Sadjad Soltanzadeh is a Research Associate in the School of Engineering and Information Technology at the University of New South Wales. He is a member of the VDST research group with the goal of understanding and evaluating the legal, moral, psychological, and the broader social implications of autonomous systems.
Sadjad has a multidisciplinary background and has experienced diverse workplace and academic environments in Iran, the Netherlands, and Australia. He has masters and Doctorate degrees in Philosophy of Science and Philosophy of Technology. He is also a qualified and experienced Mechanical Engineer as well as a Secondary School teacher.
Sadjad has developed a philosophy of technology in which technological objects are understood as problem-solving instruments. ‘Technological-ness’ here is defined as an extrinsic property of objects derived from the problem-solving activities in which they are used. This ‘activity-based’ metaphysics gives a dynamic reality to objects and explains how multiple functional properties can be assigned to one and the same object. Sadjad is currently working on a manuscript where he outlines the details of his philosophy.
As an engineer, he has been involved in a number of projects, including designing and building robots at the ARAS robotic group, and collaborating in an interdisciplinary research group to investigate the dynamic behaviour of the human heart for fault diagnosis.
Sadjad has also worked as a secondary school teacher and contributed to other education-related projects. He has been involved in developing Curriculum for four philosophy courses at the College level with the ACT’s Board of Senior Secondary Studies. He has also been a graduate member of the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL) Advisory Group to the national consortium to develop a nationally consistent Teacher Performance Assessment Framework.
Sadjad has been involved in other advisory roles and professional collaborations as well. Most noticeably, he has been collaborating with the Australian Institute of Sport and Netball Australia since 2013. This ongoing collaboration has resulted in athletic excellence as well as in academic papers and seminars. At the centre of this work lie questions of performance evaluation, player selection, and understanding the structure of team performance.