Dr Shabnam Sadeghi Esfahlani

Associate Professor in Robotics

Medical Technology Research Centre

Faculty:
Faculty of Science and Engineering
School:
Engineering and the Built Environment
Location:
Chelmsford
Areas of Expertise:
Mechanical Engineering
Research Supervision:
Yes

Dr Shabnam Sadeghi Esfahlani is an accomplished Associate Professor in Robotics at the School of Engineering and the Built Environment, serving as the Deputy leader for the BORI research group. She brings expertise in mechatronics, robotics, artificial intelligence, engineering design, virtual reality (VR), and serious video games. With a notable record of securing research income, her work spans the development of AI-driven serious games, mechatronics, robotics, and algorithm design for societal applications.

[email protected]

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Background

Shabnam is actively engaged in editorial roles and has received funding from prestigious entities such as Innovate UK and Knowledge Transfer Partnership UK. Her contributions extend to numerous international conferences and over thirty-three high-quality publications, solidifying her position as a distinguished researcher in the field.

Having embarked on her academic journey at Anglia Ruskin University in 2008 as a PhD student and part-time lecturer, Shabnam's role evolved into her current one, as an Associate Professor, in 2022. Her accolades include being a Chartered Engineer and Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Renowned for her pioneering work in robotics, she developed the open-source ground robot SROBO and spearheaded projects in autonomous navigation, UAV tracking, and VR applications.

As a dedicated Associate Professor, Shabnam has presented extensively, authored over forty high-quality articles, and held editorial positions, showcasing her commitment to advancing the field of robotics. Shabnam's passion for interdisciplinary challenges fuels her love for robotics, evident in transformative projects like SROBO, the Hazard Perception Game, Rehabgame, and the Assistive Feeding Robot, epitomizing her dedication to pushing the boundaries of human innovation. A poignant highlight is witnessing the developmental milestones of a robotic arm integrated with a machine-learning algorithm, underscoring the profound advancements in robotics and AI.

Research interests

Shabnam's research interests encompass a broad and interdisciplinary spectrum within engineering and technology, underscoring a commitment to both theoretical inquiry and practical implementation. A detailed elaboration on each aspect can be found below.

Mechatronics

  • Focus: The development of innovative and efficient machines characterized by the seamless integration of mechanical components with electronic control and computational intelligence.
  • Objective: Creating intelligent systems that optimize performance through the synergistic blending of mechanical and electronic elements.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) application in Robotics

  • Focus: Exploring the synergy between robotics and AI with the overarching goal of constructing autonomous and intelligent robotic systems capable of executing intricate tasks.
  • Objective: Investigating how the integration of AI algorithms enhances the capabilities and autonomy of robotic systems.

Engineering Design Optimization

  • Focus: The application of mathematical models, algorithms, and simulation techniques to elevate and streamline the engineering design process.
  • Objective: Achieving more robust and efficient engineering solutions by leveraging optimization methods in the design phase.

Virtual Reality (VR) Applications

  • Focus: Exploring VR applications across diverse domains, including training, rehabilitation, and medical training.
  • Objective: Investigating how immersive VR environments can enhance training methodologies, rehabilitation processes, and medical education.

Serious Video Games

  • Focus: Leveraging the engaging and interactive nature of video games to address real-world challenges in areas such as education, healthcare, and workforce training.
  • Objective: Using game design principles to create applications that not only entertain but also serve practical purposes in education, healthcare, and professional training.

Teaching

  • MSc Automation and Robotics
  • MSc Mechanical Engineering
  • BEng Mechanical Engineering
  • BEng Mechatronics and Robotics

Qualifications

  • Chartered Engineer (CEng) with the Engineering Council, 661156, UK
  • Senior Fellow of Higher Education Academy; SFHEA, PR138024, UK
  • Post-Graduate Certificate in Higher Education; PGCert, ARU, UK
  • PhD in Mechanical Engineering and Finite Element Analysis ARU, UK, Title ‘An Investigation Into Model Reliability of Cellular Structure a Robust Design Using Finite Element Method’
  • BSc (Hons), Statistics and Mathematical Science (First Class), Shahid Beheshty University, Tehran, Iran

Memberships, editorial boards

  • Young students’ mentor in Nuffield Research Placement program - Nuffield Foundation.
  • STEM Ambassador to promote STEM subjects to young learners in South-East of England.
  • Member of Chartered Management Institute; CMI, P04649794.
  • Winner of the student-voted award ‘Made a Difference Award’ for staff-student partnership in 2018 - the university-wide award.
  • IET and IMechE Academic Partner Liaison Representative (IET- IMechE APLR).
  • IET (Institution of Engineering and Technology), Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE).
  • Member of IET (Institution of Engineering and Technology), Member no. 1100366503.
  • Reviewer of the Artificial Intelligence and Applications journal
  • Organising member of the conference 'Computing Conference' 2023 (22-23 June) | London, United Kingdom.
  • Organising member of the conference 'IntelliSys 2023' (7-8 September) | Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
  • Future Technologies Conference (FTC) 2023 Technical Program Committee.
  • Guest Editor of the Special Issue 'Recent Trends in AI Robots' of Machines Journal (IF 2.899, Cite Score 3.1).
  • Review Editor on the Editorial Board of Pattern Recognition (specialty section of Frontiers in Artificial Intelligence).
  • ESMED2021-Berlin, Aug 20-21, European Society of Medicine General Assembly.
  • Hosting an event in the British Science Festival 2021 to highlight our cutting-edge research at ARU (fuzzy logic and its applications in eye exercises).
  • IECON2020-Singapore, Oct 18-21, 46th Annual Conference of the IEEE Industrial Electronics Society (IES).

