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Abdullah Aljoud

Abdullah Aljoud is a Saudi Arabian long-distance runner. He holds the national record for the half-marathon and was placed number 48 worldwide for the half-marathon distance. He competed in the 2012 London Olympic Games for the Men’s 5000 meters and he also qualified for the world championships. He was coached by Ian Wilson when he started running at the age of 27 and was able to make it to the Olympics at the age of 37. He also lead Joud Running Club in Aramco.

Abdullah Dehwah

Abdullah Dehwah is Phd student at WDRC at KAUST. Abdullah is a big fan of running. He has experience participating in different races from 100 meters up to 12 hour relay races. He started his training with the Saudi Aramco Wellness Running team under the supervision of coach Ian Wilson . Abdullah managed to compete in many local competitions as well as international competitions in Bahrain, always managing to finish in the top ten. Abdullah is currently leading Red Sea Runners team at KAUST.

Al Khwarizmi Group

Al Khwarizmi Group is a KAUST group of mathematicians and photographers exploring the connection between photography and mathematic. Members:

  • Andrea Baczynski (Bachofen-Echt), KAUST photographer, EVP.
  • Jan Haskovec, research scientist, CEMSE.
  • Lilit Hovhannisyan, KAUST photographer, Marcom.
  • Lukas Larisch; student, CEMSE.
  • Peter Markowich, professor, CEMSE.
  • Gabriel C. Wittum, professor, CEMSE.

Alexandru Ionut Budisteanu

Alexandru Ionut Budisteanu 23 years old - Forbes 30 under 30 Europe alumni, TIME magazine nomination for one most influential teens in the world. Alexandru owns a group of startups including Autonomix - Artificial Intelligence software for affordable self-driving cars, VisionBot - Pick and Place robots for assembling electronic boards - building even a small manufacturing facility for producing robots, and SkyHub - Social Network for disrupting internet forums. Alexandru is also CTO for SaveEnergy - an IoT smart socket with Artificial Intelligence that reduces the electricity bills for buildings by disconnecting unused standby electronic devices.

Amal Baatia

Amal started her fitness journey with gymnastics when she was 8 years old. Since then, she has been constantly striving to maintain an active lifestyle. Today, Amal has become the first female cross fit trainer in the Kingdom. By juggling between being a mother of two, an investment manager, all while pursuing her passion for fitness, she is now a certified level 2 cross fit trainer, a calisthenic, and a mobility coach. She is a role model, encouraging women in Saudi Arabia to engage in fitness activities and a healthier lifestyle.

Anastasia Khrenova

Anastasia Khrenova was born in Moscow, Russia. She earned a Master’s degree with distinction in Psychology from the Moscow State University and started her Ph.D. But then her passion and career shifted to design, illustration, and photography. Her work has been published in a wide spectrum of periodicals, from «Nature» to «Vogue».
With more than 10 years intensive experience as a photographer, Anastasia has created more than 1000 scientific photographs.

Andrew Vardy

Dr. Andrew Vardy is an Associate Professor in Computer Science and Engineering at Memorial University in St. John's, Canada. Dr. Vardy completed his Bachelor degree in electrical engineering with computers and communications option, from Memorial University in 1999. After graduating, he became quite interested in bio-inspired computing and thus pursued a master's degree in evolutionary and adaptive systems from the University of Sussex in Brighton, UK. He continued his PhD studies in computer science from Carleton University in Ottawa. His main research interest is biologically inspired robotics.

Art Student Perspective

A KAUST student group Specialized in art production. The following students will be teaching the Google Tilt Brush course during WEP 2018 at the university Library: Mariam Awlia, Nada Al Jassim, Mohammed Alsayyari, Oleg Ovcharenko.

Atlab Ltd.

ATLAB is a technology based hands-on learning solutions company that is focused on providing innovative educational training systems and laboratory equipment of the highest quality to Educational Institutions, Technical Universities, and Industrial (Vocational) Training Centers.http://www.atlabme.com/

Ayman Al Harbi

Ayman Al Harbi is the Director of Information Technology and Project Director at the SmartCity Project Royal Commission for Jubail and Yanbu. He works on defining features and timelines for the Smart City Solutions along with building and leading several teams. Al Harbi received his bachelor degree in Computer Science from King Abdul-Aziz University in 2000. He later obtained his Master of Business Administration from Brock University in 2012. He also holds several certificates including Associate Value Specialist by Save International and Project Leader by Haward Technology Middle East.


BELLA GAIA is a NASA-powered immersive theater show that communicates without words the BEAUTY of the planet both natural and cultural (BELLA) and the INTERCONNECTEDNESS of all things on Earth (GAIA). Named a "100 Top Creative" by Origin Magazine, a World Technology Network award finalist in Arts, Entertainment, and Education, and a Grammy voting member, BELLA GAIA creative director Kenji Williams explores the nexus of art and science through collaborations as diverse as astronaut Koichi Wakata orbiting live aboard the International Space Station and institutions such as NASA, UNEP or UNESCO.

Brian Parrot

Brian is a Research Scientist with Saudi Aramco, where he's worked since 2012. He is working on the Intelligent Systems team, which has graduated four robotics-related projects since being formed in 2012. Brian has a BSc ‘10 in Biology, during which he conducted research on an EMG-controlled upper-body, robotic exoskeleton. He also has a MSc, '11, from KAUST in Chemical and Biological Engineering. He has been granted 7 patents by the USPTO and is the author of 4 journal articles in addition to receiving multiple awards for his work on the Intelligent Systems team in Aramco.

Carolyn Porco

Over the past 40 years, Dr. Carolyn Porco has led various explorations of the outer solar system. Her research focused on the planetary rings encircling the giant planets and the interactions between rings and orbiting moons. She led the imaging science team on the Cassini mission in orbit around Saturn. She is also popular for her public speaking engagement (i.e. TED 2007 and 2009 as well as PopTech 2005 and 2006) mostly presenting about the Cassini mission and more generally the planetary exploration.

