Keynote Speakers

Prof. Subodh G. Mhaisalkar

Assoc. Vice President (Strategy & Partnerships) President’s Office, NTU
Tan Chin Tuan Centennial Professor
Executive-Director, Energy Research Institute @ NTU (ERI@N)

Keynote title: Less than 2°C at 1°N?: Paris Agreement, Energy Efficiency, and Solar Cells Deployment Considerations for Tropical Megacities

Dr. Subodh Mhaisalkar is the Associate Vice President (Strategy & Partnerships) and the Tan Chin Tuan Centennial Professor in the School of Materials Science & Engineering at the Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore. Dr. Subodh is also the Executive Director of the Energy Research Institute @ NTU (ERI@N), a pan-University multidisciplinary research institute for innovative energy solutions. Comprising more than 220 researchers and 105 post graduate students, ERI@N has built up a critical mass of expertise in Energy Systems, Grid Systems, and Urban Solutions; and has set up more than 60 Industry partnership projects, with global industry leaders BMW, Johnson Matthey, Rolls-Royce, and BMW. Prior to joining NTU in 2001, Dr. Subodh has over 10 years of research and engineering experience in the microelectronics industry and his areas of expertise and current research interests includes semiconductor technology, perovskite solar cells, and printed electronics. Dr. Subodh received his Bachelors’ degree from IIT-Bombay and his MS/Ph.D. degrees from The Ohio State University.

Keynote title: Less than 2°C at 1°N?: Paris Agreement, Energy Efficiency, and Solar Cells Deployment Considerations for Tropical Megacities

The successful implementation of the Montreal Protocol (1987), on substances that deplete the ozone layer, is a shining example of what one can achieve by a combination of science and political-will to reverse the harmful effects of anthropogenic activity on the environment. The Kyoto Protocol (1992) and the recently signed Paris agreement (2015), addresses the present and imminent need for a transition towards a more carbon free economy, while considering a holistic approach towards addressing the energy trilemma of energy security, environmental sustainability, and economic development. In this perspective, the large-scale development of Renewable Energy (RE) technologies is considered as a significant leverage for reducing anthropogenic emissions of Greenhouse Gases (GHGs), and “Holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C,” as one of the explicit aims of the Paris Agreement.

Singapore, situated at the equator (1.35°N, 103.8°E), is a self-acknowledged alternative-energy disadvantaged nation that has very limited wind or marine resources; and a solar resource which is only 30% more than southern Germany. Additionally, Singapore may be considered to be a blend of Manhattanesque dense Urban Megapolis and Houston Ship Channel-like dense Petrochemical complex. Despite these considerable constraints, Singapore has set the target of stopping any increase to its greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. It also pledged to reduce its energy intensity by 36 per cent from 2005 levels by 2030 by pursuing energy efficiency in both industrial and residential sectors, improving public transport, and increasing renewable energy deployment.

In this context, nanomaterials are poised to play a transformative role in providing solutions that range from heat rejection materials, materials that can cut the solar thermal gain through glass windows, to next generation thin film and tandem solar cells. Opportunities that energy efficiency measures offer to reduce Singapore’s energy intensity are thought to be higher than deployment of solar photovoltaics. However, emerging perovskite thin film solar cells promises to deliver solar cell efficiencies beyond what is possible with conventional solar cells; thus promising to boost the solar-output/unit area; a measure essential in real-estate constrained megacities like Singapore.

This presentation while broadly outlining challenges for Singapore to meet our Paris Agreement targets will focus also on perovskite solar cells, tandem solar cells, and new materials and concepts that promise to deliver efficiencies beyond the Shockley–Queisser limit.

Dr. Yeo Wee Loon

Careers Advisor, NUS Centre for Future-ready Graduates

Keynote title: Career Preparation Begins Now

Wee Loon has worked in the education field for more than 12 years as both an educator and researcher. His teaching experience ranges from high school to University, both in Singapore and overseas. He completed his Ph.D. in Anthropology in and published articles in peer-reviewed journals in the area of educational research and youth identity. He is now a Careers Advisor at the NUS Centre for Future-ready Graduates, working mainly with NUS Postgraduate students. On the personal front, Wee Loon adores his wife and 2 young daughters, constantly amazed by how quickly the kids are growing. He also enjoys reading Non-Fiction books, and going for Reservist duty.

Career Preparation Begins Now

Graduate studies are often seen as the epitome of intellectual pursuit. Many students pursue PhD studies because of deep passion in research and a strong interest in a specific subject area. Students also hope this pursuit will eventually lead to a fruitful and meaningful career, but what sort of career options await after thesis submission? When and how should a graduate student think about career preparation? This talk seeks to address these questions, and provide some tips on how you can start preparing for working life now.

"Building the Plane While Flying It"

A Fireside Chat Session on Entrepreneurial Journey

Aneesh Sathe

CEO & Co-founder, Qritive

Aneesh completed his Ph.D. from the Mechanobiology Institute (MBI), where he last worked on finding cancer cells in microscopy images using AI. At Qritive, he is the CEO, overseeing the business development and expansion. Aneesh's entrepreneurial journey started in PhD when he built (and broke) his first company. The lessons learnt have had a huge impact and he believes that without taking a risk, you can never achieve your full potential.

Kaveh Taghipour

CTO & Co-founder, Qritive

Kaveh completed his Ph.D. from the Computer Science department in the field of machine learning, where his technology has been used in hospitals for improving patient outcomes. At Qritive, he is the CTO, in charge of all the technology development. Kaveh takes incredibly difficult problems in healthcare and translates them into machine learning solutions. Kaveh's desire to make a change is rooted in a personal belief that ordinary people taking on impossible tasks change the world.

