x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Application and dedication are key to obtaining patents

Moh'd Rezeq, an assistant professor of applied mathematics and sciences at Khalifa University of Science, Technology and Research, talks about his work and the importance of patents.

Moh'd Rezeq, an assistant professor of applied mathematics and sciences at Khalifa University of Science, Technology and Research, talks about his work and the importance of patents.

 

What did you study to get into your field?

I've always had a passion for physics and science in general, which I really developed in high school. I studied physics in undergrad and went on to obtain my graduate degree and Phd in solid-state physics. In getting my Phd, I focused heavily on superconductors - highly conductive materials which transfer current with almost zero resistance. After I obtained my Phd, I made the natural transition to nanotechnology, then and now the driving factor in modern technology, and I have been working in the field ever since.

 

What is your current line of work?

I now focus on maximising the energy efficiency of nano devices by minimising the overall size of key elements such as transistors and diodes. Modern technology consumes a lot of energy; minimising this consumption is critical to driving development, especially within the semiconductor industry. My current research was initially funded by Khalifa University . then we got funds from the Advanced Technology Investment Company [Atic], and guided by the Semiconductor Research Corporation to pursue our research in the same field. We also work with other universities domestically, such as Masdar Institute and UAE University, and abroad in North America and Asia.

 

How many patents have you filed?

We currently have two patents filed to the US patent office through joint financial support by Khalifa University and the Technology Development Committee's Takamul programme, in addition to one patent issued a few years ago. It is important to emphasise patents are not the goal, but the outcome of the hard work and padession. It is also not about the number of patents, but about the value and applicability of these technologies.

 

Why are patents and intellectual property so important?

Patents are public, so by filing a patent you share your knowledge with everyone and contribute to humanity's knowledge. This drives innovation on a larger scale. Patents are also necessary to protect the commercial use of ideas.

 

What, in your opinion, are some of the greatest IP innovations of all time?

Human progress is not based on one invention but on the advancement of our knowledge as a whole. What we may associate as being one technology is in fact built on the heels of, and often incorporates, a host of existing intellectual properties.

 

What is innovation like on a day to day basis - what do you do when you get into the lab/office?

Innovation, and indeed science, is a process of trial and error. Succeeding is about not giving up. You need to follow your interests, and persist through trial and error. And there are many errors before one ever achieves success.

 

How hard is it to obtain a patent?

It can take time to file a patent; around three years. It's not hard though, it just takes time and dedication.

 

Do you have any words of wisdom for potential innovators across the UAE?

As I say to all my students, colleagues and collaborators, an innovator is one who works hard and has passion for his or her work. All people have similar brains and capabilities in different fields, what differentiates between people is passion and dedication for their work.

 

thamid@thenational.ae