Important Dates:

Workshop/Tutorial Proposals:10 May 2019
Author Notification:31 August 2019
Early Registration:3 September 2019 to 24 September 2019
Final Papers:3 September 2019 to 30 September 2019
The Award Nominations: 1 October 2019
Conference:27 November 2019
Conference:28- 29 November 2019
The last day for the hotel booking at the discounted rate is October 26, 2019.

Keynote Speakers

Professor Iven Mareels

Fellow of IEEE  (USA), IFAC (Austria), KVAB (Belgium), EA and ATSE (Australia),

Professor Iven Mareels

Lab Director
IBM Research Australia

Since Feb 2018, Iven Mareels is the Lab Director, IBM Research Australia. He is an honorary Professor at the University of Melbourne. Prior to this he was the Dean of Engineering at the University of Melbourne (2007-2018).

He received the PhD in Systems Engineering from he Australian National University in 1987, and the Master of Engineering (Electromechanical) from Gent University in 1982.

At IBM Research Australia he leads the development of the next generation of artificial intelligence, blockchain technologies and quantum computing software. The lab serves the IBM Research motto “Famous for science and vital to IBM”. The application domains are health and medical systems, financial services, and the Internet-of-Things. The main implementation modality is to build on and to exploit IBM’s AI, cloud, and edge computing assets.

Iven is a Commander in the Order of the Crown of Belgium,  a Fellow of The Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering Australia; The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (USA), the International Federation of Automatic Control, Engineers Australia and he is a Foreign Member of the Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Science and the Arts.

Dr Nigel Russell

PhD, BTech (Hons), MIET

Dr Nigel Russell

Process Historian Product Owner
Fonterra Cooperative Group Ltd, Hamilton, New Zealand
Automation and Operational Technology Group

Nigel Russell has been with Fonterra 17 years working in the field of Advanced Process Control (APC). During that time he has both lead R&D initiatives as a Principal Engineer as well as managed the Fonterra APC team of 11 engineers. The APC team have developed, deployed and now support over 140 APC applications across Fonterra’s operations. Prior to Fonterra, Nigel was employed with Invensys Process Systems in the UK delivering APC projects and training courses to customers across Europe and North America. His PhD, from Massey University, specialised in model predictive control. Currently Nigel has a role as Product Owner on a project to re-develop Fonterra’s operational data historian from an in-house system to a cloud-based solution. This experience and his management of the APC team during the recent upsurge in interest in digital technologies has given him unique insight into the merging of control engineering with the changing digital technology landscape.


The last 20 years has seen the evolution of technology platforms to enable real-time advanced process control and optimisation solutions to be more accessible to process industries. Today the focus is the advancing Digital technologies and over the last few years there has been significant promotion of the Industry 4.0 technologies.

The industrial process control field is built upon relatively old technology and it is unlikely that anything new will suddenly replace these trusted, mature technology platforms. Industrial control engineers now face the challenge of integrating novel digital technologies with the traditional industrial process control systems.

This talk aims to give an industrial practitioner’s perspective of the new technological trends and approaches, highlighting the likely changes in landscape for process control engineers and what will remain the same. The discussion will focus on how future real-time solutions might be developed and implemented in process industries what companies will need to embrace to remain competitive.

Rob Dexter

Process Control of water and wastewater treatment

Rob Dexter

DCM Process Control, Autsralia-New Zealand

Rob has worked in the Water /Wastewater sensing and control area most of his working life.


After taking almost all the science papers from Botany through Chemistry to Maths and Astro physics at Auckland Uni but not finding his niche, Rob changed to Electrical /Electronic engineering at ATI. While completing his NZCE he developed an intense interest in the conversion of physical realities such as light/energy/sound/chemistry into electronic signals and the power this gave to automating control of manufacturing processes.

He initially began his career in the Pulp and Paper industry focusing on real time control of chemical and physical “tree destruction” and resultant processes to turn that into paper. This introduced him to the rigour and quality control standards required to reliably convert comparatively random source materials and efficiently turn them into high quality , high consistency end products.

It wasn’t long before a significant disparity became apparent. The knowledge and data based process control used in making paper was completely at odds with the comparative lack of knowledge about the composition of the wastewater it generated and how to treat that despite it being part of the system. Recognition that the regulator and receiver of the waste had even less data available to protect the environment was a shock.

Addressing these two factors defined the focus of the next 30 years of Rob’s life.

He started DCM Process Control in 1996 in Australia an in NZ in 2002. DCM has been a major research partner in many water and wastewater research programmes and developed the ability to measure many key water and wastewater parameters in real time. This spawned predictive control of coagulant dosing for water and wastewater , modelling and control platforms to mitigate sewer corrosion and the ability to pre-empt treatment plant demand and detect inhibition events in real time.

Reducing the knowledge disparities and using the outcomes to achieve co-operative, well excuted control of water and wastewater treatment processes remains the focus of his work.

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