Young entrepreneur's impact innovation: cool suits for construction workers
One of the aspects I admire about the younger generation is their desire to make an impact in society and change lives. The altruistic desire is not often accompanied by the skills, resources and connections to make it come true. However, this is changing today as students are given opportunities to showcase their innovations on a national, regional and global scales.
The pitch@palace competition is one such stage that allows university students to present their inventions to the world. Two Emirati students at this year’s competition have presented a solution that many others have failed to accomplish — a smart suit that keeps the body cool by regulating its temperature.
An invention of a 21-year-old engineer, Aryam Ahmed, along with her project partner Latifa Al Seiari, the cooling suit has been specially designed for construction workers who work in the hottest and most challenging conditions under the sun.
Aryam was inspired to resolve this issue when she saw a worker faint due to the heat and couldn’t do anything about it. It took her two years to design and test out this solution, but she has now emerged victorious.
Previous versions have often involved ventilators and water-based systems that are not the most practical solutions.
However, this new patent-pending material is lightweight, affordable and has a couple of additional features that can be potential life-savers. One of them is a smart system that monitors temperatures of the atmosphere as well as the body. When the body temperature reaches 38 degrees, it signals the worker’s manager. The other is a panic button that the worker can use in case of emergency.
Ms Aryam has won the national round in Abu Dhabi and will be proceeding to the regional level competition to be held in Bahrain next month. Upon winning there, the team will be invited to the UK for the final leg of the global competition that is supported by the UK’s Prince Andrew.
The national competition in the UAE is supported by the Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development, that encourages solutions and entrepreneurship amongst Emiratis.
We trust that the affordability and simplicity of Ms Aryam’s invention will see it being deployed by construction companies in the UAE as well as the GCC. Not only is her “cool suit” good for the workers, proving them better working conditions, but also highly beneficial to their employers as they will see an increase in productivity when workers are more comfortable and safe.