Plenary Speakers


Dr Thomas Sterling, Indiana University, USA
Dr Thomas Sterling holds the position of Professor of Electrical Engineering at the Indiana University (IU) School of Informatics and Computing Department of Intelligent Systems Engineering (ISE) and serves as Director of the IU Center for Research in Extreme Scale Technologies (CREST). Since receiving his Ph.D from MIT in 1984 as a Hertz Fellow, Dr Sterling has engaged in applied research in parallel computing system structures, semantics, and operation in industry, government labs, and academia. He is best known as the "father of Beowulf" for his pioneering research in commodity/Linux cluster computing for which he shared the Gordon Bell Prize in 1997. He led the HTMT Project sponsored by multiple agencies to explore advanced technologies and their implication for high-end computer system architectures. Other research projects in which he contributed included the DARPA DIVA PIM architecture project with USC-ISI, the DARPA HPCS program sponsored Cray-led Cascade Petaflops architecture, and the Gilgamesh high-density computing project at NASA JPL. Sterling is currently involved in research associated with the innovative ParalleX execution model for extreme scale computing to establish the foundation principles guiding the development of future generation Exascale computing systems. ParalleX is currently the conceptual centerpiece of the XPRESS project as part of the DOE X-stack program and has been demonstrated via the proof-of-concept HPX-5 runtime system software. Dr. Sterling is the co-author of six books and holds six patents. He was the recipient of the 2013 Vanguard Award and is a Fellow of the AAAS.

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Keynote Addresses


Dr Ken Craig, University of Pretoria, RSA
Ken Craig is a professor in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Pretoria. He holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Pretoria and a PhD in Aeronautical Engineering from Stanford University. He has been lecturing at the University of Pretoria for about 20 years and also spent a 5-year period in the nuclear power generation industry as an employee of Westinghouse, working on the PBMR and AP1000 designs. His research interest since 2013 has been in renewable energy with a focus on solar thermal energy. Specific focus areas include wind loads on heliostats, point and line-focus receiver thermal designs and atmospheric stability for wind farm selection. His specialities include Computational Fluid Dynamics, especially when applied in an optimization framework.


Other Keynote Addresses


  • Peter Braam (Braam Research)
  • Catharine Esterhuysen (University of Stellenbosch)
  • Krishna Bisetty (Durban University of Technology)
  • Tahir Pillay (University of Pretoria)
  • Muaaz Bhamjee (University of Johannesburg)
  • Eric van Steen (University of Cape Town)
  • Eric Maluta (University of Venda)
  • Nicola Mulder (University of Cape Town)

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Latest News


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