What is your job and what does it involve?

I am a shipping analyst and liaison officer with Shipping Australia. I represent the interests of members in meetings with government and other sectors of the industry. I also conduct research, submit policy documents to government, and write articles for Shipping Australia and other media.

What was one of your most memorable jobs in the industry before this one?

In my previous role as a classification expert in my home country, I had the opportunity to work on a project involving the assessment and reclassification of a historic ship, which had been restored. This project was memorable because it celebrated the rich maritime heritage that connects the past and present. It was both challenging and rewarding to ensure the vessel met the latest safety standards while maintaining its history. This experience shaped my understanding of the maritime industry’s dynamism, innovation, and unwavering commitment to safety and sustainability.

What part of shipping are you most passionate about?

The area I’m most passionate about is autonomous shipping and its human element. With the integration of advanced technology, shipping’s global connectivity is evolving. Autonomous shipping is the future, but we’re in a transition period. It’s crucial to remember that technology is changing not just the ships but also the roles and responsibilities of the people who operate them.

Tell us about your studies in this area.

My passion drove me to pursue a PhD, focusing on the human aspect of autonomous shipping. I’m researching the skills and competencies human operators need as we move towards different levels of autonomy. This research aims to strike a safe and harmonious balance between human expertise and technology, where both play integral roles in enhancing safety and efficiency. It’s vital for the coexistence of autonomous and traditional manned vessels.

Why did you choose to follow this career path?

From a young age, I felt a connection to maritime transport. It led me to pursue naval architecture engineering for my bachelor’s and a master’s in marine transportation engineering, and I continue to expand my knowledge through my ongoing PhD studies. This journey is fuelled by a love for innovation and a commitment to the industry’s growth. Choosing this path aligned my passion with a purpose to facilitate trade and address industry challenges with a focus on safety and sustainability. I maintain a lifelong learning attitude, finding inspiration in the industry’s dynamic challenges and opportunities.

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Iran, in Balochistan, a region known for its unique and vibrant Baloch culture. My years in Iran were immersed in the rich history, diverse culture, traditions and heritage. Some of my fondest memories from Iran are intricately connected to the beautiful tapestry of Baloch culture. One of my cherished memories is participating in Balochistan folk festivals, where vibrant dances, traditional music, and exquisite cuisine showcased the essence of my culture. These gatherings, filled with laughter and a strong sense of community, left an indelible mark on me.

What brought you to Australia?

The decision to move to Australia was driven by a desire for new experiences, personal growth, and educational opportunities. Australia’s renowned excellence in education and its multicultural society were strong incentives. I made the move to pursue further academic and professional development. It has been a journey of personal and professional growth, and I look forward to the opportunities that lie ahead.

What is something you miss about Iran?

While I’ve embraced Australia as my new home, and Australia offers its own unique experiences and cultural diversity, I occasionally miss Iran’s cultural traditions and celebrations.

If you could live at any time in history, which would it be?

If I could time travel, I would pick Cyrus the Great’s era, from 559 to 530 BCE. Cyrus the Great is renowned for his approach to respecting the beliefs of diverse peoples, which set a precedent for multicultural coexistence that is relevant even in today’s globalised society. I am fascinated by his ability to unite such a vast empire under a banner of respect for individual identity. Living in this period would influence my leadership and cultural diplomacy perspective.

This article appeared in the October 2023 edition of DCN Magazine