Research grants, consultancy, knowledge exchange

  • Co-I in Innovate UK, Anglia Ruskin University and Boddingtons Electrical Limited (KTP) 22_23 R4, Ref. 10053909, £ 216,631 (successful).
  • Co-I in the Innovate UK Smart Grants, Knowledge transfer partnerships (KTP), Ref. KTP 23_24 R1, Transporter Engineering Limited. To design a new bolt-on configuration for the front and rear pillars (identify mechanical integrity, composite adaptation, optimal design, embed new design and methodology), £243,000 (successful).
  • Co-I in Innovate UK, Anglia Ruskin University and M G Electric (Colchester) Limited, Wearable Monitoring system for an arteriovenous fistula (AVF), Ref.107023, £765,112 (successful).
  • Co-I in the European Commission, (2019 – 2022 Horizon 2020), Ref. 641,925, AErial RObotic systems for contact inspection, mounting of monitoring sensors, SAFEty evaluation, delivery of repair material and repair of the transport infrastructure (AEROSAFE), Invited to the 2nd round, Total Grant €6.7 Million Euro (successful).
  • Co-I in Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF), and CNPq (Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Cientifico e Tecnologico), Research Productivity Grant, Ref. 300899/2016-5, (2018-2020), I designed a gamified training workshop for BRANDIA project; water quality resilience in Sao Carlos, Brazil, Total Grant £80,000 (successful), with impact case study outcome for REF 2021.
  • Co-I in Innovate UK, (05/2019-12/2020), TSB, Ref. TS/S021558/1, Low-cost modular solar power system using Total Internal Photonic Absorption (TIPA), Total Grant £682,412 (successful), with impact case study outcome for the next REF.
  • Supervisor & Co-I in Knowledge Transfer Partnership Project, (08/2018, 08/2020), Ref. 1024301, MGE (Colchester) Ltd., £169,375 (successful), with impact case study outcome for the next REF.
  • Supervisor & Co-I in Knowledge Transfer Partnership Project, (08/2017, 08/2019), Ref.1024962, Bertrandt, VR Integration, £174,376 (successful).

Selected recent publications

Esfahlani, S.S., Sanaei, A., Ghorabian, M. and Shirvani, H., 2022. The Deep Convolutional Neural Network Role in the Autonomous Navigation of Mobile Robots (SROBO). Remote Sensing, [online] 14(14), p.3324. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs14143324.

Esfahlani, S.S., Shirvani, H., Butt, J., Mirzaee, I., and Esfahlani, K.S., 2022. Machine Learning Role in Clinical Decision-Making: Neuro-Rehabilitation Video Game, Expert Systems with Applications, Elsevier. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.eswa.2022.117165.

van Paridon, K., Timmis, M.A. and Sadeghi Esfahlani, S., 2021. Development and evaluation of a virtual environment to assess cycling hazard perception skills. Sensors, 21(16), p.5499.

Esfahlani, S.S., 2021. Ballistic Performance of Polycarbonate and Polymethyl methacrylate Under Normal and Inclined Dynamic Impacts, Heliyon, 7(4), e06856, Elsevier. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.heliyon.2021.e06856.

Butt, J., Mohaghegh, V., Esfahlani, S.S, and Shirvani, H., 2020. 3 Subtractive and Additive Manufacturing Applied to Drilling Systems. Advances in Terrestrial Drilling. CRC Press.

Butt, J., Esfahlani, S.S, Oxford, P., Ghorabian, M., and Shirvani, H., 2020. Hybrid Manufacturing and Mechanical Characterisation of Cu/PLA Composites, Arabian Journal for Science & Engineering.

Brown, P., Tan, A.C., El-Esawi, M.A., Liehr, T., Blanck, O., Gladue, D.P., Almeida, G.M., Cernava, T., Sorzano, C.O., Yeung, A.W. and Engel, M.S., 2019. Large expert-curated database for benchmarking document similarity detection in biomedical literature search. Database, 2019.

Esfahlani, S.S., Butt, J., Shirvani, H. and Mirzaee, I., 2019. The Fusion of Artificial Intelligence in Neuro-Rehabilitation Video Games. Journal of IEEE ACCESS, 7, pp. 102617-102627. DOI 10.1109/ACCESS.2019.2926118.

