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The GEDC Industry Forum
Speakers

Developing the next generation of engineering experts and leaders

2020 speakers

Una Beagon

Una Beagon

Assistant Head of School, School of Civil & Structural Engineering, TU Dublin

Una Beagon acquired her MEng degree in Civil Engineering from Queen’s University in Belfast, Ireland and worked in industry as a Chartered Structural Engineer for twenty years before joining academia. She is now Assistant Head of School of the School of Civil & Structural Engineering at the Technological University, Dublin, Ireland. Her research interests include professional skills in engineering students, problem based learning and the first year experience.

Katherine Bennett CBE FRAeS

Katherine Bennett CBE FRAeS

Senior Vice President, Airbus

Katherine is a Senior Vice President of Airbus and has been with the company for 16 years. She leads the company’s external engagement and strategy in the UK and works closely with Global CEO, Guillaume Faury. Based out of London and Bristol, she has specific responsibility for Public Affairs for all parts of the Airbus company which employs 14,000 people in the UK. Katherine has held roles in Communications for Airbus and spent several years based at Airbus HQ in Toulouse, France running the global public affairs function. Katherine’s previous employment was with General Motors UK where she headed up their government affairs function and prior to that worked for Hill and Knowlton Public Relations in London. Katherine was awarded the Order of Commander of the British Empire in January 2019 for services to the aerospace and aviation sector. This followed her Order of the British Empire award in June 2004 for services to industry and charity. She has served on various boards of public/private enterprises focused on economic development in UK regions including the West of England LEP and is Vice President, Aerospace on the Council of ADS (the UK aerospace trade association). She serves on the Board of the Aerospace Growth Partnership (part of the UK Government’s Industrial Strategy), the Board of the French Chamber of Great Britain and Wales Government Science and Innovation Council. In November 2019 Katherine was appointed as Chair of the new Western Gateway, a cross government and local authority initiative which will aim to promote and maximise economic growth across south Wales and the West of England. In March 2020, following the Covid-19 pandemic, Katherine took up the additional role of leading public affairs for VentilatorChallengeUK. A Consortium (which includes Airbus) of UK manufacturers to turnaround and deliver, the urgent requirement to assist UK Government in their national task to provide medical grade ventilators to the NHS. In July 2018 she founded the UK’s Women in Aviation and Aerospace Charter which is committed to building a fair and balanced industry for women in this sector. She has also been instrumental in Women in Defence activity. She is President Elect of the International Aviation Womens’ Association and is a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society. Katherine has an Honorary Doctorate from Cranfield University, one of the world’s leading aerospace universities Katherine is active in her local community in Wiltshire, is a church organist, a member of the UK Parliament Choir and founder of the Airbus Filton Choir.

Lianna Genovese

Lianna Genovese

Biomedical & Mechanical Engineering, McMaster University, Canada & CEO & Founder of ImaginAble Solutions

Lianna Genovese is the CEO & Founder of ImaginAble Solutions and the inventor of Guided HandsTM. As a passionate entrepreneur, Lianna used her interdisciplinary skills as a biomedical and mechanical engineering student at McMaster University to transform her first year school project into an international award-winning product called Guided HandsTM , an assistive device that enables people living with limited fine motor skills to write, paint, and draw as well as type and scroll on a tablet phone or a computer. Her company’s mission is to improve the quality of life for people people living with umpires hand function to enable them to live the life they had always imagined! www.imaginablesolutions.ca

Riitta Lehtinen

Riitta Lehtinen

Principal lecturer in the Department of Clean Technologies, Metropolia University of Applied Sciences, Helsinki, Finland

Riitta Lehtinen, Licentiate in Technology (Chemical Engineering) works as a principal lecturer in the Department of Clean Technologies in Metropolia University of Applied Sciences in Helsinki. She has long experience of teaching engineering students and over 17 years’ experience in different head and director positions in Metropolia. Her core competencies are food technology and hygiene in food production chains and main interests nowadays in circular economy and sustainable development. Since 2016 Riitta has been a manager of different circular economy related research projects, the aim of which is to promote students’ understanding about the change from linear to circular economy.

Kaleb Oxley

Kaleb Oxley

Launch Network Leader, Deakin University, Australia

Sam Presley

Sam Presley

Lead Inspiration Engineer, RS Components

Sam Presley is an Electronics Engineer - graduating from the University of Southampton UK in 2017 where he specialised in the development of low power wireless systems. He currently works for RS Components developing opportunities to help address the skills gap between university and the engineering workplace for the next generation of engineers, through the organisation's Grass Roots university engagement programme. As a student and in his early career he worked in the public and private sector, for the UK MOD and for international consumer products brand Dyson where he was developing their next-generation of connected products.

