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IEEE United Kingdom & Ireland Blockchain Launch | 2020

Welcome to the IEEE United Kingdom and Ireland Blockchain Group Launch!

Blockchain, as a disruptive technology, is a multi-disciplinary and inter-disciplinary specialism. It is by far the most forward thinking, impactful, and disruptive emerging technology family that the Future Directions Committee and the IEEE has sought to embrace.

The vision of the IEEE UK & Ireland Blockchain Group is for an active and dynamic forum focused on member value. The aim is to serve as a forum for professional networking, learning, and growth for our IEEE UK and Ireland members in the rapidly emerging Blockchain field and to organise events covering the start-of-the-art Blockchain technology and applications.

Event Programme
09:00 Registration, Coffee & Tea – Courtesy of IEEE UK & Ireland
09:30 Introduction – Dr Cyril Onwubiko – Chair, IEEE UK & Ireland Blockchain Group
09:40 Welcome Speech & Logistics / Health & Safety – Professor Karim Ouazzane, London Metropolitan University, & Chair of European Cyber Security Council (Brussels)
09:50 Event Opening Speech – Professor Don MacRaild, PVC, London Metropolitan University
Session 1 – IEEE Blockchain Initiatives & Standardisation
10:00 IEEE UK & Ireland Section Welcome – Dr Mona Ghassemian, IEEE UK & Ireland Section Chair
10:05 Welcome Message from Region 8 – Sohaib Qamar Sheikh, Vice Chair, Technical Activities, IEEE Region 8
10:10 Keynote Speech – Dr Ramesh Ramadoss, Co-Chair IEEE Blockchain Initiative and Chair IEEE Blockchain Standards Working Group
10:45 Panel Discussion (Blockchain Initiatives & Groups)
Moderator: Dr Jonathan Tate (IEEE UK & Ireland Blockchain Cyber Security Lead / BT Security Product Engineering)

  • Dr Ramesh Ramadoss (Co-Chair – IEEE Blockchain Initiative)
  • Dr Mona Ghassemian (Chair – IEEE UK & Ireland / BT Cyber Security Research)
  • Prof Alex Norta (Chair – IEEE Blockchain Group Estonia)
  • Dr Andrejs Romānovs, Chair IEEE Latvia Blockchain Group
Session 2 – Blockchain Applications in Healthcare
11:15 Keynote Speech – Dr Abdullah Albeyatti, Co-Founder and CEO Medicalchain
Session 3 – Lunch & Social Networking
12:00 Lunch – Courtesy of IEEE UK & Ireland
Session 4 – Blockchain Applications in Utilities
13:00 Keynote Speech – Dr Paul Cuffe, Assistant Professor EEE University College, Dublin
Session 5 – IEEE European Public Policy Program
13:45 Keynote Speech – Massimo Pellegrino MSc, IEEE European Public Policy Program Manager, IEEE Global Office, Vienna
14:15 Coffee & Tea Break – Courtesy of IEEE UK & Ireland
Session 6 – Blockchain Application in Construction
14:30 Keynote Speech – Dr Abel Maciel, Founding Director, Construction Blockchain Consortium & Research Associate – University College London
Session 7 – Blockchain Product Adoption
15:00 Keynote Speech, Mike Radin, Engineering at Cryptonomic Inc, New York, USA
Session 8 – Blockchain Project Demonstration
15:30 Keynote Speech – Dr Andrejs Romānovs, Chair, IEEE Latvia Blockchain Group and Prof. Alex Norta, Chair – IEEE Blockchain Group Estonia
16:00 Coffee & Tea Break – Courtesy of IEEE UK & Ireland
16:15 Panel Discussion (Blockchain Applications in Healthcare, Utilities, Construction & Banking)
Moderator: Simon Barducci (IEEE UK & Ireland Blockchain Lead)

  • Mike Radin (Engineering at Cryptonomic Inc, New York, USA)
  • Dr Paul Cuffe (Assist. Prof EEE, University College Dublin)
  • Dr Abel Maciel (Director, Construction Blockchain Consortium)
  • Tony Phipps (Lead Engineer, Security Engineering & Design – Group CIO, Lloyds Bank)
  • Dr Abdullah Albeyatti (CEO, Medicalchain)
17:00 Thank-you & Closing Remarks, Dr Cyril Onwubiko

Keynote Speakers

Professor Don MacRaild is an historian by training who has written or edited a dozen books on aspects of Irish, British, social and labour histories. He’s best known as a scholar of the Irish diaspora in Britain. He has supervised 15 PhD students who have all gone on to be academics, policy advisors, public historians, teachers and civil servants. Don also has significant experience of the UK funding landscape. He has been a peer reviewer for UK, Irish, South African, Canadian and US funding councils and has held major grants totally around £1m in value from the AHRC, ESRC and Leverhulme and others.

Don also has 20 years of leadership experience in four universities in three countries, where has previously been head of several departments and associate dean for research.

