Elijah Adesanya Adefisan has been appointed as the African SWIFT Programme Science Director with effect from October 2018. This is a strategically significant role for the SWIFT project with prime responsibility for the scientific coordination of the SWIFT science agenda between the ten African partners. Elijah is based at the African Center of Meteorological Applications for Development (ACMAD) in Niamey, Niger. After successfully completing his first degree in meteorology in 1998, Elijah was awarded a Masters in Technology from the Federal University of Technology, Akure, Nigeria (FUTA). He was awarded his PhD in 2014 following a programme of research split between University of Cape Town and FUTA. For his PhD, Elijah used the WRF model to research the numerical simulation of meso-scale convective systems (MCS); this led him to develop an algorithm for tracking MCS from the initiation to the decay stage. He was appointed as a Senior Lecturer at FUTA in 2015 and currently teaches both undergraduate and postgraduate programmes as well as supervising a number of PhD students. Elijah has also undergone forecasting training with the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) and during his time with African SWIFT plans to continue his important work to link the latest advances in scientific research to operational weather forecasting.
As Programme Science Director Elijah is responsible for the coordination and implementation of the SWIFT project and the establishment of the ACMAD Research and Development Department. Other important aspects of his role are, to lead on SWIFT activities in operational training and university programmes; and to oversee the synthesis of different weather and climate services to user needs and their dissemination to different user communities. He will also establish partnerships to define, generate and deliver meteorological products and develop capacity for the production, interpretation and use of meteorological information.
Whilst studying for his PhD, Elijah attended the first international summer school in Meteorology and Climate Science held at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Kumasi, Ghana in 2008, and run jointly with Leeds, Reading, GMet and the Met Office. He will return to KNUST for the 2019 summer school as the SWIFT Programme Science Director.
In a recent visit to the University of Leeds Elijah described his ambition, “to contribute to the development of ACMAD by advancing its role to create a dynamic research environment that brings together scientists from across the region, to incubate and grow new research ideas and to forge productive and lasting connections between researchers, operational forecasters and users.”