Dr Shabnam Sadeghi Esfahlani

Associate Professor

Faculty:Faculty of Science and Engineering

School:Engineering and the Built Environment

Location: Chelmsford, Cambridge

Areas of Expertise: Mechanical Engineering

Research Supervision:Yes

Shabnam is a Senior Lecturer in Mechatronics Engineering, Simulation, artificial intelligence and virtual reality in our School of Engineering and the Built Environment.


View Shabnam’s profiles on Scopus, ORCID, Google Scholar and ResearchGate


Shabnam is a Chartered Engineer, Senior Fellow of Higher Education Academy, and Member of the Institution of Engineering and Technology. She has published numerous papers in high-ranking journals across various disciplines.

She has a successful track record of extensive research income generation in mechatronics and robotics engineering; her research contributes to the development of serious games with specific artificial intelligence application, the design of algorithms to be used by robots for societal needs (healthcare, and daily assistance) and mechanical engineering design optimisation. Shabnam is a review editor on the Editorial Board of Pattern Recognition (section of Frontiers in Artificial Intelligence). Her research has been funded by national and international organisations, including Innovate UK, and Knowledge Transfer Partnership UK.

Spoken Languages

  • Persian
  • Turkish

Research interests

  • Virtual reality and serious video games
  • Mechatronics and robotics engineering
  • Artificial intelligence and neural network application
  • Mechanical engineering design optimisation

Areas of research supervision

  • Diagnosis of respiratory conditions using Machine Learning and AI Techniques
  • Osteopathic Neuromuscular Rehabilitation: A novel approach to treat spasticity following systemic illness, brain tumour and traumatic brain injury in general population A study of security risks and solutions of network slicing (NS) in 5G systems
  • Numerical and experimental analysis of the effect of the swirl flow implementation in impinging jets with lobed nozzles
  • Investigating the implementation of a re-designed Enterprise Resource Planning system in Nigeria manufacturing sector
  • Development of an Interactive Virtual Reality for Medical Skills Training supervised by Artificial Neural Network
  • Intelligent Computing: Autonomous Flight and Real-time Tracking of Nano Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV)

Find out more about our Computer Science PhD and Mechanical Engineering PhD.


Module leader/developed the modules:

  • Materials and Mechanical Structures
  • IT and Communication. Introduction to Mechatronics
  • Core Skills, Knowledge and Behaviour
  • Mathematics for Technology I & II. Applied Mechanics
  • Engineering Principles. Statistical & Process Quality Assurance
  • Professional Development & End-Point Assessment
  • Game Development Essentials
  • Analytical Techniques for Game Developers
  • Simulation in Games. Software Design and Implementation
  • Professional Issues


  • 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

  • Review Editor on the Editorial Board of Pattern Recognition (specialty section of Frontiers in Artificial Intelligence)
  • Peer reviewer for Sensors journal, International Journal of IEEE ACCESS, Journal of International Medical Research, Soft Computing A Fusion of Foundations, Methodologies and Applications
  • Young students’ mentor in Nuffield Research Placement program - Nuffield Foundation
  • STEM Ambassador to promote STEM subjects to young learners in South-East of England
  • 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 (Institution of Engineering and Technology, Institution of Mechanical Engineers)
  • Member of Athena SWAN committee and the champion of Flexible Working
  • Member of the reviewer board in Sensors and Applied Science journals
  • Member of the Biomechanics, Optics and Medical Engineering (BOME) research group -an innovative multidisciplinary research group within the Medical Technology Research Centre (MTRC)
  • Member of Chartered Management Institute; CMI, P04649794
  • Member of the Institution of Engineering and Technology, Member no. 1100366503
  • Member of Aurora Advance HE's leadership development initiative for women

