Home » News » Speakers Announced! WTUN for International Women in Engineering Day 2023

Speakers Announced! WTUN for International Women in Engineering Day 2023

The World Technology Universities Network is pleased to announce our incredible line-up of speakers for International Women in Engineering Day 2023 (InWED 2023)

This year’s InWED theme “Making Safety Seen” and in celebration and recognition of women in engineering, this webinar will feature a sharing session by prominent speakers from Science and Engineering of member universities from both Networks, hosted by expert colleagues from the University of Bradford.

We will hear from seven speakers across the two-hour session. The programme features speakers specialising in Architectural, Environmental, Biological, Chemical and Mechanical Engineering from Bahrain, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand & the UK.

Details of the programme are as follows:

Date: Friday 23 June 2023

Time: 11.30-13.30 (BST/GMT+1) / 18.30-20.30 (UTC+8)

Mode: Zoom Webinar

Registration Form: click HERE

Registration Deadline: 23 June 2023 10.00 (am)

Hosted/Chaired by (University of Bradford):

Name and Position: Dr Elaine Brown, Reader / Associate Dean (EDI) https://www.bradford.ac.uk/staff/ebrown/

Dr Elaine Brown is a Chartered Mechanical Engineer, with a Batchelors degree in Manufacturing Systems with Mechanical Engineering (Bradford) and a PhD in Ultrasonic Monitoring of Polymer Melt Extrusion (Bradford). Her research is focused on ultrasonic technologies and their applications in industrial settings.
Research on in-process measurements looks at applications of ultrasound to measure material and/or process properties in-line during polymer melt extrusion, hot melt extrusion, injection moulding and micromoulding, rotational moulding and on methods of measuring polymer melt temperature. The techniques provide a robust, adaptable and non-invasive in-process measurement. Research into high power applications of ultrasound include ultrasonic polymer injection moulding and pharmaceutical processing. Research into ultrasonic characterisation of solids includes characterisation of composites and advanced materials, and determination of material properties. Her research projects fit across a number of areas including the Centres for Advanced Materials, Micro and Nanotechnology and Pharmaceutical Engineering Science.

Name and Position: Dr Cristina Tuinea-Bobe, RKT Business Development Manager https://www.bradford.ac.uk/staff/ctuineabobe/

Cristina has two multi-disciplinary PhDs: one in biomedical engineering and one in semiconductors’ electronics.  She is now based at the University of Bradford in the Faculty of Engineering and Informatics working as Research & Knowledge Transfer Business Development Manager. Her role is to facilitate academics interaction with government and industrial funding bodies, resulting in high quality proposals and projects. Cristina is promoting our mission to provide superior quality education with a high impact on industry, and on the country’s economy, through our ‘make a difference’ alumni cohort.





Name and position: Dr. May Alsaffar, Assistant Professor/Chairperson of the Department of Interior Design, Ahlia University 

Title: ‘Towards Safe and Comfortable Built Environments: Human Factors and thoughtful Architecture’

Abstract: Human factors and architecture are both important considerations for ensuring safety in built environments. Human factors refer to the physical, cognitive, and social characteristics of people that influence their behaviour and performance. Architecture, on the other hand, refers to the design of buildings and other physical structures.

When designing buildings or other structures, it is important to consider human factors to ensure that the environment is safe and comfortable for the people who will use it. Architects and designers need to consider factors such as lighting, acoustics, temperature, and ventilation to create an environment that is conducive to productivity and wellbeing. They also need to consider the needs of people with disabilities, such as wheelchair users, and ensure that the building is accessible to them. factors also play a role in the design of safety features in buildings. For example, emergency exits and fire alarms need to be placed in locations that are easily visible and accessible to people in the event of an emergency. Signs and other visual cues need to be designed to be easily understood by people of different ages, cultures, and languages.

In addition to designing buildings with human factors in mind, it is also important to educate people on how to use the built environment safely. This includes providing training on how to use safety features such as fire extinguishers and emergency exits, as well as educating people on how to navigate the building in a safe and efficient manner. Overall, a combination of careful consideration of human factors and thoughtful architectural design can contribute to creating safe and comfortable built environments.

