2019 THINKLIGHT Speakers

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Born in 1980 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. As a business graduate of the American University in Dubai Khalid worked in marketing and communication for almost seven years. In 2005 Khalid completed a degree in Fine Arts in Interior Design and by the end of 2009 had decided to leave marketing and follow his passion for design. Khalid has studied and specialized in Furniture & Objects design, first at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in London, UK, then at the Centre for Fine Woodworking in Nelson, New Zealand. In 2011 Khalid opened his own studio in Dubai followed by a showcase space in 2012; both in Ras Al Khor Industrial area.

Khalid’s approach to design encompasses his personal expression of form, movement, emotion, and in particular, ‘the tale’ of objects. Among his notable international collaborations, Khalid collaborated with LASVIT, Tai Ping, Campana Brothers, Moissonnier, COS, Kartell, and the American Hardwood Export Council(AHEC) on special projects and limited edition releases. He also collaborated recently withLe Mobilier National et les manufactures nationales des Gobelins, de Beauvais et de la Savonnerie on a site specific Art installation for Louver Abu Dhabi Museum.

Dr. Ghanim Kashwani, PhD, CEng, MICE

PhD, CEng, MICE Academic Researcher - Civil Engineering/ New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD), UAE

Dr. Ghanim Kashwani, UAE National, who got his Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from Heriot-Watt University, Scotland, UK, is the first Emirati to be Chartered Civil Engineer (CEng) (MICE) from Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE), UK. Additionally, as academic-industrial professional, Kashwani is a Chartered Environmentalist (CEnv) (MSSE) and a Chartered Manager (CMgr) (MCMI), where he received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Civil Engineering from American University of Sharjah (AUS). Kashwani has an industrial experience with major companies as he works as Team leader in Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) for several years. Moreover, as Chartered Scientist (CSci), UK, Kashwani publishes many papers in international journals in which his research interests include construction materials, safety engineering, and fire engineering..

Tolga Candan

Head of Strategic Business Development & Sales, Al-Futtaim Engineering and Technologies, UAE

Tolga Candan is a multidiscipline engineer, MSc with his experience   ranging   from commercial applications to successful delivery of on-site construction activities. He possesses 16 years’ experience with 13 years being in UAE and the gulf region in the construction and industrial manufacturing segments. Tolga has been instrumental in completion of numerous key projects such as the prestigious Dubai Metro Project. His core strength is in leading business development and strategy along with a comprehensive network in the Middle East construction industry. Known for his expertise in HVAC, Pumps and Energy Optimization, he is now heading the strategic business development for operations and sustainability programme of Al Futtaim Engineering & Technologies with focus to UAE and neighboring regions. 

Dr. Dragana Randelovic

Lecturer, Civil Infrastructure and Environmental Engineering, Khalifa University, UAE

Ms. Dragana holds a Master of Engineering degree in Architecture and currently holds a University Lecturer position in the Department of Civil Infrastructure and Environmental Engineering, College of Engineering, Khalifa University, Abu Dhabi, UAE. She was working as a University Lecturer at General Studies Department, Collage of Arts & Science, The Petroleum Institute, Abu Dhabi, UAE ; 

She has experience equally in both, academia as well as in professional filed in designing and supervising the commercial, residential and public infrastructure buildings. She has been Technical Manager at Emirates Link Maltauro, Abu Dhabi, UAE, responsible for managing and overseeing all technical/engineering submittals ,supervising and coordinating the work of team architects and draftsmen while cooperating with key project stakeholder team; Head Arcitect in Vodotehnika, Belgrade, Serbia, responsible for providing full concept trough delivery architectural designs and construction administration services while effectively lead team of experienced architects and draftsmen.

Interior Architect Nawaf Nahar Alnassar

Interior Architect, 3njeddah, KSA

Nawaf’s main interest is developing the concept of interior design according to each individual’s environment. He received a bachelor’s degree in 1990 from the American college of London in interior design, and has worked in the field since then. Mr. Al Nassar is the founder of 3njeddah and a member of The Saudi Art Council’s Educational Committee, Barakat Friends, and the head coordinator of Tasmeem Fair.

