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Speakers

Speakers

Yves W Poppe

Yves Poppe currently advises NSCC Singapore on transcontinental supercomputing connectivity. Previously with A*STAR CRC, he contributed to the infiniCortex project. His current concentration helps facilitate the introduction of the Asia Pacific Research Platform (APRP) modeled on the ScienceDMZ and DTN concept initially developed by ESnet and extends it to a Global Research Platform (GRP) for Research Collaboration. The embryo of APRP involving Australia, Japan, South Korea, and Singapore was successfully demonstrated at SC18 and SC19. Yves retired from Tata Communications, where he pioneered a high-speed international Research & Education network. Twelve years later, in 2013, he contributed to the first transatlantic 100Gbps connectivity with ANA-100 and in 2014 at A*STAR facilitated the first transpacific 100Gbps R&E connection between SingAREN and internet2. Yves represents NSCC at Geant, Internet2, Canarie, GRP, ASREN, and APAN, where he is Chair of the BackBone Committee. Since its inception, he has also been an ardent promoter of IPv6 and is co-founder of the International IPv6 Forum.

Abdulrahman Addas

Abdulrahman Addas is the CEO of the Royal Commission For Makkah City And Holy Sites. With more than 16 years of experience, Eng. Addas specializes in institutional and digital transformation, design and strategy management, as well as financial consultancy, real estate development, and technology investment. He has worked with several large companies and government institutions in the Middle East, South Africa, and Europe. He holds two master's degrees in business administration and electrical engineering from Stanford University in the US and graduated from King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals in Dhahran with a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering. In addition, he has participated in numerous specialized training programs at Harvard Business School and INSEAD.

Adnan Qamar

Dr. Qamar currently works as a System Modeling Specialist at KAUST for Water Desalination and Reuse research center. He has vast experience in predictive computational and analytical modeling, numerical and statistical methods, data and qualitative analysis, large data visualization, visual analytic, high-performance computing on clusters and supercomputers. He has been actively involved in cutting-edge data science and modeling research with impactful outcomes.

Angel Gracia Esparza

Angel Tonatiuh Garcia Esparza received his B.S. in Mechatronics Engineering from Tecnologico de Monterrey in Mexico. He was part of the founding class at KAUST, where he received his MS in Environmental Science and Engineering and Ph.D. in Chemical Science under Prof. Kazuhiro Takanabe. Garcia-Esparza received the KAUST Academic Excellent Award for his thesis work on electrocatalysis and photocatalysis. He did his first postdoctoral fellowship at the Theoretical Chemistry Laboratory in École Normale Supérieure de Lyon with Prof. Tangui Le Bahers and Prof. Philippe Sautet. His second postdoctoral position was at Stanford University in the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource (SSRL) at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory under Lead Scientist Dr. Dimosthenis Sokaras and Prof. Xiaolin Zheng. Garcia-Esparza was promoted to Research Associate at SSRL in 2020. Garcia-Esparza uses advanced spectroscopy characterizations with synchrotron radiation to elucidate the active state of catalysts under working conditions.

Antonio Arena

Antonio Arena holds a MS in Computer Science from Università degli Studi di Torino, Italy. He has been developing, architecting, integrating systems for 25+ years. He's a software developer at heart.Antonio is Linux & Advanced Platforms Lead at KAUST where he's trying to automate himself out of the job. He is a GitOps evangelist helping others automate their workloads to make the world a happier place.

Basel Al-Naffouri

Basel Al-Naffouri, who hails from Saudi Arabia, has graduated from MIT with B.S. and M.S degrees in EECS. He currently is a Senior Staff Software Engineer at Google. Basel is an instructor at BATS Improv with over 15 years of experience studying, performing and teaching improvised acting. He currently performs with BATS Improv and Secret Improv Society. He has lead workouts with KAUST, BATS Improv School, Google, Aswat, Dubai improv festival, and Laban in Beirut, Lebanon.

Basem Shihada

Basem Shihada is an associate and founding professor in the Computer, Electrical and Mathematical Sciences & Engineering (CEMSE) Division at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST). He obtained his Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Waterloo. In 2009, he was appointed as visiting faculty in the Department of Computer Science, Stanford University. In 2012, he was elevated to the rank of Senior Member of IEEE. His current research covers a range of energy and resource allocation topics in wired and wireless networks, software-defined networking, cloud/fog computing, Internet of things, data networks, and underwater networks.

Boon Ooi

Boon S. Ooi is a Professor of Electrical & Computer Engineering at KAUST. His research includes the study of high-speed optoelectronics materials and devices, optical wireless communications and sensors. He is serving on the editorial board of the Optics Express and IEEE Photonics Journal. He is an elected Fellow of the United States National Academy of Inventors, and a Fellow of OSA, SPIE, and InstP.

Bülent Erbilgin

Dr. Bülent Erbilgin has over three decades of industry executive leadership and teaching experience in technology. As an executive of seven startups and several public companies he successfully released products ranging from Cyber-security, Network Security, Web applications, SaaS, Complex high-availability software, Highly-distributed systems, Analytics, Big data, IOT, Machine Learning to Network Intelligence products. His teaching experience in the last few years includes Leadership, Teaming, Ethics, Innovation, Entrepreneurship, Design Thinking, , Lean Design & Development as well as Engineering Management at UC Berkeley, Northeastern University and KAUST. In addition Dr. Erbilgin has mentored founders and students in various entrepreneurship classes to identify startup opportunities, develop business plans, and VC presentations. He spent significant time with number of teams guiding them through all stages of forming a startup. Served on panels together with VC’s to evaluate and score various startup teams as part of the classes. Most recently Dr. Erbilgin led the Security Software Development effort at Workday. Prior to that Dr. Erbilgin was a VP Engineering at Telesense, VP Engineering at Cryptography Research/Rambus, VP Engineering at SS8, and several other companies. Dr. Erbilgin holds a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering (Computer Architecture) and M.S. in Computer Science from Stanford University.