About the Speaker:

Motivated Assistant Professor with 10+ years of experience specializing in Architecture and Interior Design. Strong background in creating insightful course contents and research papers which increased University exposure and helped students’ learning development. Swiftly establishing strong relationships with pupils, increasing class engagement and enjoyment.

Prior to joining Ahlia University, May served as an Architect, interior designer, and urban designer in well-known design firms in Bahrain such as Ahmed Janahi Architects, Jalal Engineering, Apex Green, and AAA homes.

May also has served as a visiting faculty, Kingdom University (BAH), as a researcher at the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation, Germany, and as a Teaching and Research Assistant at the United Arab University during her Ph.D. studies (UAE). She also participated as an external juror for graduation projects and design studios at the University of Bahrain and abroad.

Name and position: Dr. Naruemon Intarat , Lecturer of Mechanical Engineering, Thaksin University   

Title: Human Factors Influencing Women in Engineering

Abstract: “Most females considered engineering to be a male field, hence the low number of female engineering students. Females are underrepresented in engineering cohorts. However, engineering pathways for women are possible. Common influencing factors for female participation in the selection of engineering pathways included parental and teacher influences, self-efficacy, perception and attitude, gender stereotypes, and peer and media influences.
Self-Efficacy, perception, and attitude are important for all humans,  everyone is equal “Do whatever you want to do”.”

About the Speaker: B.Eng. (Mechanical Engineering), M.Eng. (Mechanical Engineering), Doc.Eng. (Power Engineering and Engineering Thermophysics)

Name and position: Dr Maria Katsikogianni, Assistant Professor in Biomaterials Chemistry, University of Bradford 

Title: ‘Harnessing nano-patterning and incorporation of antimicrobials to manufacture orthopaedic trauma implants that resist microbial colonisation ‘

Abstract: “More than 2 million people/year in the UK suffer a bone fracture that is addressed primarily using metal implants. Such implants facilitate microbial colonisation which can lead to medical device associated infections. Antimicrobial strategies can involve modification of the medical device biomaterial surface rendering it less amenable to colonisation. In this respect, the aim of this study was to evaluate the engineering of biomaterial surfaces at the nanoscale, with or without the addition of antimicrobials, for the preparation of orthopaedic trauma implants that prevent microbial colonisation.

Materials and Methods: VICTREX® PEEK with or without glass fibre reinforcement were micro-injection moulded using a Wittman Battenfeld Micropower moulding system and flat or nano-patterned mould inserts. Polydimethysiloxane (PDMS) and 1% or 10% (w/w) triclosan impregnated PDMS were compression moulded on a flat or nano-patterned mould. The moulded components were physicochemically and mechanically characterised. Their non-fouling and antimicrobial performance was assessed against bacterial adhesion and subsequent biofilm formation of Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria.

Results and Discussion: Geometric characterisation of the moulded surfaces showed excellent replication of the mould inserts at the nanoscale, with the exception of the 10% triclosan impregnated PDMS. Of note was that 1% triclosan killed all tested bacteria on both flat and patterned surfaces within 1 h. In the case of PDMS without triclosan and PEEK, patterned surfaces reduced bacterial adhesion and biofilm formation. Reproducible pattern replication was important for ensuring enhancement of the antimicrobial/non-fouling activity. This combined physical and chemical strategy provides a novel approach to generating non-fouling properties to medical device biomaterials.

Acknowledgments: Professor Ben Whiteside is acknowledged for his collaboration in the area of injection moulding. This work was funded by MeDe Innovation, the EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Medical Devices, under a “Fresh Ideas” Feasibility Study Funding Award.”

About the Speaker: I am an Assistant Professor in Biomaterials Chemistry, at the University of Bradford and I contribute to research and teaching in the areas of materials, materials characterisation, materials interactions with biological environments and microscopy. My research aims at understanding how material properties affect bacterial/cell adhesion, so that we get to prepare materials for a range of applications; medical devices, clinical settings, food packaging, amongst others.

With a BSc in Chemistry and a PhD in Biomedical Engineering, I am the first female in my family to study Science and to do a PhD and I am proud of the young generation and the opportunities provided to them.