Chantal Barry

Chantal Barry

Head of International Publications for Research, CEVIPOF - Sciences Po, France

At the CEVIPOF, Chantal Barry is responsible for ensuring the international visibility of the research team and also leads a weekly seminar focusing on topics of intercultural and political interest. Since 2014, she has been a consultant at Petrus focusing largely on employability skills and cooperation between universities and the corporate world.

Kirsten Williamson

Kirsten Williamson

Founder and CEO, Petrus

Petrus is a multi-award-winning international design company that specialises in connecting employers with students and the global education community. Created in 2005 by Kirsten, Petrus now comprises a team of 20 research, communication, education and digital experts creating and implementing projects world-wide. Petrus designs and delivers impactful learning experiences and creative campaigns, bringing together companies, students and universities worldwide for skills development, innovation, brand communications, recruitment, and community engagement. Kirsten believes that everyone has potential, and her mission is to enable young people worldwide to achieve their potential and make a successful start to a fulfilling career, whatever they choose to do.

Prof. Şirin Tekinay

Prof. Şirin Tekinay

Dean of Engineering, American University of Sharjah, UAE, & Chair of the Global Engineering Deans Council

Prof. Şirin Tekinay joined American University of Sharjah as Dean of Engineering starting February 1, 2020. Prof. Tekinay has held posts of academic administration as Dean of Engineering and Natural Sciences, Vice President for Research and Development, and Rector during the last decade. Prior to her tenure in Istanbul the last decade, she lived in the United States where she served as Program Director at the US National Science Foundation; she was tenured faculty at the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, New Jersey Institute of Technology, and Director of NJ Center for Wireless Telecommunications. In addition to her core area of research and teaching (wireless communication networks and related areas), she has been working in and teaching Gender in Science and Technology. She is the elected ’18-21’ Chair of Global Engineering Deans Council (https://www.gedcouncil.org) and a Board Member of the European Society for Engineering Education. Before starting her academic career, she was a researcher at Bell Laboratories. Dean Tekinay holds the PhD degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from George Mason University, Virginia, and the MS and BS degrees in Electrical-Electronics Engineering from Bogazici University, Istanbul.

Dr Ishwar K. Puri

Dr Ishwar K. Puri

Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, McMaster University, Canada

Dr. Puri is a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering (CAE), American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). He is Dean of Engineering and Professor at McMaster University and a member of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada. Puri is the author of several books and archival papers and has founded technology startups. He served as chair of Engineering Deans Canada. He is the architect of The Pivot, a significant transformation of engineering education that embeds design thinking, innovation mindset and entrepreneurship in all programming. The Pivot transforms the curriculum through integrated project-based learning experiences, reimagines the classroom as a purpose-built studio, and amplifies experiential learning. Puri initiated the MacChangers program through which interdisciplinary teams of students work on local solutions for the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Nor Azlinda Azmi

Nor Azlinda Azmi

Master of Philosophy (MPhil.), Engineering Education, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia

Nor Azlinda Azmi obtained her Master of Philosophy (MPhil.) in Engineering Education from Universiti Teknologi Malaysia. She is passionate in engineering education, specifically in computing education and student-centred learning. She worked as an assistant research officer at the Centre for Engineering Education, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (CEE-UTM) and has been active in scholarly research in engineering education network. Currently she's a manager in the manufacturing industry, mentoring young executives in administration, sales and operation. She is also preparing to further her doctoral study in engineering education. She has been a member of SPEED since 2016 as a participant of the 12th Global Student Forum (GSF) in Seoul, South Korea. She was appointed as the chair of the 13th Global Student Forum in Kuala Lumpur and has become SPEED's ambassador in the Asia Pacific region since then. Outside her daily job routine, she is a volunteer in experiential adult self-development workshops and working on research and publications in engineering education.

Felipe Gómez Gallo

Felipe Gómez Gallo

President, Student Platform for Engineering Education Development (SPEED)

An Environmental and Civil Engineer from Universidad de los Andes, with complementary studies in Biodiversity, highly interested in Engineering Education and Sustainability Studies. Currently a Master's student in Environmental Engineering. Knowledge of sustainable development goals (SDGs), engineering education (EE) and climate change adaptation. As President of SPEED (Student Platform for Engineering Education Development) have had the opportunity of leading the organization. Experienced leadership working with multicultural and multidisciplinary teams with verifiable results.

