Speakers - LES Asia

Lux Executive Summit 2017 Speakers

Rezal Khairi Ahmad, Ph.D.



Dr. Rezal Khairi Ahmad was appointed as the Chief Executive Officer in January 2013 under a secondment from Khazanah Nasional started in June 2012. He is also a Board Member of NanoMalaysia and Nano Commerce Sdn Bhd, Founding Chairman of NanoVerify Sdn Bhd and Founding Director of Nanovation Ventures Sdn Bhd. Currently, he serves as Chairman of Advanced Materials Investment Advisory Panel Working Group under Malaysian Investment Development Authority, Treasurer for Asia Nano Forum and Chairman of Commercialization Working Group under Asia Nano Forum. In September 2017, he was appointed as International Advisor to China Graphene Industry Alliance (CGIA) linking Malaysia’s National Graphene Action Plan 2020 and mutual economic benefits. Formerly attached to College of Engineering, Universiti Tenaga Nasional as an academician from 1998 to 2007, he was also an engineer at Tenaga Nasional ICT in 2003. In 2000, he co-founded Malaysia-Events Sdn Bhd, a startup for e-commerce platform.


Dr. Rezal holds a PhD in Nanotechnology, Electronic/Electrical Engineering from London Centre for Nanotechnology, University College London as the first Khazanah PhD Scholar from 2007 to 2010 with publications in high impact journals. In 201, he was instrumental in crafting out Malaysia’s National Graphene Action Plan 2020 and co-authored chapters pertaining to innovation and commercialization under the 11th Malaysia Plan. His current endeavors include internet of Nano-Things and Blockchain applications for high technology management.

Phillip Aitchison, Ph.D.

Head of R&D and IP

Imagine Intelligent Materials

Phillip is a research executive with over 20 years experience in applied materials science, intellectual property, manufacturing, licensing and technology commercialisation.


Until 2014 when he co-founded Imagine, Phillip spent 13 years at CAP-XX, an Australian supercapacitor developer and manufacturer, with 8 years as VP of R&D. At CAP-XX he developed the world’s highest power supercapacitors, the value of which was recognised by the license to Murata of Japan. Previously, Phillip developed revolutionary lithium- ion battery technology and manufacturing processes at Pacific Lithium in New Zealand, technology that was acquired by 3M (USA).


He has a Doctorate in Chemistry awarded jointly in 1998 by the University of Montpellier, France and Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand.

Chris Aurand, Ph.D.

Senior Expert - Innovation Global Sourcing

Mitr Phol Group

In his role as Senior Expert, Innovation Global Sourcing, Chris leads a team that is focused on identifying and implementing new technologies to advance the multiple business units of the Mitr Phol Group. His expertise includes work in a diverse set of fields from food chemistry to synthetic biology and bacterial engineering. This diversity gives him a broad vantage point to evaluate innovative technologies that have strong business potential. He routinely consults with senior management to provide advice on novel technologies and partnerships with startup companies.


He and his team are responsible for building a collaborative research network to leverage emerging technologies and diversify Mitr Phol Group’s global reach. He has established working relationships with multiple startups to diversify the business portfolio. His team is responsible for the intellectual property development and technology sourcing strategies for the Mitr Phol Group.


Prior to joining the Mitr Phol Group, Chris obtained his Ph.D. From Cornell University, where he used synthetic biology techniques to engineer bacterial based biosensors to detect disease in the gastrointestinal tract. He has authored articles in top tier journals in the fields of crystallization, synthetic biology and bacterial engineering for therapeutic purposes. He holds a B.Sc. In Food Science from the University of Guelph, Ontario Canada. Chris interned at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in the Space Food Systems Laboratory where he was involved in developing novel food systems for the first manned mission to Mars. 


Dr. Phil Blythe

Founder and CEO


Dr. Phil Blythe (Ph.D.) is a leading specialist in the management of distributed energy resources for global electricity markets. He is the Founder and Chief Executive of GreenSync, an award-winning Australian technology company that develops software products and services for managing microgrids, transmission and distribution networks, energy storage and large discretionary electrical loads.


Phil draws on two decades of experience in commercializing new technology in Australia and the U.K. He has held senior executive positions with technology and financial services startups in the energy, smart facilities, media and financial risk management industries.


He is an active contributor to discussions about the future of global energy markets and particularly, the instrumental role of distributed resources and energy services at the grid’s edge in defining a new era in energy management.


Phil is a member of Australia’s Energy Efficiency Council and as a former Research Advisor at Monash University’s Monash Sustainability Institute, maintains an ongoing interest in the Institute’s work.


