Speakers and presentations

Laureate Professor John Aitken

Pro Vice-Chancellor, Health and Medicine, University of Newcastle

Laureate Professor John AitkenLaureate Professor Aitken’s research career began with a PhD in reproductive biology from the University of Cambridge. Following post-doctoral positions at the Institute of Animal Genetics, University of Edinburgh and the University of Bordeaux, he managed two task forces within the Human Reproduction Unit of the World Health Organization. In 1977, he joined the Medical Research Council’s Reproductive Biology Unit, University of Edinburgh, to establish a research group in gamete biology with clinical outreach into male infertility. In 1992, John was awarded an Honorary Professorship within the Faculty of Medicine of Edinburgh University and in 1998 he received an ScD degree from the University of Cambridge in recognition of his research contributions to gamete biology. In the same year he moved to the University of Newcastle, NSW, as Chair of Biological Sciences and, later, Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence in Biotechnology and Development.

John has published over 480 research articles, given more than 350 invited lectures and filed 12 patents. His work has been cited >16,000 times (h-index of 69), the highest citation index in his field. Since arriving in Newcastle he has generated >$37 million in research income and has been continuously funded by both the ARC and the NHMRC. In 2005 he received the ST Huang-Chan Memorial Medal from the University of Hong Kong, was appointed a Laureate Professor by the University of Newcastle and received the 2005 Scientist-of-the-Year award from the Hunter Medical Research Institute. In 2012 he received the Simmet Prize, the highest honour bestowed by the International Congress on Animal Reproduction, at the ICAR meeting in Vancouver and was named as the New South Wales Scientist-of-the-Year.

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Professor Bertil Andersson

President, Nanyang Technological University

Professor Bertil Andersson A world-renowned Swedish plant biochemist, Professor Bertil Andersson is a pioneer of photosynthesis research who has authored more than 300 papers with over 14,000 citations.

He was NTU Provost, Chief Executive of the European Science Foundation in France, Rector of Linköping University in Sweden, as well as Chairman of the Nobel Committee for Chemistry and a Trustee of the Nobel Foundation. Since becoming President of NTU in 2011, he has led it to distinction as the world’s best young university that is also ranked 13th globally and leads the top Asian universities in normalised research citation impact.

A Fellow of Imperial College London, he was instrumental in Imperial College London establishing a medical school with NTU in Singapore. He has received the Austrian Wilhelm Exner Medal and the Singapore President’s Science and Technology Medal, both top honours for lifetime achievement. He serves on the boards of international foundations, societies and public agencies.

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Professor Asit Biswas

Distinguished Visiting Professor, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore, and Stockholm Water Prize Winner and Practitioner

Professor Asit Biswas Professor Asit K. Biswas is one of the world’s leading authorities on water and environment. He is Co-founder of the Third World Centre for Water Management, Mexico, and is currently Distinguished Professor at Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, Singapore. He was a member of the World Commission on Water, and a founder of the International Water Resources Association and World Water Council. He has been senior advisor to 19 governments and six Heads of United Nations Agencies; Past President of the International Water Resources Association; and advisor to CEOs of major MNCs on strategic issues.

Among his numerous awards are the Stockholm Water Prize, considered to be the Nobel Prize in the water area, and five honorary doctorates from major universities. Reuters selected him as one of the top 10 water trailblazers in the world. In 2015 he was named the world’s second most influential water industry leader. He is author of 83 books and over 650 scientific and technical papers. His work has been translated into 37 languages.


Sir Lezsek Borysiewicz

Vice-Chancellor, Cambridge University

Sir Lezsek Borysiewicz Sir Lezsek Borysiewicz was Chief Executive of the UK's Medical Research Council from 2007, and from 2001 to 2007 was at Imperial College London, where he served as Principal of the Faculty of Medicine and later as Deputy Rector.

Born in Wales to Polish parents, he went on to the Welsh National School of Medicine, later taking up clinical and research posts in London. In 1988 he moved to the University of Cambridge as Lecturer in Medicine. He went on to be Professor of Medicine at the University of Wales for ten years until 2001. As Deputy Rector of Imperial College, Sir Leszek was responsible for the overall academic and scientific direction of the institution, particularly the development of inter-disciplinary research between engineering, physical sciences and biomedicine.

