Dr. Hossein Azadi

  • Ghent University, Belgium
  • Plenary lecture title: Agricultural Land Conversion: Monitoring Drought Impacts and Coping Strategies
  • Short bio:

Hossein Azadi is a senior researcher at the Department of Geography Ghent University, Belgium. He is a visiting researcher at  CIBNOR (La Paz) in Mexico, and a guest lecturer at Mekelle University, Ethiopia. As a Fulbright fellow, he visited Fernand Braudel Center at the State University of New York at Binghamton and conducted a study on land governance. He has broadly been involved in agri-rural and development studies including 40 national and 7 international projects among which he steered 19 projects. Furthermore, he has published about 150 papers amongst a series of high impact factor journals.  He is also a member of editorial board in several journals. Holding this background, thematically, he has focused on “development studies” including environment and development, sustainability assessment, land governance, agroecology, agrarian change, land governance, and methodologically, he mainly applies “mixed-method” including econometrics, multi criteria decision making, fuzzy modeling, and qualitative techniques.


Professor Asher Brenner

  • Ben-Gurion Negev University of Beersheba, Israel
  • Plenary lecture title: Development of hybrid biofilters for stormwater harvesting and groundwater remediation
  • Short bio:

Asher Brenner is Professor and chairman of the Environmental Engineering (graduate) program at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU), Israel. He received the B.Sc. in Civil Engineering (1979), and then M.Sc. (1982) and D.Sc. (1986) from the Technion) Israel Institute of Technology(. From 1986-1988 he has been a research associate with the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering at the University of Notre Dame, USA. In 1988 he joined Ben-Gurion University, first at the J. Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research, and then since 2000, at the Faculty of Engineering Sciences. During his tenure at BGU, he spent a sabbatical at the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering – UC Davis (1995-96), and at the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering – Monash University, Australia (2010). Prof. Brenner's research interests include: biological wastewater treatment, nutrients removal process modeling, industrial wastewater management, stormwater biofiltration, and wastewater reclamation and reuse. He has published more than 80 journal papers and presented numerous papers at international conferences. He has also supervised more than 50 Ph.D. and M.Sc. theses.


Dr. rer. Nat. Christian J. Illing

  • Federal Agency for Technical Relief (THW), Germany
  • Plenary lecture title: DAREnet – Bringing together civil protection practitioners to increase resilience against floods
  • Short bio:

Christian J Illing is the project coordinator for DAREnet. He is employed by the German Federal Agency for Technical Relief (THW). At the THW headquarter, he is a member of the staff unit “strategy and coordination, research”  working in the field of security research.
He has a broad experience in the field of civil protection due to his engagement for more than 15 years with the German Red Cross in different fields and all command levels. He is specialized in coordination, command & control and water rescue. He is also a trained intermediate EMT and active as trainer in leadership courses.
Prior to his position at the THW he was a researcher in the field of fossil energy resources.
He received a doctoral degree in natural sciences from the University in Münster, Germany. During his academic training he studied and researched at the University of Cologne, the German Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources in Hannover, the University of Münster and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


Prof. Dr. Eng. Cosmin Jinescu

  • University Politehnica of Bucharest, Romania
  • Plenary lecture title: Results of superposition and/ or cumulation of pollutants upon environment and living organisms


Professor Dr. Alex Mahalov

  • The Wilhoit Foundation Dean's Distinguished Professor, Arizona State University, USA
  • Plenary lecture title: Results in the collaborative project with IBM Watson


Professor Guy M Robinson BSc (London) DPhil (Oxon) FRGS

  • University of Adelaide, Australia
  • Plenary lecture title: Bushfires and Biodiversity
  • Short bio:

Guy M Robinson is a human geographer with over 40 years experience of teaching and research on rural development and environmental management. He has held positions at the Universities of Oxford, Edinburgh, Kingston London, South Australia and Adelaide. Recently he has been a Guest Professor in the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and a GIAN Visiting Fellow at Aligarh Muslim University, India. He has published over 200 academic papers and 15 books including Sustainable Rural Systems, Handbook on the Globalisation of Agriculture, Agricultural Geographies and Conflict and Change in the Countryside. His recent research includes projects on 'Bushfires and Biodiversity' funded by the Australian Research Council and payments for ecosystem services in both Australia and China.


Assoc. Professor Igal M. Shohet

  • Ben-Gurion Negev University of the Negev, Israel
  • Plenary lecture title: Preparedness of critical infrastructures for extreme events
  • Short bio:

The research activities of Prof. Igal Shohet (b. 1959) cover a broad range of topics including Extreme Events Engineering and Management, Critical Facilities Maintenance and Management, Construction Methods and Management, and Automation in Construction. After studying a B.Sc. in Civil Engineering focus on Structural and geotechnical Engineering, Professor Shohet carried out his M.Sc. in Construction Management, and D.Sc. in Civil Engineering on Robotics in Construction. All degrees were at the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology. In 2004 Professor Shohet joined the founders of the Department of Structural Engineering at Ben-Gurion University; he is the head of the Construction Management Program since its establishment and the Deputy-Chair of the Department since 2005. The Department and its study program were evaluated by an International Advisory Committee of the Israel Council for Higher Education to equal the top level Civil Engineering Institutions in the Western Hemisphere. Professor Shohet's Facilities Management models are widely implemented in Healthcare and other critical Infrastructures in Israel and abroad. Prof. Shohet published 41 publications in peer-reviewed journals and more than 100 publications in international and national conference proceedings. Professor Shohet Google-Scholar-H-Factor is 20. His present research is carried out in Risk Management, Disaster resilience, and Extreme Events Engineering and Management in Critical Infrastructures. Professor Shohet has been awarded recently the honor of outstanding contribution to the Civil Engineering Community in Israel by the Israel Association of Civil Engineers (2017).