Open positions at IBM Research – Africa

The world continues to get “smaller” and “flatter.” But we see now that being connected isn’t enough. Fortunately, something else is happening that holds new potential: the planet is becoming smarter. That is, intelligence is being infused into the way the world literally works—into the systems, processes and infrastructure that help billions of people work and live.

Across the world, a distinctly different group of leaders is announcing its arrival. They are making decisions based on evidence, not on habit or opinion or “gut.” They are anticipating, rather than merely reacting, to events. They are seizing competitive advantage, but at least as often, they are re-framing the issues—in unexpected, often counter-intuitive ways. For example, we used to schedule our road repairs. Now we predict them. Marketers used to see you as a "segment." Now they see you as you. Law enforcement used to fight crime after the fact. Now they work to prevent crimes before it breaks out. City leaders used to be judged by how they responded after a crisis. Now they are judged by how well they anticipate one.

IBM’s Smarter Planet journey began four years ago and took on added significance with the recently announced IBM Research – Africa lab in Nairobi, Kenya. This is the 12th IBM Research Lab and our first Lab dedicated to a whole continent, officially inaugurated by the President of Kenya HE, Uhuru Kenyatta on Nov 8, 2013. The Lab is located on the campus of the Catholic University in the Karen-Langata area in Nairobi. Our goal is to become a world-class research organization that addresses Africa’s grand challenges by delivering commercially-viable innovations that impacts people’s lives. In this regard, we are seeking research scientists and software engineers to join us to realize our goals of making a difference in people’s lives in Africa.

Research Scientist - Smarter Planet

The successful candidates will develop technologies, analytics and algorithms in one of the following areas of Africa’s grand challenges (just to name of few):

  1. Agriculture: interventions to increase productivity in crop farming and livestock production; reduce post harvest losses and create supply chain linkages that increase market access.
  2. Financial Inclusion: innovation that make it possible to offer a host of financial services and products to majority of the population at lower costs.
  3. Water: technologies that span the water ecosystem and improve urban water security, public health and the protection of livelihoods.
  4. Human Mobility: Models and/or applications that will (1) provide citizens with safe and economical routes and (2) provide data and simulation tools to city planners.

Research Scientist - Human-Computer Interaction/Visualization

We are looking for a candidate who has an outstanding human/computer interaction background. The ideal person should also have an applied knowledge of visualization (geospatial analysis, spatio-temporal modeling, etc.) and a passion for building systems that apply analytics (data mining, information retrieval, decision-making, predictive modeling, network analysis, machine learning, recommender and filtering systems, etc.) to real world applications. 

The candidate will thrive in an interdisciplinary team, and, ideally, have a record of designing, building, deploying, and studying next-generation systems and novel user interactions in both mature and emerging markets. Furthermore, the candidate will have demonstrated experience of working and collaborating extensively with clients, business partners, startups, and academia. In addition to a solid research publication record, the ideal candidate is also expected to have tangible impact in the other essential parts of what we do—drive our efforts in developing and deploying software & services for real users at various scales, from small teams to enterprise-wide.

The successful candidate will have demonstrated ability to define research plans, carry out leading research, and publish research results through professional journals, academic conferences, and patents. As a researcher you will be expected to formalize challenging problems, develop new solutions, and work with business & development teams to ensure these solutions have a significant impact.

Mobile Technology Software Engineer

We are seeking to fill several positions for software engineers with a background in mobile apps, backend enablement through API’s, web services, and networking. Africa has experienced a significant growth in the adoption of mobile to a point that there are more mobile phone subscriptions in Africa than adults. Mobile technologies are a key enabler for business transformation on the continent that is affecting people’s lives in as diverse areas such as agri-finance, public heath and mobile money & finance.

The successful candidate will have demonstrated ability to drive software engineering projects leveraging leading edge technologies and execute innovative development projects. As a Software Engineer in Research you will be expected to develop state-of-the-art mobile apps on both functional and smart phones. You will be expected to define and develop innovative technical solutions, and work with business & development teams to ensure these solutions have a significant impact.

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