Chad Carlos

Chad Carlos is an assistant professor of entrepreneurship at Brigham Young University, recently ranked as the number 2 entrepreneurship program in the United States. He is also a regular guest lecturer at Cornell University, where he received his PhD. Professor Carlos has taught courses on entrepreneurship and innovation to students in various countries. His research focuses on issues related to entrepreneurship and strategy in contexts such as health care, alternative energy, corporate sustainability, and university technology commercialization and has been published in top management journals including Administrative Science Quarterly and Organization Science. Prior to his academic career, he was a certified public accountant and a senior consultant with KPMG in their Silicon Valley office. In this capacity, Carlos specialized in helping technology clients such as Google, Hitachi, Palm, and Cypress Semiconductor mitigate financial risk and improve operational performance.

Colleen Campbell

Colleen Campbell has a bachelor in Geography with minors in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Anthropology.  She is a human geographer, which means she is interested in people, where and how they move.  She is especially interested in complex humanitarian events and how these event affect people and their movements. Colleen will graduate with her Master’s in GIS in May 2018.  

Daniel Bryant

Daniel Bryant is a post-doctoral fellow in the KAUST Solar Center. Daniel has previously worked at Imperial College London on a range of photovoltaic technologies. His past research experience includes perovskite stability studies, scale up issues and economic forecasting. Aside from research Daniel is the founder and managing director of Murex 3D - a materials research and design company focused on developing new materials for the 3D market.

David Edwards

David Edwards, a creator, writer, and educator, teaches at Harvard University in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. He is founder and director of Le Laboratoire in Paris, France. His work, which spans the arts and sciences, has been featured prominently in the international media, and is at the core of a network of art and science labs in Europe, USA and Africa (ArtScience Labs). Beyond David Edwards' scientific publications, for which he was named the youngest member of the National Academy of Engineering, and, later a member of the French National Academy of Engineering, he has written widely on creativity in the arts and sciences.

David Keyes

Professor Keyes is the director of the Extreme Computing Research Center at KAUST. He earned a BSE in Aerospace and Mechanical Sciences from Princeton University in 1978 and a PhD in Applied Mathematics from Harvard University in 1984. Prof Keyes works at the interface between parallel computing and the numerical analysis of partial differential equations. Before joining KAUST as a founding dean in 2009, he led DOE scalable solver software projects and taught at Columbia University and Yale.

Ebtisam Bakhsh

Ebtisam's educational background is in Computer and Information Systems and has been working at KAUST for 4 years. Today, she works as a business analyst in the IT department serving the academics. That is Ebtisam from 8 am to 5 pm on weekdays. For the rest of her time, Ebtisam juggles the roles of a mother, wife, daughter, chef, cleaner, teacher, doctor, therapist, nutritionist, driver, and a part-time student pursuing her master's degree.

Eko Budi

In 2010 Dr. Eko Mursito built a Klungbot with his students and in collaboration with local artists. The Klungbot integrates the wonderful tradiational Indonesian angklung musical instrument with modern robotic and digital music technology. Dr. Eko with his Klungbot was elected as the champion of Research and Development of INAICTA 2011 and won several national and regional innovation competitions. Mursito Budi is currently an assistant professor in the Department of Engineering Physics at the Institut of Technology, Bandung, Indonesia

Elizabeth Churchill

Currently a Director of User Experience at Google, Elizabeth Churchill is an applied social scientist working in the area of human computer interaction, computer mediated communication, mobile computing and social media. Originally a psychologist by training, Elizabeth focused on understanding people’s social and collaborative interactions in their everyday digital and physical contexts. She is an applied social scientist, interactive technology designer and social communications researcher. In 2010, she was recognized as a Distinguished Scientist by the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM).

Emilie Ringe

Emilie Ringe earned her bachelor’s and Masters degrees in Chemistry, then Ph.D. in Chemistry and Materials Science at Northwestern University in 2012. She became the Gott Research Fellow at Trinity Hall as well as a Newton International Research Fellow (Royal Society) in the Electron Microscopy group in the Materials Science and Metallurgy Department at Cambridge University. In 2014, she was hired as an assistant professor at Rice University, where she established the Electron Microscopy Center. She is now a lecturer at the University of Cambridge, joint between the Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy and the Department of Earth Sciences.

Fadl Abdel Latif

Fadl Abdel Latif joined Aramco's R&D Center in 2012 where he develops robotic systems for Oil & Gas applications. He completed his Bachelor's degree in Mechatronics Engineering with distinction from University of Jordan in 2009. He completed his Master's degree in Mechanical Engineering with distinction from KAUST in 2011. His research focus areas include robotics, automation, systems modeling and control and received many awards including the IFIA Industrial Glory Medal and KAUST Provost Award.

Fahad A. Alsherehy

Dr. Fahad Al-Sherehy obtained his doctorate in Chemical Engineering from the University of British Columbia in Canada. Completed Harvard business school Advanced Management Program (AMP).  He joined SABIC in 1990 and currently he is SABIC CTO and VP - Technology & Innovation. Dr. Al-Sherehy has contributed to the development & commercialization of five technologies. He is the inventor and co-inventor of three patents and has been a Board Member of several SABIC Affiliates. Dr. Al-Sherehy has also served on the advisory committees of many national and international universities.

Felix Mayrl

Felix Mayrl is an artist and photographer from Leipzig. For him photography, like life itself, has numerous shades, as it draws, depicts and influences it from the very beginning. He is currently the head of the photographic collective “Kollektiv-Lumen” with Olivier Colin. A booming creativity and a thriving business collaboration resulted from their photographic style and complementary technology-skills. According to Mayrl, a fascinating aspect of photography is precisely teamwork. Thus, he has a lot of collaborations especially with his colleague Sabine Arndt.

