Artificial intelligence as an emerging technology for extraction of valuable information from geoscientific datasets

Theme: Geoscience Innovation

Emmanuel Sakala is a Senior Scientist in the Geophysics and Remote Sensing Unit of the Council for Geoscience. His expertise includes applications of geophysical techniques for mineral and groundwater exploration, artificial intelligence (AI) systems design and application; and data-mining. He has worked as geophysicist in mining, research and consultancy services principally responsible for geophysical applications to solving various earth science related problems for over 11 years. Over his working years he done geophysical work in over ten African countries.

He obtained a BSc (Hons) degree in Applied Physics (2005), First Class MSc degree in Geophysics (2007) both from the National University of Science and Technology, followed by a PhD degree in Hydrogeology from the University of the Free State in 2018.  In his PhD research, Emmanuel developed a new approach to groundwater vulnerability assessment using AI algorithms, specifically to acid mine drainage (AMD) at a regional coalfield scale. The approach allows for many of the vulnerability assessment processes to be automated facilitating rapid assessment and solving the complex problem of assessment of AMD at a regional scale for use by policy and decision makers. In his career, he has received over five awards from outstanding research, conference proceedings and competitions.