Invited Speakers

Water the Essence of Life

Professor Rafid Alkhaddar

Professor of Water and Environmental Engineering,  Liverpool, UK


Professor Alkhaddar has extensive experience in Water and Environmental Engineering, with special expertise in waste-water treatment methods. Professor Alkhaddar graduated from the University of Basrah, Iraq with a first class honours degree in the Civil Engineering in 1977. He studied for his MSc and PhD at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, successfully concluding his PhD in Civil Engineering Hydraulics in 1987. He then undertook a three year post-doctoral position at UMIST. He started at LJMU in January 1991 as a Senior Lecturer in Civil Engineering. He became Reader in Water Engineering in 1999. He has taught mainly subjected related to the Water and the Environmental sectors. He has maintained a very strong link with the UK Water and Environmental industry in order to stay involved with any new developments in the aforementioned fields. He also has excellent links with Professional bodies especially the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM) where is a Fellow of the Institution and also on its Board of Trustees.

 He is the Chair of the Faculty Research Committee which oversees the management of all the research students within the Faculty of Technology and Environment within LJMU. The Faculty has around 200 PhD Students enrolled. This involves admission, monitoring progress and arranging exam arrangements to all of these students. He has published over 100 publications in refereed journals and international conferences. He is on the editorial board and a reviewer for a number of International Journals and Professional Institutions such as CIWEM and the ASCE. He has a number of International links which culminated of his appointment as a Visiting Professor to a number of International Universities in Turkey, Egypt and Iraq. He has also joined an International delegation to validate five Civil Engineering Programmes in Lithuanian and Saudi Universities. He has experience in curriculum and course developments where he has been involved in a number of course developments at Bachelor and MSc levels, both nationally and internationally. He is a regular reviewer for the European Commission on various research calls on TEMPUS and MARIE CURIE. He has managed to attract over £1.5 Million in research and consultancy funding since the year 2000.

Abstract: The lecture will start with looking at the value of water to all living creatures. Then it will cover several aspects related to water, its availability, utilisation and management. The lecture will first look at the journey that Professor Alkhaddar has taken over the years before reaching his current position. He will then explain the water resources picture globally identifying the hot spots around the World where they may become the cause of future conflicts. Professor Alkhaddar will also look at how he started and maintained his various links both nationally and globally. Innovations in waste-water treatment will be the next topic. Over the years the team at LJMU have established excellent collaborative projects with Industrial partners to further investigate their products and look into how to explain the various aspects of their operation and way to improve their efficiency.


Professor Raouf Naguib

BIOCORE Research and Consultancy UK

Prof Rauf

Various epidemiological Studies provide Evidence of an Association between Cardiovascular health and air pollution. Unfortunately, many developing countries in the Middle East, Africa and Asia significantly lack research in this area and there is an urgent need for improved information and knowledge on the deleterious effects of pollutants and their effects on cardiovascular health, in general, and mortality, in particular. Based on the premise that the environment plays a vital role in the health and well-being of populations, this Lecture presents current research being undertaken within BIOCORE Research and Consultancy, UK. The aim is to spatially model the spread of pollutants and determine the consequent trends of cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality. The research study utilises the powerful spatial processing capabilities of Graphical Information Systems (GIS) to analyse any potential associations between the hazardous pollutants SO2, NOx and PM10 and rates of CVD deaths, with particular emphasis on the sprawling city of Bangalore, India. CVD mortality rates are classified as a result of Rheumatic Heart Disease, Ischemic Heart Disease and Stroke, among others. Due to the limited number of air quality monitoring stations in Bangalore, geostatistical analysts’ interpolation techniques are employed to model a continuous pollution surface for the years 2010–‐2012 on a zonal level, highlighting the pollution hotspots. Spatial Regression is employed to understand and predict cardiovascular mortality outcomes from air pollution exposure, while controlling for other confounding factors. Spatial autocorrelation tools are used to assess if the pattern is clustered, random or dispersed, and to summarise the trend of pollution and CVD mortality over space and time. The outcome of this research, based on Bangalore, India, as a representative case study, will result in the development of an information tool mapping the level of pollutants and geographical patterns of CVD. An intervention framework based on a GIS infrastructure will be proposed to address the issues and challenges in Bangalore, and adopt a strategy to raise awareness among policy makers and the public on cardiovascular health as a consequence of environmental anomalies. Such study can be replicated in various other developing countries and fast-paced growing cities.

