Our Founders

Our Founders

Mirza Faizan

Faizan is a world-renowned aerospace scientist and inventor of the Ground Reality Information Processing System (GRIPS), an innovative system to prevent runway incursion, runway excursion and detect foreign object and debris on runways in real-time.

He has vast experience working on design and development of aerospace, defense, and mission-critical systems. His research and algorithm on predicting collision between random particles in a semi-controlled environment are highly admired by the scientists from NASA, Pentagon-AMRDEC (Army Missile Research, Development & Engineering Center), and US Air Force. Global R&D communities often seek his expertise on research, innovation, aerospace systems design & development, and aviation safety.
As a nominated judge of R&D100 Awards, Faizan has evaluated research & technologies which are exclusively funded/owned by NASA, United States Department of Homeland Security, Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) of the Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Department, United States Department of Energy, United States Department of Defense – Joint Cyber Center, United States Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Faizan is also keenly interested in Psychology and possesses a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology with a special interest in child learning and development. For his innovations and contributions to the global aerospace and defense industry, Faizan was granted permanent residency in the United States under the ‘Alien of Extraordinary Ability’ category, also known as “Einstein Visa” a category generally reserved for Noble Laureates or top scientists.

Faizan is invited to evaluate the research outcomes of some of the world’s most prestigious research labs and R&D organizations.
As a judge of R&D100 Award, he is actively reviewing and judging works from labs including:

Faizan is invited to evaluate the research outcomes of some of the world’s most prestigious research labs and R&D organizations. As a judge of R&D100 Award, he is actively reviewing and judging works from labs including:

Mirza Rizwan

He is a Management academic and consultant with a research interest in Innovation, Entrepreneurship, Competitiveness, and Sustainability. He has been invited as a speaker regularly to forums and institutions like Academic Staff Colleges of India, Aligarh Muslim University, and various other colleges of higher education. His training module on ‘Design Thinking’ for Innovators, Entrepreneurs, and Teachers has been in great demand among the academic circle and business incubators.
  • He has been nominated as a judge for the R&D100 Award (also known as ‘Oscars of Invention’) consecutively from the last three years under the market disruptor category
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  • He has evaluated research outcomes of various NASA and US Department of Energy labs.
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  • He has also been invited as judge to ‘Hult Prize,’ popularly known as ‘Nobel Prize of the students’, which runs under the guidance of Bill Clinton, Ex-President of the United States, and Mohammad Yunus, the Noble Laureate.
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  • Rizwan has also worked as Chief Innovation Officer to a large multinational corporation, leading innovation team and strategies worldwide for his organization.
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  • He also worked as an academic excellence consultant to various universities in India.

Jamia Millia University proposed Rizwan as their CEO for Government of India’s ‘Tinkering Innovation Lab’ in their campus. Rizwan has an MBA in Finance, Advanced MBA from IIM-Bangalore & HEC-Paris. Presently, Rizwan is working as Chief Innovation Officer, leading global innovation and commercialization strategies for a large technology MNC in Bangalore, India. He is currently completing his Ph.D. with a research interest in Innovation & Sustainability.

Awards & Honors:

For his innovation GRIPS, he was nominated, finalist, and awarded various national and international awards like:

  • ‘Business Leaders of Tomorrow Award-2011’ by Economic Times and Ernst & Young (Top 5 in India among 50,000 nominees, evaluated by the Jury panel which includes Innovation Advisor to the Prime Minister of India),
  • Airline Industry Innovation Award–2013’ (Winner),
  • ‘IHS Jane’s Air Traffic Management Award–2014’ (shortlisted among Top 4 runway safety technologies developed globally) by World Air Traffic Management Congress.
  • Listed among 8 Lesser known Biharis who Played a Key Role in Shaping Modern India’

In recognition of his remarkable mentoring in STEM, Innovation, Creative Thinking, and enabling school kids to Think, Explore and Innovate, he was awarded:

  • Freedoms Foundation’s National Award; the ‘George Washington Honor Medal (Education)-2020’.
  • He was also awarded ‘Innovative Teacher of the Year-2017’ by Conrad Foundation at NASA Kennedy Space Center for mentoring youths for Innovation and Creativity.
  • Faizan also received ‘Teacher’s Certificate of Recognition’ by the National Space Society at International Space Development Conference 2018 at Los Angeles for mentoring over 25 award-winning students at NASA Ames Space Settlement International Challenge.
  • The Grand Lodge of Texas awarded him with ‘Apollo Science Teaching award 2017’ (an award given in honor of NASA’s Apollo Mission).

Awards & Honors:

For his innovation GRIPS, he was nominated, finalist, and awarded various national and international awards like:

  • Business Leaders of Tomorrow Award-2011’ by Economic Times and Ernst & Young (Top 5 in India among 50,000 nominees, evaluated by the Jury panel which includes Innovation Advisor to the Prime Minister of India)
  • IHS Jane’s Air Traffic Management Award–2014’ (shortlisted among top 4 runway safety technologies developed globally) by World Air Traffic Management Congress.

In recognition of the course modules that he developed for DiscoverSTEM to mentor school kids to Think, Explore and Innovate, Mirza Rizwan was awarded:

  • Freedoms Foundation’s National Award, the ‘George Washington Honor Medal (Education) – 2020.’

Hisham Ahmad - CMO

I am a 14-year-old freshman attending Brighter Horizons Academy in Garland, Texas. I have extensive experience with marketing, as I have been a part of various companies and mentorships. I graduated from the DiscoverStem program, allowing new doors to open up for me, and change the way I see things. The DiscoverStem program has also given me more experience with concepts such as patents, invention, and innovation, as well as inspiration to use these skills to help the world around us.

DiscoverSTEM founders Mirza Rizwan and Mirza Faizan have made history by becoming the first Indian to win the coveted George Washington Honor Medal from the Freedoms Foundation – USA.

Started in 1949 by former US President Dwight D. Eisenhower, Freedoms Foundation honors exceptional contributions of Americans towards communities in the USA. Generally reserved for the US citizens, the awarding organization made an exception to recognize the stellar research work and its impact of India’s Mr. Rizwan in designing and implementing a unique STEM & Innovation program for American children, thereby revolutionizing the education system in the USA.

Few of the other notable non-US citizens who have received George Washington Honor Medal include Ms. Margaret Thatcher (Former Prime Minister of United Kingdom), Lech Walesa (Former President of Poland and Noble Prize winner) and world-renowned Russian writer Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. As the latest recipients of this prestigious honor, Mirza brothers join historically acclaimed group of citizens whose work and dedication advance the American ideals, the award letter says.

Some of the distinguished US citizens who have received this award for their stellar contributions in their field are Walt Disney, Astronauts Sally Ride and John Glenn, Capt. Sully Sullenberger, Athletes like Arthur Ashe, George Foreman and Tiger Woods and famous US educator Jaime Escalante.