Dr Omowunmi Isafiade received both MSc and PhD degrees in Computer Science from the University of Cape Town (UCT), South Africa, and another masters level (PGDip) degree in Mathematical Sciences from the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS), South Africa. Prior to joining the University of the Western Cape as a full-time academic, Dr Isafiade was a post-doctoral researcher under the National Research Foundation and the department of Science and Technology (NRF-DST) innovation fellowship. She is a well-published scientist in her research field, and her excellent work has garnered her considerable local and international recognition, obtaining numerous notable recognitions, grants and awards such as the NRF Research Excellence Award for Early Career/Emerging Researchers, NRF Young Researcher Y-Rating, UWC Research and Recognition Awards, prestigious L’Oreal-UNESCO for Women in Science, UWC Science Faculty Best Early Career Researcher and Excellent Lecturer, an AIMS-DAAD fellowship, Paul G. Allen Family Price, Golden Key International Honour Society award, Google Anita Borg (Women Techmakers) scholarship (Zurich, Switzerland), Grace Hopper Scholarship (USA), Heidelberg Laureate Forum and German Scholars Organisation (HLF- GSO) Grant, amongst others.
Her research interests include but are not limited to data-driven decision support, applications of artificial intelligence to cyber physical systems, and immersive technologies in diverse computing settings and other smart environments, which are key streams of the fourth industrial revolution (4IR). She has successfully (co-) supervised numerous postgraduate students, and is an active reviewer for credible international journal platforms, such as Crime Science Springer Nature, MDPI Information (Switzerland), and Journal of Computers, Environment and Urban Systems. She is a member of the Council on Higher Education of Lesotho and the founding Coordinator of the postgraduate diploma programme in e-Skills development (with Immersive Technologies) at UWC. She has served as part of the Technical Program committee at various conferences and a Co-Chair at the AfriCHI 2023 conference. She also serves as an external examiner/moderator for University of Mpumalanga, Cape Peninsula university of Technology and the Central University of Technology, among others. She is part of the UWC Institutional Operation Planning (IOP) Learning and Teaching Task Team (2021-2025), and a member of the Management Committee for the Open Serve/Telkom Centre of Excellence (CoE).
Dr Isafiade is passionate about using her skills in helping to dismantle barriers that keep women and the less privileged from entering the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) domain. Hence, she is consistently involved in the advancement of women in the STEM field by participating in various initiatives to support the cause. She chaired the team that resuscitated the women in Computer Science (WiCS) society at the University of Cape (UCT) and also created and led the effort to establish WICS at UWC. She has successfully facilitated the first Women Advancement Forum: International Exchanges, Research & Academia (WAFIRA) 2-day capacity-building workshop in Southern Africa hosted by UWC, in collaboration with AIMS and African Gong.