Keynote speakers

Lisa Scholten
Prof Lisa Scholten
Assistant Professor, Policy Analysis at the Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management, TU Delft

Professor Lisa Scholten's work focuses on Decisions in Water Systems.

She holds an Engineering Degree (Dipl.Ing.) in Urban and Industrial Water Resources Management with a minor in East Asia/China studies from TU Dresden, Germany, a PhD degree from ETH Zürich, Switzerland, and recently completed an Executive MSc in Behavioural Science at LSE, United Kingdom.

"In my work, I develop knowledge, methods and processes for systemic interventions that aim to facilitate better decision making in the water sector. I endorse systems thinking and operations research as well as insights from the social and behavioural sciences. The direct engagement of stakeholder into research and the training of current and future water managers in a way that enables them to embrace complexity are key priorities to me."

Helena Ramalhinho
Prof Helena Ramalhinho Lourenço
Professor, Economics and Business Department, University Pompeu Fabra

Professor Helena Lourenço has a B.A. and Masters degree in Statistics and Operations Research from the University of Lisbon, Portugal, and a Ph.D. in Operations Research from Cornell University, New York, USA.

Professor Lourenço has been involved in different research projects and consulting for firms in the area of Operations Research, Transportation, Operations Management and Logistics. She has published many articles in prestigious international scientific journals and has presented her work at international conferences. She also has been serving as a reviewer for several journals and a member of the program committees of several international conferences.

Professor Lourenço teaches at various undergraduate, Master’s and PhD`s programs in the UPF, Barcelona School of Management (UPF) and several European universities. She is currently the director of the Business Analytics Research Group (UPF). Her research interests include Operations Research, Business Analytics, Combinatorial Optimization, Metaheuristics, Iterated Local Search, Vehicle Routing, Scheduling, Supply Chain Management, Logistics, Production and Operations Management. Her most well-known paper (co-authored with Olivier Martin and Thomas Stützle) is the Iterated Local Search article, around the foundations of this metaheuristic. Her more recent projects  are on the topic: Analytics for Social Good, with applications in the Social and Health Care sector, collaborating with several organizations as the Barcelona City Council.

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Prof Sara Grobbelaar
Professor, Department of Industrial Engineering at Stellenbosch University

Professor Sara Grobbelaar is also a research associate at the Centre for Research on Evaluation, Science and Technology (CREST), Stellenbosch University.

Professor Grobbelaar is highly effective at developing research partnerships and research programs focusing on innovation for inclusive development. She has initiated and secured major grants and research partnerships with various companies and funders such as global pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the CSIR, and various private companies that operate in the healthcare sector. She co-established the Health Systems Engineering and Innovation Hub and established the Innovation for Inclusive Development research group at Industrial Engineering at Stellenbosch University.

Professor Grobbelaar’s academic qualifications and background uniquely position her to contribute to debates on how innovation for inclusive development may be realised through policy interventions and innovation programmes in the African context. She holds an MPhil in Technology Policy (with distinction) from the University of Cambridge, a B.Eng (electronic) (with distinction) (University of Pretoria), M.Eng (computer)(with distinction) (University of Pretoria), PhD in (Engineering) (University of Pretoria) and a Post Graduate Diploma in Monitoring & Evaluation methods (with distinction) (Stellenbosch University).

Tutorial presenter

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Prof Fanie Terblanche
Extraordinary professor, Faculty of Engineering, North-West University, founder and managing director of Elytica

Fanie is an optimization specialist with over 20 years of experience in applying algorithmic approaches to solving large-scale optimization problems. His work involves the application of exact and decomposition methods to improve computing times and solution quality. As an extraordinary professor in the Faculty of Engineering, North-West University, he is actively publishing in peer- reviewed journals and is a supervisor to several master’s and PhD students. Fanie is the founder and managing director of Elytica.