Zahra Nili Ahmadabadi

Dr. Zahra Nili Ahmadabadi

Assistant Professor

Academic Affairs
College of Engineering
Mechanical Engineering

San Diego

5500 Campanile Drive
San Diego, California 92182
Mail Code
(619) 594-3599


Dr. Nili Ahmadabadi received her Ph.D. from University of Quebec (École de Technologie Supérieure), her bachelor’s from University of Tehran, and her master’s from Tarbiat Modares University, all in Mechanical Engineering. Prior to this position, she was an assistant professor at Wichita State University and worked as a noise control engineer at Dana Incorporated. Her research is in the areas of robotics and artificial intelligence with a focus on multi-agent coordination and nonlinear motion planning for mobile robots and unmanned air vehicles, useful in surveillance and exploration missions. Other key project is about establishing acoustic perception technologies for robots essential in realizing effective human-robot interactions across physical structures and enabling the agents to navigate and find occluded targets in dark and cluttered environments. This research is also looking into using robots with strong auditory perception to detect and localize invisible equipment failures in cluttered environments and therefore assist humans in predictive maintenance tasks. Dr. Nili Ahmadabadi’s research on intelligent systems has received funding from NASA and AFRL/RI information institute.

Areas of Specialization

Cooperative Robotics, Acoustic Perception, Robot Learning, Motion Planning, Nonlinear Dynamical Systems, Dynamic Systems and Control, Deep Learning and Sequence Modeling, Autonomy, and Autonomous Fault Detection


Ph.D., Université du Québec (École de Technologie Supérieure)


K. Sridharan, and Z. Nili Ahmadabadi, A multi-system chaotic path planner for fast and unpredictable online coverage of terrains, IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters, 2020, 5(4), 5268-5275.

B.K. Chandrasekaran, J. E. Steck, and Z. Nili Ahmadabadi, A Vision-Based Parameter Estimation for an Aircraft in Approach Phase, AIAA Scitech 2021 Forum, 2021, 1395.

Z. Nili Ahmadabadi, F. Laville, and R. Guilbault, Time domain identification and ranking of noise sources of a pneumatic nailing device, Applied Acoustics, 2016, 114, 191–202.

Z. Nili Ahmadabadi, S.E. Khadem, Analytical study of acceleration waves on a nonlinear, externally damped string, Acta Mechanica, 2015, 226 (12), 4087-4097.

Z. Nili Ahmadabadi, S.E. Khadem, Nonlinear vibration control and energy harvesting of a beam using a nonlinear energy sink and a piezoelectric device, Journal of Sound and Vibration, 2014, 333(19), 4444–4457.

Z. Nili Ahmadabadi, Nonlinear energy transfer from an engine crankshaft to an essentially nonlinear attachment, Journal of Sound and Vibration, 2019, 443, 139-154.

Z. Nili Ahmadabadi, S.E. Khadem, Annihilation of high-amplitude periodic responses of a forced two degrees-of-freedom oscillatory system using nonlinear energy sink, Journal of Vibration and Control, 2013, 19 (16), 2401-2412.

Z.Nili Ahmadabadi, R. Guilbault, and F.Laville, Nonlinear dynamic modeling of pneumatic nailing devices, Mathematical and Computer Modelling of Dynamical Systems, 2019, 25(2), 195-223.

Z. Nili Ahmadabadi, S.E. Khadem, Nonlinear vibration control of a cantilever beam by a nonlinear energy sink, Mechanism and Machine Theory, 2012, 50, 134-149.