06 September, 2020
Inspired by the Chinese Alumni Chapter’s gift to KAUST, alumna Hanan Mohammed, PhD ’18 (Electrical Engineering) has generously donated three non-battery operated stainless steel hand-sanitizer dispensers, controlled by foot pedals, which she designed. The dispensers sit in heavily trafficked locations at KAUST including the big and small Tamimi stores, and Government Affairs. Of her design, Hanan said, “a foot operated dispenser makes a lot of sense, eliminating the need to touch the sanitizer bottle (used by) countless people.”
UAE-based Hanan’s design inspiration flourished during her participation in a virtual MIT hackathon that encouraged her to explore new approaches for tackling COVID-19. “As the UAE was moving to a new normal, and public spaces were opening up with hand-sanitizers being used extensively, I noticed that many people were touching the same nozzle of a sanitizer bottle. The idea of a mechanical touch-free dispenser seemed like a solution to this problem. From there, I got excited in developing the most feasible prototype design in the shortest possible time, one that was portable and affordable, yet elegant.”
Hanan attributes her innovations to all she learnt while a PhD student at KAUST.
“The valuable knowledge and experience I gained from attending the several hackathons and workshops organized by the KAUST Entrepreneurship Center (such as ICE, STEAM Innovation Challenge, Cornell Entrepreneurship Certification, New Ventures & Product Innovation course etc) came in quite handy. I owe a lot to my mentors especially Amal Dokhan and Gordon McConnell and the rest of the Entrepreneurship Team."
“Also, the skills that I gained from my PhD such as the technical know-how, working in tight schedules, sifting through large amounts of information, working with people from different nationalities, presenting ideas, pitching (valuable experience gained in IET Present Around the World 2015 and Falling Walls Lab 2018) were extremely valuable.”
“I feel that the Chinese Alumni Chapter has triggered in KAUSTians the trend to pay forward or rather pay back to KAUST and it is through their actions that I was inspired to do the same,” she said
Our thanks to Hanan for paying-it-forward through her generosity, innovation and creativity.