He has undergraduate and postgraduate qualifications in engineering and completed his Ph.D. at the University of Sydney. He has held academic posts at the Max Planck Institute in Berlin and also the University of Sydney.

Keong Chun Chieh

Founder and CEO

IGL Coatings

Keong Chun Chieh is the Founder of IGL Coatings Ltd headquartered in Malaysia, which formulates novel hydrophobic and protective coating for metal, polymer, fabric, wood, and ceramic substrates. Together with his team of industry experts, they formulate hydrophobic car coatings which are noted for its eco-friendliness and ease of application. Currently, IGL Coatings has more than 1,000 installers covering over 45 countries and has coated more than 120,000 cars worldwide.


Keong has more than a decade of an extensive working experience in chemicals industry. Prior to establishing IGL coatings, Keong served as a Regional Service Manager (S.E.A. Region) for Bruker in Germany and Oxford Instruments, UK’s Spectrometer’s Business Division as a chemical engineer in chemical composition for various industries ranging from cement, metal, oil and gas to paper technologies.


Keong holds a Bachelor Degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from The Nottingham Trent University and has ever since been in the Industrial Chemical Processing field.

Kazuo Iwano, Ph.D.

Exec. Officer & CDO, Emerging Tech. & Bus. Dev. Office

Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Corporation

Dr. Kazuo Iwano is the Executive Officer and the Chief Digital Officer at Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Corporation since January 2017. He has been working realize innovative business model and digital transformation by utilizing digital technology and its concept.


Prior to joining Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Corporation, he was the Principal Fellow, Centre of Research and Development Strategy at Japan Science and Technology Agency from 2012 to 2016 and proposed IT policies to ministries of Government of Japan. He also served as the Advisor at Mitsubishi Corporation from March 2012 to develop new business opportunities based on information technology. Before joining Mitsubishi Corporation, he worked for IBM since 1975 and engaged in various senior leadership roles including VP of Yamato Software Laboratory and Director of Autonomic Computing at  Thomas J. Watson Research Center.


Dr. Iwano graduated from Tokyo University with Mathematics major and obtained his Ph.D. in Computer Science from Princeton University. He is a member of IEEE, ACM, and SIAM,  a fellow of Information processing Society of Japan since 2003, and an assoiated member of Science Council of Japan since 2004. He has been a visiting professor of Tokyo Institute of Technology since 2010.

Markus Moor


Emerald Technology Ventures

Based in our Zurich office, Markus Moor is a Partner with Emerald Technology Ventures, a leading venture capital fund focused on industrial technology investments within the clean technology sector. He currently serves on the boards of Enocean GmbH (leading smart home and IOT module platform), O-Flexx Technologies GmbH (advanced thermoelectric module) and TerraLUX Inc (cost-effective LED retrofit solution). In the past he was among others involved in the investments in Pemeas (fuel cell MEAs sold to BASF), Cellex Power (fuel cell drive train sold to Plug Power), Hyradix (industrial gas production equipment sold to Eden Energy) and Evergreen Solar (solar modules NASDAQ listed).  


Since joining the team in Zurich in 2001 he spent several years in Emerald’s North American office and is leading the team of Sector Specialists. Prior to this position Markus worked for SAM Sustainable Asset Management focusing on public equity investments in the energy sector.  Previous to joining SAM, he held different operational positions by working with Miteco AG, a Swiss based firm specialized in the development of process equipment and turn-key plants which was later acquired by Tetra Pak. This included initially R&D R&D positions followed by project manager roles to lead customer projects from start to commissioning on site. In this position he gained broad experience in designing and setting up new manufacturing processes in Europe and Asia.


Markus holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering with Honor from the University of Applied Sciences Solothurn in Switzerland and a MS in Economics and Technology & Innovation Management with Honor from the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland. Markus is fluent in German and English.

David S. Lester Ph.D.



Dr. Lester has had broad experience in healthcare technologies in multiple companies and multiple sectors. In terms of his entrepreneurial activities, he presently is CEO/Founder of NIESM, a company that is focused on developing solutions for better clinician management of patients with epilepsy. He co-founded the company, Inside Tracker (Boston-based). Additionally, he has worked in other US healthcare startups in diagnostics and health IT. He has been an advisor to small and medium sized healthcare companies and continues his activities with a select number of startups due to his busy schedule. He has also established a consulting company which interacted with both the private and public sectors.


Prior to being in the startup space, Dr Lester held senior positions in Pfizer and Pharmacia where he was responsible for integration of new technologies into clinical trials and clinical practice. He also spent several years leading regulatory science initiatives in the US FDA, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. He reached the level of Associate Director of the Office of Pharmaceutical Sciences.