Fernando Cagua

Fernando is now undertaking his Ph.D. at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand with research on leveraging the power of big data for conservation. From Columbia, Fernando graduated from KAUST with a M.S. in Marine Science in 2012. He has also worked for several non-government organizations on conservation projects.  Fernando’s passion for marine biology can be seen on his website, cagua.co, where he showcases his work and relates issues he is passionate about.


Gerard Schuster

Gerard Schuster is currently a Professor of Geophysics at King Abdullah University Science and Technology (KAUST) and an adjunct Professor of Geophysics at University of Utah. He was the founder and director of the Utah Tomography and Modeling/Migration consortium from 1987 to 2009, and is now the co-director and founder of the Center for Fluid Modeling and Seismic Imaging at KAUST. Dr. Schuster helped pioneer seismic interferometry and its practical applications in applied geophysics, through his active research program and through his extensive publications, including his books "Seismic Interferometry" (Cambridge Press, 2009) and "Seismic Inversion" (SEG Press, 2017). He also has extensive experience in developing innovative migration and inversion methods for both exploration and earthquake seismology.

Gregory Murphy

Greg is the Associate Director of Admissions and the Acting Associate Registrar at Kaust. He is an aspiring triathlete who is an Ironman Finisher as well as completing ten 70.3 and Olympic distance triathlons.

Hanan Alshehri

Founding Class Alumna Hanan has been in the role of Investment Products Development Officer at Capital Market Authority (CMA) in Riyadh since graduating from KAUST, where she applies her passion for mathematics.  Hanan’s undergraduate degree is in information systems from Prince Sultan University, and at KAUST she completed a M.S. in Applied Mathematics and Computational Sciences in 2011. 

Hassane Trigui

Hassane Trigui is a Research Engineer working in Saudi Aramco R&D Center at KAUST since 2012. He is leading the Intelligent Systems team; designing cutting-edge, business driven robotics solutions. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Control and Instrumentation from KFUPM and Master’s in Electrical Engineering from KAUST. His research focuses on robotics, control, circuit design, and embedded programming. He has been rewarded with the CEO Excellence Recognition Award twice during his career in Saudi Aramco.

Heno Hwang

Heno Hwang is the Scientific Illustrator at KAUST. His fascination with methods of easily communicating complex research has led him to study visual communication for life science and medicine. This includes education and practice in  Microbiology (BA. Kyungpook National University, 2005), Molecular medicine (MSc.  Kyungpook National University, 2005), 3D Graphic Design (Animatus, 2010), Medical Art (MSc. Dundee, 2012), and Biomedical Illustration (Medicinal Bioconvergence Research Center). Heno has been producing scientific images and animations for scientists and societies which have been featured in research projects, journals, presentations, and television.

Hussain Shibli

Hussain Shibli is the Director General of the National Renewable Energy Data Center at King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy (KA-CAR) in Riyadh, a position he has held since March 2017. Graduating from KAUST in 2013 with a M.S. in Communication and Signal Processing, and starting work with KA-CAR as a new graduate, Hussain is passionate about taking care of the environment for following generations.

Ian McLeod

Ian Mcleod  is Co-Founder and director of Cinematic Science, a production company that specializes in creating inspiring science-based media content and training scientists & students in visual science communication. Also, he is a senior Research Scientist and Communications Manager in James Cook University (JCU), Australia. He has also produced videos on almost every continent. Ian is passionate about empowering others and gives workshops about careers in science, video production and science communication.

Jamal Najim

Jamal Najim is deputy head of the Computer Science laboratory at Université Paris-Est, France. He obtained his PhD in 2001 from Université Paris-Ouest, France. Prior to his current position, he worked as a senior scientist at Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS). His research interests are in probability theory at large, and especially random matrices and applications to statistics and wireless communications.

James Lyne

James Lyne's cyber security expertise is frequently called upon to inspire audiences of all technical backgrounds to take cyber security seriously. Energetic, passionate, and charmingly nerdy, he has become a leading keynote speaker on cyber security and cyber crime.

A self-professed 'massive geek' and renowned cyber security expert, James Lyne is an information security speaker committed to educating those outside of the industry on security threats and best practice. Energetic, passionate, and charmingly nerdy, he has become a leading keynote presenter by maximizing the impact of his security expertise through engaging presentations. He is currently global head of Security Research at Sophos, a certified instructor at SANS Institute, and the founder and director of Helical Levity.  

Janis Tyhurst

Janis Tyhurst is the Senior Subject Specialist at KAUST’s library. She liaises with the CEMSE faculty to develop collections, resources and programs in addition to providing instruction for these areas. She has developed targeted seminar training for students and researchers on resources in respective areas highlighting value of patent and business resources for research and intellectual property (IP) development. 

Jeffrey Schnapp

Jeffrey Schnapp is the founder/faculty director of metaLAB (at) Harvard, faculty co-director of the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University. Jeffrey is also Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of Piaggio Fast Forward, a company devoted to developing innovative solutions to the light mobility and transportation challenges of the contemporary world. Piaggio Fast Forward is a subsidiary of the Milan-based Piaggio Group, known throughout the world for iconic vehicles like the Vespa and iconic brands like Aprilia and Moto Guzzi. Piaggio Fast Forward’s first generation of robotic vehicles has received extensive worldwide media coverage, including the Wall Street Journal, Time Magazine, Wired, TechCrunch, Gizmodo, CNN Tech, SlashGear, Dezeen, and Endgadget.

