Woldai Tsehaie

Woldai Tsehaie was elected as an AAS Fellow in 2012. As a fellow, Woldai Tsehaie contributes to the development of the Academy’s strategic direction through participation in AAS activities and governance structures. . This gears the Academys vision of transforming african lives through science.

Year elected
Geological, Environmental, Earth & Space Sciences


Born in Asmara - Eritrea, Tsehaie Woldai holds a PhD degree from the Open University, Milton Keynes, England (1994). Woldai’s working career began with the Geological Survey and the Water Resources Authority of Ethiopia. Later on in The Netherlands, he worked in Leiden University and the Netherlands Institute for Higher Scientific Research (ZWO) before he permanently joined the University of Twente, Faculty of Geoinformation Sciences & Earth Observation (ITC) in 1982. His current position at the University is Associate Professor of geological remote sensing. From 2008 to 2012, he has held several positions that include the Portfolio Manager for Education, Marketing and Project Services within the Department of Earth Systems Analysis at ITC. Woldai’s longest career has been in academia, conducting research and teaching on a full range of geoscience topics, ranging from geological resources exploration, environmental geology, and neotectonic to satellite remote sensing, GIS, Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR), Interferometric SAR (In SAR) and modeling of geological processes. Throughout his 30 years career with the University, He has taught over one thousand students at Professional Master (PM)/MSc/PhD levels and supervised the research of more than 300 MSc and PhD students from all over the World. Besides, Woldai has: Taught in over 20 universities and institutions in Africa, 13 universities in Asia, eight (8) universities in Europe, three (3) institutions in Latin America and one university in the USA ranging from 3 weeks to a year. Teaching involves Geology, environmental geology, satellite remote sensing, image processing, SAR, InSAR and GIS. Established a Centre of Excellence in satellite Remote Sensing technology and its application through research Projects. Published over 100 scientific papers (in ISI and referred Journals) and reviewed over 200 scientific papers and books for various international peer-reviewed journals. Delivered over 50 Invited/Plenary/Key-Note lectures and participated in over 120 National & International conferences. Conducted over 40 Conferences, Workshops and Seminars in Africa, and facilitated for the introduction of satellite Remote Sensing technology courses and its applications in various Universities and Colleges in Africa. Worked as Principal  or Co-investigator in over 20 scientific researches and investigations financed by the European Space Agency, European Union, The Dutch Government, CNES – France and DLR – Germany, NASA including private donors mostly on space science related activities and its application. Presented Africa’s space science and geoinformation policies and challenges in many international forum and is the initiator (in October 2002, Abuja, Nigeria) of the African Space Leadership Conference currently hosted every two years in different countries of Africa. Woldai is a Fellow of the Geological Society of Africa (http://www.geologicalsocietyofafrica.org/); Founder and immediate past president of the African Association of Remote Sensing of the Environment (AARSE); and association with more than 1800 members, including 32 national associations/societies, five space agencies in Africa and over 200 international organizations involved in satellite remote sensing and space activities. He Sits in the Board of many national, regional and international organizations and is a winner of many prestigious awards; among the latest ones include: “AARSE Achievement Award” (2012) -- a prestigious award for his work as founder, President and for turning the association into a political force shaping Africa’s Space programs. The second one given in October 2012 was the ESRI “Making a Difference in Africa” Award. The ESRI award is given once a year to distinguished personalities from various continents during its user conference in San Diego, USA. The conference attracts over 15,000 participants from all over the world. On the appointment of the former Dutch Minister for Development Cooperation, he has served in the Board of the Netherlands University Foundation for International Cooperation for many years. He is also AARSE leading Official delegate to "Group on Earth Observation (GEO)";  Advisory Member for GEO task US-09-01a on Disasters Societal Benefit Area