Concurrently with his position at Imperial College, Sir Leszek was also Governor of the Wellcome Trust, a founding Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences, Chairman of the National Health Service (NHS) (Wales) R&D Grants Committee and acting Director of NHS (Wales) Research and Development, a member of the Council of Cancer Research UK, a Non-Executive Director of North Thames Regional Health Authority and a member of the MRC Council. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2008.

Professor Borysiewicz was knighted in the 2001 New Year's Honours List for his contribution to medical education and research into developing vaccines, including work towards a vaccine to combat cervical cancer.

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Tan Sri Dato' Seri Emerita Professor Dr (Med) Sharifah Hapsah Syed Hasan Shahabudin

President, National Council of Women’s Organisations of Malaysia

Dr Sharifah Hapsah Syed Hasan Shahabudin Sharifah Hapsah Shahabudin is a former Vice-Chancellor, and current President of the National Council of Women’s Organisations of Malaysia and Senior Consultant in the Prime Minister’s Department overseeing the Permata programme. She combines her academic and social activist work in gender equality and child development to strengthen community engagement projects in Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM).

Notable projects include the Centre for Education of the Gifted and Talented, Centre for Empowering Youths-at-risk, the Children’s Hospital and Yunus Centre for Social Business. She promotes knowledge and technology transfer for wealth creation and social wellbeing by nurturing a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship in research, teaching and service in UKM living laboratories across Malaysia. Her latest contribution is a chapter on “Institutional Governance for a Shared Global Engagement Mission” in the GUNI-Higher Education in the World 6 publication entitled “Towards Socially Responsible Higher Education Institutions, Globally and Locally Engaged”.


Laureate Professor Graeme Jameson AO

Director, Centre for Multiphase Process, University of Newcastle

Laureate Professor Graeme Jameson AO Laureate Professor Graeme Jameson AO has a background in the hydrodynamics of bubbles and particles, especially relating to the minerals industry. He has made significant advances in separating valuable minerals from rock using the flotation process. He applied this knowledge to the development of a radical new flotation cell, known as the Jameson Cell. It is in use in 26 countries worldwide, for the recovery of valuable minerals and fine coal. The Cell is also used for environmental purposes, to remove contaminants from industrial wastewaters and biological effluent streams.

Laureate Professor Jameson has received many awards and medals, the most recent being the inaugural Australian Prime Minister’s Science Prize for Innovation in 2015, elected a Foreign Member of the United States National Academy of Engineering (NAE) in 2015, named NSW Scientist of the Year in 2013, and was the recipient of the prestigious Antoine M Gaudin award by the Society for Mining Megallurgy & Exploration in 2012.


Dr Gordon Johnson

Former Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Cambridge University, 2001-2010

Dr Gordon Johnson Gordon Johnson is a Cambridge-educated historian. He went up to Trinity College, Cambridge in 1961 and following his first degree wrote a PhD thesis on early Indian Nationalism. He was a Fellow successively of Trinity and Selwyn Colleges and then President of Wolfson College. Dr Johnson chaired Cambridge University Press from 1993 until 2009. He edited Modern Asian Studies from 1971-2008 and was General Editor of the New Cambridge History of India.

Dr Johnson was Director of the Centre of South Asian Studies in Cambridge from 1983-2001. Provincial Politics and Indian Nationalism (CUP, 1973) is the book of his thesis. He has also published a Cultural Atlas of India (1995) and University Politics: F M Cornford’s Cambridge and his advice to the young academic politician (CUP, 1994; centenary edition 2008). He is currently writing a book about Cambridge University Press and is President of the Royal Asiatic Society.


Emeritus Professor John Malpas

Former Vice President, The University of Hong Kong

Emeritus Professor John Malpas John Malpas is Emeritus Professor of Earth Sciences and was Vice President and Pro Vice-Chancellor of the University of Hong Kong from 2000 until 2013. He was responsible for strategic planning and university infrastructure and resources, including human resources. Between 2006 and 2012 he was responsible for large scale campus development in response to the change from a three to a four-year undergraduate curriculum in the Hong Kong education system. He was educated as an earth scientist at Oxford University (MA and DSc) and Memorial University of Newfoundland (MSc and PhD), and has undertaken award-winning research into the origins of the world’s oceans.

