Mo­hammed Al Hou­sani

Qatar Today - - THE TREND SETTERS -

“It all starts with a ques­tion. From an early age, my cu­rios­ity was en­cour­aged and I was taught to ask ques­tions. About ev­ery­thing. Ask­ing ques­tions makes you think, which makes you search for the an­swer, and that an­swer is usu­ally found in science.”

Look­ing back

Texas A&M Uni­ver­sity in Qatar grad­u­ate Mo­hammed Al Hou­sani en­tered into the ser­vice of Rasgas soon af­ter his aca­demic stint in petroleum en­gi­neer­ing came to an end, all the while hon­ing his tech­ni­cal knowl­edge, crit­i­cal think­ing and re­search skills. It is cu­ri­ous how those in the hy­dro­car­bon sec­tor take an ac­tive in­ter­est in re­new­ables (case in point be­ing Green Gulf CEO, Omran Al Kuwari). Al Hou­sani had a spark of an idea af­ter his par­tic­i­pa­tion in COP18, which raised his en­ergy and en­vi­ron­ment aware­ness. “So I came up with Taqat­ech, a hy­brid so­lar sys­tem that har­vests both ther­mal and light en­ergy from the sun in or­der to reach higher pro­duc­tiv­ity of en­ergy, in less area and with less cost,” he says. His par­tic­i­pa­tion in Stars of Science helped him de­velop this idea into a vi­able prod­uct. But the road to suc­cess was by no means easy. “Taqat­ech is a com­pli­cated prod­uct that re­quired a large num­ber of tests and tri­als, but with limited time be­cause we can only work in day­light as the prod­uct and tests needed the sun.

My progress was slower than the oth­ers and while the En­gi­neer­ing and De­sign Primes were get­ting closer and closer, I was not even close to fin­ish­ing the prod­uct,” he re­mem­bers. But as his­tory would note, Al Hou­sani was in­deed able to com­plete his tasks and went on to win, edg­ing out other in­no­va­tions like the zucchini corer and Wudu cleaner. He says modestly that even though his in­ven­tion would have the great­est im­pact on the global scale, each had their own au­di­ence and it was dif­fi­cult to pre­dict the win­ner. But win he did and, like him, the jury and au­di­ence too saw the high po­ten­tial of Taqat­ech, given that the so­lar in­dus­try is one of the fastest-grow­ing in­dus­tries in the world right now. It has fi­nally man­aged to break free from the dark cloud that has been hov­er­ing over it since its early years and is fi­nally ready to go main­stream. “So­lar power is get­ting more and more ef­fi­cient and cost ef­fec­tive and there­fore it is be­com­ing more ap­pli­ca­ble,” he says.

“In ad­di­tion to that, coun­tries are be­com­ing more en­vi­ron­men­tally aware and their in­creas­ing en­vi­ron­men­tal obligations are push­ing them to use more so­lar.” Zoom­ing back in, for now Al Hou­sani is in­tent on com­mer­cial­is­ing his in­ven­tion.

This com­pe­ti­tion, he says, changed his life by pro­vid­ing him with the skill box and the process of think­ing re­quired to turn a sim­ple idea into a prod­uct. From now on, it's solely his show.

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