Home / Events / Data science and AI for sustainability conference 2022 / Speakers and Chairs: Data science and AI for sustainability conference 2022

Speakers and Chairs: Data science and AI for sustainability conference 2022

Back to: 
Data science and AI for sustainability conference 2022

Speakers and Chairs

Professor Colm-cille P. Caulfield

Professor Colm-cille P. Caulfield

Colm-cille is Professor of Environmental and Industrial Fluid Dynamics and Head of the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics (DAMTP), University of Cambridge. 

He is a Professorial Fellow of Mathematics in Churchill College, and an Adjunct Professor of Mechanics at Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, China. In 2014, he was elected as a Fellow of the American Physical Society, Division of Fluid Dynamics, and is Editor of the Journal of Fluid Mechanics, published by Cambridge University Press.

He studied Mathematics at the University of Ulster at Coleraine, graduating in 1987. He continued onto postgraduate studies in Applied Mathematics in DAMTP at Cambridge, where he was also a member of Churchill College, studying for the world-famous “Part III” of the Mathematical Tripos, specialising in fluid dynamics. After completing his PhD in DAMTP (co-sponsored by the Health and Safety Executive) in 1991, he spent three years as a postdoctoral fellow in Atmospheric Physics jointly at the University of Toronto and Hokkaido University in Sapporo, Japan. Before returning to Cambridge in 2005 for his present position, jointly held with the BP Institute for Multiphase Flow, he held faculty positions in Mathematics at the University of Bristol and in Environmental Engineering at the University of California, San Diego.   He also taught for several years in the Masters Programme in Fluid Mechanics at Ecole Polytechnique in Paris.

He has published over 100 papers in the academic literature, with a wide range of collaborators from more than 20 different countries. His research focuses on (trying to) understand turbulence and mixing in environmentally and industrially relevant flows, particularly where buoyancy forces play a key dynamical role. Important examples include heat transport in the world’s oceans, the dynamics of volcanic plumes, and the design of building interiors to minimise energy use while maintaining comfort and safety. More recently, he has become interested in addressing research problems relevant to the modelling of our rapidly changing climate using a twin-pronged approach of physics-informed and data-driven methods in combination.



Dr Anil Madhavapeddy

Dr Anil Madhavapeddy

Anil is an Associate Professor at the Department of Computer Science and Technology in the University of Cambridge, and a Fellow of Pembroke College.  He has worked in industry (NetApp, Citrix, Intel), academia (Cambridge, Imperial, UCLA) and startups (XenSource, Unikernel Systems, Docker) over the past two decades. At Cambridge, he directs the OCaml Labs research group which delves into the intersection of functional programming and systems. He is a long-time maintainer on open-source projects such as OpenBSD, OCaml, Xen, and Docker, and a seasoned entrepreneur who advises companies on technology strategy (currently Zededa, Tezos Foundation, Tarides, and others).



Julian Critchlow

Julian Critchlow

Julian Critchlow was Director General, Energy Transformation and Clean Growth at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) from May 2018 to March 2021. During his tenure, the UK legislated for Net Zero by 2050, set a globally leading 6th Carbon Budget, published a comprehensive Net Zero Strategy with associated sectoral plans for all parts of the economy and took on the Presidency of COP26 in Glasgow.

Prior to joining the UK civil service, Julian was a Director at Bain & Company, strategy consultants, based in their London office. He led Bain’s Global Utilities & Alternative Energy Practice, working with senior executives in leading utilities around the world on their key strategic, operational and organisational issues. Julian has 35 years of consulting experience in the UK and internationally.



Ronita Bardhan

Dr Ronita Bardhan

Dr Ronita Bardhan is Assistant Professor of Sustainability in Built Environment at the Department of Architecture, University of Cambridge. She is Director of MPhil in Architecture and Urban Studies (MAUS) and leads the Sustainable Design Group at the Department of Architecture.

Dr Bardhan is an architectural engineer and urban studies educator, with a PhD in urban engineering. She believes that data-driven intelligence of built environments can effectively address sustainability goals and policies. Her research on sustainable built environment informs health and energy decisions in the warming climate. Bardhan has instrumented data-driven methods that couples architectural engineering, AI and machine learning with social sciences to provide contextualised built environment design solutions in resources constraint societies.

