Keynote Speakers
Managing Director and CEO
RIL Finnish Association of Civil Engineers
Biography >

Dr. Miimu Airaksinen works as CEO and Managing Director at RIL Finnish Association of Civil Engineers. Before she joined RIL she worked over 10 years as a research professor in Technical Research Centre of Finland, VTT. She is currently active in European Innovation Platform for Smart Cities and Communities. At the moment she leads a CIB (International Council for Research and Innovation in Building and Construction) task group for smart cities, in addition she is CIB board member. She was also nominated to UN habitat policy advisor for group 9 focusing on smart cities. Airaksinen is also working as a domain expert in European Cooperation in the field of Scientific and Technical Research, COST, Transport and Urban Development.

Prof. Roger FLANAGAN
Professor, School of Construction Management and Engineering
University of Reading
Biography >

Roger Flanagan is Professor at the School of Construction Management and Engineering, University of Reading, UK. He is an Honorary Professor at Tsinghua University, Beijing, and Guest Professor at Chongqing University, Guiyang Institute of Technology, visiting Professor at Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, and University of New South Wales, Australia. Previously Visiting Professor at the University of Hong Kong, and in USA, Sweden, Norway, Kenya, South Africa, Turkey, and Croatia. He is a member of the Association for Consulting and Engineering Advisory Board. He was President of the Chartered Institute of Building in 2007.

Roger's industrial experience includes previously being a member of the Board of Directors of Skanska AB and a non-executive member of the Board of Directors of Halcrow Group (now Jacobs). He has been a member of Board of Directors and Advisory Board member in USA, Hong Kong, South Africa, Switzerland, Canada, and UK.

He has experience of working in UK, Middle East, USA, Canada, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Prof. Vineet R. KAMAT
Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering
University of Michigan
Biography >

Dr. Vineet Kamat is Professor and John L. Tishman Faculty Scholar in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Michigan. Dr. Kamat's research is primarily focused on Automation and Robotics, Virtual and Augmented Reality Visualization, Simulation, Mobile Computing, and their applications in the construction and operation of smart and connected cities. Dr. Kamat was awarded the 2015 Walter L. Huber Civil Engineering Research Prize by the American Society of Civil Engineers. He has also received the Daniel W. Halpin Award for scholarship in construction from the American Society of Civil Engineers; two Outstanding Researcher Awards from FIATECH; and two Outstanding Young Alumnus Awards from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and the Myers-Lawson School of Construction at Virginia Tech. He has also received three ASCE Best Paper Awards, from the Journal of Computing in Civil Engineering, and the Construction Research Congress, and two Best Paper Awards from the International Association for Automation and Robotics in Construction (IAARC). Dr. Kamat is an Associate Editor of the ASCE Journal of Computing in Civil Engineering and a member of the editorial board for the journal Automation in Construction and the journal Advanced Engineering Informatics. He has served as the Chair of the ASCE Construction Institute's Construction Research Council, and as a Member of the Board of Governors of the ASCE Construction Institute. He has also served as the Chair of the ASCE Visualization, Information Modeling and Simulation committee. Dr. Kamat's research has been extensively published in peer-reviewed journal publications and conference papers. He has also presented his work in invited talks throughout the world and has organized several technical sessions on construction visualization and robotics at major conferences in his field of research. Dr. Kamat received a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in 2003; a MS in Civil Engineering at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in 2000; and a BE degree in Civil Engineering from Goa University in India in 1998.

Prof. Mei-Po KWAN
Professor and Director of Space-Time Analysis and Research Lab (StarLab)
Department of Geography and Geographic Information Science
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Biography >

Mei-Po Kwan is Professor of Geography and Geographic Information Science and Director of the Space-Time Analysis and Research (STAR) Laboratory at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She received her Ph.D. from the University of California at Santa Barbara. She had served as an editor of Annals of the American Association of Geographers for 12 years and is editor of the book series entitled SAGE Advances in Geographic Information Science and Technology.

