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Meet this years DSDP cohort

Abdelrahman ("Hegazy") Ibrahim

I have 7 years of experience in applied urban studies. My interest in urban geography started with the Egyptian revolution in 2011 which opened my eyes to how space is used for political actions forming dynamic geographies of insurgency and counter insurgency. This experience has shaped my academic and professional decisions since then. I completed a BSc in Architecture and Urban Planning in 2017, and I am currently pursuing an MSc in Urban Data Science and Analytics at the University of Leeds.

I started my career investigating urban inequalities and informality, which made me realise the challenge of lack of knowledge on cities in global south that is largely caused by data scarcity. To tackle this challenge, I helped found Transport for Cairo (TfC) in 2015 to be a multidisciplinary think tank that use innovative methods to produce data, knowledge and evidence-based recommendations for transport in African cities. My professional journey now takes a new turn, as I transition from data collection in data-scarce contexts to the utilisation of data for the betterment of society within data-rich environments. I believe being a LIDA Data Scientist is a great opportunity to acquire and leverage spatial data science skills to solve real world challenges in a supporting professional environment.

Beyond my professional pursuits, I like culinary experimentation in the kitchen, improvisation on dance floors and roaming in nature. I also like to read in politics, philosophy, and psychology, and I am always eager for profound conversations on how we can create a just and equitable world.

Aditi Sudhakar

Five years ago, I was a pre-med student in Bangalore, India, all geared up to pursue medicine. Yet, deep down, I felt that my potential lay beyond the boundaries of the medical field, despite my passion for it. I decided to relinquish the familiarity of medicine and pursue an undergraduate in Computer Science Engineering instead, with the goal of synergising my love for mathematics and my enduring passion for medicine. Eventually, this led me to Leeds, where I enrolled in the University of Leeds's MSc programme in Data Science and Analytics.

Hailing from a family of doctors, I've grown up wanting to serve and give back to the community. Joining the Leeds Institute for Data Analytics (LIDA) is, for me, the culmination of a dream to bridge the worlds of data science and healthcare. I'm confident that my time at LIDA will hone my abilities and provide me with the tools to actualise my dream of making an impact in healthcare through data.

Beyond my professional goals, I enjoy a variety of hobbies such as sketching portraits, singing, and solving puzzles and also love a good mystery-thriller novel to keep me on tenterhooks!

Ahmad Ammash

In 2018, after earning my Bachelor's in Chemical Engineering from the American University of Beirut in my home country, Lebanon, I started working as a Technical Engineer in the cryogenics industry. In late 2021, I discovered my passion for data science through self-learning and practising key concepts in my leisure time using online learning resources. From then on, I committed to a career change without looking back. In September 2022, I moved to the UK and started my postgraduate Business Analytics course at the University of Leeds.

The LIDA DSDP is the ideal first chapter of my career as a professional data scientist. I am eager to bolster my technical and soft skills while making a positive difference in the public's lives through working alongside a diverse group of external clients, academic professionals, data scientists, and stakeholders.

I love road cycling! My longest ride in the UK was the 80-mile Leeds-Malham round trip, while my longest-ever ride was just above 100 miles. Playing video games has always been one of my top hobbies, and I predict it will be the best thing I could do on these freezing December weekends! 

Emily Connell

Completing my BSc Biology degree at the University of Bath initially introduced me to the world of data science and analysis. However, it wasn’t until I continued my academic journey by undertaking a Ph.D. in Medicine at the University of East Anglia that I gained first-hand experience carrying out my own data science project.

My project involved using machine learning to develop a novel predictive model for the early detection of Alzheimer's disease using only blood-based compounds from patients. This introduced me to one of the many exciting applications of using big data for public good in the healthcare field. However, I am excited to expand upon this knowledge during my time at LIDA and develop data analytical skills from a range of areas.

In my spare time, I enjoy travelling and seeing new places, bouldering at my local climbing gym and cooking.

Favour Aghaebe

My interest in analytics started on an internship I participated in while pursuing a bachelors in Human Resource Management (HR) back in my home country, Nigeria. The ability to identify trends and patterns and use these to inform decision making had me fascinated! However, it was the dynamic nature of the field that got me committed to wanting to learn more and even proceeding to make a career out of it.

I believe being one of the LIDA Data Scientists provides me with the opportunity to contribute to work that is truly important, creating solutions to everyday challenges and making life a tad bit easier for people while also learning from veterans in the field; it is the best of both worlds! Two things I can do all day without getting bored are learning about new cultures and listening to music. I am excitedly looking forward to exploring the historical and cultural landscape of Leeds!

Folasayo Ogundipe

I started my data science journey barely two years ago through online courses from self-learning platforms. After this, I interned as a Data Analyst in my home country (Nigeria). I was inspired by the impactful role data played in solving problems and making the right decisions.