Jens Schneider

Jens Schneider is a Staff Scientist at the Visual Computing Center at KAUST. Apart from his professional experience in large-scale scientific visualization, he is an avid electronics tinker and his expertise includes programming embedded systems and microcontrollers. As an active member of KAUST’s Maker Space SDG, he has co-authored and co-hosted several WEP courses in previous years on topics related to the Maker Culture. In 2013, Jens received the Seed Fund for Hachid Arabia.

John Perkins

John Perkins is Assistant Professor of Music at Butler University, with extensive choral conducting experience outside of his native USA, including the UAE, Indonesia, Oman, Lebanon, and Saudi Arabia. While on the faculty of the American University of Sharjah for six years, he developed the UAE’s first higher education music program and founded the Nassim Al Saba Choir, the first Arabic, four-part choir in the Gulf region. His research and professional contributions include, among other scholarship, presentations, articles, and arrangements concerning Arabic choral music. Professor Perkins holds a Doctoral of Musical Arts degree from the University of Arizona.

Jon Rawlinson

Jon Rawlinson is a filmmaker and producer with 15 years of experience producing television, video and media content. He has a passion for using the latest technological innovations to tell unique and compelling stories. Jon has produced more than 70 videos for clients around the world and is currently in development of a Virtual Reality series for a leading global network. Jon is a co-founder and CEO of Cinematic Science, a production company that specializes in producing science-based media content.

Laszlo Toth

Laszlo Toth is a Hungarian Ph.D. student at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne with research interests in photonics and quantum measurement. He has an undergraduate degree from Cambridge University, and graduated with a MS in Photonics at KAUST in 2013. Like all of KAUST’s talented alumni, Laszlo has many other interests. Notably, he is the President of ShARE, a multicultural, global, nonprofit association for students who wish to deepen their understanding of complex socio-economic and business issues.

Laura Sagle

Laura Sagle is Assistant Professor of Chemistry at The University of Cincinnati. Her current research areas include: Protein-nanoparticle devices for improved LSPR biosensing, development of improved, biologically compatible SERS and LSPR substrates, benchtop methods for nanofabrication at the sub 20 nm level (for single biomolecule applications). 

Leslie Dewan

Dr. Leslie Dewan is a co-founder and the Chief Executive Officer of Transatomic Power, a nuclear reactor design company based in Cambridge, MA, that is developing the next generation of sustainable nuclear power plants. Leslie received her Ph.D. in nuclear engineering from MIT, and also holds S.B. degrees from MIT in mechanical engineering and nuclear engineering. Leslie has been awarded an MIT Presidential Fellowship and a Department of Energy ComputationalScience Graduate Fellowship. She is a member of the MIT Corporation, MIT’s board of trustees, and was named a TIME Magazine "30 People Under 30 Changing the World,".


Luis Sarmento

Luis Sarmento is the CTO of TonicApp.com, an e-health start-up company. He is an Artificial Intelligence researcher, focusing mostly on Natural Language Processing, Information Extraction, and Machine Learning. He holds a degree in Electrical Engineering (1999), a Masters degree in Artificial Intelligence (2004), and a PhD in Informatics (2010), all from the University of Porto. Sarmento has more than 15 years of experience in leading research teams both in academic and industrial settings and he worked with Portugal Telecom and Amazon.

Lukas Larisch

Lukas Larisch, a KAUST Ph.D. student in Computer Science working under the supervision of Professor Gabriel Wittum, won the PACE 2017 Parameterized Algorithms and Computational Experiments Challenge. The award ceremony that took place in Vienna, Austria, at the beginning of September 2017 has been held during the ALGO Congress at the International Symposium on Parameterized and Exact Computation (IPEC 2017).

Maher Uraijah

Maher Uraijah is a runner who works as an engineer for Saudi Aramco. In an attempt to lose weight and become more fit, Maher began to run in 2008. It was a transformational experience that later became his passion. He started participating in marathons with one goal at first: “to reach the finish line”! His first race was in 2008 as part of the International Marathon Relay in Bahrain running 3K in approximately 30 minutes. Now Maher runs the same distance in 12 minutes. He is currently training with Joud Running Club.

Make & Create Team

The Maker Space team includes: Daniel Bryant, Jens Schnieder, Myraida Marzan, Andrew Yip and Peter Rautek.

The  Maker Space SDG connects people that like to play with technology and tinker with DIY projects. We are building a place and a community for people to play, learn, tinker and innovate!

 Find the online at:

http://makerspacesdg.com/ and https://www.facebook.com/MakerSpaceSDG/

The Maker Space SDG is sponsored by Innovation and Economic Development.

Mardson Mcquay

Mardson McQuay is Associate General Counsel and Senior IP Attorney at KAUST. He is a former tenured professor of Mechanical Engineering at Brigham Young University and Senior VP and Chief IP Counsel at CGG, France. He also spent four years as an Associate in a law firm and five years as a Senior IP attorney at GE. He has been an invited lecturer on the topic of IP all over the world.

Margaret Livingstone

Margaret Livingstone is Professor of Neurobiology at Harvard Medical School. She has done research on hormones and behavior, learning, dyslexia, vision, and how vision science can understand and inform the world of visual art. She has written a popular book, Vision and Art, which has brought her acclaim in the art world as a scientist who can communicate with artists and art historians, with mutual benefit.

Marie-Laure Boulot

Marie-Laure Boulot is the Enrichment Office director at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST). She sets strategies, oversees program development and positions KAUST's enrichment programs in Saudi Arabia and in the international landscape. She graduated from Paris Dauphine University where she studied finances and marketing. Marie-Laure joined KAUST as a founding staff member in 2009. Starting with the inaugural 2010 Winter Enrichment Program, Marie-Laure has successfully spearheaded the development and expansion of the University's enrichment programs that expand the minds of not only students but also faculty, staff and community members and in-Kingdom guests.

