Category: 2016 Speaker

Professor Savvas Tassou

Professor Tassou has a first degree in Mechanical Engineering and a PhD in the area of design and control optimisation of heat pump systems. After completing his PhD he worked as a lecturer in thermofluids and energy at the Polytechnic of Central London, now the University of Westminster for 5 years, before joining Brunel University London in 1986. At Brunel he has had a number of roles and management responsibilities at departmental, faculty and university levels including directorship of postgraduate programmes in Built Environment Engineering and Energy, Head of Department of Mechanical Engineering for 3 years, Head of the School of Engineering and Design for 10 years, before becoming the Director of the Institute of Energy Futures in 2014.

The Institute involves 45 academic staff and the research is structured in four major research themes: energy efficient and sustainable technologies; future power networks-smart grids; resource efficient future cities; advanced power train and fuels. Prof Tassou leads the energy efficient and sustainable technologies theme and the Research Councils UK Centre for Sustainable Energy use in Food Chains (CSEF). His research interests include energy efficiency and demand reduction in heating, cooling and refrigeration processes, systems and applications in the built environment and industrial sectors. He has published extensively in the field and has received substantial funding from national and international funding bodies for his research. He is a member of a number of national and international steering groups and committees on energy demand reduction and decarbonisation.

Dr Mamdouh Shoukri

Mamdouh Shoukri, C.M., O.Ont., PhD, FCAE, P.Eng, was appointed the seventh President and Vice-Chancellor of York University on July 1, 2007.

Dr Shoukri began his career in academia at McMaster University, where he joined the faculty in 1984. He served in a number of leadership roles there, including Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Vice-President Research & International Affairs.

Dr Shoukri serves on the Ministry of Industry’s Space Advisory Board, the Boards of Directors of Universities Canada and the Loran Scholars Foundation, and is Chair of the Government and Community Relations Committee for the Council of Ontario Universities. He is a member of the Standing Advisory Committee on University Research (SACUR) for Universities Canada, and was a founding Board Member of the Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) and a member of the Ontario Research and Innovation Council (ORIC).

For his contributions to the flourishing of Ontario’s academic institutions as an engineer and administrator, Dr Shoukri was named a Member of the Order of Canada and the Order of Ontario in 2013, and awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal. He is a Senior Fellow of Massey College, a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering and the Canadian Society for Mechanical Engineering. Dr Shoukri’s scholarly interests are in thermo-fluid science, and he is the author or co-author of more than 120 papers that have appeared in refereed journals and symposia.

Professor Arun Sharma

Professor Arun Sharma is the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Commercialisation) at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT).

He has played a leadership role in development of Australian research capability in information and communication technology. He was co-founder of National ICT Australia Limited (NICTA), and was the inaugural Director of its largest research laboratory. Prior to NICTA, he was the Head of the School of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of New South Wales where he helped establish the Cooperative Research Centre for Smart Internet Technology.

He has held a number of advisory roles both at the federal and state levels. He was a member of the inaugural Advisory Council of the Australian Research Council and served as a member of the Queensland Premier’s Smart State Council and as a member of the Premier’s Business Roundtable. He has also led the Australia India Business Council both at the state and national level. He was awarded the 2010 Premier’s Special Award for contribution to building the export profile of Queensland.

Professor Sundararajan Ramachandran

Prof. S. Ramachandran is currently serving as Vice Chancellor at Hindustan University, Chennai. Prior to this he has served as a Vice Chancellor in University of Madras (2006 – 2009) and Vels University (2009 – 2013). He served Anna University for 20 Years in various capacities such as Professor & Director. He earned his D.Sc. in the field of Coastal Studies from the University of Madras. Prof. Ramachandran has made more than 50 academic visits to various institutions in abroad during 1990 – 2010 especially to implement several international collaborations in the field of Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM), higher education and research. As a Course Director of the UK Department for International Development ICZM training and capacity building programme he has made tremendous contributions in implementing ICZM programmes in India. As an Expert Member in more than 45 National Committees he has made significant contributions in strengthening the implementation of ICZM for Indian coastal zone in all levels. He has initiated research in areas of every day application and has accorded priority to many modern disciplines such as Coastal Zone Management, Port and Harbour Management, Coastal Ocean Studies, Environmental Studies, Disaster Management etc. Prof. Ramachandran has published more than 285 research papers, edited 11 books; guided 28 Ph.D’s and completed 52 research projects. Dr. Ramachandran resuscitated the academic and research focus in the universities he served. He has more than 35 years of experience in higher education administration and research. He has established several research centres and academic departments in the universities he served. He has received more than 21 International fellowships, and 7 National and International awards including the Italian government’s highest civilian honour and medal, ‘Stella Della Solidarieta Italiana’, the Cavalliea’ award.

Professor Wahid bin Omar

Wahid Omar is a Professor of Structural Engineering at the Faculty of Civil Engineering, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM). He was appointed as the Vice-Chancellor of UTM in September 2013. Wahid Omar obtained his Ph.D. in Structural Engineering from the University of Birmingham, his Master’s degree in Bridge Engineering from the University of Surrey, and his Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering degree from the University of Strathclyde, United Kingdom. He is a registered Professional Engineer with the Board of Engineers Malaysia and a member of various professional bodies including the Institution of Engineers Malaysia. He is also an Honorary Member of the ASEAN Federation of Engineering Organization (AFEO).

His area of expertise includes structural assessment, reinforced and pre-stressed concrete and ductility of high strength concrete and project management. Prior to his present appointment, he was the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Development) (2011-2013) and the Director of the Office of Asset and Development (2008-1011). In his capacity as the then Director of the Office of Asset and Development, he was entrusted with a major task to manage the UTM campus development projects worth RM1 billion.

