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Plenary and Keynote Speakers

The conference committee is delighted to welcome the following Plenary and Keynote Speakers to ICWES18.

Plenary Speakers

Peggy Oti-Boateng (PhD)

Director Division for Science Policy and Capacity Building,UNESCO HQ. Paris, France

Dr Peggy Efua Oti-Boateng is the Director for Science Policy and Capacity Building, at the UNESCO Headquarters, in Paris France with the responsibility for providing leadership and foresight for global agenda on science technology and innovation and capacity building in science and engineering for sustainable development and Local ad Indigenous knowledge systems. Until October, 2018 she was the Regional Africa Senior Programme Specialist for Science and Technology in the UNESCO Regional Office for Southern in Harare, Zimbabwe and Coordinators for the African Network of Scientific and Technological Institutions (ANSTI) in 37 countries in sub-Saharan Africa.

She is responsible for the managements and administration of L’Oréal-UNESCO for women in Science award and a member of the International Advisory Group for Conference for Women Engineers and Scientists-ICWES15.

Dr Oti-Boateng is the author of several journal articles, technical papers, manuals, baseline reports, books and book chapters and serve on the Editorial Board of the British based Food Chain Journal. She holds a PhD degree in Food Technology from the University of Adelaide, South Australia and a BSc Degree in Biochemistry from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana.


Reini Wirahadikusumah (PhD)

Rector Institut Teknologi Bandung, Indonesia

Prof. Reini Wirahadikusumah, Ph.D., is the first female rector of Institut Teknologi Bandung. She is a professor from Construction Engineering and Management Research Group from the Faculty of Civil Engineering and Environment, who, before serving as rector, is actively published several journals about constructions and supply chains.

Reini received her bachelor’s degree from Civil Engineering ITB in 1991, master’s degree in Civil Engineering from Purdue University, USA in 1996 and Ph.D. in the same university in 1999. Reini mostly focuses her research on infrastructure project supply chain management and construction management. During her career in ITB, she has received several awards such as Cumlaude graduate; Satyalancana Karya Satya XX from Indonesia Government in 2016; Endeavour Awards; Australia Awards Indonesia; Visiting Research at Queensland University of Technology (QUT), Brisbane, Australia in 2011 and Satyalancana Karya Satya X from Indonesia Government in 2008.

Besides her dedication for Institut Teknologi Bandung, she also actively join several organizations outside ITB such as attending the besides her dedication for Institut Teknologi Bandung, she also actively joined several projects and organizations, such as a member of the National Construction Services Development Agency (LPJKN); Secretary of Construction and Engineering Division at Indonesian Engineers Association Center (PII); assessment team of International Federation of Asian and Western Pacific Contractors Association (IFAWPC), member of Indonesian Contractors Association (AKI); Deputy Chairperson of the National Construction Services Development Institute (LPJKN); and assistant Permanent Delegation Office of the Republic of Indonesia to UNESCO.


Eucharia Kenya (PhD)

Professor and Deputy Vice-Chancellor University of Embu, Kenya

Eucharia Kenya is a Professor of Biotechnology with expansive international experience and expertise on Biotechnology, Biosafety and Biosecurity. She currently serves as the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Planning, Administration and Finance) at the University of Embu in Kenya. She holds a PhD in Applied Entomology and an Advance Master’s degree in Business Administration (Entrepreneurship).

She is a founder member of the Open Forum for Agricultural Biotechnology in Africa and was part of the national team that developed the Biotechnology Strategy paper for Kenya. She served in the first Board of the National Commission for Science, Technology and Innovation in Kenya and is a founder member of the African Women in Science and Engineering. She is a member of the Kenya National Academy of Sciences and is the founding Chairman of the Transformative Women in Leadership Network, a non-for-profit organization registered in Kenya whose focus is the upliftment of communities in Kenya and beyond – a platform through which she has mentioned students at primary and secondary schools level, particularly in choosing careers in STEM.

She is very passionate about role-modelling and mentorship as a powerful means of growing careers of women in STEM, acting as an advocate and standing in the gap on these issues.

