keynote Speakers



Keynote Speakers(Alphabetize by Last Name)

Prof. Daniel John Blackwood
National University of Singapore, Singapore

Prof. Daniel J. Blackwood has more than 30 years of experience in corrosion and electrochemistry research and development. His current research focus areas include localised pitting corrosion, corrosion modelling and microbial-influenced corrosion. He is currently Associate Professor and Deputy Head for Education in the Department of Materials Science & Engineering, National University of Singapore, where he has been since 1996.

A/Prof Blackwood obtained his PhD degree in Electrochemistry under Prof Laurie Peter at University of Southampton in 1986. He was a postdoc at University of Utah where he worked on developing FTIR techniques for exploring the electrochemical interface. In 1989, he received an Alexander von Humboldt fellowship to work at Bundeswehr University Munich on conducting polymer vapour sensors. In 1990, he joined the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority at Harwell Laboratories as a project manager in the aqueous corrosion section, where he worked on a number of industrial projects for both government agencies and commercial companies.

He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, and a member of the National Association of Corrosion Engineers and the International Society of Electrochemist. He was also Chairman of the Corrosion Association Singapore from 2000 to 2009.

Prof. Zengtao Chen
University of Alberta, Canada

Professor Zengtao Chen is a tenured professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering of University of Alberta. He got his first PhD in solid mechanics from Harbin Institute of Technology in 1995 and second PhD in mechanical engineering from University of Waterloo in 2004. He has been a faculty member at Harbin Institute of Technology (1990-1995), Tsinghua University 1996-1998), and University of New Brunswick (2004-2014, including two years as Chair of the Department of Mechanical Engineering) prior to the current position. He is an elected Fellow of American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and Canadian Society for Mechanical Engineering (CSME). He is a registered professional engineer in Alberta. Dr. Chen’s research areas include Mechanics of Materials, Materials Modelling, and Damage and Fracture Mechanics. His recent interests are in multiscale modelling of deformation and damage evolution in metal forming processes, advanced thermal stress analysis of smart materials and structures, and composite structures. Dr. Chen has published more than 270 journal papers, three books, numerous conference papers, and delivered more than 120 invited and keynote speeches in various institutions and international conferences. Dr. Chen is a recipient of many awards, such as the Humboldt Research Fellowship Award (1999), HIWIN Supervisor Award for Best Doctoral Dissertation in Mechanical Engineering (2019), International Journal of Applied Mechanics 6-year most cited paper award (2015), CSME Best Presentation Awards (2011, 2017), UNB Research Scholarship (2012, two faculty members each year), UNB Teaching Excellence Award (2012), and UNB Merit Award (2007, 2013), Harrison McCain Foundation Young Scholar Award (2007), CIM Light-weight Alloys Best Paper Award (2005), and New Brunswick Innovation Foundation Research Award (2005), etc. Dr. Chen has trained more than 80 graduate students and post-doctoral fellows, and many of them became academics in renowned institutions, including McGill, Waterloo, NRC, Nagoya, Lanzhou, and Nanjing, etc. Dr. Chen has served for many organizations and conferences, including Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board, International Congress on Fracture, and Professional Engineers of Ontario.

Prof. Kwang Leong Choy
Duke Kunshan University

Kwang Leong Choy’s research focuses on the development of high performance nanostructured and nanocomposite materials based on superthin/thin/thick films using novel and advanced materials synthesis methods for solar cells, energy storage, optoelectronics, environment, engineering, healthcare and biomedical applications. Her pioneering research on the innovative, eco-friendly and cost effective non-vacuum Chemical Vapour Deposition platform technology has led to patents, technology translation and exploitation by industrial companies as well as recognition awards, including the Kroll Medal & Prize (2020) and Grunfeld Memorial Award and Medal (1999) by The Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IoM3). She has led and participated in many national, European and international research projects with a large consortium of academia and industries.

