June 20, 2022

Turning a Dream into Reality

Turning a Dream into Reality

The Technion inaugurates the “Mehoudar Center for Inventors” – a center for creative and engineering design dedicated to Raphael Mehoudar

A model of Mehoudar Center for Inventors at the Technion
Mehoudar’s children, Yael and Eyal, at the inauguration ceremony

The Technion – Israel Institute of Technology inaugurates the Mehoudar Center for Inventors – a center for creative and engineering design. The center will encourage inventors from all over the country, school children, university students, and faculty members to dream and imagine. Most importantly, the center will provide them with the necessary engineering tools for building and testing prototypes – with the assistance of a highly skilled technical team and the resources to plan and execute. The Mehoudar Center for Inventors will also be home for cross-faculty collaborations – for example, the development of multidisciplinary final projects.

Raphael (Rafi) Mehoudar

The center is named in honor of Technion graduate Raphael (Rafi) Mehoudar, graduate of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering at the Technion (1966) and the recipient of an Honorary Doctorate from the Technion (2014). On Israel’s 67th Independence Day (2015), Mehoudar was given the honor of lighting one of the torches in acknowledgement of his contribution as “a successful, world-renowned engineer and entrepreneur who developed the drip irrigation technology that became an international success.”

Technion President Professor Uri Sivan stated that “The Mehoudar Center for Inventors offers a new and innovative approach to the challenge of maintaining and fostering the spirit of ingenuity in our students, faculty, high school students, and anybody interested in building and testing a prototype. The center will allow its users to transform their creative ideas and innovations into models and prototypes using its advanced new facilities, as well as experienced mentors. A hands-on approach will provide them with access to a productive space to explore and test their ideas and research before taking them to scale. We are confident that this approach will greatly inspire current and future creators to turn their inventions into practical technologies and follow the example set by Rafi and others.”

Prof. Peretz Lavie, Chairman of the Israel Friends of the Technion and former Technion president, noted that ” Raphael (Rafi) Mehoudar will be remembered in history as the person who has made one of the most important contributions to modern agriculture and by that has changed the life of millions around the world. Mehoudar’s drip technology enables farmers to achieve greater yield of quality crops with reduced use of water, soil and fertilizer resources, and with little impact on the environment. Millions of farmers currently use these systems in more than 110 countries around the world.”

Prof. Ezri Tarazi, Head of t-hub – the Technion Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, said that “Hundreds of millions of people around the world owe Rafi Mehoudar the very food that is laid out on their table every day. The global climate crisis and the desertification process affecting large parts of the planet only reinforce the vital need for Mehoudar inventions, for the purposes of sustainability and survival.”

At the age of 20, while still at the Technion, Raphael Mehoudar developed the dual flush toilet mechanism, currently in-use in almost every home in Israel. At the same time, he developed a unique sprinkler for watering square areas – as opposed to the standard 360° sprinkler. The Standards Institution of Israel was very enthusiastic about the young inventor and, after his release from the IDF, they recruited him for a part-time job within the institute. ‘Netafim’, which heard about the pressure regulator that he had developed, contacted him, and the rest is history: Mehoudar went on to invent and develop the drip irrigation technologies that changed the world of agriculture, and today he has about 400 patents registered to his name.

The new center will cover an area of about 1,000 square meters on the lower floor of Danziger Laboratories, which was built in 1966 and is located next to the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering.