Virtual and Augmented Reality Simulations

Keynote Speakers for ICVARS 2018


Keynote Speaker I

IEEE Fellow, Prof Saman K. Halgamuge
The Australian National University, Australia

Prof. Saman Halgamuge is the Director, Research School of Engineering, Australian National University. He is and IEEE Fellow since January 2017. He has held appointments as Professor and Associate Dean International at the University of Melbourne.  He graduated with Dipl.-Ing and PhD degrees in Data Engineering (“Datentechnik”) from Technical University of Darmstadt, Germany and B.Sc. Engineering from University of Moratuwa. He has an outstanding research record in Data engineering, which includes Big Data Analytics and Optimization focusing on applications in Mechatronics, Energy and Bioengineering. He has been a frequently invited public speaker and delivered about 20 keynote speeches worldwide.

He completed supervision of 32 PhD students and currently supervises a group of 15 PhD students. He is an Associate Editor of BMC Bioinformatics and IEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems II: Express Letters and founding co-editor of Frontier’s journal on Mechanical Engineering- Mechatronics section. He published over 250 research papers including a research book, 6 edited books, 20 book chapters, 100 journal articles, and over 130 refereed conference papers attracting over 6500 Google Scholar (h-factor: 33). He is a member of Australian Research Council (ARC) College of Experts panel for Engineering, Information and Computing Sciences. His full profile is at


Keynote Speaker II

Prof. Hubert Roth

University of Siegen, Germany

Professor Dr. Hubert Roth is Head of the Institute of Automatic Control Engineering (RST), ZESS Project Area 4 "Automation, Mechatronics and Medical Technology", International Graduate Studies in Mechatronics., Member of the International Postgraduate Programme Committee on Multi Sensorics of the ZESS... 

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Hubert Roth was born in 21 March, 1954 in Oppenau, Germany. He has rich experiences in his work. He received his Doctorate degree at Karlsruhe Technical University in 1983. In 1988, he was appointment as chair in Control Engineering at Ravensburg-Weingarten University of Applied Sciences. Since 1992, he served as Head of the Technology-transfer-centre for Applied Computer and Software Technologies of Steinbeis GmbH & Co. KG. In 2000, he worked as Substitute chair in Control Engineering at Siegen University, Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Informatics. Since 2001, he became Chair in Control Engineering at Siegen University, Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Informatics.

He also served as Vice Spokesman of Centre for Sensor Systems (ZESS), Vice Director of Centre for International Capacity Development (CICD), Vice Director of “Technical Committee on Computers and Telematics” of International Federation of Automatic Control (IFAC). Since 2012, he is Managing Director of Centre for International Capacity Development (CICD)

His research and scientific Interests include: Navigation und localisation of cooperating mobile Robots, Control in aero-space applications, Obstacle avoidance and path planing for manipulators, Tele-control, tele-manipulation, tele-presence and E-learning. His Recent and Current Research Initiatives are: Navigation of mobil robots using PMD-cameras, Search and Rescue Robotics, Outdoor Robotics and Environmental Exploration (E2N).


