Keynote Speakers

Professor Michael Batty, UCL Transport Institute, London - Access synopsis here

Michael Batty is Bartlett Professor of Planning at University College London where he is Chair of the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis (CASA). He has worked on computer models of cities and their visualisation since the 1970s and has published several books, such as Cities and Complexity (MIT Press, 2005) and The New Science of Cities (MIT Press, 2013). His blog covers the science underpinning the technology of cities and his posts and lectures on big data and smart cities are at . His research group is working on simulating long term structural change and dynamics in cities as well as their visualisation. Prior to his current position, he was Professor of City Planning and Dean at the University of Wales at Cardiff and then Director of the National Center for Geographic Information and Analysis at the State University of New York at Buffalo. He is a Fellow of the British Academy (FBA), the Academy of Social Sciences (FAcSS) and the Royal Society (FRS), was awarded the CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 2004 and the 2013 recipient of the Lauréat Prix International de Géographie Vautrin Lud (generally known as the 'Nobel de Géographie'). He received the Founders Medal of the Royal Geographical Society (2015) for his work on the science of cities. 

Associate Professor Hussein Dia, Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne - Access synopsis here

Hussein Dia is a Civil Engineer with leadership credentials in Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) and transport planning and modelling. His research interests are in the convergence of technology, infrastructure and human elements in urban environments. He has more than 30 years of engineering experience in the public and private sectors, and has previously held a number of senior positions in ITS including Director, ITS Research Laboratory at the University of Queensland and Director, ITS Australia

Professor Ning Gu, University of South Australia - Access synopsis here

Dr Ning Gu is Professor of Architecture in the School of Art, Architecture and Design at the University of South Australia. He has researched in the broad areas of Architectural Computing and Design Cognition, including topics such as Computational Design Analysis, Virtual and Augmented Reality; Generative and Parametric Design Systems; Computer-supported Collaborative Design; Virtual Environments; Building Information Modelling; and Protocol Studies on designers' behaviour and cognition.

Martin Haese, Lord Mayor of City of Adelaide

Martin is a proud South Australian. As a city resident, business owner and educator, Martin is committed to serving the City of Adelaide’s residential, commercial and visitor communities.Martin has also worked as a lecturer for MBA students where he has taught entrepreneurship in Adelaide and interstate. Martin believes that technology will provide many of the solutions for today’s problems and opportunities. As Lord Mayor, Martin is focused on enhancing Adelaide’s reputation as a smart innovative city and being a ‘city where good things happen first’. Martin’s immediate goal is for the City of Adelaide to become an even greater place to live, learn, work, play, visit and invest. The ultimate goal is to become the world’s most livable city. 

Professor Chris Pettit, University of New South Wales, Sydney - Access presentation here

Professor Pettit is the inaugural Chair of Urban Science at the University of New South Wales (2015), being previously at the University Melbourne (2011-2015). The State Government of Victoria, (2004-2011) and RMIT University (2002-2004).  He is responsible for the Digital Cities course at UNSW. He previously developed the Urban Informatics course at the University of Melbourne and was the lead author on the ESRI online virtual campus course in GIS and Planning which attracted more than 3,000 students between 2000 and 2010. His educational background has been focussed specifically on the fields of spatial planning and GIS at the undergraduate and postgraduate level.  His Ph.D. examined the using of GIS and mapping technologies for undertaking scenario planning at the land parcel level across municipalities.  Professor Pettit is closely involved with a number of professional organisations.  He is a member of the Surveying and Spatial Sciences Institute (SSSI) and the Planning Institute of Australia (PIA). See more at:

Professor Elizabeth Wentz, Arizona State University, Phoenix, Arizona, U.S - Access synopsis here

Elizabeth Wentz is dean of social sciences in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Arizona State University and Professor in the School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning. Her research interests focus on the development and implementation of geographic technologies designed to establish better understanding of the urban environment. Significant contributions fall into three main categories: geographic tool development, urban remote sensing, and urban environmental analysis. She has been funded by NFS, NASA, NOAA, NIH, and USDA to support her research program. In her role as dean, she has built a vision that emphasizes the ‘people’ in society. Together with the chairs and directors of the social science units, she has constructed a vision and charter focusing on class inequality, environmental justice, science and technology literacy, and global health and well-being. This charter is vertically situated within the vision of ASU’s university president of academic excellence, student accessibility to education, community embededness, and interdisciplinary research.

Areas of study and research

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