Professor Ramamurthy Nagarajan

Dr Nagarajan is currently Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering at IIT Madras, and Dean of International & Alumni Relations. He obtained his B.Tech. in Chemical Engineering in 1981 from IIT Madras, and a Ph.D. in the same field from Yale University (New Haven, CT, USA) in 1986. From 1986 – 1988, he served as Research Faculty in the Department of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering at West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV; during this tenure, he served as coordinator for research projects funded by the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Navy. From 1988 – 2003, Dr. Nagarajan was a Senior Technical Staff Member with IBM Storage Systems’ Development Laboratory in San Jose, CA, where he oversaw elimination of ozone-depleting chemicals from IBM’s manufacturing operations, and directed many ground-breaking efforts in the areas of chemical integration & micro-contamination control for hard disk drives.

Dr Nagarajan returned to Chennai in 2003, and served as G.S. Laddha Visiting Professor at A.C. College of Technology for one semester, prior to taking up his position as Professor at IIT Madras in February 2004. His teaching and research endeavours are focused on cleanroom processes, nano-technology and ultrasonic process-intensification. From 2009-2012, he served as Advisor, Office of Alumni Affairs at IIT Madras, and since October 2012, has been serving as the Institute’s first-ever Dean of International & Alumni Relations.

Professor Brian MacCraith

Professor MacCraith holds a Personal Chair in Physics at DCU. He was founding Director of both the National Centre for Sensor Research (NCSR) and the Biomedical Diagnostics Institute (BDI) at DCU. He is a member of the Royal Irish Academy and a Fellow of the Institute of Physics. He was appointed President of DCU in July 2010 and will hold this position for 10 years. As President, he has advanced DCU’s mission as a research-intensive, globally-engaged University of Enterprise that emphasises innovation in teaching, learning and research.

During his time as President, DCU has been ranked among the world’s leading young universities and is included both in the QS Top 50 under 50 and the THE 100 under 50.

Professor MacCraith has a strong commitment to student entrepreneurship (both social and commercial) and recently Chaired the National Review of STEM Education in Ireland for the Irish Government.

Dr Rhonda Lenton

Rhonda L. Lenton is the eighth President and Vice-Chancellor of York University. She joined York in 2002 as Dean of the Atkinson Faculty of Liberal & Professional Studies, and went on to serve as Vice-Provost Academic and then Vice-President Academic & Provost. A champion of community engagement and innovative partnerships, she has significantly expanded York’s institutional collaborations with government, business, community organizations, and other postsecondary education partners. A sociologist by training, her areas of teaching and research expertise include gender, family conflict, research methods and higher education. In 2015, Dr. Lenton was named one of the top 100 most powerful women in Canada by the Women’s Executive Network (WXN) and in 2016 received the Angela Hildyard Recognition Award for her innovative leadership in higher education.

Professor Sing Kong Lee

Professor  Sing Kong Lee is the Vice President (Alumni and Advancement) at Nanyang Technological University (NTU). He obtained a 1st Class Honours in Horticultural Science from the University of Canterbury, New Zealand in 1974, supported by the Colombo Plan Scholarship and awarded by the Public Service Commission of Singapore. He received his PhD in 1985 from the National University of Singapore (NUS) in Plant Biotechnology.

After an illustrious career in the civil service, Professor Lee joined National Institute of Education (NIE) in 1991 and was in various positions of leadership. He assumed the directorship of NIE in 2006. Under his stewardship, NIE took a systematic review of teacher education programmes in partnership with MOE and its schools, using the revised National Curriculum as key guides. The resulting 21st-century teacher education model was launched in 2009 to develop teachers with the key values, skills and knowledge necessary to function in the 21st-century classroom.

Building on his extensive knowledge and experience in education, Professor Lee was appointed as the Vice President (Education Strategies) from July 2014 till June 2016 to lead the development of NTU’s strategies and innovations in curricular, teaching methods and assessment. He initiated a framework that provides the support for professors across NTU to proactively adopt Technology Enabled Learning (TEL) initiatives, with the aim of having 50% of the NTU courses to be incorporated with certain TEL components in them by 2020. As the Director of the Centre for Research and Development in Learning (CRADLE@NTU), he leads CRADLE in its focus on research into the best learning practices specific to Singapore’s tertiary education sector. Appointed as the Vice President (Alumni and Advancement) in August 2015, he is pivotal in the re-development of Alumni and Donor relationship in NTU.

Professor Lee has received numerous awards for his contributions in education & research works. Among his notable accolades are the National Technology Award 2000, Urban Agriculture Award 2000, Excellence for Singapore Award 2001, Singapore Innovation Award 2001, Public Administration Medal (Silver) (2004), Fellow of the Singapore Institute of Biology (2005), NUS Distinguished Alumni in Science Award (2009), Public Administration Medal (Gold) (2011), Medal of Honour for the Cause of Education (Vietnam) 2011. Professor Lee is also the first Singaporean to receive the prestigious Medal for Distinguished Service 2013, the highest honour awarded by Teachers College, Columbia University, USA.

Professor Allan Kellehear

Allan Kellehear, PhD., FAcSS is a 50th Anniversary Professor (End-of-Life Care) in the Faculty of Health Studies and Academic Director of the DHEZ Health & Wellbeing Centre at the University of Bradford.

His research work embraces social and personal experiences of terminal illness, public health models for its care, and technology-enabled health care for those living with long-term conditions more broadly. He is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences, President of both the Association for the Study of Death and Society (ASDS) and Public Health Palliative Care International (PHPCI). He has published 23 books and over 100 articles and has held previous chairs in England, Australia, and Japan.

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