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Symposium President Opening Ceremony Speech

09:00 am, 6th of December 2022, 

Zain - E-learning Center 

University of Bahrain - Sukhair - Kingdom of Bahrain


Opening Speech by Her Excellency

Dr. Jawaher Bint Shaheen AlMudhahkah  

University of Bahrain President

Honoring Symposium Patron and  Symposium General Chairperson


Her Excellency Speech is

Towards Smart Cities and Digital Twin Cities:  A Novel Paradigm

December 6, 2022, 09:00+03 - 09:10+03

06-09 December 2022 Symposium Keynote Speakers

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Keynote Talk


"Flexible and Resilient Electric Utility  Infrastructures to Support Smart Cities


Dr. Vidya Vankayala

Director, Grid Modernization, Powertech Labs Inc, Surrey, British Columbia



Smart cities across the world are bringing advanced technologies and edge intelligence to support citizen and communities. Electric utility infrastructures at the municipal and distribution system levels are a critical enablers of this development. In this talk, Dr. Vankayala will provide a summary of technologies and approaches being used by the utility industry to support smart cities. Changes brought about by economic, climate and regulatory pressures will be covered with a few examples.

About Dr. Vidya Vankayala

Dr. Vidya Vankayala is the Director of Grid Modernization at Powertech. With more than 25 years of experience in the utility and hi-tech sectors, Dr. Vankayala has helped several utilities in grid modernization, distribution automation, smart energy program management, cyber security and system integration. He has extensive experience in management consulting for electric utility transmission and distribution and also worked for two large technology vendors that provide grid modernization technologies to the global utility sector.  Dr. Vankayala has led a number of technology programs at various utilities as a Chief Architect, Solution Director and Industry Specialist. Dr. Vankayala is a member of IEEE and a contributor to several smart grid standards. He has over 20 publications in T&D operations, planning, cyber security and technology enablement.

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Keynote Talk


Satellite Imagery and Big Data for Smart Cities


Dr Michael Kio, 

Fellow of the Institution of Engineering and Technology

James Clarke School of Engineering

University of Maryland College Park



Satellite technology provides images for every location on planet earth with onboard computers processing large amounts of data, producing insightful information and analysis. This is an application of big data, going above and beyond not only reading images obtained from space but also improving lives here on earth. Satellites implementing artificial intelligence (AI) are beginning to be utilized for real time images and analysis on how smart cities are transforming. One example is real time changes of when green areas are converted to built areas. By training computers on what to spot in images processed or produced by satellites, machine learning algorithms are implemented on large and expanding data sources which reveals how city development aligns with zoning and planning of communities exposed to flooding and climate change. From this big data, the machine learning algorithms predicts the temporal and spatial distribution of  land use and land cover which are analyzed and utilized for the management of smart cities.

About Dr. Michael Kio

Dr Michael Kio a fellow of the institution of engineering and technology IET has his PhD in Aerospace Engineering from Cranfield University in the United Kingdom and was a chief engineer in a national space agency and a consultant in satellite and communication technology, energy systems and project management. Dr Kio worked as a postdoctoral associate in the University of Maryland College Park and is currently an assistant research professor in the faculty of engineering University of Maryland. Dr Kio is a project management professional (PMP) in the United States of America and a senior member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), where he chaired several technical sessions and reviewed manuscripts in the institution’s journals and conference proceedings.


Keynote Talk


Microgrids Digital Twins toward Biomimetics


Professor Josep M. Guerrero

Professor, Villum Investigator  |  AAU Energy
The Villum Center for Research on Microgrids (AAU CROM)
Aalborg University | Pontoppidanstraede,  Aalborg Ø



This talk will begin by introducing the control of microgrids, the parallelisms with the human brain and the research for possible sources of inspiration in last frontiers of Neuroscience. The talk will present Digital Twin concepts, Cybersecurity and Smart Homes. Then, control in electric power systems of satellites and space platforms will be presented, showing approaches that are extended from terrestrial microgrids and explaining the differences and challenges when it comes to apply them out in the space. Further, multi-microgrid systems will be discussed for moon craters in future lunar manmade bases. Finally, the extension from the hierarchical control of microgrids to bioastronautics in the control of closed ecological systems to support with oxygen, water, and food to the astronauts and creating thus creating new ecosystems for the moon and future mars bases.


