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Plenary Speakers

Professor Karen Willcox
University of Texas, USA

Data to decisions in complex engineering systems

Prof Karen WillcoxKaren E. Willcox is Director of the Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences (ICES) and a Professor of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics at the University of Texas at Austin. She holds the W. A. 'Tex' Moncrief, Jr. Chair in Simulation-Based Engineering and Sciences and the Peter O'Donnell, Jr. Centennial Chair in Computing Systems. Before joining ICES in 2018, she spent 17 years as a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she served as the founding Co-Director of the MIT Center for Computational Engineering and the Associate Head of the MIT Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics. Prior to joining the MIT faculty, she worked at Boeing Phantom Works with the Blended-Wing-Body aircraft design group. Her research at MIT has produced scalable computational methods for design of next-generation engineered systems, with a particular focus on model reduction as a way to learn principled approximations from data and on multi-fidelity formulations to leverage multiple sources of uncertain information. She is a Fellow of SIAM and Associate Fellow of AIAA.

Dr Paul Lawrence
Queensland Department of Environment and Science, Australia

The science and policy interface and the role of models

Dr Paul LawrencePaul Lawrence is the Acting Executive Director for Science Delivery and Knowledge in the Queensland Department of Environment and Science. He has over 35 years of experience in land and water processes, modelling, and decision support systems and has participated in national and technical advisory committees in natural resource management, reef water quality, land use planning and soil carbon. He is also the founding Director for the Queensland Water Modelling Network and Chairs the Steering Panel and Core Group. He has a strong interest in multidisciplinary science to inform policy and planning, and proactive in collaborative networks across government, university, industry and the private sectors. He holds a Bachelor and Masters Degrees from Griffith University, and a PhD from the University of Arizona in multiple criteria decision support systems. He has also completed an OECD Post-Doctoral Fellowship and an Executive Masters in Public Administration from Monash University.

Professor Tatiana Filatova
University of Technology Sydney, Australia and University of Twente, The Netherlands

Adaptive human behavior and institutions in models of socio-environmental systems: in search for resilience in an urbanised world

Prof Tatiana FilatovaTatiana Filatova is Professor of Computational Economic Modeling at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS), Australia, and at the University of Twente, the Netherlands. Her research focuses on understanding where and how individual behavioral changes amplified by social interactions may cause structural changes in coupled socio-environmental systems. When studying these complex adaptive systems, she relies on agent-based computational models combined with behavioral data collection on individual decisions and social networks. Prof. Filatova applies these methods to explore economic impacts of disasters, urban resilience and regional dynamics. This research has been distinguished by a number of international individual awards and prestigious academic grants including the Early career NWO VENI grant and the ERC Starting grant. She is an elected member of the Young Academy (DJA) of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW), and of the KNAW Social Research Council. As the scientific Program Manager, Prof. Filatova leads the Dutch national 4TU.Federation strategic research program on resilience of social-technical-environmental systems: ‘Designing Systems for Informed Resilience Engineering’ (DeSIRE). She also serves as Associate Editor of Environmental Modelling & Software journal and as an Editorial Board Member of the Socio-Environmental Systems Modelling (SESMO) journal. She co-leads the Agent-based modeling stream at the UTS PERSWADE Research Center.

Web: http://tatianafilatova.weebly.com/

Associate Professor Kate O'Brien
University of Queensland, Australia

Sometimes there’s not enough data, and sometimes data is not enough

Assoc Prof Kate O'BrienAssociate Professor Kate O’Brien completed undergraduate degrees in Chemical Engineering and Mathematics at the University of Queensland (UQ) in 1994. She worked as a process engineer in New Zealand before completing her PhD in environmental engineering at the University of Western Australia, returning to UQ as an academic in 2002. Kate currently leads the chemical-environmental program at UQ. She has used mathematical modelling, data analysis and synthesis to provide insight into a wide range of sustainability issues, including greenhouse gas mitigation, the urban energy-water nexus, water quality and eutrophication, resilience of coastal ecosystems and work-family conflict. Kate takes a systems approach to sustainability, working in interdisciplinary teams with colleagues from engineering, ecology, business and social science.