Case Study: Enass Abo-Hamed
“One of the things I find fascinating about engineering is that the greatest inventions of our lifetime are engineering inventions and they all come to solve a problem.”
Raising awareness of climate change
Originally from Palestine, Enass grew up watching her father, who was a mechanical engineer, building things and putting things together.
“ That was something that always intrigue me: the thinking process and the action that comes after that, which engineering really revolves around.”
This really impacted on her and the way she tackles challenges no matter how small or large: from starting her own company or being a passionate advocate in raising awareness of climate change.
It about bring the problem to many people whilst we are working on the solution. That’s where my activism comes from. […] Climate change is a very interconnected problem with others such as air pollution or food waste […] it’s everyone’s problem … everyone should know about it!
Storing hydrogen to produce energy
When Enass was doing her PhD at Cambridge University she invented an imaginative way to capture and store hydrogen safety, as a clean source of energy.
“Hydrogen is unique: very small, it doesn’t have any carbon; when you burn it you’re not generating emissions (carbon footprint). It’s a very elegant molecule with a very elegant solution that doesn’t emit pollutants. That can solve many of our energy problems…”
It took Enass a lot of hard-work to start her own company, H2GO Power, which stores hydrogen as part of a chemical reaction. The gas can be converted into solid state or liquid state. When the hydrogen in needed, it is released in a clean form (zero emissions) and in a controlled manner. This is an efficient, low cost, highly safe way to store hydrogen!
“I think hydrogen is the past, the present and the future. It was there at the very beginning and I bet it will be there in the future […] it’s a very central player into contributing to solve climate change…”
Energy is still a luxury for some …
A trip to Africa made Enass realised that sometimes energy cannot be taken for granted:
“There are 1.2 billion people around the world who do not have control over the switch! Africa has 600 million people who don’t have regular access to power. It shouldn’t be a problem that we have today with the technologies and resources we have around the world. There is an injustice to that, that bothers me personally, and If I have an ability to contribute to the solution, I should!”
More funding needed
According to Enass more funding should be available for entrepreneurs just like her to develop their own ideas. She believes in the power of working collaboratively and would like to see companies and government working together more closely to tackle climate change.
If there would be one thing I could change I would use more engineering to accelerate progress towards tackling climate change (…) we are working at slower pace than we should be.
Enass has won several awards for her activist including the Top 100 BAME leaders in UK Tech and Top 100 influential Women in Engineering in the UK and Europe by the Financial Times. You can watch her talking about climate change and her company below.