WCA Annual Conference 2021 - Speakers

Ian Riley - Event Chair


After graduating from Cambridge University in 1979, Ian Riley worked in a number of management roles in the UK, the USA, Australia and Japan before moving to China in 1998. He was General Manager of a British project management and consulting firm, based in Shanghai and also Chairman of the British Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai before joining Holcim/Huaxin in 2006.

As Huaxin VP responsible for international business, strategy and sustainability, he oversaw Huaxin’s first overseas venture in Tajikistan. Mr Riley was Greater China Country Head for LafargeHolcim from 2014 to 2019.  He has been CEO of WCA since September 1, 2019.

Song Zhiping - Keynote Address

WCA President and Former Chairman, CNBM

Song Zhiping is the President of the World Cement Association, Chairman and former Chairman of China National Building Material Group Co., Ltd. (CNBM) and Sinopharm. With a PhD in Management Engineering, Mr. Song has received a number of awards for his management and entrepreneurial skills, including Golden Globe Award for China’s Outstanding Entrepreneur, Yuan Baohua Business Management Award, China Economic Figure of the Year, Fortune CEO Lifetime Achievement Award and others.

His experience in leading the integration and restructure of Chinese cement sector has been studied by Harvard University Business School, with his farsighted vision widely recognised and respected by the business community.

Lord Adair Turner - Keynote Speaker

Chair, Energy Transitions Commission

Lord Turner chairs the Energy Transitions Commission, a global coalition of major power and industrial companies, investors, environmental NGOs and experts working out achievable pathways to limit global warming to well below 2˚C by 2040 while stimulating economic development and social progress.

He was chairman of the Institute for New Economic Thinking until January 2019, where he remains a Senior Fellow.  He is Chairman of Chubb Europe and on the Advisory Board of Envision Energy, a Shanghai-based group focussed on renewable energy, batteries and digital systems.

Lord Turner has held high profile roles in public policy: he was Director General of the Confederation of British Industry (1995-2000); chairman of the UK Low Pay Commission (2002-2006); chairman of the Pensions Commision (2003-2006); he was the first chairman of the Climate Change Committee (2008-2012) an independent body to advise the UK Government on tackling climate change. The recommendations set out in their first report "Building a low-carbon economy” were adopted in 2009.

He became a cross bench member of the House of  Lords in 2006.

Marek Stec - Keynote Speaker

Senior Industry Specialist, IFC

Marek is the senior industry specialist of IFC, covering various manufacturing sectors. He has dual experience in pure engineering, operations and strategy, business development and acquisitions. His professional career has spanned the private sector in Western countries and emerging economies: Eastern Europe, Central Asia. He worked in big international companies such as Lafarge, VICAT, Alcan/RioTinto, and Alstom, encompassing multiple sectors including Construction – cement, Packaging and energy. Marek actively works on sustainability financing and is the co-author of IFC publication, COVID 19 Impact note on the cement industry and the report of strengthening sustainability in the glass industry.

Lilian Tu - Keynote Speaker

Global Sector Lead, Base Materials, IFC

Li currently is the IFC’s global sector lead and senior investment office focusing on base materials (construction materials, chemicals and fertilizers) industries. Li has over 25 years’ experience with international banks, non-banking financial institutions and multinational development bank in Asia, Europe and North America, working on corporate finance and project finance transactions. Currently Li actively works on sustainability financing and is the co-author of IFC publications of COVID Impact note on cement industry, reports of strengthening sustainability in the glass, plastic and steel industries.