Bardhan’s has extensively worked on Slum Rehabilitation (social) housing design in the Global South. Her seminal work on tuberculosis, poor indoor air quality and climate overheating in slum rehabilitation housing of Mumbai has received traction from policymakers and extensive coverage in several news media. She has written over 100 academic articles on health and environmental design of residential built environment. Ronita is part of AI for Environmental RiskCambridge Public HealthCentre for Science and Policy, Cambridge Zero Cambridge Global Challenges and Sustainability Leadership for Built Environment (IDBE).

Dr Bardhan holds the position of Director of and Studies and Fellow in Architecture at Selwyn College in Cambridge. Bardhan is strongly committed to and is an ardent advocate of the shared vision of equality, diversity, inclusion, and belonging in all spheres of her research and teaching. She believes and embeds in her research the strength in difference and that diversity is instrumental for global good.



Lucy Yu headshot

Lucy Yu

Lucy Yu is CEO at Octopus Energy’s Centre for Net Zero, an impact-driven research unit focused on delivering a fast, fair and affordable energy transition. 

Lucy has nearly 20 years of experience in technology, policy and regulation. She has led teams in the UK government’s Cabinet Office, Department for Transport, and Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV), and at the UN’s International Telecommunication Union. Her work has focused on future mobility and cities; sustainability and renewable energy; and AI, data, and digital technologies. She has written extensively on these topics for the tech press and peer-reviewed journals, and has spoken widely including for Wired and SLUSH. 

Outside government she has run operations, public policy, research and strategy functions for some of Europe’s brightest startups including SwiftKey (artificial intelligence); Voi Technology (micromobility); Cucumber (software development); and Five (autonomous vehicles). She has been named a Financial Times Top 100 Most Influential BAME Leader in tech (2019) and a Diversity UK Top 100 Asian Star in UK Tech and Top 5 Star in GreenTech (2021). 

Lucy is a Non-Executive Director at the Connected Places Catapult, the UK’s national accelerator for cities, transport and places; and an Associate Fellow of Technology and Public Policy at the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change. She is a trained scientist and holds a degree in chemistry from Imperial College specialising in computational and physical chemistry.


Teng Long

Dr Teng Long

Teng has been appointed Lecturer at the University of Cambridge in 2016. He established the Applied Power Electronics Laboratory (The Long Group) in the Department of Engineering and he is currently leading a research team comprised of 3 Postdoctoral Research Associates and 7 PhD students. His research portfolio covers from power electronic devices to power converters to drive and power systems, mainly for transport electrification and renewable energy applications. Since his Lectureship, Dr Long has been awarded more than £2.4 million research grants where half are funded by the UK government and the rest directly from industrial sponsors. Dr Long has built strong connections with industrial partners including the SAIC Motor, Dynex Semiconductor, STMicroelectronics, Siemens, CBMM, CRRC, Wuxi SES. 

Prior to joining Cambridge, he has worked for General Electric (GE) where he has led or played an important role in many rewarding projects such as the first transformer-less all electric oil-platform supply vessel, the first large scale all electric warship (Type 45 Destroyer), and the first electromagnetic aircraft catapult demonstrator.

To date, Dr Long has more than 40 academic papers published at international journals and he is the inventor of 5 international patents. Dr Long received the B.Eng. from the Huazhong University of Science and Technology, China, the first class B.Eng. (Hons.) from the University of Birmingham, UK in 2009, and the Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge, UK in 2013. Dr Long is a Chartered Engineer registered with the UK Engineering Council.



Fei Teng

Dr Fei Teng

Dr Fei Teng is the education director of Energy Futures Lab and a lecturer in the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at Imperial College London. He holds visiting positions at MINES ParisTech, France and PloyU, Hong Kong.

His research focuses on the efficient, secure, and resilient operation of future cyber-physical energy systems. He has been involved in over £3 million research grants in the last five years from EPSRC, ESRC, Innovate UK, Royal Society, EDF Energy, and National Grid ESO.



