Honoring H.E. Dr. Khaled's role in establishing King Abdullah University (KAUST)

On March 28 at KFUPM King Fahd Conference Center, His Royal Highness Prince Saud bin Naif bin Abdulaziz, Governor of the Eastern Province, patronized the ceremony for honoring H.E. Dr. Khaled's role in establishing the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) and ten years of cooperation and strategic partnership. The ceremony attended by officials of the two universities, industry leaders and pioneers of scientific and technical innovation in the Kingdom.


His Royal Highness Prince Saud bin Naif stressed in his speech that the Kingdom has been given great attention since the establishment by King Abdulaziz bin Abdulrahman, may God have mercy on him, to the education and scientific research sector. This was evident by establishing the science institutes and establishing scholarship programs in various fields, recognizing that science is the measure of the development of nations, and applying the first verse of the Quran (Read) and believing that we are a nation that has a role in the march of human civilization since the dawn of Islam. For this aim, science institutes and universities were built in all over the Kingdom and cities to be beacons of science and research centers contributing to the society development and to serve as a cornerstone in the overall development process taking place in our country under the leadership of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz – May Allah support him-, following up the march of his brothers - may Allah have mercy on them.

He added that such partnerships, which we celebrate today its tenth anniversary, have and will contribute in the integration of Science edifices, and exchanging ideas and opinions to find distinctive research products which will have a role in supporting the national economy and contributing to the advancement of development. He said, I am pleased tonight to be among the elite group of scientists and academics in one of the most important beacons of science and knowledge in our country and in the region, namely the Universities of King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals and King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, and who had recognized the importance of partnership and research cooperation in the production and development of knowledge, providing an ideal model for advanced education and scientific research.

His Royal Highness stressed that the presence of specialized universities strengthens the economy to be a knowledge-based economy, meets the labor market requirements, and needs for qualified graduates as well as enhances the role of the Kingdom in the field of scientific and technical research. Therefore, we must develop research tools and methods for scientists and researchers, encouraging the spirit of creativity among our students and developing the scientific innovations that contribute to enhancing the direction of our national economy towards the knowledge-based industries, so that our future generations will reap these fruits. This can only be done with the hard and sincere work of the Kingdom citizens who committed themselves to scientific research and service of humanity.


The results achieved through the strategic partnership between the two universities in the last ten years confirm that such partnerships have become a pressing demand for cross-fertilization and development of ideas for the service of local and international scientific research, and to overcome all the challenges facing in this area. The cooperation between Saudi and international universities is another necessity to achieve a shift in knowledge in our universities, through transferring their expertise and experience in accordance with the needs of each university.

HRH said “God bless King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz, the originator of the idea of King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, it has been his dream until it became a reality. He assigned this task to Saudi Aramco and H.E. Eng. Ali bin Ibrahim Al-Naimi to lead the foundation team, providing them with all needs and giving them full confidence for the university establishment. He continuously (hour by hour) followed the construction process through the specialized cameras.

This national dream interest has continued with the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz (May Allah support him) for the university to continue in its giving and excellence and to be a pioneer of scientific research, innovation and development locally and regionally as the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz (may God protect him) is keen to improve the role of the Kingdom in all activities, especially in scientific area, and there is no doubt that his will in the advancement of the scientific research results to make our Kingdom an exporter of scientific research not only a consumer.

"I would like to thank the Rector of King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals, Dr. Khaled bin Saleh Al-Sultan, for his great role since the university was a dream on paper until it became a reality. I also thank Eng. Nazmi Al-Nasr, who was known for his creativity, high-mindedness, honesty and overcoming difficulties.

"I would like to thank everyone for what they have done, and also my appreciation and thanks to the President of KAUST, Dr. Jean-Lou Chameau, for his outstanding efforts at this time to manage this important academic edifice and all the directors of the two universities that our Kingdom is proud of them. Moreover, I congratulate them on the success of this partnership, which came as an insight to serve the various fields of scientific research, which will impact in the nation prosperity.

H.E. Engineer Ali Al Nuaimi, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, said: "On behalf of all of you, and the Board of Trustees, faculty members and employees of King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, and on behalf of KFUPM, I am very thankful and grateful to HRH Prince Saud bin Naif bin Abdulaziz, Governor of the Eastern Province, for his interest, encouragement and remarkable support for the advancement of science and knowledge, and for honoring us tonight and patronizing this occasion held by King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, expressing its gratitude and appreciation to its sister, King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals.

Prophet Mohammed, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, said: “The one who do not thank people, do not thank God for."

