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Justa Muriuki


MSc Remote Sensing for Agriculture

University of Manchester

Could you tell us about your background? 

I have a degree in Computer Science from the University of Nairobi. Before coming to the UK, I was working as a tax technology consultant in one of the big four firms in Kenya.


Please tell us about your current research.

My research is tailored towards using remote sensing for agriculture. I’m applying data-intensive multispectral image processing and machine learning techniques to Earth Observation data (working with Sentinel-2 satellite imagery) to predict, map and monitor the spread of weeds in Kenya, and also to compare the weed spread patterns across different habitats.


What are your plans for when you finish your Masters? 

I hope to pursue an exciting career in an industry that uses machine learning to provide solutions. I’d also like to further my studies in machine learning and other areas related to food security. 














What started your interest in data science as a career area? 

Africa is on her way to technological transformation. From governments to the private sector, everyone is looking into ways to reap the benefits of Big Data. Working with some of these organizations, I realized how crucial data science is and continues to be for the achievement of this transformation.


What would your dream job be, and where?

I would really like to pursue a data science career, especially in an agricultural research organisation.

What accomplishment are you most proud of so far?

I am proud of being a first generation college graduate in my family and I thank DARA Big Data and my supervisors for giving me the opportunity to push those boundaries and get a masters too.

What advantages do you think there are for students with machine learning skills, particularly in Africa?

Africa is home to different research institutes and organisations dealing with issues in areas such as agriculture, astronomy & health. Most businesses are also looking into how technology can help them achieve their objectives. Basically there is a lot of data and the potential for technological change. Students can take advantage of data science and machine learning skills to help organisations deliver value from their data, or to disrupt the markets with new products and services.


What have you enjoyed most about the UK while you've been studying here?

I have enjoyed the various cultures and visiting historical sites. There are also very nice places outdoors for hiking and camping.

Justa in the Alan Turing building at the University of Manchester, against a backdrop of the Lovell Telescope.

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