Plenary Speakers 2019

Asst. Prof. Dr. Rafiq Ahmad, 
University of Alberta, Canada

Dr. Rafiq Ahmad is Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Alberta. He is the founder and director of the Laboratory of Intelligent Manufacturing, Design and Automation (LIMDA) focusing on “hybrid & Smart systems”. His research interest includes smart systems design and development for Industry 4.0, hybrid-manufacturing combining additive and subtractive technologies, repair and remanufacturing, and Industrial Automation. Dr. Rafiq is a PhD in advanced manufacturing from Ecole Cenrale de Nantes, France and Master’s in design and manufacturing from Ecole Nationale Superieure d'Arts et Metiers (ENSAM-Paris) France. He holds a BSc. degree in Mechanical Engineering from University of Engineering and Technology Peshawar, Pakistan. After completing his PhD, he worked at CECOS University of IT and Emerging Sciences, Pakistan for a year, after-which, he joined University of Luxembourg as a Post-doctoral fellow for a two-year working in advanced manufacturing and automation areas. Dr. Rafiq is running numerous research programs targeting the implementation of Industry 4.0 in smart manufacturing and green remanufacturing areas. Dr. Rafiq is a board member of International Society of Automation (ISA-Edmonton section, Co-UofA Student Section Advisor) and a member of APEGA and ASME. He is also an active reviewer, chair and organizer of numerous international conferences and journals. 

Title: Enable Industry 4.0 in manufacturing by supporting intelligent problem solving
Abstract--“Sometimes you just have to jump out the window and grow wings on the way down” (Ray Bradbury). Motivation and creativity are necessary elements for growing effective wings. During problem solving in manufacturing and research to enable Industry 4.0, people often feel a lack of creativity and imagination, blocking the way forward. Whenever such a situation occurs, “thinking out of the box” is required to stimulate our imaginations and to help us come up with new and creative intuitions. Knowledge, Data and Analogies can serve as answers to such emotional difficulties which need to be collected and analyzed intelligently. Building upon personal experience with analogies and knowledge-based systems, this talk will highlight the benefits of using 'analogies', and 'out of the box thinking' for general research and engineering problems. This presentation will emphasize an analogy-application model as well as previous and on-going research problems in the context of industry 4.0 related to machine intelligence, machine design, human-robot collaboration and robot path planning.