Former Keynote Speakers



Prof. Tatsuo Omata
Nagoya University Japan, Japan

Prof. Tatsuo Omata obtained PhD from University of Tokyo in 1984. The title of his thesis was "Isolation and characterization of the cytoplasmic and thylakoid membranes from cyanobacteria (blue-green algae)". During the next 25 years, he studied photosynthetic assimilation of CO2 and NO3- by cyanobacteria, with emphasis on the transporters involved in uptake of the substrates. He identified a HCO3- transporter (BCT1) and a bispecific NO3-/NO2- transporter (NRT) on the cytoplasmic membrane, and characterized the transcriptional regulators involved in the CO2- and nitrogen-responsive expression of the transporters. Using NRT-deficient mutant strains, he developed a simple method to achieve slow, nitrogen-limited growth of the cells in batch cultures, which can otherwise be achieved only in chemostat cultures.

In 2010, he started a project to develop a biofuel-production system using cyanobacteria. To achieve sustainable production of biofuels, he points it essential to have the cells secrete the oily products so that the energy required for oil extraction is saved. He thinks it also essential to have a product-to-cell ratio (weight/weight) of 4 to attain an energy-profit ratio of >1. Aiming at the “milking” production of biofuels using cyanobacteria, he and his coworkers have been improving the genetic engineering method originally reported by Liu et al. for free fatty acid (FFA) production in Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803. They chose Synechococcus elongatus PCC 7942 as the material since it was found to have an unusually high capacity of fatty acid synthesis. To avoid severe photoinhibition resulting from intracellular accumulation of FFA, the endogenous FFA efflux pump of the cyanobacterium (RND1) was overexpressed and the secreted FFA was removed from the culture medium. Also, cell growth was minimized by nitrogen limitation to increase the per-cell yield of FFA.

Prof. Omata's group, which includes the researchers from Nagoya University, Chubu University, Saitama University, Kazusa DNA Research Institute, and Taisei Corporation, have thus attained a FFA yield of 0.43 g L-1 and the production rate of 1.8 mg L-1 h-1, with a product-to-cell ratio of 0.9. In Sapporo, their latest results will be presented and possible strategies to further improve the method will be discussed.



Prof. Abdulnaser Sayma
City University of London, UK 

Professor Sayma obtained BSc in Mechanical Engineering with Distinction from Birzeit University in Palestine in 1987, MSc in Energy Technology from Salford University in 1990 and PhD from UMIST in 1994. His thesis topic was Finite Element model for dense gas dispersion in the atmosphere. He joined the Aeronautics department at Imperial College London in 1994 on EPSRC funded project as a research assistant where he worked on the development of an external aerodynamic compressible flow model introducing boundary layer grids and viscous effects in the Euler solver.

He Joined the Department of Aeronautics at Imperial College London in February 1994 as a Research Assistant working on the development of unstructured grid compressible flow solvers for viscous compressible flows with application for flow around complete aircraft. Subsequently, In 1996, he joined the Rolls Royce Vibration University Technology Centre (VUTC) at the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Imperial College London, where he stayed for about 9 years. He progressed to a Research Fellow, Senior Research Fellow and then Principal Research Fellow. In 2001, he was awarded the title RolIs Royce reaserch fellow at Imperial College and in 2003 he was awarded a Royal Academy of Engineering Senior Research Fellow co-funded by Rolls-Royce Plc. During his spell at the VUTC, he was one of two main developers for the unsteady aerodynamics and aeroelatisity code AU3D which has been the main aeroelasticity system at Rolls Royce. He also contributed to several major aero-engine projects including analysis of compressors, fans, turbines, rotating cavities, intake and bypass ducts and downstream nozzles.

In 2005 he became a Senior Lecturer in Computational Mechanics at Brunel University. A year later, he was appointed as a Professor of Computational Fluid Dynamics at the University of Sussex where he worked at the Thermo-Fluid Mechanics Research Centre (TFMRC) at the Department of Engineering and Design. He continued to lead research in unsteady compressible flow in turbomacinery, where he focused on industrial gas turbines and micro-gas turbines. He held several senior administrative positions, the last of which was the Director of Research and Knowledge Exchange for the School of Engineering and Informatics. He also introduced a new MSc in Sustainable Energy Technology.

In January 2013, he joined City University London as a Professor of Energy Engineering. In 2014, he was appointed as the associate Dean for Post Graduate Studies at the School of Mathematics, Computer Science and Engineering until July 2019. He held the position if Interim Dean for the School between November 2018 and February 2019. He is currently the Director of the Thermo-Fluids Research Centre since February 2019 and has been appointed as the Head of Engineering from 1st of January 2020, heading the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Aeronautics, the Department of Civil Engineering and the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering.

He has led the Cycle Efficiency Technical Committee at the European Turbine Network (ETN) and has been a member of the ETN Project Board since 2014. He is the founder of the European Micro-Gas Turbine Forum (EMGTF) which was established in 2017 and has been the chairman of its advisory board.

Major research projects led: the EU FP7 consortium for conducting research and demonstration of a concentrated solar power system powering a small-scale micro-gas turbine (OMSoP), 2013-207, the Newton project jointly funded by InnovateUK and the Ministry of Science and Technology of China (MoST) on the development of concentrated solar power micro gas turbine technology coupled to thermal energy storage (SoLGATS) 2017-2019, The EPSRC funded project, Fundamental studies of Organic Rankine Cycles (NextORC), 2017-2020, and the Marie Curie Innovative Training Network, Next Generation of Micro Gas turbine technology for high efficiency and low emissions (NextMGT) 2020-2023. He has also led the Turbomachiney work package the EU project H2-IGCC 2009-2013 which aimed at the development of micro gas turbine technology for hydrogen-Rich Syngas and he is currently leading the Turbomachinery work package in the EU H2020 project SCARABEUS aiming at the development of supercritical carbon dioxide cycles for concentrated solar power plants.


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