Carl Petersen

Carl Petersen is the Director of the EPFL Brain Mind Institute since 2019, intending to promote multidisciplinary quantitative research into neural structure, function, dysfunction, computation, and therapy through technological advances.He studied physics as a bachelor student at Oxford (1989-1992). During his Ph.D. studies under the supervision of Prof. Sir Michael Berridge in Cambridge (1992-1996), he investigated cellular and molecular mechanisms of calcium signaling. In his first postdoctoral period (1996-1998), he joined the laboratory of Prof. Roger Nicoll at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) to investigate synaptic transmission and plasticity in the hippocampus. During a second postdoctoral period in the laboratory of Prof. Bert Sakmann at the Max Planck Institute for Medical Research in Heidelberg (1999-2003), he began working on the primary somatosensory barrel cortex, investigating cortical circuits and sensory processing. Carl Petersen joined the Brain Mind Institute of the Faculty of Life Sciences at the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL) in 2003, setting up the Laboratory of Sensory Processing to investigate the functional operation of neuronal circuits in awake mice during quantified behavior.

Carl Green

Carl Green is a Research Systems Specialist in King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, where he and his team look after the centrally managed scientific workstation endpoints, which are one component of the university’s research computing infrastructure. Carl is a Linux specialist, who has 15+ years of experience in IT and is a senior Linux system administrator, and a practitioner and advocate of DevOps and automation.When not thinking about ways to improve the end-user experience, Carl is lifelong learning and as such is always updating his skills and learning new ones. He also enjoys weight lifting, cycling, and many other outdoor pursuits.

Chao Shen

Dr. Shen is a KAUST alumni (MS'13, PhD'17) and the co-founder of SaNoor Technologies. He published over 70 research articles related to the device and system technology for free-space and underwater optical communications. His underwater IoT network technology was awarded the 2019 Nokia Open Innovation Challenge (NOIC) and presented at Nokia HQ at Finland. His work has received global highlights, such as in SPIE, Semiconductor Today, EE Times Europe, Rochester Business Journal, Communications of ACM etc.

Chih Lin I

Dr. Chih-Lin I is the China Mobile Chief Scientist of Wireless Technologies, in charge of advanced wireless communication R&D effort of China Mobile Research Institute (CMRI). She established the Green Communications Research Center of China Mobile, spearheading major initiatives including 5G Key Technologies R&D; high energy efficiency system architecture, technologies, and devices; green energy; C-RAN and soft base station. Dr. I received her Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University, has almost 30 years experience in wireless communication area. She has worked in various world-class companies and research institutes, including wireless communication fundamental research department of AT&T Bell Labs; Headquarter of AT&T, as Director of Wireless Communications Infrastructure and Access Technology; ITRI of Taiwan, as Director of Wireless Communication Technology; Hong Kong ASTRI, as VP and the Founding GD of Communications Technology Domain.

Christopher Robinson

Robinson is a Senior Scientist at the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology and lecturer at ETH Zürich, Switzerland. His study is stream ecology, with a focus on alpine streams and those fed by glaciers. His primary interest is in aquatic insects' ecology in streams but has conducted microbes' studies on entire river ecosystems. His research has been conducted throughout the globe in collaboration with numerous researchers in the field. He has been active in the artist-in-labs program since 2005, with at least seven artists being resident in his group as of today. He strongly appreciates the perception and understanding that artists bring to his research in aquatic ecology.

David Zweig

David Zweig is Professor Emeritus, Division of Social Science, HKUST, and Director, Transnational China Consulting Limited. He is an Adjunct Professor, School of Social Sciences and Humanities, National University of Defence Technology, Changsha, Hunan, and Vice-President of the Center on China's Globalization (Beijing). Zweig was a Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard University and has lived in Hong Kong since 1996 and was a full-time faculty member at HKUST for 25 years. He is the author or editor of ten books, and he has two online classes registered with COURSERA, one on domestic Chinese politics and one on China and the World, where (as of August 2020), he had taught over 21,000 students.

David Woessner
Dina Katabi

Dina Katabi is the Andrew & Erna Viterbi Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT and a co-founder of Emerald Innovations Inc. She is a MacArthur Fellow, a Member of the National Academy of Engineering, and the Director of the center for wireless networks and mobile computing at MIT. Dr. Katabi is the inventor of the "Emerald" radio wave sensor to conduct in-home clinical trials using contactless monitoring of physiological signals. Her technical interests span digital health, mobile systems, wireless sensing, and machine learning. She develops new technologies, models, and systems that provide non-invasive health monitoring, enable smart homes, improve WiFi and cellular performance, and deliver new applications that are not feasible given today's technologies. Dr. Katabi received her Ph.D. and MS degrees from MIT in 2003 and 1999, and her Bachelor of Science from Damascus University in 1995. She was recognized with multiple prestigious awards, including the ACM Prize in Computing, the ACM Grace Murray Hopper Award, two SIGCOMM Test of Time Awards, a Sloan Fellowship, the IEEE William R. Bennett Prize, and multiple best paper awards. Several start-ups have been spun out of Katabi's lab, such as PiCharging and Emerald Innovations.

Domitilla Del Vecchio

Domitilla Del Vecchio received the Ph. D. degree in Control and Dynamical Systems from the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, and the Laurea degree in Electrical Engineering (Automation) from the University of Rome at Tor Vergata in 2005 and 1999, respectively. From 2006 to 2010, she was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and in the Center for Computational Medicine and Bioinformatics at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. In 2010, she joined the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where she is currently a Professor and member of the Synthetic Biology Center. She is a recipient of the 2020 DoD Award for Transformative Research During COVID pandemic, of the 2016 Bose Research Award (MIT), the Donald P. Eckman Award from the American Automatic Control Council (2010), the NSF Career Award (2007), the American Control Conference Best Student Paper Award (2004), and the Bank of Italy Fellowship (2000).

