Keynote Speakers

We are pleased to announce our stellar list of keynote speakers. Please visit us again for more information.



Prof. Dr.-Ing. Ren C. Luo
National Taiwan University

Dr. Ren C. Luo received the Dipl-Ing. and Dr.-Ing. degrees in electrical engineering from the Technische Universitat Berlin, Germany. He is currently an Irving T. Ho Chair and Distinguished Professor and Director of International Center of Intelligent Robotics and Automation Research at National Taiwan University, current Editor-in-Chief of IEEE Transactions on Industrial Informatics. Dr. Luo is a Founding President of Robotics Society of Taiwan.

He also served two-terms as President of National Chung Cheng University. He was a Tenured Full Professor of Department of Electrical and Computer Eng. and Center Director of Robotics and Intelligent Machines at North Carolina State U., Raleigh, USA and Toshiba Chair Professor at the U. of Tokyo, Japan. His research interests include intelligent robotic systems, multisensor fusion and integration, 3D Printing Manufacturing. He has authored more than 500 papers on international refereed Transactions/Journals and refereed international conferences and 25 international patents on these topics. Dr. Luo received IEEE Eugean Mittlemann Outstanding Research Achievement Award; ALCOA Company Foundation Outstanding Engineering Research Award, USA; Outstanding Research Awards from Ministry of Science and Technology; Dr. Luo served as Editor-in-Chief of IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics and Co-Editor-in-Chief of IEEE Transactions on Industrial Electronics. Dr. Luo served as President of IEEE Industrial Electronics Society. He also served as Adviser of Ministry of Economic Affairs and a Science &Technical Adviser of Prime Minister's Office in Taiwan. Dr. Luo is a Fellow of IEEE and a Fellow of IET.

Title and abstract of presentation


Environmental Localization and Monitoring
System for Automation in Service of Resources Industry

Mining safety, for example, a coalmine environment has advanced considerably over the last decade. Accidents attributed to mine collapses and other hazardous environmental conditions. The dynamic nature of the mining environment creates challenges in localization as mining tunnels constantly expand and contract. Monitoring environmental conditions using wireless sensor networks can identify potential hazards or guide miners to a safe location in the event of an emergency. Accurate localization can greatly assist rescue operations in tracking lost or trapped miners. Generally, locating targets based on the common localization approaches, which usually use specific models, or a static database would decrease the precision after the localization environment changed.

In this talk, an adaptive wireless indoor localization system (WILS) in dynamic environment based on received signal strength (RSS), the map constructed by an autonomous patrol robot carrying laser rangefinder, and a novel fingerprint algorithm will be described. Adaptive signal model fingerprinting (ASMF), the new fingerprinting algorithm we proposed, constructs the models about the signal noise and the RSS-distance relationship from practical measurements, and maps the extraordinary power attenuation of the signals within the localization area as a shadowing map which can be used to mitigate the effect of non-line-of-sight will be discussed. Furthermore, a hybrid Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) indoor localization system (ILS) based on an efficient BLE deployment strategy and hierarchical topological fingerprinting (HTF) will also be included.


Professor Kouhei Ohnishi
Keio University
Kanagawa Institute of Industrial Science and Technology (KISTEC)

Dr. Kouhei Ohnishi (Life Fellow IEEE) received B.E. (1975), M.E. (1977) and Ph.D. (1980) all in electrical engineering from the University of Tokyo. Since 1980, he has been with Keio University and is a Professor. He served as a President of the IEEE Industrial Electronics Society in 2008 and 2009 as well as a President of IEEJ in 2015 and 2016. He received Medal of Honour with Purple Ribbon from His Majesty the Emperor in 2016. He has been appointed as a member of the Science Council of Japan since 2014.