Seth Baruch

CEO, Carbonomics

Seth Baruch is an internationally-recognized expert in the development of carbon offset methodologies.  He has developed projects that are reducing millions of tons of greenhouse gas emissions every year.  He has also implemented the first offset projects in the growing area of carbon capture and utilization, including CO2 injection into concrete.  Seth has more than 25 years of experience in the clean energy space.  He received a BA in Environmental Studies from Yale University and a MSc degree from the London School of Economics

Herb Burton

VP & General Manager, West Region, US Concrete

Mr. Burton has served as the Vice President and General Manager for U.S. Concrete’s West Region since March 2017 with responsibility for five business units: Central Concrete Supply Co., NorCal Materials; Right Away Redy Mix; Rock Transport and Westside Concrete Materials. From 2015 to March 2017, Mr. Burton served as Vice President of Operations and Sustainability for Central Concrete and Right Away Redy Mix, responsible for the management of 16 ready-mix plants, fleet and plant maintenance, safety, environmental management, customer service, inside sales and purchasing. Prior to that, from 2011 to 2015, he served as Director of Project Management for Central Concrete. From 1999 to 2011, Mr. Burton held various positions for Central Concrete, including Project Manager, Sales Manager and Plant Manager. He started his career working in various operational positions including mixer driver, batch operator and dispatcher. Mr. Burton holds the position of Vice Chair on the executive board of Calcima and currently serves on the Board of Directors of the NRMCA.

Paula Carey

Director, Carbon8 Systems

Dr Paula Carey is the co-founder and technical director of the Carbon8 Systems. She is renowned for her work in geology, mineralization and carbonation and, before leaving academia, worked as at the University of Greenwich for over 20 years. Paula left the university in 2010 to concentrate on running Carbon8 Systems, which started as spin-off from the university.

Ryan Cialdella

VP Innovation & Market Development, Ozinga

Ryan Cialdella, LEED AP, is the Vice President of Innovation and Market Development at Ozinga. In his role, Ryan oversees the Customer Development team which includes Research & Development, the marketing department, and the inside sales team for all core business units. He works with his teams to develop new products to help lower the embodied carbon impact of building materials for the construction industry. Additionally, he oversees testing for Ozinga’s line of concrete solutions and works to develop customized mix designs for specialty projects. Ryan is crucially involved with sustainability initiatives and works with different groups inside and outside of Ozinga to continue to push the boundaries for carbon reduction. Currently, he serves as one of the executives managing sales and operations for the concrete business at Ozinga. Prior to his current position, Ryan was the Vice President of R&D, managing the engineers who facilitate product testing and development in Ozinga’s AASHTO and CCRL-certified lab. His extensive background at Ozinga also includes leading Quality Control teams for service areas in several Illinois counties, as well as experience in other operational duties including dispatch and plant operations. In addition to his many responsibilities at Ozinga, Ryan has been an active member of the Illinois Ready Mix Concrete Association and served for two years as president of the IRMCA board. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering from University of Illinois and holds a MBA from the University of Illinois Chicago.

Anne Dekeukelaere

Managing Director, Cementis

Anne, MBA, has 25 years experience in the cement industry of which 13 years was as senior executive within the industry leader Holcim, before creating "Cementis". She managed several important strategic projects and business plans worldwide within the Corporate Strategy Department of Holcim. She then became Deputy to the Senior Vice-President responsible for North Africa & Middle East. 

In 2008 she decided to capitalize on her deep experience of the cement industry and started her own company Cementis. The company since then has managed several large sustainable development projects for international cement groups and leading financial organizations worldwide such as IFC, EBRD, GIZ. In order to keep up with the latest academic developments in sustainability she decided to sign up for a Sustainability Master Program from the university of Harvard and graduated this year with a thesis on EU ETS phase 4 and low CO2 cement.

Harry Dempsey

Industry Reporter, Financial Times

Harry is working as Industry reporter at FT in London, on the natural resources desk, covering heavy industry breaking news, logistics, shipping, and buses. He has lived and worked in Japan for nearly five years including two years as a research associate at an independent Tokyo-based think tank. In Tokyo he has also worked as a key researcher for Japan Oil, Metal and Gas National Corporation (JOGMEC) on rare metal supply in the aerospace industry.

Araceli Fernandez Pales

Head of Technology & Innovation, Energy Technology Policy Division, IEA

Araceli Fernandez is the Head of the Technology and Innovation Unit within the Energy Technology Policy division at the IEA. In her previous role, she led the modelling and technology analysis related to the industrial sector in the same division. Before joining the IEA in 2012, Araceli worked in different areas in the Oil & Gas sector including process optimization, detailed engineering and emissions monitoring for refinery and petrochemical projects. Araceli holds a MEng in Chemical Engineering and a MSc in Process Engineering.