Donald E. Ingber

Donald E. Ingber, M.D., Ph.D. is the Founding Director of the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University, Judah Folkman Professor of Vascular Biology at Harvard Medical School and the Vascular Biology Program at Boston Children's Hospital, and Professor of Bioengineering at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. He received his B.A., M.A., M.Phil., M.D., and Ph.D. from Yale University. Ingber is a pioneer in the field of biologically inspired engineering. At the Wyss Institute, he currently leads a multifaceted effort to develop breakthrough bioinspired technologies to advance healthcare and improve sustainability. His work has led to major advances in mechanobiology, tumor angiogenesis, tissue engineering, systems biology, nanobiotechnology, and translational medicine. Through his work, Ingber has also helped break down boundaries between science, art, and design. Ingber has authored more than 500 publications and over 135 issued or pending patents, founded five companies, and has been a guest speaker at more than 550 events internationally. He is a member of the National Academy of Medicine, National Academy of Inventors, American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Ingber' Human Organ-on-a-Chip technology was named Design of the Year in 2015, honored as one of the Top 10 Emerging Technologies of 2016 by the World Economic Forum, and acquired by the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City for its permanent collection.

Duncan Watts

Duncan James Watts is a sociologist and a professor at the University of Pennsylvania. He was formerly a principal researcher at Microsoft Research, New York City. He is known for his work on small-world networks, which in the context of a social network, this results in the small world phenomenon of strangers being linked by a short chain of acquaintances.

Eva Kosel

Eva joined KAUST/SCS in October 2015. She is a psychologist and has additional education in clinical & health psychology. Before joining KAUST Eva worked with adolescents in a rehabilitation setting, providing individual sessions as well as group sessions. At KAUST, Eva took on different roles, as a psychologist, student support specialist as well as a professional development coach.Over the past 4,5 years, she has helped students and spouses through individual and married couple counseling, providing individual skills trainings as well as presenting workshops and seminars on diverse topics.This past March she left KAUST to go back to Austria and restarted as a consultant at SCS in July.Eva received her BSc and MSc Degrees in Psychology from the University of Salzburg / Austria in 2012, got her license as a Clinical & Health psychologist in 2014, and received the European Certificate of Psychology 2018.In her free time, she likes kiting, riding (horses, bikes & motorbikes), yoga, reading as well as spending time with friends.

Francesca Benzoni

Dr. Francesca Benzoni is an Associate Professor of Marine Science in the KAUST Red Sea Research Center (RSRC). Prof. Benzoni is a marine biologist and her research has focused on the evolution, diversity, and ecology of corals and coral-dominated assemblages in the Indo-Pacific region, with a strong focus on the seas around Arabia.Prof. Benzoni has contributed to major advances in the field of hard corals integrated systematics and biogeography through a multidisciplinary approach. Her work has led to the discovery and description of new coral taxa and to the revision of the whole lineage. Concurrently, she has studied the short and mid-term effects of local and global environmental changes on the composition and structure of coral-dominated benthic communities.Prof. Benzoni has organized several international oceanographic expeditions and workshops aiming at the exploration and study of coral reef diversity throughout the Indo-Pacific. Moreover, she has led training activities in various countries to promote and sustain the knowledge transfer to local communities and stakeholders. As a consultant, she has led or been involved in different coral reef monitoring and habitat mapping studies in the Arabian region.At KAUST, her fundamental research addresses the diversity, characterization and evolution of benthic marine organisms and habitats. Her applied research questions concern the patterns of spatial and temporal changes in reef benthos diversity and distribution in a time of environmental change in the Red Sea.

Gabriel Leung

Gabriel Leung is the fortieth Dean of Medicine (2013-), inaugural Helen and Francis Zimmern Professor in Population Health, and holds the Chair of Public Health Medicine at the University of Hong Kong (HKU). He was the last Head of Community Medicine (2012-3) at the University as well as Hong Kong's first Under Secretary for Food and Health (2008-11) and fifth Director of the Chief Executive's Office (2011-2) in government. Leung is one of Asia’s leading epidemiologists and global health exponents, having authored more than 500 scholarly papers with an h-index of 67 (Scopus). His research defined the epidemiology of three novel viral epidemics, namely SARS in 2003, influenza A(H7N9) in 2013, and most recently COVID-19. He also led Hong Kong government's efforts against pandemic A(H1N1) in 2009. Most recently for COVID-19, he has been an official adviser to the Hong Kong SAR and Chinese Central People's Governments, as well as to numerous overseas jurisdictions and international agencies including the World Health Organisation.

H.E. Eng. Abdullah Al-Swaha

H.E. Eng. Abdullah Al-Swaha, Minister of Communications & Information Technology. H.E. has more than 15 years of experience and success in IT, entrepreneurship, executive and digital consulting, and held several executive positions in the public and private sectors. In the public sector, he was the Director-General of Digital Transformation Office in charge of expediting the realization of Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030 through a digital infrastructure that speeds up the achievement of Vision 2030's objectives. In the private sector, he served as the Chief Executive Officer of Cisco Saudi Arabia, which ranks fifth in Cisco's global operations.

Hattan Ahmed

Hattan currently leads the Entrepreneurship Center at KAUST, delivering the university’s entrepreneurship vision. He believes in young people as change agents of the future and that universities play a key role in creating national economic impact. In his role as an advocate for innovation, Hattan works across the entire entrepreneurship ecosystem in the Kingdom, delivering entrepreneurship training, creating corporate innovation programs, and accelerating startups that will contribute to the national transformation agenda. Hattan has a diverse background in industry, startups and academia. As a startup co-founder, he brings a successful entrepreneurial background to his role, having navigated early stage growth to acquisition. He has received multiple entrepreneurial awards on both a national and international scale. He also brings a rich background in Information Technology to his role, with experience in system design development and implementation within industries ranging from oil and gas, travel and retail.

Hisham Barazi

Hisham Barazi has over 15 years of experience in IT, Information Security, training, and specializes in translating tech into business and service enhancements. While not doing IT Governance, he can be found gaming or watching Star Trek.

Hussein Hoteit

Hussein Hoteit is an Associate Professor and the Program Chair of Energy Resources and Petroleum Engineering at KAUST. His research areas are related to Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) using chemicals and gas, modeling naturally fractured reservoirs, geological CO2 storage, among others. Before KAUST, Prof. Hoteit worked for about 15 years for the Oil&Gas industry in Houston, USA.

