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Vice-President, Middle East & Africa
Francois Dao has been working in Middle East and Africa for the last 20 years in the utilities sector
with large international groups like Suez, Acciona and Schneider Electric.
Francois is today in charge of EDF Renewables portfolio in Middle East and Africa totalling over 4,000
MW of solar and wind energies. With teams present in United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Egypt,
Morocco, South Africa and France, his responsibilities range from business development through
construction, operation & maintenance and assets management.
He has an extensive experience in power generation and distribution, water treatment as well as
seawater desalination. He holds a Master’s degree in electrical engineering from Ecole Supérieure
Nahla Abid, Bureau Veritas Vice President, Sales & Strategy, Middle East and Caspian Sea Region
Background: Nahla Abid, currently Vice President Sales &Strategy Middle East and Caspian Sea Region, has joined BV in 2017 as Director, Sales & Marketing for Middle East Region. She has been since then involved in business development, building the marketing and communication team, and developing the sales team competences as well as processes. She is leading the team working on developing the new strategy for the Middle East region with a special focus on energy transition, Hydrogen and Renewables. Prior to joining Bureau Veritas, she started her career with Air Liquide group in 2007 where she spent 10 years in various strategy, business development and marketing positions in Germany and in the UAE. She worked in their Industrial Merchant Business line in Germany, their Engineering and Construction arm (at that time Lurgi GmbH) in Frankfurt, and in their Large Industries Business Line in the Middle East based in Dubai. Nahla is an Industrial Engineer from Ecole Centrale de Paris (France) and speaks fluently Arabic, French, English and German.
Mr. Nachi is Head of MEA New Business at Hyundai Motor Company. He recently moved from Germany to the Hyundai Regional headquarters in Dubai. He is responsible for business development of Hydrogen powered commercial vehicles.
Before that he was at the Hyundai Europe Technical Center leading the Commercial Vehicle R&D team. He took care about the engineering of the Hyundai Hydrogen Trucks in Switzerland and Germany. He contributed to building up the Swiss Hydrogen Ecosystem.
Before joining Hyundai Mr. Nachi worked for 18 years for Mercedes Benz Trucks. His mission for the next years is to deploy hydrogen powered mobility in the Middle East and Africa.
Mr. Nachi is a hydrogen mobility expert. He studied Mechanical Engineering in Germany, absolved an MBA and was born in Tunisia.
Prof Phil Hart is an experienced senior leader within the energy, sustainability and marine engineering industries.
Phil gained a BSc from Plymouth University and an MSc and PhD from Cranfield University in the UK. He then moved into industrial research and leadership, heading up teams within international organizations in Asia, to North America and Europe. With a growing expertise in strategic turnaround and growth of engineering based organizations, Phil led companies developing equipment and services within the energy sectors, mostly focussing on marine and renewable energy based applications. Phil has held many executive positions from MD, CTO, COO through President, and has been a Board member of multiple companies and charities. He has also significant experience in consulting for business and international government departments.
Phil moved into an academic role as Professor of Energy and Sustainability at Cranfield University in 2018, leading the research team developing key energy solutions within chemical, mechanical and electrical based renewable energy systems. In 2023, he moved to assume the Chief Researcher of the Renewable and Sustainable Energy Research Center at the Technology Innovation Institute in the UAE, where he leads research and development activities across the energy and water technologies domains.
Lennart van der Burg is hydrogen expert and as cluster manager green hydrogen responsible for the hydrogen R&D development program within leading Dutch applied research center TNO. In 2022 only, the program contains more than 50 projects related to hydrogen production, transportation, storage, and application. Lennart is leading the Power-2-Hydrogen program line of the Shared research initiative VoltaChem. Here we work together with industry on next generation PEM, SOE and AEM electrolyser technology and breakthrough improvements with respect to cost, performance, and upscaling.
Lennart has a strong dedication to tackle climate change and is besides TNO active as a local councilor and as a social entrepreneur on sustainable lifestyle. Lennart has over 15 years of experience in the renewable energy and water technology sector and has a master degree in environmental economics and water technology.
Otto Waterlander is a senior executive in the energy, natural gas and hydrogen industries. For over 30 years, he has been working with governments, small and large companies, traditional and renewable players. Otto gained a distinctive profile in the energy market, by supporting many companies in the (re)negotiation and arbitration of long-term contracts and by helping governments set energy policies. He draws upon expertise in assessing gas market dynamics, including emerging trading models, and evolving competitive dynamics. He has a truly global experience, having lived in Europe, Latin America, Ukraine and currently in United Arab Emirates and having worked extensively across all continents. Most recently Otto was was Chief Commercial Officer of TES-H2, a position he held during 2022. Before that he was Chief Operating Officer at Naftogaz of Ukraine and a Senior Partner at McKinsey & Company where he co-led the global Oil & Gas practice. Before that, he was a Partner in the energy practice at Booz & Company. He started his career with Royal Dutch Shell in May 1990, where he had various roles in the Netherlands and Venezuela until the end of 1997.
Mark Shaw is the CEO and Founder of Circular Refining, a leading company in sustainable fuels from waste and renewable energy. Mark is a lifelong advocate for sustainable practices and has a passion for developing innovative solutions that can help to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels.
Mark has a background in earth sciences and has worked in sustainable engineering for over 5 years. He has a deep understanding of the challenges facing the energy sector and is committed to finding new ways to produce and deliver energy that is cleaner, more efficient, and more sustainable.
Circular Refining was founded in 2022 with the mission of creating a circular economy for energy. The company develops and deploys technologies that can convert waste into sustainable fuels, such as hydrogen, sustainable aviation fuel, and methanol. Circular Refining is also a leading promoter of sustainable fuel infrastructure, including hydrogen refuelling stations and regional SAF production.
Under Mark’s leadership, Circular Refining has quickly become a leading player in the sustainable fuels sector. The company has raised over £5 million in funding and has a pipeline of projects that could transform the way we produce and use energy.
Mark is a strong advocate for the role of small businesses in driving innovation and change. He is a regular speaker at industry events and is a vocal supporter of government policies that support the development of sustainable technologies.
Mark is a visionary leader who is committed to creating a cleaner, healthier, and more sustainable future. He is an inspiration to others and is a role model for aspiring entrepreneurs.
Philip König obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from the University of Johannesburg in 1982.
He has more than 40 years’ experience in the Electricity Power Transmission and Distribution industry. During this period, he was employed by utilities, consultants, construction contractors as well as Suppliers/Manufacturers. Mr. König has experience in planning, design, construction, operation and maintenance of power transmission and distribution and overhead traction and renewable energy power systems, with substations as his area of specialty. He has an interest in Renewable Energy, Energy Transition and Digital Applications in Power Systems Engineering. Mr. König also worked in other facets of Energy and Power Systems Engineering such as feasibility studies, design, engineering management, project management, business management & leadership. His project experience was in South Africa, Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Tanzania, Ghana, Burkina Faso, Libya, Sierra Leone, Chile, UAE, Middle East, Germany, United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, The Netherlands, Belarus, Pakistan & Canada.
Mr. Curro Nicolau Castellanos CHAIRMAN GO ENERGY MANAGEMENT FZE Managing GO ENERGY GROUP, personally managing the company’s business development in search of opportunities in the renewable energy market in many countries, We are a leading company with great strategic alliances in energy sector. Leaders in solar projects with more than 1 GW in all continents.
Alejandro Longueira is the Head of Hydrogen at Roland Berger Middle East.
He has +12 years of experience in consulting in the energy sector.
He has done +15 hydrogen projects in the MENA region across the whole value chain (upstream, midstream and downstream), for both public and private companies.