Belgacem Haba (Plenary Speaker)

The 4th industrial revolution and its most likely future impacts

During the last years, two main factors have led to an inflection point in the global economy of the whole word. The first factor is related to the explosion of data, mainly the part of data that is being stored in the cloud due to the accessibility of internet and the emergence of few large storage hubs like Google, Facebook and Amazon, etc. The second factor is related to the important advances in the silicon interconnect technologies, which allow a huge and very wide bandwidth for processor – memory communications. These two factors were behind the appearance of the Artificial Intelligence technology to the forefront. This technology coupled with other technologies, such as 3D printing, IoT, 5G, have given rise to the 4th industrial revolution.

In this plenary session, we will cover the history of industrial revolutions and we will focus in particular on the 4th one and try to list few of its most likely future impacts. We will also cover in our talk main support of these revolutions which is the parallel path of the important evolution of the electronics industries.

Hendrik Richter (Keynote Speaker for SAC)

Game dynamics on graphs

Directed or undirected graphs are the most natural way of a mathematical description of interacting agents. The vertices of the graph can hold information about the agent, while the edges represent their spatial structure. Such a model is particularly useful if the agents are described by a game-theoretical framework. Then the vertices represent the strategies which each agent employs, while the edges serve as the spatial interaction. Such a description also integrates dynamics as the agent’s strategies as well as their interaction may change over time. In the talk recent results on game dynamics on graphs are presented and possible field of application for systems and automation are discussed.

Chokri Belhadj Ahmed (Keynote Speaker for PSE)

Bifacial Photovoltaics technology and applications

Bifacial photovoltaic (PV) is a promising solar energy technology that can harvest light from both the front and rear sides to produce more energy yield than monofacial PV modules. The inherent capability to harness albedo radiation improve energy output and minimize the negative of the surrounding effect. Bifacial modules are applied for large PV plants as well as for residential, for building integrated PV applications and can open up new PV application opportunities like in sound barriers or other vertical installations. The East/West vertical mounting of PV systems reaps particular benefits in snow-rich regions (no sticking of snow) or desert locations (reduced or no soiling), and contributes to a more consistent energy production throughout the day “peak-shaving”, thus improving the alignment between electricity production and demand. Recently, a significant endeavor has been made to quantify and predict the energy yield of bifacial PV modules for different installation configuration such stand alone, PV plants, east and west orientation. An obvious way to visualize the benefit due to bifaciality is to analyze the bifacial gain, which is the difference in the energy yield if bifacial, and monofacial devices with similar installation situation were compared. The levelized cost of PV generated electricity (LCOE) comparison between both bifacial and monofacial technologies for the utility large scale, ground-mounted PV systems has concluded that bifacial PV technology has a strong potential to significantly reduce the LCOE of PV generated electricity.

Abu-Rub Haitham (Plenary Speaker)


The smart grid has been called “electricity with a brain”, the “energy Internet” and the “Electronet”.  Basically, the smart grid integrates electricity and information and communication infrastructures to produce electricity more efficiently and reliably, as well as cleanly and safely for the environment. The smart grid is the new energy paradigm that is characterized by a bidirectional flow of electricity and information and the integration of huge amount of distributed energy resources.

The integration of renewable energy resources and energy storage into the smart grid is associated with power electronics converters and involves many aspects, such as: efficiency, reliability and energy conversion cost, forecasting of energy production, safe connection to the electric grid and the capability to work in islanded mode. Advanced control and data utilization are essential for the success of this energy paradigm.

The talk will discuss the possibility and challenges of creating the smart grid paradigm and will highlight its enabling technologies, current status, and future prospective.

Adel Gastli (Keynote Speaker for PSE)

Smart Grids: What’s Now and What’s Next?

Recently, the word “Smart” has been attached to many existing complex systems to describe their transition from their old and conventional designs and operations to more intelligent systems, taking advantage of the development of the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI). The electric power grids are among these complex systems that are witnessing remarkable transitions from their conventional form to more modern and intelligent systems that are now called the “Smart Grids”.  In this presentation, I will try to answer the question “Smart Grids: What’s Now and What’s Next?” as envisioned by different organizations and publications. I will first present and discuss the general aspects and features of the current smart grids. Then, I will present the future perspectives for smart grids’ development along with some key trends and challenges.