Before coming to Hong Kong in 1994 Emeritus Professor Malpas was Dean of Graduate Studies at Memorial University, and held various senior positions in scientific organizations including Joint Oceanographic Institutions, the Geological Association of Canada, Canadian Geoscience Council, National Research Council of Canada, and Canadian Centre for Advanced Research. He was a member of the University Grants Committee of Hong Kong (2006-2013). In 2012 he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts. In 2013 he became President of Centennial College in the University of Hong Kong.

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Ms Emily Marthinsen

Assistant Vice-Chancellor and Campus Architect, University of California, Berkeley

Ms Emily Marthinsen Assistant Vice Chancellor and Campus Architect at the University of California, Berkeley, Emily Marthinsen is responsible for campus physical and environmental planning.  Her portfolio includes project planning and design, sustainability, city and private development partnerships and campus long range development planning.

Ms Marthinsen has a Bachelor of Arts in Geography from the University of Chicago and Master of Architecture from UC Berkeley.  She is a licensed Architect in California and has over thirty-five years of relevant work experience at UC Berkeley and with design and planning firms in Berkeley, San Francisco, Washington, DC, Alexandria, Virginia.

Ms Marthinsen is a member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), the Society for Campus and University Planning (SCUP) and the Association of University Architects (AUA).  She is incoming Chair of the National AIA’s Public Architects Advisory Group and is a frequent presenter and writer on campus planning issues.

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Professor Caroline McMillen

Vice-Chancellor and President, University of Newcastle

Professor Caroline McMillen Professor Caroline McMillen joined the University of Newcastle as Vice-Chancellor and President in October 2011. She has previously served in academic leadership positions at Monash University, the University of Adelaide and the University of South Australia. Professor McMillen is an inaugural Fellow of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences, and a Bragg Member of the Royal Institution, Australia.

She holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) and Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Oxford, and completed her medical training graduating with an MB, B Chair at the University of Cambridge. She has held international and national roles in policy and strategy development in health and medical research and education, industry engagement and innovation. Professor McMillen is a Director of the Australian Business Higher Education Round Table, a member of the SAGE (Science in Australia and Gender Equity) Expert Advisory Group and has served on a range of national and international disciplinary bodies and industry boards and as Convenor of the New South Wales Vice-Chancellor’s Committee.

As a medical and health researcher, Professor McMillen is internationally recognised for her work on the impact of the nutritional environment before birth on the risk of developing cardiovascular and metabolic disease in adult life. She has published around 220 research papers and presented at over 70 international and national meetings.

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Mr John Parman

Senior Associate, Gensler

Mr John Parman John J. Parman is the Editorial Lead with the Marketing Communications team at Gensler, a global design consultancy with offices in Sydney and 45 other cities. In this role, he oversees the firm’s flagship publications, Gensler Design Forecast and Dialogue. He is based in Oakland, California. The long-time writing partner of UC Berkeley Professor Richard Bender, Parman is an editorial adviser to ORO Editions’ architecture and planning research imprint, Architect’s Newspaper (California edition), and Room One Thousand, the annual publication of UC Berkeley’s College of Environmental Design.

Mr Parman writes regularly for the Seattle-based design quarterly, Arcade, and is a founding contributor to a new journal, Architecture, Design + Research, sponsored by the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture. He co-founded the award-winning quarterly, Design Book Review, which he published from 1983 to 1999.

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Professor Dr (Med) Frank Rühli

Head of Evolutionary Medicine, University of Zurich

Professor Dr Frank Rühli Frank Rühli, MD, PhD, USMLE, is a professor of Anatomy and Founder and Director of the globally unique Institute of Evolutionary Medicine, Medical Faculty, University of Zurich. He is Director of the future Medical Museum and head of the Medico-historical collection, University of Zurich. Dr Rühli is also a steering committee member of two University Research Priority Initiatives. He has held visiting researcher status and professional appointments, respectively, at Harvard University, University Hospital Zurich and University of Adelaide. His main expertise is the study of ancient human remains; he has acquired ca. 17m USD of third-party funding and has ca. 200 scientific publications.

