Keynote Speakers

The programme for the conference has not been finalised but the offering includes:

Dr Adriana Marais (SAP)
The reason I want to go to Mars is simple—The allure of the unknown is far more powerful than the comfort of the known.
Dr Adriana Marais, theoretical physicist and aspiring extraterrestrial, believes that we are living at a unique point in the history of life on Earth. Developments in science and technology are taking place at an unprecedented rate, and the expansion of our society beyond this planet is within reach. She will talk about her research in quantum biology and the origins of life, the technology required to sustain terrestrial life on Mars and the various projects aiming to send crewed missions there. She describes how the establishment, and potential discovery of evidence of, life on Mars, would be one of the most profound possible contributions of science to humanity

Prof Mike Inggs (UCT)
Big Data or Big Hype?
The technology press has been talking for some years about Big Data. Although the issues of handling vast data sets have been appreciated by engineers and scientists for much longer, it has been a topic that in many ways grabbed the limelight away from Climate Change. Many governments have followed up with the funding of facilities to handle the impending data tsunami. Is this topic something that we need to worry about, or, maybe Industry has quietly stolen a march on us and can satisfy our wildest dreams in terms of storing, and importantly, mining the data tsunami?
Michael Inggs obtained a Ph D, DIC from Imperial College, London (1979). He has worked in industry in the UK, USA and South Africa, and joined the Department of Electrical Engineering, University of Cape Town in 1988. He retired in 2016 and now holds the rank of Emeritus Professor. He holds a Visiting Professorship at University College London, and was a visiting Professor at TU Delft in 2015. His research is in the area of radar sensor networks, radar remote sensing and high performance computing.

Dr David Rubin (U Wits)
Circles in a Forest—Some Thoughts on the Application of System Dynamics to Biological and Environmental Phenomena.
An understanding of systems has enabled the development of astounding technological innovation. Its application to nature, however, is still in its infancy, and the vast, elaborate, interconnected networks of the natural world remain largely unexplored. The title of this talk, after Dalene Matthee’s novel, is intended as a metaphor for the intricate web of closed-loop feedback processes encountered in nature. This talk will deal with the role of System Dynamics in our quest for insight. As we begin to understand these phenomena, we will surely better understand the consequences of our own actions and their impact on the future our planet.
David Rubin received his medical degree from the University of Pretoria. He has a Diploma in Anaesthetics and a Fellowship in Nuclear Medicine from the Colleges of Medicine of South Africa, and holds a Masters in Biomedical Engineering from the University of New South Wales, and a Master of Medicine from the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. He has worked as a clinician and specialist in Nuclear Medicine, after which he founded the Biomedical Engineering Research Group at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, which he currently leads as Adjunct Professor in the School of Electrical and Information Engineering. His research interests include medical education and developments at the interface of medicine and engineering.