Iulian Nitescu

Iulian Nitescu

CTO Iulian Nitescu is a computer scientist and one of the founders of Graphmasters.

Based in Cambridge, he is responsible for the development of the next-generation engine NUGRAPH.



Dr Ioannis Lestas

Ioannis Lestas is an Associate Professor at the Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge. He  received the B.A. (Starred First) and M.Eng. (Distinction) degrees in Electrical Engineering and Information Sciences and the Ph.D. in control engineering from the University of Cambridge (Trinity College). His doctoral work was performed as a Gates Scholar. He has been a Junior Research Fellow of Clare  College, Cambridge and has been awarded a five year Royal Academy of Engineering research fellowship. He is also the recipient of a five year ERC starting grant. He is currently serving as associate editor for the IEEE Transactions on Smart Grid and the IEEE Transactions on Control of Network Systems. His research interests include the control of large scale networks with applications in power systems and smart grids. In particular, a main focus has been in the area control and optimization of microgrids, frequency and voltage control in power systems, and load-side participation schemes.


Professor Michael Pollitt

Professor Michael Pollitt

Michael is Assistant Director, EPRG and Professor of Business Economics at Judge Business School. He is a Fellow of and Director of Studies in Economics and Management at Sidney Sussex College and also a Research Associate of the Centre for Business Research and a member of the Faculty of Economics.

Michael Pollitt’s research interests include regulation, privatisation and liberalization in the network industries; cross national efficiency comparisons in the electricity industry; business ethics, social capital and corporate governance.



Dr Ramit Debnath

Dr Ramit Debnath

Ramit is a Sustainability Fellow at Churchill College, University of Cambridge and visiting faculty associate in Computational Social Science at Caltech. In addition, he is a research associate at Cambridge's Energy Policy Research Group and the Centre for Natural Materials Innovation. He works at the intersection of data science and public policy. Primarily focussing on developing novel multi-methods approaches to natural language processing, machine learning, AI and qualitative analysis to support a people-centric and just transition. In addition, he is interested in exploring nodes of how the public, industry and policymakers make decisions for energy and climate justice and developing solutions to counter misinformation and distributive injustices. Ramit has previously worked with the International Energy Agency in their Energy efficiency and Digitalisation team. He has a background in electrical engineering and public policy and an MPhil and PhD from Cambridge as a Commonwealth and Gates Scholar. He is recently awarded the Turing Enrichment Award from the Alan Turing Institute, UK.



Ciaran Flynn

Ciaran Flynn

Ciaran is an experienced Structurer & Quantitative Analyst/Manager with a demonstrated history of working in the Energy industry covering Renewable, Generation & Retail business sectors. He is skilled in Market Risk, Quantitative Finance, Energy Markets, Product Management, Financial Structuring, Stakeholder management and Communication. Ciaran has strong professional qualifications with a Masters in Environmental Economics & Finance from the University of Bath and Mechanical Engineering Degree & Mathematics Degree from Trinity College Dublin. He is an Chartered Engineer with the Institute of Mechanical Engineers.



Steven Steer

Steven Steer

Steven serves as Lead Data Consultant for Zuhlke Engineering and previously held the role of Head of Data at Ofgem for government. Steven has a PhD in Nuclear Physics, is a chartered physicist with the Institute of Physics and has published over 70 scientific papers. He was previously a member of the University of Cambridge Energy Policy Research Group (EPRG).

Steven’s contribution to the digitalisation of energy services includes setting up and advising the UK’s Energy Data Taskforce (EDTF), co-creating the government’s Modernising Energy Data (MED) programme and his creating and making the legal arrangements for Ofgem’s regulatory standards on data and digitalisation in the energy sector.



Professor Ajith Parlikad

Professor Ajith Parlikad

Ajith Kumar Parlikad is Professor of Asset Management at Cambridge University Engineering Department. He is based at the Institute for Manufacturing, where he is the Head of the Asset Management research group. He is a Fellow and Tutor at Hughes Hall.

