Keynote Speakers


Prof. Latif Ladid
  • Founder & President, IPv6 FORUM
  • Chair, ETSI IPv6 Industry Specification Group :
  • IEEE Steering Committee Member: 5G, IoT and SDN
  • Chair, IEEE ComSoC IoT subcommittee
  • Chair, IEEE ComSoC 5G subcommittee
  • Vice Chair, IEEE ComSoC SDN-NFV subcommittee:
  • Emeritus Trustee, Internet Society - ISOC
  • IPv6 Ready & Enabled Logos Program Board
  • World summit Award Board Member
  • Research Fellow @ University of Luxembourg on multiple European Commission Next Generation Technologies IST Projects

      -     Member of 3GPP PCG (Board)  (
      -     Member of 3GPP2 PCG (

      -     Member of UN Strategy Council

      -     Member of Future Internet Forum EU Member

States (representing Luxembourg)

  • IPv6 Forum Internet Pioneer Award, 2002
  • IPv6 Life Time Achievement Award, 2016



Lecture Title:
Oman, a Smart Nation




Muscat and Oman like a few modern cities or modern nations have complex systems, balancing available resources to best exploit the value that can be provided to the population. Technology advances are continuously redefining this balance. At the same time economics and regulatory aspects play a major role in fostering the adoption and deployment of technology and are a key ingredient in the decision making that translates potential into reality.
New technologies such Internet of Things are proving that the sensing of processes, infrastructure, and city control systems, and the gathering of data and exploiting their results is a basis for improvement and innovation. It enables the monitoring of conditions and performance of city functions and the subsequent fact based analyses results in the awareness of the city status. This in turn leads to better planning and the execution of actions that can steer the Cities’ evolution, bettering the use of resources and the well being of its citizens.
Oman is designed and destined to be a smart nation, caring and investing in its people, fostering their skills,  attracting and welcoming talented experts, professors,  students  and investments from around the world to enrich their nation, investing and shaping its buildings and infrastructure that in turn shapes its people while remaining true to their identity and their history. It’s a great quest and a success story in the making.
This talk takes also a global view of the current status and discusses the paths forward, taking into account the new possibilities opened by the Internet of Things, Cloud Computing, wireless technologies such as 5G and NB-IoT, the new Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) but also blockchain and the cybersecurity that will be generated through IoT, to name a few.


Prof. Richard Dashwood

Richard joined Coventry in 2016 and is responsible for the research mission at the University. He started his career at Imperial College London where he spent nineteen years as a researcher and academic in the Department of Materials before joining the University of Warwick as the Professor of Engineering Materials in the Warwick Manufacturing Group. He held a number of leadership roles at Warwick including Academic Director of Warwick Manufacturing Group and the Chief Technology Officer for the WMG High Value Manufacturing Catapult centre. During his time at Warwick he established research relationships with a number of major companies, including Jaguar Land Rover, Tata Steel, Cummins and Tata Motors and developed a number of research collaborations in India. Richard has been involved in the UK Automotive Council for five years, first as a member of the Lightweight Structures Working Group and more recently as a member of the Manufacturing Technology Working Group. He is a member of the Advisory Board Member for the Knowledge Intensive Product Realisation (KIPR) project at Jönköping University, Sweden, and chairs the Strategic Advisory Board for the Designing Alloys for Resource Efficiency (DARE) EPSRC project based at Sheffield University.



Lecture Title:
Coventry University’s Institute for Future Transport and Cities – Using Big Data to Solve the Urban Mobility Challenges of the Future