Before entering the regulatory and commercial sectors, Dr. Lester was a successful researcher working at leading research institutions including the National Institutes of Health (US), Harvard Medical School and the Weizmann Institute (Israel). He had over 60 peer reviewed publications, multiple book chapters, conference proceedings and abstracts, and has co-edited 5 book volumes.


Dr. Lester received his education, initially a B.Sc. (Hons) from  the University of New South Wales (Sydney, Australia), an M.Sc. from the Hebrew University (Jerusalem, Israel), and a Ph.D from Northwestern University (Evanston, US).

Sharifah Shahrul Rabiah, Ph.D.

CEO and VP

Felda Global Ventures Research and Development

Dr. Sharifah Shahrul Rabiah is the CEO and VP for Felda Global Ventures Research and Development Sdn. Bhd. She has been with FELDA/FGV group for 13 years, holding various positions starting from developing the biotechnology programme subsequently heading the tissue culture and biotechnology group. She then leads the entire planting material unit which comprises of breeding, tissue culture, seed production and genomics research. As CEO, she is responsible for the entire upstream R&D for FGV group. Under her leadership, two varieties of oil palm planting material has been released including other agriculture products and services. She has a PhD in plant molecular biology and has been involved in oil palm R&D for over 20 years. She has authored more than 50 publications and involved in many research collaborations, local and international.

Kerry Thacher

Founder and CEO

Librestream Technologies

Kerry Thacher is a graduate Electrical Engineer and MBA from the University of Manitoba. He is currently CEO and founder of Librestream Technologies Inc., a high- technology company based in Winnipeg, Canada. Librestream’s Onsight product is a category-defining collaboration system, which leverages mobile and wireless technology to help workers to rapidly diagnose, inspect and troubleshoot assets.


Librestream began with a visionary concept that existed only in the imagination of its founders, and has now delivered a product that is in daily use by some of the world’s largest companies to dramatically improve and transform their business processes. The company is working closely with global leaders such as Wood Group, Boeing, Pratt & Whitney, and Rolls-Royce.


Prior to founding Librestream, Kerry was Vice President of Symbol Technologies Inc., a New York based global leader in enterprise mobility solutions. He was responsible for Symbol’s Winnipeg operations that developed a variety of Enterprise Mobility products that achieved revenues in the hundreds of millions of dollars. Kerry had previously founded AirWire Mobile Technologies, which was acquired by Symbol in 1999. AirWire was involved in the development and manufacturing of hand held devices for the healthcare marketplace.


Kerry’s entrepreneurial career began when when he co-founded Ubitrex Corporation. The company developed a system that was designed to automate the capture of clinical data by nursing staff. Ubitrex was acquired by Continental Healthcare Systems of Overland Park Kansas. Kerry was responsible for Continental’s Canadian operations, until he founded AirWire.


Mark Bünger

VP of Research

Lux Research Inc.

Mark Bünger joined Lux Research in 2005. As a VP of Research he focuses on strategic planning and advanced technologies in bio-, aero-, and energy domains. Over 20 years and across 40 countries, he has worked as a management consultant, technology analyst, and entrepreneur at Accenture, Forrester Research, and several startups. He has served as chairman of the Swedish-American Chamber of Commerce, and guest lectures at the University of California Berkeley.


Mark studied business at Mälardalen Polytechnic (Sweden) and the University of Texas at Austin, and studied and worked in neurology and bioengineering labs at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF). He is an avid linguist, athlete, and Maker

Michael Holman, Ph.D.

VP of Intelligence

Lux Research Inc.

Michael Holman is VP of Intelligence at Lux Research, helping to lead a research team that assists clients, primarily large global corporations, with identifying and capitalizing on new business opportunities in emerging technology areas by providing market and technology insight and analysis. He also runs Lux Research’s work on benchmarks and best practices in technology scouting and open innovation, and its research on corporate venture capital, advising clients on how they can better run and organize their innovation programs. He manages Lux’s Client Value organization, which helps clients make the best use of Lux’s research and facilitates analyst interactions.


Michael has also been deeply involved in public policy issues in emerging technologies. He has been a member of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) Nanotechnology Technical Advisory Group and the U.S. and EU Perspectives on the Future of Science and Technology program, and helped the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) run its Nanomanufacturing for Energy Efficiency Workshop and research roadmap. Michael is frequently quoted in the press, and has been cited in publications like The Economist, The Guardian, and Congressional Quarterly on the commercialization of emerging technologies.


Michael earned his Ph.D. in Chemistry from Columbia University, where he worked at Columbia’s Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center. He also holds a B.A. in Chemistry and Philosophy from Rice University.

Cort Isernhagen

Managing Director, Asia-Pacific

Lux Research Inc.

