Keynote Speakers


Pamela Bell

Pamela Bell

CEO, PrefabNZ Inc, New Zealand

Pamela Bell is PrefabNZ’s Chief Executive Officer since inception in 2010. PrefabNZ is the hub for offsite construction in New Zealand, with members spanning architecture, engineering, manufacturing, construction, research and other construction professionals.

In 2009, she completed a Master of Architecture thesis ‘Kiwi Prefab: Prefabricated Housing in NZ’. In 2010, Pamela held a Kiwi Prefab Workshop at Victoria University’s School of Architecture and Design with over 140 attendees. They called for an industry organisation to be set-up. Ten industry members were elected to represent a wide range of stakeholders and a wealth of experience. PrefabNZ, the hub for prebuilt construction in NZ, was established and led by Pamela.

In 2012, Pamela co-authored the book ‘Kiwi Prefab: Cottage to Cutting Edge’ with Mark Southcombe (Victoria University). In 2015, Pamela launched the PrefabNZ UNIpod design competition for an open-source universally accessible bathroom pod designed specifically for multi-unit residential applications. In 2016, Pamela co-authored a commemorative book on HIVE, New Zealand’s first Home Innovation Village facilitated by PrefabNZ in response to Canterbury’s earthquakes 2010-2012.

Today, Pam sits on the BRANZ Board that oversees the Building Levy for research towards better buildings. She is a member of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) Building Advisory Panel (BAP) that provides industry input to executives and Ministers.

Dr. Dongping Fang

Dr. Dongping Fang

Professor, Tsinghua University, China

Dr. Dongping Fang is a Professor at Tsinghua University, China. He is the Chair of School of Civil Engineering and the Executive Director of Institute for Future Cities and Infrastructures.

Prof Fang is a former Vice President of CIB (International Council for Research and Innovation in Building and Construction) and the current leader of CIB priority theme – Resilient Urbanization. He has been sitting on boards and committees of many international and national organizations of government, industry and academics. He has been honored as Visiting Professors in Australia, Sweden and the UK, and invited as keynote speakers for many international conferences such as CIB World Building Congress and Urban Transitions Global Summit.

Michael Frishkopf

Michael Frishkopf

Professor, University of Alberta, Canada

Michael Frishkopf is Professor of Music, Director of the Canadian Centre for Ethnomusicology, Adjunct Professor of Religious Studies, Adjunct Professor of Medicine and Dentistry, and Project Lead (International Indigenous), for the Integrative Health Institute, at the University of Alberta.

His research focuses on the music and sounds of Islam and Sufism, the Arab world, and West Africa, as well as machine learning and music information retrieval, digital repositories and virtual exhibits, music and development, and global health.

He published ‘Music and Media in the Arab World’produced the ‘Virtual Museum of Canadian Traditional Music’ and other media works including “Giving Voice to Hope: Music of Liberian Refugees”, and “Sanitation”.  A co-edited volume, Music, Sound, and Architecture in Islam was recently published by University of Texas Press.

Christine Murray

Christine Murray

Director of Agricultural Technologies, Alberta Innovates

Dr. Christine Murray completed her BSc. Agriculture, from the Nova Scotia Agricultural College, now the Dalhousie University, Faculty of Agriculture, then went on to complete her Ph.D. in the Dept. of Horticulture, University of Guelph.

She is currently the Director of Agricultural Technologies with Alberta Innovates and Co-lead of the Clean Technology Development program, part of the Climate Change Innovation Technology Framework (CCITF) within Alberta Innovates.

Her work is focused Alberta Innovates goal area, of bioindustrial innovation. Her work to support the development and growth of the biondustrial sector in Alberta is accomplished through strategic development and planning as well as evaluating and managing investments in leading-edge research and innovation, developing and working with academic-industry networks and connecting companies and technologies. The overarching focus of bioindustrial innovation is on increasing the sustainable, valuable and effective use of the biomass resources in Alberta.

Dr. Murray’s work with the Clean Technology Development program supports, development to pilot and demonstration scale projects focused on measurable and enabled greenhouse gas emission reductions in Alberta. Her experience with bioindustrial, agriculture and forestry biomass and innovation has contributed to the broad range of biobased technologies in the Clean Technology Development program.

Ramtin Attar

Ramtin Attar

Head of Technology Pathfinding & Strategic Relations, Autodesk

Ramtin is the Head of Technology Pathfinding & Strategic Relations at Autodesk; with over 13+ years of experience in developing transformative technologies, leading complex research initiatives and building innovation ecosystems. Previously, Ramtin worked as a Sr. Principal Research Scientist at Autodesk Research for over 8 years where he also led the strategic vision, implementation and operation of Autodesk Technology Centre in Canada. Ramtin holds an honorary research professorship at Carleton University and has received various awards including the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada’s Gold Medal. He is a founding member of Simulation for Architecture and Urban Design conference and holds several advisory roles at Google Sidewalk Labs, City of Toronto Economic Development & Culture, and Toronto Public Library.

Reza Nasseri

Reza Nasseri

Founder and CEO, Landmark Group of Companies, Canada

Mr. Nasseri received a Bachelor degree in Electrical Engineering at the University of Alberta in the early 1970s and then worked as a research engineer and instructor at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology. In 1977, he started a small residential construction company that, after 30 years’ growth, becomes one of the largest homebuilders in Alberta. As an entrepreneur with engineering background, he loves technologies and throughout his 30-year career in the homebuilding business he strives to provide better products to customers through innovation. Landmark Group is the industry leader in building energy efficiency and its manufacturing division, ACQBuilt Inc., operates the most advanced panelized home manufacturing facility in North America.

As a respected leader and a strong advocate of giving back to the community, Reza has made significant and lasting contributions to post-secondary education and charitable initiatives. His contributions have been recognized with numerous honors including the Order of Canada and the Alberta Order of Excellence.

His Excellency Dr. Abdullah Bin Mohammed Belhaif Al Nuaimi

His Excellency Dr. Abdullah Bin Mohammed Belhaif Al Nuaimi

Cabinet Member and Minister of Infrastructure Development, UAE

As per the new Cabinet reshuffle in February 2016, His Excellency Abdullah Al Nuaimi was appointed the Minister of Infrastructure Development. H.E. Abdulla Al Nuaimi joined the Federal Government in 2013 as the Minister of Public Works. H.E. Abdulla Al Nuaimi is also Chairman of Sheikh Zayed Housing Programme and Chairman of federal transport Authority- land & maritime.

H.E. Al Nuaimi has played an instrumental in shaping the vision of the ministry, to create a sustainable and integrated infrastructure that supports the country’s global competitiveness, by forging policies and strategies in accordance with the world’s best standards and specifications through optimal investment of resources and in partnerships with key stakeholders.

H.E. Al Nuaimi has been dedicated to developing the work environment and motivating staff at his Ministry since 2005, in his role as the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Public Works.

H.E. Dr. Abdullah Al Nuaimi holds a Ph.D. in Construction Management from the University of Reading, UK (1990), and a Bachelor degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1980 and Master’s Degree in 1986 from the University of Wisconsin in USA.