SenSat | Fakhar Khalid

SENSAT | PEOPLE

Fakhar Khalid 

Chief Scientist

Khalid brings more than 16 years of experience in spatial analytics, spatial data management and academia to SenSat. A philomath and a family man, his four favourite things are Geospatial Science, Artificial Intelligence, UAVs and 3D data.

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What is your job at SenSat?

The Chief Scientist.

 

How did you get into what you do?

As a child I was always intrigued by how my toys were functioning, so I would open them up and will try to put them back together; obviously, I never could. This gave me the drive to become someone that always ‘fixed things’. Science became the food for my crazy obsession of building things. In particular, Computer Science was the buzzword in the 90s; it would eventually feed my hunger for problem solving. However, during my postgraduate studies I discovered Spatial Science and I knew it straight away that one day it will provide the most holistic solution to ‘save our world’. During my PhD, I was certain that AI augmented with Spatial Sciences will be the next big evolutionary step in technology. The technology that will provide humanity with solutions to survive their exponential growth. I wanted to be part of a movement that provided those solutions.


What’s your favourite thing about your job?  

I explore, I innovate, I build and I teach, every single day. This is what I was born for.

Why did you join SenSat?  

I clearly remember when I first met the cofounder; James Dean and Harry Atkinson. They explained to me what they had set out to build. I had not come across anybody before whose vision was so well aligned with mine. I knew straight away that I wanted to be part of it. After many decades of searching, I had found a place where I could build that I truly believed in as a youngster. I have a dream to achieve.

What has been your favourite memory at SenSat?

April 2018 saw SenSat take a trip to Ibiza. I gained many great memories during that trip. Cooking for the whole team was an amazing experience. I love the joy we shared. This was the moment when colleagues became friends.

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What has been your proudest achievement at SenSat?

Building and leading a team of engineers and researchers that can solve any problem in the world. Also, cycling from London to Paris when I was certain that it was nearly an impossible task for an unfit person like me.


What’s the coolest thing about the SenSat office?

The people working in it.

 

If you could write a slogan for SenSat, it would read:

We are building spatial cognition for machines.

What country are you from?

Pakistan.

 

Did you go to university? If yes, where to?

I spent most of my life in universities. BSc (Glamorgan), MSc (Glamorgan), PhD (Greenwich), Lecturerships (Greenwich, Birkbeck), Research (Greenwich, King’s College) and more.


What are your interests outside of work? What really excites you?  

Reading books and cooking good food is my zen, but what really excites me is to see my daughter grow. She is my homemade human experiment that I cannot afford to fail.  

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When you were younger, what did you want to be when you grew up?

An F16 pilot. I haven't grown up yet, so there is still a chance.

 

What or who inspires you?

There are many people who have inspired me during the 4 decades I have lived on this planet, particularly, the lives of Salah ad-Din Ayyub (aka Saladin) and Genghis Khan and their humble beginnings. However, I look for inspiration around me, everyday of my life. I thrive in an environment where people around me are innovators. The geek inside me finds its inspiration from meta-heuristic algorithms.

The day I introduced geographic

projections to the SenSat team

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What are some things that everyone should try at least once?

Dream big and attempting to make it a reality.

 

If you could invite five people, dead or alive, to a dinner party, who would you choose?

Einstein, Aristotle, Moses, Darwin and Homer Simpson; I will feed them my best curry.

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