Salim A. Mousallam, Country Manager, Power Services – Kuwait and Bahrain, GE Power, spoke to Kuwait Times on the sidelines of Kuwait Global Technopreneurship Challenge 2015 in conjunction with the 40th Anniversary of the College of Engineering & Petroleum of Kuwait University.
Mousallam has been with GE for 11 years. “I have always been passionate about supporting young engineers because we believe in GE that all the new ideas and innovations come from the young minds, so the company has invested heavily in a lot of young engineers. It is my responsibility to make sure that I nurture young engineering talent, wherever GE assigns me on work. That is why we developed a great partnership with Kuwait University.”
He added: “It is truly our honor to be an innovation Partner and a part of the celebration of the 40th anniversary of Kuwait University’s College of Engineering & Petroleum, and with the first Kuwait Global Technopreneurship Challenge.”
Mousallam told Kuwait Times that it was not the first time that GE has been cooperating with Kuwait University. Earlier this year, GE took part in the Kuwait Engineering Innovation Forum, also as an innovation partner. “We believe that such competitions give students the opportunity to display their creativity, and that is what GE is searching for in the region,” he explained.
He added that 650 people from 70 countries signed up for the Challenge in 65 teams. Mousallam noted that these teams first submitted their products or ideas as a video on YouTube which was due in October, but they have been working on them as early as June, July and August. After that the judging committee from Kuwait University in collaboration with GE short-listed 17 teams, chosen from across the world, to present their ideas in Kuwait City.
Six engineers from GE were part of 2 out of the 17 teams that were short-listed.
Of the short-listed teams, seven teams focused on the challenge to ‘Make Solar Energy Economical,’ five on ‘Advance Health Informatics,’ and five on ‘Advance Personalized Learning.’ These were the three challenges identified for the Kuwait Global Technopreneurship Challenge from the 14 Global Challenges for Engineering in the 21st Century by the National Academy of Engineering.
These teams competed for the first, second, third and fourth places.
“The short-listed teams were mentored by 6 coaches, 3 of which were GE – and GE has also been the Grand Challenge partner for one key challenge- making solar energy economical. This is a great example of localization and youth talent development led by Kuwait University and GE,’ said Mousallam.
Mousallam is the Power Services Country Manager for GE Power responsible for the financial performance, overall growth and capability-building of the business in Kuwait and Bahrain. In this role, he is focused on strengthening customer service and business execution excellence with speed and simplicity. In addition, he helps define and implement growth, talent development and localization strategies.
Mousallam started his career with GE in Greenville, South Caroline, USA, as a Gas Turbine Engineering Intern in 2005. In 2006, he joined the Edison Engineering Development Program (EEDP) where he developed strong gas turbine engineering design expertise. Upon graduating from EEDP in 2008, he joined GE Environmental Services in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, as a Thermal Performance Engineer.
In 2011, Mousallam moved to Saudi Arabia as a Regional Technical Manager for Power Generation Services (PGS) Global Operations, where he established and grew the regional performance testing and Inspections and Life Extension Services (I&LES) organizations in MEA. Towards the end of 2012, he expanded his role as a Regional Engineering Manager for PGS engineering where he continued to lead the thermal performance engineering team, as well as the Edison Engineering Development Program.
Mousallam earned a Bachelor of Engineering degree from St. Francis University, a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Pennsylvania State University and a Master of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology.
By Faten Omar