Keynotes, Speakers and Panelists

Professor Tawana Kupe is currently the Vice-Chancellor & Principal at the University of Pretoria and is the 13th vice-chancellor to take up the reins of this 111-year-old university and commenced his duties on 14 January 2019. Prior to his appointment, he served as the Vice-Principal of the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), responsible for the daily running of that institution and the coordination of operations across all executive portfolios. Before that, he held the rotating Vice-Principal post and also served as the Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Advancement, Human Resources and Transformation. Professor Kupe holds a Bachelor of Art Honours degree and Master’s in English from the University of Zimbabwe, as well as a DPhil in Media Studies from the University of Oslo, Norway. A highly published academic, he has authored several journal articles, books and book chapters in his main discipline, Media Studies and Journalism.

Topic – How can universities survive post Covid-19.
Session – President’s/VC Forum.

Professor Barbara Oakley is a Professor of Engineering at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan. Prof Oakley holds Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering, from the University of Washington, in 1986, a Master of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering degree from Oakland University in 1995, and a Ph.D. in Systems Engineering from the same University. Her work focuses on the complex relationship between neuroscience and social behavior. She teaches Coursera – UC San Diego’s “Learning How to Learn,” one of the world’s most popular massive open online course with over three million registered students. Barb is a New York Times best-selling author—her book A Mind for Numbers has sold nearly a million copies in twenty languages worldwide.

Topic – Active Learning: Those Words Do Not Mean What You Think They Mean.
Session – Keynote.

Professor Bevlee A. Watford is a Professor in Engineering Education, Associate Dean for Equity and Engagement and Exectuve Director of the Center for Enhancement of Engineering Diversity at the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech. Prof Watford earned all of her degrees from Virginia Tech’s College of Engineering (BS Mining Engineering, MS and PhD in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research). Prof Watford has worked at Virginia Tech since 1992, becoming associate dean in 1997. Her professional interests are focused on ensuring that all students who desire an engineering degree are successful. She is particularly interested in helping under-represented students achieve their educational and professional goals, whether these goals are in engineering or any other field.

Session – Speaker.

Professor Ramiro Jordan is a scientist, innovator, educator and entrepreneur. He is a faculty member of the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) department at the University of New Mexico, and is currently the Associate Dean of Engineering for International Programs. His research activities include sustainability, Smart Grid, cognitive radio, multi-dimensional signal processing, and software development. He is a dedicated educator, actively creating educational infrastructure in academic institutions worldwide with emphasis on the “culture of quality” in educational programs for accreditation and certification. Prof Jordan is a recognized leader in his field and serves on the Board of Directors of several industrial and professional organizations. An active member of scientific and professional societies including ASEE and IEEE, Prof Jordan has published extensively in books, journals, magazines and on the Web.

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1) Post COVID-19 Peace Engineering Activities: Get Involved.
2) Post COVID-19 Engineering Approach to the 17 UN SDGs: Peace and Sustainability.
– International Panel on Peace Engineering.


Mr Xavier Fouger An Industrial Engineer, former Science Attaché in Vienna, Xavier Fouger joined Dassault Systemes in 1990. He developed innovation processes for various automotive manufacturers in Germany and Korea. He created the corporate organization in charge of global academia. He created Dassault Systemes’ Learning Lab that conducts collaborative educational research with various universities, funded by US and European agencies on the use of digital technologies in education and the development of lifelong learning of emerging engineering practices. His current focus is on developing industry-inspired learning centres, establishing educational government programs and nurturing collaboration with engineering education societies.

Session – Keynote speaker.

MMilligan_Photo July2020

Dr Michael K. J. Milligan is the Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of ABET, the global accreditor of over 4,000 college and university programs in applied and natural science, computing, engineering and engineering technology. Dr Milligan earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin, his M.S.E. from the University of Massachusetts at Lowell, and his B.S. from Michigan State University — all in electrical engineering. He also earned an M.B.A. in Business Administration from Western New England College, is a registered Professional Engineer (PE) in Colorado and Maryland, and a Certified Association Executive (CAE). Dr Milligan is also a member of the Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society, IEEE Eta Kappa Nu Electrical and Computer Engineering Honor Society, and a senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).

Session – Speaker.
Topic: Accreditation Reviews in the COVID-19 World.

Cindy Cooper_The Lemelson Foundation_ 460 x 460

Prof Cindy Cooper is Program Officer for The Lemelson Foundation and supports higher education initiatives that promote invention education and invention-based entrepreneurship to improve lives. She also leads the Foundation’s Engineering for One Planet initiative accelerate environmentally and social conscious engineering by mobilizing changes in engineering education. Prof Cooper holds a Global M.B.A. with distinction from Thunderbird School of Global Management and earned a B.A. summa cum laude in Psychology/Spanish from Claremont McKenna College. She has experience in global marketing and has consulted to corporations, foundations and NGOs on social innovation and environmental impact projects.

Session – Speaker.
Topic: Why Every Engineering Graduate Needs to be Environmentally Focused.

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