Ibrahim Saad AlMojel

Ibrahim Almojel is the CEO of the Saudi Industrial Development Fund. He sits on multiple boards, including Samba Financial Group, Raidah Investment Company (overseeing the public pension fund), Awqaf Investment Company, and the Arab Mining Company. Previously he worked at Saudi Aramco in multiple functions, including corporate strategy and Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures. Most recently, he was the CEO of Wisayah, the investment management arm of Saudi Aramco. He completed his BS in Electrical Engineering from Vanderbilt University, MS in Electrical Engineering, and Ph.D. in Management Science and Engineering from Stanford University.

Irene Hediger

Irène Hediger is head of the artists-in-labs program (AIL), which is part of the Department of Cultural Analysis at Zurich University of the Arts. Through her long-term engagement as head of the AIL program, she promotes inter-and transdisciplinary exchange and praxis at the interface of art, technology, and science. In 2009, she initiated the International artists-in-labs Residency Exchange program and, in 2017, started the KAUST-Swiss Residency Exchange in partnership with the Enrichment Office. She has curated numerous exhibitions and accompanying programs on contemporary art, technology, and science such as: „Think Art – Act Science“ Barcelona, San Francisco, and other destinations, “Quantum of Disorder,” “(in)visible transitions,” “Displacements – Art, Science and the DNA of the Ibex” and “Propositions for A Poetic Ecosystem” in Jeddah. She writes essays and has published three books on art and science. Hediger is a jury member of the Swiss National Science Foundation Scientific Image Competition. She holds a degree in Business Administration, Group Dynamics and Organizational development (DAGG), and a MAS in Cultural Management from the University of Basel.

James Blunt

Blunt's first album has sold over 11 million copies worldwide, topping the UK Albums Chart and peaking at number two in the US. "You're Beautiful" was number one in the UK, the US, and a dozen other countries. Back to Bedlam was the best-selling album of the 2000s in the UK and is one of the best-selling albums in UK chart history. Blunt has since sold over 20 million records worldwide. He has received several awards, including two Brit Awards, two MTV Video Music Awards, and two Ivor Novello Awards, as well as receiving five Grammy Award nominations and an Honorary Doctorate for Music in 2016 by the University of Bristol.

Jestin George

Jestin George is an interdisciplinary biotechnology researcher and educator at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) and is a freelance artist. Jestin’s research has spanned plants, mammalian cells, and microalgal biotech systems across universities in South Africa, the UK, and Australia. Her recently submitted Ph.D. thesis explores genetic engineering approaches for realizing the microalga, Phaeodactylum tricornutum, for synthetic biology and biotech applications. In 2018, Jestin was a member of the executive committee of Synthetic Biology Australasia and worked towards advancing communication within the synthetic biology community. In 2019, Jestin pioneered the first Biodesign Challenge course at UTS, introducing undergraduate design students to the world of biotechnology. She has delivered guest lectures at universities, including The Cooper Union School of Art in New York. Her collaborative work with artists and designers continues to explore, imagine, and critique biotechnological futures. Jestin is an active member of the synthetic biology community in Australia, contributing to delivering the first Australian-based synthetic biology student competition in 2020.

Jie Hu

Jie Hu is the project manager and electronic engineer at SaNoor Technologies. She received the Master of Science degree in Instrumentation from The China University of Geoscience. With over 6 years working experience in electronic system development and project management, she is responsible for communication system design and manufacturing. Prior joining SaNoor, Jie worked at China General Nuclear Power Group as an electronic engineer, and at Kardinal Science and Technology (Beijing) as a project manager. She received engineering trainings in digital circuit design, PCB layout, embedded system development, CPLD, programming, and communication protocols.

Julian Charrière

Julian Charrière & egrave;re is a French-Swiss artist born in 1987 in Morges, Switzerland, and based in Berlin, Germany .Charri & egrave's research-based work varies between photography, performance, intervention, and sculpture. His artistic practice includes working in remote places with acute geophysical identities such as volcanos, ice-fields, and radioactive sites, where he investigates the relationship between human civilization and the natural landscape. Charri & egrave studied with artist Olafur Eliasson at his Institute for Spatial Experiments at the Berlin University of the Arts. He has exhibited his work at museums and institutions worldwide, including the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lausanne in Switzerland; Centre Culturel Suisse in Paris; Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin; Kunsthalle Wien in Vienna; Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin; the Museum of Contemporary Art in Tokyo; The Kochi-Muziris Biennale in India; 12th Biennale de Lyon in France and at the 57th Venice Biennale in Venice.Julian Charri & egrave received several awards and residencies. Amongst other the Kaiserring Stipendium f& uumlr junge Kunst, 2016, and the Kiefer-Hablitzel Award in 2013 and 2015.In 2018, Charrière is entering a collaboration with La Prairie. The Swiss luxury skincare brand is acting as a patron towards his film «Towards No Earthly Pole» shot during expeditions to the frozen landscapes of the Arctic regions and Switzerland. The film will be shown at Charrière’s upcoming exhibition, opening in October 2018 at MASI Museo d’Arte Della Svizzera Italiana in Lugano, Switzerland. With La Prairie Charrière will present exclusive material from his expeditions, including behind the scenes footage. The images will highlight an otherwise hidden majestic landscape: a poetic interpretation of the “power of light.” The collaboration will be presented at Art Basel Hong Kong in March 2018 where Julian Charri & egrave will assemble a special installation within the La Prairie collectors' lounge.

Jumana Baghabra
Khaled Salama

WEP 2021 Chair. Khaled Salama is professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and currently the Associate Dean at KAUST's Computer, Electrical and Mathematical Science and Engineering Division (CEMSE). Professor Salama's research interests cover a variety of interdisciplinary aspects of electronic circuit design and semiconductors' fabrication. He is engaged in developing devices, circuits, systems, and algorithms to enable inexpensive analytical platforms for a variety of industrial, environmental, and biomedical monitoring applications. Recently he has been working on neuromorphic circuits for brain emulation.