Fueled by this newfound passion, I took the initiative to apply for an MSc in AI and Data Science at Keele University. My educational journey is quite diverse, featuring a BSc in Microbiology from Obafemi Awolowo University in Nigeria, complemented by two master's degrees in Virology (MSc) and Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria. This multidisciplinary foundation significantly enriches my domain knowledge in the field of data science.

Leveraging my professional experience in Pharmaceuticals and Medical Diagnostics, I believe that working with the Leeds Institute for Data Analytics (LIDA) will position me on the path to applying my skills effectively to address critical social concerns, particularly in the field of biomedical research.

For my hobbies, I harbor a sincere passion for football and football games, despite my on-field skills being less than stellar. I tend to redeem myself when it comes to video game consoles. I love good music as well.

Liam Bailey

I embarked on my academic journey with a passion for understanding the human mind, earning an undergraduate degree in psychology at Keele University. This fascination with human behaviour led me to pursue a Master's in data science with a focus on psychological research methods at the University of Sheffield. 

My professional journey has taken me to diverse settings, including an adolescent psychiatric hospital and an autism and learning difficulties facility, where I witnessed first-hand the transformative power of data-driven insights in improving the quality of care. Along the way, I have had the privilege of working as a research assistant for the Yorkshire Quality & Safety Research Group, gaining insights into the intersection of data and healthcare. 

Joining the Leeds Institute for Data Analytics offers an exciting opportunity to harness my data science skills for the greater good. I'm eager to expand my knowledge and network with like-minded individuals committed to leveraging data science for societal benefit.

Beyond data, I find joy in the world of gaming and the occasional game of darts. I look forward to contributing to LIDA's mission and being part of its vibrant community dedicated to making a positive impact through data science.

Lydia Wharton

My name is Lydia, and I'm thrilled to be part of the data scientist development program at LIDA. Originally from Bradford, I also live here currently, which is located just a brief jaunt away from Leeds.
My academic journey began with a STEM degree at the Open University while I was working. This course sparked my interest in academia, leading me to pursue a BSc in Environmental Science full time at Sheffield Hallam University. During my undergraduate study, I had the fantastic opportunity to work as a research assistant, which solidified my
passion for data and research. This experience led me to pursue a MSc in Artificial Intelligence and Data Analytics at the University of Bradford which I have recently completed. I'd say my specialties lyes in NLP and geographical data. However, in my recent master's dissertation I ventured into computer vision and processing unstructured data. I
used this information to predict crop growth in response to food insecurity.
What excites me most about working at LIDA is the prospect of harnessing data for public good. We're living in an era where data can profoundly impact society, and I'm looking forward to contributing to projects that make a real world difference. I'm confident the
collaborative environment with a diverse range of academic and professional backgrounds will present many opportunities for learning and growth.
In my spare time I enjoy walking my dog in nature, tinkering on projects and strumming the guitar. What gets me up in the morning is unanswered questions and unfinished code.

Preeti Sharma

My first glimpse into the world of data was strangely through a school trip to UCL where we had the incredible opportunity to use GIS software to explore the spread of Cholera in London in the 19th century. I later went back to UCL to study for a degree in Physics. 

I'm passionate about effecting change, in my efforts towards this I have worked as a secondary school teacher and as an analyst in the Department of Health and Social Care. 

I enjoy learning languages and indulging in music and food of all kinds. 

Ramaa Balaji

I am a dynamic and accomplished IT Project Manager with an 18-year journey in managing data for prominent clients such as Orange Communication, Staples, Lucent Technologies, Honeywell Corporation, Nissan, and Honda Motors, among others. This extensive experience has honed my ability to comprehend how data underpins and influences every facet of decision-making processes.

Simultaneously, I’ve served as the founder and director of three international schools in Tokyo, offering a unique perspective on education, business operations, and data management. This dual expertise has provided me with a holistic understanding of the critical role data plays in shaping strategies and outcomes.

As a State-level/Inter University Table Tennis Champion, I’m unwaveringly determined and disciplined in both sports and scientific endeavours. I’m also a pet lover, and mother of a golden retriever, a Maltese and a Pomeranian poodle.

With a profound appreciation for data's power, I’m eager to join the LIDA team to further enrich my knowledge and contribute to the greater good.

Toluwani Osabiya

My journey began in pharmacy, but it was my yearning for something more that led me to delve into coding during my fifth year of university. I found my true passion in data science, and after earning my undergraduate degree and gaining clinical experience, I decided to pursue a Master's degree in the field in the UK.

Now, as I step into the role of a data scientist at LIDA, I am thrilled to be part of this renowned institute. As an early career professional, I see this as the perfect opportunity to learn from experts and collaborate with talented colleagues. My dream is to leverage technology to solve complex issues in healthcare, business, and sustainability, and recently, I've been particularly drawn to the potential of data science in achieving net-zero goals. I believe LIDA could be where I start fulfilling these dreams; I’m excited about this journey of innovation and impact at LIDA.

Beyond my professional pursuits, I am a devoted supporter of Arsenal Football Club. When I'm not working or engrossed in a good book, you'll find me immersed in the world of video games.