Elizabeth Gilligan

Founder & CEO, Material Evolution

Dr. Gilligan is the founder and CEO at Material Evolution, a sustainable concrete company.

Her work encompasses the use of waste materials and new ways of creating cement. During her career, she designed the concrete used on some of the world's most prolific buildings. She has published and exhibited her work globally while working with some of the world's most globally impactful companies. She has deep domain expertise and is using that to change how materials are developed.

Nik Gowing

Founder, Thinking the Unthinkable

Nik founded the ongoing, dynamic “Thinking the Unthinkable” project in 2014 on the new frailties for leadership. The huge global impacts of COVID-19 and the fast deepening realities of the Climate Emergency confirm all the project’s warnings to leaders.

Nik was a main news presenter for BBC World News 1996-2014. He presented The Hub with Nik Gowing, BBC World Debates, Dateline London. For 18 years he worked at ITN.  He was bureau chief in Rome and Warsaw, and Diplomatic Editor for Channel Four News (1988-1996).

He has been on the councils of Chatham House (1998–2004), the Royal United Services Institute (2005–2021), the Overseas Development Institute (2007-2014), the Westminster Foundation for Democracy (1996-2005).

Nik has been a Visiting Professor at Kings College, London and Nanyang University (NTU), Singapore.  In 2018 advised the President of the UN General Assembly on leadership challenges. He has been a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Geo-Economics. He is now a Distinguished Fellow at RUSI.

Nikki Grady-Smith

Senior VP City & Corporate Integrated Solutions, BP

Julie Katzman

Steering Committee, Smart Surfaces Coalition, Former COO, Inter-American Development Bank

Julie T. Katzman is a well-known figure in the investment banking and international development communities and speaks frequently on development and sustainability issues. Since leaving her position as the Executive Vice President and COO of the Inter-American Development Bank, she has focused her efforts on sustainability focused start-ups, including The Intrinsic Value Exchange (a new asset class based on the value of nature’s ecosystem services), the Smart Surfaces Coalition (lowering city temperatures and emissions and increasing equity through lighter more porous surfaces)and Nilus (food waste to end hunger). She sits on multiple boards including The MacArthur Foundation and Instituto de Empresa.

Alex Karim

Product Marketing Manager – IoT & Mixed Reality, Microsoft

Alex Karim joined the Microsoft team as IoT & Mixed Reality Product Marketing Manager in March 2021. Prior to this, Alex led the deployment of HoloLens 2 for a large Automotive OEM and later worked with a Mixed Reality partner to support their growth in the EMEA region. In his new role at Microsoft, Alex is focussed on accelerating the adoption of Mixed Reality, IoT and Azure in the UK.

David Kim

Co-Founder & CEO, Cyanocapture

CyanoCapture is a prize-winning startup based at the University of Oxford harnessing GM cyanobacteria to provide affordable industrial-scale carbon capture. Their breakthrough technology enables a 650m x 800m photobioreactor area to capture 100,000 tonne CO2/year. CyanoCapture is on track to be the first company to bring the cost of carbon capture below the £50/tonne mark. CyanoCapture is growing partnerships with leading companies in Energy, Cement & Manufacturing sectors to finance a first-of-its-kind pilot plant in Q2 2023. 

Vivian Loftness

Smart Surfaces Coalition

Vivian Loftness, FAIA, LEED, Design Futures and NIBS Fellow, is Paul Mellon Chair and University Professor at Carnegie Mellon University. She is an internationally renowned researcher, author and educator, with over forty years of focus on environmental design and sustainability, advanced building systems integration, climate and regionalism in architecture, and design for performance in the workplace of the future, for productivity, health and the triple bottom line. In 2020, her second edition of the Springer Encyclopedia for Sustainable Built Environments was published. She has served on over 25 Board of Directors, including EPA’s NACEPT, DOE’s FEMAC, the National USGBC, ILFI and AIA Boards, as well as on fifteen National Academy of Science panels on sustainable built environments. Vivian has been recognized as one of 13 Stars of Building Science by the Building Research Establishment in the UK, received the Award of Distinction from AIA Pennsylvania and NESEA, holds a National Educator Honor Award from the American Institute of Architecture Students, a “Sacred Tree” Award from the US Green Building Council, and the 2021 ARCC James Haecker Award for Distinguished Leadership in Architectural Research. Vivian Loftness has a Bachelors of Science and a Masters of Architecture from MIT.