Khaled Elamrawi

Dr. Khaled Elamrawi is the CEO & President of Brightskies. He co-founded the company in 2012, with a focus on providing professional software services globally in the areas of Automotive Software Development, High-Performance Computing, Cloud Computing, and Enterprise Software. Before his current role at Brightskies, Dr. Elamrawi was Intel's Regional Director for Enterprise Solutions and services in the Middle East. Before taking on that role, Dr. Elamrawi was Intel's General Manager for Egypt, Levant, North Africa, and the Director of Intel's Platform Definition Center based in Cairo. Dr. Elamrawi was born in Alexandria, Egypt, in 1968. He received his bachelor's and Masters's degrees in 1991 and 1994 from Alexandria University, Egypt, and his Ph.D. from Old Dominion University in Virginia, all in Electrical and Computer Engineering. He received his Executive MBA from the University of Oregon in 2004.

Kyle Lauersen

Dr. Kyle J. Lauersen is an Assistant Professor at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in Thuwal, Saudi Arabia. His group focuses on Sustainable & Synthetic Biotechnology, with their main research focused on engineering algae to be green cell factories. Kyle did his doctorate at Bielefeld University in Germany, and his Master's as well as Undergrad at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario.

Letizia Muro

Letizia joined KAUST in 2018. She worked in previous roles before joining the Student Counseling Services Team in April 2020.Her role is enhancing student academic success and personal well-being. As an Advocate, Letizia supports student's needs and development with multiple services and tools. One of these is implementing diverse educational and outreach programs, targeted to support students in their professional and personal growth. She also serves as a member of the Behavioral Intervention Team (BIT).Before joining KAUST, Letizia worked as an HR Consultant in a Management Company, focusing on the Learning and Development field. She used to implement educational training based on soft skills development, indoor and outdoor tutoring activities to empower and increase performance.Letizia received her BA and MA Degrees in Psychology of Communication and Development from the Universita’ Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in 2015. She pursued her studies to reach the professional qualification as a Licensed Psychologist, in 2017.In her free time, she likes reading, writing, traveling, and spending time with friends.

Luis Barreiro

Luis Barreiro is the Network Engineering Lead at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, where he oversees and defines with his team the evolution of the University network infrastructure and its network services. Luis has 14+ years of networking industry exposure, from connecting cables to develop services on enterprise, campus, academic, and service provider networks. When not thinking about how to network things together, Luis enjoys a good board game with friends and planning the next travel adventure with the wife and kids.

Mardson Mcquay

Mardson McQuay is Associate General Counsel and Senior IP Attorney at KAUST. He is a former tenured professor of Mechanical Engineering at Brigham Young University and Senior VP and Chief IP Counsel at CGG, France. He also spent four years as an Associate in a law firm and five years as a Senior IP attorney at GE. He has been an invited lecturer on the topic of IP all over the world.

Margo Deckard

Margo Deckard is a Co-founder and the Chief Operating Officer of Lynk Global, Inc. Her work analyzing BGAN usage data from the 2014 Ebola Pandemic Crisis Response drove the Lynk team to design a global connectivity solution that uses the unmodified phone in everyone’s pocket. Previously, Margo served as VP of Programs for NexGen Space LLC, where she was Project Manager for the Ultra-Low-Cost Access to Space Study for the United States Air Force. This study focused on how the United States Government could leverage free enterprise to achieve low cost access to space to meet our National Security needs in the next 5 years. She was the PI for NASA-funded research on the environmental impacts of space solar power (SSP), and co-authored a study for the National Security Space Office on SSP. Margo wrote a web data connector for NetHope to connect data from the United Nations Humanitarian Crisis Response Syrian Refugee Crisis REST APIs and populate Tableau. This product will guide over 43 NGOs in their efforts to meet the needs of the Syrian Refugees. She has a BS in Genetic Engineering from Purdue University and an MS in Systems Engineering from Wright State University.

Marie-Laure Boulot

Marie-Laure Boulot is the Enrichment Office director at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST). She sets strategies, oversees program development and positions KAUST's enrichment programs in Saudi Arabia and in the international landscape. She graduated from Paris Dauphine University where she studied finances and marketing. Marie-Laure joined KAUST as a founding staff member in 2009. Starting with the inaugural 2010 Winter Enrichment Program, Marie-Laure has successfully spearheaded the development and expansion of the University's enrichment programs that expand the minds of not only students but also faculty, staff and community members and in-Kingdom guests.

Mark Liu

Mark Liu is a fashion and textile designer focused on advancing fashion design by applying scientific principles to traditional techniques. His Ph.D. research developed the new field of "Non-Euclidean Fashion Patternmaking". Mark is an acknowledged pioneer in Zero-Waste Fashion design in London's sustainable fashion movement, which resulted from his master's research in Textiles Futures at Central Saint Martins College. Mark ran a Zero-Waste Fashion label for several years and has exhibited in Estethica at London Fashion Week for many seasons. The Ethical Fashion Forum awarded his fashion label the Innovation Award. His work bridging the gap between fashion and science has been showcased at the London Science Museum. Mark's commissions have taken him worldwide, including representing the British Council in a sustainable fashion show in New Delhi and creating collections for the Gyeonggi Museum of Modern Art in Korea. His work has been exhibited in museums in the UK, US, China, India, Korea, Amsterdam, and Denmark and has been published in numerous newspapers, magazines, books, publications, and blogs.

Mayadah Alhashem

Mayadah Alhashem is an engineer in the Saudi Aramco NA Reservoir Management Department. She obtained her B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering from US Santa Barbara and her M.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering from KAUST. Mayadah believes in multidisciplinary approaches to solve problems. Out of interest, she took several courses on programming and machine learning, including the 6-month ML nanodegree from Udacity. Mayadah also attributes much of her success and publications since she joined Aramco to her branding techniques. She has several patents and two published technical papers.

