Symposium 1: 21-23 November 2016, Hinxton, UK

The first Frontiers of Engineering for Development symposium took place from 21-23 November 2016 at the Wellcome Trust Genome Campus conference centre, Hinxton, UK.

Participants of the first Frontiers of Engineering for Development Credit: Rob Lacey.


The Themes

Resilient Development

Session Co-Chair: Dr Yewande Akinola is a Design Engineer. Yewande’s engineering experience and responsibilities include the design of sustainable water supply systems and the engineering design coordination of large projects in the built environment. She has worked on projects in the U.K., Africa, Middle East and in East Asia. Yewande has won several awards including the UK Young Woman Engineer of the year (Institute of Engineering and Technology 2012), UK 35 Under 35 (Management Today’s 35 Women Under 35 2013) and UK Outstanding Woman in STEM (PRECIOUS Award 2014.) Her professional specialties are water, design for manufacture and assembly project engineering and innovation management.

Session Co-Chair: Dr Ksenia Chmutina is a Lecturer in Sustainable and Resilient urbanism at the School of Civil and Building Engineering, Loughborough University. Her main research interest is in synergies of resilience and sustainability in the built environment, including holistic approach to enhancing resilience to natural and human-induced threats, and a better understanding of the systemic implications of sustainability and resilience under the pressures of urbanisation and climate change. She is also interested in multi-hazard multi-stakeholder approaches to disaster risk reduction. She has an extensive experience of working on RCUK and EU-funded projects that focused resilience and sustainability of urban spaces in Europe, China and the Caribbean.


  • Sesinam Dagadu, tinyDAVID ltd
  • Gonzalo Lizarralde, University of Montreal
  • Thomas Rogers, University of West Indies
  • Jo Rose, University of York

Resilient Development: agenda and speaker bios (165.41 KB)


Low-carbon Development

Session Co-Chair: Prof Davide Mattia is a Professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of Bath and a past Royal Academy of Engineering Research Fellow. His research is focused on environmental nanotechnology, the design of materials at the nanometre leading to large-scale processes that require fewer resources, produce less waste and consume less energy. The work of his research group is articulated around three areas, reducing the cost and energy consumption of water treatment processes; the development of environmentally sustainable industrial processes; and the direct conversion of carbon dioxide to chemicals and fuels.

Session Co-Chair: James Van der Walt is a social entrepreneur and engineer. In 2011 he quit his job as a software engineer in Ireland striving to do something more meaningful with his life. In 2012 he moved back to South Africa and founded Ugesi Gold, a social business with the vision of giving the power of tomorrow to those who are powerless today. He took the basic premise of the business to Stellenbosch University to research the idea thoroughly. In 2013 he completed his masters in mechanical engineering specializing in renewable energy. The product of his thesis was the SolarTurtle. Today the first pilot is up and running in the rural Eastern Cape where it is providing electricity to a school with over 2000 students, none of whom have electricity at home.


  • Maria Chiara Ferrari, University of Edinburgh
  • Mbali Mabaso, Engineers without boarders
  • Maryam Imani, Anglia Ruskin
  • Morwesi Ramonyai, Borena Energy

Low-Carbon Development: agenda and speaker bios (109.75 KB)


Connected Development

Session Co-Chair: Dr Tung Duong received his Ph.D. degree in Telecommunications Systems from Blekinge Institute of Technology (BTH), Sweden in 2012. In 2013 he joined Queen's University Belfast as an Assistant Professor. His current research interests include Internet of Things (IoT), smart-grid, physical layer security, energy-harvesting communications, and cognitive relay networks. He is the author or co-author of 220 technical papers published in scientific journals (110 articles) and presented at international conferences (110 papers). He currently serves in the editorial board for the IEEE Transactions on Communications, IEEE Communications Letters, IET Communications as well as serving as the Guest Editor on special issues of some major journals including IEEE Access, IEEE Wireless Communications Magazine, IEEE Communications Magazine and others. He was awarded the Best Paper Award at the IEEE Vehicular Technology Conference (VTC-Spring) in 2013, IEEE International Conference on Communications (ICC) 2014, and is a recipient of the prestigious Royal Academy of Engineering Research Fellowship (2015-2020).

Session Co-Chair: Robert Speicys Cardoso is the founder of Scipopulis, a start-up that develops collaborative software for smart cities that provides real time transport data in developing cities. Developing cities very rarely have a public transportation monitoring infrastructure, and data collected and shared by passengers can effectively improve the quality of transportation data in those cities. He participated in the 2015 RAEng Leaders in Innovation Fellowship.


  • Marco Di Renzo, University Paris-Sud
  • Deniz Gunduz, Imperial College London
  • David Lopez-Perez, BellLabs
  • Roberto Gallo, Kryptus

Connected Development: agenda and speaker bios (125.13 KB)


Collaborative Development

Session Co-Chair: Dr Carlos López-Gómez is the head of POLICY LINKS, the knowledge exchange unit of the Centre for Science, Technology and Innovation Policy (CSTI), University of Cambridge. Policy Links' mission is to develop new policy evidence, insights and tools building on the latest academic thinking and international best practice. Carlos has advised governments and international institutions including the UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), the European Commission as well as regional governments and cluster organisations in Mexico, Spain and UK.

Session Co-Chair: Habil Ahmed Khan was recently elected as the Vice President of the German Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GPCCI) Islamabad Region (Jhelum to Peshawar). He is the Director of Operations at Welt Konnect Ltd, a subsidiary of the esteemed Transtech Group of Pakistan, one of the leading renewable Energy Project Developers of the Country. Under his leadership the Group has contributed substantially to the establishment of the Quaid-E-Azam Solar Park by the Government. The Group has also played a critical role in the development of the first batch of successful Wind Power Projects in Sindh as well as some of the largest Hydro Power Projects in Pakistan. They are involved with developing expertise for analysis and planning of the National Grid, Generation, Interconnection, Transmission, Dispatch and Distribution Networks acquiring top industry tools and software. 


  • Leonardo Augusto de Vasconcelos Gomes, Univsersity of São Paulo
  • Syed Muhammad Raza Kazmi, National University of Science and Technology, Pakistan
  • Fernando Montalvo
  • Adrien Schmid-Kieninge, MENA & APAC

Collaborative Development: agenda and speaker bios (86.23 KB)


Event Chairs

  • Dr Ruth Boumphrey, Head of Research at Lloyds Register Foundation
  • Prof Jim Hall, FREng, Director of Environmental Change Institute, Oxford Univerisity


Event Materials

Agenda (144.77 KB)

Collaboration materials: linking up (452.10 KB)

Collaboration materials: making connections (313.61 KB)

All participant bios (648.92 KB)

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