Leah Jamieson

Leah H. Jamieson (PhD) FIEEE, FASEE

Purdue University, USA

Leah Jamieson is Ransburg Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Purdue University, John A. Edwardson Dean Emerita of Engineering, and holds a courtesy appointment in Purdue’s School of Engineering Education. She is a past president and CEO of IEEE and past chair of the Board of Trustees of the Anita Borg Institute.

Jamieson is co-founder and past director of the Engineering Projects in Community Service – EPICS –program, for which she was a co-recipient of U.S. National Academy of Engineering Gordon Prize for Innovation in Engineering and Technology Education. She has been recognized with the IEEE Mulligan Education Medal, the IEEE Education Society’s Harriet B. Rigas Outstanding Woman Engineering Educator Award, the American Society for Engineering Education’s Carlson Award for Innovation in Engineering Education, and the Anita Borg Institute’s Women of Vision Award for Social Impact.

Jamieson holds a BS mathematics from MIT, PhD in electrical engineering and computer science from Princeton, and honorary doctorates from Drexel University and the New Jersey Institute of Technology. She is a member of the NAE and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, an Eminent Member of IEEE-HKN, and Fellow of IEEE and ASEE.

Keynote Speakers
Dr Marlene Kanga

Marlene Kanga (PhD) AM, Hon. FIEAust, Hon. FIChemE, FTSE
Former President of the World Federation of Engineering Organisations (WFEO)

Marlene Kanga was President of the World Federation of Engineering Organisations (WFEO) in 2017-2019, the peak body for engineering institutions internationally representing some 100 engineering institutions and approximately 30 million engineers.

She led the proposal to declare 4th March as World Engineering Day, an international Day declared by UNESCO. The first day was celebrated on 4th March 2020 across 60 countries. She was recognised among the 100 engineering leaders contributing to Australia as part of the centenary of Engineers Australia in 2019, is the 2018 Engineers Australia Professional Engineer of the Year, the 2019 CHEMECA Medal winner for contribution to chemical engineering, was listed among the Top 10 Women Engineers in Australia, the Top 100 Women of Influence and the Top 100 Engineers in Australia. She is a Member of the Order of Australia, a national honour, as recognition of her leadership of the engineering profession.

Throughout her career, Marlene has been an advocate for the recognition and celebration of the achievements of women engineers. She was a member of the Advisory Committee for the UNESCO STEM and Gender Advancement Project (SAGA) which has developed a toolkit for assessing national policies for women in STEM and has resulted in significant changes in eight nations across the world, board member of INWES 2011-2015 and Co-Chair of ICWES15, Adelaide July 2011 which also hosted the inaugural meeting of the INWES Asia Pacific Nation Network (APNN).

Jayshree Seth

Jayshree Seth (PhD)
Corporate Scientist, 3M

Jayshree Seth is a Corporate Scientist at 3M and leads Applied Technology Development for Industrial Adhesives and Tapes Division. She has a PhD in Chemical Engineering from Clarkson University, New York and holds 67 patents for a variety of innovations. Jayshree is currently working on identifying new growth opportunities, and, is engaged in development and commercialisation for sustainable industrial products across various markets.

Jayshree was appointed as 3M’s first ever Chief Science Advocate in 2018 and is using her scientific knowledge, technical expertise and professional experience to advance science and communicate the importance and benefits of science in everyday life.

Prof Raffaella Ocone

Raffaella Ocone (PhD) OBE FREng FRSE
Professor Heriot-Watt University, UK

Raffaella Ocone is Professor at Heriot-Watt University. She was the first female professor of chemical engineering in Scotland and was named as one of the top 100 Most Influential Women in Engineering in 2019 by Inclusive Boards in partnership with the Financial Times. Raffaella has worked in France, Germany, Italy and the US. In 2017 she became the first “Caroline Herschel Visiting Professor” in Engineering at RUHR Universität, Germany; the following year she was awarded a Visiting Research Fellowship from the Institute for Advanced Studies, Università di Bologna, Italy.

Raffaella’s main area of research is in the field of modelling complex (multi-phase) reactive systems and she has taken a leading role in promoting ethics in engineering.




