Keynote Speakers

Harold Thwaites

Harold Thwaites is currently Consultant Professor at University of Malaya and Director of the Centre for Creative Content and Digital Innovation. Originally from Canada, he was a tenured Associate Professor of the Communication Studies Department at Concordia University in Montreal for 31 years and Dean of the Faculty of Creative Multimedia at Multimedia University, Malaysia from 2006 to 2012. Prof Thwaites has served as a government and industry consultant, while his research and teaching comprised media production, information design, virtual heritage, biocybernetic research, and 3-D spatial media. He was the first overseas researcher at NHK Science and Technical Research Labs in Tokyo specializing in 3D HDTV, in addition to being the recipient of a full Fellowship from the Telecommunications Advancement Organization of Japan. While in Montreal he was a founding member of the Hexagram Institute and was Research Director for Immersive Environments, VR and Audience for 3 years. Thwaites served as President of the International Society on Virtual systems and Multimedia (VSMM) 2003-2010, now currently holding Honorary President. He also sits on the editorial boards of the International Journal of Virtual Reality and the Open Journal of Virtual Reality, many programme committees of local and international conferences and other professional consultative bodies. Prof Thwaites was given the prestigious position of Honorary Senior research Fellow at University of Birmingham Institute of Archaeology and Antiquity College of Arts and Law, Heritage and Culture Learning Hub in January 2012. Professor Thwaites is currently working on 2 book chapters, journal articles and several invited conference talks, while continuing to share his experience and passion to innovate new projects and fields of research, with staff and students in University of Malaya.

Keynote speech: “Aligning Values? Heritage, Culture and Tourism in the Post-Digital Era”

Anestis Koutsoudis

KoutsoudisDr. Anestis Koutsoudis received his BSc (Hons) Computer Studies (Visualisation) from the School of Maths and Computing of the University of Derby in 2001 and his MSc in Multimedia Technology from the Computer Science Department of the University of Bath. He received his PhD on Content-based retrieval of 3D objects and MPEG-7 metadata from the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department of Democritus University of Thrace. Since his undergraduate studies, he has been working in the area of 3D computer graphics as a 3D graphics designer and as a software engineer. He has worked as head of IT and Creative Department of the television station Channel 6 - Broadcasting SA while in 2001 he joined the Cultural and Educational Technology Institute of the Athena Research and Innovation Centre (CETI/RC “Athena”) as an external research assistant and since 2007 he is a member of the Multimedia Research Group of ILSP/RC “Athena”, where he holds a Special Functional Scientist (grade B’) position. He has participated in many research and development projects with emphasis on real time 3D graphics programming, 3D digitisation, content-based retrieval, multimedia and application of IT in the cultural heritage domain. He acts as a reviewer for scientific journals and he has been a member of scientific conferences organising committees, undergraduate-postgraduate student dissertations and work placements supervisor and an evaluator in Fund for Scientific Research (FNRS). He is a member of the Clepsydra/RC “Athena” digitisation centre, a member of the IEEE Computer Society, a member of the Hellenic Informatics Union, a member of CAA International, a founding member of the Athena Research Centre Researchers Association.

Keynote speech: "3D digitization of world heritage: Digitizing UNESCO heritage (the case of 3DICONS)"

Eric Champion

Eric ChampionProfessor Erik Champion (PhD Melbourne) is Professor of Cultural Visualisation at Curtin University. A past ARC SPIRT PhD scholarship holder, he has received Fulbright and Greece-NZ scholarships, a Distinguished Lecturer Invitation from UC Berkeley, funding from the Danish government and Apple, and facilitated major grants and awards in Europe and America from organisations such as the EU and COST, ERASMUS, European Digital Humanities, Mellon Foundation, Digital Heritage Centre funding (York, Leiden, Uppsala, Aarhus), and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). He was a team leader of Research and Engagement for DARIAH ( and project leader of DIGHUMLAB Denmark, a 5-year 30 million DKK national infrastructure project. He writes in the area of game design and virtual heritage, books include Playing With The Past and Critical Gaming: Interactive History and Virtual Heritage.

Keynote speech: (to be confirmed)

Cleo Sgouropoulou

SgouropoulouCleo Sgouropoulou (Mrs.) is an Associate Professor at TEI of Athens, Head of the Department of Informatics and Director of the Institute for Lifelong Education (ILE). Her research interests lie in the fields of design, development and standardisation of Learning Technology and Research Information Systems. Dr Sgouropoulou is the coordinator of the Greek Mirror Committee TC48/WG3 and the Head of the Greek delegation of the Hellenic Organization for Standardization (ELOT) to the European Standardization Committee (CEN) TC 353 "ICT for Learning, Education and Training (LET)". She has participated as a paid expert in several standardization projects and contributed to the production of related specifications (“Alternative language versions of a learning resource in IEEE LOM”, “Guidelines for the production of learner information standards and specifications”, “A European model for Expressing learner competences”) and European Norms (ENs) (“EN15982 Metadata for Learning Opportunities”, “EN15981 European Learner Mobility Achievement Information”). She is currently the Vice-Chair of CEN TC353. Dr Sgouropoulou has published her work in several scientific journals and conference proceedings and has participated as coordinator or main researcher in numerous national and European-funded projects related to e-Learning, Open Educational Resources (OER), learning outcomes, competence and skills modelling for strengthening LLL, mobility and training to employment pathways, Open Data and analytics  for e-Research.

Keynote speech: "Cultural Objects for the Digital School: The case of the Greek National OER Aggregator"

Daniel Asmar

Daniel Asmar is an Associate Professor in Mechanical Engineering at the American University of Beirut.  Daniel received his Bachelors degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Waterloo in 1993. He later earned his Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the American University of Beirut in 2002, and his Ph.D in Systems Design Engineering from the University of Waterloo in 2006.  Daniel’s research interests are in Robotics and Computer Vision. Specifically, he has interests in visual perception, autonomous robot navigation and mapping, environment representation and recognition, and segmentation methods in Computer Vision.  He has several publications in these areas in refereed journals and conference proceedings Daniel is a senior member in IEEE and is the advisor of the ASME chapter at AUB. Daniel also has working experience in industry in mechanical and industrial design as well as in construction management.

Keynote speech: "Experiences and knowledge acquired from building the Byblos Roman theatre"

Fotis Papathanasiou

PapathanasiouFotis Papathanassiou was born in Athens, Greece. He studied medicine at the University of Athens and was specialized in Sports Medicine at the University of Paris, France. Then he studied International Relations in Paris, where he received his PhD and where he teaches today as Assoc. Professor at the School of International Studies. He has been Special Advisor to the former Minister of Culture of France, Jacques Lange (1985-1989), Deputy Mayor (1995-2002), Secretary General (1990-1994) and Vice President of the Board of the Greek National Opera (2006-2009). Since 2009 he is the General Director of the B & M Theocharakis Foundation of Fine Arts and Music. He has been honoured with medals: of the Legion of Honour and of the Commander of Arts and Letters of the French Republic, as well as of the Sciences and Arts in Austria.

Keynote speech: "Art and technology in the shaping the New Human"