Qritive, is a med-tech AI company working with Singapore's biggest hospitals, SGH and NUH, to make cancer diagnosis fast to ease the pressure on the health system. Qritive was founded by ex-NUS PhDs, Kaveh and Aneesh, who found that they could drastically impact the cancer diagnosis workflow by building tools that improve the lives of both patients and doctors. Qritive is backed by SGInnovate and Entrepreneur First to bring this new generation of products to the world. Qritive is actively seeking talented employees and interns who want to have a big impact on the world, while working and learning from a world-class team.

Sam Witteveen

Deep Learning Engineer / Google Developer Expert for Machine Learning, Red Dragon AI

Keynote title: Building AI Products: From Paper to Prototype to Production

Sam is a serial entrepreneur who has built multiple startups in diverse industries. He is Google Developer Expert for Machine Learning and Deep Learning as well as being the co-organizer of the TensorFlow & Deep Learning Singapore meetup group and regularly shares his knowledge in training sessions on TensorFlow, applied Deep Learning and AI. Sam is especially passionate about deep learning in the field of natural language understanding and conversational agents and is currently CEO of Red Dragon AI.

Sam has used Machine Learning and Deep Learning to build multiple tech startups, including a children’s educational app provider which has over 4 million users worldwide. His current focus is AI for conversational agents to allow humans to interact easier and faster with computers.

Building AI Products: From Paper to Prototype to Production

In this Keynote talk we will learn about some of the latest and greatest technology that is being used in developing and creating real-world AI products. It's one thing to see people talk about the emergence of these technologies and another to see industry experts break down how some of these products are being made with tips and tricks of the trade.

Panel Session

Upskill 2.0: The skills essential for Engineers and Researchers to thrive in the world of Data and Machine Intelligence

The effects of Artificial Intelligence (AI) is felt alike in all major industries including manufacturing, services, healthcare and education. Early adopters of AI are already reaping the benefits of it, including increased productivity, higher competitiveness, and faster growth. The proponents argue that the net job roles are only set to increase as observed in the past with any new technology. However, there is no doubt the job roles replaced by AI and the new ones created require completely different skill sets and capabilities.

In this panel discussion, we take a broad overlook at the technology trends with respect to AI, the current challenges and industrial needs, and the general awareness and adoption of AI in the University curriculum. We delve deeper to understand what this means for us as engineers and researchers in the Universities. We further discuss on how to acquire new skills to leverage the huge growth potential including career paths and entrepreneurship opportunities that this new brave world of Data and Machine Intelligence has to offer.

Our Panellists

Prof. Haizhou Li National University of Singapore

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Department of Mechanical Engineering
Fellow of the IEEE
President, Asian Federation of Natural Language Processing

Dr. Haizhou Li is currently a Professor at the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, National University of Singapore (NUS). Prior to joining NUS, he was the Principal Scientist and Department Head of Human Language Technology in the Institute for Infocomm Research, A*STAR, Singapore. Dr Li has served as the Editor-in-Chief of IEEE/ACM Transactions on Audio, Speech and Language Processing (2015-2018), the President of the International Speech Communication Association (2015-2017), the President of Asia Pacific Signal and Information Processing Association (2015-2016), and the President of Asian Federation of Natural Language Processing (2017-2018). Dr Li is a Fellow of the IEEE. He was a recipient of the National Infocomm Award 2002 and the President’s Technology Award 2013 in Singapore. Dr Li received the B.Sc., M.Sc., and Ph.D degree in electrical engineering from South China University of Technology, Guangzhou, China in 1984, 1987, and 1990 respectively.

Mr. Benjamin Anthony Siemens Building Technologies

Vice President, Digital Buildings, Middle-East & Asia-Pacific

Benjamin has an extensive 29 years IT experience in operations, management and P&L leadership position with 18 years of working experience in global MNC with Siemens and Atos. Previous international posting was in Malaysia, Singapore and short stints in Germany, Shanghai and Mumbai. For the past 9 years based in Dubai managing GCC IT business. Recently relocated back to Singapore to head the Siemens Digital Buildings business for Middle East-Asia Pacific region.

#CreatingPerfectPlaces #PowerofData #BuildingsareTalking

Mr. Adhiraj Saxena AI Singapore

Manager of Industry Innovation

Adhiraj is the manager of industry innovation in 'AI Singapore', a national initiative to anchor deep AI capabilities in Singapore. He oversees AI Singapore's '100 Experiments' programme with a mission to proliferate the adoption of AI among Singapore-based enterprises and start-ups. He is a Singaporean, graduated from National University of Singapore and served in Public Service for 7 years. Before joining AI Singapore, he was a project manager in the Ministry of Finance. He is also an Executive Committee member of the EDB Society, the alumni association for the Economic Development Board of Singapore.

Mr. Ujjwal Kumar Microsoft

Principal Technical Evangelist

Ujjwal Kumar is a Principal Technical Evangelist at Microsoft's Commercial Software Engineering (CSE) group based out of Singapore. He is a digital transformation ninja and works on system of intelligence (A.I., Blockchain, Bots, Cloud, IoT) with customers and partners to enable them realize their potential through architecture design and code development.

In the current role he works with enterprise businesses, global SI's, partner organizations, startups, top universities - faculties and students. He is also founder of "India Gamers Community", co-founder of "IoT community", an avid technologist and a prominent speaker.

Prior to current role, he worked as Partner Consultant and development platforms Worldwide Specialization Lead at Microsoft. He has 15 years of industry experience and he has been with Microsoft for 11.5 years. He has extensively worked on Microsoft Azure, Bots, Blockchain, IoT, Windows Internals, Robotics Studio, Modern Apps and Game development.

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