Keynote Speakers

Dr Anthon Botha

Future Thinking: A few things about tomorrow that will shape the way we practice MoT

Anthon Botha holds a PhD in Physics and is Managing Director of TechnoScene (Pty) Ltd and Executive Director of InnovationLab (Pty) Ltd. TechnoScene operates in the knowledge industry to provide business consulting in the management and commercialisation of knowledge, technology and innovation and facilitates debates and events in the field of science and technology. Through its services, TechnoScene creates common visions around the knowledge base of enterprises and focus on the incorporation of knowledge and technology into strategy. TechnoScene further facilitates knowledge transfer through its TechnoConferences division. Anthon Botha often acts as facilitator in environments of interactive debate and long range planning.

Anthon studied at the University of Stellenbosch and did his post-graduate work at the Van de Graaff Group at the current iThemba LABS in the Western Cape. He worked for the CSIR in electronic materials research and development from 1982 to 1989. In 1989 he founded TechnoScene. His academic exposure includes being invited as part-time Extraordinary Professor in the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at the University of Pretoria. From 1994 to 2004 he has been a guest lecturer in Management of Technology and Innovation to postgraduate students in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Pretoria. He is currently a guest lecturer at the Graduate School of Technology Management (GSTM) at the University of Pretoria in the Senior Management Programme of Continuing Education at UP through the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS). He also lectures and supervises students in the Masters Programmes of the GSTM. From 1992 to 1999 he acted as Managing Director of Decision Technologies (Pty) Ltd, a subsidiary of TechnoScene that developed software products to support technology management in enterprises.

His work is based on the Management of Technology, Innovation and Knowledge as disciplines, and incorporates future thinking, strategic research and business consulting on the impact of emerging technologies, human behaviour and global events on the way we live, work, play and transact. The outcome of this work leads to sound technology, innovation and knowledge strategies for clients and to an understanding of the evolving business landscapes.

He has conducted numerous market and feasibility studies leading to strategies for innovation, restructuring, and repositioning in the fields of electronics, microelectronics, information and communication technologies, advanced materials, small business start-up support, higher education, business and financial services and high technology enterprises. He has been instrumental in developing research infrastructure strategies in South Africa and has been involved in several research infrastructure and knowledge infrastructure reviews. He also advised on research infrastructure partnerships between Europe and Africa. He has published several research papers, contract reports, white papers and opinions on new technology and future worlds of business and living and is the author of a book: “Knowledge — living and working with it” published by Juta.

Dr Bernie Fanaroff

SKA and Astronomy Research

Dr Bernie Fanaroff is a man who is not afraid of work. He studied physics at the University of the Witwatersrand and obtained his PhD degree at Cambridge University in Radio Astronomy.

He has been the Deputy Director-General in The Office of former President Nelson Mandela, the Head of The Office for the Reconstruction and Development Programme, the Deputy Director-General of the Department of Safety and Security, the Chair of the Integrated Justice System Board and the Steering Committee for Border Control, and the Project Director of South Africa’s Square Kilometre Array (SKA) bid and the construction of the Karoo Array Telescope.

He served in all these positions with the single focus of making South Africa stand out in the global community. As a radio astronomer, Fanaroff has made two major international contributions to the science. One, in 1974, was a breakthrough in the classification of radio galaxies with a British astronomer, Julia Riley. It is called the Fanaroff-Riley classification and is renowned among astronomers. His second major international contribution to the science was leading the team that landed the biggest global scientific project in Africa, the SKA. In addition, he is also leading the way in the construction of the Karoo Array Telescope.

After completing his PhD in 1974, Fanaroff worked as an astronomer for two years. Upon seeing the injustices against workers, he dedicated the next 19 years of his life as an organiser, negotiator and national secretary for the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa. He went on to serve as a government official, beginning in 1994.

Dr Dietmar Winzker

Towards practical, applicable Innovation and Creativity that can be consolidated in High Technology Companies

Born and bred in Germany, Dietmar, who holds two doctorates in engineering and technology, has a professional background in Aeronautical Engineering, specifically missile and rocket aerodynamics and propulsion, as well as in the areas of technology and senior management. He is a passionate, continuously licensed private pilot since 1969 and these days he mainly flies Gyrocopters.

After matriculating (1967) he studied for an NTD in Avionics (Aviation Electronics) at the Witwatersrand Technicon, worked in the Control Tower of Jo’burg International for a year and pursued UNISA studies part time.

Subsequently Dietmar registered for the 5 year Aeronautical Engineering Programme at Stellenbosch University and graduated with a B.Eng (Aeronautical) end 1977. He received a M.Eng (Aeronautical) cum laude from University of Pretoria early 1985. Dietmar worked on multi-disciplinary complex weapon systems for about 15 years in a large corporation with high level technical management responsibility. He received his PhD (Engineering) from the University of Pretoria UP (1988). He received his Dr-Ing in Engineering Management from University of Johannesburg in 2005.