Ramesh Ramadoss

Dr Ramesh Ramadoss is an entrepreneur, researcher, author, and international speaker based in Silicon Valley. He is the Founder & President of BitCasas Inc., which is building a cross-border investment platform fuelled by tokenization of mortgage loans backed by US Real Estate. He is a co-chair of the IEEE Blockchain Initiative. He is the chair of the IEEE Blockchain Standards Working Group.

He received his Bachelor of Engineering degree from Thiagarajar College of Engineering, Madurai Kamaraj University, India in May 1998 and PhD degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Colorado at Boulder in May 2003. From Jun. 2003 to Dec. 2007, he was employed as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Auburn University, Alabama, USA. He has 10 years of industrial experience as a Manager/Director in technology companies in Silicon Valley. He is the author or coauthor of 1 book, 4 book chapters and 55 papers. He has conducted R&D projects for DARPA, NASA, US Army, US Air Force, Sandia National Labs, and Motorola Labs.

Dr Cyril Onwubiko is a Senior Member of the IEEE, and currently the Secretary – IEEE United Kingdom and Ireland, Chair of the IEEE UK & Ireland Blockchain Group; and Director, Cyber Security Intelligence at Research Series Limited, London, UK, where he directs Cyber Strategy, IA Governance and Cyber Security. Prior to Research Series, Cyril had worked in the Financial Services, Telecommunication, Health sector & Government and Public services Sectors. He is a leading scholar in Cyber Situational Awareness (Cyber SA), Cyber Security, Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) & Data Fusion, he has authored a couple of books including “Security Framework for Attack Detection in Computer Networks”, and edited several books including “Situational Awareness in Computer Network Defense: Principles, Methods & Applications”.

Cyril is the Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal on Cyber Situational Awareness (IJCSA), and founder of the Centre for Multidisciplinary Research, Innovation and Collaboration (C-MRiC). He holds a PhD in Computer Network Security from Kingston University, London, UK; MSc in Internet Engineering, from University of East London, London, UK, and BSc, first class honours, in Computer Science & Mathematics. He’s a guest lecturer to several UK and European Universities and have successfully examined / assessed several PhD students in the UK and Europe.

Professor Karim Ouazzane is a professor of Computing and Knowledge Exchange, Director of Research and Enterprise, Chair of the European Cyber Security Council (Brussels), and founder of the Cyber Security Research Centre (CSRC), London Metropolitan University, London, UK. His research interests include artificial intelligence (AI) applications, bimodal speech recognition for wireless devices, cyber security and big data, computer vision, hard and soft computing methods, flow control and metering, optical instrumentation and lasers.

He has carried out research in collaboration with industry through a number of research schemes such as The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), KTP, EU Tempus, LDA (London Development Agency), KC (Knowledge Connect) and more. He has also published over 100 papers, three chapters in books, is the author of three patents and has successfully supervised 13 PhDs. He is a member of the Oracle Corporation Advisory Panel.

Paul Cuffe

Paul Cuffe received B.E. and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering from University College Dublin in 2009 and 2013, respectively. He is currently an assistant professor within the School of Electrical & Electronic Engineering there, and is a member of the Energy Institute.

His core research interests are in the optimisation and analysis of electrical energy systems, and he is the Principal Investigator on the SEAI-funded project ‘Using blockchains to facilitate renewable power generation: forecasting, hedging and tokenisation applications’

Abdullah Albeyatti is the Co-Founder and CEO of Medicalchain. He graduated from Imperial College London as a doctor in 2011. He has always had a passion for innovation and problem solving and has developed solutions to inefficiencies he found whilst working in the UK National Health Service.  He continues to treat his patients on a weekly basis at a clinic in Leeds.

The company’s headquarters are in London, UK but plan to roll out this platform worldwide.  As well as building Medicalchain, Dr Albeyatti continues to be involved in patient care and sits on the board of IGB at NHS Digital.

Dr Albeyatti believes that blockchain technology has the ability to revolutionise the healthcare system by providing a platform that empowers people with full access and control over their own personal health records. Being an NHS Clinical Entrepreneur Fellow shows the appetite for this technology within our healthcare system.  As a result of his experiences and profile he is a sought after speaker in the world of healthcare and blockchain and has presented internationally at prestigious conferences as well as official government events.

Massimo Pellegrino is the European Public Policy Program Manager at the IEEE Global Office in Vienna, Austria, where he is in charge of technology policy initiatives in the areas of ICT and Energy.

Prior to joining IEEE, Mr. Pellegrino served as researcher on emerging security and technology matters at the United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG), where he focused on the interplay between space technology and nuclear issues. Previously, he had directed the work of the European Union Institute for Security Studies (EUISS) in the area of outer space and security-related issues, including through chairing an inter-institutional Task Force in this domain.

Mr. Pellegrino has been a lecturer at the Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP) and at the European Security and Defence College (ESDC). He is also an author of several papers, reports and policy briefs on outer space and security matters.

Mr. Pellegrino received a Master’s Degree in Space Studies from the International Space University (ISU), as well as a Master’s Degree in Economics, and a Master’s and a Bachelor’s Degree in Industrial and Technology Engineering from the University of Naples Federico II.

