Researcher

Dr Beena Ahmed

My Expertise

Applications of machine learning, pattern classification and deep neural nets for healthcare and therapeutic applications.

Field of Research (FoR)

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Biography

Dr. Beena Ahmed is a Senior Lecturer in Signal Processing with the School of Electrical Engineering and Telecommunications. She received her B.Sc. Engineering in Electrical Engineering from the University of Engineering and Technology, Lahore, Pakistan in 1993 and her Ph.D. from UNSW in 2004. She joined UNSW in 2017. Prior to that she was an Assistant Professor at Texas A&M University at Qatar.

Dr. Ahmed has been awarded international research...view more

Dr. Beena Ahmed is a Senior Lecturer in Signal Processing with the School of Electrical Engineering and Telecommunications. She received her B.Sc. Engineering in Electrical Engineering from the University of Engineering and Technology, Lahore, Pakistan in 1993 and her Ph.D. from UNSW in 2004. She joined UNSW in 2017. Prior to that she was an Assistant Professor at Texas A&M University at Qatar.

Dr. Ahmed has been awarded international research grants for projects on long-term insomnia monitoring and remote speech therapy. She also received funding to use wearable physiological sensors to identify physiological correlates of mental stress and then adopt these correlates to develop biofeedback mobile games to teach users relaxation skills. Her current research interests are on applying machine learning and remote monitoring in healthcare and therapeutic applications. Specifically she is looking into algorithms to

  • track cognitive ability in the elderly using paralinguistic features
  • recognize speech production errors in patients undergoing speech therapy and second language speakers
  • adapt automatic speech recognition for use by people with speech impairments 
  • identify the risk of adverse events in patients with diabetes and cardiovascular disorders to facilitate just-in-time intervention
  • detect malignant oral cancer tumors in fluorescence endoscopic images
  • track mental stress levels in the long term to better facilitate biofeedback treatment options
  • detect sleep disorders using minimally invasive sensors