Christine Grant (PhD)

Professor North Carolina State University, USA

Christine Grant is a STEM Resilience Strategist who partners with individuals and organizations to empower women and men in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). As a Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at NC State (the first African-American women professor in the college), she’s led as the College of Engineering’s inaugural Associate Dean of Faculty Advancement, responsible for faculty development, promotion and tenure for over 300 engineering faculty. She obtained her degrees in Chemical Engineering (Sc.B., Brown University; M.S. and Ph.D., Georgia Institute of Technology). She’s a Fellow, Life Member and 2021 President-elect of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE): a global organization of 60,000+ members in 110 countries. She has dedicated much of her career to broadening participation through empowerment, promotion and retention of diverse groups and women in STEM. Dr. Grant has been recognized with the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Mentor Award, and the National Science Foundation (NSF) Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Math and Engineering Mentoring (PAESMEM).


She’s been a Visiting Senior Scholar at AAAS, a National Academy of Engineering Boeing Senior Fellow and an NSF Grant Expert and Program Director. She co-edited the Elsevier/ Academic Press book, “Success Strategies from Women in STEM: A Portable Mentor”, contributing book chapters to “Growing Diverse STEM Communities: Methodologies, Impact and Evidence” (2019) and “Overcoming Barriers for Women of Color in STEM Fields” (2020). An international speaker and career coach, Christine will deliver a special interactive workshop at ICWES18 on the strategic development of women and the challenges of gender in STEM.

Juliet Hart

Juliet Hart
Principal and Founder, Hart & Chin Associates, LLC

Juliet established her expertise in learning and development through progressive roles within pharmaceutical giants such as J&J and Bristol-Myers Squibb. She began her journey in drug discovery as a laboratory scientist at small to mid-sized biotech companies and at J&J in San Diego, CA. Juliet earned her Bachelor’s degree from the City University of New York - Hunter College in psychology. There she conducted research in biopsychology as a National Institutes of Health - Scholar Fellow, published papers, contributed to the National Academy of Sciences, and presented at international conferences.

Ms. Hart currently serves as the President of the Mid-New Jersey chapter of the Association of Talent Development and is an active volunteer member of the Healthcare Businesswomens’ Association. Uniquely focused on providing professional development for scientists. Using the combination of her experiences in scientific research and learning and development, she delivers innovative tools and strategic solutions that address the multitude of challenges that exist for professional scientists and their organizations.





Yiannis Koumpouros (PhD)

Ass. Professor, University of West Attica, Greece

Yiannis Koumpouros (BSc, MSc, MBA, PhD) is an Ass. Professor in the University of West Attica, Department of Public and Community Health. He specializes in health informatics, e-health, m-health, telemedicine, assistive technologies, rehabilitation, users satisfaction assessment, and strategic management. Dr. Koumpouros serves as an expert for the European Commission in the e-health and m-health sectors, and as an evaluator of numerous R&D projects. He was responsible for the WHODAS 2.0 scale of cultural adaptation for the World Health Organization in Greece. Dr. Koumpouros has top-level managerial experience in the private and public healthcare sector (chairman of hospitals, member of the board of directors, business development and strategic management director, etc.). He was chairman of several committees in the Ministry of Development, and was a regular member of the Consultative Technical Council (Ministry of Internal Public Administration and Decentralisation), etc. Dr. Koumpouros has published more than 70 papers in reputed journals and conference proceedings and has been serving as an editorial board member of repute. He has participated in more than 45 R&D funded projects in the field of healthcare and ICTs.



Antonella Vitale

Antonella Vitale

Former Head of The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies - Shelter Research Unit

Antonella Vitale is an established specialist with over fifteen years’ experience in humanitarian shelter and settlement, emergency and early recovery response programmes. She started her career as an architect and urban designer. She has collaborated with numerous International Organisations and NGOs, on pre-, and post-disaster programmes, looking at strategies of response, capitalisation of institutional memory and of lessons learned. She is a member of professional rosters, including the IFRC Field Assessment and Coordination Team, and the IFRC Early Recovery Surge Team, as well as Registered Engineers for Disaster Relief. Between 2004 and 2011 she has been co-director of Shelter Centre, which she also co-founded, and between 2018 and 2020 she has been heading the IFRC-Shelter Research Unit, one of the Red Cross/Red Crescent global reference centres. Her approach to sheltering responses is holistic, integrates context specific crosscutting issues, including environment and climate. She currently works on integrating sustainable construction principles into humanitarian post-disaster operations and DRR with a focus on inter-sectoral approaches in support of climate-induced migrations, including adaptation initiatives, innovations allowing lowering greenhouse gas emissions, and ultimately the management of retreat.