Name and position: Assoc. Prof. Dr. Kwanchanok Viravaidya-Pasuwat, Associate Professor, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi   

Title: ‘Transforming Cell-Based Therapy: Utilizing Automated Cell Processing Systems for Enhanced Safety and Efficiency’

Abstract: “Regenerative medicine has emerged as a promising field revolutionizing medical treatments and poised to become a significant contributor to the global economy. The goal of regenerative medicine is to stimulate the body’s repair mechanisms using healthy cells or tissues. Autologous transplantation of stem cells or primary cells represents a widely practiced regenerative medicine therapy. However, manual isolation and culturing of these cells present challenges, including labor-intensive and time-consuming processes, susceptibility to bacterial contamination, limited production capacity and reliance on highly skilled technicians. To address these concerns, automated cell processing systems have been introduced to streamline and standardize cell cultivation. These systems typically employ robot arms within closed, sterile cabinets to handle various cell processing functions.

In light of therapeutic potential, we propose the establishment of a cell manufacturing facility utilizing an automated cell processing system. Our initial focus is on producing autologous chondrocytes and autologous bone marrow-derived stem cells for clinical studies. These studies are essential to evaluate the quality of cells generated using the automated system and assess the efficacy of the cell-based therapies.”

About the Speaker: Dr. Kwanchanok Viravaidya-Pasuwat graduated with honors, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from California Institute of Technology in 1998. She subsequently pursued her M.S./Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering at Cornell University, where she received a full fellowship and completed her studies in 2004.

Dr. Viravaidya-Pasuwat joined King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi (KMUTT) in 2004 as a lecturer in the Department of Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering. She was promoted to the roles of Assistant Professor in 2008 and Associate Professor in 2013. As one of the pioneering faculty members, she played a vital role in establishing research activities and the curriculum for KMUTT’s Biological Engineering program. From 2013 to 2017, she served as the Director of the Biological Engineering program. Dr. Viravaidya-Pasuwat’s research endeavors revolve around the development of safer, more cost-effective, and easily accessible cell-based therapies, with a particular emphasis on scaffold-free tissue engineering approaches. Her notable contributions include the successful construction of tissueengineered constructs for the treatment of cartilage defects and severe burn injuries. Furthermore, she and her group are actively engaged in leveraging automated cell processing systems for applications in regenerative medicine.

In recognition of her outstanding research work, she was honored with the prestigious L’Oreal-UNESCO “For Women in Science 2014” Fellowship. Through her dedication and innovative research, Dr. Viravaidya-Pasuwat continues to advance the frontiers of regenerative medicine, striving to make significant contributions to the field and enhance the prospects of safer and more accessible cell-based therapies.

Name and position: Assoc. Prof. Dr. Netnapit Tantemsapya, Associate Professor, School of Environmental Engineering, Suranaree University of Technology 

Title: Laboratory Safety in Academic & Schools in Thailand; Current status, challenges, and future directions

Abstract: There is a growing awareness on Laboratory Safety in Academic & Schools in Thailand in the past two decades. This talk is about the initiative on establishing Thailand’s university and school laboratory safety system. In addition, the current status, challenges and present future directions to reduce accidents using engineering and administrative controls will be presented.

About the Speaker: Dr. Tantemsapya is an Associate Professor at Suranaree University of Technology. She graduated in 1993 with a bachelor’s degree in environmental engineering. She then furthered her study at the New Jersey Institute of Technology, where she received her master’s degree and Ph.D. also in Environmental Engineering and returning to Thailand in 2003 as a Lecturer in the Department of Environmental Engineering at Khon Kaen University and moved to Suranaree University of Technology in 2017.

Her work focuses on pollution prevention, wastewater natural treatment, and Hazardous waste management.  Major projects include the fate transport of heavy metals in the environment, water quality modeling, pollution prevention of industries, and designing natural treatment systems. These projects involved collaboration with local/international research institutes and the industrial and governmental sectors.