About Professor Josep M. Guerrero

Josep M. Guerrero (S’01-M’04-SM’08-FM’15) received the B.Sc. degree in telecommunications engineering, the M.Sc. degree in electronics engineering, and the Ph.D. degree in power electronics from the Technical University of Catalonia, Barcelona, in 1997, 2000 and 2003, respectively. Nowadays he is working towards the M.Sc. Degree in Psychobiology and Cognitive Neuroscience at the Autonomous University of Barcelona. Since 2011, he has been a Full Professor with AAU Energy, Aalborg University, Denmark, where he is responsible for the Microgrid Research Program. From 2019, he became a Villum Investigator by The Villum Fonden, which supports the Center for Research on Microgrids (CROM) at Aalborg University, being Prof. Guerrero the founder and Director of the same center ( His research interests is oriented to different microgrid frameworks in applications like microgrid clusters, IoT-based and digital twin, maritime microgrids for electrical ships, vessels, ferries and seaports, and space microgrids applied to nanosatellites and closed ecological systems. Prof. Guerrero is an Associate Editor for a number of IEEE TRANSACTIONS. He has published more than 800 journal papers in the fields of microgrids and renewable energy systems, which are cited more than 80,000 times. During eight consecutive years, from 2014 to 2021, he was awarded by Clarivate Analytics (former Thomson Reuters) as Highly Cited Researcher with 55 highly cited papers. In 2021, he received the IEEE Bimal Bose Award for Industrial Electronics Applications in Energy Systems, for his pioneering contributions to renewable energy based microgrids. In 2022, he received the IEEE PES Douglas M. Staszesky Distribution Automation Award, for contributions to making the hierarchical control of microgrid systems a practical reality.


Keynote Talk


Application of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Methods for Smart Cities


Dr. Mrinal R Bachute
Industry Liaison Officer
Associate Professor,Department of Electronics & Telecommunication Engineering
Symbiosis Institute of Technology
Pune-412115. Maharshtra



Growth of urbanization presents new challenges. Smart Cities are part of the solution to the growing challenges of urbanization. AI can efficiently sift through large quantities of Big Data to generate data predictions and cost-effective solutions to fuel Smart City technologies. The way this works depends on whether the AI is supervised or unsupervised. In supervised learning, datasets and target values are created to train AI networks to find specific solutions in the collected raw data. The AI will then carry out programmed tasks and actions, whilst exploring new opportunities and possibilities that may provide better outcomes than current solutions. In unsupervised learning, non-labelled and non-classified datasets are used to train and ask questions of AI networks, which will then find latent characteristics and hidden patterns in the data, AI plays a crucial role in developing smart transportation system, sensors and cameras can be used to save lives and lower crime. Traffic lights and congestion data can be used by emergency services to get to their destinations quicker and more safely.   Building automation systems say for example store owners and retailers can use sensors to track the peak times that individuals enter and use the stores, as well as towards which areas the public gravitates. Through the use of AI, the data generated can help to produce consistent predictions and track daily, weekly and seasonal differences.

About Dr. Mrinal R Bachute

Dr. Mrinal R Bachute, PhD (Electronics), ME(Digital Electronics) is an Associate Professor and Head,of Industry Connect at Symbiosis Institute of Technology, Pune under Symbiosis International (Deemed University) Pune, India. She has more than 22 years of experience in teaching and research. She has guided many postgraduate and undergraduate students in their projects. She is currently guiding the doctoral research of 5 scholars. Dr. Mrinal's areas of specialization include Digital Image Processing, Machine Learning Artificial Intelligence, and Adaptive Signal Processing. She has received research funding from the University of Pune and All India Council for Technical Education's Quality Improvement Program grants. She has presented her work at many international workshops and conferences and chaired technical sessions also. Her research papers have been published in reputed journals and conference proceedings at the national and international levels. Dr. Mrinal Bachute has also delivered invited talks and expert sessions at many national and international platforms, including at IET-UK's seminar in Vancouver Canada, ZE Power Engineering, Vancouver Canada, and at IET local network in Trinidad and Tobago. She has been a paper reviewer for conferences and reputed journals including IEEE access, springer nature and Elsevier.


Keynote Talk


Smart Cities Technologies from Theory to Practice


Professor A. R. Al-Ali

Computer Science and Engineering Department, College of Engineering

American University of Sharjah




Governments and City Councils nowadays are deploying smart applications ranging from health, education, transportation, energy, buildings and to factories. Citizens engage with smart-city ecosystems in a variety of ways using their smartphone, mobile devices, laptops, desktops,  fog and cloud-computing platforms. Smart-city applications are built and developed using enabling technologies starting from the physical layers and to the cloud layer. The conceptual model of a smart city consists of edge sensing computing devices layer, communications and fog computing layer, data analytics and cloud computing platforms layer, applications layer and a cyber-security layer that overlap with all layers to provide security and privacy. This talk will discuss the computing layers and software platforms that enable the smart cities authorities and its citizens to communicate to exchange, process, analysis and visualize data. Also, the talk will present some applications that show how smart cities save governments, businesses and citizens money as well as to make better decisions that improve quality of life.