Paul Majsztrik

Director of Applied Research, Solidia Technologies

Paul Majsztrik is the Director of Applied Research for Solidia Technologies, USA, in charge of the company's innovation and commercialization of low CO2 cement and concrete technology.


Maria Mendiluce

CEO, We Mean Business Coalition

María Mendiluce is the CEO of the We Mean Business Coalition that brings together seven leading international organizations: BSR, The B Team, CDP, Ceres, CLG Europe, Climate Group and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD). Together, the Coalition catalyzes business leadership and policy ambition to accelerate the transition to a zero-carbon economy. María uses her 25 years of experience in sustainable development, energy and climate action to deliver the Coalition’s next five-year strategy.

Formerly being the Managing Director at WBCSD covering Climate, Energy, Circular Economy, Cities and Mobility, María played a pivotal role in guiding over 200 member companies to take transformative action on climate policy, energy transition, plastic waste and urban mobility. She has also held senior positions at the Economic Bureau of the Spanish Prime Minister, in the CEO’s office of Iberdrola and at the International Energy Agency.

Matthias Mersmann

CTO, KHD Humboldt Wedag

Matthias Mersmann has been the CTO for KHD Humboldt Wedag, Germany since 2020. He has 25 years experience in the process industry, with a focus on efficiency and emissions in high energy industry, development of machines and processes, optimisation of the operation of industrial production plants. 

Francois Millet

Head of ETF Strategy, ESG & Innovation, Lyxor ETF

Overseeing Lyxor’s SRI ETF strategies, Francois was deeply involved in the introduction of the first Green bond ETF worldwide, first Global Gender equality ETF, ETFs capturing issuers ESG momentum, and the first range of ETFs tracking EU labelled Climate benchmarks. Prior to this he was Product Line Manager-ETF & Indexing overseeing passive and smart beta strategies. François joined Lyxor in 2009 and holds Post-Masters degrees in Economics from La Sorbonne

Louis Millon

Senior Associate, Systemiq Capital Ltd

Louis is a senior associate at SYSTEMIQ Capital, a London-based climate tech VC fund. He focuses on climate restoration and decarbonization of hard-to-abate sectors. Previously, Louis co-founded Occi, a data science company working with some of Europe’s largest retailers, and then worked as a sustainability management consultant.

Anders Noe Dam

Head of Product Direction, FLSmidth

As Head of Product direction and development in Digital Business at FLSmidth, Anders is key in the development of digital solutions for the cement industry.

Anders has gained nearly 25 years of industry experience from both FLSmidth and Siemens.

Ryosuke Okumara

Department Manager – Upstream x Carbon Management Houston Branch, Mitsubishi Corporation (Americas)

3+ years of experience in corporate venturing and business development for carbon management and sustainability based in Palo Alto (moved to Houston from July 2021), 15+ years of experience in developing and commercializing energy projects in Tokyo and Dubai/Basra | Executive Mentor, Startup Bootcamp Decarbonize (Melbourne), Member of Innovation Committee, Natural Gas Innovation Fund (Ottawa), Collaboration Lead with Greentown Labs (Boston, Houston) | BBA (Kobe University), AMP (IMD Business School)

Ashwani Pahuja

Chief Sustainability Officer, Dalmia Bharat Cement

Arnaud Pinatel

Founding Partner, On Field Investment Research

Prior to founding On Field in 2017, Arnaud was a Senior Industrials analyst at Moore Capital and a Partner at Denjoy Capital. He previously built one of the world’s most respected research franchises at Exane BNP Paribas on Building Materials and Construction and was promoted to co-Head Research at the firm (overseeing the work of 100+ analysts). Arnaud started his career as an analyst reporting to the CEO of Vicat on industry strategy.

