Some people are fearful of sharing knowledge. Hossam Gharib is not one of them.
While the Stream-Flo Senior Product Engineer admits there’s a sweet spot between sharing and keeping trade secret information tightly under wraps, he believes the benefits of collaboration actually provide more currency in industry than closing oneself off as a company.
“They (customers) will build trust into what you’re doing when they see you presenting and sharing information,” said Gharib ahead of attending the Valve World Americas Conference & Expo in Houston. “It gives you more exposure to industry and changes industry perception about you as a company. They perceive you as a group of engineers, and as a company in general, that has the knowledge and know-how.”
For Gharib, this idea and approach to sharing knowledge goes back to his time in academia. Dr. Gharib, as he should be formally called, though probably won’t let you, came to Edmonton from Egypt in 2007 to attain his PhD in microelectromechanical systems at the University of Alberta. After spending time with Halliburton after graduating, he came to Stream-Flo in 2019 to work on the SmartESD — now known as ESD-EHX — project.
“What I liked about Stream-Flo was their pursuit of automation and development of new products built on existing reliable technologies,” said Gharib over Teams. “I felt like there was a challenge and an opportunity for me to start something from inception, from the concept, until I can realize a working prototype and a reliable operating product in the field.”
With the launch of the ESD-EHX last year, the automation opportunity and its associated challenges that drew Gharib to Stream-Flo came to fruition.
Since then, he’s been sharing his knowledge surrounding the project. Most recently, through two high profile industry channels — a featured article in the Valve World Americas magazine and in presentation at the Valve World Americas Expo & Conference.
“It’s interesting,” said Gharib about the feelings he experiences before doing a presentation such as the one at Valve World Americas.
“Once you share information you open the doors for collaboration with other colleagues in the industry and potential partnerships with end users. You also receive feedback, which helps improve and advance your technology.”
Saying such moments are rewarding thanks to the scientific advancement they provide by being at the forefront of technology, Gharib also derives great pride from seeing those who come after him advance what he has developed to date. Something he has experienced twice in his career, with the work he did on microsensors for his PhD and then at Halliburton with downhole drilling automation.
“Some people look at it as a lost opportunity and someone else did it,” said Gharib. “But I feel like it’s not, I’m actually proud to basically be the reason for someone else to advance upon what I did.”
Because at its most basic, that’s what science is. A systematic endeavour that organizes — and shares — knowledge.