About Prof. A. R. Al-Ali

A. R. Al-Ali (SM IEEE) received his Ph.D. in electrical engineering and a minor in computer science from Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, USA.  Professor Al-Ali worked as an associate/assistant professor in KFUPM, Saudi Arabia (1991-2000), and has been a Professor of Computer Science and Engineering at the American University of Sharjah (UAE) since 2000.  His research and teaching interests include; embedded systems hardware and software architectures, smart homes automation, smart grid evolution and development, smart factories and cities. Professor Al-Ali has many conference and journal publications including two USA and European Patents. He has also been invited to deliver keynote speeches on the recent evolution and development on the Internet of Things, Cyber-Physical Systems, smart grid and smart cities at several local and international conferences. He  organized and co/chaired several International conferences.

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Keynote Talk


A System of Systems Integration Approach to Make “Smart Cities” Smart


Dr. Nesrine Miro Padovani
UpGradelle Cs Training and Consulting WLL

co-founder & CEO of UpGradelle Training & Consulting 


The global population is expected to grow by 70% in 2050 and it’s undoubtedly sure that these people will live in cities. Looking at what the future may look like, in 30 years from now we will have built as many cities as in all of human history. The future of humanity is inevitably urban, and digitization stands as an essential, unstoppable revolution to ensure future-proof cities focused on people and the environment. Until recently, city leaders thought of smart technologies primarily as tools for becoming more efficient behind the scenes. After a decade of trial and error, they are starting to realize that smart-city strategies do actually start with people, not technology. “Smartness” is not just about installing digital interfaces in traditional infrastructure or streamlining city operations. It is also about using technology and data purposefully to make better decisions and deliver a better quality of life. Smart cities put data and digital technology to work to make better decisions and improve the quality of life. More comprehensive, real-time data gives authorities and dedicated agencies the ability to watch events as they unfold, understand how demand patterns are changing, and respond with faster and lower-cost solutions. For smart cities to be effective, they must be able to collect, analyze, and act from disparate data resources. That’s when an integrated system-of-systems approach can be used as a solution to leverage information from various data sources, anticipate and resolve problems even before they are presented, coordinate various resources and processes to operate seamlessly, and generally make more strategic decisions. This approach is a great way of providing a centralized infrastructure where heterogenous data can be managed and shared at all levels to make smart cities really smart. At the crossroads of tech and cities, there’s an opportunity for a more sustainable and inclusive world which can only be achieved through an overall consideration of the different dimensions and components that can be interfaced together to form the cities of the future “smart cities”.

About Dr. Nesrine Miro Padovani

Dr. Nesrine Miro Padovani is a serial entrepreneur and Tech investor, she’s the co-founder and CEO of the french based e-learning startup “THE ASIDE PROJECT” and Bahrain-based training and consulting firm “UpGradelle Cs”. Dr. Nesrine holds a PhD in systems engineering and complex systems design from the “ENSAM: Ecole Normale Superieure des Arts & Métiers” ParisTech in France and she has been lecturing and researching digital transformations and industry 4.0 solutions for more than 10 years within Europe key accounts players and the European Commission for sustainable projects and future urbanization. She has worked as a project director in the E-mobility sector within leading automotive makers such as Renault Nissan Group, Stellantis Group (ex-PSA Peugeot Citroen), and as a top-tier strategy and management consultant and digital transformations expert for Europe leading companies such as Paris Airport Group, Airbus, Safran Aeronautics, Saint Gobin, EDF, Framatome, etc. Dr. Nesrine has been involved in digital transformations, E-Mobility, and the future of urbanization projects since 2011, and her work is illustrated by her +11 international patents, academic publications, and her keynote speech at world-leading industrial conferences (CTI Symposium, SAE E-Mobility, PLM International conference, COP21 Paris, etc.). She’s a member of the AWS solutions architect community, Bitcoin Blockchain architect public community, IEEE and INCOSE fellow, and women in tech advocate and business leader. Dr. Nesrine believes in the power of advanced technologies in bringing more sustainability and inclusiveness to our life, she’s a consulting professor for M2 students at ENSAM ParisTech and an experienced online educator.