Keynote Speaker III

Prof. Mohammed Bennamoun

The University of Western Australia, Australia

Mohammed Bennamoun received his M.Sc. from Queen's University, Kingston, Canada in the area of Control Theory, and his PhD from Queen's /Q.U.T in Brisbane, Australia in the area of Computer Vision. He lectured Robotics at Queen's, and then joined QUT in 1993 as an Associate Lecturer. He then became a Lecturer in 1996 and a Senior Lecturer in 1998 at QUT. He was also the Director of a research Centre from 1998-2002. In Jan. 2003, he joined the Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering at The University of Western Australia (UWA) as an Associate Professor and was promoted to Professor in 2007. He is currently a Winthrop Professor. He served as the Head of the School of Computer Science and Software Engineering at UWA for five years (February 2007-March 2012). He was an Erasmus Mundus Scholar and Visiting Professor in 2006 at the University of Edinburgh. He was also Visiting Professor at CNRS (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique) and Telecom Lille1, France in 2009, the Helsinki University of Technology in 2006, and the University of Bourgogne and Paris 13 in France in 2002-2003. He is the co-author of the book ``Object Recognition: Fundamentals and Case Studies'', Springer-Verlag, 2001. He won the “Best Supervisor of the Year” Award at QUT. He also received an award for research supervision at UWA in 2008. He published over 120 journal and conference publications. He served as a guest editor for a couple of special issues in International journals, such as the International Journal of Pattern Recognition and Artificial Intelligence (IJPRAI). He was selected to give conference tutorials at the European Conference on Computer Vision (ECCV) and the International Conference on Acoustics Speech and Signal Processing (IEEE ICASSP). He organized several special sessions for conferences; including a special session for the IEEE International Conference in Image Processing (IEEE ICIP). He was on the program committee of many conferences e.g. 3D Digital Imaging and Modeling (3DIM) and the International Conference on Computer Vision. He also contributed in the organisation of many local and international conferences. His areas of interest include control theory, robotics, obstacle avoidance, object recognition, artificial neural networks, signal/image processing and computer vision (particularly 3D).

Keynote Speaker IV

Prof. Manolya Kavakli-Thorne
Macquarie University, Faculty of Science Department of Computing, Australia

Associate Professor Manolya Kavakli-Thorne is currently the Director of the Postgraduate Coursework Program at the Department of ComputingMacquarie University. She is an active researcher with 133 refereed papers (775 citations) in the last 25 years working on Human Computer Interaction (HCI). She has been the recipient of 10 awards and more than 30 grants from a number of scientific international organisations including the Australian Research Council, the Scientific and Technical Research Council of Turkey, Turkish Republic State Planning Organization. Her research has been profiled in international media 32 times. Dr Kavakli supervised 7 postdoctoral fellows and 47 potsgraduate (11 PhD, 2 MSc, 7 Honours, 18 MIT and 9 French MEng internship) students in HCI. At present, she has been supervising 8 postgraduate students in this domain.

Dr Kavakli started working on HCI in design, following her graduation from the Faculty of Architecture, Istanbul Technical University, in 1987. Her earlier research studies focused on the simulation of designers’ behaviour and interaction with computer aided design systems. She developed two knowledge based systems for the solution of specific design problems to gain her M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in 1990 and 1995 from Istanbul Technical University. In her early postdoctoral studies, she focused on computer graphics and sketch recognition to be able to design more effective and intuitive software systems for architects and engineers. She was awarded a NATO Science Fellowship in 1996 with her postdoctoral research project titled "An AI application for the transformation of 2D sketch to 3D geometric model" and started working on the analysis of hand drawn images. She worked at the Colour and Imaging Institute (former Design Research Centre), University of Derby, UK for a year. In 1998 she received a Postdoctoral Fellowship from the University of Sydney, Australia and worked on the differences in cognitive processing between novice and expert designers at the Key Centre of Design Computing and Cognition for 1.5 years.

Until 1999 she was an Associate Professor in Design Science and Methodology at the Faculty of Architecture, Istanbul Technical University, In 2000, she started lecturing in IT at the School of Information TechnologyCharles Sturt University. In 2002, she took an active role in establishing the first degree in Computer Science (Games Technology) and became its Acting Course Coordinator. By that time, her research in HCI started having a strong focus on the creation of virtual habitats and novel interaction methods with virtual objects and avatars in computer games and training simulations. In 2003, she became a Senior Lecturer at Department of Computing, Macquarie University, and established a Virtual Reality Lab, as well as VISOR (Virtual and Interactive Simulations of Reality) Research Group. She is currently continuing her research on HCI using virtual reality and motion tracking technologies with a strong focus on the development of training simulations. In 2013 and 2014 Dr Kavakli received two 2-month appointments for Research Professorships at the Virtual Immersion Research Group, Image Institute - Laboratory Le2i, Ecole Nationale Superieure d'Arts et Metiers ParisTech, Chalon Sur Saone, France. Joining CEPET (Centre for Elite Performance, Expertise, and Training) as an associate member, she took an active role in building a Simulation Hub together with her colleagues from the Department of Psychology.