Dr Rühli serves in multiple professional bodies, editorial boards and political organisations (e.g. President, Health Care Commission Free Democratic Liberal Party FDP Switzerland). Frank Rühli is currently enrolled in an Executive MBA program. He serves in the rank of a lieutenant-colonel as Head Medical Operations, Headquarter Swiss Army.

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Dr Roseann Runte

President and Vice-Chancellor, Carleton University

Dr Roseann Runte Roseann O’Reilly Runte is President and Vice-Chancellor of Carleton University. She graduated with a BA summa cum laude in French from the State University of New York and obtained her MA and PhD from the University of Kansas. She has previously served as president of l’Université Sainte-Anne, principal of Glendon College, president of Victoria University and of Old Dominion University. She is the author of numerous scholarly works in the fields of French, comparative literature, economic and cultural development, higher education and the importance of research. In addition, she is a creative writer and has received a poetry prize from the Académie française.

Dr Runte has been awarded the Order of Canada and the French Order of Merit and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. She has also been awarded the Palmes Académiques and several prizes for her work on the environment, for community and national service. In addition, she holds a number of honorary degrees.

Dr Runte has served on numerous boards and commissions in both Canada and the United States including being president of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO, president of the Humanities Federation of Canada and a member of the Royal College of Physicians. She currently serves on the board of the National Bank of Canada and the executive of the Royal Society and Fulbright Canada-U.S. She is a member of both the European and the World Academy of Arts and Sciences.

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Cross Professor Emeritus Dr Nam Pyo Suh

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Cross Professor Emeritus Dr Nam Pyo Suh Dr Suh was the 13th and 14th President of Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST). During his tenure (2006-2013), the worldwide reputation of KAIST was significantly improved; by 2014, KAIST was the second highest ranked university in Asia. In engineering, its worldwide ranking is around 20. In 2016, Reuters ranked it the 6th Most Innovative University in the World.

Dr Suh has spent most of his professional career at MIT, where he is the Cross Professor Emeritus. He was the Head of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, MIT. Dr Suh was also the Presidential Appointee in charge of engineering at the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF). He was appointed to this position by President Ronald Reagan and confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

Dr Suh has received many awards, including the ASME Medal, the General Pierre Nicolau Award of CIRP, the Pony Chung Award, the Inchon Education Award, the Ho-Am Prize for Engineering, the Mensforth International Gold Medal of IEE (UK), the Hills Millennium Award from IED (UK), and the Distinguished Service Award of NSF. He has received nine honorary degrees from universities in four continents. He serves on the boards of universities and industrial firms.

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Adjunct Professor Anthony SC Teo

Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore

Adjunct Professor Anthony SC Teo As Founder of the Univer-Cities Conference with a shared trans-disciplinary commitment from thought leaders in academia and public policy, Professor Teo was chair of the conference in 2013 at NTU and is again in 2016 at the University of Newcastle in communion with an eminent Conference Advisory Council. He was editor of the accompanying books, Univer-Cities: Strategic Implications for Asia - Readings from Cambridge and Berkeley to Singapore, 2013 and Univer-Cities: Strategic View of the Future from Berkeley and Cambridge to Singapore and Rising Asia, 2015.

Anthony SC Teo was Nanyang Technological University's founder Secretary to the University in a troika with the President and new-found Provost to corporatise and reposition the university, including the establishment and co-funding of the new medical school. He was a member of the University Cabinet and an Ex-Officio of the NTU Senate until August 2010. Professor Teo served as the Advisor on Special Projects to the Provost-turned successor President of NTU until June 2012. He was awarded the NTU Pioneer Educator's Medallion in 2015. On the QS Global Ranking, NTU is 13th.

Previously, Professor Teo was awarded a Visiting Fellowship to the University of Cambridge at Wolfson College and also the Chevalier of the Order Palmes Académiques. He is a Life Member of the Economic Society of Singapore and an Emeritus Board Member of the Harvard Business School's Global Alumni Council at Soldiers Field (1987-1990) which asserted and fundraised to ensure the embedding of ethics in the HBS MBA curriculum and pedagogy. For six years, he was a member of the Academic Committee for the QS University Rankings and Asia Pacific Professional Leaders in Education Conference, co-hosting the first two QS conferences in NTU.

Presently, he is an Adjunct Professor at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy and a founder management board member of the Middle East Institute at the National University of Singapore.