Title of Presentation and Abstract  

Haptics-Led Innovation

Real haptics is a technology to transmit the tactile and the force sensation between the sender and the receiver. The required performance of the actuator for real haptics is evaluated by its control performance of velocity and force. If they are independently controlled, then it is possible to realize teleoperation with haptic feedback.  The design of teleoperated motion is developed in the acceleration space, since this space defined in the hyperplane corresponds to the function of motion.  In the case of teleoperation, the hyperplane transformed by the Hadamard matrix is only expression of real haptics.  In each space, the necessary information for the control is acceleration.  This means teleoperation does not depend on any kind of actuator, i.e. not only electrical motor but pneumatic actuator and so on can be applied to teleoperation with haptic ability.  Another point is that force sensor is not required for haptic feedback.  The application area is wide because of less requirements for the newly introduced hardware.

These characteristics are preferred for teleoperation in ill environment such as in construction engineering, mining engineering, surgical operation and so on.  The talk will include theoretical approaches and practical examples in large scale applications such as mining engineering, construction engineering as well as other interesting applications.     

Iven Mareels
Lab Director
IBM Research Australia

Since Feb 2018, Iven Mareels is the Lab Director, IBM Research Australia. He is an honorary Professor at the University of Melbourne. Prior to this he was the Dean of Engineering at the University of Melbourne (2007-2018).

He received the PhD in Systems Engineering from the Australian National University in 1987, and the Master of Engineering (Electromechanical) from Gent University in 1982.

At IBM Research Australia he leads the development of the next generation of artificial intelligence, blockchain technologies and quantum computing software. The lab serves the IBM Research motto “Famous for science and vital to IBM”. The application domains are health and medical systems, financial services, and the Internet-of-Things. The main implementation modality is to build on and to exploit IBM’s cloud infrastructure, and edge computing assets.

Iven is a Commander in the Order of the Crown of Belgium,  a Fellow of The Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering Australia; The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (USA), the International Federation of Automatic Control and Engineers Australia. He is a Foreign Member of the Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Science and the Arts.

Title of Presentation and Abstract  

Managing Irrigation Water Distribution Networks

Around 70% of all the world's fresh water supports agriculture. Most of this water is used in large scale gravity fed irrigation systems. Given population growth, and a world-wide shift towards a more meat rich diet, there is significant pressure to further expand irrigated agriculture.

Conservative estimates indicate that as we continue to use the present water management techniques the world will require by 2030 about twice as much water as is in use today. Unfortunately, the limit of the renewable water resource (economically available run-off water in the hydrocycle) is far less than this. It comes therefore as no surprise that the recent UNESCO World Water Reports, and World Water Group's 2030 Report all indicate that the world is experiencing a water management crisis. A number of technology options are available to address the key problems, but the most obvious engineering approach is to ask how much room is there for efficiency gains?
In this context, it is important to observe that most present water management does not differ too much from Sumerian conditions. The Sumerians mastered irrigation in 3000BC and managed for over a millennium the water of the Tigris and Euphrates with great success. So perhaps we can bring water management into the modern industrial era using ideas from automation, systems engineering and internet-of-things technology with some advantage?

Over a period of two decades, a team of colleagues from the University of Melbourne and the local Australian company Rubicon Water Pty Ltd have developed such a system, called Total-Channel-Control (TM). In this talk I tell their story and how the principles of measure-model-manage and systems engineering combine to deliver a water service in gravity fed irrigation systems that remarkably well approximates urban pressurised water on-demand. In particular Total Channel Control (TM) delivers precise timing of water, allowing one to align irrigation water supply with plant physiological demand. This leads to savings of nearly half of the irrigation water without affecting yield. This goes a long way to resolving the existing "water management crisis". Presently, this Australian technology is being deployed across Australian irrigation districts, and is being exported inter alia into Europe, the USA, and China. The potential of the system in creating water markets, managing water infrastructure and providing a scientific basis for the economic management of an irrigation district are briefly discussed. Finally, a number of the IBM technologies in precision agriculture will also be highlighted.


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