Hadi Ghasemi

What are you most trying to accomplish in your work? 

I aim to develop technologies for generation of sustainable and cost-effective energy for all the people around the world.

What do you think sets your work apart from the work of others in your field?

My technology brings a disruptive approach to harvest solar energy. The solar energy is the most abundant renewable energy resource with potential of more than multiple of global energy need. This developed technology opens a new window for harvesting solar energy with higher efficiency and lower cost compared to the state-of-the-art harvesting systems.

What or who inspired you to get into your field? Do you have any individuals or groups of people that you credit with helping you achieve the goals you set out to accomplish?

I was fortunate working with Prof. Gang Chen at MIT. Gang is a big thinker. He challenged me with the question of “How can we harvest solar energy for steam generation in a more efficient way than current approaches?”. Currently, over 70% of electricity generation in the world is driven by steam generated mostly by fossil fuels. If we can incorporate solar energy in this electricity generation, there will be a tremendous advantage both economic and environmental wise. It took me months to come up with this solution, but I was motivated to solve a global problem.

What role has serendipity played in the turning points in your career? 

I was at the right place equipped with the required skills. When I joined MIT, the people and the environment stimulated me to be excited and innovative everyday. In spite of long working hours, I was thrilled to accomplish a game-changing research affecting all people around the world.

What have been the greatest challenges that you have encountered in your career?

Research on new sciences is always challenging. You may succeed or may fail. I am inspired to work in science as I may solve one of the world energy problem. Science is for improving the quality of life, and we are here to make this happen. I was facing a problem that scientists from decades ago were working on that. It was hard to convince myself that there is a better solution that nobody has thought about it before. Sometimes, it is scary to jump into these type of problem. However, with no risk, there is no trophy. It is a very happy moment for me, but at the same time, I feel more responsibility to do something bigger.

Do you believe leaders and innovators have certain qualities that they all share? If so, what?

Yes. Curiosity is the common element between them.

How would you most like to change the world through your work?

This technology is in its early stage. Same as the other technologies, there is a path ahead to implement this approach in a large scale for worldwide utilization. My research group and some collaborators are working hard to make this happen. I believe that solar energy is the solution for the world energy problem.

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