Confirmed Speakers

M. Stanley Whittingham

Distinguished Professor, Chemistry and Materials Science & Engineering, Binghamton University
The research of Whittingham's materials chemistry group includes the preparation and chemical and physical properties of novel inorganic oxide materials. Much of our effort is targeted at finding new materials for advancing energy storage. Recently we have discerned the critical role that single-phase reactions play in the discharge of battery electrodes. Our goal is to significantly improve the storage ability of electrochemical devices so as to make renewable solar and wind energy viable, also to enable electric vehicle range and cost. Our research involves much materials characterization at the major National Laboratories.

Abhijit Pramanick

Visiting Assistant Professor City University of Hong Kong
My research is focused on the prediction and evaluation of structure-property-processing relations in solid state functional materials using in situ and time-resolved characterization techniques. The particular materials of interest include piezoelectrics and ferromagnetic shape memory alloys (FSMA), which constitute the building blocks of advanced actuators and sensors used in industries as diverse as manufacturing, transportation, electronics and biomedicine. The functionalities of a material can be enhanced through better processing/operational conditions if the underlying materials physics for those conditions are comprehensively understood. This is where in situ characterization of materials plays a vital role towards attaining the objective of 'materials by design.' Towards this end, my research endeavors to develop and utilize new experimental techniques based on the principles of X-ray and neutron scattering from matter.

Gareth Knowles

CEO, QorTek
Gareth received his PhD from Kings College Cambridge. Previously he was CTO for EMF Industries and before that Lab Head of Dynamics and Control R&D at Northrop Grumman while simultaneously heading up their Smart Materials activities. He holds 27 granted patents (8 more pending) covering piezoelectronics, active devices, actuator designs and power electronics. He has delivered over 50 national and international invited talks and has published over 100 technical papers. He has received several technology leadership awards and twice awarded EEC/EU Visiting Professorship (University of Strathclyde, Technical University of Denmark). He was Editor-in-chief of the ‘Journal of Smart Structures & Materials’, Editor-in-chief of Institute of Physics ‘Adaptive Structures & Active Materials’ monograph text series, has been Senior editor for several engineering professional organization journal publications including ‘IEEE Systems & Controls’; ‘International J. of Robust & Nonlinear Control’ etc., and been Chairperson of a number of engineering society committees including SPIE, CERF, and IEEE that have included culminating in House/Senate written reports. He has served as either Conference or Conference Section Chairperson for several professional engineering societies.
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Christopher Mullen

Mechanical Engineer at US Army CERDEC CP&I
Research Interests: Design optimization of electromagnetic alternators for vibration energy harvesting applications, electric motor design, finite element analysis, topology optimization

Makhapa Makhafola

General Manager: Research & Development at Mintek
Dr Makhafola is currently the General Manager: Research & Development at Mintek. He worked as Lecturer in Analytical Chemistry at Technikon Northern Gauteng (now called Tshwane University of Technology) and University of Venda. In 2004 was appointed Director: Quality Assurance at Border Technikon (now called Walter Sisulu University). Dr Makhafola was the Director: Quality Assurance at the University of Venda until he joined University of Kwa-Zulu Natal as the Director Quality Promotion & Assurance in July 2010, part of his responsibility was to lead the World University Rankings project. Dr Makhafola served as member of Umalusi Council and also as Chairperson of Lovedale FET College Audit Committee. He is currently the Chairperson of DST/MINTEK Nanotechnology Innovation Centre Steering Committee. He served as a member of the Higher Education Quality Assurance Manager’s Forum and also chaired and facilitated various workshops on quality assurance in higher education. He is also serving as an academic committee member of QS World Ranking Universities. Dr Makhafola did the post-doctoral training in Analytical Chemistry at Indiana University. He presented his research work in more than 19 international conferences and published in credible journals.

Daryoosh Vashaee

Assoc. Professor, Electrical & Computer Engineering
Dr Vashaee is an expert in superlattices and nanostructured materials for energy conversion and sensing applications. In the past, he has contributed to the development of several key thermoelectric structures including heterostructure thermionic devices and bulk nanocomposite materials. He has published more than 150 technical articles, and is the winner of the 2004 Goldsmid Award for research excellence in thermoelectrics from the International Thermoelectric Society. Prior to NCSU he worked at Oklahoma State University as Assistant Professor and at MIT as postdoctoral scholar.
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Vikram Pakrashi

Assistant Professor, University College of Dublin

Ray Baughman

Distinguished Chair in Chemistry, Professor of Chemistry, & Director of the Alan G. MacDiarmid NanoTech Institute, University of Texas at Dallas
Ray Baughman received a B.S. in Physics from Carnegie Mellon University and a Ph.D. in the Materials Science area from Harvard University. Upon graduation he went to Allied Chemical, which later became AlliedSignal and then Honeywell. In August 2001, he became the Robert A. Welch Chair in Chemistry and Director of the Alan G. MacDiarmid NanoTech Institute at the University of Texas in Dallas. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, The Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science of Texas, a Fellow of the American Physical Society and the World Innovation Foundation, an Academician of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences, an Honorary Professor of three universities in China, and is on editorial and advisory boards of Science, Synthetic Metals, the International Journal of Nanoscience, and the Encyclopedia of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology. Ray has 66 US patents and over 300 publications with over 10,500 citations.
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Safakcan Tuncdemir

President at Solid State Ceramics, Inc.

Armin Feldhoff

Group Leader Institut für Physikalische Chemie und Elektrochemie der Leibniz Universität Hannover
Research topics: Energy harvesting, thermoelectric materials and generators, mixed ionic and electronic conductors, energy harvesting, material microstructure and functional properties Analytical high-resolution electron microscopy (HRTEM, EFTEM, STEM-HAADF, EELS, EDXS, SAED, CBED, FE-SEM) and X-ray diffractometry (XRD) and their application to problems in chemistry and materials sciences