Jens Price Wolf

General Manager Europe & VP Commercial, Enviva

Jens Price Wolf is General Manager for Enviva Europe, leading the company’s regulatory engagement, customer fulfillment and market development activities across Europe. Jens brings 20 years’ experience in the energy sector and the full value chain of biomass for power and heat. He started his career as a consultant with ICF Consulting and later McKinsey & Company, where he advised businesses on operations and strategy. As a Director of Asset Management and Development for DONG Energy (now Orsted) he was responsible for converting four Danish CHP plants. Prior to joining Enviva, he was Commercial Director at Drax, responsible for trading, biomass sourcing, development and logistics.

Anil Raman

Health and Safety Director, YTL Cement

Anil Raman has been the Health and Safety Director of YTL Cement, Malaysia since 2018. He believes everyone deserves to return home to their loved ones, unharmed. To make this possible, he strives to influence workplace systems and procedures that enable safe behaviour and ultimately, a safe working culture, as well as focussing on 'factors influencing behavior' to ensure results of safety initiatives are sustainable. He also Chairs WCA's Safety and Health committee.


Daniel Rennie

General Manager for Cement Decarbonisation, Calix

Prior to joining Calix Can helped establish the Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute in Europe and managed the European Commission’s European CCS Demonstration Project Network. He previously working for in the electricity industry. He joined Calix in 2014 to develop and coordinate the LEILAC projects, seeking to develop and demonstrate a new way of capturing carbon in the cement and lime industries.

Karen Scrivener

Professor and Head of the Laboratory of Construction Materials, EPFL

Karen Scrivener obtained her PhD at Imperial College in 1984.  She worked for Lafarge in France for 6 years, before being appointed Professor and Head of the Laboratory of Construction Materials, at EPFL, Switzerland in 2001. In 2003 she founded the research network Nanocem bringing together the leading Industrial companies (Cement and admixtures) with European academic institute to do research on Cementitious Materials. Her research focusses on the understanding the chemistry and microstructure of cement based materials and improving their sustainability. In 2008, she came up with the idea for LC3 cement, this material has the potential to cut CO2 emissions related to cement by more than 400 million tonnes a year.  She was made a fellow of the UK Royal Academy of Engineering in 2014.

Mahendra Singhi

CEO, Dalmia Bharat Cement

Mr. Singhi is Managing Director and CEO of Dalmia Cement, a prominent cement manufacturing group in India. Dalmia is ranked no.1 globally by CDP on Low Carbon Economy Transition and noted by the UN Secretary General for its climate innovation. A visionary and advocate of sustainability, Mr. Singhi has been the driving-force in inculcating this concept in the objectives and operations of the cement companies he has worked with.

He has represented the business and cement sector globally in the most recognised multi-country platforms such as the Climate Action Summit of UN General Assembly by invitation of the UN Secretary-General; the Paris Climate Agreement Ceremony among many more. Mr. Singhi also serves many organisations and commissions in India and abroad as: President - Cement Manufacturers Association (CMA), India; Chairman - National Council for Cement and Building Materials (NCCBM) India; Chairman - Development Council for Cement Industry, Ministry of Commerce & Industry, India. 

Apoorv Sinha

CEO & Co-Founder, Carbon Upcycling Technologies

Apoorv is a co-founder and CEO of a Carbon Capture & Utilization technology start-up, Carbon Upcycling Technologies (CUT), that is commercializing a process to convert CO2 emissions into performance enhancing fillers for concrete, plastics, pharmaceuticals, and batteries. CUT is a Carbon X-Prize X-Factor award winner, an Emissions Reduction Alberta (ERA) Grand Challenge Semi-finalist, and has received support from various provincial and federal entities in Canada. 

Apoorv is a Forbes 30 Under 30 Energy awardee (2020), an alumni of the Energy Futures Lab, a 2016 Leading Change delegate, a Clean50 Emerging Leader 2016, and has served on the ACTia (Alberta Cleantech Industrial Alliance) Board of Directors (2017-19). Apoorv is also a 2018 Action Canada Alumni, Canada’s premier youth leadership training program.Apoorv has a Bachelor’s of Science degree from Georgia Institute of Technology in Chemical engineering (2010).