Joris Melkert

Joris Melkert

Senior Lecturer / Director of Education, TU Delft, Faculty of Aerospace Engineering, The Netherlands

Charlette N'Guessan

Charlette N'Guessan

Co-founder, BACE GROUP & 2020 Recipient of the Royal Academy of Engineering’s Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation

Charlette N’Guessan is a business-oriented problem solver who is passionate about using technology at the heart of business innovation. She collaborates with various NGOs which strongly advocate for gender balance in the tech ecosystem and promote the use of technology in Africa. Charlette is a co-founder and CEO of BACE GROUP, a disruptive startup that provides AI-based facial recognition services for online identity verification. Certified digital identity, she believes that the uniqueness of the individual is at the heart of good management of digital identity. She has a degree in electronic and software engineering and is currently studying data science and machine learning. She is co-author of the AI BOOK published by Wiley in April 2020. Charlette has been recognized by global shapers as one of the 50 African innovators to watch in 2020 (https://globalshakers.com/world-shakers/charlette-desire/) and she is Africa prize winner 2020.

John Preston

John Preston

Associate Dean, Research and External Relations, Faculty of Engineering, McMaster University, Canada

John Preston is a Professor in the Dept. of Engineering Physics and serves as McMaster Engineering’s Associate Dean, Research, Innovation and External Relations. He is responsible for the Faculty’s $45M research portfolio. He has served as a CIFAR Associate in Quantum Materials, as a founding member of the Board for the Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology and on the Materials Research Advisory Committee for the TRIUMF National Laboratory. He has represented Canada on numerous technical delegations including those to Germany, UK, Scandinavia, India and China and represented Canada on the ISO technical committee on nanotechnology. Prof. Preston is a device physicist and materials scientist who specializes in the application of laser-based manufacturing approaches for novel device applications. Current research includes a new approach for 3D printing of BiTe to produce high-efficiency thermoelectric generators and the pulsed laser deposition of solar cells on oxide crystals that can be lifted off those crystals.

Dr Susan Tighe

Dr Susan Tighe

Provost and Vice-President Academic, McMaster University, Canada

Susan Tighe, PhD, PEng, FCAE, FCSCE received her BASc in Chemical Engineering from Queen’s University, her MASc Civil Engineering and PhD in Civil Engineering from the University of Waterloo. She has been a Professional Engineer in the Province of Ontario since 1995 and was a Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Waterloo from 2000 to 2020 where she held a Canada Research Chair, the Norman W. McLeod Endowed Chair in Sustainable Pavement Engineering, served as Director of the Centre for Pavement and Transportation Technology and Deputy Provost and Associate Vice President Integrated Planning and Budgeting. Prior to pursuing graduate studies, she worked for the Ministry of Transportation Ontario in various roles including construction site engineer, geotechnical materials engineer and materials engineer writing standards and specifications. She also spent a sabbatical working in the private sector for a leading civil engineering construction company in Australia. Susan has gained national and international recognition for her outstanding contributions to the development, design, and management of sustainable concrete and asphalt transportation infrastructure including Canada’s Top 40 Under 40, New College of Scholars Royal Society of Canada, Fellow Canadian Academy of Engineering and the Ontario Society of Professional Engineers Medal for Research and Development. She is the past president of the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering. Her reputation as a scholar, educator, and professional engineer is well illustrated by the breadth of her technical publications in pavements and infrastructure and involvement in several national and international research projects in Canada, Africa, Chile, India, China, Australia, New Zealand and throughout North America She has successfully completed over 80 graduate students many of whom are now in academic, public and private sector leadership positions.

Colin Tan

Colin Tan

Director Of Operations, TusPark UK

Colin Tan is the Director of Operations for TusPark Newcastle, the first international TusPark fully-owned by TUS Holdings, China’s largest innovation ecosystem of over 200 bases in every major city in China. He works with TUS’s partners in the UK to help businesses, universities and governments to enter and scale-up in the Chinese marke TusPark Newcastle works with Barclays Eagle Labs, the UK’s largest network of tech incubators, and together the combined entity “TusPark Newcastle Eagle Labs” is the biggest UK-China business support network, connecting UK companies directly to Chinese industries, universities, and governments everywhere in the TUS network. Colin is also an early-stage investor and entrepreneur. As one of the first tech startups in the North of England, his company Rentlord became an investee of Seedcamp and 500 Startups, and was the first UK company on the Techcrunch Disrupt stage. He also helped create Dotforge Impact, the first accelerator in the North of England funded by the Cabinet Office to help tech entrepreneurs create social impact businesses. Colin is an active mentor and community builder for the UK tech ecosystem. He established and ran the first UK-China accelerator, FORGE, and regularly shares his insights with early-stage startup entrepreneurs. Originally from Singapore, he is also a published poet and was active in the literary scene early in his life. He remains passionate about social causes, especially education, and had worked in the non-profit sector at the United Nations in Geneva. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts.

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