Todd Albert Nims

Founder / Creative Director, Empty Quarter Entertainment, KSA

TODD ALBERT NIMS is a Saudi-born American heavily involved in the Gulf region’s cinema and entertainment development. He has produced, written, and directed documentary, comedy, and drama. Most recently he produced and co-produced the films JOUD and BORN A KING, both of which features are due for cinematic release in 2019. Mr. Nims owns an entertainment company based in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, with several scripts and projects in development, as well as media consultancy business based in the USA. He sits as chairman of the American Business Group’s Committee for Entertainment and Media

H.E. Ali Al Jassim

CEO of Etihad Energy Services

H.E. Ali Al Jassim, CEO of Etihad Energy Services holder of a PhD in Business Management, Masters of Business Administration with Honors and bachelors of Science in Civil Engineering, has 25 years of experience in leading roles delivering programs and projects. H.E. Ali held top positions in both public and private sector. Presently H.E. Ali is leading Etihad - The Super ESCO in the Emirates of Dubai, which will help Dubai to make one of the most sustainable cities and a leading example of energy efficiency for the region and the world. He is also a Board member of Emirates Green Building Council (EGBC), Emirates environmental Group (EEG) & World Green Economy Organization (WGEO). Under the leadership of H.E. Ali, Etihad ESCO has retrofitted approx. 2,100 facilities (offices, staff accommodation, villas etc) which is helping Dubai to save 107 GWh of electricity per annum. H.E. Ali is taking on more ambitious aspirations with a target to retrofit 30,000 buildings by 2030, in line with the Dubai Demand Side Management (DSM) strategy and by end of 2019 Etihad ES will be retrofitting 2400 additional facilities. H.E. is playing a key role in the expansion of Etihad ESCO, he formed two vertical under Etihad umbrella– Etihad Solar & Etihad M&V in 2017 and is currently working to develop District Cooling vertical and Building Labeling. He is also strategically planning to expand the footprint of Etihad ESCO to the MENA region and to other parts of the world.

Abdulaziz Al-Azem

MD, Lighting Designer, Founder and Chairman

Abdulaziz Al-Azem, founder and Chairman of Design Tech Services who is considered one of the leading experts in his field in the Kingdom, began his career with a Bachelor’s in Interior Architecture from the Lebanese American University. He then went on to manage the design department in his father’s real estate company before moving to Berlin to work at the Kardoff Ingenuire, a reputed European design firm.

Later, Al-Azem did his Masters degree in Architectural Lighting Design from Hochschule Wismar, University of Applied Sciences Technology and Business & Design before moving back to the Kingdom to set up his own design office in the capital, Riyadh. Since 2010, Al-Azem has designed some of the most prestigious projects in the Kingdom; KAFD Grand Mosque, King Abdullah Airport in Jazan, to name a few.

Surbhi Jindal

Founder, Principal Architect & Lighting Designer - DaLightHub Lighting Design & Consultancy

Surbhi Jindal is an experienced Architect with a demonstrated history of working in design and manufacturing industry, a professional with more than a decade qualitative experience in lighting design application, manufacturing, project execution and training. As one of the very few Architects in India who specialize in Lighting Design, Surbhi is the Founder and Principal Architect as well as Lighting Design Head at  DaLightHub, a multi-faceted Lighting and Interiors Design firm based out of Mumbai, Delhi and U.S., a consortium of highly experienced lighting design, Interiors, Architects, engineering and execution professionals having worked on various National and International projects in areas like Office spaces, Hospitality, Residential and Façade lighting spread across India, Middle East, Srilanka, South Africa and the US. Having worked with Philips Lighting India Ltd. as Lead – Architects and Interior Designers, corporates like Future Group and other world reknowned International Lighting practices like Studio Lumen and John Cullen on numerous National and International projects, Surbhi has a very diverse and unique work experience as an Entrepreneur, Architect, Interior Designer, International Lighting Designer and Development Expert with execution of very hi-end spaces like Celebrity Bungalows and Private Offices. She is a technical Influencer with demonstrated ability to focus on Technology, Interiors, Infrastructure, Social Development, Networking, Construction, Creative Sustainable Design, Architecture, and IOT, a certified training professional by Philips Lighting Academy. She also spearheads the very first institute for Skill Development Education in Architectural Lighting in India for Industry Professionals, Architects, Designers & End Clients. Her passion for light is as active as ever and she continues to travel all over the world designing lighting schemes for esteemed brands, individuals and corporate clients. She is a regular speaker at many leading design events, conferences and awards across the globe.

