WIMEA-ICT PhD SCHOLARSHIPS ROLLED OUT
Eight academic staff members from Makerere University, University of Juba and Dares- Salaam Institute of Technology who are participating in the WIMEA-ICT project have received scholarships to pursue their PhD studies. The scholarships cover a period of four years beginning 1st December 2014. The PhD Candidates will be enrolled at both University of Bergen and Makerere University under the sandwich mode, while one candidate will be enrolled at University of Dar-es-Salaam.
I hope to design a new weather model – Isaac Mugume
In 2004, Mugume started out as a secondary school Physics-Math teacher at Kabalenga S.S.S in Masindi District.
Having studied B.Sc./Edc Physics-Math at undergraduate level, he was able to join the Meteorology department in October 2005 which was under the Ministry of Water, Lands and Environment at that time.
Later on, the department forwarded him along with 10 other colleagues on his team to study a Postgraduate Diploma in Meteorology at Makerere University.
He graduated in January 2009. He also did an MBA at Makerere University with the intention to boost his administration and managerial skills.
In August 2010, Uganda Meteorology department gave him a scholarship to China to study a M.Sc. in Meteorology at Lijun University of Information Science and Technology, where he completed in April 2012 and was re-deployed back to Uganda in the Department of Meteorology.
He joined Makerere University in January 2013, where he is still employed as an Assistant Lecturer of Meteorology in the department of Geography, GEO Informatics and Climatic Sciences. Mugume likes participating in scientific inquires and enjoys problem-solving challenges. He talked to us about his academic journey.
QUESTION: What interested you in applying for the PhD scholarships under the WIMEA-ICT project?
ANSWER: The WIMEAICT project presented an opportunity in 2014 for me to develop my career in meteorology. Having been a meteorologist for eight years and understanding the problems that affect weather forecasts like sparse weather data and subjectivity in issuing weather forecasts, I was motivated to study Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) as a tool to improve weather forecasting. With the WIMEAICT PhD advert, I had faith that getting the scholarship would help me achieve my dream career.
Q: What will be your area of research focus?
A: My research will focus on developing a Numerical Weather and Climate Model for Uganda using the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) Model. In this study I will optimize WRF for operational weather predication in Uganda. The model has many software replicas that have to be run on the computer.
Q: How is the technical personnel of UNMA involved in this e-WRF course other than the educational practitioners in your field?
A: The e-WRF course is an initiative by the WIMEA-ICT project to enhance the skills of people interested in weather forecasting. This online course has trained and popularized the WRF model since it registered over 500 participants from East, Central and South Africa. The e-WRF course is being conducted through the e-learning platform and is open to any interested person. Staff from the meteorological authorities in the region e.g. UNMA have been particularly encouraged to participate. I have continued to encourage several stakeholders at UNMA and the National Agricultural Research Organisation (NARO) to enroll in the e-WRF course. However it is important to sensitize people to continue studying and those that haven’t yet enrolled to take it on.
Q: What do you hope to achieve at the end of your PhD studies?
A: Besides earning a Doctorate degree, which I am already motivated to achieve in record time possible, I hope to design a customized NWP model for Uganda using the WRF model. It is my hope that the model will enable us understand the occurrence of extreme weather events. I also hope I can set up an environment to do weather consultation.