Mohamed Ibnkahla (Keynote Speaker for CSP)

IoT, AI, and Big Data in a pandemic era

The Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data, and Artificial Intelligence (AI) have been proven to enhance many aspects of our life including economy, healthcare, security, education, etc. The recent outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated how these technologies are needed more than any precedent time and how they have impacted and will impact every aspect of our society. This talk will emphasize on the role that these technologies are expected to play play in a pandemic world, and the impact that they will have not only on the health sector but also on individual lives (through smart home technologies for example), education (e.g., remote learning and remote labs and testbeds), transportation (intelligent transportation systems), economy, governance, security, etc. Finally, the technical challenges and requirements of these technologies, as well as some results and demos from the IoT Lab at Carleton University will be presented and discussed.

Ahmed Chemori (Keynote Speaker for SAC)

Motion Control of Biomimetic Autonomous Underwater Vehicles:
Towards an Effective Diver/Robot Cooperation

Abstract: Biomimetic Autonomous underwater vehicles propose alternatives for
conventional propeller-driven underwater vehicles. Median and paired fin (MPF) locomotion is usually suggested as a viable alternative when high maneuverability and hovering capability is required. In fishes, such a propulsion mechanism usually means lower speeds (as opposed to body and caudal fin propulsion) but is advantageous when low speed and precision
maneuverability is desired. A particular type of MPF propulsion is sea turtle like 4-fin locomotion. Attempts to copy the locomotion of those agile and versatile reptiles reach back at least a decade with Turtle 2005 and Madeline. Other examples include Finnegan, the RobotTurtle and iRobot Transiphibian. Another line of development is represented by AQUA and AQUA2 four finned amphibian robots that are unique in the way the propellers are used
both for swimming and crawling in and out of water. Four-finned propulsion was also realized in some prototypes by deploying a scaffold structure actively controlled by shape memory alloy (SME) wires. U-CAT is an autonomous biomimetic underwater robot developed within a European Union 7th Framework project ARROWS (Archeological Robot Systems for the
World Seas). As opposed to the previous examples, four-finned design of this vehicle is motivated solely by the end-user requirements and environmental constraints of the tasks in this specifically shipwreck inspection. It should closely video-inspect underwater objects.
When interested to control of biomimetic autonomous underwater vehicles various challenges are to be considered (highly nonlinear dynamics, time-varying parameters, strong coupling between coordinates, underactuation, etc.).
This talk deals with motion control of Biomimetic autonomous underwater vehicles, with a special focus on the case study of U-CAT turtle-like biomimetic underwater robot.
All the proposed control solutions will be illustrated through different scenarios of real-time experiments in a swimming pool (controlled environment), as well as in open water (real operating conditions).

Sebastien Bader (Keynote Speaker for SCI)

Energy harvesting in smart industrial machines: Generating the energy you need from the sources you know


Abstract: A smart system can be defined as a system incorporating sensing, actuation, control and communication, in order to adjust to or inform about the system’s context or own condition. Through technological advances, particularly in microelectronics, “smartness” has been demonstrated in a number of application domains, ranging from smart healthcare and smart homes, to smart cities and smart industries. To realize smartness on large scale, however, the energy supply to the necessary technologies is still a challenge. Batteries have been the go-to solution in cases where a fixed electrical infrastructure is infeasible or impossible. Batteries, however, have a limited energy capacity and lifetime, resulting in maintenance requirements that are typically undesirable at scale. Consequently, the conversion of ambient energy sources – commonly referred to as energy harvesting – is investigated as an alternative.

In this talk, an introduction as to what energy harvesting is, what it can be used for, and what challenges it faces, will be given. It will provide a holistic view, covering examples of energy sources to be exploited, conversion mechanisms to be utilized, and implementation aspects to be considered for system integration. During the talk, concrete cases of energy harvesting systems for smart industry applications will be explored in order to provide tangible examples. Moreover, open research challenges for energy harvesting and self-powered smart systems will be addressed, and an outlook on research trends given.