Keynote Speakers:


Prof Duc Pham, University of Birmingham, UK

Prof Duc Pham FREng (PhD in robotic assembly; DEng in systems engineering) is Chance Professor of Engineering and former Head of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Birmingham. He has been researching in robotic assembly, intelligent systems and manufacturing for over 30 years. He has published more than 500 papers and books and has attracted over £30M in research grants. He was a co-investigator and joint director of the EPSRC Innovative Manufacturing Research Centre at Cardiff University. His track record includes winning and coordinating the €7.5M 30-partner EU-funded Network of Excellence on Innovative Production Machines and Systems. He leads the EPSRC Autonomous Remanufacturing project (£1.99m) and is working on analysing disassembly processes and devising techniques for robotic disassembly for remanufacturing.


Prof Zhang Wei, the Institute of Remanufacturing Industry Technology, China

Prof Zhang Wei is the director of the Institute of Remanufacturing Industry Technology,Jing-Jin-Ji (IRIT), which is stemmed from the National Key Lab for Remanufacturing in China, and is currently the only industrial research institution in remanufacturing innovation, policy and standards in China. With 20 full time researchers, IRIT is a governmental think-tank in remanufacturing in China and has co-authored the governmental action plan released by Minister of Information and Industrial Technology ("High-End and Smart Remanufacturing Action Plan 2018-2020"). Professor Zhang is a chief advisor of National key R&D Program in China in remanufacturing. He plays an instrumental role in remanfuacturing standard development and compiled 19 national remanufacturing standards. Prof Wei Zhang is a leading researcher in China, and have proved trach record in research in remanufacturing engineering, surface engineering and tribology. He has received significant funding (£10m+ since 2018) from Chinese governments for remanufacturing research. Due to his creative activities in remanufacturing and surface engineering, he has won 10 national, provincial and ministerial-level science and technology awards, published more than 100 SCI and EI retrieved academic papers.


Prof John W. Sutherland, Purdue University, USA

Prof John W. Sutherland is the Fehsenfeld Family Head of Environmental and Ecological Engineering (EEE) at Purdue University. As the first permanent Head of EEE (which offers B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees), he has nurtured its growth into one of the largest environmental engineering programs in the U.S. He received his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Prior to assuming his present position in 2009, he was a faculty member at Michigan Technological University. He presently leads the Purdue Engineering Textbook Series initiative, having previously served as a Co-Executive Director of the Indiana Next-Generation Manufacturing Competitiveness Center (IN-MaC). Prof Sutherland is one of the world’s leading authorities on the application of sustainability principles to design, manufacturing, and other industrial issues. He has contributed pioneering research and education achievements, and provided leadership to advancing the field of environmentally responsible design and manufacturing. He has mentored nearly 90+ students to the completion of their graduate degrees, including 25 Ph.D. students. He has published over 300 papers in various journals and conference proceedings. His honours and recognitions include the SME Outstanding Young Manufacturing Engineer Award (1992), Michigan Technological University Distinguished Teaching Award (1992), Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (1996), SAE Ralph R. Teetor Educational Award (1999), Michigan Technological University Research Award (2000), SME Education Award (2009), SAE International John Connor Environmental Award (2010), ASME William T. Ennor Manufacturing Technology Award (2013), and SME Gold Medal (2018). Sutherland is a Fellow of SME (2005), ASME (2006), and CIRP (2011).


Dr Fiona Charnley, University of Exeter, UK

Fiona is an associate Professor of Circular Economy and Co-Director of the Exeter Centre for the Circular Economy at the University of Exeter. Fiona has been recently appointed as the Interdisciplinary Circular Economy Coordinators by UKRI as part of the £30M investment from UK Research and Innovation. Fiona has expertise in design and digitally enabled manufacture and has experience of leading and collaborating on multiple UKRI grants including ‘Circular 4.0: Data Driven Intelligence for a Circular Economy’ which originated from a feasibility study funded by the Connected Everything Network and ‘Manufacturing Immortality’ investigating self-healing materials. Fiona has a background in Industrial Design and has established herself as a thought leader in the Circular Economy, working at the interfaces of Design, Innovation and Manufacture. Fiona has collaborated with multiple organisations of varying sizes across industry sectors to implement design for a CE. Her research on remanufacture has focused on business modelling to transform resource use and value creation and smart remanufacture as enabled by simulation modelling. In 2018 Fiona was recognised as one of the Top 50 Women in Engineering by the Women's Engineering Society and the Telegraph for her contribution to Circular Economy research and education.


