Keynote Speakers

Prof. Dr. Joshua S.Fu (The University of Tennesse Knoxville, USA)

Joshua S. Fu is the John D. Tickle Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering of The University of Tennessee Knoxville, USA. He is also the Inaugural Professor of the UT-ORNL Bredesen Center for Interdisciplinary Research and Graduate Education, Joint Appointment Professor in the Computational Sciences and Engineering Division at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Prof Fu has served Vice-Chair of the Measurement-Model Fusion for the Global Total Atmospheric Deposition (MMF-GTAD) of the new initiative in the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), contributed as a co-author of the Final Report of the Hemispheric Transport of Air Pollution (HTAP) for the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UN Task Force Hemispheric Transport of Air Pollution) and reviewing committee member for air quality status in East Asia under EANET. He also contributed to climate modelling results for IPCC AR5 based on RCP 4.5 and 8.5 scenarios.

The focus of Prof Fu’s research work includes air quality, climate change, energy, and human health. Additional focus is to utilize artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques on climate change, human health, and mapping global total atmospheric deposition. Currently, his research team is deploying a chemistry solver for a new ESM and improve the climate-chemistry model on global and regional scales and downscaling to a 4 km resolution. Dr. Fu has received numerous awards from national and international associations and a recipient of the Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and Air & Waste Management Association, Board Certified Environmental Engineering Member of the American Academy of Environmental Engineers and Scientists, and other distinguished and endowed professorship awards. Dr. Fu has published more than 160 refereed journal articles and 120 conference proceedings, more than 200 invited talks and keynotes, and serving journal editors.

Integrated Engineering and Earth Systems Science as Solution to Climate Change: Lessons and Opportunities

By Joshua S. Fu, John D. Tickle Professor, the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN, U.S.A. and Joint Appointment Professor at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN, U.S.A.


Climate change is happening. Climate change is no longer a hypothesis. It is a fact. The solutions are expected to be developed. To develop a framework for a systems approach to studying the Earth and to identify facilities, infrastructure, coordinating mechanisms, computing, and workforce development needed to support future work, it bridges the gap between engineering and earth systems science to share successful strategies and discuss challenges. Making further progress will require lowering institutional and cultural barriers to engagement across traditional scientific disciplines and advancing transdisciplinary efforts that foster greater understanding of the interdependencies among the Earth system components. Exploring how to undertake and operationalize opportunities for larger projects connecting earth systems science and engineering. This session will draw on lessons learned from those who managed multi-disciplinary and interdisciplinary projects at scale. Earth system models, models of engineered systems, and machine learning must be integrated to practicably predict vulnerability and its engineering solutions to lower the damage at less. There are examples, Practicable predictions of air/water quality and quantity, as well as floods and droughts, require data-driven models and smart sensing systems. Exascale computing, edge computing, and 5G offer the promise to accelerate scientific discovery and revolutionize engineering approaches through data-driven and physics-constrained to build a next generation civil infrastructure.


Prof. Dr. Agamuthu Pariatamby (Jeffry Cheah Institute on Southeast Asia)

Dr. Agamuthu FASc, is a Senior Professor in the Jeffrey Sachs Center on Sustainable Development at Sunway University. Prior to this he was attached to University of Malaya for 44 years. He is a Fellow of the Academy of Sciences, Malaysia. He is appointed as the High-Level Foreign Expert for the Ministry of Science and Technology, China and is also a Visiting Professor for Zhejiang University of Technology in Hangzhou, China. Current responsibility includes Senior Editor in Chief of Waste Management and Research, and is on the editorial boards of several journals such as Journal of Material Cycles and Waste Management and Journal of Safety and Environment. He is the Vice-President of the Society of Solid Waste Management Experts in Asia and Pacific Islands (SWAPI). He is the Founder Head of the Center for Research in Waste Management and the Founder President of the Malaysian Society of Waste Management and Environment. Currently he is the Chairman for the Organization for Climate Change (OFCC), Malaysia. He is a member of International Solid Waste Association (ISWA). He has published 21 books, 28 chapters in book and authored over 470 peer-reviewed articles, proceedings and invited papers. He has done over 75 consultancy projects and supervised over 200 Master’s Degree students and 30 doctoral students. He has international cooperation and collaboration in several countries such as the UK, China, Austria, Japan, India, Norway, Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, to name a few.

Waste Management and Climate Change in Asia: Will it Mitigate or Aggravate?

