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World Automation Congress 2014

August 3-7 2014
Waikoloa Hilton Village, Kona, Big Island of Hawaii
Congress Theme: Emerging Technologies for a New Paradigm in System of Systems Engineering

Technical Sponsor: IEEE SMC Society

Keynote Speakers

System of Systems Principles and Modeling - Case for "Big Data" Analytics in Smart Energy Grids

Mo Jamshidi, The University of Texas at San Antonio, USA

Large data has been accumulating in all aspects of our lives for quite some time. Advances in sensor technology, the Internet, wireless communication, and inexpensive memory have all contributed to an explosion of "Big Data". System of Systems (SoS) are integration of independent operatable and non-homogeneous legacy systems to achieve a higher goal than the sum of the parts. Today's SoS are also contributing to the existence of unmanageable "Big Data". Recent efforts have developed promising approach, called "Data Analytics", which uses statistical and soft computing (SC) tools such as principal component analysis (PCA), clustering, fuzzy logic, neuro-computing, evolutionary computation, Bayesian networks, etc. to reduce the size of "Big Data" to a manageable size and apply these tools to a) extract information, b) build a knowledge base using the derived data, and c) eventually develop a non-parametric model for the "Big Data". This keynote attempts to construct a bridge between SoS and Data Analytics to develop reliable models for such systems. A photovoltaic energy forecasting problem of a micro grid SoS will be offered here for a case study of this modeling relation. A consortium of tools from soft computing and statistics: PCA, Clustering, Data Mining, Pattern Recognition via Fuzzy Logic, Neuro-computing, and Post-Processing via Evolutionary Computations are used to extract a nonlinear MODEL for a SoS-generated BIG DATA.


Dr. Mo Jamshidi is the Lutcher Brown Endowed Chair Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Texas at San Antonio. He received the BSEE from Oregon State University in June 1967 and the Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in February 1971.
He was the founding director of the Center for Autonomous Control Engineering (ACE) at the University of New Mexico, and moved the Center to the University of Texas at San Antonio in early 2006.
He has been the Director of the International Consortium on System of Systems ( since 2006 and is an Adjunct Professor of Engineering at Deakin University in Australia. He is also the Regents Professor Emeritus of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the AT&T Professor Emeritus of Manufacturing Engineering at the University of New Mexico.
Dr. Jamshidi has contributed globally to the field of large-scale complex systems and their applications in and integration with various control and modeling paradigms, including intermixing control theory and intelligent paradigms of artificial intelligence. He is a fellow of six professional academies in the U.S. and overseas. He has over 650 technical publications including 65 books and edited volumes. Six of his books have been translated into at least one foreign language.

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Convergence of Emerging Technologies to Address the Challenges of the 21st Century

Asad M. Madni, BEI Technologies Inc. and UCLA, USA

There are numerous "Grand Challenges" facing humanity that will have to be addressed by us as a global society in order to maintain our well-being from the standpoint of quality of life, healthcare, environment, energy needs, manufacturing efficiencies, etc., if we are to continue humanity's trajectory of progress. Traditional technologies based on classical disciplines and thought processes of the past several decades are no longer viable in addressing these challenges, and a new approach based on interdisciplinary thinking is necessary. Fortunately, numerous emerging technologies are advancing at an unimaginable rate and it is the convergence of these technologies that demonstrate the potential to have a major impact on our lives, businesses, government, society and our planet. These emerging technologies are establishing the basis for a new paradigm in the development and commercialization of next generation intelligent, miniaturized, highly robust complex systems. This lecture will address some of these major technologies and their applications including, intelligent sensors and wireless sensor networks, intelligent cars and smart highways, tele-health (wireless healthcare), micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS), nanotechnology, clean technology, robotics and automation, smart grid, and ultra high throughput and wide bandwidth instrumentation.


Dr. Asad Madni served as President, COO & CTO of BEI Technologies Inc. from 1992 until his retirement in 2006. He led the development & commercialization of intelligent micro-sensors, systems, and instrumentation for which he has received worldwide acclaim. Prior to BEI he was with Systron Donner Corporation for 18 years in senior technical & executive positions, eventually as Chairman, President & CEO. Here, he made seminal and pioneering contributions in the development of RF & Microwave Systems & Instrumentation which significantly enhanced the capabilities of the US Tri-Services. He is currently, Distinguished Adjunct Professor/Distinguished Scientist at UCLA, Distinguished Professor at TCI College of Technology, Adjunct Professor at Ryerson University, and Executive Managing Director & CTO of Crocker Capital.
He received an A.A.S. from RCA Institutes Inc., B.S. & M.S. from UCLA, Ph.D. from California Coast University, D.Sc. (H) from Ryerson University, D.Eng. (H) from Technical University of Crete, and Sc.D. (H) from California State University/CSUN. He is also a graduate of the Engineering Management Program at Caltech, the Executive Institute at Stanford, and the Program for Senior Executives at MIT Sloan School of Management.
He is credited with over 160 refereed publications, 68 issued or pending patents, and is the recipient of numerous national and international honors and awards including election to the US National Academy of Engineering. He is a Fellow/ Eminent Engineer of 14 of the world's most prestigious professional academies and societies.

