Panel 1: Logistics

Fouad Ben Abdelaziz is currently Professor and head of the MSc in Supply Chain Management at NEOMA Business School, France. He was a Senior Fulbright scholar at the Rutgers Center for Operations Research, Rutgers University, NJ. He received his PhD in Operations and Decision Systems from Laval University, Canada.  He is a leading researcher in multi-objective stochastic optimization with applications to decision and Supply Chain Management. Aside his publications in outstanding journals like EJOR, JORS, IJAR, FSS and CAIE, he served as Guest Editor for European Journal of Operations Research and Fuzzy Sets and Systems. He is also the chair and the organizer of many international conferences. Prof Ben Abdelaziz is the director of NEOMA Doctoral School since January 2019.

Michael Hohenberger is the Chief of the Airport Operations at Bahrain International Airport. His 360-degree role involves comprehensive assistance to baggage, aviation, security and safety, rescue and fire-fighting along with the demanding operations of the new terminal. With an MBA in Aviation from Vienna, Austria, Michael’s career spans 27 years of managing operations for the Munich Airport Operations Centre in addition to nurturing 9 large airports across the globe including Kuala Lumpur, Munich, Bangkok and Moscow. His unrivalled expertise in launching airports is one of the many reasons he was invited to work with the team after initially being appointed as an advisor to the CEO at Bahrain Airport Company.

Sue Merchant is VP International of INFORMS and chairs its International Activities committee and sits on the developing countries committee of IFORS. She is an ex-President of the UK ORS. She holds an MSc in OR & Statistics and has an analytical public sector background. She held a variety of posts over 28 years from Senior Operational Research analyst to Director of Consultancy and Information Services. During this time, she carried out or supervised many analytical projects and led a number of major studies. Sue also supervises OR students at the London School of Economics in their projects in industry.

Panel 2: Energy

Murray Thomson is Senior Lecturer in Electrical Networks and Systems in the Centre for Renewable Energy Systems Technology (CREST) at Loughborough University, UK. Murray has over twenty years’ experience in researching low-carbon energy systems. He is principal investigator of the Joint UK-India Clean Energy Centre (JUICE), a £5M project funded by EPSRC to promote the grid integration of solar photovoltaic and energy storage technologies in both countries. His broader research interests include windpower, biomass and electric vehicles, considering both the technical challenges of their integration into electricity networks and the wider social, political and economic challenges, taking an interdisciplinary and whole-systems perspective. He has led the development of various high-resolution models of energy demands and electricity networks from first principals and works closely with industry to ensure their effective application.
Sa’di Awienat is the Chief Digital Officer of GE’s Power business in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia region, based in GE’s regional headquarters in Dubai, UAE. At the intersection of IoT + Energy + Cloud + BigData + Predictive Analytics, Sa’di is a thought leader of the digital transformation of the power industry. He leads a team of talented digital and energy professionals, who are engaging with GE’s customers in the power and utilities industry to drive new thinking about running traditional business, and to apply new business models based on digital capabilities that allow customers to enhance profitability, reduce operational cost, and create new outcomes. Sa’di has extensive experience across various business/technical domains and constantly participating as keynote speaker in technology conferences, national events, and symposiums to share thought leadership about IT industry and the cutting-edge technologies and to present complex concepts in a way that business leader can easily abstract. He holds an MBA Degree and Bachelor Degree in Electrical/Computer Engineering, played different roles and witnessed (in 360-degree) the ICT industry from the actual perceptive of the different stakeholders: Consultant (System Integrator Manager at Accenture), Customer (CIO at Qatar Foundation), Vendor (CTO at EMC), and Startup (CDO at GE Power Digital) with a unique mix of Functional-Technical-Management competencies.
Khalid Al-Zahrani has been working with Saudi Aramco for the last 18 years. He holds a Bachelor’s degrees in Electrical Engineering and from Purdue University (USA), A Master’s degree in Systems Engineering, Automation & Control, from King Fahad University of Petroleum and Minirals (Saudi Arabia). Since joining Saudi Aramco, Khalid has worked in different organizations varying from Operation and Engineering functions and started as an Engineer and later on has been appoint to deferent leadership positions. Currently, He is covering for a leadership position with Process & Control Systems Department under Advanced Process Solutions Division handling the Digital Transformation Program, which addresses the fourth industrial revolution technologies in Saudi Aramco.