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FIT’s Henry Muchiri Projected to Obtain Funding from the National Research Fund

Strathmore Faculty of Information Technology (FIT), PhD student and staff member, Henry Muchiri, will receive  research funding from the National Research Fund (NRF), to further his research work – Solving the problem of concealed firearm detection, by developing an algorithm for automated detection of people carrying firearms, through analyzing their body language on Video surveillance.

National Research Fund is a statutory body established in Kenya by the Science Technology and Innovation Act No. 28 of 2013, mandated to facilitate research for the advancement of science, technology and innovation for national development. The fund allocates grants annually to support Masters and PhD students to facilitate Projects addressing the national development agenda. A successful PhD project is funded up to a maximum of Kenya Shillings Two million (Kshs. 2,000,000/=) for a period not exceeding three (3) years, while Masters project is funded up to a maximum of five hundred thousand (Kshs. 500,000/=) for a period of one (1) year.

Henry’s research under the supervision of Prof. Ismail Ateya and Prof. Gregory Wanyembi, is based on the realization that current methods of concealed firearm detection in Kenya (handheld metal detectors, walk-through metal detectors, infrared technologies, non-automated video surveillance systems), have challenges that limit their efficiency. The research proposes to analyze body language of people. Research on body language analysis indicate that people carrying concealed weapons normally exhibit certain body language cues that can be exploited to identify them.

Henry is grateful to Strathmore University for the role they played in ensuring he emerged successful; the grant application was rigorous and required a number of official letters and authorizations from the DVC-Academics office, School of graduate studies, and FIT. This was done in a timely manner by the various offices hence ensuring that we were not time barred.  In addition, FIT played a major role in providing the technical expertise that was vital in the grant application.

Henry hopes to; get publication of the research findings in recognized peer reviewed journals and develop the algorithm and, validate it in a real video surveillance network. This grant will go a long way in supporting the future of his research.