Keynote Speakers

ICPS 2022 Keynote Speakers

We are proud to announce the following keynotes by esteemed researchers and practitioners at the conference

Professor Alan Norbury

Chief Technologist, Siemens plc

Professor Christian Diedrich

Institute for Automation and Communication, Magdeburg University

John Whitbread

Division Manufacturing Manager, ABB

Keynote by Professor Alan Norbury

Adoption of Digitalisation in Practice

Abstract: Digitalisation is changing all areas of our lives: The way we stay informed, the way we travel, the way we buy things – and the way we manufacture products. The pace of innovation and the ability to disrupt are becoming key success factors in global competition. This new ‘Digital Revolution’ commonly referred to as ‘The 4th Industrial Revolution’ is driven by ‘embedded’ or ‘cyber physical’ systems interacting intelligently. So what does this mean for UK productivity and growth? How will technologies change the way we do business? What skills are required? And how is digitalisation being adopted in practice?


Professor Alan Norbury is the Chief Technologist for Siemens plc Digital Industries division – a leading global supplier of industrial plant and software, manufacturing automation and drive technologies to industrial customers across the UK and Ireland. Since 2011 Alan has worked closely with the High Value Manufacturing Catapult Centres. As Chief Technologist he dedicates his time to developing leading technology innovation to benefit Siemens UK manufacturing facilities and Siemens industrial customers. Alan is a regular Industry 4.0 keynote speaker, Visiting Professor at the University of Nottingham & University of Sunderland, Chartered Engineer, Fellow of the Institute of Engineering & Technology, Fellow of the Institute of Innovation and Knowledge Exchange, member of the IET Design and Production Sector Executive Board, Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre Board and Liverpool City Region Advanced Manufacturing “Making It” Board.

Keynote by Professor Christian Diedrich

Interoperability, semantics and digital twin in industrial cyber physical systems

Abstract: Today, digital twins and cyber-physical systems are moving closer together in industrial production. The resulting increase in the degree of digitization should create more flexibility and added value in production. Applications such as predictive maintenance, advanced optimization, seamless engineering with plug and play or smart manufacturing in general have therefore increasingly become research objects for the use of digital twins. The production system must be viewed holistically. Interoperability, while already a long-term research topic, is once again coming into focus. Interoperability is closely related to describing the semantics of interactions between the components of the CPS. This keynote tries to show the requirements, the current state of the art and the open questions in this area.


Christian Diedrich has a German “Diplom Ingenieur” degree in electrical engineering with the option Automation since 1985 and got his PhD in 1994 in the field of semi-formal specification of fieldbus interfaces and fieldbus profiles. He worked as software developer for embedded system and automation planning engineer until 1990. From 1992 he becomes leader of the department automation system at the Institute of Automation and Kommunikation e.V. in Magdeburg (ifak e.V.) until 2006. Christian Diedrich leads the chair “Integrated Automation” at the Otto von Guericke Magdeburg since then and is the deputy head of the ifak e.V. He is also head of the Institute of Control Engineering of the Otto von Guericke University of Magdeburg. His activity field covers the entire engineering life cycle of automation devices and systems in industrial production. He has worked in many German and European research and development projects (main topics are industrial communication, engineering of automation systems, formal description methods as well as information, semantic and knowledge modelling) and is active in national and international standardisation activities.

Keynote by John Whitbread

Looking forward with lessons from the past

Abstract: After 35 years in manufacturing industry, making products such as cars, jet engines and houses it is sometimes useful to reflect on where we have come from and the lessons learnt. In this presentation I will look back at some of the projects and technologies that I have worked on, and the challenges that are ahead. He will share his wide experience of various industries in this regard, bringing this up to-date in the context of a Smart Factory, which the instrumentation division of ABB have recently opened in India. He will share the ICPS challenges which ABB face, both in the context of this new factory and in the legacy factories which they have globally.


John is ABB’s Industry 4.0 leader. He has had a varied career in manufacturing operations, having worked for 20 years in the automotive industry and then 9 years in aerospace. He has also worked in modular housing production and more recently joined ABB in their Measurement & Analytics Division as Global Manufacturing Manager.