About Us

Keynote & Plenary Speakers


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

Biography: Saman Halgamuge, Fellow of the IEEE, is a Professor and the Director/Head of Research School of Engineering, The Australian National University. He has previously 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, Sri Lanka. He is an Associate Editor of BMC Bioinformatics, IEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems II and Applied Mathematics (Hindawi). His research that lead to 25o publications has been funded over the last 20 years by Australian Research Council (16 grants), National Health and Medical Research Council (2 grants), industry and other external organisations (13 grants or contracts) and funding to support stipends for 45 PhD students.  His research record is in Data engineering, which includes Data Analytics and Optimization focusing on applications in Mechatronics, Energy, Biology and Medicine. His publication profile is at http://scholar.google.com.au/citations?sortby=pubdate&hl=en&user=9cafqywAAAAJ&view_op=list_works

Prof. Mohammed Bennamoun
The University of Western Australia, Australia

Biography: 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 is currently a Winthrop Professor. He served as the Head of the School of Computer Science and Software Engineering at The University of Western Australia (UWA) for five years (February 2007-March 2012). He served as the Director of a University Centre at QUT: The Space Centre for Satellite Navigation from 1998-2002.

He served as a member of the Australian Research Council (ARC) College of Experts from 2013-2015. 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, and the co-author of an Edited book on .Ontology Learning and Knowledge Discovery Using the Web", published in 2011.

He published close to 100 journal papers and 250 conference papers, and secured highly competitive national grants from the ARC, government and other funding bodies. Some of these grants were in collaboration with Industry partners (through the ARC Linkage Project scheme) to solve real research problems for industry, including Swimming Australia, the West Australian Institute of Sport, a textile company (Beaulieu Pacific), and AAM-GeoScan. He worked on research problems and collaborated (through joint publications, grants and supervision of PhD students) with researchers from different disciplines including Animal Biology, Speech Processing, Biomechanics, Ophthalmology, Dentistry, Linguistics, Robotics, Photogrammetry, and Radiology. He collaborated with researchers from within Australia (e.g. CSIRO), as well as Internationally (e.g. Germany, France, Finland, USA). He won several awards, including the Best Supervisor of the Year Award at QUT in 1998, an award for teaching excellence (research supervision), and the Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Research Mentorship in 2016. He also received an award for research supervision at UWA in 2008.

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), the International Conference on Acoustics Speech and Signal Processing (IEEE ICASSP), the IEEE International Conference on Computer Vision (CVPR 2016), and a course at the International Summer School on Deep Learning (DeepLearn2017). 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).

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

Biography: 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 ArchitectureIstanbul 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 ArchitectureIstanbul 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.


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