Mark Ziembicki

Mark Ziembicki is a lead researcher and communication manager on the State of the Tropics initiative, a project that brings together leading research institutions from across the world’s tropics to assess social, economic, and environmental issues in the region. His research is interdisciplinary with a focus on wildlife ecology and biodiversity conservation. Mark is also a passionate advocate for the communication and advancement of science, an accomplished photographer and a co-founder of Cinematic Science.

Martin Mai

Martin Mai is Professor of Earth Science and Engineering at KAUST and President of the Seismology Division, European Geosciences Union. Professor Mai's research interests include the physics of earthquakes and the resulting complexity of earthquake phenomena, as seen for instance, through earthquake-source imaging and dynamic rupture modeling. Mai's work extends to strong ground motion properties and near-source broadband wavefield simulations that include seismic wave scattering in heterogeneous media. He is currently the president of the Seismology Division, European Geosciences Union.

Matthijs van Waveren

Matthijs is a Research Applications Specialist at IT. He has organized and given software trainings at KAUST, and gives user support to researchers. He has worked for over 25 years in the IT field.

Michel Nassar

Michel Nassar holds a degree in mechanical engineering with an emphasis in Mechatronics from the American University of Beirut. He gained practical field hands-on experience in the oil and gas industry as an engineer trainee at Schlumberger. He also developed research expertise as a research assistant in University of Wisconsin Madison. In July 2011, Michel Nassar joined National Instruments as a Technical Sales Engineer and later moved to the Applications Engineering department which provides technical support and services for the Middle East and North Africa. Throughout his career, Michel worked on basic to advanced projects with key clients from different sectors of the industry, specialized in research, education, and product development. He covered more than 30 training courses including LabVIEW, Modular instruments, Real-time systems, FPGA and Embedded platforms, data acquisition and signal conditioning, and test management. Recently Michel Nassar moved to the new position of Senior Technical Advisor in which he is managing West of Saudi Arabia.

Michelle Ponto

Michelle Ponto is an Emmy-nominated journalist and author. She started her career 25 years ago as a science writer for Biotech Magazine and ComputerWorld, and has since gone on to communicate science through print, video and digital media for Discovery Channel, The New York Times and a number of TV news organizations across the US including ABC and CBS.  In addition to having had the opportunity to interview scientists all over the world, she has also worked for Thomson Reuters, IDG and Frontiers, one of the world’s leading open access science publishers. She currently is the Global Communications Manager at KAUST. Michelle has a MS in Creativity and Innovation, and Bachelor degrees in Communications, Fine Arts, Accounting and Finance and Sports Science.

Miznah Al-Nassar

Miznah Al-Nassar is an Aramco employee who currently joined the Saudi Athlete National Team as 800m runner. She had broken the Saudi record in the Islamic Solidarity Games in Baku 2017. Miznah started her running career in 2014 with Coach Abdullah Aljoud. She is the fastest lady in Saudi Aramco Camp winning the first place in all the races she participated in. She also aims to qualify and participate in the upcoming international Olympics games representing Saudi Arabia.

Mohamed Norain

Mohamed Norain is a Senior Embedded Software Engineer at Schlumberger’s High Efficiency Center of Excellence in Katy, Texas, United States. As part of his roles and expertise, Norain designs and develops “Embedded” solutions to sustain Schlumberger’s measurements while drilling services. He holds a Master of Science with Distinction in Embedded Systems Engineering from Heriot-Watt University in the United Kingdom. In 2011 he received the highest Sudanese prize for scientific innovation and creativity.

Munther Dahleh

Munther A. Dahleh is the William A. Coolidge Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT, and the Director of the Institute for Data, Systems, and Society (IDSS). He is recognized for his foundational contributions to robust control theory, computational methods for controller design, the interplay between information and control, the fundamental limits of learning and decision in networked systems, and the detection and mitigation of systemic risk in interconnected and networked systems.

Myraida Rivera

Myraida Rivera, AIA is a licensed architect, civil engineer, project manager, and design consultant. Prior to co-founding  d.heritage2tech she worked in pharmaceutical, commercial, residential, and product design projects. At KAUST, she co-founded its Makerspace (currently ProtoLab) and recently instructed KAUST’s first FabAcademy. Myraida received an undergraduate degree in Environmental Design and graduate degrees in Architecture from the University of Puerto Rico and Civil Engineering, Construction Engineering and Management from Stanford University.

Nasser Al-Nafisee

VP of Corporate Affairs for Saudi Aramco.

Nate Hagens


Nate Hagens is a Professor at the University of Minnesota teaching a class called "Reality 101 - A Survey of the Human Predicament". Nate is a public intellectual who writes and speaks on the synthesis of human behavior, energy, economics, environment and issues related to human futures.  Nate has appeared on PBS, BBC, ABC and NPR, and has lectured around the world. He holds a Masters Degree in Finance from the University of Chicago and a PhD in Natural Resources from the University of Vermont. Until recently he was lead editor of The Oil Drum, one of the most popular and highly-respected websites for analysis and discussion of global energy supplies and the future implications of energy decline.

Nicholas Demille

Nicholas Demille is the head of University Editorial Services - the KAUST team responsible for publishing the official English language social channels, website, The Beacon and The Lens. Before joining KAUST he worked as an agency copywriter for numerous Fortune 100 brands. He also lived with the Maasai as a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer in Kenya. Demille earned a master's degree in Global Journalism from Indiana University

Nikolaos Laoutaris

Dr. Nikolaos Laoutaris is director of Data Science at Eurecat, Spain. He is also as the co-founder and chief scientist of the Data Transparency Lab, a global community of technologists, researchers, policymakers and industry representatives working to advance online personal data transparency. Prior to joining the Barcelona lab Laoutaris was a postdoc fellow at Harvard University and a Marie Curie postdoc fellow at Boston University. His research interests include privacy, transparency and data protection, economics of networks, intelligent transportation, distributed systems, protocols, and network measurements.

