Working with DTV Tenants: the Opportunities and the Challenges

Dr. Muhammad A. Hawwa

Industrial Liaison Coordinator

The creation of Dhahran Techno Valley as an on-campus science & technology park provides opportunities to KFUPM professors, researchers and students to indulge in a new kind of partnership with multi-national enterprises. However, building such a joint undertaking does not come without its challenges. The purpose of this seminar is to describe the process of building successful collaboration between KFUPM affiliates and DTV tenant companies while overcoming expected challenges. Also, an overview of DTV Tenant Company’s main R&D profile is presented and an attempt is made to identify academic departments as potential partners.​

Short biography

Muhammad Hawwa has been with Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Departments at KFUPM since 2003. Between 1996 and 2002, he held industrial positions with high-tech Silicon Valleyard disk drive mechanics and control, and pie companies including Seagate Technology and Read-Rite (now, within Western Digital Corporation), where he conducted R&D work in the areas of hzoelectric and MEMS actuation. From 1993 to 1996, he held an academic research position with Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, where he carried out research in the areas of acoustics and vibration control, and wave propagation interactions in periodic structures. He received his Ph.D. degree in Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics from the University of Cincinnati, Ohio. Dr. Hawwa is the author or coauthor of around 30 journal papers and holds around 30 US patents.


University Industry Collaboration: Integrating Teaching, Research, and Reality

Professor Alexander H. Slocum

Pappalardo Professor of Mechanical Engineering

MacVicar Faculty Fellow & Director, Experimental Studies Group (ESG)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology



Universities, like companies, are responsible for creating a broad range of products, for example, from engineers to answers to specific short term problems, to fundamental new ways of doing things. History seems to show that one of the best catalysts for fundamental new research and ideas is working with industry to solve current problems. Examples include Heinrich Hertz, the father of frequency, who created the Hertz contact stress theory in response to a question from a railroad company on how much weight could be put on a locomotive before the wheels dented the tracks. Or Nikolai Tesla, the father of AC. This talk will explore some of these historical precedents and how the tradition continues today at many of the world’s top universities. Some practical examples will be given on how universities and companies can approach each other, how learning crosses all boundaries to help teachers, students and practitioners all stay current and learn for the future. Prof Slocum will also give examples of some of his experiences with the semiconductor, machine tool, and medical product industries.


Short biography

Alexander Slocum is the Papplardo Professor of Mechanical Engineering at MIT, a MacVicar Faculty Teaching Fellow, and a Fellow of the ASME. He has seven dozen patents and has helped develop 12 products that have received R&D 100 awards for “one of the one hundred best new technical products of the year”. He has helped start several successful companies and has a passion for working with industry to solve real problems and identify fundamental research topics.


Alex was the Massachusetts Professor of the Year in 2000 and is the recipient of the Society of Manufacturing Engineer’s Frederick W. Taylor Research Medal, and the ASME Leonardo daVinci and Machine Design Awards. His current interests focus on the development of precision machines from medical devices and instruments to energy harvesting and storage machines. Recently he served on the DoE Science Team working on the Gulf Oil Spill.


Since high school days, Alex has had a passion for furniture making and carpentry. He also loves sports from SCUBA to snowboarding to iron-distance triathlons and marathons.




Invited Lecture-1

Successful Development of a Flagship HS-FCC Technology: From R&D to Commercialization

Dr. Halim Hamid Redhwi (KFUPM) and Engr. Al-Grami Musaed (Saudi Aramco)



An alliance comprising Saudi Aramco, JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corp.(JX), King Fahad University of Petroleum and Minerals and Axens / Technip (Shaw) has developed the HS-FCC process which is able to produce up to 25% of propylene (high projected demand) by converting low-value heavy oil under severe FCC conditions, using a novel downflow reactor concept. The project went all the way from lab-top, microreactor, pilot plant (KFUPM), demo-plant (Saudi Aramco Ras Tanura Refinery) and semi-commercial plant of 3,000 BPSD (Japan). A 30,000 BPD HSFCC commercial plant is planned by JX (Nippon) to be built in Japan by Chiyoda. Alongside propylene, a considerable amount of butenes, gasoline and aromatics is produced as valuable byproducts.    