Cort Isernhagen is the Managing Director for the Asia/Pacific region at Lux Research, based in Singapore. Prior to his role at Lux Research, Cort spent 15 years with IDC, in various positions, most recently as Vice President for IDC's Insights businesses with responsibility for Asia/Pacific, Europe, Middle East, and Africa. In this role he managed international research teams providing advice and guidance to executives supporting their technology investment and implementation plans. Cort has also held posts with Chinadotcom and International Data Group (IDG).


Cort holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in International Business from Hawaii Pacific University, and a Master's Degree in Business Administration from the American Graduate School of International Management-Thunderbird.

Sara Olson, Ph.D.

Senior Analyst

Lux Research Inc.

Sara Olson is a Senior Analyst at Lux Research in the Life Sciences, leading the Agro Innovation and Food and Nutrition teams.  In this role she monitors and evaluates opportunities coming from technology areas like advanced crop protection, functional foods and ingredients, precision agriculture, and food processing technologies. Sara’s responsibilities include helping clients with questions regarding the diverse regulatory pressures affecting the agri-food industries and developing strategies to drive innovation across the agriculture and food value chains.


Sara has a decade of experience in crop genetics and biochemistry. She has led research teams focusing on quantitative functional genomics of crop plants with implications for advancing nitrogen use efficiency, drought tolerance, and biomass generation in both food and fuel-generation applications. She has been an invited speaker at numerous international conferences, and has authored multiple primary publications in major journals on topics including genomics, phenomics, and crop protection. Sara holds a B.S. with honors in Biology and a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Texas A&M University.

Anthony Schiavo


Lux Research Inc.

Anthony Schiavo is an Analyst based in Lux Research’s Singapore office.  He leads the Advanced Materials team and supports the broader materials research at Lux.  Under his leadership, the Advanced Materials team conducts research on technical and market trends in areas such as future materials platforms, advanced structural materials, and coatings. His expertise also includes new technological innovations in digital manufacturing, materials informatics, and advanced design technologies.  Anthony often is called upon to provide strategic advice and guidance for executives in the automotive, chemicals, and consumer goods industries.

Anthony received a B.S. in Materials Science and Engineering from Virginia Tech. During his tenure at Virginia Tech, Anthony focused his research activities on biomaterial composites and nanoparticle technology and ethics.

Kevin See, Ph.D.

VP of Digital Products

Lux Research Inc.

In his role as VP, Digital Products, Kevin is responsible for the development and deployment of technologies to support research products within Lux, and for providing solutions externally to clients in the digital space. During his career at Lux, he has managed multiple teams in the energy space before launching research areas in robotics, sensors, and the Internet of Things, ultimately leading to managing a broader research program around Digital Transformation.

He and his teams develop digital tools to enhance Lux’s research processes and offerings, as well as provide strategic advice to a global client base regarding new business opportunities for emerging technologies and business models in the digital space. In addition, he has led and conducted studies around best practices in open innovation and technology scouting. He also has been cited frequently in the press, in publications including The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times and has been an invited speaker at conferences across the globe.

Prior to joining Lux Research, Kevin was a joint postdoctoral researcher at The Molecular Foundry at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and The University of California, Berkeley, where he worked on novel nanocomposite materials for thermoelectric conversion of waste heat into electricity.

Kevin obtained his Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from Johns Hopkins University and has authored articles in leading journals on subjects including nanocomposites, organic electronics, sensors, and thermoelectrics. He also holds a B.S. in Materials Science and Engineering from Cornell University.

Yuan-Sheng Yu

Senior Analyst

Lux Research Inc.

Yuan-Sheng Yu is a Senior Analyst based in Lux Research’s Singapore office. He leads Lux’s Asia-Pacific research initiative, providing strategic advice and on-going intelligence for emerging technologies in energy, health and life sciences, chemicals and materials, and digital transformation. He works with Global 1000 clients in implementing innovation strategies, identifying emerging opportunities, and explores strategic partnerships focusing on bridging business objectives with high-potential, disruptive technologies.


In addition, Yuan-Sheng leads the Alternative Fuels Intelligence team and supports Lux’s research on the global energy transition. He identifies key drivers, such as policy influences and societal transitions, to determine the impact they have on the economic feasibility and capabilities of emerging technologies.


Prior to joining Lux Research, Yuan-Sheng conducted research at The University of Georgia on bioenergy with funding from the United States Department of Energy and the United States Department of Agriculture.


Yuan-Sheng holds a M.S. in Forestry from The University of Georgia and a B.S. in Microbial Biology from The University of California, Berkeley.


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LES Asia
Tokyo, JP
October 17 - 18, 2017

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