After leaving the corporate world in 1990 he started a number of small companies in various disciplines together with various associates in the UK, Czech Republic, SA and Switzerland. Over the past 25 years Dietmar has been working mainly in Europe and the USA, with various prestigious organisations.

  • Facilitating workshops for companies and organisations in Business Transformation and Technology Management in a variety of industries.
  • Lecturing at post-graduate level in Engineering and Technology Management regularly at three universities since 1995 (Universities of Johannesburg and Pretoria, as well as HS-Ravensburg-Weingarten, Germany)
  • During 1999 he ventured into the Medical Technology Field with the world’s first physical vascular regulation (PVR) therapy medical device which was invented and developed in Germany.
  • Dietmar regularly presents webinars to international technology audiences with a diversity of topics including the aspects mentioned above, but also special talks.

Dietmar has authored and co-authored more than 25 peer reviewed research papers. He frequently acts as external examiner for Master and PhD Dissertations and occasionally acts as Study Leader for PhDs with international students. He has been married to Suzannie for 40 years and together they have 3 adult children.

Dr Osman Ahmed

Big Data Analytics for Smart Cities

Dr Osman Ahmed currently focuses on leading innovation for Building Performance and Sustainability Business. Most recently, he served as the Vice President, Siemens Center of Excellence for Smart Buildings in Masdar City, UAE and global strategic collaboration for sustainable built-environment. Previously, he headed the Global Research and Innovation Organization at the Building Technologies Division. He is currently concentrating on commercialising applications that defines a new era of building performance based on wide-spectrum of technologies from Internet of Things (IOT) to optimisation and operational performance solutions using cloud platform and rich analytics, and spear heading new thoughts on applications of “Big Data Analytics” for enterprise management. He is currently leading company’s effort on defining and launching innovative projects on Big Data Analytics in close collaboration with many enterprises and cities. He has been with Siemens for more than 27 years and served as a visionary leader, corporate entrepreneur, successful strategic innovator, expert, and experienced technology and research manager.

For the last 5 years, he has successfully launched a global strategic partnership programme in pursuing collaboration with partners around the globe on smart cities, smart consumptions, Smart Grid, and Smart-building environment. He has been engaged in establishing an open innovation network model around the globe, specifically with the research and educational institutions in the USA, Europe, China, UAE, and Singapore, in order to increase innovation capacity for the company while accelerating the pace of innovation in the areas of building energy, environment, and sustainability.

He has published/presented more than 100+ technical papers worldwide. He has close to 100 patents, awarded and pending combined, covering a wide variety of subjects including artificial intelligence, software modeling, control and automation, Microsystems, and energy and building performance. A two-time technical achievement award winner within the Building Technologies Division, Dr. Ahmed also is the recipient of 2004 prestigious “Siemens Inventor of the Year” award for his work on micro-system application for buildings. His work on Microsystems has been given broad coverage in media.

He speaks around the globe and interacts with high-profile customers on various topics such as future of building systems, open collaboration and living laboratory, Microsystems, technology and innovation management, and lately, building energy, environment, sustainability, and bio-mimicry. He has received his Ph.D. degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is a registered professional engineer in the State of Illinois. He authored chapters on future vision of sensing and buildings in printed book and online journal, respectively.

Dr Alan Brent

Managing renewable energy technologies in Southern Africa: Current status and way forward

Alan Brent is a chemical engineer by background with Masters degrees in environmental sciences and technology management, and a PhD in engineering management. Since 1995 he consulted to a variety of industry and public sectors in South Africa and other developing countries in the fields of environmental engineering and management, as a project manager in the Environmental Process Solutions group of the Material Science and Manufacturing unit of the South African Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). In 2002 he was tasked to establish the Automotive Industry Development Centre (AIDC) Chair of Life Cycle Engineering in the Graduate School of Technology Management (GSTM) of the University of Pretoria. Through his appointment as an extraordinary professor the GSTM continues to conduct research on sustainable life cycle management practices in the private and public sectors, which is also a focus area of the academic programmes of the GSTM. In 2006 he returned to the CSIR to initiate and lead research in the Resource Based Sustainable Development competency area of the Natural Resources and the Environment unit that promotes sustainable development in management and planning practices, primarily in the energy sector.

In 2009 he was appointed as a professor in the Sustainable Development programme of the School of Public Leadership (SPL) in the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences of Stellenbosch University, where he is also the associate director of the Centre for Renewable and Sustainable Energy Studies (CRSES) in the Faculty of Engineering. From 2014 he is appointed as a professor of Engineering Management and Sustainable Systems in the Department of Industrial Engineering (IE).