Short Biography

Dr. Halim Redhwi is the VP of Dhahran Techno-Valley Company (DTVC) and a Professor in the Chemical Engineering at KFUPM. His educational background is in Chemical Engineering and during his professional career of more than 25 years, he has been active in research & teaching in the field of Petroleum Refining, and Polymers. Dr. Redhwi's main contribution in the last ten years has been in establishing Dhahran Techno-Valley (DTV) and Science Park at KFUPM. This has resulted in the establishment of many R&D centers in the science park, including Schlumberger, Yokogawa, Honeywell, Baker Hughes, GE, Amiantit, and others. He was also involved in the establishment of research programs that became areas of excellence for KFUPM. These programs are in the areas of Heavy Oil Upgrading, a novel petroleum refining process (HSFCC) that has reached the licensing stage. The projects resulting from these programs have generated multi-million US $ funding for KFUPM from industrial clients, such as Saudi Aramco, SABIC, Nippon oil, Japan, Ciba and Switzerland. Dr. Redhwi has two patents and has published more than 130 papers in refereed journals, conference proceedings, chapters in books, and other trade journals. He has also published three books with a USA publisher. He is the current vice chairman of the Saudi Arabian Section of AIChE (SAS-AIChE).


Invited Lecture-2

KFUPM and SABIC Joint Development of a Catalytic Process for Naphtha Cracking to Light Olefins: An Overview

Dr. Sulaiman Al-Khattaf (KFUPM) and Dr. Mohammed Al-Hazmi (SABIC)


For the last three years, a team of researchers from KFUPM and SABIC have been working closely together on the development of a catalytic process for naphtha cracking to light olefins, mainly ethylene and propylene. The objective of this joint research is to develop a catalytic system that enhances the production of on-purpose light olefins at the desired ethylene to propylene ratio. While the majority of light olefins are being produced worldwide through the steam cracking of either naphtha or ethane and additional propylene is recovered from refinery FCC unit, the new catalytic process uses naphtha as feed for the selective production of ethylene and propylene.

Different synthetic strategies were adopted in this research work in order to overcome many of the limitations that hinder the selectivity of naphtha-cracking catalysts to light olefins. In particular, the research collaboration resulted in the development of two catalysts which exhibited not only higher yield of ethylene and propylene, but also better stability compared to parent MFI zeolite. The first route focused on the modification of MFI zeolite of appropriate silica-alumina ratio by metal containing the appropriate loading and salt precursor (CAT.A). By contrast, the second route involved the synthesis of mesoporous zeolite of enhanced mass-transport (CAT.B). Typical yields of ethylene and propylene are shown in Fig.1. The performance evaluations of the developed catalysts during catalytic (steam) cracking of light straight-run naphtha were examined using a continuous-flow fixed bed reactor.


Short biography

Dr. Mohammed Al-Hazmi is the Chief Scientist and PC Technical Manager at SABIC T&I. He has more than 15 years’ experience in research activities in the area of heterogeneous and homogenous catalysis. He also has more than 10 publications in peer-reviewed scientific journals, 10 granted and published patents, and about 10 conference and symposium talks.


