Keynote Speakers


Eesa Mohammed Bastaki, Ph.D.
President, University of Dubai

      Dr. Eesa Mohammed Bastaki is the President of the University of Dubai. Dr. Bastaki is the recipient of the highest award in the UAE, the “Emirates Excellence Award in Sciences, Literature and Arts”, in the field of Sciences. Dr. Bastaki’s extensive experience in education, leadership, technology and communications will prove a major asset in leading the university into its next progressive phase, which besides the building of a new campus and the addition of several programs, such as a Master of Laws degree and Doctorate degrees in Business Administration. Previously, Dr. Bastaki worked as a professor at United Arab Emirates University (UAEU) specializing in Communications Engineering. He also held positions as: CEO of ICT Fund; Director of Education, Training and Research and Development for Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO); Consultant and IT Project Manager for Al-Ain Municipality; Board member of KHDA’s UQAIB and was member of many academic boards. He is one of the founders of DSO and RIT-Dubai. He is Honorary Chair of IEEE, Chairman of Emirates Science Club, Board member of the Cultural and Scientific Association and was a Board member of Ankabut (UAE’s NREN) and many more. He is the Chair of “Drones for Good Award”, “Robotics & AI for Good Award” and “Emirates Energy Award”. He also judges the Dubai-initiated competition 10X. He is also the Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Hamdan Bin Mohammed Innovation Award in Project Management. He has organized hundreds of events, conferences, forums and competitions.During his time at UAE University, DSO and ICT Fund, Dr. Bastaki chaired several technology and research boards, initiated technology incubation concepts and coined on R&BD terminology, where he brought forward the rich experience of enhancing the University of Dubai’s research drives and futuristic programs. His main goals are to enhance Research & Business Development to serve the industry and fulfill his drive towards his vision of “Made in UAE, Sold Globally”. Dr. Bastaki received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the University of California, San Diego and his PhD from University of California, Irvine, before returning to help improve the education and technology sectors in his homeland, the UAE. University of Dubai faculty, staff and students are gratified that a man of his accomplishments leads the University on its continuing path to provide the highest quality education in the region.

Title: Create a Sustainable Eco-System in the UAE Smart ICT Industry, Through Entrepreneurship & R&BD Projects

      The economic eco-system requires many players to participate in the advancement of global cities and countries. The main variables of the equation of the advancement are related to business processes, business laws, management practices, innovation, big data, analytics, cloud computing, 5G, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of things (IoT), Blockchain and crypto-currencies which serve the 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR) era. However, even though the economic drivers depend on natural resources, human resources and technology, the main driver is the technology and technology only. Thus, ICT should be the main priority of economies to advance the nations into a sustainable prosperity and productive lifestyle. Thus, entering the Information & Communication Technology (ICT) development field is the bright future to most of the economies of the world. This trend has been going for a while; however, from the beginning of the 21st century this trend in ICT field has been moving so dramatically that those who can’t catch up with this rapid pace will be left behind. They will be facing a challenge of implementing very fragile economies depending on delicate economic foundations. The economic driving forces depend highly on technology and specifically ICT. The ICT trends are so agile that it is very difficult to keep pace with these vast changes unless there are serious strategic plans and initiatives to implement the elements of ICT value chain in order to create the knowledge-based eco-system. This value chain has three main elements that will build the foundations of a knowledge-based society. Starting from creating the skillful workforce through educational activities, moving towards the intermediate stage of creating patents and intellectual properties (IP’s) by encouraging R&D activities and ending with knowledge creation through incubators and start-ups. If we look at statistics of the present and future ICT sector, we can realize that this sector is and will be the main driving force towards economic development which will be the basis of establishing a smart and knowledge-based economy. In terms of digitalization of a nation, UAE is pioneering the drive in the region and the world. ICT drive towards sustainable smart cities has been the main strategic agenda of UAE to lead the world.

Bruno Crispo
Dean of the ICT PhD International School, University of Trento, Italy

      Bruno Crispo is Professor at the Department of Computer Science and Information Engineering at the University of Trento in Italy and visiting professor at KULeuven in Belgium. He is also the Dean of the Doctoral School in Information and Communication Technology at the University of Trento. Prior to that, he worked at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, at the Stanford Research Institute, at the University of Cambridge, UK and at the Research Labs of Telecom Italia. He has been also the managing director of Cryptomnathic Italia S.p.A. He hold a BA and a MSc in Computer Science from University of Turin, Italy and a PhD in Computer Security from the University of Cambridge, UK. His main research interest lies in the area of system and network security, mobile plaforms and Android security, IoT security and privacy, behavioural biometrics and access control, web security and vulnerability impact analysis. He has published more than 150 papers in scientific journals and international conferences. He serves regularly in program committees of the most important international scientific conferences in the area of security and privacy. He is an Associate Editor of the ACM Transactions on Privacy and Security. He is member of ACM and a Senior Member of IEEE.

