Meet Gene Fe Palencia, Newton Fund grant awardee.

Research topic: Wireless sensor networks to enable user-driven control of micro-power generation devices

Host institution / UK university: Coventry University

Home institution: University of San Carlos

What is your proposed PhD research?

The research focuses on the development of user friendly mobile applications and tools to support technologically enhanced precision farming. The research takes a holistic view on the ‘farmer and farming’ socio-technical system and leverages the state of the art in environmental and soil sensing and nutrients control to enable farmer decisions towards productivity.

What is the relevance of your research to the Philippines’ economic development and/or social welfare?

The  research  will  bring  breakthroughs  in exploiting  centuries  old  salient  knowledge  of  agriculture  in  the  Philippines  when  merged  with  21st  century  mobile communications and information visualisation technologies. Provision of and improved farmer efficiency in managing crop and soil information will lead to better productivity of these peoples’ economic activities, growth in wealth and social and economic well-being. The project is situated at the core of global challenges of food security and agritech.

How do you envision your UK education can contribute to your future career as a researcher?

It may open larger and more diverse options of career opportunities that I can do researches which can significantly affects the lives of my most countrymen especially the farmers in the hope of helping them to improve their lives through new technology and innovation. And with my improved research capabilities, I can handle any challenges that will lead to the success of any research projects that I will take.

How has the commitment of the UK in science and technology influence your decision in choosing the Newton Fund?

I was inspired by their commitment in producing new technology for the world to use through research support. I want to be part of the UK’s researchers that will do everything to become the world leader in big data processing and analysis. It motivates me to do interesting stuff that will eventually bring together the theory and its practical application into actual implementation.