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Norman Zhou

Water leak damage causes more than 2B dollars of insurance claims in Canada every year. AquaSensing has invented and manufactured the world’s first battery-free leak detectors, which offer maintenance-free, environmental-friendly, and low-cost solutions. Our products are especially suitable for hard-to-reach areas and freezing environments, such as remote and rental properties and infrastructures, high-rise and industrial buildings, and construction sites.

Tell us about yourself?

I am on leave from my full-time professorship at the University of Waterloo, where I am a Canada Research Chair in Advanced Materials Joining and Processing. A few years ago, I co-founded a successful university startup, SmarterAlloys, on innovative materials processing technologies.

If you could go back in time a year or two, what piece of advice would you give yourself?

I’d hope we did not have the Pandemic, so we could have started exploring markets and talking with potential customers earlier when we were working on our prototypes.

What problem does your business solve?

AquaSensing’s products detect water leaks at early stages to prevent billions of dollars in water damage at lower costs because of our battery-free technologies.

What is the inspiration behind your business?

Batteries cause huge environmental issues and have relatively short life spans, especially under freezing conditions.

What is your magic sauce?

AquaSensing’s patent-pending technology was built on early pioneer R&D work at the University of Waterloo on energy harvesting materials and micro-/nano-devices.

What is the plan for the next 5 years? What do you want to achieve?

Sell million’s battery-free water leak detectors and move to other markets, such as adult diapers, smart bandages, and oil leak detection.

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?

We have limited resources and cannot keep up with discussions and pilot studies with potential applications and customers.

How can people get involved?

We can use all the help and support we can get. Please contact me at, or visit