In addition to teaching, Azad has published five books and about 120 papers, and brought in about $2.6 million in funded research and development projects. He embraces an attitude of lifelong learning and attends many conferences, workshops, webinars and training programs. He also subscribes to a number of professional and technical journals and listservs.
“I am an open-minded person who learns things on daily basis and likes to enjoy each moment of life,” he said.
Azad’s teaching style is interactive, student centered and project oriented. One of his favorite things about teaching at Northern Illinois University is the opportunity to conduct groundbreaking research alongside graduate and undergraduate students. His current research interests include cloud-based systems, embedded systems and e-learning.
After joking that his future goal is “to win the lottery,” he said his real goal is to solve problems through engineering.
“My plan is to explore new cutting edge technologies, systems and philosophy and utilize them to solve real-life problems,” he said.
Azad’s advice to students is to master core technical skills, hone the ability to work on a team and learn both time and project management. Also - have fun.
“Enjoy whatever you do. It does not matter whether it is very large or minor work, or if it is paid or voluntary,” he said. “Also, value all the people in your surroundings and create a nice working and living environment for everybody. Appreciate others’ contributions in your growth and progress and help others to grow with you.”
Azad names his wife and two sons as his biggest inspiration and motivation. In his spare time he enjoys participating in professional leadership activities, editing technical journals, gardening, watching international movies and traveling.