Melissa L. Manuel

Melissa is a 500 hour registered yoga instructor who specializes in developing and delivering yoga teacher training programs for new and experienced instructors. Along with teaching yoga, Melissa is also a gymnastics, fitness, and acrobatics instructor who has trained, performed, and taught worldwide with companies such as Ecole Nationale du Cirque in Montreal and Beijing International Arts School. With over 10 years in the health and fitness industry, Melissa aims to create a supportive and engaging environment that allows students to learn about movement for longevity and life-long health

Mohamad Awad Charafeddine

Mohamad graduated from the AUB in Lebanon and then went to Stanford for a MS and PhD. He then joined a Stanford spin-out startup in the Silicon Valley to diagnose and optimize entire telco broadband networks with 120M households under management. He did his MBA at the Berkeley Haas School of Business, and then headed the Applied AI R&D lab at Samsung, pushing the envelope in applied Reinforcement Learning and Deep Learning at scale. After that, he joined Facebook in Menlo Park to work in the Core ML team for Business Integrity, classifying content for all ads and marketplace content for Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger. He joined Careem in the summer of 2019 to support its mission of making everyday life simple for the people of the MENAP region. After leading Mobility Engineering for mobility of people, mobility of things, and infrastructure & AI, he now leads Careem’s Mobility Platform as the VP of Product. He is interested in developing the entrepreneurship and VC ecosystem in the region having served as an advisory and on the investment committee of Arzan VC since 2015. You can follow him on Medium and Twitter @mohamadtweets.

Mohamed Abdel-Aal

Mohamed Abdel-Aal is a founding member of King Abdullah University of Science & Technology (KAUST), where he joined the institution during its construction phase in 2008. He is responsible for managing the Digital Experience and Innovation & the "KAUST Smart" program with a primary focus on leveraging technologies, processes, and people to create a "smart" digital experience across the university and city of KAUST. Mohamed had previously managed the University's I.T. infrastructure and research computing, including systems, servers, storage, data center facilities, HPC clusters, and an extensive network that spans the sprawling community and housing facilities. Mohamed oversees strategic digital transformation plans and initiatives, including partnerships and collaborations with leading industry players to utilize KAUST's unique setting as a launchpad and a living lab for pilots and creative concepts. Mohamed holds an MBA and an M.S. degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York, and a B.S. degree from King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM).

Mohamed Slim Alouini

Mohamed-Slim Alouini received the Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), Pasadena, CA, USA, in 1998. He served as a faculty member in the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, USA, then in the Texas A & M University at Qatar, Education City, Doha, Qatar before joining King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Thuwal, Makkah Province, Saudi Arabia as a Professor of Electrical Engineering in 2009. His general research interests include the modeling, design, and performance analysis of wireless communication systems. He is currently actively working on addressing the uneven global distribution, access to, and use of information and communication technologies by studying and developing new generations of integrated terretrial, aerial, and space networks as a solution to provide global connectivity.

Mohammed Naseemuddin

Mohammed Naseemuddin is the Data Management and Storage Lead at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, where he manages and defines with his team KAUST IT Data Storage and Data Backup infrastructure and services. Naseem has 20+ years of HPC and Data Storage industry exposure, from installing HPC Clusters to develop a strategy for research data management, install and manage multiple storage systems and services..When not thinking about how to protect KAUST research data, Naseem enjoys tea and fish gatherings with friends, visiting his mom and siblings, and making sure his kids at their universities are taken care of in their apartment issues and fixtures.

Morio Toyoshima

Morio Toyoshima is the Director of Japan’s Space Communications Laboratory, the Wireless Networks Research Center in NICT. He received a Ph.D. degree from the University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan, in 2003 in electronics engineering. He joined the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT) (former CRL, Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications), Japan, in 1994 and soon after was engaged in research for the Engineering Test Satellite VI (ETS-VI) optical communication experiment and later involved in the Ground-to-Orbit Laser-com Demonstration (GOLD) experiment with NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. He joined the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) (former NASDA), for the development of the Optical Inter-orbit Communications Engineering Test Satellite (OICETS) from 1999 to 2003. In December 2003, he became a Senior Researcher of the Optical Space Communications Group, NICT. Starting in October 2004, he spent one year as a guest scientist at Vienna University of Technology, Austria, in the field of optical space communications. In 2006 he conducted the ground-to-OICETS laser communication experiments in NICT. He was involved in the development of a Small Optical TrAnsponder (SOTA) for a 50 kg-class micro-satellite and conducted laser communications and basic quantum communications experiments from 2014 to 2016. His research interests are satellite communications, space laser communications, laser beam propagation through atmospheric turbulence, and quantum cryptography.

Muhannad Shono

Though a storyteller and an illustrator at heart, Muhannad Shono never shied away from change, constantly seeking new approaches to technique, mediums and technology. From delicate ink on paper to large-scale experiential and technological installations, his work deals with the singular, the minute, and the individual unit of thought and how it then coagulates into systems of belief, tribalistic action, and human formation factions. A product of several generations of forced migration, his family settled in Riyadh, where he was born, grew up, migrated away from, and is now based there again.

Naeemullah Khan

Dr. Naeemullah Khan received his masters and Ph.D. degrees from Kaust in 2014 and 2018 respectively, in Electrical Engineering. Since 2018 he has been part of the Torr vision group (TVG) at the department of engineering, the University of Oxford. The primary focus of his research is the theoretical evaluation of deep networks. He has also been involved in several courses and summer schools on machine learning at artificial intelligence at the University of Oxford.

Naeemullah Khan

Dr. Naeemullah Khan received his masters and Ph.D. degrees from Kaust in 2014 and 2018 respectively, in Electrical Engineering. Since 2018 he has been part of the Torr vision group (TVG) at the department of engineering, the University of Oxford. The primary focus of his research is the theoretical evaluation of deep networks. He has also been involved in several courses and summer schools on machine learning at artificial intelligence at the University of Oxford.

Nahum McLean

Nahum McLean is a design Ph.D. student at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS), a freelance designer and maker. Nahum's research is practice-based and focuses on using readily available ingredients and processes. Nahum seeks to answer the question: how can sustainable materials be developed in preparation for a range of possible futures? Nahum has worked for some of the leading Australian fashion houses as a drape based designer and patternmaker. His knowledge of materiality, fabric handle, and drape has equipped him to evaluate sustainable materials and imagine potential uses for these materials.