Title: On the difficulties of making The Internet of Things secure

      We are assisting to an increasing digitalization in many economic sectors. From automotive to healthcare, from manufacturing to smart buildings, just to name few examples. All this goes in the direction of realizing the Internet of Thing vision. A world of connected devices with which we interact to hopefully enhance our life experiences. Security and privacy are two important problems that need to be addressed to make such a connected world a nice and safe place to live. In this talk, i will present the reasons that make these problems complex and difficult to solve, presenting also several examples of recent attacks to the Internet of Things. I will conclude, presenting some of the work I am doing with my group to contribute in making the Internet of Things more secure.

Bernd Hoefer
Chairman & CEO of A9C Capital WLL (Bahrain)

      Prof. Dr. Bernd J. HOEFER is Chairman & CEO of A9C Capital WLL (Bahrain), one of the leading technology investment and consulting companies in the Middle East. He is based in Bahrain since 2006 and supports the GCC countries to industrialize and to diversify their economies and ultimately becoming knowledge-based economies. From 2001 to 2006 Bernd J. HOEFER was the Vice Chairman of the Executive Board, CFO and Chief Innovation Officer of the German Aerospace Centre (DLR) and served on various boards and committees such as Application Centre for Satellite Navigation (Oberpfaffenhofen), Centre for Science and Research Management (Speyer), T-Systems Solutions for Research, CERN (Geneva) and others. Prior to this he was Managing Director of one of the biggest Family Offices in Germany and Partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), Germany where he served for almost 15 years (WP/StB). Bernd J. HOEFER is Honary Professor for Economics, Management and Finance at the University of Applied Sciences Cologne (RFH) and Professor for Innovation Management and Technology Transfer at the University of Applied Sciences Bonn/Rhein-Sieg. He has 30 years of experience in business development and international consultancy services in particular in the aviation and aerospace industry. He has also worked closely with several governments and investment banks to promote trade, investment and cooperation between developed and developing countries in Europe and the Middle East. He has 25+ years of experience in HighTec-Corporate Finance both, in the mature stage such as IPO, Privatizations/PPP and Private Equity as well as in seed/early stage activities such as Business Angels, Venture Capital, Start-Ups, Incubator/ Accelerator and Business Plan Competitions. Bernd was heavily involved in international airport management and restructuring, airport privatization projects as well as Private Public Partnership (PPP) projects (BOT, BOOT, BOO). He is part of a huge network of aerospace/aviation/airport senor experts which has a reputation for creativity and flexibility in conjunction with a strong commercial foundation. Each member of the team has a minimum of 25 years senior management experience in the air transport sector. Bernd J. HOEFER holds a Private Pilot Licence (PPL-A, CVFR/JAR-FCL), is Chairman of the German Business Roundtable Bahrain, Member of the Bahrain German Joint Business Council, Goodwill Ambassador of the City of Cologne/Germany and engaged in various social activities such as Rotary Club, Chaine des Rotisseurs and many others.

Title: CNS Infrastructure (Communication, Navigation, Surveillance) for Multimodal Autonomous Mobility

      Autonomous Mobility seems to be the next big thing. Unfortunately the public interest and the academic attention on this topic is often narrowed down to autonomous driving only (Tesla, Google etc.). With regard to automobiles as well as in any other mode of transportation such as aircrafts, drones (RPAS), trains etc. the ultimate goal to be achieved is autonomous mobility where a driver/pilot and even a steering wheel is obsolete (recognized as Level 5) versus highly assisted and/or automated mobility where a driver/pilot is still in command although heavily supported by high tech sensors. However, in reality the latest Audi A8 (2018) for instance has more than 40 sensors such as radar, ultrasonic, microwaves, cameras etc. within the car which allows a limited set of automation in specific situations such as automatic driving on motorways in traffic jams up to a speed of 60 km/h. The reason why car manufactures put all their efforts and sensors into the car is quite obvious: The industry wants to sell cars all over the world regardless of the ground based infrastructure which might be available in any given country and ultimately without any ground based infrastructure others than streets at all. However, the flipside of this rationale is that Level 5 autonomy cannot be achieved for sure. We have similar challenges for all other modes of transportation such as delivery drones, Urban Air Mobility etc. too. The most advanced sector in terms of infrastructure is the aviation sector where we see a quite sophisticated environment in terms of Communication, Navigation and Surveillance (CNS Infrastructure). The author is heavily promoting an integrated, multimodal and performance based CNS infrastructure in defined areas or even the entire cities suitable for all modes of transportation. This CNS infrastructure should be certified by governmental authorities and independently operated by providers others than transportation companies for the sake of safety and security. This includes e.g. 5G technology for communication purposes as well as Ground Based Augmentation Systems (GBAS) for navigation purposes (GNSS) as well as Blockchain technology to assure data integrity.

