Last Sunday morning in the Conference Centre, Dr. Omar yaghi, a Chair Professor at KFUPM, gave a lecture titled "how to create a laboratory and research enterprise", which was organized by the deanship of scientific research, and was attended by a large number of faculty members, researchers and students.
Dr. yaghi, the winner of King Faisal International Prize in 2015 in the science branch for his research entitled "Influential Contributions in the Field of metal-organic frameworks”, asserted that the goal of the lecture was "to share my experience in establishing a laboratory and a research enterprise with my colleagues at KFUPM". He added that the process of building a lab and succeed in research is a complex process, because we are dealing with many areas which were not practiced to be done usually such as operating a research lab and writing grants. He said that the lecture was about how to do research in your own laboratory without being interrupted with other things that require a lot of time and thinking effort. He added that some researchers have to take care of things like finance and management and is asked at the same time to become distinguished scholars. He said "the lecture was on my own experience in this area and aimed to inform the professors about these experiences", adding that the University professors are already productive and have good ideas, and they can use them to apply for grants. He added that many of them successfully managed to form their research teams, and found a lot of wonderful results, and produce very good scientific papers, and that they are building a good reputation in Saudi Arabia and worldwide as well.
Dr. yaghi, who holds the Chair of carbon capture sponsored by Saudi Aramco through research partnership with the University, clarified that carbon capture is one of the biggest problems facing the research community currently, adding that Saudi Aramco Chair would help us to manufacture new materials that can capture carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as well as power plants that burns fossil fuels. In addition to exploring materials that can capture carbon dioxide, he said, we have employed new researchers and developed a private laboratory to invent new materials, and these researchers are still learning the process of exploring new materials and processing them to improve their carbon capture properties.
About the importance of this Research Chair for KFUPM, Dr. yaghi said: it allows the University to recruit the best talents to fill it, and it comes with financial support that helps you to start a new research effort like carbon capture.
Regarding the impact of the arrival of the University to the rank 22 worldwide in the number of patents, Dr. Yagi mentioned that producing inventions and publishing them is a very important part of what the University is doing. He said that patents are essential elements in the portfolio which any successful University should be able to develop, and I applaud KFUPM for its success in this area, and this is a step of many steps required by any University to become great.
About his opinion of King Fahd University Dr. Yagi said: it is a large University, and it has all the advantages of a large University. It includes all teaching methods; students can engage in research as well as class room learning; for professors, they can engage in actually making new discoveries, publishing them, patenting them, and participate in the research process in a meaningful way. He explained that the University is one of the major universities in the world, and is an up and coming university. And about his feelings toward KFUPM (after four years of being around) Dr. Yagi said: I love KFUPM. I believe that the spirit of working and trying to be better is really invaluable, and this is something I found here at KFUPM.
Regarding the King Faisal International Prize, he says I won it jointly with Professor Michael Graetzel from the Swiss Federal Institute, and this award has a significant role in encouraging researchers, scientists, innovators, and scientific institutions towards the development of scientific research. He added: I got the prize for my invention “Metal-Organic Frameworks”, which are porous sponges used in clean energy applications such as hydrogen storage, methane storage, and carbon capture.
It is noteworthy that Professor yaghi is working with a team of talented researchers and students at KFUPM in several research areas, especially in the area of metal-organic frameworks in which he achieved his key achievements. He developed innovative ways to manufacture new materials and the use of their applications in areas including biomolecules entering and capturing gases such as carbon dioxide and hydrogen. Dr. yaghi also contributed to the development of these metal-organics using artificial strategies and smart designs that have earned attention of the whole world.