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The Bees Algorithm - An Effective Nature-Inspired Optimisation Tool

Duc Truong Pham, The University of Birmingham, UK

Many real-world engineering problems require the manipulation of a number of system variables in order to optimise a given quality parameter such as the reliability or accuracy of a process, or the cost or performance of a product. Optimisation will become even more important as resources diminish. When the number of variables is large, it can be difficult to locate the optimal solution.
The Bees Algorithm models the foraging behaviour of a swarm of honeybees in order to solve complex optimisation problems. The algorithm performs a combination of exploitative neighbourhood search and random explorative search. In this presentation, we will explain different formulations of the Bees Algorithm and compare it against other biologically inspired search methods. We will review applications of the Bees Algorithm in engineering and manufacture and demonstrate its effectiveness at finding solutions to multi-modal optimisation problems.


Duc Truong Pham is Head of the School of Mechanical Engineering and Chance Professor of Engineering at the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom. He obtained his Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical) degree with First-Class Honours, PhD degree and DEng degree from the University of Canterbury, New Zealand. Between 1979 and 1988, he held a lectureship in Control Engineering at the University of Birmingham where his research focused on robotics and automation. In 1988, he joined Cardiff University as Professor of Computer-Controlled Manufacture.
He founded the Manufacturing Engineering Centre at Cardiff in 1996 and directed research encompassing the areas of intelligent systems and advanced manufacturing engineering. Under his leadership, the Centre won numerous awards for its innovative manufacturing research and industrial collaboration. In 2011, he returned to the University of Birmingham to take up his current position. He has produced over 500 publications, including 15 authored and edited books, and has supervised more than 100 PhD candidates to successful completion. He is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, Learned Society of Wales, Society of Manufacturing Engineers, Institution of Engineering and Technology, and Institution of Mechanical Engineers. He was made an OBE in the 2003 New Year's Honours List for his services to Engineering.

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Next Generation Systems-on-Chip for Communication, Radar, Interconnect and Imaging Systems

Mau-Chung Frank Chang, University of California, Los Angeles, USA

There is an increasing interest in recent time to explore mm-Wave and Sub-mm-Wave (Terahertz) systems from 60-1000GHz (i.e. 1 Terahertz) for radio, radar and imaging systems due to unique quasi-optical characteristics of such wave spectra. In the meantime, the continuous scaling has made modern CMOS with gate dimensions less than 50 nm a strong contender with improved device speed (cut-off frequencies ft and fmax >500GHz) and superior System-on-a-Chip integration. Nevertheless, deep-scaled CMOS suffers its own disadvantages from limited linearity/dynamic range, low intrinsic gain, high process variation and excessive substrate loss. In this talk, we will discuss various algorithms and techniques developed at UCLA to overcome CMOS technology drawback in order for implementing highly integrated and portable radio/radar/imager systems with unprecedented spectra coverage, energy efficiency and cost/size-effectiveness.


