Keynote Speaker

“Smart Manufacturing: Challenges and Opportunities”

Dr Paul Clough, Professor of Search & Analytics, Information School, University of Sheffield, UK
Head of Data Science, Peak Indicators, UK


Paul works part-time as Professor of Search and Analytics at the Information School, University of Sheffield (see, During his time in the department, as well as contributing to research and teaching activities, Paul has been head of the Information Retrieval Group, Director of Research, and coordinator of the MSc Data Science programme. Paul conducts research in areas including AI and Data Science, Information Retrieval, Data Analytics and Natural Language Processing.

Paul is also Head of Data Science for Peak Indicators (, a UK-based Business Intelligence and Analytics company, where he is helping to develop data products and services, produce educational resources and grow the data science capability within Peak Indicators. Prior to working at the University of Sheffield and Peak Indicators, Paul worked in R&D for British Telecommunications Plc at Adastral Park (UK). Paul is Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and Member of the British Computer Society (BCS).



The ability to connect a growing range of technologies, such as sensors, Internet of (Industrial) Things, cloud computing, Big Data analytics, AI, mobile devices, and augmented/virtual reality, is helping to take manufacturing to new levels of “smartness.” Such technologies have the opportunity to transform, automate, and bring intelligence to manufacturing processes and support the next manufacturing era. In this talk I will discuss the concept of smart manufacturing and emerging concepts, such as Industry 4.0, and technologies that are driving change and innovation within the manufacturing industry, and bringing about new opportunities and ways of working. However, there are also multiple challenges facing manufacturers within this digital transformation and we will also consider these during the talk.