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Keynote Speakers

Prof. Mahdi Tavakoli,
University of Alberta, Canada

Mahdi Tavakoli received his BSc and MSc degrees in Electrical Engineering from Ferdowsi University and K.N. Toosi University, Iran, in 1996 and 1999, respectively. He then received his PhD degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Western Ontario, London, ON, Canada, in 2005. In 2006, he was a post-doctoral research associate at Canadian Surgical Technologies and Advanced Robotics (CSTAR), London, ON, Canada. In 2007-2008, and prior to joining the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Alberta, Dr. Tavakoli was an NSERC Post-Doctoral Fellow with the BioRobotics Laboratory of the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA. Dr. Tavakoli’s research interests broadly involve the areas of robotics and systems control. Specifically, his research focuses on haptics and teleoperation control, medical robotics, and image-guided surgery. Dr. Tavakoli is the first author of the book “Haptics for Teleoperated Surgical Robotic Systems” (World Scientific, 2008). He is currently an Associate Professor and Program Director (Electrical Engineering) in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

Prof. Peter Plapper,
University of Luxembourg, Luxembourg

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Peter Plapper was born in Mannheim, Germany on September 16th 1963. In 1986 he completed his studies on Mechanical Engineering / Design at TU Kaiserslautern with the degree Dipl.-Ing. His doctoral thesis at the laboratory of tool machines (WZL) of RWTH Aachen, Germany was awarded with the Borchers Medal for scientific excellence in 1993.

Since 1994, he worked for Adam Opel and General Motors in different management positions in Manufacturing Engineering (ME) with increasing responsibility. He developed innovative production technologies, implemented tool machines and coordinated the refurbishment of robotic assembly lines. From 1998 until 2002 he joined the Tech Center of GM in Michigan, USA where he shaped the global manufacturing strategy for Body Shop and General Assembly. During his industrial career he worked on many different robot applications, led the installation of assembly lines all European GM vehicle plants and was responsible as HEAD of MANUFACTURING Engineering for the equipment of all shops in plant Russelsheim. Following his assignment as MANAGER ADVANCED TECHNOLOGIES EUROPE Peter Plapper was appointed in 2010 FULL-PROFESSOR for manufacturing engineering to the University of Luxembourg.

Prof. Plapper is member of AIM (European Academy of Industrial Management), VDI (Verein Deutscher Ingenieure), and Luxembourg Materials and Production Cluster Steering Committee. Since 2014 he is the DIRECTOR of the new Master program “Master of Science in Engineering – Sustainable Product Creation”. For the current list of publications please visit 

Prof. Mohamed Al-Hussein
University of Alberta, Canada

Dr. Mohamed Al-Hussein is a professor at the University of Alberta, Hole School of Construction Engineering, and a highly sought researcher and consultant in the areas of construction automation, lean construction, process improvement, equipment selection and utilization, CO2 emission quantification and reduction, urban development, and building information modelling.
Dr. Al-Hussein’s current research initiatives include prototyping of automated and semi-automated machinery for fabrication of steel and wood-framed construction components, application of lean and ergonomic principles to improve the safety and productivity of industrialization construction operations, and development of plant layout and process improvement measures for panelized and modular construction. Dr. Al-Hussein holds the NSERC Industrial Research Chair in the Industrialization of Building Construction, and is Director of the Nasseri School of Building Science and Engineering. Dr. Al-Hussein’s research has been published in well over 200 peer-reviewed journals and conference proceedings.

Prof. Pierre Mertiny,
University of Alberta, Canada

Dr. Pierre Mertiny has focused his research on advanced polymer composite materials, including material behavior, damage mechanisms, failure prediction and structural health monitoring under multiaxial loadings; nanocomposite materials and adhesively bonded joints. Component fabrication by filament winding is a particular area of expertise.
Of special interest is the filament-winding manufacturing method and its application to the fabrication of components with rotational symmetry.
Research projects primarily involve components for the energy sector, e.g. piping and vessels, energy storage flywheels.
Further information about Dr.Mertiny's research can be found on the Webpages of the Advanced Composite Materials Engineering Group.

Prof.Viacheslav Pshikhopov
Southern Federal University, Russian Federation

Professor Viacheslav Pshikhopov was born in Rostov region, Russia, on January 23, 1963. In 1986 he received the degree of a certified engineer in Automation and Remote Control in the Taganrog Institute of Radio Engineering. In 2009 he received the degree of the Doctor of science specializing in System Analysis, Control and Data Processing in Don State Technical University, Rostov on Don. In 2011 he received the title of a full professor at Southern Federal University.
Prof. Pshikhopov is the head of the leading scientific school of Russian Federation in the area of robotics and control systems. He has published about 200 research works in this area, including monographs in leading publishing houses of Russia and the world.
Under his leadership, a number of projects were successfully carried out to create the intelligent control systems of robotic platforms in the interests of the Space Agency of China, the European Commission, Russian ministries and departments.
Prof. Pshikhopov is the director of the Research and Development Institute of Robotics and Control Systems of Southern Federal University and the head of the Expert council of the National Center for development of the technologies and basic elements of robotics, Moscow. He is a member of editorial boards of several international and Russian science journals.



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