Kwan has received many prestigious honors and awards, including the Distinguished Scholarship Honors, the E. Willard and Ruby S. Miller Award, and the Stanley Brunn Award for Creativity in Geography from the American Association of Geographers (AAG); the Alan Hay Award in Transport Geography from the Transport Geography Research Group of the Royal Geographical Society with the Institute of British Geographers (RGS-IBG); the Distinguished Scholar Award from the International Association of Chinese Professionals in Geographic Information Sciences (CPGIS); the University Consortium for Geographic Information Science (UCGIS) Research Award; the Edward L. Ullman Award from the AAG Transportation Geography Specialty Group; and the Melinda S. Meade Distinguished Scholarship Award from the AAG Health and Medical Geography Specialty Group. She was recognized in 2009 as a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). In 2016 she was named a fellow by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.

Kwan has received about US$25 million support as PI or co-PI from sources including the U.S. National Institutes of Health, the U.S. National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Transportation, and the National Natural Science Foundation of China. She has published 37 edited or co-edited volumes and over 200 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters. She has delivered over 200 keynote addresses and invited lectures in 18 countries. She has served as an advisory panelist or reviewer of grant proposals for 14 U.S. National Science Foundation programs, U.S. National Institutes of Health, European Research Council, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, Australian Research Council, Austrian Science Fund, Research Foundation of Flanders, Royal Geographical Society (U.K.), Research Grants Council of Hong Kong, and Swiss National Science Foundation.

Kwan's research interests include environmental health, sustainable cities, human mobility, urban/social issues in cities, and GIScience. She has made ground-breaking contributions to these areas. Her recent collaborative projects include the development of a unified cyberinfrastructure framework for scalable spatiotemporal data analytics, and examination of the health risks of female sex workers, adolescent and adult participation in high risk drug use, individual exposure to air pollution, and environmental influences on physical activity.

Mr Raymond LEE, JP
Director of Planning
Planning Department, HKSAR Government
Biography >

Mr Raymond Lee has been appointed as the Director of Planning in the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region since November 2016. He is the Chairman of the Metro Planning Committee and Rural & New Town Planning Committee of the Town Planning Board. He is also a member of the Planners Registration Board. From late October 2012 to May 2014, Mr Lee was the Head of Energizing Kowloon East Office responsible for facilitating the transformation of Kowloon East into another core business district of Hong Kong. He was the Secretary to the Town Planning Board from May 2014 to November 2016.

Mr Lee has extensive experiences in town planning. He has previously been involved in planning for the old airport site at Kai Tak, review of the Town Planning Ordinance, harbour-front planning and development, boundary closed area and cross-boundary planning, and planning for new development areas in the New Territories.

Prof. Xiaoyan LI
Professor, Department of Civil Engineering
The University of Hong Kong
Biography >

Professor Xiao-yan Li received his Ph.D. degree from the University of Arizona, USA, and his Ph.D. thesis won the Outstanding Doctoral Thesis Award from AEESP in 1997. He is currently the Director of Environmental Engineering Research Centre at the University of Hong Kong. He received Outstanding Young Overseas Researcher Award from the NSFC of China in 2008, First-Class Scientific Research Outstanding Achievement Award (Science & Technology) from the Ministry of Education of China in 2012 and Second-Class State Natural Science Award of China in 2014. He has been an ISI top 1% highly cited author in the environmental field since 2009 and received an award of Top Cited Author 2007-2011 from Water Research. He has published more than 180 SCI journal papers with over 6500 citations and an H-index of 42. Prof. Li is an expert in solid-liquid separation and membrane filtration in water and wastewater treatment and resource recovery from wastewater and sludge. He also has developed models for particle coagulation and flocculation in water, membrane fouling in membrane filtration and membrane bioreactors and aerobic granulation in biological wastewater treatment.

