April 20-22, 2018 | Auckland, New Zealand

Keynote&Invited Speakers


Keynote Speakers



Ferial El-Hawary received the M. Sc. from the University of Alberta, Canada in Electrical Engineering and the Ph.D. from Memorial University of Newfoundland in Oceans Engineering. She is Cofounder and President of BH Engineering Systems Limited of Halifax, and the "Modeling and Signal Analysis Research Laboratory" in the Faculty of Engineering at the Technical University of Nova Scotia (TUNS). Dr. El-Hawary supervised many of graduate students at TUNS and her research work has been supported by Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Grants. Dr. El-Hawary has been involved in OCEANS Activities both technically and administratively having been a member of the Marine Technology Society (MTS) since over two decades. She is the founding Chair of the MTS' Canadian Maritime Section, Halifax, N.S., Canada and has served the MTS with many capacity. Dr. El-Hawary continues to be involved in OCEANS Activities both technically and administratively as a current member of the IEEE Oceanic Engineering Society Administrative Committee (AdCom) having served as Vice- President International, and Past Chairman of the Membership Development Committee. She was nominated to serve as President of the Society. Ferial has been instrumental in establishing the Canadian Atlantic Chapters of Oceanic Engineering Society, and she is recognized for her leadership roles in establishing strong IEEE/OES European Chapter based in France as well as the IEEE/OES Chapter based in Trondeheim, Norway. Ferial was heavily involved in the organizing Committees of OCEANS'87, OCEANS'97 Conferences, and CCECE'2000 in Halifax, N.S., Canada and OCEANS'94, OCEANS'98 in France. Dr. El-Hawary is the current Chair of Eastern Canada Council of IEEE Canada, and a member of IEEE Committee on Women in Engineering. She has organized and chaired many Technical sessions as well as Panel Discussions at the OCEANS Conferences for the past two decades. Dr. El-Hawary served as Chair of the Tutorial Program for many OCEANS Conferences including OCEANS'01. She has published widely, and was guest editor of a special sequence of issues for the IEEE Journal of Oceanic Engineering on Advanced Applications of Control and Signal Processing in the Oceans Environment. Also she is the Chief Editor of "The OCEANS Engineering Handbook" published in 2001 by IEEE and CRC Press. Currently she is an Associate Editor of the IEEE Journal of Oceanic Engineering Society (JOES). She is a recipient of IEEE Canada Wally Read Service Award for 2000, the IEEE Third Millennium Medal' 2000, the 1999 RAB Achievement Award, 1997 IEEE Oceanic Engineering Society Distinguished Service Award . She is a Fellow of IEEE, a Fellow of the Engineering Institute of Canada (EIC), and a Fellow of the Marine Technology Society (MTS). Ferial served as president of IEEE Canada in 2008 and 2009.





Prof Weiliang Peter Xu received the B.E. degree in manufacturing engineering and the M.E. degree in mechanical engineering from Southeast University, Nanjing, China, in 1982 and 1985, respectively, and the Ph.D. degree in mechatronics and robotics from Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Beijing, China, in 1988. He joined The University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand, on February 1, 2011, as Chair Professor in Mechatronics Engineering. Before this appointment, from 2007 to 2010, he was a Professor of mechatronics, from 2005 to 2006, was an Associate Professor, and from 1999 to 2004, was a Senior Lecturer in the School of Engineering and Advanced Technology, Massey University, New Zealand. Prior to coming to New Zealand, from 1993 to 1998, he was with the City University of Hong Kong, from 1990 to 1992, was with the University of Stuttgart, Germany, and from 1988 to 1989, was with Southeast University, China. Dr. Xu is a Fellow of the Institution of Professional Engineers of New Zealand. Since 2003, he has been serving as an Associate Editor of the IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON INDUSTRIAL ELECTRONICS; from 2008 to 2009, was an Associate Editor of the IEEE Robotics and Automation Magazine; and from 2005 to 2010, was an Editor for the International Journal of Intelligent Systems Technologies and Applications. He received the Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellowship (Germany) in 1990, the Fung Ying Tung Young Academics Research Award (China) in 1996, the Korean Federation of Science and Technology Research Fellowship (South Korea) in 2006, and the Japan Society of the Promotion of Science Research Fellowship (Japan) in 2010. Prof Xu is the Director of Mechatronics Engineering Program. He is also Principal Investigator of the New Zealand Medical Technologies Centre of Research Excellence (CoRE) and Associate Investigator of The Dodd-Walls Centre for Photonic and Quantum Technologies (CoRE) and Riddet Institute (CoRE).

"Soft Robotic Digestion Organs"

Abstract: This talk introduces the research program on soft robotics for human digestion system including tongue, esophagus and gastric tract. These robotic organs are developed for in vitro simulation of the digestive system interacting with food to test medical hypotheses and assist in developing novel food products. The biological principle and the biomimetic design of these robotic organs are presented with focus on their distributed actuation, sensing and closed-loop control. Science challenges in the soft robotics are outlined, including data-driven modelling and control.




Wei-Hsin Liao received his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, USA. Since August 1997, Dr. Liao has been with The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), where he is currently the Associate Dean (Student Affairs), Faculty of Engineering. His research has led to publications of 190 technical papers in international journals and conference proceedings, 16 patents in US, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, and Korea. He was the Conference Chair for the 20th International Conference on Adaptive Structures and Technologies in 2009; the Active and Passive Smart Structures and Integrated Systems, SPIE Smart Structures/NDE in 2014 and 2015. He received the T A Stewart-Dyer/F H Trevithick Prize 2005, awarded by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE). In 2008, he received the Best Paper Award in Structures from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). He also received the Best Paper Award in Automation in the 2009 IEEE International Conference on Information and Automation, and the Best Conference Paper Award in the 2011 IEEE International Conference on Mechatronics and Automation. As the Chair of Joint Chapter of Robotics, Automation and Control Systems Society (RACS), IEEE Hong Kong Section, Dr. Liao received 2012 Chapter of the Year Award from the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society. He currently serves as an Associate Editor for Mechatronics, Journal of Intelligent Material Systems and Structures, as well as Smart Materials and Structures. Dr. Liao is a Fellow of ASME, HKIE, and IOP.


Invited Speaker




Prof. Antonio Moran is a professor in the department of Electricity and Electronics Engineering, Pontifical Catholic University of Peru, Peru. He is professional with international experience and specialization in automation, robotics and hydrocarbons. He is manager and leader of engineering projects for the improvement and quality assurance; director of University Programs of Electronic Engineering and international exhibitor. He has made the achievement of double degree agreements with North American and European universities, being consultant and adviser of mechanical and electronic engineering projects.