Nicola Spaldin

Nicola Spaldin is the Professor of Materials Theory at ETH Zurich. A native of Sunderland, she studied Natural Sciences at Churchill College, Cambridge, and obtained her Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of California at Berkeley. After postdoctoral research in Applied Physics at Yale University, she joined the Materials Department at the University of California, Santa Barbara as Assistant, Associate then Full Professor before returning to Europe in 2010. Spaldin developed the class of materials known as multiferroics, which combine simultaneous ferromagnetism and ferroelectricity, for which she has received the American Physical Society's McGroddy Prize for Materials, the Körber European Science Prize, and the L'Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Award, among many other honors. Spaldin is a passionate science educator, author of a popular textbook on Magnetic Materials, director of her department's study program, and holder of the ETH Golden Owl Award for excellence in teaching. When not trying to make a room-temperature superconductor, she can be found playing her clarinet, or skiing or climbing in the Alps.

Osama Al-Zoubi

Osama Al-Zoubi is the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of Cisco Middle East and Africa. A key area of focus under Osama’s leadership is the development and execution of technical strategies for digital transformation for the Middle East and Africa region. Osama drives technology strategy and innovation through working closely with Government Agencies, Enterprise Customers, the Private Sector, and Partners across the region. His focus is on developing Business and Technology Architectures to deliver on government priorities, drive innovation, and partners to accelerate country digitization. He is experienced and regarded as a technical leader who leads the Systems Engineering, Innovation, and Architectures organization for Cisco in the Middle East and Africa. In his role, he partners with all customers across the region to drive innovation and digital transformation. Osama has a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Engineering from the University of Illinois, Chicago (UIC), and a Masters in Computer Science from the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), in Illinois, Chicago.

Paula Moraga

Paula Moraga (https://www.paulamoraga.com/) is an Assistant Professor of Statistics at the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) and the Principal Investigator of the Geospatial Statistics and Health Surveillance Research Group. Paula's research focuses on the development of innovative statistical methods and computational tools for geospatial data analysis and health surveillance, and the impact of her work has directly informed strategic policy in reducing disease burden in several countries. She has developed modeling architectures to understand the spatial and Spatio-temporal patterns and identify targets for intervention of diseases such as malaria in Africa, leptospirosis in Brazil, and cancer in Australia, and has worked on the development of a number of R packages for Bayesian risk modeling, detection of disease clusters, and risk assessment of the travel-related spread of disease. Paula has published extensively in leading journals and is the author of the book 'Geospatial Health Data: Modeling and Visualization with R-INLA and Shiny' (2019, Chapman & Hall/CRC). Paula received her Ph.D. degree in Mathematics from the University of Valencia, and her Master's degree in Biostatistics from Harvard University.

Peiying Hong

WEP 2021 Co-Chair. Peiying Hong is an Associate Professor in Environmental Science and Engineering Program in the BESE division at KAUST. Her research group is based in the Water Desalination and Reuse Center. Hong’s research group aims to tackle the water scarcity issues. Her research interests include addressing the safety aspect of treated wastewater. Specifically, her group utilizes various molecular and cultivation techniques to characterize and evaluate biotic contaminants (e.g. antibiotic resistance genes, mobile genetic elements, pathogens) that are present in the wastewaters. Her research interests also include development of anaerobic biotechnologies as a sustainable way to treat wastewater for reuse purposes. Visit her KAUST page to learn more about her.

Qi Bi

Dr. Qi Bi is Chief Expert of China Telecom and CTO of China Telecom Research Institute. His areas of interest focus on 5G and 6G innovations regarding technologies, standards, and trials in China Telecom. Previously, Dr. Bi worked at Bell Labs for 20+ years and was awarded the prestigious Bell Labs Fellow in 2002. Other awards included Bell Labs President's Gold Awards in 2000 & 2002, the Bell Labs Innovation Team Award in 2003, and Asian American Engineer of the Year in 2005. He is an IEEE Fellow and served as a member of the IEEE evaluation committee for IEEE's communication society. Dr. Bi received his M.S. from Shanghai Jiao Tong University and Ph.D. from Pennsylvania State University. He holds 47 U.S. patents, 63 European patents, and 65 Chinese patents. While in China Telecom, one of his 4G innovation projects resulted in successful deployment in 75% of China Telecom's markets and won the GTB Innovation Award at London in 2014.

Reem Khojah

Reem Khojah received her Ph.D. from UCLA then undertook postdoctoral research at the University of California, Santa Cruz, in collaboration with Stanford University. She has led research projects in the domains of multiferroic motors, microcavity flow, and AI sorting of organoids via micromotors. In her work, she combines exosomal RNA extraction and sequencing with microfluidic approaches to tackle emerging problems in early cancer detection via liquid biopsies. She led an NSF-funded interdisciplinary project in the TANMS ERC center (Translational Applications of Nanoscale Multiferroic Systems) to develop multiferroic motors for microsubmarines.

Regina Saisi

Regina Saisi, a native of San Francisco, is an actor, improviser and teacher. She has taught at San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Stanford University, UC Santa Cruz, California Institute of the Arts, Oklahoma Arts Institute and is currently the Dean at the BATS Improv school. She has worked in venues throughout the United States as well as Belgium, Holland, Italy, Finland, France, Beirut, Saudi Arabia and Sweden teaching and performing improvisation. She is a founding member True Fiction Magazine, helping pioneer long form Improv and is a member of BATS Improv. She has taught improvisation to inner-city youth in Oakland as well as corporate clients in the Bay Area.

 

Regina Saisi

Regina Saisi is a San Francisco-based actor and improviser. She has taught at San Francisco Conservatory of Music, UC Santa Cruz and KAUST in Saudi Arabia and has performed internationally in Belgium, Holland, Italy, Finland, France, Sweden, Saudi Arabia and Lebanon. She is guest artist at TAM HS, teaching and directing for over 20 years. Regina is a pioneer in the development of long-form improv and is a founding member of the improvisational theatre companies True Fiction Magazine, Pulp Playhouse, Improv Playhouse of San Francisco. As current Company member of BATS Improv she has served as Dean of the BATS School and Artistic Director.

