While still in his mid-forties, he has 24 patents and awarded over 69 awards for researches an technical development in his scientific biography! He invented and developed a video communications system, which has benefited the whole mankind. His company IntelliView was ranked one of the top 25 innovation companies in the province of Alberta, Canada. Giant companies acquired shares in his company, such as Enbridge Inc., which has the largest oil pipelines in North America and the world, and Export Development Canada.
Dr. Wael Badawy, native to Egypt the great country, from where many famous scientist came, like Prof. Ahmed Zewail and others of scientists and geniuses, Dr. Badawy has spent most of his life as a researcher, developer and professor in Egypt, the United States of America and Canada; where through his research he managed to make his way among the top scientists and overcome all obstacles, to leave his unique mark and break new ground to the humanity and human civilization, to prove to many that as Arabs, we have competencies, and we are not only consumers for others’ product.
His ambitious is limitless, proud of his contributions to the world, humble and loving. Above all, he puts his knowledge, experience and science within the reach of all young researchers, who are trying to make their way in the journey of scientific research, innovation and the establishment and development of companies.
“The Migrant” newspaper had the honor of conducting a telephone interview with Egyptian scientist Dr. Wael Badawy.
– Dr. Badawy How did your scientific research journey between Egypt, USA and Canada start?
I studied computer engineering in Egypt, to joined after that the Arab Academy for Science Technology & Maritime Transport (AASTMT). where I was working as a lecturer, then got my Master in Egypt. In the mid-nineties thought about getting my PhD; at the time, immigration to Quebec was simpler than today; with the aim of completing my PhD and returning to Egypt. Then I studied at the University of Louisiana in 2000, my PhD was in computer engineering highly specialized in “Video Technology”, that was at the time a predicted and difficult technology; where the video was a revolution; it was called the “tech bubble”, in addition to the existence of the 3G and 4G mobile communications system prompted companies to think about A technology that combines the communication with video, audio, and animation.
– Would you have expected that your PhD in this particular field would have a promising future?
The reason behind my specialty, is that my graduation project for my bachelor’s degree in Egypt in 1994, was in Multimedia. They are five modes: writing, sound, image, animation, in addition to the MIDI, playing musical instruments by computers. At that time, the sound technology was completely isolated from MIDI technology. Now the world is definitely make strides beyond these technologies no one talks of it. I remember that as my father bought me a sound card from Saudi Arabia, there were not as much as five sound cards, in whole Alexandria City.
During my stay in Egypt, I also studied the so-called spatial database, where a research was published thesis in this regard, which was at the time one of the largest research publications that many relied on in their research. In addition, I was working at the Arab Academy in the field of an American research called “Zero Simulations”, which focused on how to create a three-dimensional simulation. So my PhD studies in USA were in this specialty because it was related to the studies I started in Egypt.
– Would you tell us about the research you had done in the USA, then how you moved later to Canada?
In USA I attended a training program at the university, where I come up with an idea of developing a special system for video and audio, then consulted my Doctoral advisor, who liked the idea and I completed the project which was the subject of the PhD, I obtained from the University of Louisiana. After that, the university conducted a market study on my Phd’s idea, accomplished, and found it to be economically feasible, but it needs more time and information, then I had a chance to teach at the University of Calgary in 2000, where I worked with students in developing the video technology and communication systems or sending video messages (coding), which is the way to convert the image To pit, meaning you put cameras that recognize moving objects.
We submitted our achievement in ISO and parts of it were approved. At that time we were the only university in North America to developed this technology with the ISO. We have done more than two thirds of the designs that industrial companies have to related to it, to make sure that their designs come out with the same results.
Our job was simply to set up industrial applications’ control systems by setting up cameras that would produce three-dimensional waves to identify moving objects. Then we began to apply this technique to the thermal cameras and others, and began research on how to know the leakage and pollution of oil from the pipes, in addition to conducting many research on the wind, ice, rain and everything that hinders vision.
In 2007, the Canadian government had a plan and vision to help, develop, build and support small ideas. I started learning how to start a company, which helped me identify what small companies were and how they were built. In 2008, I got the first government support of $ 1 million for the company IntelliView, which I founded and completed 17 patents.
– How did your small company at that time, interacted with giant companies such as Export Development Canada and Enbridge?