Abel Maciel is an Architect and Senior Research Associate at University College London. His research interests include computational design, artificial intelligence (ML), distributed ledger technology (Blockchain) and collective reasoning (Game Theory).

He is director of Design Computation, a specialist consultancy based in London. There, he focuses on the development and delivery of complex Building Information Modelling (BIM), Programmatic Design, Digital Fabrication and Smart Contracts Development.

Abel brings extensive experience in architecture and research on a wide range of design typologies and scales, working with some of the world’s leading design practices, such as Arup, Buro Happold, Foster and Partners, Heatherwick Studio and Zaha Hadid Architects.

He is a Founding Director of the Construction Blockchain Consortium (CBC), Faculty Member of the UCL Centre of Blockchain Technologie and the initiator of the Design Computation Wiki, an open knowledge platform for computational design.

Tony Phipps is an information security professional with a keen interest in new technology, engineering and cyber research. He started his career as an engineer and has worked in a variety of fields including, electrical and electronic engineering and information technology.

For the last 20 years he has specialised in information and physical security. He obtained his first degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from the University of Greenwich in 1997 and a masters degree from University of Westminster in Information Technology Security in 2002.

He is currently responsible for a team that delivers cyber security engineering solutions into one of the UK’s largest financial services organisation.

In a career spanning two decades Mike Radin has delivered technology solutions across financial services and telecom industries. He has worked on projects ranging from electronic market making for the NYSE and ISE to credit derivative risk and P&L reporting, before moving eventually to enterprise architecture to address the challenges of uniform data system design and global credentials management.

More recently Mike has endeavoured to bring enterprise-grade sophistication to decentralised, disintermediated platforms using his dual expertise in both technology and finance.

Dr Andrejs Romanovs is a professor (associate) and senior researcher at the Information Technology Institute, head of Dept. of Modelling and Simulation, Riga Technical University (Latvia). He is an expert of the Latvian Council of Science in the field of Information Technology, member of the Council of RTU DITF and ITI, member of Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA), member of Latvian Simulation Society (LSS). Senior member of IEEE, chair of IEEE Member Recruitment & Recovery Committee, founder and chair of Latvia Blockchain Group, past Chair of IEEE Latvia Section.

His professional interests include modelling of MIS and industrial information systems, cyber security, IT governance and risk management, integrated information technologies in business of logistics and supply chain management, blockchain, information systems for health care, e-commerce, as well as education in these areas.

Mona Ghassemian

Mona Ghassemian is a principal research scientist at BT with a focus on future networks security and privacy for services delivered in 5G and beyond networks. She is active in H2020 5G-Vinni BT facility at Adastral Park. She received her PhD in “Mobile and Personal Communications” research from King’s College London in 2006 with NTT DoCoMo scholarship. She obtained her Dipl. Eng. in Electrical Engineering from the Ferdowsi University of Mashad in 1997. In 2001 she received the M.Sc. by Research degree in mobile and personal communication systems from King’s College London by distinction.

After completion of her PhD she continued at King’s College London as a research associate in E-Sense (a project of the 6th Framework Programme of the European Commission). She worked at University of Greenwich as a senior lecturer and PG programme leader in computer networking 2007-2012 and SBU 2012-2018, and has been a visiting research associate at King’s College London over this period.  She has been a member of Tactile Internet working group (IEEE 1918.1) since 2016 and has over 70 peer reviewed publications, a book chapter and two filed patents. Mona is a senior member of IEEE and serves as IEEE UK & Ireland Section Chair.

Sohaib Qamar Sheikh

Sohaib Sheikh is an award-winning ICT and Smart Buildings Consultant specialising in the digital transformation of buildings into smart properties. He currently works as a Technology Associate, Smart Building Systems for Land Securities Group Ltd. ‘Landsec’, UK – the largest commercial property developer in the country – where he is responsible for the operational technology across the company’s £15 billion portfolio and the technology across a £3 billion pipeline of new developments.

Sohaib is passionate about STEM education and technology management and has volunteered for international organisations such as the IEEE, Engineers Without Borders, and Rotary International to promote both causes. Currently, he holds various governance positions within IEEE including the Vice Chair of Technical Activities for IEEE Region 8 (EMEA) where he is responsible for Conferences, Chapters, Industry Relations, Professional & Educational Activities, and Standards activities. He is also a member of the IEEE Educational Activities Board, the IEEE Awards Board and the IEEE Industry Engagement Committee.

He has given plenary and invited sessions at 40+ international events including the UNESCO World Science Forum, IEEE Sections Congress, and the World Engineering Education Forum.

Sponsors and Partners


IEEE UK & Ireland Blockchain Group Committee

Dr Cyril Onwubiko – Chair
Dr Mona Ghassemian – Vice Chair
Dr Richard Barnes – Secretary
Dr Jonathan Tate – Cyber Security Lead
Simon Barducci – Blockchain Lead
Dr Xavier Bellekens – Outreach Lead, Scotland
Dr Avishek Nag – Outreach Lead, Ireland
Bryan Shutes – Commercialisation Lead
Dr Husam Awadalla – Industrial Liaison Lead

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