School of Engineering

Staff Profile

Dr Kianoush Nazarpour

Reader in Biomedical Engineering

Background

I am Reader in Biomedical Engineering at the School of Engineering. I hold a secondary affiliation to the Institute of Neuroscience at Newcastle University.

Acquiring a new skill, for example learning to use chopsticks, requires accurate motor commands to be sent from the brain to the hand, and reliable sensory feedback from the hand to the brain. Over time and with training, the brain learns to handle this two-way communication flexibly and efficiently. Inspired by this sensorimotor interplay, my research is guided by a conviction that progress in prosthetic limb control is best achieved through a strong synergy of motor learning and sensory feedback. I therefore study the interaction of neural and behavioural processes that control the hand movements to ultimately innovate prosthetic control solutions that users would find fit for purpose.
 

My Google Scholar and ORCID profiles can be seen here and here

Qualifications

  • 2005-2008: PhD in Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Cardiff University, United Kingdom
  • 2003-2005: MSc in Bioelectroics, Tarbiat Modarres University, Tehran, Iran
  • 1998-2003: BSc in Electrical and Electronic Engineering, KN Toosi University of Technology, Tehran, Iran

Awards

  • 2018: Netexplo Observatory (UNESCO) Award for the "Hand That Sees" project
  • 2017: Best Poster (3rd) Award, MyoElectric Control Conference
  • 2017: IET William James Award - to Team Member, Ghazal Ghazaei
  • 2017: IET Dennis Hill Award - to Team Member, Jessica Barnes
  • 2009: Value in People (VIP) Fellowship, Wellcome Trust
  • 2006: Best Paper Award, 3rd Int. Brain-Computer Interface Workshop, Austria
  • 2006: David Douglas Award, South Wales Institute of Engineers
  • 2006: Overseas Research Students (ORS) Academic Scholarship, Cardiff University
  • 2005: Academic Scholarship, School of Engineering, Cardiff University

Positions

  • Since 2017: Reader in Biomedical Engineering, School of Engineering, Newcastle University
  • 2016-2017: Senior Lecturer, School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Newcastle University
  • 2013-2016: Lecturer, School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Newcastle University
  • 2012-2013: Senior Algorithm Engineer, Touch Bionics, ltd, Livingston, UK
  • 2009-2012: Research Associate: Institute of Neuroscience, Newcastle University, UK
  • 2009: Visiting Scholar, Northwestern University, USA
  • 2009: Visiting Scholar, Columbia University, USA
  • 2007-2009: Research Fellow, School of Psychology, University of Birmingham, UK
  • 2001-2003: Research Engineer, Behravesh MP, Tehran, Iran 

Professional Membership

  • Senior Member (S'05-M'08-SM'14) - Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
  • Fellow - Higher Education Academy

Professional Service

Journals
  • Associate Editor (Ed'13-AE'15) - Medical Engineering and Physics 
Special Issues
  • Guest Editor, IEEE Journal of Electromagnetics, RF and Microwaves in Medicine and Biology, 2018
  • Lead Guest Editor: Advances in Control of Multi-functional Powered Upper-Limb prostheses, IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems Rehabilitation Engineering, 2014 (link)
Conference Chair:
  • Technical Chair: Trent International Prosthetics Symposium (TIPS), 2019
  • Invited Session Chair: IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Conference (EMBC), 2015 
  • Workshops Chair: IEEE Int Symp Biomedical Engineering (ISBME), 2009.
Technical Program Committee (TPC) Memberships:
  • IEEE Sensors 2017
  • SIGNAL 2016, 2017, 2018
  • IEEE MLSP, 2013, 2014, 2015
  • Digital Signal processing, 2009, 2011
  • IEEE Computational Intelligence, Cognitive Algorithms, Mind, and Brain (CCMB), 2011

Research

Research Interests

Research in the Intelligent Sensing Laboratory is motivated by the potential of prosthetics to restore function to individuals with limb difference, by transforming thought into action and sensation into perception.

