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WEP 2019

About WEP

The annual Winter Enrichment Program (WEP) is one of the hallmarks of KAUST. WEP is a two- week program whose primary purpose is to enrich and inspire the University's students and KAUST community members, as well as academic and industrial partners who are all invited to join. 

The whole University becomes involved in one of the most exciting programs of the year, including lectures, courses, workshops, seminars, field trips, and special events in the main categories of Academic, Entrepreneurial, Personal & Professional Development, Cultural and Recreational. The program hosts KAUST speakers, eminent international guest speakers, Nobel Laureates, entrepreneurs, academics, as well as distinguished local and regional leaders and decision-makers.

WEP 2019: TIME

WEP will return in 2019 from January 13 to 24, chaired by Professor Valerio Orlando, BESE Division.

From picoseconds to millennia, atoms to the universe, silence to sound, aging to rejuvenation, home to work, moment to memory….

“People like us who believe in physics know that the distinction between the past, the present and the future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.” Albert Einstein

“Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.” Warren Buffett 

What will WEP Cover?

  • Opening Day
  • Arts and Culture
  • Physics
  • Food and Nutrition
  • Economy
  • Biology
  • Energy and Ecology
  • History
  • Racing
  • Society
  • Medicine and Philosophy
  • Final Gala

The Chair: Valerio Orlando


Valerio Orlando is Professor of Bioscience at KAUST Biological and Environmental Science and Engineering Division and Head of KAUST Environmental Epigenetics Program (KEEP).

Orlando’s lab interest is the exploration of the epigenetic and noncoding genome mechanisms that allow cells to adapt to the changing environment and how these matter for development, environmental stress, neuromuscular disease and somatic cell reprogramming.


How we Choose our Themes

Every WEP has a different theme and is built in collaboration with KAUST students, faculty, community members, alumni and industrial partners who are invited to submit proposals each year. During a very competitive selection process the WEP Review Committee, chaired by the WEP Chair, considers the scientific and technological aspects of the proposals, as well as their enriching and inspiring nature. It is mandatory for KAUST students to register for WEP once during their degree studies.​

In line with KAUST mission to be a source of inspiration and innovative thinking for aspiring scientists, academics, scholars, and entrepreneurs, both nationally and internationally, the Chair of the program, together with the Enrichment Office, strives to choose a stimulating theme that opens new perspectives to the future.

Previous themes:

  • International Year of Chemistry
  • International Year of Light
  • Pulse Food
  • Sustainability and Climate Change
  • Big Marine Animals on the Move
  • Food for All
  • Pushing the Limits:  Challenging Engineering & Science
  • Pioneers
  • Human-Machine Future
  • City of the Future


For more information, e-mail us at contactwep@kaust.edu.sa.