2020 Program

   2020 Special Topics



Women in Tech
Gender Equity: Doing It Right

Moderated by Tara Akhavan, CEO, Faurecia IRYStec

Sponsored By

Bev Brown
Chief Scientist, SmartKem, Ltd.
Bev Brown received her doctorate in chemistry from The University of Glasgow in 1986 and has from the outset been a self-confessed champion of organic molecules. Joining the chemical industry straight after completing her doctorate, she has held several senior research management roles including CTO and chief scientist. She has enjoyed a very long career in chemistry and joined the workforce at a time when the technology field was especially male dominated, and she was usually the only woman in the laboratory/boardroom. However, she has never found gender to be an overt issue in her career, working on the basis that molecules have no gender! The common theme throughout her career has been a desire to develop state-of-the-art organic materials, but with the caveat that these should have industrial and societal relevance. She has been at the leading edge of developments in the field of organic semiconductors since its emergence in the 1990s. She is competitive and continues to be driven by the desire to design and commercialize the world’s best organic semiconductors, having still higher mobility, improved stability, and simpler industrial processability. Whilst a champion and strong believer in organics, she is cognizant of the challenges facing widescale adoption of this technology. She joined SmartKem, Ltd., as chief scientist in 2013 and manages the company’s materials innovation pipeline.
Sepideh Nasiri
Sepideh (“Sepi”) Nasiri is an award-winning serial entrepreneur with 16 years of experience working in the tech industry. She is the founder of Persian Women in Tech, the former vice president at Women 2.0, and a life-time advocate for women, diversity, and inclusion. Nasiri started her career as a co-founder and managing editor of the digital/print Los Angeles Magazine and later joined a number of successful startups in Silicon Valley. In 2014, she was recognized by San Francisco Business Times/Journal’s “40under40” and Diversity Journal’s 2014 “Women Worth Watching.” Currently, she advises early-stage startups, including at global initiatives such as WeMENA (a program by the World Bank) and globally mentors many female entrepreneurs and founders in technology, serving as an advisor to programs such as TechWomen, an initiative of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA).
Bob Raikes
Principal and Managing Editor
Meko, Ltd.
Bob Raikes is an experienced sales and marketing specialist in distribution and in the displays business in particular. From 1982 he was involved in the sales, marketing, and distribution of computer displays, including seven years with Japanese monitor and graphic board maker Eizo, initially as sales director and later for five years as managing director of the company’s UK subsidiary. He established Meko, Ltd., a specialist market research consultancy, in 1994. As well as being managing editor of (and a writer for!) Large Display Monitor, Mobile Display Monitor and Display Daily, Raikes was for several years the displays editor for The Peddie Report and a regular contributor to Computer Shopper and other titles including SID’s Information Display magazine. He has appeared on TV and radio, including BBC World and BBC Radio 4.
Tara Akhavan, Ph.D.
CEO, Faurecia IRYStec
Tara Akhavan, Ph.D., is a visionary award-winning technology entrepreneur and pioneer in the field of perceptual display processing for the consumer and automotive industry. She is the CEO of Faurecia IRYStec, Inc., (formerly known as IRYStec, Inc.), an innovation center that was acquired by Faurecia in April 2020. Tara founded IRYStec in 2015 and served as CTO for five years to introduce eye-friendly display technology to the automotive industry. She has raised and helped to raise more than $8 million in angel and VC funding. She has a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering, a master’s degree in artificial intelligence, and a Ph.D. in image processing and computer vision from Vienna University of Technology. Tara is the Canadian committee member for the International Committee for Illumination (CIE) and the marketing vice chair for the Society for Information Display. She was recognized as an Entrepreneur of the Year in 2019 by EoY Canada and as the founder of Top 20 Innovative Start-Ups in Canada in 2018 by CIX, Canada’s largest investor conference.

Get the latest display news and updates
straight through your email