Siavash Haroun Mahdavi

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Dr. Siavash Mahdavi (born 18 February 1980) is an inventor and entrepreneur living and based in London. His work in the fields of Engineering and Design have revolutionized many products and design paradigms. His work in robotics resulted in the world's first intelligent robot that was able to autonomously recover from damage. He also invented the world's first antenna that tunes itself by changing its shape to achieve the best reception. More recently his work has focused on the design and complex lattice structures that are now being used in many industries including Orthopaedics, Aerospace, Product design and Formula one.


Early life[edit]

Siavash Mahdavi was born in Tehran, Iran on 18 February 1980 to parents Mohammad and Mahshid. He left Iran aged 2 during the Iran-Iraq war and lived in the US for a couple of years before moving to London, where he made his home. Siavash's creativity blossomed from a very young age where he excelled in Science and Design.

At age 11 he was accepted into Dulwich College where he became even more fascinated with Science and in particular Artificial Intelligence. He founded the school's first Artificial Intelligence Society in 1997.

Academic Achievements[edit]

Mahdavi studied a B.Sc. in Mechatronics Engineering at King's College London. He followed on to study a M.Sc. in Intelligent Systems at University College London and continued his research to complete a doctorate in Evolutionary robotics under the supervision of Dr. Peter J. Bentley.

It was during his doctoral research that he first embarked upon developing a system of customising a material's properties using Artificial Intelligence and Additive Layer Manufacturing. Since then, Siavash has published 10+ papers on the 'Microstructure Optimisation' and has given lectures at numerous international conferences including one at NASA.


Mahdavi has made several television and radio appearances discussing the topics of robotics, mass customisation and rapid manufacturing. He first appeared on the Iranian science program 'Parto' where he was interviewed live for 30 minutes about his research as a PhD student and on his ambitions for the future. He later appeared on the Discovery Channel where he discussed rapid manufacturing and product customisation; this led to an interview on BBC Radio 5 Live. He most recently appeared on BBC's Working Lunch where his technology and its wide applications were covered in detail. Both Within Technologies and Digital Forming were featured on the front cover of the Economist in February 2011 in an article entitled: How a new manufacturing technology will change the world.


With support from UCL Business, Mahdavi started Complex Matters Ltd in 2005, a design consultancy that works with designers and engineers in creating objects with optimised structures that enable them to exhibited unparalleled material properties.[1] He has recently moved on to work at Within Technologies Ltd, specialising in higher-end engineering applications. In 2008, Mahdavi launched Digital Forming, a company that specializes in the development of software for the mass customization of 3D Printed consumer products.

High profile works in design include the Osteon Chair, AI Stool and AI Light. These products were designed in collaboration with world renowned product designer Assa Ashuach.

See also[edit]

Published Papers[edit]

Haroun Mahdavi S. and Ashuach A. (2007) Digital Forming: Making of the Osteon Chair and AI Stool. TCT Conference Proceedings 2007.

Hanna S. and Haroun Mahdavi S. (2006) Inductive Machine Learning of Structures: Estimating a Finite Element Optimisation Using Support Vector Machines, In Gero, JS (ed) Design Computing and Cognition '06, Springer.

Hanna, S., Haroun Mahdavi, S. and Bentley, P. J. (2005) Creativity Through Embodiment: A Computational Model Exemplified By Microstructure Design. In the Journal of Design Studies.

Haroun Mahdavi S. and Hanna S. (2004) Blurring the Boundaries between Actuator and Structure: Investigating the use of Stereolithography to build Adaptive Robots, Proceedings of ICARCV 2004.

Hanna S. and Haroun Mahdavi S. (2004) Modularity and Flexibility at the Small Scale: Evolving Continuous Material Variation with Stereolithography. In Beesley P. et al. (Eds.) Fabrication: examining the digital practice of architecture.

Haroun Mahdavi S. and Hanna S. (2004) Optimising Continuous Microstructures: A Comparison of Gradient-Based and Stochastic Methods, Proceedings of SCIS & ISIS 2004, the joint International Conference on Soft Computing and Intelligent Systems and International Symposium on Advanced Intelligent Systems.

Haroun Mahdavi, S. and Bentley, P. J. (2004) Innately adaptive robotics through embodied evolution. (extended version). Submitted to Journal of Adaptive Robotics.

Haroun Mahdavi S. and Hanna S. (2003) An evolutionary approach to microstructure optimisation of stereolithographic models, Proceedings of CEC2003, the Congress on Evolutionary Computation.

Haroun Mahdavi, S. and Bentley, P. J. (2004) Innately Adaptive Robotics Through Embodied Evolution. In Proc. of Robosphere 2004, the 2nd Workshop on Self-Sustaining Robotic Systems, NASA Ames Research Center, 9-10 November 2004.

Haroun Mahdavi, S. and Bentley, P. J. (2003) Evolving Noise Tolerant Antenna Configurations using Shape Memory Alloys. In Proc of the Second International Conference on Computational Intelligence, Robotics and Autonomous Systems (CIRAS 2003), 15–18 December 2003, Singapore.

Haroun Mahdavi, S. and Bentley, P. J. (2003) An Evolutionary Approach to Damage Recovery of Robot Motion with Muscles. In Proc. of the European Conference on Artificial Life (ECAL 2003). W. Banzhaf, T. Christaller, P. Dittrich, J. T. Kim and J. Zieglre (eds), Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg: Berlin, pp. 248–255.

Haroun Mahdavi, S. and Bentley, P. J.(2003) Evolving Motion of Robots with Muscles. In Proc. of EvoROB2003, the 2nd European Workshop on Evolutionary Robotics, EuroGP 2003. pp. 655–664.


  1. ^ "Siavash Mahdavi, University College London". The Engineer. 15 June 2007. Retrieved 31 October 2010. 

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