Copyright Star of Science website
AUB graduate Sevag Babikian has been selected as a finalist in the Arab reality TV innovation competition Stars of Science founded by the Qatar Foundation.
In the eighth season of this regional “edutainment reality” TV show, nine candidates were challenged to develop creative solutions to regional problems within the fields of information technology, energy, environment, and health. Viewer voting started yesterday after four finalists were announced. Sevag, representing Lebanon, is competing with innovators from Jordan, Algeria, and Bahrain.
Sevag Babikian is a Mechanical Engineering AUB graduate (BE, ’10) with a master’s degree emphasis in mechatronics (’12). He has been an instructor in mechatronics and robotics at AUB since 2013.
In his proposed innovation, Sevag works on an already life-changing invention, 3-D printing. He proposes a novel, user-friendly design that unleashes the capabilities of the printer, maximizing quality, while saving time, effort, and wasted material. Through mechanical, electronics, and software modification, he uses two mechanisms that eliminate design constraints such as vertical printing and allow a more efficient printing where the printing bed and the printing head can rotate in any direction, improving surface quality.
“We often complicate things and the only way to make it to the market is to make our product user friendly,” Sevag told us.
Sevag is being mentored in the program by AUB Assistant Professor at the Mechanical Engineering Department in FEA, Dr. Elie Shammas, who has guided him in realizing his prototype and demonstrating its advantages.
“Sevag embodies everything that AUB and particularly FEA do right, that is, reinforce the entrepreneurial spirit in our students and give them enough tools and empower them with an education that they could seamlessly draw upon to realize their dreams,” Dr. Shammas told us. “Sevag has turned a simple idea into a potential game-changer in the 3-D printing market. He has developed a fully functioning prototype to print parts which are impossible to realize with the current technology. Effectively, he has expanded the utility of 3-D printing without compromising quality.”
On November 19, one winner will be announced based on online public voting and jury deliberation. One finalist will be selected as the Arab world’s best innovator. Finalists vie for a share of a $600,000 cash prize as seed funding to deliver their problem-solving innovations to the market.
AUB has produced several winners in this show such as Bassam Jalgha and Hind Houbeika. Bassam was in fact Sevag’s instructor when the latter was an undergraduate. He won the first season of the program and went off to China to manufacture his innovation. Sevag, inspired and encouraged by his former instructor, replaced him in the lab at AUB and is participating in the same competition.
“I fell in love with mechatronics at AUB,” Sevag told us. “The experience of studying and teaching at AUB has given me problem-solving skills. I have developed a great mix of academic and industrial hands-on experience. I advise all AUB students to keep thinking outside the box and think of no limits. Typical paths lead to typical results. Find what you love to do, take a risk, work on it, and pave your way to success.”
To vote for Sevag, visit www.starsofscience.com
Voting concludes on Thursday, November 17 at 6:00PM KSA/ 3:00PM GMT and the final episode will be broadcast on Saturday, November 19th at 10:30PM KSA/ 7:30PM GMT on MBC4.