Dr. Frank Chang is the Wintek Endowed Chair and Distinguished Professor of Electrical Engineering and the Chairman of the Electrical Engineering Department, UCLA.
Before joining UCLA, he was the Assistant Director and Department Manager of the High Speed Electronics Laboratory at Rockwell Science Center (1983-1997), Thousand Oaks, California. In this tenure, he developed and transferred the AlGaAs/GaAs Heterojunction Bipolar Transistor (HBT) and BiFET (Planar HBT/MESFET) integrated circuit technologies from the research laboratory to the production line (now Conexant Systems and Skyworks). The HBT/BiFET productions have grown into multi-billion dollar businesses and dominated the cell phone power amplifiers and front-end module markets (currently exceeding 10 billion units/year and exceeding 50 billion units in the last decade). Throughout his career, his research has primarily focused on the development of high-speed semiconductor devices and integrated circuits for RF and mixed-signal communication and imaging system applications. He was the principal investigator at Rockwell in leading DARPA's ultra-high speed ADC/DAC development for direct conversion transceiver (DCT) and digital radar receivers (DRR) systems. He was the inventor of the multiband, reconfigurable RF-Interconnects for Chip-Multi-Processor (CMP) inter-core communications and inter-CPU/Memory communications. He also developed world's first multi-gigabit/sec ADC, DAC and DDS in both GaAs HBT and Si CMOS technologies. He was the 1st to demonstrate a CMOS active imager at sub-mm-Wave (180GHz) based on a Time-Encoded Digital Regenerative Receiver. He pioneered the development of self-healing 57-64GHz radio-on-a-chip (DARPA's HEALICS program) with embedded sensors, actuators and self-diagnosis/curing capabilities; and ultra low phase noise VCO (F.O.M.<-200dBc/Hz) with invented Digitally Controlled Artificial Dielectric (DiCAD) embedded in CMOS technologies. He also pushed CMOS oscillators into Terahertz operation (1.3THz) and devised the first tri-color CMOS active imager at sub-mm-Wave frequencies (180-500GHz) based on a Time-Encoded Digital Regenerative Receiver and the first 3-dimensional SAR imaging radar with <0.7cm range resolution at 144GHz.
He is an academician of Academia Sinica, Taiwan, Republic China and a member of the US National Academy of Engineering. He is also a Fellow of IEEE and received IEEE David Sarnoff Award in 2006 for developing and commercializing HBT power amplifiers for modern wireless communication systems. He was the recipient of 2008 Pan Wen Yuan Foundation Award and 2009 CESASC Career Achievement Award for fundamental contributions in developing AlGaAs/GaAs hetero-junction bipolar transistors. He received Rockwell's Leonardo Da Vinci Award (Engineer of the Year) in 1992; National Chiao Tung University's Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1997; and National Tsing Hua University's Distinguished Engineering Alumnus Award in 2002.
He has founded or co-founded several companies in both US and Taiwan, including a Fabless RF-Chip Design House G-Plus (acquired by SST in 2004 and renamed as SST Communications), a GaAs Foundry GCS (Global Semiconductor Company) in Torrance, California and a GaAs HBT Foundry GCTC (merged with Win Semiconductor and went public in Taiwan's Stock Exchange). He recently spun-off a high data rate (6Gbps) Near-Field-Communication Company (Waveconnex), invested by Intel Capital and ALP Venture Capitals. He also serves as an independent Board Director at Taiwan's Wintek Corp. (one of world's largest Touch Panel Display vendors).
Dr. Frank Chang earned his B.S. in Physics from National Taiwan University in 1972, his M.S. in Materials Science from National Tsing Hua University in 1974, and his Ph.D. in Electronics Engineering from National Chiao Tung University in 1979.

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Systems Thinking Interventions: Do They Make a Difference?

Ricardo Valerdi, University of Arizona, USA

Competence in systems thinking is implicitly assumed among engineers and managers - in fact, most people will claim to be systems thinkers. But this competence is not as prevalent as these assertions might lead one to assume. This keynote provides a set of systems thinking competencies and demonstrates how these are not as common as advertised. We also discuss how these competencies can be measured. Our main thesis is that systems thinking is not a natural act because evolution has favored mechanisms tuned to dealing with immediate surface features of problems.
We discuss the implications through a discussion of the efficacy of systems thinking interventions. Empirical evidence for the impact of systems thinking is provided in the context of schoolchildren in South America, undergraduate students at the University of Arizona, graduate students at MIT, and business managers in Australia.


Dr. Ricardo Valerdi is an Associate Professor at the University of Arizona in the department of Systems and Industrial Engineering. Previously he was a Research Associate in the Engineering Systems Division at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His research focuses on improving our understanding of complex systems - both technical and social - by building sophisticated models. His research has been funded by Army, Navy, Air Force, BAE Systems, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, the IBM Center for the Business of Government, and the Arizona Diamondbacks (MLB).
Dr. Valerdi is the Founder and Chief Scientist of the Science of Sport, a not-for-profit spinoff of the University of Arizona designed to promote mathematics and science concepts in baseball, football, basketball, soccer, and cricket. He is the co-Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Enterprise Transformation and the Journal of Cost Analysis and Parametrics and received a Ph.D. in Industrial and Systems Engineering from the University of Southern California.

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Modelling and Control of an Interactive 3D Programmable Surface

Saeid Nahavandi, Deakin University, Victoria, Australia

Being able to create a highly programmable surface operating at relatively high speed and in real-time is an area of research with many challenges. This presentation will focus on design, modeling, simulation and control of a highly interactive programmable surface created within the CISR. The system is comprised of thousands of pneumatic cylinders controlled simultaneously in rea -time to create a highly responsive surface. The generated patters on the surface can come from a variety of input sources such as cameras, motion detectors, multi-input sound channels, etc. The surface can function alternately as a tactile mirror and an information surface with the possibility of lending itself to a wide range of applications.


