Panel on The role of Diversity and Inclusion in responsible technological innovation

19th July 6:30pm - 7:30 pm. Location: Plenary Pav.11.

Co-organised by IEEE CIS Diversity and Inclusion and IEEE Women in Computational Intelligence subcommittee.

Panel Aim

To explore the role of diversity and inclusion in designing responsible CI/AI research and technological innovation.

Discussion themes include (but are not limited to):

  • The role of diversity and inclusion in the development of Responsible and trustworthy CI/AI.
  • The value of co-production with diverse communities when conceptualisation of AI products and services.
  • What does it mean to have a representative data set in machine learning?
  • The impact of unconscious bias
  • The importance of mentoring.
  • Building a culture of diversity and inclusion in tech.

Panel Chair:

  • Prof. Nelishia Pillay, Professor at the University of Pretoria, South Africa


  • Dalma Novak, VP of Engineering at Octane Wireless, USA
  • Professor Katherine Malan, University of South Africa
  • Prof Bernadette Bouchon-Meunier, Director of research emeritus at the National Centre for Scientific Research
  • Professor Uzay Kaymak, Eindhoven University of Technology, The Netherlands
  • Sanaz Mostaghim Otto von Guericke University of Magdeburg, Germany
Meet the Panel and Speakers

Dalma Novak, VP of Engineering at Octane Wireless, USA

Dalma Novak is VP of Engineering at Octane Wireless (formerly Pharad, LLC) where she develops high-performance RF-over-fiber technologies. She received the degrees of Bachelor of Engineering (Electrical) with First Class Honors and PhD from the University of Queensland, Australia, in 1987 and 1992, respectively. Prior to co-founding Pharad in 2004, she spent 12 years as a Professor and Chair of Telecommunications in the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at The University of Melbourne, Australia. From June 2001 – December 2003 she was a Technical Section Lead at Dorsál Networks, Inc. and later at Corvis Corporation where she led cross-disciplinary R&D teams developing hardware for long-haul transmission systems.  Her research interests include microwave photonics, fiber-radio systems, wireless technologies, and optical communications. She has published more than 300 papers in these areas, including seven book chapters. In 2007 she was elected to the grade of IEEE Fellow and in 2018 she received the IEEE Photonics Society Engineering Achievement Award.  She is a member of the IEEE Board of Directors as the 2021 – 2022 Division X Director, Chair of the IEEE TAB Committee on Diversity and Inclusion for 2021 – 2022, and Vice Chair of the IEEE Board of Directors Committee on Diversity and Inclusion.

Associate Professor Katherine Malan, University of South Africa

Katherine Malan is an associate professor in the Department of Decision Sciences at the University of South Africa. She has 25 years’ lecturing experience at three different South African universities. Her research interests include fitness landscape analysis, automated algorithm selection and using computational intelligence to solve real-world problems. She serves as the Editor-in-Chief of South African Computer Journal, associate editor for Engineering Applications of Artificial Intelligence and actively reviews for over 20 Web of Science journals. Katherine is a senior member of the IEEE and has been involved in several technical committees of the Computational Intelligence Society.