Dr Khaled Saoud met the sustainability challenge with a potentially
Dr Saoud’s creation is one that very few people would ever be aware of, but many might depend upon. He has designed a sustainable way to produce a more durable, less flammable and lighter insulation material than the polystyrene commonly used.
For the first time I can translate my ideas from the lab to something that will benefit people in their everyday life.
His polystyrene composite, which incorporates nanomaterials such as
silica aerogel or nanosheets, can
be applied to existing insulation materials, which can then withstand 45 minutes of
heat with minimal damage, compared to as little as 50 seconds without the
coating. This time could be the difference between life and death.
With nationwide construction in Qatar ongoing in preparation for the 2022 FIFA World Cup™, Dr Saoud’s innovation could be applied to countless construction projects, making each and every one safer – and more sustainable.
Jordanian Dr Saoud, who teaches physics
at Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar, submitted his idea as an
individual applicant. Thanks to Challenge 22 funding though, he has now been
able to hire two scientists to assist him in his work and advance
his research, and he also received extensive training on making
his idea more commercially attractive.
As a prominent scientist in the field of nanomaterials and nanotechnologies, he already had a well-formed concept by the time he heard about Challenge 22. The innovation award has, however, pushed his project forward dramatically: “It’s accelerated it completely,” he said. “It has enabled me to get materials I need, equipment I need, and to hire some people because one person cannot do everything. I can now register new patents and publish new scientific papers. So it accelerated everything immeasurably.
Dr Saoud now hopes to perfect his product and see it used throughout the Middle East, not least of all at the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar™.