Invited Lecture-3

Enriching experience with SHARQ, SABIC

Dr. Amro Qutub


The presentation is about a successful professional experience between one of the major industries of Saudi Arabia, SABIC and KFUPM. Once the SABIC companies, SHARQ, was experiencing difficulties in operating one of the main production machines, mixing screw. Repeated gear failures of the machine have stopped production causing huge financial losses in production and repair coast. The problem remained unresolved for the last nine years and the root cause was still unrevealed, even after several consultations with different local and international firms. KFUPM team from Mechanical engineering was formed based on the request of SHARQ for a consolation to find the root cause of the failures. Several field trips were made to investigate condition of operation and layout of the machine by taking special measurements. SHARQ was very cooperative in providing all facilities necessary to perform the task. Addition design calculation, material characterization and testing were conducted in very short period. In conclusion, the main root cause of the gear failure was found to be related to the manufacturing process and lack of sufficient quality control from the manufacturer side. Based on SHARQ invitation the KFUPM team attended a joint meeting with the manufacturer and explained the cause of failure and the required steps and procedures for the quality control. The manufacturer informed that they have adopted the suggested new process. It is important to notice that KFUPM have gained excellent practical experience that should reflect on the teaching process inside classes. SHARQ capitalized on the capability of a local university who successfully resolved a chronicle problem, in less than five weeks, and saved from additional financial impact and provided leverage in negotiating such issues with suppliers.


Invited Lecture-4

Electricity Generation and Transmission Plan for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia 2010-2032

Client Ministry of Water and Electricity

Professor Ibrahim El-Amin


The main objective of the study is to develop the electricity demand with various scenarios of socioeconomic and technological development in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, to determine economically optimal generation and transmission expansion plans and the financial requirements for the study period 2010-2032.

Various parameters, such as electricity sales, peak loads, population and Gross Domestic Product (GDP) projections, were considered in developing the electricity demand forecast. The methodology adopted for this demand forecast is broadly based on the econometric method.

The generation planning process is structured to determine the system plans for each network. The plan considers the supply adequacy, future generation requirements, their types and costs, and interconnections between various networks. The generation plans have been developed using STRATEGIST software and assessed to meet defined reliability and reserve standards.

The results indicate that the total installed generating capacity for the year 2032 will be 143,336 MW. The total addition in the generation capacity required would be 104,926 MW.

A major task of this study was to classify and quantify the fuel necessary to produce the energy required throughout the study period up until 2032. The consumption of NG throughout the Kingdom will remain in the range of 763,000 MCF to 1,115,000 MCF even though the energy needs have increased substantially. The consumption of light crude oil increases substantially. In 2032, the power plants would consume almost 120 Million Barrels of light crude oil. The heavy fuel oil -380 (HFO-380) cst requirements in 2032 are expected to be around 728 Million Barrels.

The transmission plans at the bulk level are based on the developed generation plan and the demand forecast. A detailed model of the transmission system was developed. The model was used to conduct the load flow studies aimed at determining the transmission requirements to support the necessary generation and demand levels whilst meeting the study’s planning criteria.

The cumulative generation investment requirements for the whole power system are estimated to be SAR 695,783 million over the study period 2010-2032. The PW of the total investment is assessed to be SAR 397,574 million at a discount rate of 5%. The total investment required in the transmission system for the whole country during the period 2010 to 2032 amounts to SR 81,143 million

Short Biography

Ibrahim El-Amin has been a Professor of Electrical Engineering at King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals since 1978. He received his Ph.D. and M.Sc degrees from the University of Manchester in 1978 and 1975, respectively, in Electrical Engineering with a specialization in HVDC power systems. He obtained his B.Sc. degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Khartoum, Sudan, in 1971. His research interests include power systems, power system protection, power quality, DC transmission, power electronics, electricity deregulation, and renewable energy sources. Currently, Professor. El-Amin is the principal investigator of many research projects. His projects are funded by the Ministry of Water, & Electricity, Saudi Electricity Company and KFUPM. Dr. El-Amin was a member of the team that undertook the study of the interconnection of the power networks of the GCC through HVDC converters. Relevant projects include the Development of Electricity Generation and Transmission Plan for KSA 2010-2032; Increasing the Power Transfer Capability of the Saudi Electricity Company Interconnected East-Central System; Testing and Evaluation of Harmonic Flicker Levels at Hadeed–Jubail; Voltage Dip Study for the Jubail Industrial Area; and the Control of High Voltage DC System in Power Systems.


