AICON Speakers 2021

Alison Coote

Alison Coote

Product Principal at Kainos

Alison is a product principal at Kainos with over 20 years of industry experience. She is active in startup and product communities and now leads the Kainos startup initiative.

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Alison is a Product Principal at Kainos and has over 20 years of industry experience. Alison is active in the start-up and product communities on the island of Ireland and has shaped and delivered large-scale transformation programmes across UK central Government. She has been advising start-ups for the last few years and now leads the Kainos startup initiative.
Matt Lee

Matt Lee

Data Scientist at Sonrai Analytics

Matt Lee is a Data Scientist with expertise in medical imaging and computer vision. Previously a medical physicist specialising in digital radiology QA

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Matt Lee is a Data Scientist with expertise in medical imaging and computer vision. Previously a medical physicist specialising in digital radiology QA
Bronagh Smyth

Bronagh Smyth

User Research Consultant at Kainos

Bronagh Smyth is a user research consultant at Kainos with over 10 years of experience, including leading UK Government projects, as well as within FMCG, advertising and startups.

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Bronagh is a User Research Consultant at Kainos and has worked in research for over 10years. With experience leading research projects for UK government, as well as within FMCG, advertising and start up industries, she is keen to ensure that products and services are designed to truly meet customer and user needs. Bronagh has recently returned to Kainos after spending time expanding her experience in venture design, within the start-up community, and is now focusing on helping start-ups to generate insights and validate their ideas through research and experimentation.
Gillian Docherty

Gillian Docherty

CEO at The Data Lab

Gillian is the Chief Executive of The Data Lab, an innovation centre with a mission to help Scotland maximise value from data and lead the world to a data-powered future.

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Gillian Docherty is chief executive of The Data Lab, Scotland’s innovation centre for Data Science and Artificial Intelligence with a mission to help Scotland maximise value from data and lead the world to a data-powered future.

The Data Lab believes Scotland can lead the world to a future where data powers scientific progress, economic prosperity and social good.

The Data Lab helps accelerate the journey to impact by fuelling innovation through collaboration, building skills and growing talent, and strengthening Scotland’s thriving data science community. The Data Lab acts as a catalyst, using our expertise, network, funding and platforms to change how Scotland, and the world, innovates with data.

Gillian was appointed an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours 2019 for Services to Information Technology and Business.

Gillian was appointed Chair of Scotland’s AI Alliance, created to drive forward the recommendations in the AI Strategy for Scotland.

Formerly of IBM, Gillian is a TED speaker and was named Digital Leader 2018 for the UK, she received an Outstanding Achievement Award at Scotland’s Women in Technology Awards in 2019.

Gillian was named CEO of the year at the Digital Technology Awards 2017 and was also in the UK’s top ten most influential people in data according to DataIQ.

Gillian is Vice President of Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, a trustee of Beyonder Involve Charity and an Industry advisor to several Startups.

Gillian has a degree in Computing Science from the University of Glasgow, an Honorary Doctorate from Robert Gordon University and is married with a daughter.
Edward McDonnell

Edward McDonnell

Director at CeADAR

Edward is a director at CeADAR. The centre focuses on delivering cutting-edge AI solutions to industry, developing tech prototypes and helping other organisations.

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Edward McDonnell is the Director of CeADAR which is Ireland’s National Centre for Applied Artificial Intelligence www.ceadar.ie The Centre which is funded by EI and the IDA has over 90 member companies across a wide span of industries. The Centre’s primary focus is on delivering cutting-edge AI solutions to industry, developing technology prototypes, training and in helping organisations pinpoint where AI technology can make a positive impact.

The CeADAR Centre won a Gold i-Spaces accreditation from the EU’s BDVA in 2020 (1 of only 9 in Europe), the Dunn & Bradstreet award for best analytics research group and the NASA prize in 2019 for a satellite system to help populations displaced by conflict.
Prior to being appointed Director of CeADAR, Edward was European Director of Innovation & Technology Research at Fidelity Investments in Dublin. The role involved prospecting for FinTech technology and investment opportunities across Europe, understanding developments in the European innovation ecosystem, and directing technology trials.
Edward has also held various technical and global senior management roles in the Office of Strategy and Technology at Hewlett-Packard Europe based in England.