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My Grants

  1. V. Sethu, B. Ahmed, 'Hardware Signal Processing Lab for Signal Information and Machine Intelligence', UNSW Research Infrastructure Scheme, Sep 2020 - Aug 2021, $197,470
  2. B. Kelly, C. Diskin, B. Ahmed, J. Arciuli, K. Ballard, T. Benders, D. Burnham, F. Cox, 'Life in Lockdown: Australian Children's Stories of the Covid-19 Pandemic', University of Melbourne Arts Collaborative Research Seed Funding, Jul - Dec 2020, $18,321 
  3. B. Ahmed, K. Ballard, J. Epps, ‘Adaptation of Automatic Speech Recognition Systems for Low Resource Populations’, ARC Discovery Program (DP) Grant, Jan 2021 – Dec 2023, Australian Research Council, $350,000
  4. V. Sethu, B. Ahmed, 'Exploratory Analysis of Stochastic Time Series Models of Satellite Communication Links', Defence Science Technology Group Grant, Jan - May 2020, $53,539
  5. B. Ahmed, V. Sethu, ‘Computational Decision Making for Satellite Communications for Defence’, Defence Science Technology Group Grant, May 2019, $18,800
  6. B. Ahmed, H. Brodaty, J. Epps, N. Kochan, M. Valenzuela, K. Ballard, 'Developing a Paralinguistic Plus Episodic Memory Screening Tool to Detect and Track Cognitive Impairment in the Elderly', UNSW Biomedical Engineering Seed Fund, Aug 2019 – July 2022, $450,000
  7. B. Ahmed, K. Ballard, D. Burnham, J. Epps, F. Cox, V. Sethu, K. Demuth, J. Arciuli, B. Kelly, C. Diskin, T. Benders, C.B. Lee, E. Ambikairajah, E. Baker, ‘Little Kids, Big Talk, Wide Applications: An Audio-Visual Child Speech Corpus for Applications to Assist the Developing Child’, ARC Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities (LIEF) Grant, Jun 2019 – Jun 2020, Australian Research Council, $1,060,000
  8. B. Ahmed, J. Epps, D. Smith, A. Duenser, ‘Towards Domain-Independent Low-level Pronunciation Verification with Rich and Informative Feedback’, CSIRO - Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation/Data61 - Scholarships Program, Jan 2019 – Dec 2021, $35,000
  9. B. Ahmed, R. Gutierrez-Osuna, K. Ballard, ‘Apraxia World: An Interactive, Technology-based Comprehensive Tool for Remote Speech Therapy of Childhood Apraxia of Speech’, National Priorities Research Program (NPRP) 2015 Award, Qatar National Research Fund, Feb 2016 – Dec 2019, US $809,692
  10. J. Jo, B. Ahmed, N. Rajpoot, Z. Dogan, H. Al-Enazi,Fluorescence Lifetime Imaging Endoscope for Early Detection of Oral Cancer’, National Priorities Research Program (NPRP) 2015 Award, Qatar National Research Fund, Feb 2016 – Dec 2019, US $809,465
  11. B. Ahmed, D. Cvetkovic, E. Jovanov, T. Penzel, G. Kennedy, ‘The Development of a Clinician’s Aide to Monitor and Screen for Insomnia’, National Priorities Research Program (NPRP) 2012 Award, Qatar National Research Fund, Jan 2013 – Feb 2016, US $1,049,353
  12. R. Gutierrez-Osuna, B. Ahmed, E. Shipp, ‘Promoting Stress Self-regulation with Physiological Training Games’ National Priorities Research Program (NPRP) 2012 Award, Qatar National Research Fund, Jan 2013 – Jan 2017, US $1,049,334
  13. B. Ahmed, R. Gutierrez-Osuna, K. Ballard, ‘Mobile Infrastructure and Automated Tools for the Monitoring and Treatment of Childhood Apraxia of Speech’, National Priorities Research Program (NPRP) 2011 Award, Qatar National Research Fund, Dec 2011 – Oct 2015, US $1,040,975
  14. R. Gutierrez-Osuna, B. Ahmed, ‘Stress Monitoring with Non-linear Dynamical Models and Wearable Sensors’, Principal Investigator National Priorities Research Program (NPRP) 2008 Award, Qatar National Research Fund, Sept 2009 - Aug 2012, US $1,046,123

My Awards

  1. Superstar of STEM, Science and Technology Australia, 2019
  2. Texas A&M University at Qatar Teaching Award, 2017
  3. Best Qatar National Research Fund Undergraduate Research Experience Project (2012) – ‘An Investigation into Skills Requiring Enhancement in Qatari High School Students to Succeed in an Engineering Education’
  4. Best paper award at IEEE Educon, April 2011, for paper ‘Robotics: Its Effectiveness as a Tool to Teach Engineering Design and Computer Programming’
  5. Winner, Visualization Development Competition 2009, "Simulation of Brain Wave Activity"
  6. Recipient of Australian Postgraduate Award (APA) for Ph.D

My Research Supervision


Supervision keywords


Areas of supervision

My current area of interest is in applying signal processing and deep learning approaches to problems in biomedical signals, speech analysis, pronunciation verification and speech recognition, specifically in low resources areas such as health data, disordered speech, children's speech and non-native speech. This includes developing novel transfer learning techniques that effectively transfer knowledge from high resource domains to and low resource domain to reduce the need for labelled data as well as high performance unsupervised learning methods. I am also trying to understand how to utilise acoustic and phonetic information in speech to identify the risk of dementia and speech sound disorders.


My Teaching

My priority in teaching is to enrich students' experience with the use of active learning approaches that promote deeper learning and maximise content retention. I teach primarily design based courses where students learn how to apply electrical engineering knowledge in hands on projects that take them through the various steps of the complete design cycle. 

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Location

444 Electrical Engineering Building (G17)

Contact

+61 2 93854206
+61 2 9385 5993