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Electronics < > Ecologies #4 — MANUFACTURING

December 4

The final instalment in our Electronics < > Ecologies series, MANUFACTURING brings together scholars in geography, media and labour studies to discuss the growth in electronics and chip manufacturing in East and South East Asia.

While the offshoring of electronics manufacturing is not new, these locations are currently newsworthy as US-China tensions continue and manufacturing jobs are celebrated by regional governments. In this context, the ecological impact of electronics manufacturing can be neglected, but hazardous chemicals, constant energy use and staggering water consumption all affect land and livelihoods. The so-called Chip Wars have many stakeholders, from the consumers of electronics to the many workers employed in these industries who need a sustainable living environment. Join us to hear developments in hardware production as more countries enter the supply chain for electronics and the US CHIPS Act creates new battle lines over land, jobs and resources.

Featured speakers: 

Distinguished Professor Henry Yeung
– National University of Singapore

Taimur Burki
– Supply Chain R&D Engineer and Circular Economy Program Manager, Intel Corporation

Professor Josh Lepawsky
– Memorial University of Newfoundland

Professor Ned Rossiter
– Western Sydney University  

Professor Jack Qiu
– Nanyang Technological University, in conversation with

Professor Julian Thomas
– RMIT University

Professor Brett Neilson
– Western Sydney University

Associate Professor Jenny Chan
– Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Melissa Gregg
– RMIT University

Presented in partnership with
Nanyang technological university


Henry Wai-chung Yeung

Prof Henry Yeung
Henry Wai-chung Yeung is Distinguished Professor in the Department of Geography and Co-Director of Global Production Networks Centre at the National University of Singapore, Singapore. He is the recipient of multiple awards, including the 2022 Sir Peter Hall Award by UK’s Regional Studies Association, the 2018 Distinguished Scholarship Honors by the American Association of Geographers and the 2017 Murchison Award by UK’s Royal Geographical Society. His most recent books are Theory and Explanation in Geography (RGS-IBG Book Series, Wiley, September 2023), Interconnected Worlds: Global Electronics and Production Networks in East Asia (Innovation and Technology in the World Economy Series, Stanford University Press, June 2022), Strategic Coupling: East Asian Industrial Transformation in the New Global Economy (Cornell Studies in Political Economy Series, Cornell University Press, 2016), and Global Production Networks: Theorizing Economic Development in an Interconnected World (with Neil Coe, Oxford University Press, 2015).

Taimur Burki

Taimur Burki
A leader in sustainability with a depth of experience driving circular economy efforts at the world’s largest semiconductor company, Intel. One of the founders of the Intel sustainability team. One of top 100 environmental leaders, Environmental & Energy Manager Conference (ELEMCON), 2019. Renowned as an innovator of what comes next. A LEED faculty having driven the certification of over 17.4M square feet of buildings, from wafer fabrications plants to data centers to offices, driving energy and water conservation as the priorities of the projects to drive long terms ROIs.

Josh Lepawsky

Prof Josh Lepawsky
Josh Lepawsky is Professor of Geography at Memorial University of Newfoundland. Questions informing his research include where and how are contemporary discards made? Where do they travel and where do their effects accumulate? Who gets what discards, where, how, and under what conditions? He is also interested in how maintenance and repair, broadly conceived, might offer both literal and figurative lessons for figuring out how to live well together in permanently polluted and always breaking worlds.

Ned Rossiter

Prof Ned Rossiter
Ned Rossiter is an Affiliate at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making & Society (ADM+S) from Western Sydney University.
Ned Rossiter is Director of Research at the Institute for Culture and Society and Professor of Communication in the School of Humanities and Communication Arts, Western Sydney University.
He is currently working on an ARC Discovery Project, The Geopolitics of Automation, which investigates AI and machine learning operations in the warehousing sector in Germany, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Australia. The project is interested in how automation technologies change labour conditions and produce territories in ways that modify geopolitical tensions.

Jack Linchuan Qiu

Prof Jack Qiu

Dr. Jack Linchuan Qiu is Shaw Foundation Professor of Media Technology at the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. He has published more than 130 research articles and chapters and 10 books in English and Chinese including Goodbye iSlave: A Manifesto for Digital Abolition (University of Illinois P, 2016), World Factory in the Information Age (Guangxi Normal University Press, 2013), Working-Class Network Society (MIT Press, 2009), and co-authored book Mobile Communication and Society (MIT Press, 2005). He is a recipient of the C. Edwin Baker Award for the Advancement of Scholarship on Media, Markets and Democracy, and an elected Fellow of the International Communication Association (ICA).

Distinguished Professor Julian Thomas

Prof Julian Thomas
Julian Thomas is Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making and Society (ADM+S Centre).
Julian is a Distinguished Professor in the School of Media and Communication at RMIT University.
Prior to the commencement of the ADM+S Centre, he was Director of the Swinburne Institute for Social Research (2005-2016), and then Director of RMIT’s Social Change research platform. He also leads the team producing the Australian Digital Inclusion Index since 2015. His work ranges across the contemporary histories of new communications technologies, digital inequality and inclusion, and the internet and communication policy.

Brett Neilson

Prof Brett Neilson
Brett Neilson’s research and writing aims to provide alternative ways of conceiving globalisation, with particular emphasis upon its social and cultural dimensions. Drawing on cultural and social theory as well as on empirical studies, his work has derived original and provocative means for rethinking the significance of globalisation for a wide range of contemporary problems and predicaments, including the proliferation of borders, the ascendancy of financial markets, the pressures of population ageing, the governance of logistical chains, and the role of digital infrastructures. His writings have been translated into sixteen languages: Italian, French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Swedish, Finnish, Greek, Hungarian, Slovenian, Turkish, Arabic, Polish, Chinese, Japanese and Korean.

Jenny Chan

Prof Jenny Chan
Jenny Chan is an associate professor of sociology at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University and an elected vice president (2018–2023) of the International Sociological Association’s Research Committee on Labor Movements. She is the co-author, with Mark SELDEN and PUN Ngai, of Dying for an iPhone: Apple, Foxconn, and the Lives of China’s Workers (Pluto Press & Haymarket Books, 2020), which has been translated into Korean (Narumbooks, 2021) and awarded the CHOICE’s Outstanding Academic Title regarding China (2022) and Work & Labor (2022). Her recent article, “Class, labour conflict, and workers’ organization”, appears in The Economic and Labour Relations Review (Chan 2023).

Melissa Gregg

Dr Melissa Gregg
Melissa Gregg is a consultant on sustainable and responsible technology design and an International Advisory Board Member for the ARC Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making & Society (ADM+S). For the past decade, she led User Experience Research in the Client Computing Group at Intel, driving a range of product initiatives including the research that launched Intel EVO laptops. As Senior Principal Engineer in the Software and Advanced Technology Group, she established the first product team focused on carbon reduction and green software to achieve corporate-wide Net Zero commitments.


December 4
Event Category:


Nanyang Technological University