Niveen M. Khashab

Niveen M. Khashab is an Associate Professor in the Physical Sciences and Engineering Division at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST). During her doctoral studies at the University of Florida, Prof. Khashab trained in organic chemistry in the laboratory of Prof. Alan R. Katritzky. Prof. Khashab received the Crow award for organic innovation in 2006 and AlMarai award for excellence in nanotechnology in the Middle East region in 2013. She is also the 2017 recipient of the L’Oreal-Unesco international women in science award. Her current efforts focus on the design, synthesis, and applications of organic-inorganic hybrid materials that are porous and dynamically controlled by stimuli (pH, light, magnet, enzymes….).

Olivier Colin

Olivier Colin is an artist born in France in 1980. He lived and worked in different countries such as Germany, Mexico, USA, and Italy. His exposure to different societies and cultures made him focus in his photography translating diversities, relations and local situations. He is currently the head of the photographic collective “Kollektiv-Lumen” along with Felix Mayrl. He is registered at the German Journalism Association and has worked with several companies and NGOs including Doctors without Borders Cambodgia, BWM Foundation Germany, Amnesty International Mexico, Ministery of Social Development of Mexico City…

Oussama Khatib

Oussama Khatib is the director of the Robotics Lab at Stanford University. Professor Khatib's work on advanced robotics focuses on methodologies and technologies in human-centered robotics including humanoid control architectures, human motion synthesis, interactive dynamic simulation, haptics, and human- friendly robot design. He is the leader of the team working on OceanOne, a bimanual underwater humanoid robot with haptic feedback that allows human pilots to experience an unprecedented ability to explore the depths of the oceans in high fidelity. It allows humans to dive virtually and to communicate through hand gestures, while putting the human out of harm's way.

Paul Bennett

Paul Bennett leads the Jeddah Through Time tour during WEP 2019. Paul is the Manager of Graduate Events and Recreation and his career includes managing sports, recreation and stadia facilities and events and sports marketing and advertising. His experience in Saudi Arabia and in the United Kingdom spans operations in private, non-profit and government sectors. Paul joined KAUST in 2008 from the Recreation Services Department of Saudi Aramco, in Dhahran. Upon arriving at KAUST, he played a key role in establishing the recreation facilities on campus, before joining Graduate Affairs in 2009.

Paul and his team manage over 600 events, programs and activities per year to serve the extracurricular needs of graduate students. In addition, they also organize a number of annual events for graduate students, such as during Orientation in August that includes the Orientation Expo. Paul’s team also organizes exhibitions and sports events during the year, as well as trips for graduate students. The office furthermore organizes events open not just designed for students, but where community members can participate as well, such as the annual Lunar New Year celebration and the University Badminton Championship. Since 2014, Paul and his team have organized well over 100 Thursday Night Live! music sessions held each week during the semester, in the Student Center.

Paul has been a resident of Saudi Arabia for just over 20 years and organized some of the first off-campus trips for KAUST community members back in 2008, which included trips to Jeddah and various parts of Saudi Arabia. Paul’s qualifications include a Master’s degree from Loughborough University in the UK, and his interests include scuba diving, music and travel.

Pavlos Moustakidis

Pavlos Moustakidis – Founder and CEO, ePosterslive

Peter Rautek

Peter Rautek is a Research Scientist at the Visual Computing Center at KAUST. He is passionate for making things manifested in joint electronics projects and mobile apps like Epic (mobilesynergies.org), uberdice (uberdice.thomashollt.com), and Visual Experience, a KAUST seed funded and award winning startup focusing on virtual reality experiences. Peter founded, and is the acting president of, KAUST’s Maker Space SDG. He has co-authored and co-hosted several WEP courses in 2016 and 2017.

Petr Kuznetsov

Petr Kuznetsov is professor in computer science at Télécom ParisTech, Université Paris-Saclay, France. He received his PhD from École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in 2005. Before joining Télécom ParisTech, he worked at Max Planck Institute for Software Systems and Deutsche Telekom Innovation Labs/Technical University of Berlin.

Philipp Heltewig

Philipp Heltewig is the CEO and head of research at Cognigy, a German company focusing on conversational artificial intelligence (AI) systems. Cognigy Solutions provides Voice and Chat AI works across many digital channels including chatbots such as Facebook, Slack, Skype, WeChat and more, voice assistants like Alexa, Google Home, Siri, Cortana… He is a researcher and entrepreneur from Düsseldorf, Germany, who spends significant time in the research and business communities in Australia and Silicon Valley. He holds a Masters degree in Information System from Munster University and QUT Australia. He also attended Harvard Business School. 


Rebecca Mileham

Rebecca Mileham began her career at the Science Museum in London and now advises on exhibition projects across Europe and the Middle East. She is currently working on the new Sheikh Abdullah Al Salem Cultural Centre in Kuwait, and her text appears in the international touring exhibition 1001 Inventions: discover the golden age of Muslim civilization. Her background is in Physics, and she is a science writer, writing coach and podcaster. She is preparing to publish her new book, Cracking the Elements, in March 2018.

Robert Langer

Robert Langer is an Institute Professor at MIT. His h-index of 233 is the highest of any engineer in history and he has over 1,130 issued and pending patents worldwide and his patents have licensed or sublicensed to over 300 companies. Professor Langer served as Chairman of the FDA’s SCIENCE BOARD (it’s highest advisory board) from 1999-2002.  Langer is also one of very few individuals ever elected to the National Academy of Medicine, the National Academy of Engineering, the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Inventors. 

