Keynote speakers

Keynote Speaker Dr Louise Brooke-Smith

Dr Louise Brooke-Smith

RICS Global President

Director - Brooke Smith Planning Consultants Ltd


Louise is a UK based Chartered Surveyor and Chartered Town Planner with over thirty years professional experience in the built environment. After working in the public and private sectors both in Great Britain and overseas, she established a Planning and Development Consultancy in Birmingham, UK in 1994. Today the Practice, Brooke Smith Planning, is listed in the top 10 of independent UK planning consultancies, serving clients across the UK and overseas. It has affiliated offices in Leeds and London.

Louise is well versed in both the legal and commercial aspects of the planning and development system and is an experienced Expert Witness at Public Inquiries and Tribunals. She has specific and practical experience of land use and place making initiatives and, with her surveying background, has a strong commercial understanding of the construction industry both in the UK and overseas. Her work has included post with major developers; international consultancies; academia and with UN Habitat.

Reflecting her professional experience, Louise served on the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyor's West Midlands Regional Board for some years, sitting as Chairman in 2000. She has served on the RICS International Governing Council since the mid 1990's. Louise was appointed Global President of the RICS, the first female President of the Institution, in July 2014. In this role, she represents 180,000 members, across 146 countries, world wide.

Professor Kevin Hall

Professor Kevin Hall

Senior Deputy Vice Chancellor and Vice President - Global Engagement and Partnerships, University of Newcastle

Dr Kevin Hall is the Senior Deputy Vice Chancellor and Vice President - Global Engagement and Partnerships at the University of Newcastle with responsibilities for the University's diverse and comprehensive research enterprise and acts as the University's chief research officer. Kevin was previously Vice President (Research and External Partnerships) at the University of Guelph, Canada and prior to that at Queen's University, Canada for 22 years in roles including Department Head (Civil Engineering), director of the Centre for Water and the Environment, and Chair of the Advisory Board for the Institute for Population and Public Health.

Dr. Hall carries out trans-disciplinary research across a number of major themes including water quality modelling, development of environmental monitoring and pathogen detection systems, syndromic surveillance and water and health in marginalized communities. He is funded a number of national and international funding bodies and industries. His research has been incorporated into Engineering Design Manuals both nationally and internationally.

Prof. Makarand (Mark) Hastak

Professor Makarand (Mark) Hastak

Professor and Head Construction Engineering and Management, Purdue University

Ph.D, P.E., CCP

Dr. Hastak is the Professor and Head (2007-Present) of the Division of Construction Engineering and Management as well as Professor of Civil Engineering at Purdue University, USA. He has been involved with the construction industry for the past 27 years where he has conducted research, taught, and assisted industry in the area of construction engineering and management including disaster risk reduction, infrastructure management, cost control, project management decision-making, risk management, and strategic planning.

Dr. Hastak is a Professional Engineer (PE) and a Certified Cost Professional (CCP). He serves on the education Board of the Association for Advancement of Cost Engineering International (AACEI) where he is also the editor for publishing the 6th edition of the Skills and Knowledge of Cost Engineering as well as the 4th edition of the Certification Study Guide. Dr. Hastak has authored and co-authored over 150 publications including journal papers, peer-reviewed conference papers, book chapters, and several other publications.