The International Advisory Board (IAB) of King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals (KFUPM) concluded its 19th meeting on Tuesday 22nd March 2016. The meeting which lasted for two days, attended by members of the board who are elite of local and international dignitaries in the academic and industrial sectors.
The meeting agenda included four key topics: future research opportunities, excellence in academic development, the development plan of the Mechanical Engineering Department and building entrepreneurial thinking.
Dr. Khaled S. Al-Sultan, Rector of KFUPM, said that these four topics were discussed on first day of the meeting with four sub-committees. Each Committee has a number of Council members including concerned KFUPM faculty members. All members of the Council met on second day to discuss the four committees' reports.
The Board had a presentation on the future research opportunities which discussed the role of the University in the development of scientific research by providing scientific and high-level research in topics of strategic importance to the Kingdom.
Dr. Jean-Lou Chameau, President of King Abdullah University of Science and technology, a member of IAB-KFUPM confirmed that King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals is moving confidently in the fields of education and scientific research.
On the sidelines of IAB-KFUPM 19th meeting which concluded its work on Tuesday 22 March 2016, Dr. Lou Chameau said the University has maintained a high quality educational system and graduates leaders emerged in various sectors.
Dr. Lou Chameau added that King Fahd University has developed a unique innovative system and in spite of its youth, it managed to make great achievements pointing out that the facilities provided by the university will promote its growth in the coming years. "I was very excited to see the development of the King Fahd University and with my membership in IAB, I was introduced on impressive programs and I am glad of this membership and to contribute to KFUPM activities." He added.
Dr. Lou Chameau described Dhahran Technology Valley as a great project and an initiative that will contribute to turning scientific research to industrial application and help the University to commercialize its technology, pointing out that KFUPM has made strides in this area. King Fahd University has developed a partnership with King Abdullah University since this University was establishment, and both Universities have a lot of joint research projects and keen to attract KFUPM graduate students. He said, "I hope that his IAB membership will enhance this partnership".
He, also, pointed out that both universities are leading the scientific research and innovation in the Kingdom, have a lot of joint programs and their targets are integrated. The level of scientific publishing in scientific journals and citing percentages of both universities confirm that these two universities are on top.
"The two universities work on the Kingdom developmental needs and focused on science and engineering in the areas that constitute a priority in the Kingdom. Although, KFUPM and KAUST differ in nature of educational programs but both share similar environment regarding qualitative education and the development of research and innovation. King Fahd University offers undergraduate and graduate programs while KAUST focuses only on graduate studies". He declared.
"Moreover, transferring research concepts to industrial products require a lot of effort and time, but when we provide the necessary requirements and make the right procedures, the university will reach its objectives, stressing that King Fahd University is moving in the right direction. Personally, I expect to see a lot of achievements in this area." He added.
As for IAB meeting agenda, there were many other topics discussed in the meeting. The most important were the quality of education, development of innovation system and international cooperation programs.
For his part, Dr. Didier Houssin, Chairman and CEO of the French Institute of Petroleum said that the research at KFUPM developed significantly in the past few years, putting it among the elite universities in the world in the field of patents. In the next step, we have to make sure that these patents will be transformed into industrial products to contribute in the development of the Kingdom, provide work opportunities and initiate many industrial activities from these patents."
According to Dr. Houssin, who is visiting the University for the first time after being named as a member of IAB, he was surprised by the quality of KFUPM activities in education, scientific research, innovation and business generating around the university." I had the opportunity to meet many university officials noted out how seriously the university work.". He added.
The meeting agenda is full in order to discuss the development of innovation, entrepreneurship, the development of the mechanical engineering department, attracting distinguished faculty members, strengthen the global dimension of the University, and enhancing the contribution of the university in the face of challenges facing the Kingdom.
"I hope my presence in IAB will contribute in strengthening the relationship between the French Petroleum Institute and the university, as we have common research and educational interests, and we cooperate in the development of our business.". He added.
Dr. Nedal Ratrout, Dean of Academic Development gave a presentation on "Excellence in Academic Development". The presentation explained the history of the Deanship of Academic Development. As the first of its kind in the region, DAD concerned on developing the educational process, providing professional support to faculty members, offering necessary consultation to develop their teaching skills and achieving the highest standards of quality in educational programs. To achieve these goals, DAD has four centers: Teaching & Learning Center, Program Assessment, Testing & Evaluation and e-learning center. Each center carries out various activities in its specific domain, such as studies, research, consultations, educational training courses and seminars for faculty in the areas of these centers.
The presentation also included a discussion on the DAD future and its impact on capacity building of faculty, development of teaching methodologies and enhancing technological development and its use in the educational process.
Dr. Zuhair Gasem, chairman of the Mechanical Engineering Department gave a presentation on ME development plan covering the features of the plan, its role in the development of ME program and how to make it more suitable according to the latest demands of the labor market.
The presentation of Dr. Wail Mousa, Assistant Dean, Entrepreneurship Institute was on the building of entrepreneurial thinking at the university. He emphasized on the role of the university in building a culture of entrepreneurship, developing the students' abilities and skills to become business leaders and raising awareness of entrepreneurship by reviewing international experiences in this field.
The Council listened to the report of Dr. Martin Jischke, Chairman International Advisory Board, on the developments of cooperation project between KFUPM and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology MIT which is a part of "International Cooperation" Program launched by KFUPM to develop partnerships with most prestigious universities in the world. This program is a role model which helped KFUPM to develop further its scientific research.
Council acts as a high-level advisory body aims to introduce a global and strategic perspective to the university's academic and research performance, encourage innovation and development, achieve a global competitive excellence and to get ongoing recommendations for its future directions.
On its second meeting for the academic year 1436/1437, The University Council decided to reform KFUPM International Advisory Council. The new council includes the appointment of the following members (for a period of three years starting from 1st January 2016):
• Engineer Amin bin Hassan Al-Nasser, Saudi Aramco president and senior executive officer
• Professor Jean-Lou Chameau, President of King Abdullah University of Science and technology
• Mr. Yousef Abdullah Al-Benyan, SABIC Vice-Chairman and Chief Executive
• Mr. Didier Houssin, Chairman of the board and Chief Executive Officer of the French Institute of Petroleum.
The University Council extends the IAB membership period of the following personalities (for three years starting from 1st January 2016):
• Dr. Charles Elachi vice president of the California Institute of Technology, and director of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, USA
• Dr. George P. "Bud" Peterson, President Georgia Institute of Technology, U.S.A
• Mr. John Rice, Vice Chairman of GE and CEO of GE global growth and operations
• Dr. Martin Jischke, Chairman International Advisory Board, President Emeritus, Purdue University, Indiana, U.S.A
• Dr. Khaled S. Al Sultan, Rector of King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals
• Dr. Nam Pyo Suh, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), Korea
• Dr. Hugo Sonnenschein, President Emeritus and Adam Smith, Distinguished Service Professor, University of Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A