Our vision is that the next generation of prosthetic hands will feature an efficient user-in-loop control mechanism by incorporating sensory feedback. Such an approach will empower users to achieve tasks that are currently impossible for them, for example, playing a piano sonata or tying a shoe-lace without needing to continually look.

We aim to deliver key algorithms and technologies that will enable significant advances towards this vision. Specifically, our aims are:

  • the decoding of motor intentions via intelligent analysis of multi-modal data;
  • the generation and delivery of naturalistic sensory feedback signals to the peripheral nervous system;
  • the validation of this framework with able-bodied subjects and upper-limb prosthesis users.

Call for people with upper-limb difference

Would you like to participate in our exciting experiments? Click here for more information.

Co-workers

Research Staff
PhD Students
  • Ms Rebakah Hopper (2018- )
  • Mr Siming Zhu (2017- , at University of Glasgow with Dr Hadi Heidari)
  • Ms Aisha Islan (2017- , with Dr Annette Pantall and Prof Lynn Rochester)
  • Ms Carolina Silveira (2016-)
  • Ms Ghazal Ghazaei (2014-)
  • Dr Ali Alameer (2014-2018)
  • Dr Agamemnon Krasoulis (2013-2017)
  • Dr Claire Schofield (2010-2014)

Funding

Total amount (in excess of £3m)

  • 2018 Funding for Business Engagement Activity (Newcastle University, PI)
  • 2018-2019 Impact Acceleration Fund for Commercialisation of Prosthetics Research (Newcastle University, PI)
  • 2018-2020 Low-cost Prosthetics (Royal Society, PI)
  • 2018-2019 User Engagement (Port-ER, Co-I)
  • 2018-2019 Starworks D4D Child Prosthetics (NIHR, Co-I)
  • 2018-2023 Healthcare Technology Challenge Award (EPSRC, PI) 
  • 2017-2018 Impact Acceleration Fund for Prosthetics Research (Newcastle University, PI)
  • 2017-2017 Impact Acceleration Fund for Agri-Tech Research (Newcastle University, PI)
  • 2016-2020 Sensory Feedback in Artificial Hands (DTA, Newcastle University)
  • 2016-2019 Translational Alliance with Össur (EPSRC, PI)
  • 2015-2018 SenseBack (EPSRC, PI)
  • 2015-2016 SimCon (EPSRC, PI)
  • 2015-2016 Institutional Sponsorship Fund 2015 (EPSRC, PI)
  • 2015-2016 Impact Generation Fund (PI, Newcastle University)
  • 2015-2016 Ownership Devices for Internet of People (OwnDIP) (Newcastle University, Co-I)
  • 2014-2018 Artificial Vision for Artificial Hands (AVAH) (DTA, Newcastle University)
  • 2014 Equipment Fund (Newcastle University, PI)
  • 2013 Equipment Fund (Newcastle University, PI)
  • 2013 Equipment Fund (Newcastle University, PI)
  • 2013 Start-up Fund (Newcastle University, PI)
  • 2012 Equipment Fund (Wellcome Trust, ISSP Scheme, PI)
  • 2012 Recursive Estimation of Higher Order Statistics for Hand Prosthesis Control (Royal Society, PI)
  • 2011-2013 Imaging and Optimisation Techniques for Co-Adaptive Myoelectric Control (Leverhulme Trust, PI)
  • 2010-2013 Optimal Control of Neuromotor Interfaces (Wellcome Trust, Co-I)
  • 2009 EMG Prediction from Motor Cortical Recordings (Wellcome Trust, PI)
  • 2006-2008 Funds for Brain Computer Interfacing (Leverhulme Trust, Named Researcher)

Teaching

I contribute to teaching at the Masters level on the following two programmes:

Specifically, I teach on the following two modules:

In addition, I supervise individual MSc projects associated with this programme. For more information about potential projects, please do not hesitate to contact me. 

Publications