We are at the dawn of the fourth industrial revolution where data and the people that own that data will become all powerful.  To date much of the research focus has been on solving technical challenges around the application of big data however it is becoming apparent the social science aspects are of equal importance. Terms such as ‘big data’, ‘artificial intelligence’ and ‘internet of things’ are now in common parlance but in many cases these strike a note of fear into the general public (and policy makers), driven by concerns around data security, privacy, and jobs. This barrier to continued digitisation must not be underestimated and much work is needed to educate these stakeholders to the benefits and convince them to embrace the new digital world order.  What is clear is that a multidisciplinary team is required to enable continued adoption of these technologies. At Coventry University the approach has been to establish an Institute for Transport and Cities which brings together academics from the arts, engineering, computing and the social sciences to create safe and sustainable transport solutions fit for the cities of the future. The Institute is based around the premise of research excellence generating real world impact through a number of translational research centres in areas such as design, manufacturing, propulsion and autonomy. There has never been a more exciting time to be working in the field of transport and cities with a number of disruptive technologies reaching the market simultaneously, such as electrification, autonomy and mobility as a service.  All pose multidisciplinary challenges and are reliant on digital tools to achieve success.  The work in autonomy is a great example. A collaboration with Horiba Mira is seeing the development of a centre of excellence for the development, testing and commercialisation of connected autonomous vehicles. The new facility will run alongside existing vehicle test tracks and the 5G enabled City Lab Coventry to test autonomous vehicles at the limits of their speed and handling to ensure they are safe. This activity will look at the physical and virtual infrastructure and associated cyber-physical security.  In the design space Coventry University’s National Centre for Transport Design is looking at how autonomy will change future design of vehicles and associated architecture as well as how digital tools can improve the design process.  Adjacent to this there is activity within the Health & Life Sciences faculty looking at the application of big data in medical diagnostics and within the Business School the researchers are exploring how organisations are experiencing and responding to the tension in the data environment. Finally, to support all this activity the university is in the process of creating a research centre that will bring together mathematicians, statisticians and computer scientists to provide the required data science expertise to underpin this applied research activity.




Prof. Francesco Masulli

Francesco Masulli is the Chair of IEEE Italy Section Computational Intelligence Society Chapter, a Full Professor of Computer Science with the University of Genoa (Italy), an Adjunct Professor at the Center for Biotechnology of the Temple University in Philadelphia (PA, USA), and a founding partner of the innovative start-up company Vega Research Laboratories s.r.l.s. He was a visiting professor at the (CA-USA) and at the I3S Labs-University of Nice Sophia-Antipolis (France). He received the 2008 Pattern Recognition Society Award and was the chair of several international conferences and Ph.D courses and author of more than 200 scientific papers in Clustering, Machine Learning, Neural Networks, Fuzzy Systems and Bioinformatics.


Lecture Title:
A Computational Intelligence Approach to Short-Term Urban Traffic Flow Forecasting




Data streams have arisen as a relevant topic during the last decade. In this presentation I’ll introduce a non-stationary data stream clustering using a possibilistic approach. The Graded Possibilistic Clustering model offers a way to evaluate “outlierness” through a natural measure, which is computed directly from the model. Both online and batch training approaches are considered, to provide different trade-offs between stability and speed of response to changes. The proposed approach is evaluated on a synthetic data set, for which the ground truth is available. Moreover, a real-time short-term urban traffic flow forecasting application is proposed, taking into account both spatial and temporal information. To this aim, we introduce the Layered Ensemble Model which combines Artificial Neural Networks and Graded Possibilistic Clustering models, obtaining in such a way an accurate forecaster of the traffic flow rates with outlier detection. Experimentation has been carried out on two different data sets. The former consists on real UK motorway data and the later is obtained from simulated traffic flow on a street network in Genoa (Italy). The proposed model for short-term traffic forecasting provides promising results and given its characteristics of outlier detection, accuracy, and robustness can be fruitful integrated in traffic flow management systems, allowing the local administration to streamline the traffic and reduce traveling time. This will lead to significant energy savings, less pollution, and a better quality of life of the population.





Dr Ali Al Shidhani

Dr. Ali Amur AL Shidhani is the Director of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Research, The Research Council, Oman. Since he accepted this responsibility, he has organized many Projects like Research Mobility Program, ICT 2040 Vision, and COACH workshop. He has served as a reviewer for several scientific conferences and journals such as IEEE Communications Magazine, IEEE Communication Letters, IEEE Transactions on Dependable and Secure Computing, EURASIP Wireless Communications and Networking, ACM/Springer Mobile Networks and Applications, Wiley Communications and Security Journal etc. Before joining TRC, he was sharing his knowledge with students from 2003 to 2014 at different positions at Sultan Qaboos University, Oman. He was selected as a member of Future Leaders Group to attend a dialogue session with 7 Nobel Laureates in Kyoto, Japan, October 2015 as a part of the Science and Technology Forum for society.



Lecture Title:
Oman Smart City Platform




Oman Smart City Platform (SCP) is a knowledge-sharing consortium to drive smart city initiatives in Oman. The objective of the platform is to provide a knowledge-sharing, collaborative and networking environment among smart city stakeholders. The platform functions as an enabler and facilitator for smart city innovations through funding research and hosting innovations’ competitions. The talk will highlight SCP objectives and major activities.




Note: Keynote address is subject to approval by the Ministry of Higher Education, Sultanate of Oman