Prof Huajun Cao, China

Prof Huajun Cao is the Associate Dean of the School of Mechanical Engineering at Chongqing University (top 1% university in China), and also the Director of the Institute of Manufacturing Engineering. He is a Leading Scientist of Ten Thousand Talents Program of China, and the Changjiang Young Scholar of Ministry of Education of China. Prof Cao’s research interests are green manufacturing and remanufacturing. He is one of the pioneer scholars of the remanufacturing of machine tools, and initiated and co-authored the first national standard for the remanufacturing of metal cutting machine tools in 2012 . He is one of the founding members of the national technical subcommittee of Standardization for remanufacturing. Recently, he researched the remanufacturing of high valued complex parts, such as the blades and vanes of hydraulic turbines, pumps, and aeroengine turbines etc. Prof Cao has worked closely with many international research institutions, e.g. Technical University of Denmark, The University of Manchester, Loughborough University, Liverpool University, and Case Western Reserve University. Prof. Cao has already published 100+ papers and four monographs, and been granted 30+ national invention patents. Owing to his outstanding research achievements, he is serving as a member of the expert panel of National Scientific and Technology Program for Green Manufacturing, and the vice chairman of the committee for Environmental Protection and Green Manufacturing of Chinese Mechanical Engineering Society (CMES). 


Industry Keynote Speakers:


Patricia Gehrlein, Siemens Healthineers, Senior Project Manager, Refurbished Medical Imaging Devices, Siemens Healthineers, Germany

Patricia Gehrlein has worked for Siemens since 2013, first as Policy Advisor Healthcare for Siemens AG in Brussels with a focus on EU policy, and currently as Senior Project Manager for Siemens Healthineers AG, based in Germany, where she focuses on refurbished medical imaging devices on a global scale. She is familiar with broad range of related topics such as the circular economy, global health, and international relations and regulatory affairs. Since 2018, Patricia Gehrlein has served as the co-chair of the “Good Refurbishment Practice (GRP)” working group at DITTA, the Global Diagnostic Imaging, Healthcare IT & Radiation Therapy Trade Association. Prior to joining Siemens, Patricia Gehrlein worked as desk officer for bilateral health relations for the German Federal Ministry of Health. She holds a Master of Public Policy from the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin, Germany and a Bachelor in Communication Science from the University of Erfurt, Germany.


David Fitzsimons, Director, European Remanufacturing Council

David Fitzsimons became Director of the European Remanufacturing Council in January 2017. Based in Brussels, he represents the Council at the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, with whom he led the “BetterThanNew” project. He is currently a member of the UN working group on product life extension; a member of TC 323 for the forthcoming ISO standard (59000 series) for the circular economy; a member of the advising committee for the PLATE conference, and a member of the World Economic Forum Council for advanced manufacturing and production. He is a member of the coordination panel for European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform. He founded the circular economy consulting firm Oakdene Hollins in 1994 and is now director of the management board. 


Mr Yongliang Chen, General Manager, China Railway Construction Heavy Industry Corporation Ltd

Founded in 2007, China Railway Construction Heavy Industry Corporation Ltd. (CRCHI) is World Top 50 Construction Machinery Manufacturer specialized in developing and producing smart tunnelling equipment and high-end rail transit system. After more than ten years of innovation and development, CRCHI is now a comprehensive solution provider for the underground construction and rail transit industries. The main products include TBM (tunnel boring machine), Shaft-boring machine, Drilling Jumbo, Concrete Sprayer, Tunnel Vehicle for Lifting and Installation Work, Railway Turnout, Clip and Fastener, etc. Furthermore, CRCHI offers full life cycle services tailored to client’s needs, which cover design, fabrication, training, on-site service, refurbishment, spare parts supply, etc. At present, CRCHI is actively getting into new fields of business like new railway transit system, agricultural machine, green building equipment, coal mine equipment and construction materials. As an innovation-oriented enterprise, CRCHI puts 5% of its annual revenues into research and development. It has more than 1600 engineers and researchers to explore new cutting-edge technologies and construction methods which guarantee company’s technical competitiveness. CRCHI products have been widely used in key projects of metro, railway, expressway, coal mine, hydropower station, municipal engineering in China and more than 30 foreign countries and regions including America, Canada, Russia, South Korea, Turkey, Qatar, India, Peru and etc.