Nina Baker

Nina Baker DL (PhD) FIES, HonMWES

Engineering Historian

Dr Nina Baker has had a varied career, having become a merchant navy deck officer on leaving school and later taken an engineering design degree in her 30s, from the University of Warwick. She then gained a PhD in concrete durability from the University of Liverpool. She has lived with her family in Glasgow since 1989, working variously as a materials lecturer in further education and as a research administrator and, until 2017, as an elected city councillor. Now retired from all that, her interest in promoting STEM careers for girls has led her to become an independent researcher, mainly specialising in the history of women in engineering.



Rana Ilgaz

Rana Ilgaz

Head of Profession Highway and Traffic in TfL Engineering.

Transport for London is London’s strategic transport authority responsible for all transport modes and their wide range of assets. Rana is responsible for engineering activity on London’s strategic 580 km long road network including its traffic infrastructure, as well as all of London’s traffic signals. Her remit includes highways, traffic, traffic control, road safety audit and arboriculture and landscape engineering. Her team designs and assures major schemes such as the implementation of London’s fast-growing cycling network and vital infrastructure upgrades.

Rana is a civil engineer (Dipl.-Ing.) from Aachen University. In previous roles she has delivered Intelligent Transport Systems projects across Europe. As Chief Engineer Traffic Systems her team developed and maintained London’s traffic management and control systems and as a highlight she led the traffic systems readiness for the 2012 Games.



Sheridan Ash

Sheridan Ash MBE

Founder of Tech She Can

Sheridan is PwC’s Technology Innovation and Women in Technology Leader. She provides strategic leadership and business understanding to technological innovation, to solve important problems for clients and help make a difference in society.

Sheridan campaigns passionately to get more young girls and women into tech careers and founded The Tech She Can Charter, aimed at addressing the pipeline issues where it starts, in schools. The initiative has over 200 member organisations working together to bring about long lasting change. In October 2020 Sheridan was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for services to young girls and women through technology.




Christina Francis (PhD)

Postdoctoral Research Associate EnergyREV

Dr Christina Francis is a certified project management professional (PMP) with core experiences in the redesign and retrofits of energy systems for sustainability. She currently works as a postdoctoral research associate in the EnergyREV consortium developing a multi-criteria assessment for Smart Local Energy Systems (SLES) to aid the progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This research is undertaken as a part of the wider Prospering from the Energy Revolution (PFER) Programme to develop whole systems understanding and support rapid change in the energy transition.

Her PhD studies involved whole systems understanding of refrigerated home delivery vehicles with the aim of reducing the greenhouse gas emissions to technically support manufacturers, suppliers and supermarket retailers with the revised F-Gas Regulation (EU) No 517/2014 as part of the I-STUTE project deliverable.

Prior to this she worked as an Energy Engineer retrofitting air conditioning systems and water heating systems for hospitals as part of the Caribbean Energy Efficiency Initiative sponsored through the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).


Damla Şener Akkaynak


Damla Sener Akkaynak is a Chartered Engineer and the Chief Financial Officer of SERA Group, one of Turkey’s leading construction firms. After graduating as an Industrial Engineer from Warwick University in 2001, she has started working for ARUP, the top engineering consultancy firm in London. She then received her MBA degree from London Business School and switched to banking with Goldman Sachs. Upon her return to Turkey in 2010, she joined the family company Sera, where they build superstructure buildings. Apart from construction, SERA is a partner to TAV Airports Holding and TAV Construction, a leading global aviation and construction company operating 14 airports in the world with a 1 Billion USD market cap. In 2017, on the entrepreneurial side she Co-founded an Organic snacks company for kids.




Alice Liddell (PhD candidate)

Queen's University Belfast

Alice is currently in her second year of study for her PhD at Queen’s University Belfast (QUB). On graduating with a BSc in Environmental Science from the University of Liverpool (UoL) in 2017, she continued with education focusing on the natural and built environment, graduating with an MSc in Environmental Engineering from QUB in 2018. Her research interests involve the development of novel methodologies for water sample analysis, pollutant removal by drinking water treatment technologies and particularly, microplastic behaviour and contamination. Alice has recently won 2nd place for her poster contribution, which outlined her research, in the Sir Bernard Crossland poster competition, and 1st place in the QUB female innovation competition held by the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences.