Prof Dr Agamuthu Pariatamby1,2,3, Paul Selvam Michel Devadoss4, Mehran Sanam Bhatti4

1. Professor, Jeffrey Sachs Center on Sustainable Development, Sunway University, Selangor, Malaysia 2. High Level End Foreign Expert, Ministry of Science and Technology, China 3. Visiting Professor, Zhejiang University of Technology, Hangzhou, China 4. Institute of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

*Corresponding author: Agamuthu (TEL:+60122382049,

Globally 2 billion tonnes of municipal solid waste (MSW) is generated which is expected to increase to 3.4 billion tonnes in 2050. Average global per capita generation of MSW is 1.42 kg/cap/day which ranges from 0.27 – 2.19 kg/cap/day. Asia, which contains 60% of the world population, is the largest waste producing continent. About 972 million tonnes of MSW is generated annually in Asia, constituting 48.3% of global MSW generation. China and India contribute 15% and 12% of the global MSW, respectively. Waste generation could be linked to the material consumption, where it was estimated that material consumption increased fivefold within 1970 to 2010. The MSW composition in most Asian countries pose a serious management issue since the organic component ranges from 40 – 80%. To compound the issue, the moisture content is generally above 60% which would decrease the calorific value of the waste and make it unsuitable for thermal technology, whereas generation of unsegregated MSW deems it economically and technologically infeasible for recycling. Since waste treatment and disposal technologies require consideration of quantity and quality of generated waste, the most common technology used in Asia is landfilling or dumpsite disposal. At least 55 – 75% of the waste end up in landfills which can occasionally increase to 90% as in Bangladesh and Pakistan. A survey by International Solid Waste Association (ISWA) revealed that out of the 50 largest dumpsites in the world, Asia has 17 of these. Greenhouse gases (GHG) which are considered the driving forces of climate change are mainly generated from landfilling or open dumping and food waste and/or MSW with high moisture content leads to rapid generation of GHG. As an example, landfilling or open dumping in Pakistan generates approximately 15 million tonnes of CO2-eq GHG emissions yearly, whereas in Malaysia, about 7 million tonnes of CO2-eq GHG emissions are released. On the other hand, Japan who incinerates majority of MSW, releases about 3 million tonnes of CO2-eq GHG emissions from landfilling. GHG emissions from MSW management from other Asian countries is also reported. Recycling is the most effective mean of reducing GHG emissions from management of MSW, followed by waste-to-energy alternative, as only waste incineration also releases GHG emissions. Therefore, MSW can play its role in reducing GHG emissions and reduce its contribution towards aggravating climate change. One possible action could be to ensure the implementation of a Sustainable Holistic Waste Management system incorporating zero waste concept. Several recommendations are also given to achieve an efficient waste management that suits different nations in Asia and also reduces GHG emissions.

Keywords: MSW, Climate Change, GHG emissions, Landfilling, Incineration, Recycling

Distinguished Professor Dr. Biswajeet Pradhan (University of Technology Sydney, Australia)

Professor Biswajeet Pradhan is a Distinguished Professor and Director of the Centre for Advance Modelling and Geospatial Information Systems (CAMGIS), at the University of Technology Sydney, Australia. Before joining the school, he was a full professor of Geographical Information System (GIS) and Remote Sensing at the Faculty of Engineering, University of Putra, Malaysia. Professor Biswajeet Pradhan has more than 18 years of teaching, research, and industrial experience in the field of Geospatial Information Systems. He has also published over 300 research articles in refereed international ISI journals, 11 book chapters, 3 books, and more than 150 conference proceedings. Since February 2015, he is serving as an “Ambassador Scientist” for Alexander Humboldt Foundation, Germany. He has widely traveled abroad visiting more than 55 countries to present his research findings. The appointment as a Distinguished Professor at IPI begins from 18 August 2020 to 17 August 2021, for one year. We hope his expertise will further enhance the international research collaboration and publication between UKM and the University of Technology Sydney, Australia.

Geospatial intelligence in climate-induced hazard modelling

Biswajeet Pradhan

Director of the Centre for Advanced Modelling and Geospatial Information Systems, Faculty of Engineering & IT, University of Technology Sydney (UTS), Australia



Remote sensing has advanced in the last few decades and a variety of sensors such as satellite, airborne, or terrestrial platforms are available to us. New technologies have been developed to mitigate natural hazards such as floods, cyclones, earthquakes, and landslides. Novel methods have been tested for climate-induced hazard modelling. Almost all these have been enabled by remote sensing and advanced geospatial computations. This presentation would give an overview of application of geospatial intelligence in detecting and predicting climate-induced hazards (e.g., soil erosion, landslides, debris flows, rockfalls, droughts, floods, etc.) with the aid of different remote sensing techniques and artificial intelligence methods. The talk would further touch upon a number of data processing and data/sensor integration challenges. Then, the speaker would present an overview of the current solutions to those challenges, highlighting their strengths and weaknesses. Finally, he would talk about the future needs in climate-induced hazards detection and prediction by giving examples from his own benchmark and recent works on these topics.