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Sleeping well

President and director of R&D at NovaResp Technologies, Dr. Hamed Hanafi (PhD’16) leads a start-up company that invents software and hardware to help sleep apnea sufferers breathe easier.

24 hours

7 a.m. With a busy day ahead, it’s helpful to write a priority list for myself and my team. I have my coffee, catch up on Stephen Colbert from the previous night and I’m out the door on my way to Sexton Campus for 8ish.

8:10 a.m. Today I’m teaching a third-year Electrical Engineering class in the Faculty of Engineering at Dal. I talk about examples from NovaResp where the material of the course is applied in a real-life project. To be honest, that’s when students pay the most attention and get engaged in the course.

The NovaResp team at work.

10:30 a.m. I’m done teaching for the day, so now I’ll split my time between the Emera ideaHUB and Innovacorp. There’s eight people on our NovaResp team. Hardware work happens at the HUB. As a start-up company we couldn’t afford the equipment that we can access there. The ability to use the 3D printers to build and test ideas that could potentially be patented is huge. For example, if we need to test the influence of different configurations on accuracy of an ultrasonic flowmeter, the team first brainstorms and sketches the design, then 3D prints and tests the concept. Our team is incredibly smart, and they come up with such cool ideas, so I know they have things under control.

1:00 p.m. I make my way from Sexton Campus to the Innovacorp office. Innovacorp helps start-ups commercialize their technologies, so it’s a great spot for NovaResp to be. The other part of the NovaResp team working here is focused on the computer science side of the business.

Hamed Hanafi testing NovaResp’s device before taking it to the hospital for patient testing.

5:00 p.m. Being an entrepreneur means that the workday never truly ends. I love what I do, but it can be hard to step away. Every evening I try to fit in some sort of physical activity like the gym, soccer or going for a walk. My fiancée also has a busy schedule so when we’re both home we make dinner together.

8:00 p.m. A big part of being an entrepreneur is networking, but tonight I don’t have any events, so it’s time to tackle administrative tasks. I’m fortunate to be surrounded every day by great people who care about helping patients with our technologies—it makes the crazy schedule worth it.

11:00 p.m. Time to rest up for another busy day tomorrow.