She has authored four books, “Chemical Vapour Deposition (CVD): Advances, Technology and Applications” (CRC Press, 2019), “Biomaterials in Clinical Practice: Advances in Clinical Research and Medical Devices” (Springer, 2017), “Commercialization of Nanotechnologies–A Case Study Approach” (Springer, 2017) and “Innovative and Cost-effective Materials Processing Methods” (Imperial College Press, London 2002). She has over 300 publications to her name, including papers published in leading academic journals such as Progress in Materials Science, Advanced Materials and ACS Nano.

Her teaching interests at Duke Kunshan include materials science, materials synthesis and characterization, nanoscale functional materials and courses that connect materials to energy, environmental science and global health sectors.

Choy has a D.Phil. in materials science from the University of Oxford and a D.Sc. in materials from the University of Nottingham. Before joining Duke Kunshan, she was the founding director of the Institute for Materials Discovery and professor for materials discovery at University College London (UCL). She was also course director of the postgraduate taught programme (MSc) in advanced materials science at UCL. She has served as a chairperson in materials and research director of the University Innovation Centre at the University of Nottingham, and as a reader at Imperial College London. Choy also held the Violette and Glasstone Research Fellowship at the University of Oxford. She has received teaching awards from the University of Nottingham and University College London. She has been awarded Fellow of The Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (FIMMM) and Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (FRSC) in 2007 and 2010, respectively.


Prof. Steve Franklin
University of Amsterdam, Holland

Speech Title: Friction and electrochemical corrosion of polycrystalline diamond and diamond-like-carbon

Professor Steve Franklin is a permanent Visiting Professor at the University of Sheffield, UK, and also at the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands. He has more than 35 years’ experience in Research and Development within high-tech industries such as Philips, ASML and Johnson & Johnson and also has his own consultancy business, Steve Franklin Consultancy. Dr. Franklin has specialist expertise in tribology including bio-tribology and nano-tribology, materials science & technology, and coatings & surface treatments, and has published 60+ scientific journal publications. He has a broad range of application experience in areas including medical & home healthcare, personal care and consumer electronics, soft contact lenses, and nanolithography and other manufacturing equipment, and has contributed to 17 patents.


Prof. Weimin Huang
Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

Prof. Weimin Huang from School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. With over 25 years of experience on various shape memory materials (alloys, polymers, composites and hybrids), he has published over 200 papers in journals, such as Materials Today, Accounts of Chemical Research, and Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews, and has been invited to review manuscripts from over 300 international journals (including Progress in Polymer ScienceNature CommunicationsAdvanced Materials, and Advanced Functional Materials, etc), project proposals from American Chemical SocietyHong Kong Research Grants Council, etc, and book proposals from SpringerElsevier  and CRC. He has published two books (Thin film shape memory alloys – fundamentals and device applicationsPolyurethane shape memory polymers) and is currently on the editorial board of over three dozen of journals.


Prof. Chun IL Kim
University of Alberta, Canada

Dr. Kim obtained his undergraduate from the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Dong-A University. He subsequently extended his education by pursuing M.Sc.(2007) and  Ph.D. (2012) degrees in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Alberta. His Ph.D. thesis was on the effect of surface elasticity on the deformations of a cracked elastic solid at the nano and micro-scales. During his graduate studies, he held an Alberta Ingenuity award in Nanotechnology and several internal FGSR awards. Following his Ph.D. he joined the research group of Dr. David J. Steigmann at the Mechanical Engineering Department of University of California at Berkeley (UCB) as a NSERC postdoctoral fellow. Dr. Kim has joined the Mechanical Engineering Department of the University of Alberta as an Associate Professor on July 2014. His current research interest involves constitutive modeling and analysis of macro and/or micro scaled structures such as lipid membranes and fiber reinforced composite materials.


