“I am currently working on developing a low-cost eco-friendly water purifier and I believe that opportunity to use MIT D-Lab resources will help me in achieving my goal in making water purifier accessible to low income people."
MIT Water Innovator-in-Residence Program
MIT D-Lab and the MIT Water Club welcome MIT Water Innovator-in-Residence Sahar Abdelhakim! The Innovator-in-Residence program is an opportunity at MIT supported by MIT D-Lab and the MIT Water Club. Sahar will be at MIT for two weeks to engage in knowledge exchange with MIT students and staff, use D-Lab’s workshop and resources to work on a personal project, and participate in the MIT Water Summit.
About Sahar and her work
Sahar is a native of Alexandria, Egypt and currently live in Bangalore, India. She was an attendee of the International Development Design Summit (IDDS) "Aarogyam" in Chennai, India, 2015 and as a result, is a member of the International Development Innovation Network (IDIN).
Below, Sahar talks about her background, current work, and plans for her residency at MIT:
"I am a marine biologist and I started working on water purification project when I saw my relatives who are living in a small Egyptian village were suffering from heavy metals in drinking water. They couldn’t afford buying expensive water filters and hence I built simple water purifier for them. Later on, I started working on developing advanced version and to make it sustainable. I got to know about maker spaces and my journey as a maker started off while working with the innovation hubs in Egypt (ICE Alexandria and ICE Cairo) to find solution for various problems. It lead me to make low cost formula of DIY conductive ink, making Graphene and Graphene sheets in home for water desalination, and also found ample time to work on my water purification project to develop the technology and design. I worked on Jabalaya Project - a project for empowering local communities in Egyptian desert.
"Later on I got involved with a research project in producing high quality pearls within short period of time and at the same time to clean water bodies which will improve the habitat and life expectancy of aquatic organisms. I have also worked on many projects related to water treatment in different places including Egypt, Tokyo, Uganda, Kenya and India (Southern and north regions). After living in India for almost year I’ve founded SAFFY in 2017 – an Indian company which is into designing and developing sustainable and affordable bio water purifiers. I started Saffy as I’m passionate about water treatment sector. Saffy will provide water purification products without changing natural properties.
"While at D-Lab, I would like to work on my sustainable low cost water purifier project design and get feedback from experts at MIT. One of the striking features of the innovation is that, it’s also easy to carry, compact and is made from eco friendly materials like ceramic, glass, bamboo materials etc. It will allow people in getting clean water wherever they are by making it an inseparable part of their lives. It helps in reducing plastic consumption by providing bottle like design which is suitable for travelers as well as for domestic users on a daily basis. The product is in prototyping stage and the main resource I need from D-Lab is support from expertise to develop my product and feedback which can help me in achieving my goal in eradicating lack of purified drinking water.
"As a young women entrepreneur who would like to impact lives of poor people, MIT Water Summit will help me to network with likeminded people who are passionate in solving issues in the sector of water. I am currently working on developing a low-cost eco-friendly water purifier and I believe that opportunity to use MIT D-Lab resources will help me in achieving my goal in making water purifier accessible to low income people. I am learning by traveling and interacting with people from different places. The summit will be a great opportunity for me to connect, exchange knowledge and learn from experts in diverse MIT community."
D-Lab Lunch-n-Learn with Sahar Thursday, November 9, 12-1 pm
Please join us for a D-Lab Lunch-n-Learn on Thursday, November 9 from 12 to 1 pm to learn more about Sahar's work! RSVP here. The Lunch-n-Learn will take place at MIT D-Lab, MIT N51 (265 Massachusetts Avenue) Room 305.