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U-light to be released in March 2020
A life-changing product designed by graduates of American University of Sharjah (AUS) that will allow children to continue their education and provide a safer, cleaner household environment devoid of kerosene lamps for families will make its debut this coming March in Nigeria.
Supported by a grant from Expo2020 Dubai and conceived and developed in the UAE, U-light is a simple, affordable and reliable energy solution that allows homeowners and shopkeepers to light up their homes and stores. It is the brainchild of Omar Khattab, a mechanical engineering major; Omar Mansour, a chemical engineering major; Omar Ghanem, a marketing major; Muhammed Kyaure, a civil engineering major; and Ahmed Yasser, an electrical engineering major.
The idea for this incredible light emerged as a result of the 2018 Hult Prize challenge, which required student teams to find and develop energy innovations that can be scaled to improve the lives of millions in regions deprived of electricity and light.
During their trip to Nigeria, the U-light team realized the immense need for electricity and the potential U-light had in helping improve the lives of people in the villages there.
Muhammed Kyaure, Co-founder and CSO of U-light, explained: “We visited a village that was completely off the electrical grid on the outskirts of Kano, Nigeria. The people of the village were very resilient, truly inspirational; despite their living conditions, they face their respective responsibilities with a great deal of determination and the hope that someday someone will bring power to their village and their lives will become better. When I saw that, I promised myself that that ‘someone’ will be U-Light.”
Omar Khattab, Co-founder and COO said: “A light-shop owner in Nigeria, and I’m not being sarcastic when I say his shop was dark with all the lights in it. After sunset, it goes completely unrecognized. One day we offered him our product and asked if he would use it to light up his shop, he took it. Two days later we were randomly passing by his shop, he was still using it to light up the place, even though it was not a finished product yet. Only then I realized those people really need such a thing, it’s something small for us, but it might mean life for them!”
The team, which consists of members from a variety of educational backgrounds, brought different approaches and perspectives on things while working on creating U-light. Their time at AUS shaped each team member differently.
“The skills and knowledge I gained through my courses at AUS greatly helped me, especially in the market research stage and when we were trying to understand our customers and their pain points,” said Ghanem.
For Yasser, AUS was not only the place where he developed his technical skills, but the place where he got to find out about the Hult prize, which was the main catalyst in the concept and creation of U-light.
For Khattab, the importance of teamwork was critical. “At AUS, I learned about the efficiency of good teamwork and the elements that go in the formation of a good team. The right team is always the key; it is what guarantees that a good idea can become a reality one day!”
Through AUS, Mansour was able to develop his critical thinking and personal skills. He said: “AUS helped me acquire knowledge and best practices from case studies and projects that were essential to our team.”
Kyaure’s experience at AUS built his technical and team-working skills. He said the university’s multicultural environment and meeting people from different corners of the world helped develop his confidence in public speaking.
“A big thank you to all the professors that inspired us and pushed us and asked us questions about our idea, which greatly helped us improve our product,” said Ghanem, expressing his gratitude to the faculty at AUS.
Ghanem also thanked the AUS community for their constant support and said: “I would also like to thank everyone in the AUS community for always being so supportive on social media (@ULight2020) and getting behind us!” added Ghanem.
For more information about the product, please visit https://www.u-light.co/