Edward is a graduate of QUB has a PhD in Analytics and AI from the University of Edinburgh, is a Fellow of the IEE & ICS, and is the named inventor on 76 granted patents. He has been awarded several international prizes including the Scientific American top 50 technologies that demonstrate outstanding leadership, Grand Award and Overall Winner for Innovation, Popular Science (USA), Horizon Award “10 Cool Cutting Edge Technologies”, Computer World (USA).
Joe Dunleavy

Joe Dunleavy

VP, Head of Innovation at Endava

Joe is an Innovation, Software Delivery, FinTech and Business lead experienced executive currently working in the role of VP, Group Head of Innovation at Endava.

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Joe is an Innovation, Software Delivery, FinTech and Business lead experienced executive currently working in the role of VP, Group Head of Innovation at Endava.

Before the sale of Pramerica to TCS (Dec, 2020), Joe worked for Prudential / Pramerica for 16 years based in both Letterkenny, Ireland for 13 years as well as in the US on a 3-year international rotation from 2012 to 2015. Joe has held several leadership roles including Innovation Head, US based Interim CIO, Software Development Lead and Technical Project Manager. Before Pramerica, Joe worked in an IT start-up company called Nooked in Sligo, Ireland and Microsoft at their European Development Center in Dublin, Ireland.

He holds a Post Grad in UX, UI and Innovation, a MBS in Innovation (LYIT) & Leadership and a BSc in Computer Science (Sligo IT).

Joe is passionate about technology, innovation, volunteering, food, coaching and sport.
Marianne Bjerkman

Marianne Bjerkman

Cluster Manager for the Cluster for Applied AI

Marianne Bjerkman is the cluster manager for the fast-growing business cluster Cluster for Applied AI in Norway. In only one year it has joined the national cluster program.

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Marianne Bjerkman is the cluster manager for the fast-growing business cluster Cluster for Applied AI in Norway. In only one year the cluster was accepted into the national cluster program, and has already launched a series of successful projects.
Martin McGovern

Martin McGovern

Actuary / Senior Data Science Manager at Aon

Martin is a Manager at Aon within the Centre for Innovation and Analytics. He combines cutting edge data science techniques with his actuarial and industry experience.

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Martin is an Actuary/Senior data science manager within the Aon Centre for Innovation and Analytics in Dublin. His role involves combining cutting edge data science techniques with his actuarial and industry experience to develop innovative data driven solutions and technologies in the insurance sector. Martin uses his domain knowledge of actuarial data to help the data science team better understand the salient factors in the data and consequently develop more advanced data insights. Martin became a fully qualified Fellow of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries in 2014. He attended Queen’s University Belfast where he attained a masters with first class honours in theoretical physics. He subsequently continued his study to achieve a doctorate in theoretical physics from Queen’s University.
Gavin Shaddick

Gavin Shaddick

Co-Director of the Met Office-University of Exeter JCEEI

Professor Gavin Shaddick is co-Director of the Met Office-University of Exeter Joint Centre for Excellence in Environmental Intelligence and Chair of Data Science and Statistics at the University of Exeter

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Professor Gavin Shaddick is co-Director of the Met Office-University of Exeter Joint Centre for Excellence in Environmental Intelligence and Chair of Data Science and Statistics at the University of Exeter. He is an Alan Turing Fellow and leads on Environment and Sustainability at the Alan Turing Institute
Luke Chen

Luke Chen

Professor of Data Analytics, Research Director for the School of Computing, Ulster University

Professor Chen is an IET Fellow, a Senior Member of IEEE, with extensive expertise and knowledge on pervasive computing, data analytics, artificial intelligence, user-centred intelligent systems and their applications.

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Dr Chen is Professor of Data Analytics, Research Director for the School of Computing at Ulster University, UK. He received his BEng and Meng degrees at Beijing Institute of Technology, China, and DPhil on Computer Science at De Montfort University, UK. His current research interests include pervasive computing, data analytics, artificial intelligence, user-centred intelligent systems and their applications in smart healthcare and cyber security. Dr Chen is an IET Fellow, a Senior Member of IEEE, the founding chair of the IEEE CIS” User-centred Smart Systems” Task Force. He has published monographs, edited books, peer-reviewed papers in internationally recognised journals and conferences, over 250 in total. He has served as an associate editor or guest editor for IEEE THMS and Computer, Elsevier PMC and IJDSN and Springer PUC and AIHC. His research has been funded by external grants from the UK research councils, European Research Programmes such as FP7, AAL and Horizon 2020, and industrial collaborators like SAP, British Telecommunication and PwC. Dr Chen has delivered over 30 talks, keynotes and seminars in various forums, conferences, industry and academic events. He has served as an expert for research funding assessment for UKRI, EU Horizon2020, Canada, Chile, Netherlands and Denmark.
Courtney Lewis

