My research covers a diverse range of topics, all with a focus on new technologies for social, economic and educational impact. Below are examples of projects that I have led.
Solar Minigrid in Rural Kenya:
This social impact study investigates the social impacts of providing solar minigrid power and wireless Internet to a rural village in Tharaka Nithi Country, Eastern Kenya. The research explores the transformational impacts of an off-grid energy solution being implemented by Ubuntu Power Ltd., a UK-based socially-driven organisation working to connect off-grid villages across Sub-Saharan Africa. I am very happy to have the collaboration of Dr. Arjuna Sathiaseelan (University of Cambridge), Professor Claire Wallace and Professor Pamela Abbott (University of Aberdeen) and Michael Quinn (independent researcher, New York).
Like many parts of Sub-Saharan Africa, in Kenya large proportions of the population are off-grid in terms of electricity and unable to access Internet. Across sub-Saharan Africa, 585 million people cannot access electricity and there is a history of unsuccessful off grid energy solutions. Internet provision across sub-Saharan Africa is another issue, with a large digital divide existing in all countries, including Kenya.
Ubuntu Power Ltd. has developed an innovative solution to scalable power and mobile Internet infrastructure provision for our community in rural Kenya. The technology consists of solar panel designs on shipping containers as well as wireless Internet technologies. The solution also incorporates a funding model to sustain and grow the infrastructures.
The objective of the social impact study is to explore the impacts on the community at social, economic and educational levels. Research insights illustrate how to provide the best possible outcomes and impacts for communities served by such projects. The baseline and follow up research field trips have now been completed and the findings and report will be available soon.