Ravi Gopinath – Chief Operating Officer, AVEVA
Ravi was appointed Chief Operating Officer of AVEVA on 1 March 2018 following the merger with Schneider Electric’s Software business. Previously he was Executive Vice President of the Schneider Electric Software Business and responsible for all aspects of its global P&L.
Ravi joined Invensys in October 2009 as President of Asia Pacific responsible for the complete suite of portfolio and business for the region. He successfully grew and expanded the business and was appointed President, Software Business, Invensys, in 2011. For the next few years, he achieved double-digit growth for the business before it was acquired by Schneider Electric in 2014.
Prior to joining Invensys, from 2006 -2009, Ravi was the CEO and Managing Director of Geometric Limited, a specialist in PLM and Engineering Services listed on the Indian stock market. He started his career in 1994 at Tata Consultancy Services, Asia’s largest IT services company, and worked over 12 years in a number of roles starting in Corporate R&D and finally as the Vice President of the Engineering Services business as a member of the senior executive team.
Ravi has a Ph.D in Chemical Engineering with a specialisation in process control and optimisation and a Masters in Chemical Engineering with a specialisation in process modelling and simulation.
Dr Adriana Marais – Theoretical Physicist, Head of Innovation at SAP Africa
Adriana holds an MSc (summa cum laude) in quantum cryptography and a PhD in quantum biology. Her postdoctoral research focused on quantum effects in photosynthesis as well as the origins of prebiotic molecules and life itself. As Head of Innovation at SAP Africa she is passionate about exploring innovative applications of emerging technologies to challenges facing the continent.
Dr Adriana Marais, theoretical physicist and aspiring extraterrestrial, believes that we are living at a unique point in the history of life on Earth. Developments in science and technology are taking place at an unprecedented rate, and the expansion of our society beyond this planet is within reach. In her presentation she talks about her research in quantum biology and the origins of life, the technology required to sustain terrestrial life on Mars and the various projects aiming to send crewed missions there. She describes how the establishment, and potential discovery of evidence of, life on Mars, would be one of the most profound possible contributions of science to humanity.
Adriana has authored numerous academic & popular science articles on her research, and has received a range of research awards, including the global L’Oreal-‐UNESCO Women in Science Award in 2015, and Royal Society of South Africa Meiring Naude Medal in 2016. Adriana is also a faculty member at Duke Corporate Education, and volunteers as a board member of the Match4Action Foundation to accelerate social impact and director at the Foundation for Space Development South Africa, an exciting initiative of which is the Africa2Moon project.
Since childhood, Adriana has dreamed of living on another planet, and is currently one of the 100 Mars One Project astronaut candidates in the running to move to the red planet in the next decade. She is grateful for the platform she has as a scientist, innovator and Mars One candidate to inspire school children, teenagers and adults around South Africa and globally to get excited about the future, believe in their dreams and remember Nelson Mandela’s words “It always seems impossible until it’s done”.