Courtney Lewis

Presales Engineer at Datactics

Courtney joined Datactics in 2019 after graduating with a First Class degree in Computing Science. During her studies she worked on data quality, using SQL, for a public sector department. Courtney possesses strong technical and client skills.

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Courtney joined Datactics in 2019 after graduating from University of Ulster with a First Class degree in Computing Science. During her studies, she spent valuable time working on data quality, primarily via SQL scripts, for a public sector department. Client-focused, Courtney possesses strong technical skills needed to address client requirements and implement changes using the Datactics product.
Daniel Browne

Daniel Browne

Machine Learning Engineer at Datactics

Daniel joined the team in October 2020 as a Junior Machine Learning Engineer. During his final year he produced a project on the application of AI to analyse music. He is currently developing Data Quality Rules Suggestion for future Datactics AI projects.

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Daniel joined the team in October 2020 as a Junior Machine Learning Engineer. During his final year studying Computer Science at Trinity College, Dublin, he produced a project on the application of AI to analyse music and went on to achieve a First Class degree. Daniel is currently developing Data Quality Rules Suggestion for future Datactics AI projects.
Hojjat Azadbakht

Hojjat Azadbakht

Founder and CEO of AINOSTICS

Hojjat is the Founder and CEO of AINOSTICS. He holds a PhD in Biomedical Imaging and Data Sciences, and is an Honorary Professor at the University of Manchester.

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Hojjat is the Founder and CEO of AINOSTICS. He holds a PhD in Biomedical Imaging and Data Sciences, and is an Honorary Professor at the University of Manchester. In 2019, he was named as one of the most influential foreign entrepreneurs in the area of medical AI in China.
Christian Kerr

Christian Kerr

Founder, AiCore

Christian is the founder of AiCore, a specialist AI & Data workforce accelerator that trains individuals to build out production-grade systems deployed at companies today.

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Christian is the founder of AiCore, a specialist AI & Data workforce accelerator that trains individuals to build out production-grade systems deployed at companies today. AiCore produces 1000 AI engineers per year and develops immersive AI engineering programmes for enterprises and government, including Deutsche Bank and the Department for International Trade.
Terry Canning

Terry Canning

Founder and CEO, CattleEye

Terry Canning is the CEO and Founder of CattleEye. He grew up on a dairy farm and after working for 9 years, he began to apply his knowledge to the livestock industry.

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A seasoned AgTech Entrepreneur Terry grew up on a dairy farm. After studying engineering he spent 9 years working for blue chip companies worldwide on cloud computing projects. In 2004 he applied this knowledge to the livestock industry founding FarmWizard.com the world’s first SaaS for managing livestock. He grew that business over 10 years selling it in 2015 to Wheatsheaf. Terry believes that recent advances in Machine Vision powered by Deep Learning Artificial Intelligence now creates an opportunity to develop CattleEye, a truly Autonomous Livestock Monitoring solution.
Robin Lester

Robin Lester

Cloud Solutions Architect at Microsoft

Robin Lester is a Cloud Solutions Architect (CSA) at Microsoft focused on developing AI capabilities and cloud data practices among our partner ecosystem.

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Robin Lester is a Cloud Solutions Architect (CSA) at Microsoft focused on developing AI capabilities and cloud data practices among our partner ecosystem. Helping partners understand Machine Learning technologies and separating the possible from improbable, the fact from the fiction. A firm believer in democratization of AI and adopting ethical AI principles.
Dr. Piers Campbell

Dr. Piers Campbell

Head of Technology at Kainos

Piers leads the technology strategy, growth and customer delivery for Data and AI at Kainos. He has over 15 years of experience delivering innovation to customers across multiple sectors.

