GEDI Exchange

Member Profile: AOMS Technologies

Construction site with sensor demo

Increasing sustainability and resiliency with industrial IoT

“We’re helping industries in the world become more sustainable. And to increase the resilience of critical infrastructure by helping them reduce waste, increase efficiency, and enhance productivity,” says AOMS Technologies CEO and co-founder Hamid Alemohammad.  This isn’t just a feel-good aspiration: it also makes a lot of good business sense.

The mission at AOMS is to allow industries to unlock value from their assets and processes by empowering stakeholders to gain insight into what they’re doing. And not just any assets: large-scale infrastructure, construction sites, subsurface environments, and major industrial assets.  This means installing sensors and networking them in hostile and rugged environments.

“What drove us in this direction was the transition towards digital transformation and Industry 4.0. This means that data is now one of the most valuable commodities,” says Hamid. The sensors produce a great deal of data which the AOMS solutions can help analyze, as well as feed it into industry standard software tools to make sense of it all.

One of the specialties at AOMS is to create and deploy IoT sensors in construction and construction-related settings.  These sensors can be embedded in concrete, added to job sites, or be used to provide asset and material tracking to create end-to-end sensing solutions.  The purpose to boost productivity, ensure safety, and improve quality at the construction site.

Examples include vibration and lightning detection, monitoring air quality and gas levels, and measuring structural integrity.  At job sites, this helps AOMS customers meet their contractual requirements for concrete quality and structural integrity, keeping workers safe, ensuring regulatory compliance, optimizing schedules, and keeping track of assets.  This can save lots of money while producing a better outcome in a safer environment.

AOMS also has sensor solutions for customers who precast construction components before they even reach the construction site.  This includes monitoring the temperature and curing of these components as well as the curing chambers themselves. Examples of where AOMS capabilities have been deployed can be found here.

Hamid and his partners, Amir Azhari and Richard Liang, met when they all worked at the Multi-Scale Additive Manufacturing Laboratory here at the University of Waterloo. At the time, Hamid was doing his Postdoc, while Azhari and Liang were both grad students.

“I chose engineering because it’s such a wide discipline, requiring a lot of cross-disciplinary skills and knowledge. My passions have always been physics and math, but the thing I liked about engineering is it was more applied,” says Hamid. The cross-disciplinary aspect of Hamid’s educational journey led him and his partners to the use of fiber optics as sensors and in turn to the creation of their company.

“Sometimes novel applications and ideas come from cross-disciplinary connections.  At AOMS we applied optics for opto-mechanical sensing applications.”

Together, the three partners developed their own IoT sensing technology and brought it to the Waterloo Commercialization Office (WatCO) to support further development. WatCO then promoted the technology, which lead to interest from a couple of external companies. Thereafter it was a matter of taking that research and transforming it into a product that could be commercialized.

The decision for AOMS to join the GEDI Exchange was not only to remain linked to the University and connect with different companies, but also to give back. AOMS sees how other companies are evolving and can offer advice to anyone on their own commercialization journey.

“Through these types of exchange activities, you get connected to different ventures, different experts, and different areas. This always opens up the opportunity for us to become a better company, develop more products, and expand our offerings,” says Hamid. “In our world, you can’t do things alone anymore. You always need partnerships and collaboration. And sometimes it’s difficult to find the right partner. GEDI provides that opportunity for us.”

AOMS will be featured in the GEDIx: A 30-minute Exchange webinar with LorCan on Tuesday, May 18, 2021 at 1:00 p.m.