Prof. M. Mercedes MAROTO-VALER

Buchan Chair in Sustainable Energy Engineering
Assistant Deputy Principal (Research & Innovation)
Director of the Research Centre for Carbon Solutions (RCCS)
Heriot-Watt University

Biography >

Prof Mercedes Maroto-Valer (FRSE, FIChemE, FRSC, FRSA) is Assistant Deputy Principal (Research & Innovation) and Director of the Research Centre for Carbon Solutions (RCCS) at Heriot-Watt University. She has held academic appointments at the University of Kentucky (1997-1998), Pennsylvania State University (1998-2004), University of Nottingham (2005-2012) and Heriot-Watt University (2012-now). She joined Heriot-Watt University in 2012 as the first Robert Buchan Chair in Sustainable Engineering and she has been Director of the cross-university Energy Academy and Head of the Institute of Mechanical, Process and Energy Engineering.

She is Director of the Research Centre for Carbon Solutions (RCCS) comprising over 50 researchers and an active research portfolio of >₤17m. RCCS is a world leading engineering centre delivering innovation for the wider deployment of low-carbon energy systems required for meeting carbon targets, including carbon capture, conversion, transport and storage; emissions control, low carbon fuels and process/systems integration. She has over 450 publications, including editor of 4 books and 32% of her publications are in top 10% most cited worldwide. She holds leading positions in professional societies and editorial boards and currently serves as President Environment, Sustainability and Energy Division - Royal Society Chemistry (RSC), Editor-in-Chief Greenhouse Gases: Science and Technology, Member of the British Geological Survey (BGS) Advisory Committee, Board Member of the Energy Technologies Partnership (ETP), Royal Academy of Engineering (RAEng) Frontiers of Engineering Steering Group, Member Communities Board-Royal Society Chemistry (RSC), and Institute Chemical Engineers (IChemE) Energy Centre - The Leadership Forum. She has received numerous international prizes and awards, including 2018 SRUK/CERU Merit Award (Society of Spanish Researchers in the UK), 2013 Hong-Kong University Mong Distinguished Fellowship, 2011 RSC Environment, Sustainability and Energy Division Early Career Award, 2009 Philip Leverhulme Prize, 2005 US Department of Energy Award for Innovative Development, 1997 Ritchie Prize, 1996 Glenn Award- Fuel Chemistry Division of the American Chemical Society and the 1993 ICI Chemical & Polymers Group Andersonian Centenary Prize. Her research portfolio has included as PI/CI projects worth ~ ₤35m, and has recently been awarded a prestigious European Research Council (ERC) Advanced Award.

In her role as Assistant Deputy Principal (Research and Innovation), her key strategic responsibilities include leading the development of university wide initiatives (UK, Dubai and Malaysia) to support global research activities.

Prof. Chrisna Du Plessis
Head of Department of Architecture
University of Pretoria, South Africa
Biography >

Chrisna du Plessis is Associate Professor and Head of the Department of Architecture, and Chair of the School for the Built Environment, University of Pretoria, South Africa. Before joining the University of Pretoria in 2011, she was Principal Researcher at CSIR Built Environment. Prof du Plessis holds graduate and post-graduate degrees in architecture and sustainable development from the University of Pretoria, a PhD in urban sustainability from the University of Salford, from whom she also received an Alumni Achievers Award, and an honorary doctorate from Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden. Prof du Plessis is Leader of the Priority Theme: Sustainable Construction Chair, as well as Chair of the Programme Committee of the Board of the International Council for Research and Innovation in Building and Construction (CIB). She is also member of the International Standards Organisation working group on resilience of buildings and civil engineering works, and serves on the Editorial Boards of the journals Smart and Sustainable Built Environment and Sustainable Earth. She has further served as juror for the LafargeHolcim Foundation Sustainable Building Competition (MEA region, June 2011 & 2017) and European Solar Decathlon (2011 and 2014). Her research concentrates on developing the principles and guiding frameworks for the practices of smart and sustainable construction and human settlement development, with a focus on resilience and regeneration, and she has applied this in a body of work that spanned the fields of housing, construction industry performance, urban/human settlement development and infrastructure design. She has recently published Designing for Hope: Pathways to regenerative sustainability which was awarded the AfriSam SAIA Award for Innovation in Sustainability in 2016.