Keynote Talk


Digitization and Artificial Intelligence Contributing to Smart Cities


Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ruchi Tyagi

Birmingham City University-RAK Campus



Many technologies and solutions have contributed to the foundation and development of vibrant cities. Artificial intelligence (AI) is now emerging as an essential part of how smart cities work. Let us have a look at AI investments: (i) By 2021, 30% of city government service interactions would be fulfilled and/or completed, at least in part, through an AI-powered conversational channel.  (ii) 66% of 167 cities inquired for study by ESI thought Lab is investing heavily in AI, and 80% will do so over the next three years. North American cities (83%) and small cities (74%) lead in the use of AI. The percentage of cities making large investments will increase the most for Digital Twins, rising from 11% in 2021 to 31% in three years’ time—an increase of almost 300%. (iii) Digital platforms as ’city brains’: where all urban activity is orchestrated and operated, providing a holistic view of the city, allowing for events correlation, fast and assertive ‘root cause analysis, predictive analysis (through machine learning) and incident management, and providing operational insights through visualization. (iv) Digital Twin: A Digital Twin can be used to provide support for day-to-day operations, simulate a natural disaster and its potential impact on the city, or evaluate the flow of breezes that cool the city and the trees to ensure shade in streets and parks. With the evolution of new technologies with higher processing capabilities (namely, fast problems root-cause analysis identification). Digital Twins will become increasingly powerful in enabling data-driven decisions. They will have a high adoption rate among city governments, promising to turn cities more resilient. ABI Research has predicted that by 2025 the number of Digital Twins will exceed 500.

About Dr. Ruchi Tyagi

Dr. Ruchi Tyagi has done a post-doctorate on the project, "Low-cost Conservation Measures for Energy Conservation in the residential sector of Trinidad and Tobago", collaborated by the Ministry of Planning and Development, St Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago, West Indies. Dr Tyagi is an Adjunct Professor (Honorary) to the Utilities Engineering Department of the University of Trinidad and Tobago (2021) for her professional expertise. In addition, she was an invited speaker at a seminar of IET-UK in Vancouver, Canada; Deptt of Ethics, Moscow State University, Nizhny Novgorod Institute of Management and Business, Leningrad State University, Vladimir University, Russian Federation.


Keynote Talk


Application of 5G in Smart Cities


Damini Rajiah
Telecommunication Professional
Telecommunication Service Providers



Smart cities have a wide array of information to process, from city traffic to buildings' info. The smart functioning of these facilities requires greater bandwidth as well as real-time processing. Revolutionizing smart cities with most modern communication technologies anticipate high-quality connectivity for the increased number of Internet-of-things (IoT) objects, which tend to be small with low processing capability, of which the output drive immediate actions. 5G communication technology unlocks the potential of IoT and can be a driving force for smart cities by addressing and overcoming the issues of poor support for simultaneous connections, high power consumption, and high price per bit in the existing 4G technology. The telecom service providers worldwide have an instrumental role to play in deploying the main backbone for 5G technology in the existing as well as future smart cities across the globe. 5G technology has several features that can positively impact digital experiences and smart cities. Technologists worldwide are exploring the best possible use and advantages of the application of 5G communication technology in developing smart cities.

About Damini Rajiah

Damini Rajiah is a telecommunication professional. She has undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in Information and Communication Technology (with Distinction) from the University of Mauritius. She has been working with one of the major Telecom Service providers in Mauritius for more than 25 years. Her current role is Principal Officer (Information Systems). Damini has been involved in major data migration projects, management of information systems, and auditing in the telecommunication sector.

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Keynote Talk


Enhancement of the Smart City concept through a low-cost-on-the-Road-Unit for Traffic Management


Dr. Fotiοs Giannopoulos

Christos Spandonidis (Prisma Electronics, Greece);

Fotiοs Giannopoulos (Prisma Electronics S.A., Greece);

 Elias Sedikos (Prisma Electronics UK, United Kingdom (Great Britain));

Dimitris Reppas and Kostas Sakatis

(Prisma Electronics S.A., Greece);

Panagiotis Theodoropoulos (University of Patra, Greece)

Prisma Electronics S.A.


The advent of the 4th Industrial Revolution has completely changed the landscape of many scientific disciplines. An extension of the Industry 4.0 revolution concerns the Internet of Vehicles, integrating interconnected vehicles in a network exchanging information, rapidly enhancing efficient transportation and the passengers' and pedestrians' safety. Ιn the context of the ODOS2020 project, a sensing networking architecture is presented to conduct vehicular detection based on MEMS magnetometers, as well as allowing predictive maintenance of the infrastructure, contributing to the increase of road safety. The integrated solution is intended to be of low cost and cover all types of vehicles. The focal point of the current work is on evaluating the prototype On-the-Road Unit laid on the road for detecting bypassing vehicles and measuring their speed and movement direction by employing low-cost magnetic sensor modules. The developed system is able to detect vehicle movement, alongside its direction and speed using a single device acquiring data from a number of low-cost sensors. The developed system has been evaluated in controlled and real environments.

About Dr. Fotis Giannopoulos

Dr. Fotis Giannopoulos received his diploma in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the National Technical University of Athens. He has a PhD degree in Signal Processing and Pattern Recognition from the National Technical University of Athens. He is experienced in designing, simulating and testing analog and digital circuits. He is also experienced in designing Internet of Things (IoT) applications and products. He is currently a member of the R&D department of Prisma Electronics.


For previous years  Smart Cities Symposium Keynote Talks and  Speakers ...  follow this link

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