an "Endowed Scholarship in Electrical Engineering at UCLA". In 2011, he generously gave $100,000 for 2 matching gift challenges to encourage giving by NAE members. It was his intention to "assure the independence of our voice on national policy and to initiate projects vital to our nation's future." The challenges generated $452,000 for the NAE. In 2013, he established an "Endowed Scholarship in Electrical & Computer Engineering at CSUN". During the 1990s economic downturn in aerospace & defense, he spearheaded, designed and financed the highly successful Certificate Program in Sensors and Control Technology for CSUN, which helped retrain hundreds of displaced engineers to obtain new positions in industrial and commercial industries. In 2014, he established "Madni Best Student Paper Awards at the World Automation Congress". In 2017, he provided a legacy gift to NAE's Heritage Society in order to uphold the mission of the NAE. In 2019, he established the IEEE-HKN "Madni Family Fund" which provides IEEE-HKN with the financial resources it urgently needs to drive new levels of recognition & programming. In 2020, together with NAE Member Ming Hsieh, he provided a sponsorship of $100,000 for the production of the 50th Anniversary Commemorative Issue of NAE's Quarterly Journal, The Bridge.
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