Esfahlani, S.S., 2019. Mixed Reality and Remote Sensing Application of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle in Fire and Smoke Detection, Journal of Industrial Information Integration, 15, pp. 42-49; https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jii.2019.04.006.

Butt, J., Hewavidana, Y., Mohaghegh, V., Esfahlani, S.S, and Shirvani, H., 2019. Hybrid Manufacturing and Experimental Testing of Glass Fiber Enhanced Thermoplastic Composites, Journal of Manufacturing and Materials Processing, (ISSN 2504-4494), 3, 96; DOI 10.3390/jmmp3040096.

Mul, C., Cardini, F., Stagg, S., D., Esfahlani, S. S. and Kiourtsoglou, D., Cardellicchio, P., Aspell, J., 2019. Altered Bodily Self-consciousness and Peripersonal Space in Autism, National Autistic Society, DOI 10.1177/1362361319838950, p.1-13.

Kordzadeh, A., and Esfahlani, S.S., 2019. Artificial Intelligence in the Prediction of Functional Maturation of Radiocephalic Arteriovenous Fistula. Journal of Vascular Access, Ann Vasc Dis. 2019 Mar 25; 12(1): 44–49. DOI 10.3400/avd.oa.18-00129.

Esfahlani, S.S., Muresan, B., Sanaei, A. and Wilson, G., 2018. Validity of the Kinect and Myo Armband in a Serious Game for Assessing Upper Limb Movement. Entertainment Computing, DOI 10.1016/j.entcom.2018.05.003.

Esfahlani, S.S., Thompson, T., Parsa, A.D., Brown, I. and Cirstea, S., 2018. ReHabgame: A Non-Immersive Virtual Reality Rehabilitation System with Applications in Neuroscience. Heliyon, 4(2), p.e00526, DOI 10.1016/j.heliyon.2018.e00526.

Esfahlani, S.S., & Shirvani, H., 2019. Video Game and Fuzzy Logic to Improve Amblyopia and Convergence Insufficiency, 45th Annual Conference of the IEEE Industrial Electronics, pp. 179-185, DOI 10.1109/IECON.2019.8927143. IEEE Xplore.

Izsof, V., Minter, S., Kordzadeh, A., and Esfahlani, S.S., 2019. Development of an Interactive Virtual Reality for Medical Skills Training Supervised by Artificial Neural Network, Proceedings of SAI Intelligent Systems Conference, IntelliSys 2019: Intelligent Systems and Applications, pp. 473-482, DOI 10.1007/978-3-030-29513-4_34. IEEE Xplore.

Esfahlani, S.S. and Cirstea, S. and Sanaei, A. and Cirstea, M., 2018. Fire Detection of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle in a Mixed Reality-based System. pp. 2757-2762. IEEE Industrial Electronics Society, IECON2018. DOI 10.1109/IECON.2018.8592764. IEEE Xplore.

Recent presentations and conferences

Esfahlani, S.S., & Shirvani, H., 2019. Video Game and Fuzzy Logic to Improve Amblyopia and Convergence Insufficiency, 45th Annual Conference of the IEEE Industrial Electronics, pp. 179-185, DOI 10.1109/IECON.2019.8927143. IEEE Xplore.

Izsof, V., Minter, S., Kordzadeh, A., and Esfahlani, S.S., 2019. Development of an Interactive Virtual Reality for Medical Skills Training Supervised by Artificial Neural Network, Proceedings of SAI Intelligent Systems Conference, IntelliSys 2019: Intelligent Systems and Applications, pp. 473-482, DOI 10.1007/978-3-030-29513-4_34. IEEE Xplore.

Esfahlani, S.S. and Cirstea, S. and Sanaei, A. and Cirstea, M., 2018. Fire Detection of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle in a Mixed Reality-based System. pp. 2757-2762. IEEE Industrial Electronics Society, IECON2018. DOI 10.1109/IECON.2018.8592764. IEEE Xplore.

Esfahlani, S.S., Cirstea, S., Sanaei, A. and Wilson, G., 2017. An Adaptive Self-Organizing Fuzzy Logic Controller in a Serious Game for Motor Impairment Rehabilitation. International Symposium on Industrial Electronics (ISIE), pp. 1311-1318, DOI 10.1109/ISIE.2017.8001435, IEEE Xplore.

Esfahlani, S.S. & Wilson, G., 2017. Development of Rehabilitation System (RehabGame) through Monte-Carlo tree Search Algorithm using kinect and Myo Sensor Interface. Computing Conference, pp. 1021-1028. DOI 10.1109/SAI.2017.8252217. IEEE Xplore.

Constantinou, G., Wilson, G., Esfahlani, S. S. & Cirstea, M., 2017. An Effective Approach to the Use of 3D Scanning Technology which Shortens the Development Time of 3D Models. Optimization of Electrical and Electronic Equipment (OPTIM) & Intl Aegean Conference on Electrical Machines and Power Electronics (ACEMP), pp. 1083-1088. DOI 10.1109/OPTIM.2017.7975116. IEEE Xplore.

Media experience