Abdulsalam Alhawsawi


Abdulsalam Alhawsawi has accomplished much since he came to Oregon State through the INTO OSU program in 2009.

After completing his master’s degree in nuclear engineering in 2011, he simultaneously began working on a Ph.D. and an MBA. Along the way, he collaborated with Oregon State Radiation Center director Steve Reese and nuclear engineering alumnus Kendon Shirley on a photo sensor for use as a radiation detector and power supply. Their invention was recently granted a patent.

Now, with three Oregon State degrees, Alhawsawi will return home to Saudi Arabia to teach at King Abdulaziz University in Jeddah. But he will retain his research connections with Oregon State. And he’ll put his MBA to work at GenX Detectors, the startup he co-founded with Shirley to commercialize their technology.

“The MBA will absolutely give me a leg up,” he says. “All engineers can come up with a product, but it’s important that they know how to sell it in the business world and communicate well.”

Alhawsawi admits his workload can be stressful, but “I try to make it fun. I love to learn,” he says. He works out twice a day, reads about behavioral economics and psychology and learned Spanish in his spare time.

Alhawsawi believes he can use his education and his inventions to make a difference in his home country.

“Anything you make as an engineer has to help people,” he says.

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