Prof. Katsuyuki Kida
University of Toyama, Japan

Professor Katsuyuki Kida was born in 1968 in Osaka, where he studied mechanical engineering at Osaka University from 1988. Apart from course work, he studied rolling contact fatigue (RCF) occurring in TiC and TiN coated steels using both X-ray diffraction and scanning acoustic microscopy. After graduation he pursued his academic career and obtained a Ph.D. in engineering mechanics in 2000, investigating RCF problems of all-Si3N4 bearings. By observing cracking and flaking failure under RCF, he succeeded in explaining the material`s features from the viewpoint of fracture mechanics. From 2000 he focused his work on investigating the contact problems of several materials used in machine elements. He has also continued fundamental research on contact problems, for which he received ‘The Best Paper Prize (FFEMS PRIZE)’ from ‘Fatigue & Fracture of Engineering Materials & Structures’ journal in 2005. The awarded papers reported establishing a crack growth mechanism under contact pressure, a problem previously unsolved for over 70 years since S. Way’s proposed theory. His research interests now include the development of three dimensional scanning Hall-probe microscope technologies, fatigue phenomena in polymer bearing, crack growth mechanism under contact stresses and refinement of high-carbon steels.  He holds and has held a number of prestigious leadership roles in academy-industry corroboration programs: refinement of steels, new joint system in humanoid robots and fatigue of polymer bearings in "Strategic Fundamental Technologies Strengthening Assistance Programs" (Ministry of Economics, Trade and Industry, Japan, 2009-2013); scanning Hall-probe microscopy in "Fundamental Studies on Technologies for Steel Materials with Enhanced Strength and Functions" (Consortium of the JRCM, Japan, 2008-2012); and ceramic bearing elements in the project supported by "Japanese Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization" (NEDO, Japan, 2007-2011).” As a chairperson of department of mechanical engineering in University of Toyama, Professor Kida is heading education and research projects (2019-).

Prof. Ali Reza Kamali
Northeastern University, China
Speech Title: Green production of nanostructured materials for energy storage and environmental protection applications

Ali Kamali is a Distinguished Professor at the School of Metallurgy, Northeastern University (China) and director of the Energy and Environmental Materials Research Centre. He is a former Senior Research Fellow at the University of Cambridge and the co-founder of four materials companies. He is the inventor/co-inventor of several technologies concerning the large-scale green preparation of carbon nanotubes, graphene, nanodiamonds, metal powders and intermetallic alloys, some of which have been transferred to industry. Ali is the corresponding/first author of more than 100 technical papers and has received several awards, including the International Khwarizmi Award (2005), NSFC International Scientist Fellowship (2017) and the Rose Award (2019). He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Prof. Selvum Pillay

University of Alabama at Birmingham, USA

Prof. Pillay has had a very unconventional path into academia. He served an apprenticeship as a boilermaker in the shipbuilding industry and worked as a tradesman in structural steel from 1980 to 1983. He continued his education part time and completed his UG in Mechanical Engineering at the Durban University of Technology (DUT), Durban, South Africa in 1986. He worked for Toyota Manufacturing for eight years as a design and manufacturing engineering, before returning to DUT to setup a manufacturing lab and teach. He was awarded a USAID scholarship that allowed him to complete an MS in Mechanical Engineering at Florida A & M/Florida State College of Engineering, Tallahassee, Florida in 1999. He joined UAB in 2001 as a PhD student through a scholarship from the SA Government. He completed his PhD in 2005 and joined the MSE department in 2006.

Prof. Pillay’s research interest is in the area of composite materials, advanced manufacturing, engineering education, entrepreneurship, recycling and sustainable materials. His research is funded through federal agencies (NSF, NASA, Department of Defense, etc.), local government (City of Birmingham, ALDOT) and industry (automotive, oil and gas, material suppliers, etc.). The MPAD Center has active non-disclosure agreements with about 60 companies. Dr. Pillay’s focus is to take fundamental materials research from the bench to applications and commercialization.


Prof. Pranut Potiyaraj

Chulalongkorn University, Thailand

Pranut Potiyaraj, Ph.D. served as a Professor of Materials Science at Department of Materials Science, Faculty of Science, Chulalongkorn University. He is also the Director of Metallurgy and Materials Science Research Institute, Chulalongkorn University. He has a strong research background in polymer and textile technology. Apart from academic research work, he also has interests in materials technology development for Thai industries. He is a committee member of the Science Society of Thailand Under the Patronage of His Majesty the King and Materials Research Society of Thailand. He received Associateship (CText ATI) granted by the Textile Institute.

Prof. Edwin Chi-Yan TSO
City University of Hong Kong, China

Prof. Tso is currently an Associate Professor of School of Energy and Environment at the City University of Hong Kong (CityU). He received his Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering (1st class), MPhil degree in Environmental Engineering and PhD degree in Mechanical Engineering from The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) in 2010, 2012 and 2015, respectively. He was awarded the Fulbright – Research Grant Council Hong Kong Research Fellowship, and studied at the University of California, Berkeley in 2015. Upon returning to Hong Kong, Prof. Tso worked as a Research Assistant Professor at HKUST and a Junior Fellow at the HKUST Jockey Club Institute for Advanced Study. In 2018, Prof. Tso joined CityU as an Assistant Professor, and promoted to Associate Professor in 2023. Prof. Tso’s research focuses on understanding the fundamentals of heat transfer, energy conversion, and engineered materials. He strives to integrate theory and experiments to create innovative solutions for enhancing thermal management, built environments, space cooling and refrigeration, micro-droplet manipulation, and energy-efficient building technologies, making a great and global impact by addressing the biggest needs and issues in our world. Prof. Tso has published more than 80 journal papers and 40 conference papers. Impressively, he is also listed among the Top 2% of the world’s most highly cited scientists in Mechanical Engineering discipline in 2020 and 2021.
In addition, Prof. Tso has also filed 18 patents, so he also dedicates a significant effort to promote translational research, targeted at commercialization. Towards this goal, Prof. Tso has established a start-up company, named i2Cool Limited, focusing on the passive radiative cooling technology. The product of his start-up has been used by different local and international parties, indicating the success of the knowledge transfer from his research to real applications. Last, Prof. Tso is also a Member of The Hong Kong Institution of Engineers (MHKIE), The Institution of Mechanical Engineers (MIMechE), The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (MASME), and Chartered Engineer (CEng).

Prof. Matteo Seita
University of Cambridge, UK

Matteo is a Granta Design Assistant Professor in the Department of Engineering (Division of Mechanics, Materials and Design) at the University of Cambridge, and the head of the AddME Lab. Before joining the University of Cambridge, Matteo was Nanyang Assistant Professor at NTU Singapore, where he held appointments in the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, the School of Materials Science and Engineering, and the Asian School of the Environment.
During his tenure at NTU, Dr. Seita was awarded the prestigious NRF Fellowship—a S$3M individual grant for early-career scientists—to develop novel additive manufacturing strategies for microstructure control of metal alloys. He earned his Ph.D. in Materials Science from ETH Zurich in 2012 and then spent three years as a Postdoctoral Associate in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at MIT. In 2022, he was selected as the recipient of the TMS Young Innovator in the Materials Science of Additive Manufacturing Award.



Prof. Laichang Zhang
School of Engineering, Edith Cowan University, Perth, Australia

Prof Laichang Zhang was awarded his PhD of Materials Engineering at the Institute of Metal Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences. Laichang is currently a Professor of Materials Engineering and Program Leader Mechanical Engineering in the School of Engineering. Prior to joining the Edith Cowan University, Dr Zhang has worked at The University of Western Australia (Perth, Australia) in 2009-2012, University of Wollongong (Wollongong, Australia) in 2007-2009, Leibniz-Institute for Solid State and Materials Research (IFW) Dresden (Dresden, Germany) in 2006-2007 and Darmstadt University of Technology (Darmstadt, Germany) in 2005-2006.

Prof. Zhang has considerable expertise and extensive cross-disciplinary research activities in advanced manufacturing of different types of materials (including nanocrystalline / ultrafine-grained materials, bulk metallic glasses, biomaterials, and high-strength steels) and the understanding of their processing, microstructure and properties (e.g. mechanical properties, fatigue properties, corrosion behavior and catalytic performance). Laichang has extensively contributed to a number of research grants supported by Australian Research Council, European Union, National Natural Science Foundation of China, Ministry of Science and Technology of China. Laichang has been serving as Editorial Board Members for many prestigious academic journals such as Advanced Engineering Materials, Materials Science and Technology, Metals, Heliyon and so on. He also has good links to industry both for teaching and research.




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