Angel Cerezo Cerezo

Angel Cerezo Cerezo + Elisa Battilani, CREAM estudio, Founders

Angel Cerezo is an Architect graduated with honours at the Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya (UPC-ETSAV-Barcelona Tech, Spain) (MSc) and Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e, The Netherlands), and graduated as a Buildings Engineer at the Universitat of Girona (Spain). Elisa Battilani is an Architect graduated in Architecture of the Construction at Polytechnic of Turin (Italy) (MSc) and educated at Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e, The Netherlands), she followed courses in construction sustainability and adaptation to climatic change at the University of Geneva (Switzerland). Both had started to develop their career in multiple design firms in Rotterdam (the Netherlands) and had experiences projects in Europe, UAE and, Asia for private clients. After do projects abroad, they decided to open they own company. CREAM studio was founded by Angel and Elisa.

CREAM is a Barcelona firm of architecture with a portfolio of projects related with urban, open space, buildings and design. The office is committed to all phases of the architectural and design processes from schematic design development, tendering, lighting to construction design. CREAM has a growing portfolio of private and corporate clients across a wealth of sectors including development, investment, real estate, open space and retail.

CREAM have received many awards and prizes, in national and international level. CREAM ( participated in several conferences as speakers and exhibitions, presenting projects and products. For example, in the BAU Congress China, and in the International Bauhaus Solar Congress (Germany). CREAM received the first prize from the Young Architects Association AJAC-COAC and were selected in MoMA (New York) at the Architecture and Design Gallery as part of a global young design talents.

Dr. Dalal AlSharhan

Lighting Consultant, Kayan Office

Dr. Dalal AlSharhan is one of the pioneers in Architectural Lighting in the Middle East. She received her doctorate in 2017 from Arizona State University, which focused on Architectural Lighting Design supervised by Professor Michael Kroelinger. She also was taught by well-known lighting designer Jennifer Setlow, the principles of Theatre Lighting Design and incorporated it in her current practice. Dr.AlSharhan is working now at Kayan office as an Architectural Lighting Consultant, where she established the lighting design department and supervises the design and implementation of several residential and commercial projects in Kuwait and the Arabic Gulf Region.

In addition, she is a faculty member in the Department of Interior Design at the College of Basic Education at the Public Authority for Applied Education and Training. Dr.AlSharhan was also a member of the technical team of Kuwait Pavilion for Expo 2020 Dubai. In 2017, she was selected by Illuminating Engineering Society of North America to attend the intensive program to qualify lighting specialists to teach Lighting Design (TOLW) at Philips Lighting in the United States. In addition, she has previous professional experience in event planning and design.

Chérine Saroufim Sacy

IIALD, Lighting Designer, Interior Architect, Partner, Idepconsult

Mrs. Saroufim graduated from the Académie Libanaise des Beaux Arts (ALBA), Beirut, Lebanon in 2004 with a Master in Interior Architecture. In 2007, she obtained a Master of Fine Arts in Lighting Design from Parsons The New School of Design, New York. Her Thesis: Moucharabieh(2); a product derived from the reinterpretation of the Moucharabieh as a technique rather than an esthetic received the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IESNA) Thesis Price. This project was also presented during the first PLDA Conference in London in 2008. Since 2007, she has been teaching at an academic level Lighting Design at ALBA.

In 2014, she received the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IESNA) Award of Merit for the LAU University, Wadad Said Khoury Student Center. In the November-December 2014 issue of Architectural Lighting Design magazine, the Said Wadad Khoury project was published and Saroufim was named one of the “Next Lighting Generation” to keep on the watch list. In 2016, Mar Elias Church Kantari was nominated for the Light Middle East award for best public lighting project. In 2017, Saroufim received the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IESNA) Award of Merit for the Mar Elias Chruch Kantari. Saroufim is also the ambassador for “Women in Lighting” association that’s aim is to promote the Women working in Lighting.

