Keynote Speakers


Prof. John Billingsley, Mechatronic Engineering at the University of Southern Queensland, Australia

Dr John Billingsley is Professor of Mechatronic Engineering at the University of Southern Queensland, Australia. He is a Fellow of the IET (UK), past Fellow of Engineers Australia as well as a Senior Member of the IEEE (USA). Professor Billingsley was one of the founders of Australia’s National Centre for Engineering in Agriculture (NCEA), recently renamed the Centre for Agricultural Engineering. He has published widely on control theory and robotics.
As a Cambridge Mathematics Scholar, John completed the mathematics tripos in two years, then spent his third year studying electronics. Following a Graduate Apprenticeship, he designed algorithms and electronics for aircraft control systems. He then returned to Cambridge to complete his doctoral research on Predictive Control.
He remained in Cambridge as a Fellow of Sidney Sussex College. Eight years later he moved to a Readership at Portsmouth Polytechnic, now Portsmouth University and later became Professor of Robotics. He led groups researching the ‘Craftsman Robot’ and walking robots. He helped found companies designing embedded electronics for domestic appliances and nuclear test equipment.
In 1992, John moved to Toowoomba, Australia, where he applied machine vision to precision tractor guidance. He co-founded the National Centre for Engineering in Agriculture of the University of Southern Queensland.
This year he was joint organiser of the twenty-sixth annual conference on Mechatronics and Machine Vision in Practice, a series which he inaugurated in 1994.  


Prof. Danil Prokhorov, Toyota Research Institute North America (TRINA)/International Neural Network Society, USA

Dr. Danil Prokhorov started his research career in Russia.  He studied system engineering which included courses in math, physics, mechatronics and computer technologies, as well as aerospace and robotics. He received his M.S. with Honors in St. Petersburg, Russia, in 1992.  After receiving Ph.D. in 1997, he joined the staff of Ford Scientific Research Laboratory, Dearborn, Michigan. While at Ford he pursued machine learning research focusing on neural networks with applications to system modeling, powertrain control, diagnostics and optimization.  He has been involved in research and planning for various intelligent technologies, such as highly automated vehicles, AI and other futuristic systems at Toyota Tech Center (TTC), Ann Arbor, MI since 2005. Since 2011 he is in charge of future research department in Toyota Motor North America R & D. He has been serving as a panel expert for NSF, DOE, ARPA, Senior and Associate Editor of several scientific journals for over 20 years.  He has been involved with several professional societies including IEEE Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) and IEEE Computational Intelligence (CI), as well as International Neural Network Society (INNS) as its former Board member, President and recently elected Fellow.  He has authored lots of publications and patents.  Having shown feasibility of autonomous driving and personal flying mobility, his department continues research of complex multi-disciplinary problems while exploring opportunities for the next big thing.


Prof. Peter Kacsuk, Ungarian Academy of Science, Hungary

Prof. Dr. Peter KACSUK is the Director of the Laboratory of the Parallel and Distributed Systems in the Computer and Automation Research Institute (SZTAKI) and the technical director of the Hungarian Research Cloud (MTA Cloud). He received his MSc and university doctorate degrees from the Technical University of Budapest in 1976 and 1984, respectively. He received the kandidat degree (equivalent to PhD) from the Hungarian Academy in 1989. He habilitated at the University of Vienna in 1997. He received his professor title from the Hungarian President in 1999 and the Doctor of Academy degree (DSc) from the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in 2001. He was a part-time full professor at the University of Westminster (London, UK) between 2001 and 2017. Now he is a professor emeritus there. He has published two books, two lecture notes and more than 350 scientific papers on parallel computer architectures, parallel software engineering, workflow systems, Grid and Cloud computing. He is co-editor-in-chief of the Journal of Grid Computing published by Springer. He was invited as keynote speaker for more than 20 scientific conferences.


Prof. Manuel F. Silva, Institute of Engineering of Porto, Portugal

Manuel F. Silva was born on April 11, 1970. He graduated and obtained his MSc and PhD degrees in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto, Portugal, in 1993, 1997 and 2005, respectively. He is currently an Adjunct Professor at the Department of Electrical Engineering of the Instituto Superior de Engenharia do Porto (School of Engineering of the Polytechnic of Porto), being also the current President of SPR - Sociedade Portuguesa de Robótica and a member of the management team of CLAWAR Association Ltd. He has developed research in the areas of robotics, process simulation and education in engineering and robotics, with more than 150 publications in international scientific journals, conferences and books, with peer review, and has been actively involved as General/Program Chair in the organization of several international conferences in the field of robotics and in the organization of the Portuguese Robotics Open. His research interests focus on the areas of modelling, simulation, robotics, bio-inspired robotics, control and education in engineering and robotics.