Invited Lecture-5

Establishing Saudi Arabia's Private Sector WTO Center

Dr Mohamed A Ramady


Saudi Arabia made a strategic decision to join the World Trade Organization (WTO). Accession carries with it both opportunities and threats to the private sector in terms of either expanding or eroding its competitive trading position with other nations. As a result, the private sector decided, under the auspices of the Council of Saudi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, to carry out a feasibility study for the establishment of a WTO Reference Center to safeguard the private sector’s interest. The proposed Center would be the leading private sector national and regional Center for WTO-related matters. Its mission includes, amongst others, monitoring, analyzing, and pro-actively responding to developments in the multi-lateral and bilateral trading systems following the Kingdom’s accession in close cooperation with relevant Government bodies. Another primary aim of the Center is to ensure wide public awareness of the WTO, general acceptance of accession, and the building up of a qualified Saudi national Center of expertise in international trade-related matters. The research was carried out by a multi-discipline team from KFUPM-CIM college (Finance , MIS, Management, Accounting ) and involved both analysis of existing data and 21 field research visits to many countries in the Middle East and North Africa, the European Union, Asia and other WTO-related non-governmental organizations. A full template on the establishment, organization and operating procedures of this WTO Centre was successfully submitted to the Client.

Short biography

Dr Ramady is currently a Visiting Associate Professor, Finance and Economics, at King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. He specializes in regional geo-political risk assessment and the Saudi economy, energy, as well as money and banking, globalization and the WTO. He has authored “The Saudi Arabian Economy: Policies, Achievements and Challenges”, Second Edition, 2010, published by Springer, is editor of " The GCC Economies: Stepping up to Future Challenges", Springer, 2012, and is currently working on "GCC Country Risk Analysis: An Empirical Evaluation" to be published by Springer in 2013.

Dr Ramady held senior-level positions in banking, finance and investment, and was Project Manager to establish the guidelines for Saudi Arabia's WTO Centre for the Saudi Chambers of Commerce. He was also a Vice President with Citibank where he was posted to Europe and the Middle East and seconded to the Saudi American Bank. He also held senior executive positions with Chase Manhattan, First City Texas Bank, Qatar National Bank, and Qatar International Islamic Bank. Dr Ramady obtained his BA and PhD in Economics at the University of Leicester, UK, and a Postgraduate Master’s Degree in Economic Development from the University of Glasgow, UK. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Bankers, UK.

Invited Lecture-6

The Innovation Ecosystem of KFUPM & the Role of Technology Venture Investments for Supporting Technology Transfer from KFUPM

Director – Innovation Centre

Dr. Iyad Alzaharnah


The presentation will include a description of the innovation chain of KFUPM and the main challenges to technology transfer from KFUPM. Also, the evolving ecosystem of KFUPM and the role of technology venture investments are part of the presentation. The case of working with a technology venture fund will be briefly demonstrated in the presentation.                

Short biography

Dr. Iyad Alzaharnah is the Director of the Innovation Center at KFUPM. He completed his Bachelor and Master degrees in Mechanical Engineering science at King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM). He obtained his PhD from the School of Manufacturing and Mechanical Engineering at Dublin City University. His research profile shows he has 43 published journal and conference papers in different fields of engineering and physical sciences. He also has one US patent. In 2011, he worked as a research associate at MIT.

Since 2006, he has been involved with a KFUPM team in establishing Dhahran Techno-Valley (DTV) on KFUPM’s campus. In 2008, he became Director of KFUPM’s Innovation Center and since then he has been working on building KFUPM’s innovation and technology transfer capacities. He formulated a model for university innovation and presented it in the International XX ISPIM 2009 conference (The Future of Innovation). His other activities included developing plans for creating efficient mechanisms for joint R&D interactions between KFUPM and the multinational corporations of DTV. In this regard, he presented a paper in 2011 at the 9th Triple Helix International Conference on “Aspects of Efficient University-Industry R&D Interaction and the importance of collaborative R&D”. In 2012, he co-authored an analytical chapter in the “Global Innovation Index,” titled: “Academia-Industry Innovation Linkages in the Case of Saudi Arabia: Developing a University-Industry Triple-Helix Framework to Promote Research and Development Collaboration.”