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New RAEng Fellowship award to develop critical automated ventilation systems

Dr Sina Saffaran has been awarded a prestigious RAEng FellowshipLink opens in a new window for his project: "Automated individualised mechanical ventilation of critically ill patients".

Currently, management of patients on mechanical ventilators is based on protocols derived from large-scale clinical trials, with ventilator settings periodically adjusted by clinicians whose workloads are increasingly unsustainable. Truly personalised treatment requires rapid and frequent interventions based on changes in the patient’s state that are not achievable within current ICU constraints.

To address this challenge, Dr Saffaran has proposed a new approach; leveraging recent developments in high-fidelity computational modelling, diverse real-time lung measurement technologies, AI/data analytics, and feedback control theory. These will be used to produce in-silico demonstrators that convincingly show the potential of advanced automation systems to revolutionise critical care in multiple clinical settings. Working with a team of internationally-leading intensivists, and engineers from Medtronic, the world's largest medical device manufacturer, Dr Saffaran will develop automated systems that (a) keep premature neonates within safe oxygenation ranges for longer, (b) provide more protective ventilation to paediatric patients with acute respiratory failure, and (c) detect and react to COVID-19 disease progression in adults.

Dr Saffaran said: "I am delighted to be rejoining the School of Engineering at Warwick as a Royal Academy of Engineering Fellow and Assistant Professor. My research programme encompasses mathematical modelling, computer simulation and biomedical engineering, all areas of particular strength for the school. Working with industrial partners and clinical collaborators from several countries, my goal is for my research to have significant impact internationally. I am also really excited to contribute to the School’s teaching across the expanding areas of Systems and Biomedical Engineering."