Dr Shamsi Shekari Soleimanloo

Research Fellow

Institute for Social Science Research
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

Overview

Dr Shekari completed her PhD with Queensland University of Technology in 2016, and her postdoctoral fellowship with Alertness CRC at Monash University and Austin Health in January 2019. Shamsi is currently a Research Fellow with the Institute for Social Science Research (ISSR) at UQ. Her research interests are key socio-psychological issues such as drowsy / fatigued driving and risky driving behaviours. Shamsi is one of the investigators of the NHMRC project “Reducing crash risk for young drivers: A randomized control trial to improve sleep”.

Research Interests

  • Usability of countermeasures for sleepiness on improving performance, wellbeing and alertness or for detecting sleepiness/fatigue in the community
    There are limited evidence for effectiveness and accuracy of countermeasures for sleepiness to improve performance, wellbeing and alertness in various sectors of society. A broad research program into “usability of countermeasures for sleepiness on improving performance, wellbeing and alertness or for detecting sleepiness/fatigue in the community” needs to be framed as some PhD projects such as 1) effects of naturalistic or artificial light on school children performance and alertness of non-standard workers (e.g. health care personnel, fire fighters, police, drivers, and pilots), 2) usability of infrared light devices for detection of fatigue in non-standard workers, 3) effects of combination of naps or extended wake times with light on improving safety related tasks (flight, driving, medical practices, emergency services) in naturalistic and or simulated conditions), and 4) effects of increased bed time for late schooling on family wellbeing.
  • Sleep and circadian health in non-standard workers and communities
    From a societal perspective, the availability of staff outside the 9 am –5 pm working day is necessary in some sectors (e.g. health care, and the trucking, and airline). In addition, the work patterns of parents, school timings or digital technologies are causing the sleep and circadian rhythm disruptions in school children. The Sleep and circadian health in non-standard workers and community project could be tailored towards multiple PhD programs to 1) Characterise the role of sleep, activity rhythms in performance and behaviour in non-standard workers, 2) understand the detrimental effects of non-standard work on household wellbeing and 3) role of school timing, parents work or digital media on young children sleep, circadian health and learning outcomes.
  • Neuropsychology of behavioural and social risk in society
    The psychological and neurological aspects of risk taking behaviours in social interactions or during work are yet to be fully understood. The general research topic of “neuropsychology of behavioural and social risk in society” could be studied as multiple PhD projects including but not limited to 1) sleep as a behavioural and social risk determinant in safety related tasks (e.g. flight, driving, medical practices, emergency services and firefighting) in naturalistic and or simulated conditions, 2) relationship between impaired sleep from alcohol/drug abuse and performance/risk taking behaviour (e.g. drivers, workers), and 3) relationship between chronic diseases or pain behavioural and social risk in society (e.g. Parkinson diseases and driving, chronic pain and work performance).

Research Impacts

-Influence on policy development and public practice

In my postdoctoral fellowship with the Alertness CRC in Melbourne in Heavy Vehicle Driver Fatigue Project, I lead three phases of this national project that for the first time in the world examined the influence of schedule characteristics of heavy vehicle drivers on their real-time drowsiness on the road. In this project, I validated the accuracy of infrared-light technologies (Optalert glasses) for detecting truck driver drowsiness (phase 1). Further, I examined the relationship between drowsiness (eye-blink parameters) and work-rest durations of 60 truck drivers (phase 2b retrospective and prospective studies). My research findings and government reports had an immediate and direct translation to the transport industry in early 2019 and have informed the current ongoing reform in the heavy vehicle national law fatigue management.

-Media comment

My PhD compared the efficacy of blue-green light with caffeine in reviving young sleepy adults while driving on the simulator. TV and radio and broadcast and digital media release of my PhD findings in 2016 attracted a considerable number of audiences in QLD, Southern Cross, Tasmania and Hobart, and Sydney as follows:

1-Drivers are being urged to be mindful of the fatal five as thousands of Queenslanders take to the roads this Easter. Interviewees: Shamsi Shekari, Researcher| Steve Spalding, RACQ, Channel 7, Brisbane, Seven News, Qld, aired on 25 Mar 2016 at 4:17 PM, Number of audiences: 80,000 views

2-New research from the Qld University of Technology has found a combination of caffeine and light therapy could help combat driver fatigue. Interviewees: Shamsi Shekari, Researcher| Steve Spalding, RACQ, Southern Cross Tasmania, Hobart, Southern Cross Nightly News, aired on 25 Mar 2016 at 6:33 PM, 47,000 views

3- Driver fatigue contributes to 20% of road accidents. Interviewees: Shamsi Shekari, Researcher| Steve Spalding, RACQ, Channel 7, Brisbane, Seven News, Qld, aired on 25 Mar 2016 at 6:39 PM, 305,000 views

New research from the Qld University of Technology has found a combination of caffeine and light therapy could help combat driver fatigue, which is blamed for 20% of road accidents. Interviewees: Shamsi Shekari, Researcher| Steve Spalding, RACQ, Channel 7, Sydney, Seven News, aired on 25 Mar 2016 at 6:51 PM, 358,000 views

4-The glasses helping keep drivers alert. Interviewees: Shamsi Shekari, Researcher| Steve Spalding, RACQ7 News, aired on 25 Mar 2016 at 7:48 PM, https://au.news.yahoo.com/video/watch/31189970/the-glasses-helping-keep-drivers-alert/#page1

5-“According to the Queensland University of Technology’s study, caffeine and blue-green light have significant effects on improving the driving performance of chronically sleep-deprived young people”. 2MCE, Orange, 11:00 National Radio News, broadcast on 01 April 2016 at 11:02 AM

6-“Caffeine and blue-green light improve the performance of young motorist who is deprived of sleep, according to a study from the Qld University of Technology". 2MCE, Orange, 11:00 National Radio News, broadcast on 01 April 2016 at 6:01 PM

7-“Bright light combined with caffeine can improve driving performance and alertness of chronically sleep-deprived young drivers, according to a road safety stud”y. August 2016, Science Daily

Qualifications

  • Doctor of Philosophy, Qld. UT

Publications

  • Cori, Jennifer M., Anderson, Clare, Shekari Soleimanloo, Shamsi , Jackson, Melinda L. and Howard, Mark E. (2019) Narrative review: do spontaneous eye blink parameters provide a useful assessment of state drowsiness?. Sleep Medicine Reviews, 45 95-104. doi:10.1016/j.smrv.2019.03.004

  • Shekari Soleimanloo, Shamsi, Wilkinson, Vanessa. E., Cori, Jennifer M., Westlake, Justine, Stevens, Bronwyn, Downey, Luke A., Shiferaw, Brook. A., Rajaratnam, Shantha M. W. and Howard, Mark E. (2019) Eye-blink parameters detect on-road track-driving impairment following severe sleep deprivation. Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, 15 9: 1271-1284. doi:10.5664/jcsm.7918

  • Soleimanloo, S. S., Wilkinson, V. E., Cori, J. M., Westlake, J., Stevens, B., Downey, L. A., Shiferaw, B. A., Swann, P., Rajaratnam, S. M. Wilson and Howard, M. E. (2018). Eye-blink parameters detect drowsy driving impairment. In: Sleep DownUnder 2014 ASM, Sleep Frontiers, 26th ASM of Australasian Sleep Association and Australasian Sleep Technologists Association, Brisbane, Australia, (). 17-20 October 2018. doi:10.1111/jsr.75_12766

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Publications

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