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Piers leads the technology strategy, growth and customer delivery for Data and AI at Kainos. He has over 15 years of experience delivering innovation to customers across multiple sectors. Piers led the team that delivered the 2018 UK IT Awards AI Project of the Year with DVSA and has worked with governmental, energy and telecoms organisations around the globe, helping them to make better use of the data and build AI capability. Piers started his career in academia lecturing and leading research teams in the UK, Middle East and Australia.
Marc Mullan

Marc Mullan

VP Data & Analytics at the DAA

Senior leader with over 20 years’ experience successfully developing and delivering strategic change in the fields of data & analytics, multi-channel CRM, sales operations and more.

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Senior leader with over 20 years’ experience successfully developing and delivering strategic change in the fields of data & analytics, multi-channel CRM, sales operations, sales performance management and financial operations. Marc has worked with large multi nationals across the transport, technology and communications sectors to transform the customer experience, deliver operational efficiency and create value. With a passion for analytics he has a proven track record of implementing cultural change at all levels of an organisation, enabling the democratisation of data and embedding evidence based decision making across the enterprise.
Don-Paul Dhaliwal

Don-Paul Dhaliwal

CEO of Conigital

Founded Conigital, a driverless vehicle company automating the way people and goods move. They are on mission to disrupt the transport industry through a vision of greener, more efficient mobility, for all.

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Founded Conigital, a driverless vehicle company automating the way people and goods move. They are on mission to disrupt the transport industry through a vision of greener, more efficient mobility, for all.
Daniel Garcia

Daniel Garcia

Data Scientist at Kainos

Daniel is a Data Scientist at Kainos with experience in Time Series modelling. He recently joined the Data and AI practice at Kainos after graduating in Data Science from King’s College in 2020.

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Daniel is a Data Scientist at Kainos with experience in Time Series modelling. He recently joined the Data and AI practice at Kainos after graduating in Data Science from King’s College in 2020. He has more than 3 years of experience working in different areas of the digital advertising industry, always with a strong focus on Data.
Isabella Christie

Isabella Christie

Data Scientist at Kainos

Isabella joined the Data & AI Practice as a Trainee Data Scientist in 2021. She began her career at Kainos as a Software Engineer after graduating from the University of Birmingham in 2020.

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Isabella joined the Data & AI Practice as a Trainee Data Scientist in 2021. She began her career at Kainos as a Software Engineer after graduating from a MSc Computer Science conversion at the University of Birmingham in 2020. She completed her final project in AI and natural language processing for German. At Kainos she has worked on various internal and customer projects, including a piece of advanced analytics work which was presented at COP26.
Mairead Doherty

Mairead Doherty

Data Scientist at Deutsche Bank

Mairead is a data scientist at Deutsche Bank, working with advanced technologies and tools to develop a range of innovative data solutions involving Artificial Intelligence and Machine learning.

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Mairead is a data scientist at Deutsche Bank, working with advanced technologies and tools to develop a range of innovative data solutions involving Artificial Intelligence and Machine learning. She has 4+ years of experience in delivering analytics, visualisations and models that support the adoption and integration of data driven solutions across the business. She has a specific interest in using data storytelling, visualisations and interpretability techniques to make data science techniques more accessible to stakeholders and end users, integrating machine learning and analytics into everyday workflows.
Nell Watson

Nell Watson

AI Ethicist at the IEEE Standards Association

Eleanor ‘Nell’ Watson is an engineer who lectures in machine intelligence research. She has contributed to IEEE SA ethics initiatives, including serving as vice chair of P7001 standard on transparency.

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Eleanor ‘Nell’ Watson is an engineer who lectures in machine intelligence research. She has contributed to IEEE SA ethics initiatives, including serving as vice chair of P7001 standard on transparency, and contributing to many ECPAIS certification working groups. Nell holds fellowships with the British Computing Society, Royal Statistical Society, The Atlantic Council, as well as holding Senior Membership within IEEE.
Jeremy Batt

Jeremy Batt

Solution Center Manager at Amenity Analytics

Jeremy has led Amenity’s engagement in developing a custom NLP model that
extracts meaningful and previously unattainable insights for Voice of Customer at Allstate.

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Jeremy has led Amenity’s engagement in developing a custom NLP model that extracts meaningful and previously unattainable insights for Voice of Customer at Allstate.
Christian King

Christian King

Senior Data Scientist at HM Land Registry

Christian is one of the founding members of HM Land Registry’s data science practice and has gained expertise in a variety of data science fields.