Research grants, consultancy, knowledge exchange

  • 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 €6.7m 
  • 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
  • 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
  • Supervisor & Co-I in Knowledge Transfer Partnership Project, (08/2018, 08/2020), Ref. 1024301, MGE (Colchester) Ltd., £169,375
  • Supervisor & Co-I in Knowledge Transfer Partnership Project, (08/2017, 08/2019), Ref.1024962, Bertrandt, VR Integration, £174,376
  • PI in the European Regional Development Fund (11/2018-12/2018) - Innovation Bridge Fund project, Consultancy to development of an App that uses AI to devise the most efficient workout plans for its users, based around session duration, and equipment used £1,000
  • PI in the Quality Research Fund project (07.2018-10.2018) in the Faculty of Science and Engineering (ARU)-, Virtual reality-based serious game to improve eye contact and visual fixation, £3,890
  • Co-I in the Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation (CIHT) Foundation Fund project (05.2018-12.2018), Development of hazard perception in young cyclists using an immersive virtual reality game, £3,790
  • PI in the European Regional Development Fund project; Innovation Bridge Consultancy (05.2018-06.2018), Development of a gamified teaching aid for Piano students, £1,000
  • PI in the Quality Research Fund project, Faculty of Science and Engineering (ARU)-, (06.2017-09.2017), Unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) controlled with hand gestures, £2,000
  • co-I in the NERC Science of the Environment project, Ref. NE/T005262/1, Integrated, Inclusive Building Resilience Capacity platform: towards life cycle assessment of urban resilience in response to multi-hazards (I2BResilieC), proposed start date 01/04/2020 (36months), Total Grant £3,444,729.60
  • PI in the Sir Halley Stewart Trust project- Interactive Virtual Reality for Medical Skills Training Supervised by Artificial Neural Network, Total Grant £59,000
  • Co-I in Innovate UK, (11/2018), Ref. 18517, The Creatar Project- Audience of the future: demonstrators, Total Grant £3,979,234
  • PI in the Welcome Trust (07/2018), Collaborative Award in Humanities and Social Science project, Ref. UNS64808, The use of immersive virtual reality for social interaction training in autism spectrum disorders, £371,005
  • PI in the RIDO UG Summer Placement project, (06.2016-08.2016), Rehabilitation video game, £2,000

Selected recent publications

Esfahlani, S.S., Shirvani, H., Nwaubani, S., Shirvani, A. and Mebrahtu, H., 2013. Comparative study of honeycomb optimization using Kriging and radial basis function. Theoretical and Applied Mechanics Letters, 3(3), pp.031002.

Sadeghi-Esfahlani, S., Shirvani, H., Nwaubani, S. and Shirvani, A., 2011. Design attributes for geometry optimization process of thin walled honeycomb structures. ASME 2011 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, p.899.

Sadeghi-Esfahlani, S. and Shirvani, A., 2008. Design Certainties by using Uncertainties in Finite Element Design Optimization. Proceedings of the 1st WSEAS International Conference on VISUALIZATION, IMAGING and SIMULATION (VIS'08). Published by WSEAS Press, p.15.

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, http://dx.doi.org/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, available on https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov.

Muresan, B., Esfahlani, S.S., 2018. Autonomous Flight and Real-Time Tracking of Nano Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, http://arro.anglia.ac.uk/702842/.

Peer-reviewed publications

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

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., Esfahlani, S.S., 2019. Large expert-curated database for benchmarking document similarity detection in biomedical literature search. Database, 2019.

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., Shirvani, H, (2020), Hybrid Manufacturing and Mechanical Characterisation of Cu/PLA Composites, Arabian Journal for Science & Engineering.

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, pp42-49; DOI https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jii.2019.04.006.

Hewavidana, Y.,, S.S, Shirvani, H, (2019), Hybrid Manufacturing and Experimental Testing of Glass Fiber Enhanced Thermoplastic Composites, Esfahlani, V., Mohaghegh. 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., 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.

Recent presentations and conferences

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. The 26th IEEE International Symposium on Industrial Electronics, 19-21 June 2017, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK, p.1311-1318, http://arro.anglia.ac.uk/701775/.

Esfahlani, S. S. and Wilson, G., 2017. Development of Rehabilitation System (RehabGame) through Monte-Carlo Tree Search Algorithm using Kinect and Myo Sensor Interface. SAI, computing conference 2017, London, UK, http://arro.anglia.ac.uk/701777/.

Constantinou, G., Wilson, G. Esfahlani, S. S., and Cirstea, M. N., 2017. An Effective Approach to the Use of 3D Scanning Technology which Shortens the Development Time of 3D Models. International Conference on Optimization of Electrical and Electronic Equipment (OPTIM) and 2017 Intl Aegean Conference on Electrical Machines and Power Electronics (ACEMP), http://arro.anglia.ac.uk/701854/.

Esfahlani, S. S., and Sanaei, A., 2017. Facial Expression and emotion Recognition through Serious game and Kinect  device. 7th Annual Research and Scholarship Conference, 10 May 2017, http://arro.anglia.ac.uk/701774/.

Esfahlani, S. S. and Thompson, T., 2016. Intelligent Physiotherapy Through Procedural Content Generation. 12th Annual AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Interactive Digital Entertainment, p27-30, http://arro.anglia.ac.uk/701061/.

Media experience