For the last five years, the Alumni Lecture Series has celebrated the return of KAUST’s graduates as they present highlights from their work in research, academia, industry and innovation to current student students, faculty and the KAUST community. Join us to participate in thought-provoking conversation with five inspirational alumni.
President Dr. Jean-Lou Chameau will host an invitation only afternoon tea following the Lecture Series.
Program 2:00 pm to 2:15 pm
Opening Remarks Dr. Brian Moran, Dean of Graduate Affairs
2:15 pm to 2:50 pm
Muna Khushaim - Effecting of a KAUST PhD experience on the academic teacher performance
In this lecture, Dr Khushaim will present a brief description of her PhD studies at KAUST. She will describe how this educational experience enriched her career as an academic and teacher in the Physics Department of Saudi Arabia’s Taibah University in Al-Madinah. She will highlight the effects of important factors learned at KAUST, which have impacted her attitude and academic philosophies in her role at Taibah University. These factors include: inspiration, discovery, patience, persistence, challenge and knowledge. Dr Khushaim will also discuss opportunities for institutional collaboration in research areas that will impact local and global communities.
2:50 pm to 3:25 pm
Dinorath Olvera Ramos - Recreating the bone-ligament interface
Dinorath’s presentation will focus on how her research has pushed the limits of tissue engineering by aiming to recreate the complex attachment of ligaments to bones. The attachment of dissimilar materials is an engineering challenge. Nature solved it by developing a graded transition tissue called enthesis. Ligaments that do not heal after trauma, for example the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), are replaced by tendon grafts that fail to regenerate the native enthesis. Failing to restore the enthesis can compromise graft stability, one of many factors predisposing such surgically repaired knees to an increased risk of osteoarthritis. By integrating tissue-specific molecular cues and the topography of microfibrillar substrates it is possible to drive adult mesenchymal stem cell differentiation into ligament-enthesis-bone formation. This new interface can be integrated to existing repair or replacement surgeries to better mimic the native attachment and improve outcome measures following treatment of soft tissue knee injuries.
3:25 pm to 3:40 pm Break and Refreshments
3:40 pm to 4:15 pm
Jenna Lloyd Randolfi - Engineering challenges of biological systems: from the bench top to the production plant.
Whether for nutrition, fuel, or agriculture the world of microalgae for commercial scale has been riddled with engineering challenges. From harvesting to economics and everything before and after - what works at the bench scale in the lab doesn't always work at large-scale. This is especially true for biological systems that react and change based on various conditions. Many of the engineering innovations we do not hear about are related to process scale-up. In Jenna’s presentation, you will hear case studies of such challenges and her solutions for making high-quality products from algae.
4:15 pm to 4:50 pm
Ahmed Showail - IoT facing IPv6 challenges
The Internet of Things (IoT) is the next big technological revolution. This seminar focuses on the problem of IPv4 address exhaustion, why is it happening, how does it affect IoT, and what are the possible ways to mitigate it. It also introduces IPv6 as a possible solution and highlights the major challenges facing the deployment of this protocol.
4:50 pm to 5:00 pm
Closing Remarks President Dr Chameau
5:00 pm to 6:00 pm President's Afternoon Tea (Invitation Only)
Ahmad is an assistant professor of Computer Engineering and Head of Technology Incubators at the Vice Presidency for Business and Innovation of Knowledge at Taibah University in Saudi Arabia. Ahmad is also the founder and CEO of tech startup company Zayer. Before joining KAUST in 2009, Ahmad was a system engineer with SABIC. During his time at KAUST, Ahmad published several papers in top journals and magazines and filed a US patent. As a student he was a summer intern at Texas A&E University (2011) and the University of Oxford (2010). Ahmad’s professional goal is to become a leader in academia, to push higher education development in Saudi Arabia, the region and the world. He also holds a BSc (Hons) ’05, from King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals.
Dinorath Olvera Ramos
After graduating from KAUST in 2013 with a MSc in Chemical and Biological Engineering, Dinorath was awarded an Irish Research Council scholarship to carry out her PhD studies. She joined the Musculoskeletal Tissue Engineering and Mechanobiology Research Group in the Trinity Centre for Bioengineering at Trinity College Dublin. During her PhD studies she has explored the use of fiber reinforced hydrogels, the effect of topography and biochemical cues on adult mesenchymal stem cell differentiation, and extracellular matrix components to recreate the tissue-specific microenvironments that make up the complex ligament-bone attachment. Dinorath is hoping to finish her PhD by next year and continue her career in the tissue engineering field.
Jenna graduated from KAUST with a MS in 2012 after focusing her studies in Chemical and Biological Engineering. Her research in KAUST’s Catalysis Center was with Professor Jorg Eppinger. Jenna completed her undergraduate degree in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Johns Hopkins University in 2010. She has recently commenced a new role with Western Window Systems in Arizona as a Testing Engineer, after three years with Heliae as a Development Engineer.
Dr Muna Khushaim is an Assistant Professor in the Physics Department of Taibah University, Saudi Arabia. Dr Khushaim completed her PhD at KAUST in 2015 in material science and engineering. During her research at KAUST, Dr Khushaim became exposed to many sophisticated analytical techniques and is an expert of atom probe tomography techniques in the Arab Gulf States region. Dr Khushaim graduated with a Master’s Degree in Theoretical Nuclear Physics from King Abdul-Aziz University in 2007 and completed her undergraduate degree in 2002 in Science and Education from Saudi Arabia’s College of Education.
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