WEP 2022 Resilience


The 2022 Winter Enrichment Program at KAUST (WEP) will run from January 9 to 20 under the theme ‘Resilience.’ Associate Professor Peiying Hong will be the WEP Chair and Assistant Professor Derya Baran will be the co-Chair. WEP 2022 will be a hybrid program consisting of virtual and physical events on campus. 


It’s the ability to withstand adversity—to weather challenges, setbacks, and unforeseen circumstances. The global pandemic has tested the resilience of people and systems the world over. But humanity has proven resilient in a time of exceptional adversity. And so it is with cautious optimism that the theme for WEP 2022 is Resilience.

WEP 2022 will explore tipping points—stress events such as climate change, pandemic, resource shortage, rapid population growth, and more. What makes tipping points happen? How can we predict when they will occur? And how can we adapt, recalibrate and bounce back stronger?

We hope that the theme “Resilience” would provide an approach for the global community, regardless of our perspectives and background, to come together in a collaborative manner and address the various adversities.

WEP 2022 will explore Resilience through three overlapping topic areas:

  • Food, water, energy, and environment
  • Digital
  • Health


Crop production must double by 2050 to meet the demands of a growing global population. In the face of competing interests for water resources, land for biofuel production, and the growth of urban areas, how can we sustainably feed our future population? Can we grow food on marginal lands? And should we farm in arid environments?


Water sustains life. Humanity must have a reliable water supply and sanitation infrastructure that can adapt and respond to change. How do we plan infrastructure development to ensure resilience in the face of adversity?


Extreme weather conditions related to climate change affect our food, water, energy, and health. How do we improve the resilience of our vulnerable ecosystems? And how do we plan for future cities without being at odds with environmental sustainability?


Global power consumption is 18.5 terawatts, and demand is set to increase by 1% annually. Current methods of energy production release greenhouse gases back into the environment, fueling a vicious cycle of climate-change-induced detrimental impacts. How should we power the planet sustainably? And in the meantime, how can we sequester emissions to limit impact?


The COVID-19 pandemic was first identified in Wuhan, China, in late December 2019 and since then, has evolved into variant strains that continue to stress healthcare systems the world over. How are microorganisms evolving to continue impacting our daily lives? And how do we defend ourselves by building up more robust, global health response, research, and care delivery systems?


The dependence of modern societies on cyberspace makes them vulnerable to attack. Accidental faults, design errors, cyberattacks, or unexpected operating conditions in computational tools and networks could impose a dynamic range of threat severity, impeding sustainable operations from a micro- to macro-scale. How do we model, architect, and design our computers, networks, and devices with diversity, flexibility, resilience, and built-in baseline defenses?

Call for Proposals for WEP 2022

The success of WEP depends upon the enthusiasm and creativity of the entire KAUST community. In March-April 2021 all members of the community were invited to submit proposals for WEP. 

We received more than 90 proposals from the KAUST community for WEP 2022 ‘Resilience.’ THANK YOU to all proponents! We can proudly say that thanks to you, this campaign was a success!  

Congratulations to the first 20 proponents who submitted a proposal for WEP 2022: Rana Alrabeh, Yevhen Fatieiev, Nikolaos Papagiannopoulos, Mardson McQuay, Dominik Michels, Marcelo Benitez, Natanael Bolson, Naeemullah Khan, Colleen Campbell, David Keyes, Nimisha Rajawat, Samar Aseeri, Jian Pan, Letizia Muro, Ahmad Showail, Luis Francisco Villalobos, Heribert Hirt, Paul O’Callaghan, Bassam Dally, Chye de Ryckel.

The WEP 2022 committee will review all proposals during the upcoming weeks under the supervision of the Chair Peiying Hong, Co-chair Derya Baran, and the Office of Enrichment Programs. Everyone who submitted a proposal will be informed about the committee’s decision during the summer. The proponents of the five proposals with the highest rating will also receive surprise gifts!

For questions regarding the proposals, please contact wepproposals.kaust.edu.sa. 

Discover more about the WEP experience