Stars of Science has never had a candidate quite like Wissam Manshi, a 32-year-old computer engineer from Saudi Arabia. World-beating resumes are not uncommon among those who make it past the SOS casting stage. In that department, Wissam fits in well. But what truly sets him apart is his sardonic wit and brutal honesty.
“I always insist on sticking to my goal, even if everyone disagrees with me. I will keep pushing forward and take full responsibility for the results,” confesses the Umm Al-Qura University alumnus. Never too shy to make a bold statement, he continues: “I take risks and don’t care what people say about me. Above all, I do what I truly believe is right – take it or leave it.”
The prolific programmer might be taking a page out of the playbook of Steve Jobs. Wissam prefers to be remembered for his visionary leadership and technical competence than his ability to play well with others.
Outspoken as he is, Wissam found his way to the stage and lectured at his university’s TEDx. Combining science and entrepreneurial spirit, he started a robotics company in Saudi Arabia. When he’s not working on his robotic creations, he’s on the road, attending technology conferences around the region.
“I will be successful, God willing,” said Manshi. “Success is doing what you believe in, not following what people want you to do.”
In every corner of the Arab world, business and social gatherings start with the pouring of a delicious, caffeine-infused cup of Arabic coffee. This age-old tradition is ingrained in regional culture and may never change. If Wissam has his way, not the drink, but how it is served will transform radically.
Wissam’s project, the Arabic Coffee Robotic Waiter, is the ideal intersection of traditional custom and modern technology. Programed to automatically pour the perfect cup every time, the device allows its users to relax, without having to interrupt the task at hand.
With robotics being a growing sector, Wissam sees potential in his project outside the home or office. He envisions the Arabic Coffee Robotic Waiter at big conferences, serving coffee to the masses.
“Clever engineers must solve problems, but also think ahead of the curve to anticipate what tomorrow’s most useful technology will be,” said Wissam. “I think that years from now, people will not be able to imagine a world without my innovation.”
Infuses a traditional practice with the convenience of modern technology, allowing guests to focus on the task at hand.