My first interact with Enbridge Inc., which has the largest oil lines in North America and perhaps the world, was a kind of odd coincidence in 2010, where I met with representatives of the company at one of the exhibitions, where new ideas and researches of the companies have to be submitted, and I had to register six months ago to meet the officials in it . I convinced the exhibition’s delegates to register my name on the waiting list if someone didn’t attend the interview. Specifically on the day before the interview, I received an email telling me that they would give me 15 minutes to do a presentation to my innovation to the company. I actually attended and talked to the officials, who asked me: How much do you think your invention worth? At the time, I had no idea what my research worth, and yet it was agreed to sell the idea to them at a small price for experimental use purpose of the invention.
We used the technology that invented by me, to secure and protect the stations and pipelines of oil pumping, then we worked on this research for about three years to develop, update and modify it. The company then brought experts from USA to assess the solution we presented. In 2013, Enbridge Inc. company informed me that the innovation impressed them, but they do not want to buy the idea and the invention only, but want to buy my company? I refused the idea of selling the entire company. therefore Enbridge Inc. had became a partner in my company and owned a shares in it. Immediately after that Export Development Canada also become a partner and owned a shares in the company.
– What are your recommendations to the new generation of young businessmen how they can access and deal with the large companies?
In fact, this is what I am trying to teach to students now through the non-profit organization, which I founded, our mission is to train people on how to start and develop a companies. What I personally did, was to ask myself a specific question: What is my mission as a professor in the university? My job is not only teaching and educating the students, but also to qualifying students so they can be in a good position to compete with others, to get a job after graduation. what concerned me is how these students can be in the position of a strong competitor in a particular field? . when you think in this way, when you finishing your research and work and submitted to others, you will find that job opportunity knocking on your door not the other way around.
What I simply want to say: If you have a new and innovative idea why do not you emerge to the people, telling and explain it to them? Many people told me in Canada, “You have an accent” I responded to them by saying, “Good to have something, reminds you of me”
A great spokesman neither A man of great knowledge is not born great like that, but has to learn and study how to become great and to have the knowledge. For example: If someone asks you what your name is, then you answered him and started to talk to him, then he asked you again: Why should I listen to what you say? There is a way to deal with such rejection, to makes the other person talk in a better way to you, that when you answer his question by: I feel what you feel. Others did not want to talk to me, but everyone; who previously spoke to me; benefited from my knowledge of such and such. Responding like that makes the imaginary barrier between you and others break down completely.
The language of communication and dialogue has not been taught in our country, unfortunately. If I were meant to be and I would had learned this language in my country, it would spare time of my life to achieved what I have now a long time ago.
– What is the advice of Dr. Wael Badawy, the new Arab comers, intensely immigrating to Canada these days?
First: they have to integrate into the society, getting to know the people and not to shrinking themselves in their own communities only. They must invest their skills, then they will find that the government support for their projects is an existing and strong support. For example: Personally I submitted 69 applications to fund research and projects that I have done, and received funding for all of them, except for only two applications that were rejected.
Second: They should do voluntary work.
Third: They should ask themselves specific questions, such as: What is my strong and weak point? How to address it? What is my passion and what do I want to do? They should not also focus too much on the difficulties facing them.
– How many awards have you gotten, and which of them is nearest your heart?
I have got more than 69 awards in scientific research, technology, corporate management and life course. The awards nearest to my heart are three:
First award: Got it from the ISO in 2010 because I have developed a video communication system, was used and benefited of it all the peoples of the world. This award meant a lot to me, because it gives you a beautiful sense of the importance of what I has given to mankind.
The second award: I got it from a magazine in 2012, although I did not nominate myself for the award, no one nominated me to get it too. where A scientific body was formed, which studied and evaluated meticulously the status of the companies in Alberta, submitted its report, then my company was selected to be as one of the top 25 innovative companies in province of Alberta.
The third award: Was awarded to me this year, by Immigrant Services Calgary, in the category of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.
– What Dr. Wael Badawy is currently trying to accomplish and what is dreaming of?
My dream is to help and serve people in establishing and developing their own businesses and helping them to make their way to the economic and social success. That’s what I’m currently trying to do. I share my experience with people, and I try to help them in how to find an income for them and how to develop their small businesses.
Dr. Badawy currently is full-time writing and lecturing on the development of small businesses and companies, and how to turn innovative ideas into profitable business for their owners. A book entitled “12 Streams of Income” will be published at the beginning of next year, in which he will explain some theories to achieve different incomes for people as well as how to develop the mechanism of communication with others.
Interviewed By Kameel Nasrawi
Translated By Satanay Barsbay