People in SEKEM: Heba Mosalam

Similar to Archimedes, the ancient Greek physicist, who once cried out loud his famous quote “Eureka!” which means “finally I found it!” after discovering the physical mechanics of floating bodies in water, Heba Mosalam felt when she heard about HU. “I was astonished, when I found a university in Egypt promoting sustainable development”, the likable HU-Lecturer recalls enthusiastically. “I realized that this is an institution in which I could follow my passion.”

Heba Mosalam is working as a lecturer at the Department for Energy in the Engineering Faculty of Heliopolis University for Sustainable Development (HU) since 2014 and is strongly engaged to SEKEMs renewable energy projects.

When you first see her giving lectures to the students and discussing their questions with sincerity, many thoughts will pop in your mind, trying to estimate the story behind this smart young lady. Although the story is not that complicated, it reveals how her passion drove her to become an engineer and professor in the field of renewable energies.

Passion for renewable energies

The 39-years-old HU-co-worker, who spent 12 years of her life in conducting her master’s and doctorate degrees in environmental engineering studies, graduated in 2000 from Ain-Shams University in Cairo after being specialized in Mechanical Engineering. During her university years, the Engineering Department did not include sections related to the field of renewable energies and environmental studies, in which she has a great obsession. Hence, the ambitious engineer decided to join this field through her postgraduate advanced studies, wherein she participated in alternative energy projects abroad. In the same time, Heba was involved in many jobs related to her expertise in mechanical engineering. “I gained a wide experience in the after sales service, regarding the market needs and the maintenance of mechanical systems”, she remembers.

After getting her master’s degree, Heba Mosalam worked as a lecturer in many different universities in Egypt, where she could witness the core of the problems that the educational system in Egypt is facing, especially in the private universities: “Seeking profit, rather than investing in the students and teaching them how to tackle the current and future challenges is a huge mistake”, says the Doctor of Engineering. “It took me a long time to find a university like HU, which is implementing the practical aspects and in the same time building a contemporary theoretical background for its students.”

Heba is not only the head of the engineering laboratories and workshops at HU, she is also supervising SEKEMs alternative energy projects. “SEKEM is implementing innovative projects solving environmental issues sustainably, which is putting us, even as teachers, in a situation of continuous researching and learning to promote it, in order to serve the community”, the smart lecturer tells about the win-win situation between SEKEM and its members. Hence, Heba Mosalam is for instance in charge of monitoring the new solar power station on the SEKEM Farm, which is the first of its type in the Egypt. Heba realizes how Egypt has been suffering severe power shortages and rolling blackouts over the past years, necessitating the requirement to look to alternative energy options to help in meeting the increasing demand.

Individual teaching: Understanding for students’ struggles

Heba’s young look and her friendly and open-minded talks with the students easily gives the impression that she is not only an amicable teacher, but as a sister to the young people. “I can feel their struggles in learning, especially those who are striving to be specialized in a yet newly engineering field in Egypt like renewable energies”, the devoted lecturer explains. Heba also passed through such challenges in her study years. “I try not only to delivering all my experience to them but also understanding for their situation in order to facilitate their educational journey.”

Besides the quality of education, Heba sees a lot of other benefits that Heliopolis University offers to its students compared to other universities. “The small classes and the green surrounding area at the campus pull the students away from stress”, the mindful academic tells. Additionally to the curriculum the HU professors involve their students in engineering projects of the Egyptian market in order to receive information and experience about the market needs and its progression. “It is important for the students to conduct researches and join the market at the same time. Like that they become very well prepared for their future careers after graduation”, says Heba Mosalam.

By mid-2017, Heba Mosalam will witness the graduation of her first students. “I saw how their mindsets grew and their confidence developed”, she tells nostalgically. “I wish them a bright future and we at HU will be waiting for them to join us as co-workers at SEKEMs alternative energy projects, as we are convinced of their very well-developed education and expertise.”

Noha Hussein

Read more about the new solar power station on the SEKEM farm
Get to know Hanem, electric engineering teacher at SEKEMs Vocational Training Center
Meet Hamada Shosha, acting instructor at Heliopolis University