Sabrina Vettori

Dr. Sabrina Vettori is the Chief Executive Officer of Edama Organic Solution, a KAUST start-up developing cutting-edge organic waste recycling solutions targeted to desert environments. Sabrina has a Bachelor's and Master's in Statistics, Economics and Finance from the University of Padova, Italy. She received her Ph.D. in Data Science from KAUST. Sabrina has five years of leadership experience in the realization of sustainability initiatives.

Saifur Rahman

Professor Saifur Rahman is the founding director of the Advanced Research Institute at Virginia Tech, USA, where he is the Joseph R. Loring professor of electrical and computer engineering. He also directs the Center for Energy and the Global Environment. He is a Life Fellow of the IEEE and an IEEE Millennium Medal winner. He was the president of the IEEE Power and Energy Society (PES) for 2018 and 2019. He was the founding editor-in-chief of the IEEE Electrification Magazine and the IEEE Transactions on Sustainable Energy. He has published over 150 journal papers and has made over six hundred conferences and invited presentations. In 2006 he served on the IEEE Board of Directors as the vice president for publications. He is a distinguished lecturer for the IEEE Power & Energy Society. He has lectured on renewable energy, energy efficiency, smart grid, energy internet, blockchain, IoT sensor integration, etc. in over 30 countries. He has a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Virginia Tech.

Thibaut Lery

Dr. Thibaut Lery acts as Director of the Office of Research and Evaluation at KAUST. Previously, he was Senior Science Officer in charge of foresight, evaluation services and collaborative projects at the European Science Foundation in Strasbourg, France. He was also an associated Professor at the University of Strasbourg, teaching Project Management at Master level at the Ecole de Management de Strasbourg - Business School, and at the Ecole Supérieur de Biotechnologie de Strasbourg (ESBS). He has managed European foresight initiatives, Research Networking Programmes, projects with the European Commission and Peer review activities. He has been working as an expert for the European Commission (Research infrastructures, Marie Curie Programmes, Future Emerging Technologie, DG Research, DG INFSO), the Irish and Norwegian governments. He has a PhD in computational and theoretical astrophysics. He was previously involved in the Irish National grid, the Irish Computing Center ICHEC, in European projects such as EGEE, EARNEST, JETSET, HET and PRACE. Previously, he has been holding academic teaching and research positions in France, Canada, Ireland and Congo.

Tim Orr

Tim Orr has improvised since 1988 with many San Francisco-based groups, including BATS Improv, Rafe Chase's groundbreaking long form troupe Improv Theatre, the renowned True Fiction Magazine, and with the acclaimed troupe 3 For All. In 2009, he founded a new Improv group, the Improv Playhouse of San Francisco. He has appeared in numerous plays in the San Francisco Bay Area, and received critical acclaim for his leading roles in the improvised feature films, Suckerfish and Security. With Stephen Kearin, Tim co-wrote, and originated the role of Dirk Manly in, An Evening with Dirk & Blaine. Tim has performed and taught improvisation at the American Conservatory Theatre, BATS Improv, Stanford University, and many other venues nationally (Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, Austin, Louisville, Atlanta, etc.) and internationally (Amsterdam, Beirut, Belgium, Helsinki, London, Paris, Saudi Arabia, Stockholm). He has served for many years as the Director of the BATS Improv Long-Form Intensive.

 

Tim Orr

Tim has improvised since 1988 with many San Francisco and international groups, including BATS Improv, True Fiction Magazine, Awkward Dinner Party, and with the acclaimed troupe 3 For All. In 2009, he founded Improv Playhouse of San Francisco. Tim has also appeared in numerous plays in the San Francisco Bay Area, and received critical acclaim for his leading roles in the improvised feature films, Suckerfish and Security. With Stephen Kearin, Tim co-wrote, and originated the role of Dirk Manly in, An Evening with Dirk & Blaine. Nationally, Tim has performed and taught improvisation at the American Conservatory Theatre, BATS Improv, Stanford University, and many other venues (Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, Austin, Louisville, Atlanta, etc.). Internationally, he has performed and taught at numerous festivals and/or as an invited guest artist in Amsterdam, Barcelona, Beijing, Beirut, Belgium, Berlin, Bucharest, Dubai, Hamburg, Helsinki, Lisbon, London, Lyon, Mallorca, Oslo, Paris, Saudi Arabia, Shanghai, Stockholm, and more. Tim has consulted with numerous groups both nationally and internationally in their formation of improvisation groups and also the development of new improvisation formats.

Tony Sheridan

Tony Sheridan has been involved in social media marketing and communications for almost a decade, primarily within the Higher Education sector. He also has worked extensively as a consultant across the non-profit, community and charity sectors helping organisations set ambitious goals, develop effective strategies and deliver strategic results.Tony has been Social Media and Digital Content Officer for the University of Limerick (UL), Ireland since 2016. He has been awarded best Snapchat in Ireland and best Instagram in Ireland in addition receiving numerous other social media campaign accolades for his work.

Xiangliang Zhang

Dr. Xiangliang Zhang is an Associate Professor of Computer Science and directs the MINE (http://mine.kaust.edu.sa) group at KAUST, Saudi Arabia. She earned her Ph.D. degree in computer science from INRIA-University Paris-Sud, France, in July 2010. Dr. Zhang's research mainly focuses on learning from complex and large-scale streaming data and graph data. Dr. Zhang has published over 140 research papers in refereed international journals and conference proceedings, including TKDE, SIGKDD, AAAI, IJCAI, NeurIPS, ICDM, etc. She regularly serves on the Program Committee for premier conferences like SIGKDD (Senior PC), AAAI (Senior PC), IJCAI (Area Chair, Senior PC), etc. Dr. Zhang was invited to deliver an Early Career Spotlight talk at IJCAI-ECAI 2018.

Yves Gnanou

Professor Gnanou’s research interests focus on the study of the mechanism of chain polymerizations and the design of miscellaneous polymeric architectures by novel synthetic methods. His other research interests include organocatalysis of polymerization; macromolecular engineering; functional polymers for biomedical applications; living chain polymerizations; branched polymers; and polymeric nanoparticles.