Keynote Speakers

Our confirmed Keynotes follow:


Burns Fallow Photo_Resized

Burns Fallow

Burns Fallow is Head Sail Designer and Director for North Sails as well as Global Superyacht Manager for North Sails, a job combining design and management skills. Prior to this Burns was Managing Director of North Sails New Zealand from 2008 until 2014.

He joined North Sails in 1988 straight from the University of Auckland where he was the first person to graduate from the Yacht Research Unit. For the next few years he learned sail design, interacting with many of the top trimmers from his homeland during that time.  His sail designs have appeared on many top level racing programs winning numerous world titles over the years.

From 1993 until 2013, Burns was a member of Team New Zealand (now Emirates Team New Zealand) through five America’s Cup campaigns, being part of the winning team twice.  He was head of the Sail program, and in the 2013 campaign he also headed the Wing Aero development team for the AC72 foiling catamarans.

Burns designed his first Superyacht sails in 1991 and he has been involved with over 50 Superyacht projects since that time.

Yaojun Ge_photo

Yaojun Ge

Yaojun Ge received his BSc, MSc and PhD degrees in civil engineering all from Tongji University in China. He has been working in Tongji University majoring in bridge structure analysis, wind engineering and bridge aerodynamics for more than 30 years. He has contributed to many R&D key projects, including one grand and three key projects of Natural Science Foundation of China, one “973 Plan” project and one “863 Plan” project, and more than 40 major bridge consultant projects, including Shanghai Lupu Bridge as the world’s longest arch bridge, East See Bridge as the world’s longest see crossing projects, and Xihoumen Bridge as the longest box-girder suspension bridge in the world. He has published 6 books and more than 200 technical papers, and has made over 20 keynote presentations in international conferences. He has received all three kinds of Chinese National Awards of Natural Science, Technological Invention and Science and Technology Progress, as well as international T. Y. Lin Medal 2016. He is Vice President of International Association for Bridge and Structural Engineering (IABSE), Executive Board Member and Asia-Oceania Coordinator of International Association for Wind Engineering (IAWE). He also serves as President of Bridge and Structural Engineering Institution and Chairman of Wind Engineering Group of China.



Jack Katzfey

Dr Katzfey is recognized as a world leader in regional climate modelling. His expertise lies in running high-resolution computer models of the atmosphere, with emphasis on long-term regional climate change simulations, as well as forecasts that meet client needs for detailed wind or energy use information and climate change adaptation planning. His strengths are in analysis and verification of output, ensemble predictions, and instructing others in model use.
Dr Katzfey has played a key role in developing projects and successfully completing contracts using the stretched-grid Conformal Cubic Atmospheric Model (CCAM) developed at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) in Australia for greenhouse climate simulations. These include world-first downscaled multi-global models for one hundred forty-year climate simulations (1961-2100) over eastern Australia at 60 km resolution.  He also developed innovative techniques for bias correction of sea-surface temperature inputs and for validation of model results.
Dr Katzfey, as project manager, has used CCAM for weather forecasting, such as America’s Cup (Alinghi), and has worked with international aid agencies including Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Asian Development Bank on large-scale collaborative projects in the Asia-Pacific region to provide detailed climate change information and help build capacity for climate change adaptation in this vulnerable area. He has been invited by several international operational and research organizations in Japan, South America, Germany, Vietnam, Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, the USA and other countries to present his research and train other scientists.



Matthew Mason

Dr Matthew Mason is a lecturer in the School of Civil Engineering at The University of Queensland. Over the last decade he has worked as a researcher, lecturer and consultant in Australia, Japan and the USA in the areas of wind engineering and natural hazard risk modelling and assessment. He has a strong interest in better understanding the nature of, and risk posed by, non-stationary wind events such as downbursts, tropical cyclones and tornadoes. Matthew has served on the Australasian Wind Engineering Society National Committee since 2009, including serving as Chairman since 2014. He also serves on the Standards Australia committee charged with maintaining and developing the Australia/New Zealand Wind Loading standard.


MSR New PhotoMuhammad Saidur Rahman

Muhammad Saidur Rahman, Founder and Director of BDPC, is the only Bangladeshi to have received the Certificate of Distinction under United Nations-Sasakawa Award for Natural Disaster Reduction from UNISDR in the year 2002. The Award was presented in recognition of his proven and credible services in the field of disaster management at home and abroad.

Graduated from the Australian Counter Disaster College in Disasters Services Administration, Saidur held important positions such as the Country Representative for Oxfam-UK in Bangladesh, Deputy Country Representative for Oxfam-UK in Somalia, Deputy Secretary General of Bangladesh Red Cross Society and the First Director of the widely acclaimed Cyclone Preparedness Programme (CPP).  He is the In-Country Consultant of USAID/OFDA funded Programme for Enhancement of Emergency Response (PEER) in Bangladesh for the last twelve years. He has credible experience of running large scale relief and rehabilitation operations at home and abroad, including the coordination of a mass-scale food distribution programme after the famine in Somalia 1987, the massive 1988 flood relief operation and 1991 cyclone response operation.

During his professional experience of over forty five years, Saidur has authored and or produced a large number of handbooks, modules, guidelines and IEC materials including the widely used Disaster Management Handbook for Bangladesh.

Dr Goms photoGomathinayagam Somasundaram

Dr.S.Gomathinayagam  is a freelance technical Advisor for wind and Solar energy and structural, & foundations. Retired as Head of Institution & CEO at National Institute of Wind Energy, Chennai, India after eight years of service January 2009-January 2017. Prior served as Scientist at various levels at Structural Engineering research Centre, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, (CSIR-SERC, Chennai, India) during Aug 1983 to Jan 2009.

He joined IIT, Madras  in 1979 after his graduation in Civil Engineering from Madras University, for his masters degree completed in 1982 by way of research and later PhD in ocean engineering. After a brief 2 years of industrial field and design office experience at BHEL, Ranipet and,  Best and Crompton Engineering joined in 1983 SERC-CSIR Chennai where team building, leadership and technical  capacity building, laboratory establishment specially field experiments in Wind engineering was his contribution in 25 years.


Tominaga_PhotoYoshihide Tominaga was born in Uonuma, Japan, in 1967. He received the B.E. degree in Architecture from Niigata University, Japan, in 1990, and the M.E. and Ph.D. degrees in Architecture from the Graduate School of Engineering, the University of Tokyo, Japan in 1992 and 1995, respectively.

In 1995, he joined the Department of Architecture and Building Engineering, Niigata Institute of Technology as a Research Associate, and became an Associate Professor in 1999, and a Professor in 2003. He was a Visiting Researcher at Concordia University, Montreal, Canada in 2006 and 2011 to collaborate with Prof. Dr. Ted Stathopoulos.

His area of expertise is numerical modeling of microscale wind flow and related processes in urban environments, including urban microclimates, air pollutant dispersion, pedestrian wind comfort, and snowdrift.

Dr. Tominaga is a member of the Board of Directors of the Japan Association for Wind Engineering, a Chair of the Steering Committee on Air Quality and Wind Environment, Architectural Institute of Japan, and a member of the Board of Directors of the Japan Society of Snow Engineering. He serves on the Editorial Board of Journal of Wind Engineering and Industrial Aerodynamics. He was the recipient of the Best Paper Award from the Journal Building and Environment (with Prof. Ted Stathopoulos, Concordia University, Canada) in 2010, the Best Paper Award from the Japan Association for Wind Engineering Award in 2012 and 2014.

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