Helena Gentili

Director Lighting Design, Ivory Edge

Helena Gentili is an Italian/Brazilian independent lighting designer who works as a lighting consultant in Italy and abroad. Her experience in the field of lighting design involves the private and public sector, as well as contemporary lighting art contexts. At the moment, she is the Director of Lighting Solutions for Ivoryedge IoT Solutions Provider, in Bangalore (IND) where coordinates and develops several lighting design projects integrated with automatons solutions based on Internet of things for different fields of application such as residential and hospitality, cultural heritage sites, urban lighting and commercial spaces. She has an architectural and urbanism background studies with a Master degree in Lighting Design and a (PhD)Doctorate in Architectural and Urban Design with the aim to further study the role of artificial lighting in the contemporary nocturnal landscape. For the past few years, she is an adjunct professor at the Master in Lighting Design & Led Technology from Politecnico di Milano and has been invited as a lecturer at international and national seminars and workshops. Since 2014, she is a professional member of APIL (Italy).

Martin Klaasen

Founder, Martin Klaasen Lighting Design

MARTIN is an award winning lighting designer, design consultant, lecturer and resource speaker with more than 30 years of experience in the lighting industry. Martin has a masters degree in industrial design and started his career of many years in creative and innovative lighting design with Philips (in Holland and overseas). He furthered his career by setting up his own lighting consultancy practice first with Lumino Design based in Singapore, later in Australia with Lighting Images. Martin now applies his passion for lighting design exclusively through his company Klaasen Lighting Design (KLD), bringing to his designs a unique awareness of lighting technologies that improve and enhance the quality of lighting in professional installations. Some of his designs have received national and international lighting design awards. The list of his expertise and experiences spans all applications and projects around the globe. Martin is also passionate about sharing his knowledge by educating his clients and the public through his many articles in the media and more recently his daily blog.

Martina Frattura

Lighting Designer, Synapse

Martina graduated at KTH Master’s Degree, Architectural Lighting Design and Health 2013- 2015, while researching at the HTI department of TU/e, Eindhoven. Her dissertation title was “Instil - How to induce shared feelings through light”. Currently conducting the experimental research A BEAUTIFUL LIGHT on how lighting can help with maintaining the attention level, by using the perception of beauty as variable. Co-creator of the booklet We Are Light, co-author Chiara Carucci, printed and distributed by IALD for the International Year of Light 2015. She is also part of the project “La Mia Paura e’ Bianca”, an artistic duo that uses light as a media.

Roberto Corradini

Independent Lighting Designer, Lighting Design Workshop

Roberto Corradini is an architect and a independent Lighting Designer. Born in 1970, lives and works near Venice. Educated as an architect, has practiced for several years in various scale projects in Italy and abroad. He graduated also with a Master’s degree in Lighting Design.

He has completed lighting projects including exhibitions, museums, hotels, residential projects, churches, retail stores, landscapes and gardens, historic buildings and urban master-planning. Most recently, he has been guest lecturer in Russia, Iran, in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, at Venetian Association of Architects, at Friuli Venezia Giulia’s Association of Architects and at Facoltà di Architettura Valle Giulia of La Sapienza’s Rome University. He also teaches how to design with light for CPD programs and has published articles in Italian magazines dedicated to the culture of lighting. In the architectural lighting field, his interests are focused to explore the ways that light affects peoples’ environments and creates different settings and moods.

Since 2016 he is the creative director for Luci in Riviera’s Lighting Workshop. He is a Registered Architect of Venice/I (Albo Architetti Provincia di Venezia) and was a member of APIL (Associazione Professionisti dell’Illuminazione – Italian Lighting Designers’ Association). He is also a Member in the composition of Italian National Association for Standardization UNI / CT 023 / GL 08 Technical Group.

Dr. Amardeep M. Dugar - INDIA

Founder & Principal, Lighting Research & Design

A trained architect and an advocate for all the elements of lighting – design, education and research – Dr. Amardeep M. Dugar is the founding principal of Lighting Research & Design. After completing a Masters degree in Architectural Lighting from University of Wismar/Germany, he pursued a Ph.D. from Victoria University of Wellington/New Zealand to solidify his academic and professional leadership role into a career at a higher level. His notable achievements include being named the Outstanding Young Scientist at the India International Science Fest 2016 and 40-Under-40 Hottest Lighting Designers of in the World 2017 by Lighting Magazine UK amongst others. Aside from working on high profile projects and teaching at several architecture schools, he has been instrumental in conducting lighting workshops educating students and professionals about the importance of lighting.

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