About WEP

What is the Winter Enrichment Program?


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 and guests who are all invited to join. KAUST students must register for WEP once during their degree studies.

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, Personal & Professional Development, Cultural, Keynote Lecture Series, 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.

The KAUST community drives WEP, and the success of each Program depends upon the enthusiasm and creativity of everyone who submits proposals. 

WEP for Students

WEP is a two-week mandatory program specially designed to inspire the students to be creative. While the program themes differ from a year - to - year, it must include both technical and artistic components. WEP requires students to experience fields far different from their own, which helps them to understand how their work is connected to the problems around them. It shows them how they can impact others and how others can impact them, often in surprising ways.

How we choose our Themes 

WEP's theme is different from one year to another 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. KAUST students must 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
  • TIME
  • Personalized Medicine

Students for Credits

All students (MS & Ph.D.) have to participate in the KAUST Winter Enrichment Program (WEP) for credits once during their studies at KAUST.

Credits will only be granted during a single WEP program, and students must register for 30 credit offerings and all mandatory keynote lectures.

Students who do not complete their attendance requirements for WEP do not graduate. 

WEP 2021

The Winter Enrichment Program (WEP) will return in 2021 from January 10 to 21 under the theme "Connectivity." The 2021 program will be chaired by Professor Khaled Nabil Salama and co-chaired by Associate Professor Peiying Hong.

The success of WEP depends upon the enthusiasm and creativity of the entire KAUST community. We would like to thank all members of the community who submitted a proposal for WEP 2021 'Connectivity'. Everyone who submitted a proposal will be informed about the committee's decision during the summer. Invitations to selected speakers will be handled by the Enrichment Office and will also be sent during the summer.

About the theme 'Connectivity.'

Never have we been more interconnected, more instantaneously enabled and more empowered by the personal and professional technology at our disposal. The ability to connect from afar with homelands, mother tongues, communities, and loved ones expands possibilities for us as truly global citizens.

Digital evolution is the phenomenon of our age. We are always "on," "wired" together in our global village. This universal connectivity goes from the tangible to the intangible and from the nanoscale to the mega scale.

In the realms of science and innovation, researchers can now collaborate in a multitude of new and seamless ways. Work is accomplished remotely but also collectively to better understand and solve global challenges.

This year's topics include:

  • Cognitive connectivity
  • Physical and social connectivity
  • Advanced networks and communications
  • Cyber threats and cybersecurity
  • Monitoring and mitigating threats (infectious diseases, misinformation, violence, crises and disasters)
  • Machine learning and deep learning
  • The Fourth Industrial Revolution
  • Smart materials, devices, systems and cities

10 Years of Keynote Lectures 


As part of the KAUST 10 celebration, the Enrichment Office has created a 10 Years of Keynotes book, featuring 176 keynotes that you will enjoy discovering and watching them on YouTube.