Syaheerah (Sha-hee-ra) Lebai Lutfi received both her DEA and Ph.D degrees (with distinction Cum Laude) from Grupo de Technología del Habla (GTH) – Speech Technology Group, University Politécnica de Madrid, Spain, in June 2013, under the supervision of Prof. Juan Manuel Montero and Prof. Fernándo Fernández Martínez (University Carlos III, Madrid). Her general research interest is Human-Computer Interactions, specifically focusing in Affective Computing (behaviour analytics, personality, culture, mood and emotion analysis & modelling). In short, her main research question revolves around “how to make machines more emotionally (and perhaps culturally) sensitive to users?”. Her doctorate Thesis concerns the design and evaluation of an emotional model– that was put to test with several applications in the spoken language dialogue domain. She also holds a certification in Health Informatics through KSU (Riyadh) and OHSU (Oregon) joint initiative.
Her stay in GTH was funded by a joint fellowship from the Malaysian Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE) and University Science Malaysia (USM). She obtained a BSc. Computing from Bolton University, UK , in 2000 and a Masters in Software Engineering from University Malaya, Kuala Lumpur in 2007, also with a USM scholarship. Since June 2013, she is a Senior Lecturer in School of Computer Sciences, USM . She has authored and co-authored several referred journal and conference papers (with impact factor) and serves as the EU Erasmus+ coordinator for UPM Madrid-USM since 2015.
During Jan – April 2011, she did a research stay at MACS, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, as a visiting researcher where she was involved with the European-funded FP7 project eCUTE. eCUTE has eight European and Japanese partners and aims on developing innovative technologically-enhanced learning approaches in cultural understanding and sensitivity that will help to deal with cultural problems, targeting young adults & children. She is also among the ten percent of young academicians in the country that was selected for the CEO@Faculty 2.0 program, an industry-university joint initiative founded by the Ministry of Education Malaysia — which granted her the chance as a visiting lecturer at Intel Microelectronics Penang (Oct – Feb 2019), the largest in Asia.
Before entering the research field, she spent three years in the industry – as an IT Executive at MaybanLife Berhad, Kuala Lumpur, and Systems Analyst at National Poison Centre, USM, Penang. She was the Program Manager for Industrial Training, Student Activities & Alumni under the academic section, and the adviser for the term’s CS Society. Currently she is the Deputy Director of the International Mobility and Collaboration Center (IMCC ), heading International Strategic Intelligentsia & Collaborations, apart from being an adviser to USM International — the enthusiastic, colourful faces of USM’s ‘United Nations’ 🙂