For ATU-Net:

Name and position:  Assoc. Prof. Dr. Norhayati Abdullah, Associate Director, UTM International Kuala Lumpur & Associate Professor of Environmental Engineering, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Malaysia 

Title:Pivoting Innovative Solutions – Role of Women Wastewater Engineers’

Abstract: Resilience of sewerage systems is of paramount importance considering the impact of untreated wastewater may have on the general health and well-being of human, animals as well as living things. Wastewater treatment and engineering is a field seldom treaded by women however the contributions of women wastewater engineers and academics are undeniably significant in transforming the water and wastewater sectors globally. Let’s have a look on the roles of women wastewater engineers on pivoting innovative solutions in #makesafety seen in wastewater engineering.

About the Speaker: Norhayati Abdullah is currently the Associate Director of UTM International Kuala Lumpur and Associate Professor in Environmental Engineering at Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM). She completed her tenure as a Guest Scholar at the Graduate School of Advanced Integrated Studies in Human Survivability (Shishu-kan), Kyoto University, Japan. Norhayati is recipient of the 2019/2020 ASEAN Science and Technology Fellowship focusing on the strategic recommendations for water  sector transformation under the auspices of the Academy of Sciences Malaysia. Norhayati represented UTM and Malaysia at the University of Michigan Ann Arbor for the Fulbright US-ASEAN Visiting Scholar Initiatives in 2016-2017.

In 2018, she received the L’Oréal-UNESCO for Women in Science Fellowship. She was Board of Director of the International Water Association (IWA) from 2014-2018, an IWA Fellow and Council Member of the Malaysian Water Association (MWA). At global level, Norhayati has been actively involved with the IWA program and activities since 2000. She received the IWA Young Water Professional (IWAYWP) Award in 2012 in recognition of her outstanding achievements in wastewater research and active involvement in various Professional development programs.

Norhayati is a certified openwater diver, loves reading and indulge herself in outdoor activities.

Name and position: Professor Mahendrawathi , Professor and Head of Enterprise Systems Laboratory, Institut Teknologi Sepuluh Nopember, Indonesia

Title:The Key Role of People and Process in Ensuring Workplace Safety and Security.’ 

Abstract: “Workplace safety and security are two important aspects that need to be attended to. Particularly, in today’s world where technology is pervasive in every aspect of human life. In one way, technology such as robotics, information and communication technology, and artificial intelligence, offers ample opportunity to help humans in conducting their day-to-day activities. On the other hand, it also creates a lot of challenges. While such technology has improved in unprecedented ways, the role of people and processes remains key.  

In this talk, I will focus on the use of Information and Communication Technology in particular social media as it plays a big role in my country. Social media in various forms such as Social Networking Sites, Image-based sites, Video sharing/streaming platforms, Discussion forums, and Blogs and community platforms has grown tremendously. Such social media not only helps people to get connected but also helps them to do their tasks on an individual level and to perform their roles at the workplace. WhatsApp for example, has been used by many employers to discuss work-related issues. However, many individuals are unaware of the safety and security measures that they must follow. This includes personal and privacy protection. For example, what is safe to share over social media? How to ensure that your data is protected? These measures must be embedded in the people. The employer also needs to ensure that the process that the employee must perform meet the safety and security standards. “ 

About the Speaker:

Mahendrawathi ER is a Professor in Business Process Management and the Head of the Enterprise Systems Laboratory in the Information Systems Department, Institut Teknologi Sepuluh Nopember, Surabaya, Indonesia. She received her Ph.D. from Nottingham University, United Kingdom, in 2004. Her teaching and research interests are in Business Process Management, Enterprise Resource Planning, and Supply Chain Management. She has written books in all three areas. Her research has been published in various academic journals. She is passionate to apply her process-oriented skills to help individuals, organizations, and society achieve their goals. 


Details of the programme are as follows:

Date: Friday 23 June 2023

Time: 11.30-13.30 (BST/GMT+1) / 18.30-20.30 (UTC+8)

Mode: Zoom Webinar

Registration Form: click HERE

Registration Deadline: 22 June 2023 (Thursday)


Should you have any further enquiries, please do not hesitate to contact the secretariat at wtun@bradford.ac.uk

For details of upcoming all WTUN Webinars click here 

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