Deo Okure is an Air Quality Scientist at AirQo, an air quality research initiative at Makerere University where he provides expert environmental science advisory support to the AirQo team. Deo’s current roles are considerable and include; supporting the development of partnerships and collaborations, writing academic papers and technical reports, providing expert guidance regarding the choice of sensor locations and overseeing installations, air quality data analyses and unit specifications, identifying potential future directions for environmental monitoring and research based on developments in the field, and research findings dissemination to increase awareness on air quality and also contribute to the scientific knowledge base, among many other things.
After studying for a Mechanical Engineering degree from Makerere University, Uganda, he worked as a Graduate Trainee Engineer at O&M Energy Uganda Ltd, a subsidiary of Gas Natural Fenosa, before enrolling for an MSc in Energy and Environmental Management at Glasgow Caledonian University, United Kingdom. Subsequently, Deo undertook and successfully completed high-level air quality assessment projects across industries including; petroleum (upstream, midstream and downstream), process industries, electricity generation, waste management, and for government entities in Uganda before taking up his current position.
Deo’s current role offers him many challenges, the most demanding of these being, prioritisation of the multitude of partnerships and collaboration requests he must respond to while keeping track and managing expectations from existing engagements. This being said, he loves the fact that his job pushes him to challenge the status quo and innovate new approaches to effectively meet the dynamic needs of the project.
With over 60 air quality monitoring locations in Uganda’s urban centres, Deo is working with his team to scale-up the first low-cost air quality monitoring network in Uganda and arguably the biggest in the East African region with components of prediction modelling and forecasting, which Deo and the team believe could potentially be replicated in other African cities. His long-term goal is to explore in-depth air quality and policy-related research questions at a PhD level, ultimately with the goal of becoming an independent researcher.
Deo joined the IES to continue his networking and knowledge sharing across multiple environmental science disciplines as well as to work towards his goal of becoming a chartered scientist.