Ajith leads research activities on engineering asset management and maintenance. His particular focus is examining how asset information can be used to improve asset performance through effective decision-making. He actively engages with industry through research and consulting projects. He is currently the Scientific Secretary of the IFAC TC5.1 Working Group on "Advanced Maintenance Engineering, Services and Technology" and sits on the steering committee of the UK Digital Twin Hub. Ajith's current research focusses on the development and exploitation of digital twins of complex asset systems bringing together data from disparate sources to improve asset management. 



Ellissa Verseput

Ellissa Verseput

Ellissa is the Data Team Lead at Sympower, a company that stabilises the electricity grid by unlocking the inherent flexibility of its customers' electricity usage. She is a real sustainability enthusiast and aims to contribute her part in both private and professional life.

She has a track record in creating practical AI applications in the energy domain, using her broad data engineering, machine learning and data science skillset. In the past, she worked on energy-saving services for domestic smart thermostat users. In her current role, she is responsible for the team that provides AI-based forecasting and analytics, required to optimise and automate Sympower's flexibility services.

Ellissa has a master's degree in Econometrics & Operations Research from Maastricht University and is working in the data & IT field since 2016.



Dr Jim Scott

Dr Jim Scott

Jim has worked in cleantech and renewable energy technologies for his whole career working across a variety of generation side sectors and on energy efficiency projects for commercial and industrial consumers and for municipal districts. Jim holds a MSc in renewable energy engineering and a PhD in operations research. In 2017 he co-founded Grid Edge Ltd as Chief Product Officer. Grid Edge provides data science and machine learning software to consumers that help them deliver their decarbonisation strategies, from efficiency to flexibility. Jim builds products that empower energy consumers to foresee and act on the opportunities available to them through the energy transition.



Dr Jethro Akroyd

Dr Jethro Akroyd

Jethro is a research-focused chartered chemical engineer who works at the interface of academia and industry, with experience cutting across multinationals, start-ups and universities. He is a Fellow Churchill College and holds positions at CMCL Innovations, a multi-award-winning SME, and as a Senior Research Associate in the Computational Modelling Group at the Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology (CEB), University of Cambridge.

Jethro has worked extensively with the Cambridge Centre for Advanced Research and Education in Singapore (CARES) to develop solutions to enable the cross-domain interoperability of data and models, with a focus on applications relating to sustainability and the energy transition.

He recently led work by CMCL Innovations to implement the first cross-sector digital twin of energy, water and telecoms infrastructure networks as part of the Climate Resilience Demonstrator (CReDo), which is a climate change adaptation digital twin demonstrator project developed by the National Digital Twin programme to improve resilience across infrastructure networks.

Isabella Gaetani

Dr Isabella Gaetani

Dr Isabella Gaetani is a Senior Scientist working within the Arup Smart Buildings Team in the London office. Isabella’s work focuses on unlocking the power of data to increase our understanding of human building interaction and ultimately achieve better energy and comfort performance of buildings. A building simulation specialist, she's also active in the fields of digital twinning and smart enablement.

During her PhD, Isabella developed a method to improve the modelling of occupant-related uncertainties in building performance simulations, thus leading to improvements in the energy performance and indoor environment of buildings. Her research has been widely published in scientific journals and presented at conferences worldwide. She is a reviewer for several journals, conferences and national funds, as well as a member of IEA EBC Annex 79 Occupant-Centric Building Design and Operation.





Diana Scarborough

Conference Artist in Residence

Diana Scarborough currently collaborates with British Antarctic Survey, is Artist in Residence at the Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology, University of Cambridge, and works with the School of Music at the Australian National University.

Diana is a Cambridge-based artist creating multi-disciplinary works that intersects art, technology, history and the environment. Referencing scale and time, data, ecology and the invisible sciences, her time-based collaborative practice reveals a bias towards process, visualisation and performance. Working directly with scientists she is able to understand the context of their research trajectory and outcomes with true understanding as she is also an engineer. Processes and implications of space weather, nanoparticle activity, historical developments of technology with social-economic implications all feature in works that highlight the unseen, the forgotten or global concerns transformed by a curiosity-led art lens. You can read more about her work here.