Paul Balm, PhD - Data Scientist, Amadeus IT Group, Spain

Dr. Paul Balm is a senior Data Scientist of Amadeus IT Group in Madrid.

He studied Experimental Physics at the University of Amsterdam and obtained a PhD. after particle physics research at CERN in Geneva (Switzerland) and at Fermilab near Chicago, IL (USA). He then joined the European Space Agency to work on mission planning and data analysis for different scientific missions, such as the INTEGRAL, Herschel, and Gaia satellites.

Amadeus operates the leading platform for global distribution of air fares and one of the primary passenger service systems that form the heart of an airline’s business. He has years of hands-on experience with Big Data technology and the application of data science to the reams of data these systems generate, and the extraction of insights for Amadeus’ customers.

Carsten Verg - Vice Chair Germany

Carsten Verg runs his own business as Interim Manager and Management Consultant. His core business are within sales management and technology, focussing on digitization and data management. He mainly works for Startups and midmarket companies. Carsten is as well regularly commissioned by specific business sectors of large enterprises.

Prior to working independently, Carsten held various senior management positions within media networks and internet companies. He started his career with cmgi in the late 90s, joined T-Online in 2001 and was appointed as Managing Director for Havas Digital in 2008 before he started his own business in 2012.

Carsten and his family are living in Frankfurt am Main.

Francesco Calabrese, PhD - Lead Big Data Scientist, Big Data & Advanced Analytics, Vodafone, Italy

Francesco Calabrese is Lead Big Data & Analytics Scientist at Vodafone Italy, where he leads a team focused on the use of data science to solve business problems aligned to key cross-functional organizational objectives through predictive and cognitive analytics. He is a Senior Member of IEEE.

He was an Advisory Research Staff Member at IBM Research - Ireland in Dublin, where he managed the Smarter Urban Dynamics group.

He received the Laurea (BS and MS) degree in Computer Engineering, cum laude, in 2004, and the PhD in Computer and System Engineering from the University of Naples Federico II, Italy, in 2007.

He was research scientist and postdoctoral associate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology from 2007 to 2010, where he leaded research in urban networks & society.

He has co-authored over 100 scientific publications. His work has been exhibited in leading museums worldwide, including the Venice Biennale and MoMA, NY.

He has been awarded the best research paper award in IEEE Transactions on Intelligent Transportation Systems in 2011, the Orange Data 4 Development Award for Best Development Insight in 2013, and the Telecom Italia Big Data Challenge Industrial Track Award in 2015. He has received an Outstanding Technical Achievement Award from IBM in 2015, for the work on "Big data analytics research in urban transportation". This work has also been shortlisted for the US-Ireland research innovations awards in 2015.