Mohamed Eltoweiss
Professor at Virginia Military Institute

      Mohamed Eltoweissy is Full Professor and Department Head of the Department of Computer and Information Sciences at Virginia Military Institute. Previously he served on the faculty of The Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Virginia Tech and as Chief Scientist for Secure Cyber Systems at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Eltoweissy's current interests crosscut the areas of network security and resilience, cooperative autonomic systems, nature-inspired computing and communications, and networking architecture and protocols. Eltoweissy has over 180 publications in archival journals and respected books and conference proceedings and an extensive funding record. He also served on the editorial board of IEEE Transactions on Computers (the flagship and oldest Transactions of the IEEE Computer Society) as well as other reputable journals. Furthermore, Eltoweissy is active as an invited speaker at both the national and international levels. Eltoweissy received several awards and recognitions for research, education, service and entrepreneurship, including best paper awards, top placements at Cyber Security competitions, and nomination for the Virginia SCHEV Outstanding Faculty Awards, the highest honor for faculty in Virginia.

Title: The Game of Empathy, Privacy and Ethics

Ramzi A. Haraty
Professor at Lebanese American University

      Ramzi A. Haraty is an associate professor of Computer Science in the Department of Computer Science and Mathematics at the Lebanese American University in Beirut, Lebanon. He is the chairperson of the Arab Computer Society. He is also a program evaluator (PEV) for CSAB/ABET. He received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Computer Science from Minnesota State University - Mankato, Minnesota, and his Ph.D. in Computer Science from North Dakota State University - Fargo, North Dakota. His research interests include database management systems, artificial intelligence, and multilevel secure systems engineering. He has well over 110 books, book chapters, journal and conference paper publications. He supervised over 110 dissertations, theses and capstone projects. He is a member of the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM), ACM SIGAPP, Institute of Electronics, Information and Communication Engineers, the International Society for Computers and Their Applications, and Sybdicate of Computer Sciences in Lebanon.

Title: Arabic Text Processing

      Indexing text documents consists of analyzing the content of the text in order to retrieve its subject. In this work, we propose a new model to enhance auto-indexing Arabic texts. Our model denotes extracting new relevant words by relating those chosen by the previous classical methods, to new words using data mining rules. The model uses an association rule algorithm for extracting frequent sets containing related items - to extract relations between words in the texts to be indexed with words from texts that belong to the same category. These associations of words extracted are illustrated as sets of words that appear frequently together. Our results show significant improvement in terms of accuracy, efficiency and reliability when compared to previous works.

Ayman A. Abdel-Hamid
Professor at Arab Academy for Science, Technology, and Maritime Transport (AASTMT)

      Prof. Dr. Ayman A. Abdel-Hamid is a professor of Computer Science in the College of Computing and Information Technology (CCIT), Arab Academy for Science, Technology, and Maritime Transport (AASTMT), Alexandria, Egypt. In addition, he currently holds the positions of Head of Computer Science Department and Head of Multimedia and Computer Graphics Department. Previously, he held the position of Vice Dean for Postgraduate Studies and Scientific Research. Moreover, he was the manager of AASTMT’s Computer Networks and Data Center, where he led to completion the design and realization of AASTMT’s state-of-the-art Data Center. Furthermore, he was affiliated with the Computer Science Department, Virginia Tech, USA as an adjunct professor as part of the VT-MENA program. In the past, he held an assistant professor position in the Department of Computer Science at Lamar University, TX, USA. He received his B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Computer Science, from the Faculty of Engineering, Alexandria University, Egypt. He received his Ph.D. degree in Computer Science from Old Dominion University, VA, USA. He regularly serves as a technical program committee in a number of international reputed computing conferences and as a reviewer for a number of notable scholarly journals. In addition, he regularly acts as the conference coordinator and technical program chair of the International Conference on Computer Theory and Applications, Alexandria, Egypt. His research interests and numerous scholarly publications span a wide range of areas including computer and network security, computer networking, distributed systems, mobile computing, network-layer mobility support, and cloud computing. He is a member of IEEE, IEEE Computer Society, ACM, and ACM SIGCOMM.