Tongbo Sui

VP, Sinoma International Engineering Co.

Sui Tongbo has been intensively engaged for over 20 years in R&D of low energy & low CO2 clinker cements, mainly on reactive belite-rich clinker (RBPC) and belite-ye’elimite clinker (BCSA) systems, as a solution to addressing cement and concrete sustainability. 

He is also visiting professor at Tongji University, China and University College London, UK, fellow of the Institute of Concrete Technology (ICT), UK, and Head of the International Center for Advancement of Material Technology of the United Nations industrial development organization. 

Before joining Sinoma in 2010, he had worked since 1991 at China Building Materials Academy (CBMA) and as vice president of CBMA between 2006-2010.

Fokion Tasoulas

Executive Director, Titan Cement

Fokion Tasoulas has worked for Titan Cement Group since 1989 and has held a number of technical, managerial and executive positions. He has been a member of the Group Executive Committee since 2017 and, as of October 2020, he holds the position of Group Innovation and Technology Director, leading Digital Transformation projects with a focus on Assets’ optimization and Reliability improvements with AI and big data analytics.

Yassine Touahri

Founding Partner, On Field Investment Research

Prior to founding On Field in 2017, Yassine worked for 10 years as an Equity Research Analyst at Exane BNP Paribas. He initially worked alongside Arnaud Pinatel: the team was consistently ranked number 1 in Extel Surveys during his 10 years. Yassine previously worked in the investor relations department of Saint-Gobain.

Eric Trusiewicz

Cement Decarbonisation Expert and Fellow at Stanford

Eric Trusiewicz is a specialist on heavy industrial decarbonization, especially cement & concrete. He has worked on the topic as an entrepreneur in residence at the cleantech venture capital fund Breakthrough Energy Ventures, as a fellow at Stanford University, and prior to that has a decade of experience in the cement industry in a variety of executive roles across Europe and the United States. Eric holds a Master’s degree in Management from Stanford University Graduate School of Business, as well as a Bachelor’s degree from Yale University.

Guloren Turan

Manager of Advocacy & Communications, Global CCS Institute

Guloren is based in the Global CCS Institute London office, with responsibility for the Advocacy team globally, including international climate policy activities focused on the UNFCCC and its related bodies.

Guloren has extensive experience in the energy and climate fields. From 2015 to 2017, Guloren led the Government Affairs activities at the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline. Prior to this she held a number of roles over the course of 9 years at BG Group, including Head of Climate Change Strategy, Head of Business Risk for the Group and Lead Corporate Strategist. Guloren holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Harvard Kennedy School of Government, an MBA from Cornell University and BSc Industrial Engineering from Istanbul Technical University.

Dr Lan Wang

Academic Leader, China Building Materials Academy

Dr. Wang Lan is the Academic leader of State Key Laboratory of Green Building Materials (China Building Materials Academy); he is also member of China National Carbon Emission Management Standard Committee and China National Cement Standard Committee, and a consultant expert of NDRC, MEE, MIIT, WBCSD, UNIDO, IEA, ECRA and VDZ.

Wang Lan has long research experience in the field of cement industry, key materials and equipment R&D, the establishment of related policies and standards in the field of CO2 emission calculation for cement plants. He directs or participates in dozens of national and international research projects. 

He has made many achievements with gas pollutant reduction technology, low carbon building materials, cement burning technologies, AFR and co-processing, and energy management. 

Roland van Wijnen


Roland was appointed as Group CEO of PPC Ltd in October 2019, and has over 20 years of CEO and consulting experience on a global scale, with a broad skill set encompassing operations management, strategy planning & execution, business process re-engineering, project planning and management, service delivery, senior-level relationship building and people management and development.

His experience in the cement industry started in 1998, and from 2010 to 2013 Roland served as CEO of Holcim Philippines followed by a CEO position at Holcim Trading. In all his CEO roles he has actively contributed to the reduction of the environmental footprint of the companies he worked for and also took additional external roles to drive the environmental agenda.