He has also received the Charles Stark Draper Prize (sometimes referred to as the engineering Nobel Prize), the Albany Medical Center Prize, the Wolf Prize for Chemistry, the Millennium Technology Prize, the Priestley Medal (highest award of the American Chemical Society), the Gairdner Prize, the Kyoto Prize, the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences and the Lemelson-MIT Prize, for being “one of history’s most prolific inventors in medicine.” He holds 29 honorary doctorates including honorary degrees from Harvard, Yale, the Karolinska Institute, and Uppsala University.


Romain Couillet

Professor Romain Couillet currently works in the Laboratory of Signals and Systems at CentraleSupélec, University of ParisSaclay, France. His research interests are in statistics, signal processing, machine learning, wireless communications, graph theory, and random matrix theory. He is the recipient of several awards including the 2013 CNRS Bronze Medal, 2013 IEEE ComSoc Outstanding Young Researcher Award, 2011 EEA/GdR ISIS/GRETSI best PhD thesis award, and Valuetools 2008 best student paper award. He is also an IEEE senior member. Couillet has also co-authored the book, “Random matrix methods for wireless communications”.

Ryan Coles

Ryan Coles is a doctoral candidate at Cornell University where he specializes in entrepreneurship and new venture strategy in emerging markets, innovation, and university technology commercialization. Coles has a master's degree in Organizational Theory from Cornell, a master's degree in Sociology and a bachelor's degree in Middle Eastern Studies and Arabic both from Brigham Young University. Prior to working in academia, Ryan co-founded a "volun-tourism" company and a consulting company, both of which had operations in the Middle East. Ryan enjoys wrestling, waterskiing, snowboarding, and playing the piano. He and his wife, Chloe, are the proud parents of two kids. 

Samar Aseeri

Dr. Samar Aseeri is a Computational Scientist at KAUST Supercomputing Lab. Before joining KAUST in 2010, she received her training on supercomputing at IBM in New York. She obtained both her Masters and PhD in Applied Mathematics from Umm Al-Qura University in 2005 and 2009 respectively. Her current research interests focus on Fast Fourier Transform library benchmarks. Along with providing support to Shaheen users at KAUST, she is also involved with various research projects with the Extreme Computing Research Center.

Sebastian Steinke

Sebastian has 13 years experience in software development and project management. He is currently working as a software engineer and database manager to the Saudi Aramco-KAUST Marine Environmental Research Center. Particularly, he works as a Glider pilot and develops software for Glider operations. In 2016, he applied self-directed learning in Machine Learning to train models to find anomalies in data streams from Gliders. In contrast to the Gliders in the KAUST fleet, he always looks forward to seeing sharks while scuba diving in the Red Sea.

Shahad AlSaiari

Shahad AlSaiari is a PhD student in Bioscience program at KAUST. She joined KAUST in 2012 as a master student, under the supervision of Dr. Niveen Khashab. Her research focuses on the development of nanoantibiotics for the combat of infectious diseases. 

Sherif Mahmoud

Sherif M. Hanafy joined KAUST in 2009 as a senior research scientist. He is the lab instructor for geophysical field methods, seismic interferometry, traveltime tomography, early arrival tomography, data interpolation/extrapolation, and shallow application of resistivity and GPR methods. Hanafy received his bachelor and master's degrees from Cairo University, Egypt in geophysics and then was awarded a Ph.D. from University of Kiel, Germany – Cairo University, Egypt in 2002. He worked as a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Utah from 2007–2009. Dr. Hanafy is mainly interested in shallow application of geophysics for geologic, engineering, environmental, and archaeological application.

Siyuan Liu

Dr. Siyuan Liu is Assistant Professor of Information Systems at Smeal College of Business, Pennsylvania State University in the department of Supply Chain and Information Systems. He received his PhD from the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. His research interests include mobile big mining, social behavior analytics, and mobile marketing. His work has been recognized by Google Internet of Things Technology Research Award, Google Faculty Research Award, Marketing Science Institute Award, among others.


So-Jung Park

Dr. So-Jung Park is a professor in the department of chemistry and nanoscience at Ewha Womans University. She obtained her Ph.D. in Chemistry at Northwestern University in 2002 under the guidance of Prof. Chad Mirkin. Her PhD work was recognized by the Nobel Laureate Signature Award for Graduate Education in Chemistry. After postdoctoral research with Prof. Paul Barbara at University of Texas at Austin, she joined the faculty of the department of chemistry at the University of Pennsylvania as an assistant professor in the fall of 2005 and promoted to an associate professor with tenure in 2012. She moved to Ewha Womans University as a professor in 2013. Her current research focuses on self-assembly of nanoparticles and functional polymers. She is currently serving as an associate editor of ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces and an advisory board member for Nanoscale.

Steven duBois

Steven M. duBois is a managing partner with the firm of Patent Portfolio Builders PLLC. His practices are in the areas of patent monetization, patent preparation and prosecution, patent opinions and patent licensing in the electrical and computer technologies. He has more than twenty-five years of experience in the patent field including corporate, law firm and government positions. Prior to founding Patent Portfolio Builders, he was the Chief Patent Counsel for a start-up optical networking company. In this capacity, Steve expanded the company’s patent portfolio by over fifty applications within one year.


Sultan Safin

Sultan Safin is the CEO of a halal-based fast food and contract catering business in Russia.  He graduated from KAUST with a M.S. in Earth Science and Engineering. Prior to becoming an entrepreneur, Sultan worked in oil and gas for two years, including stints for Saudi Aramco and Schlumberger. His talents also extend to being a fitness instructor for a little over three years. 

Susan Polgar

Susan Polgar is a Hungarian-born American chess Grandmaster. She is famous for having been a child prodigy at chess, for being a pioneer for women in chess, and for being an advocate for chess in education. At the age of 15, she became the top-ranked woman player in the world, and remained ranked in the top three for the next 23 years. She was also the first woman in history to break the gender barrier by qualifying for the 1986 "Men's" World Championship. It is claimed that Susan composed her first chess problem at the age of four. She is considered the youngest composer of a published chess problem.