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Following a seven year career in the Royal Marines, Christian gained a degree in Physics, specialising in quantum mechanics, and began pursuing a career in data analysis and data science. Christian is one of the founding members of HM Land Registry’s data science practice and has gained expertise in a variety of data science fields. Most recently his attention has turned to computer vision and geospatial data science, and how the real world can be leveraged to enhance existing spatial data. Christian lives with his wife and son in Plymouth less than a minute from the sea, which, as a family, they spend every possible moment either in, on or next to.
Kate Nicholl

Kate Nicholl

Lord Mayor of Belfast

Lord Mayor of Belfast, Kate Nicholl took up office on 1 June 2021. A member of the Alliance Party, she was elected as a representative for the Balmoral district.

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The current Lord Mayor of Belfast is Councillor Kate Nicholl who took up office on 1 June 2021. A member of the Alliance Party, she was elected as a representative for the Balmoral district at the 2019 Local Government Election.
Councillor Nicholl, 33, was born in Zimbabwe and moved with her family to Belfast when she was 12 years old. She attended Methodist College and University College London and is currently enrolled in a master’s degree at Ulster University.
Councillor Nicholl lives and works in South Belfast and is married with an 18-month-old son, Cian. The theme for Councillor Nicholl’s year in office is ‘Our Belfast’, with a commitment to meet the people in every area, to recognise those who are making a difference in every quarter, and to find ways to work with them for the betterment of the city. She also wishes to highlight the voices of children and young people during her year in office and to champion action on climate change and the environment.
Rachel Gawley

Rachel Gawley

Technologist

Rachel brings together and leads expert teams to research and develop new tech products and their associated business ventures from inception to commercialisation.

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Rachel brings together and leads expert teams to research and develop new tech products and their associated business ventures from inception to commercialisation.
Stephen McKeown

Stephen McKeown

Divisional Chief Information Officer at Allstate

Divisional Chief Information Officer and Director, Allstate Technology and Strategic Ventures. A Fortune 100 company and one of the largest insurers in America.

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Divisional Chief Information Officer and Director, Allstate Technology and Strategic Ventures. A Fortune 100 company and one of the largest personal lines property and casualty insurer in America.
Yassine Jelassi

Yassine Jelassi

Commercial Manager of CeADAR, Ireland's National Centre of Applied AI

Yassine is currently working as the commercial manager for CeADAR. He guides companies in their AI journey and help them achieve business impact and competitive advantage from their AI initiatives.

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Yassine Jelassi has a background of oil & gas engineering. He had an international experience in Schlumberger, an oilfield service company. Yassine covered multiple districts in North Africa, the Middle East and USA. He worked as technical and sales engineer for the client Saudi Aramco. He led multiple large Digital & AI Transformation projects that led to considerable business impact to Schlumberger and Saudi Aramco. Yassine developed multiple machine learning solutions for the oil and gas industry, one of which he has submitted a patent for.

Yassine is currently working as the commercial manager for CeADAR, Ireland’s National Centre for Applied Artificial Intelligence. He guides companies in their AI journey and help them achieve business impact and competitive advantage from their AI initiatives.

Yassine graduated in 2011 as an Industrial Engineer from the University of Carthage in Tunis. He also holds an MBA from the UCD Smurfit Business School.
Dr Alastair McKinley

Dr Alastair McKinley

Chief Technology Officer at Analytics Engines

Alastair is the CTO at Analytics Engines where he is responsible for technology strategy, solution architecture and innovation. Alastair gained his PhD from QUB in 2009 focusing on high-performance computing and algorithms used in telecommunications.

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Alastair is the Chief Technology Officer at Analytics Engines where he is responsible for technology strategy, solution architecture and innovation. Alastair gained his PhD from QUB in 2009 focusing on high-performance computing and algorithms used in telecommunications
He is interested in data modelling and data engineering in PostgreSQL and Python, Cloud Native solution architecture and NLP applications.
Ryan Burns

Ryan Burns

Customer Journey Analytics Manager at Allstate

Ryan is a Customer Journey Analytics Manager at Allstate, driving customer centricity and improving the customer experience through Voice of Customer actionable insights.

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Ryan is a Customer Journey Analytics Manager at Allstate, driving customer centricity and improving the customer experience through Voice of Customer actionable insights.