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Biography

I am a Lecturer in Spatial Data Science at the Department of Planning and Environmental Management (PEM), University of Manchester. Preceding this, I worked on several projects at the University of Bristol as a Research Associate, having completed my PhD at the University of Cambridge.

My research centers around (1) understanding and modelling urbanisation processes in developing cities, (2) building tools for simulating and predicting socio-spatial patterns of growth for cities and urban systems, and (3) developing advanced machine learning models for generating socio-economic data and predicting living conditions.

Relating to the first two strands of my research, I am currently leading a three-year ESRC funded research project that seeks to model and simulate urban expansion in Africa. One of the outputs of this project is an openly accessible model for predicting patterns of spatial expansion in African cities. The model will be validated in a range of large and medium size cities, including Accra, Kumasi and Tamale (Ghana), Lagos and Onitsha (Nigeria), Nairobi and Nakuru (Kenya), and Pretoria and Bloemfontein (South Africa). This project builds on my previous work in which I combined Agent-Based and Cellular Automata modelling techniques to model ‘informal urbanisation’ in Accra.

About the third strand of my research, I am working on Centre for Effective Global Action (CEGA) funded project, which combines Machine Learning and satellite imagery to target social protection in Pakistan. As an output of this project, I have led a research article that uses ensemble Deep Learning techniques such as Convolutional Neural Network (CNN) to predict high resolution poverty in the rural areas of Sindh province, Pakistan. I have also collaborated with Dr Sean Fox and Dr Levi Wolf, fellows of the Alan Turing Institute, to develop a CNN model for generating block-level predictions of household electricity consumption in the mega city of Karachi, Pakistan.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, Dissertation: Dynamic geospatial modelling and simulation of predominantly informal cities: An integrated agent-based and cellular automata model of urban growth, University of Cambridge

… → 2019

Master of Philosophy, Planning, Growth and Regeneration, University of Cambridge

… → 2013

Bachelor of Science, Human Settlement Planning, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science & Technology

… → 2007

Areas of expertise

  • Q Science (General)
  • Data Science
  • Machine Learning
  • Deep Learning
  • Neural Networks
  • G Geography (General)
  • Urbanisation
  • Urban Geography
  • Quantitative Geography
  • H Social Sciences (General)
  • Spatial planning
  • cities

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Manchester Urban Institute
  • Institute for Data Science and AI

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