Dr. Saeid Nahavandi received his BSc (Hons), MSc and PhD in Control Engineering from Durham University, UK in 1985, 1986 and 1991 respectively. Saeid is an Alfred Deakin Professor and the Director for the Centre for Intelligent Systems Research at Deakin University in Australia.
Professor Nahavandi is a Fellow member of IET, IEAust and Senior Member of IEEE and has published over 450 refereed papers and been awarded several competitive Australian Research Council (ARC) grants over the past five years. He received the Research collaboration initiatives award from Japan (2000) and Prince and Princess of Wales Science Award in 1994.He won the title of Young Engineer of the Year Award in 1996 and holds two patents. In 2002 Professor Nahavandi served as a consultant to the Jet Propulsion Lab (NASA) during his visit to JPL Labs. In 2006 he received the title of Alfred Deakin Professor, the highest honour at Deakin University for his contribution to fundamental research. Professor Nahavandi is the founder of the Centre for Intelligent Systems Research with 60 full time researchers at Deakin University. In modelling and simulation of complex systems he has received awards from several organisations to focus on simulations based optimization of manufacturing processes, airport operations, logistics and distribution centres. He has carried out industry Access.

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Futuristic Education: Special Case of Technical Education

Prem K. Kalra, Dayalbagh Educational Institute, Agra, India

Today's education system has become over-stable in that, despite changing times and needs, it is becoming increasingly difficult to bring in innovation, creativity and excellence. Challenges that universities around the globe face are, broadly, affordability, student employability, student empowerment and developing an entrepreneurial mind set in students. There is also a deficiency in developing curricula that enable students to perform up to their potential. Course content is largely static in nature, and practically no significant inter-disciplinary programs exist at undergraduate level. Any attempt to innovate in education invariably meets with a lot of resistance; (on the names of fundamentals are must to teach). With online content increasingly popular and accessible, a compelling debate arises on the balance to be created between courses that are to be taught and those that can be self-learnt.
Most educational institutes mention in their vision statements their mission to produce well-rounded students. But what exactly does this mean? Additionally, there are number of questions that need to be asked about the overall education system:
Do we need to re-define the purpose of education?
Do we need a rigorous reinvention of education models?
Do we need to continue with a compartmentalized model of education?
How should education create nation builders and community builders?
Is the purpose of education to produce employable students or is it to develop thinking human beings?
What are the ways and means to engage students to foster higher order of thinking?
Should education empower students to solve local problems or to get ranked?
Should education contribute to only economical development or development in a larger, broader sense?


Prem Kumar Kalra is currently Presdient of Dayalbagh Educational Institute, Agra, India. Prior to this position, he was appointed as the Director of the Indian Institute of Technology, Rajasthan in May 2009. As Director, he has managed to differentiate IIT Rajasthan from the other IITs. He has a good grasp of the state of higher technical education today and clear vision of how it should be taken forward. At IIT Rajasthan, Prof. Kalra proposed and implemented an inter-disciplinary model of education, with a strong focus on entrepreneurship to solve real-life societal problems. Under the leadership of Prof. Kalra, IIT Rajasthan is developing a new campus in Jodhpur, Rajasthan. This is being designed as a truly integrated green campus with a target of zero net energy, net water and zero net waste. A high capacity solar power plant is also being built on campus with a mix of different technologies and this plant will be used for research and development, training and consulting purposes through a National Center for Solar Energy Technologies. As part of this effort, a complete Smart Grid will also cover the campus. He has been deeply involved in the National Mission of Education through National Mission on Education through ICT (NMEICT) of the Ministry of HRD, Government of India since its inception stage and continues his involvement today as the Mission coordinator. He holds BS, MS and PhD degrees from Dayalbagh Educational Institute, IIT Kanpur and University of Manitoba, Canada in 1978, 1982 and 1987, respectively.

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Others to come


Delbert Tesar, Carol Cockrell Curran Chair Professor in Engineering, The University of Texas, Austin Texas, USA

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Kazuo Kiguchi, Professor, Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan

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Janusz Kacprzyk, Professor and Head, Intelligent Systems Laboratory, the Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw, Poland

Rafiq Alyev, Professor, Azerbaijan State Oil Academy, Baku, Azerbaijan



WAC 2014 is Dedicated jointly to Mo Jamshidi of the University of Texas, San Antonio

Professor Mo Jamshidi

And to Asad M. Madni of BEI Technologies Inc. and UCLA

Professor Asad M. Madni

Professor Duc Truong Pham

Professor Mau-Chung Frank Chang

Professor Ricardo Valerdi

Professor Saeid Nahavandi

Professor Prem K. Kalra
Professor Delbert Tesar
Professor Kazuo Kiguchi
Professor Janusz Kacprzyk
Professor Rafiq Alyev

Important Deadlines for Paper Submission

  1. Special sessions & regular papers Due: March 03, 2014
  2. Acceptance: April 20, 2014
  3. Final manuscripts upload and early registration: May 27, 2014