Unsupervised Selection and Estimation of Mixture Models and Applications

Dr. Nizar Bouguila, PEng

Concordia University


Nizar Bouguila received the engineer degree from the University of Tunis, Tunis, Tunisia, in 2000, and the M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in computer science from Sherbrooke University, Sherbrooke, QC, Canada, in 2002 and 2006, respectively. He is currently an Associate Professor with the Concordia Institute for Information Systems Engineering (CIISE) at Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada. His research interests include image processing, machine learning, data mining, 3D graphics, computer vision, and pattern recognition. Prof. Bouguila received the best Ph.D Thesis Award in Engineering and Natural Sciences from Sherbrooke University in 2007. He was awarded the prestigious Prix d’excellence de l’association des doyens des etudes superieures au Quebec (best Ph.D Thesis Award in Engineering and Natural Sciences in Quebec), and was a runner-up for the prestigious NSERC doctoral prize (ranked among top 4 in Canada). He is the author or co-author of more than 150 publications in several prestigious journals and conferences. He is a regular reviewer for many international journals and serving as associate editor for Pattern Recognition journal, Scientific World Journal, journal of Engineering, International Journal of Rough Sets and Data Analysis. Dr. Bouguila is a licensed Professional Engineer (P.Eng) registered in Ontario, and a Senior Member of the IEEE.

Abstract: Mixture models are being increasingly used in statistical inference, providing a formal approach to unsupervised learning. Fields in which mixture models have been successfully applied include data mining, image processing, computer vision and graphics. Gaussian distributions are widely used in mixture modelling. At the same time, other models such as Liouville distributions have not received attention. In this talk, I will discuss the estimation and the selection of Liouville-based mixture models. For the estimation different approaches (EM, SEM, variational, and Bayesian parametric and non-parametric approaches) will be presented and different problems will be discussed. An important issue which will be discussed is the selection of the number of clusters. The usual trade-off in model selection problems arises: with too many components, the mixture may over-fit the data (ex. images, videos), while a mixture with too few components may not be flexible enough to approximate the true model.  I will consider the application of the Minimum Message length (MML) principle, variational and non-parametric Bayesian learning to determine the number of clusters and to select appropriate relevant features to represent multi-modal data. I will also present different results and some data mining, cyber-forensics, image processing, computer vision and computer graphics applications.

Workplace 2.0: Environments, Tools, and Practices for Designing and Executing Work as a Service

Dr Obinna Anya

Work Design Innovation, IBM Research – Almaden, USA


Obinna Anya is a post-doctoral researcher in services research at IBM Research – Almaden, USA. His work lies in the areas of human-computer interaction, usability design, agent-based modelling, and collaborative working environments. In particular, he examines the design of computational systems that take account of work practices as a fundamental aspect of how people work and seek to achieve task goals in the real world. Obinna holds a PhD for his work on practice-centered approach to context-aware e-health system design, an MSc in distributed systems – both from the University of Liverpool, UK – and a BSc in computer science from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He has previously worked as a research scientist at Liverpool Hope University, UK, where he was the lead researcher on a British Council sponsored project on context-aware e-collaborative environments for e-health decision support.

Abstract: The shift toward the Web 2.0 has made possible new techniques for problem solving that leverage an undefined network of people using social computing technologies. Organizations have begun to embrace this trend as a way of scaling and enhancing work execution, with businesses accomplishing work via crowd sourcing sites such as InnoCentive and Mechanical Turk, for example. However, taking work outside the realm of formal, clearly defined, organizational structures, either as a form of outsourcing or a new way of distributing work across functional and departmental teams within an organization, is inherently disruptive. Configurations of work performance, in traditional organizational settings, are tightly woven into the structure and function of organizations, whereas crowd work follows the open world assumption wherein entities interact and collaborate without an organized managerial or hierarchical model. In this talk, I will present the concept of Workplace 2.0 – an integrated approach to designing and executing organizational work on social computing platforms by treating work as a service. The approach combines the service-oriented architecture view in computer science with the concept of value co-creation in service science, as well as work design theory in organizational studies.  By treating work as a service, the approach offers a new perspective to work design by encapsulating units of work into service requests in a way that not only facilitates information technology support for work, but also leverage’s existing understanding across diverse disciplines.


Intelligent Neuro-Application System

 Dr. Mohammed Al-Jumaily,

 Consultant Neurosurgeon Complex Spinal, National Health Service, UK


Abstract: Neurological pathologies are invariably chronic in nature. The follow-up of these illnesses is often a long-standing issue that requires vast resources. Despite that, follow-up is usually periodic; hence the majority of the essential day-to-day details of these conditions are often lost. In addition to that, neurological centres are becoming more centralised, thus consequently patients need to travel considerable distances for their review. Smart phones technology has become ubiquitous and easily accessible to the public. Making use of the mobile-health (mHealth) technology seems a reasonable step to meet the requirement for the follow-up (FU) of the patients. This project is a multi-phase study to integrate mHealth technology into the FU of neurological patients with headaches related to hydrocephalus (excess water in the brain) in the first instance.