Keynote Speakers

Vicki LeBlanc

Dr Vicki Le Blanc (CAN)

Vicki LeBlanc, PhD, is the Chair and Professor of the Department of Innovation in Medical Education at the University of Ottawa. She has over 20 years experience leading research into a) optimizing the use of simulation in health professions education and b) the effects of emotions and stress on the performance of health professionals and front line workers. She has authored over 100 peer-reviewed publications, and regularly presents her work nationally and internationally. In addition to her research program, she works with numerous national and international organizations to advance simulation-based education, and serves on the editorial boards of the journals Advances in Health Sciences Education and Simulation in Healthcare.

Prof Dave Snowden

Prof Dave Snowden (UK)

Dave is the creator of the Cynefin Framework and originated the design of SenseMaker®, the world’s first distributed ethnography tool. He is the lead author of Managing complexity (and chaos) in times of crisis: A field guide for decision-makers, a shared effort between the Joint Research Centre, the European Commission’s science and knowledge service, and the Cynefin Centre.

His work is international in nature and covers government and industry looking at complex issues relating to strategy and organisational decision-making. He has pioneered a science-based approach to organisations drawing on anthropology, neuroscience, and complex adaptive systems theory. He is a popular and passionate keynote speaker on a range of subjects and is well known for his pragmatic cynicism and iconoclastic style.

Jorge Fainstein Day Gastrell (SGP)

Mr Jorge Fainstein Day Gastrell is an experienced senior manager, expert in security and law enforcement strategic planning and capacity building and training at national, regional and international level, to which he has dedicated most of his 29-year career.

Seconded from the Argentinean Federal Police, where he is a Commissioner, he currently serves as the Acting Director of the INTERPOL Capacity Building and Training Directorate, based in Singapore. There, he leads targeted capacity building initiatives for law enforcement in INTERPOL’s 194 member countries and sets the Organization’s training standards. He has also successfully driven INTERPOL’s digital training transformation, resulting in the launch of the INTERPOL Virtual Academy in April 2020.

As the Assistant Director of INTERPOL’s Capacity Building Projects and Networks Sub-Directorate, has run projects in the Americas, Africa and Asia, covering topics as diverse as border management, cybercrime, migrant smuggling, gender mainstreaming, and professional policing, upskilling individual officers and strengthening the institutions for which they work.

Dr Fred Bowden

Fred David John Bowden completed his Bachelor of Science at Murdoch University majoring in Mathematics and Physics. After graduating, he joined the Defence Science and Technology Group in 1990. While working for DSTG Fred completed a First Class Honours degree and Doctorate of Philosophy in Applied Mathematics at The University of Adelaide.

The focus of Fred’s work in the 1990’s and early 2000’s was understanding the operational impact of Command and Control systems, which included a Defence Science Fellowship with the RAND Organisation in Washington DC. Fred then went on to spend 15 years leading the analytical support to the Army Experimental Framework. In this role, he led many analytical campaigns providing evidence based analysis to support key Army decisions.

Fred is currently the acting Chief Human and Decisions Sciences (HADS) Division. He is substantively the Research Leader for Capability Analysis and Design Branch in HADS. In this role he is responsible for building and maintaining key Operational Research capabilities both within DSTG and as part of the broader OR Ecosystem.

Fred has received the Morry Frost Award for excellence in Defence Operations Research, an Australia Day Medallion, a Chief Defence Scientist Gold Commendation and Secretary and Chief of the Defence Force Group Commendation. In 2023 Fred was inducted as the first ever non-US Fellow for the Military Operations Research Society.

Fred’s research interests are broad and include topics such as the validity of solutions to complex problems, the application of simulation for analysis, the advancement of multi-method approaches, building trans-disciplinary teams, metrics for assessing military operational effectiveness, metric aggregation and building of analytical campaigns.

Fred is driven by the dual desires to help Defence to the best of his abilities and to create an environment wherein those around him can achieve their best. He is a strong supporter of ensuring a strong and diverse STEM environment with strong involvement in mentoring. Fred is a long term member of the Australian Society of Operations Research (being Vice President – administration from 2011-2013) and the Military Operations Research Society (being the Australian Advisory Director since 2016).

AVM Robert Denney AM

AVM Rob Denney AM joined the Royal Australian Air Force in 1991. After completion of ADFA and Pilots course he completed F-1-11 Operational Conversion Course and completed tours of No 1 and 6 Sqn and as a F-1-11 test pilot.

Following completion of Canadian Joint Command and Staff Program in Toronto and Unit Command of No 6 Squadron, AVM Denney was promoted to Group Captain and deployed to the Middle East as part of Operation OKRA as the Commander of the Air Task Unit for which he was Awarded a Commendation for Distinguished Service. After completion of UK Higher Command and Staff Course AVM Denney again deployed on Operation OKRA as Commander of the Air Task Group 630, then returning to Australia and taking command of 82 Wing.

He was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia for exceptional service in air combat capability development and sustainment and promoted to Air Commodore in 2018 taking up the position as DG Air Command at Joint Operations Command.

In 2020, Air Vice-Marshal Denney was posted to Director General – Air Combat Capability in Air Force Headquarters where he was the Program Sponsor for Air Force’s Air Combat; Maritime Patrol and Response; and Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance and Electronic Warfare Programs.

In November 2021, AVM Denney was promoted to Air Vice-Marshal and posted to Head of Air Force Capability. Air Vice-Marshal Denney posted to his current role in January, as Head of Force Integration where he is responsible for leading, designing and assuring the delivery of interoperable capabilities for the joint force.

Ajit Jaokar (UK)

Based in London, Ajit’s work spans research, entrepreneurship and academia relating to artificial intelligence (AI) and the internet of things (IoT).

Ajit is the Course Director and/or tutor for Continuing Education’s portfolio of AI courses for professionals. Ajit is also a Visiting Fellow in the Department of Engineering Science at the University of Oxford. He also works as a Data Scientist through his company feynlabs – focusing on building innovative early stage AI prototypes for domains such as cybersecurity, robotics and healthcare.

Besides the University of Oxford, Ajit has also conducted AI courses in the London School of Economics , Universidad Politécnica de Madrid and as part of the The Future Society at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.

He is also currently working on a book to teach AI using mathematical foundations at high school level.

Ajit was listed in the top 30 influencers for IoT for 2017 along with Amazon, Bosch, Cisco, Forrester and Gartner by the German insurance company Munich Re. He was recently included in top 16 influencers (Data Science Central), Top 100 blogs (KDnuggets), Top 50 (IoT central), and 19th among the top 50 twitter IoT influencers (IoT Institute).

His PhD research is based on AI and Affective Computing (how AI interprets emotion). Ajit publishes extensively on KDnuggets and Data Science Central.

Daniel Hettema (US)

Mr. Daniel Hettema is the Director of Digital Engineering, Modeling and Simulation (DEM&S) within the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering. He oversees DoD-wide strategy, policy, and coordination in DEM&S and promotes the advancement of digital practices in defense acquisition.

Mr. Hettema brings experience in model-based systems engineering and digital engineering in both government and industry supporting the Joint Staff, National Nuclear Security Agency, and the Intelligence Community. He has held leadership roles in the International Council on Systems Engineering, at the local Washington, D.C., level and as a Corporate Advisory Board representative. He has presented numerous topics on systems engineering and digital engineering.

Mr. Hettema holds a B.S. in Systems Engineering from George Mason University, and an M.S. in Space Systems from Johns Hopkins University. He is a certified Systems Model Builder Advanced from Object Management Group (OCSMP level 4) and an INCOSE Certified Systems Engineering Professional (CSEP).