Sujit Kumar Bala (PhD)

Professor Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology, Bangladesh

Dr. Sujit Kumar Bala has been working as Professor under the Institute of Water and Flood Management (IWFM) since 2011, (BUET). He has joined the IWFM, BUET as lecturer in 1997. Before joining the BUET, he worked as consultant in many national consultancy projects. He served in Surface Water Modelling Centre now Institute of Water Modelling. He was involved in the construction of the Jamuna Multipurpose Bridge. Dr. Bala had his M.Sc. in Irrigation Engineering from Tashkent Institute of Irrigation and Land Reclamation, Uzbekistan (ex-USSR) in 1982. He received Ph.D. from the same institute in 1986. His field of interests include bridge hydraulics, Irrigation, gender and water, water control structures, etc. He had several international journal publications and was involved in international and national research projects funded by EU, JICA, DFID, IFAD, etc. He participated in many national and international conferences. He served as the Director, IWFM from 2017 to 2019.




Uduakobong Aniebiat Okon (PhD)

University of Uyo, Nigeria

Dr. Okon is an Agricultural Scientist, Technologist, Educationist, coordinator of Agricultural
Technology Education in the University of Uyo, Nigeria. She holds a Ph.D. She has been a
Member of Board of Directors of INWES, (2011 - 2014) and (2017 -2020), and the Pioneer
Chairperson of INWES - Africa Regional Network, (2014 – 2020). She is the Founder and
International Coordinator of the Organization for Promoting African Girls in Engineering, Science
and Technology Education (OPAGESTE). She was a Member of Board of Director, INWES
Education and Research Institute, (2015 - 2018) Ottawa, Canada. She is a member of Organization
for Women in Science in the Developing World. She is a researcher with 65 publications. An
awardee of several research grants including those of IDRC/Gendered Design in STEAM (GDS),
Carleton University, Canada, Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND), Nigeria, Educational
Research Network for West and Central Africa (ERNWCA) etc.



Haryoung Poo

Dr. Haryoung Poo

Principal Investigator, Infectious Disease Research Center,

Korea Research Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology

Dr. Haryoung Poo received her B.S. in biology, Sogang University in Korea, M.S in microbial genetics, the University of Missouri at St. Louis and Ph.D. in cellular immunology, Wayne State University in USA. Dr. Poo has started her career in KRIBB since 1998 and has focused currently on investigating cell immunity, vaccine adjuvant & immune therapeutic technology, and establishment of virus diagnostics. She published more than eighty five papers in respectable journals and registered about forty patents nationally and internationally. Three technologies of vaccine and vaccine adjuvant she developed was transferred to company for industrializations. She has served as a professor at University of University of Science & Technology from 2006 to present and a member of The Korean Academy of Science and Technology since 2016. As the former President of the Association of Korean Woman Scientists and Engineers (KWSE) for 2016-2017, she has greatly contributed in supporting not only Korea woman in science and engineering for the development their leadership by initiating jumping-up program but also international woman scientists and engineers by working as a board member, fund development chair (2017-2020) and membership chair of INWES (2021-2023).




Oliva K

Eng. Oliva Richard Kilyenyi

Graduated in 2014 from the University of Dar Es Salaam with BSc Civil and Structural Engineering (with honor) being Trained in Planning, construction and maintenance of civil engineering structures.

Oliva have been employed by Tanzania Railways Corporation (TRC) under Ministry of Work Transport and communication as Senior Civil Engineer. Prior to her appointment as a Senior Civil Engineer, she served as Structural engineer under Tanzania Buildings Agency within the same Ministry. In addition, she worked as tutor at Ilula folk development college where she supervised STEM education projects under Donor Funds.

Currently she is one of the mentors in the mentor and mentee program organized by Institute of Engineers Tanzania Women Chapter (IET-WC) in cooperation with women Architects for Humanities and Women in construction to mentor graduate STEM students.

Apart from above Oliva research, writes papers, and talk on different STEM related topics.