Meet the Expert: Dr Solmaz Rohani

Meet Dr Solmaz Rohani, Senior Fellow of Higher Education Academy (SFHEA), Programme Leader for BSc Business Management with Finance, and Lecturer in Accounting at the University of Salford. Solmaz’s love for teaching dates back to her time as a music teacher.

Q: Nice to meet you! So, how did you get into academia as a career path?

A: Before pursuing academia, I worked as an accountant in a small firm. However, my passion for teaching and research led me to academia. When I was around 15 or 16 years old, I taught Persian musical instruments. This experience exposed me to teaching and showed me that transferring knowledge to each person could be different, even when conveying the same concept. After completing my MSc in Financial Management and my dissertation at Manchester Metropolitan University, I realised my interest in engaging in research projects. It was the first time I conducted research in a specific way, and I decided that I wanted research to be part of my future career. With a combination of my passion for teaching and newfound interest in research, I started my PhD at the University of Warwick. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to teach part-time at Manchester Metropolitan University while pursuing my PhD. All these experiences led me to my current position as a full-time lecturer at Salford in 2016.

Solmaz Rohani - Office Photo
Dr Solmaz Rohani

Q: Why did you choose to work at the University of Salford?

A: I heard positive stories about the University of Salford, and at the time I joined, the student satisfaction, as shown in the National Student Survey (NSS), was quite high. This indicated to me that the work environment could be positive, and students could enjoy their learning experience at the university. This was one of the factors I considered before deciding to join Salford.

Q: What’s the best thing about being an academic at Salford?

A: I would say the university has a fostering environment, more like a community spread. Being an academic at Salford feels like belonging to a community, which helped me learn different things early in my career and gain experience in various fields. Industry collaboration is another reason to love Salford. In the Business School, we work extensively with businesses from SMEs to large companies, including Salford City Council, Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, NHS, and the Big Four accountancy firms. This collaboration promotes growth and productivity, providing real-world engagement for our students, improving their learning experience, and offering diverse opportunities for jobs, internships, and graduate roles.

Q: What’s your current research about?

A: My expertise lies in financial and management accounting. In research, I’m interested in environmental and sustainability accounting. At the moment, I’m working on a couple of papers on the implementation of environmental accounting disclosure practices and also exploring the potential of using AI in accountancy, particularly in forensic accountancy.

Q: Do you have any published papers we can read?

A: Yes, I and a few colleagues from other universities worked on the paper “Accounting and Soundscapes: Putting Back the ‘Sound’.” The paper is under review but available for reading.

Q: And finally, the all-important question: where in Manchester or Salford is the best place to grab a coffee?

A: If you are near the campus, the old fire station is the place. They have freshly baked bread, delicious pastries, and great coffee. If you’re in Manchester, I would recommend Federal Café. They have three branches in Deansgate, Oxford Road, and I believe Northern Quarter. Sugar Junction is another good option, but if you’re looking for a very relaxing environment and lovely tea, I would recommend the Midland Hotel.