Tadeusz Patzek

ProfessorTadeusz (Tad) Patzek is Director of the Ali I. Al-Naimi Petroleum Engineering Research Center at KAUST since 2015. Until December 2014, he was the Lois K. and Richard D. Folger Leadership Professor and Chairman of the Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering Department at The University of Texas at Austin. He also held the Cockrell Family Regents Chair #11. Between 1990 and 2008, he was a Professor of Geoengineering at the University of California, Berkeley. 

His work includes mathematical, both analytic and numerical, modeling of earth systems with emphasis on multiphase fluid flow physics and rock mechanics; smart, process-based control of very large water floods in unconventional, low-permeability formations; and productivity and mechanics of hydrocarbon bearing shales. Between 2008 and 2014, he was the Lois K. and Richard D. Folger Leadership Professor and Chairman of the Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering Department at The University of Texas at Austin. For the last 7 years, Patzek has maintained a blog about the environment, ecology, energy, complexity and human activities with 350,000 unique readers.



Thomas Hoover

Thomas Hoover is a Marine Electronics Engineer at Coastal and Marine Resources (CMOR) Core Lab.  He is passionate about using technology to improve our understanding of the world and improve the future of humanity. He served for 22 years in the US Navy, completed his BS in Engineering Technology at Old Dominion University and has more than a decade of experience with underwater robotics at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute.  His previous employment includes submarine nuclear power, sustainment of the nuclear weapon stockpile, development of naval stealth technology, spacecraft electronics reliability and practical use of robotics on the battlefield.

Thomas Kurz

Thomas Kurz is the vice president of Strategic Partnerships for Q Squared Solutions BioSciences LLC. He is the co-founder of Advion BioSciences with Dr. Jack Henion and has nearly 30 years of business management experience. He also held the position of Chief Operating Officer for Advion BioSciences from 1993 through 2003, President of Advion BioSystems from 2003 through 2005, and President of Advion BioServices from late 2005 through late 2011. He received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Utah and an M.B.A. from the Anderson Graduate School of Management at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).

Todd Nims

Todd Albert Nims is a Saudi-born American producer heavily involved in the Gulf region’s cinema and entertainment development. Mr. Nims is known for producing the feature films JOUD (2019) and BORN A KING (2019) for release to cinemas in 2019. He held the Film Producer position at the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s state-of-the-art hub for inspiring creativity and global culture, Ithra, for six years where he established the Kingdom’s first cinema and assisted in launching the first Saudi Film Days (saudifilmdays.com) program to provide funding and development to Saudi filmmakers while screening their films in Hollywood. Mr. Nims owns a AB Media, a media consultancy business based in the USA and Empty Quarter Entertainment, a tech media company, based in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Umair Bin Waleed

Umair bin Waheed is a KAUST alumni and a postdoctoral research associate at the Department of Geosciences, Princeton University. Since finishing his postdoc in 2017, Umair has been at the College of Petroleum Engineering and Geosciences, KFUPM as Assistant Professor. In addition to conducting scientific research, Umair has always been curious about communicating scientific findings. During his time as a postdoc at Princeton, he worked with the Princeton Writing Program (PWP) as a Writing in Science and Engineering Fellow under the mentorship of Judy Swan. He received intensive training in teaching writing at the PWP. Later he taught courses on scientific writing to graduate students from across disciplines at Princeton. Encouraged by the positive feedback from his students, Umair now conducts workshops helping students across different universities to effectively communicate their scientific discoveries through writing.

Ute Langner

Ut​e Langner is an experienced spatial ecologist with capabilities in GIS software, geoprocessing, relational database management and metadata collection. Ute is responsible for the GIS component of the Saudi Aramco-KAUST Marine Environmental Research Center.

Vasco Pedro

Vasco Pedro is the co-founder and CEO of Unbabel, an artificial intelligence powered human translation platform to remove language barriers between companies and their customers. Unbabel blends artificial intelligence with a global network of translators to provide real-time, human-quality translations at scale. Vasco received his PhD in Language Technologies from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, USA. A serial entrepreneur, since 2013 he has led Unbabel, taking it through Y Combinator and raising a total of $8 million in funding.

Visual Experience

Visual Experience is a KAUST startup, that specializes on virtual reality solutions for businesses and consumers. 
Their award winning mobile VR viewer is sold online and at popular retail stores. 

Xavier Pita

Xavier Pita is a Scientific Illustrator at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST). Xavier holds a Master degree in Scientific illustration (Universidade de Évora, 2013) and a degree in Civil Engineering (Instituto Superior Técnico, 2006). Xavier has worked on several published and personal projects ranging from biological illustration to illustration of industrial heritage. His work has been featured in international exhibits, including Focus on Nature XIII and Il-lustra Ciencia 2014. In 2013 and 2014, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation recognized Xavier’s work with the “Casa das Ciências” Scientific Illustration award.

Yves Agid

Yves Agid is a neurologist, neuropsychiatrist, cell biologist, neurochemist, academician, university professor, hospital doctor, researcher in biology and scientist specializing in neurosciences. Dr. Agid studied at the Lycée Jean-Baptiste Corot in Savigny-sur-Orge and the Faculty of Medicine of Paris, Pierre and Marie Curie University. He received his MD in 1973 from Univeristy of Paris. He obtained his PhD in Science in 1976 working with Jacques Glowinski at the College of France and became PU-PH in neurology and neuropsychology in 1979 at the Salpêtrière, then head of the Neurology Department at the Pitié-Salpêtrière from 1993 to 2007.