We gather today on this blessed night to give thanks and gratitude and to celebrate together the fruits and results of the successful complementary relationship and fruitful strategic partnership between King Abdullah University of Science and Technology with its sister King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals.

He added: "We are gathered tonight to say a thousand thanks to you. You have done what you promised and the future, God willing, is promising and promising with more areas of cooperation, coordination and integration in various branches of scientific knowledge and applied research between the two universities."

"What you are looking for is looking for you. What you are searching for is searching for you. Distinguished teaching and advanced scientific research (which both universities seek) is the foundation of nations' renaissance and the difference that makes growth, prosperity. Great nations who are seeking a position under the sun and a worthy place at the forefront of nations in order to be prosperous and proud societies with themselves and what they offer to the world."

"We meet tonight with Thuwal people to say to our brothers and colleagues in Dhahran. You and our loved ones at King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals have been and remain loyal companions, loving brothers and one of the most important strategic partners of KAUST."

Since its inception eight years ago, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), has attracted more than 150 graduates from King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals in its graduate programs, constitute the highest percentage of founding students.

KAUST's diverse classrooms, centers and advanced research laboratories have benefited from the efforts and bestowal of many outstanding faculty members at KFUPM. Four PhD graduates from KAUST in the last three years joined the faculty of King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals (KFUPM). Joint research efforts since 2011 have culminated in the publication of nearly 130 scientific papers or publications published by the two universities. We hope that these scientific researches will help to achieve promising scientific and technological results, achievements and discoveries that contribute in building a better world for all.

"Ten years ago, KAUST's campus was just sand, grass, sea, and nothing else," he said. It has no administration, no teaching staff, no students, no researchers, no buildings and no lab equipment. Today, KAUST has become a monumental edifice and a model university city of global scientific significance. It has become a destination for the genius from all over the globe. In addition to having some of the best scientific & engineering research facilities and educational facilities with the best equipment in the world, it also includes a real community of explorers and innovators who seek to build a better future by working and collaborating with many institutions and partner organizations around the world with KFUPM as one of the most important allies and strategic partners. This is a tribute to our strategic partner and its Rector, Dr. Khaled Al-Sultan, who was one of the first pioneers who contributed to the establishment of KAUST through his active membership in the World Advisory Committee and the Board of Trustees.

He concluded by saying: "I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks and affection to the patron of the ceremony, His Royal Highness Prince Saud bin Naif bin Abdulaziz, Governor of the Eastern Province, for honoring us. I would also like to thank all our partners and colleagues at KFUPM for their outstanding efforts and contributions that have accompanied the various stages of KAUST's life. We hope that the partnership and cooperation between the two universities will grow and develop into a wider and deeper perspective.

I also, ask Allah to keep the blessing of security, stability and progress under its wise leadership and to protect this good land and its people from all harm.

On the other hand, His Excellency the Rector Dr. Khaled bin Saleh Al Sultan expressed his pride - and all the employees of the university - with this kind patronage. "I am delighted to welcome you at King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals on the occasion of KAUST's celebration for the tenth anniversary of its strategic partnership with KFUPM, which shows the importance of joint work in the development of higher education institutions, and help them achieve their goals in creating a model of elegant education and advanced scientific research.

H.E. Dr. Al Sultan thanked His Royal Highness Governor of the Eastern Province saying: "I would like to extend my sincere thanks and appreciation to His Royal Highness Prince Saud bin Naif bin Abdulaziz, Governor of the Eastern Province, for his generosity in honoring this celebration in recognition of the efforts of two scientific cities cooperation in various fields to strengthen the march of the national economy and to confirm the keenness of our wise government under the leadership of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz and His Royal Highness the Crown Prince Muhammad bin Naif bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, First Deputy Prime Minister and the deputy crown prince Mohammad bin Salman Al Saud who were interested in education which helps this vital sector to play its role in achieving comprehensive development.

I would also like to thank KAUST for its initiative to honor KFUPM as the largest university supporting it since its inception and for its efforts to help the university build advanced research and development capabilities.

I would also like to emphasize that the strategic partnership between the two universities has all the means to succeed. This partnership experience is not the first for KFUPM, which succeeded in developing excellent relations with the most important international universities.

King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) has been on the same track of excellence as KFUPM and in a few years, KAUST has been one of the leading educational projects for the future of the Kingdom and one of the international in scientific research and innovation center, and they succeeded in attracting an elite group of scientists, distinguished researchers and talented students and has achieved outstanding scientific and research achievements.

King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM) has put its outstanding educational track record, its distinguished research record and its advanced scientific capabilities in serving the partnership experience with KAUST. The two universities emphasized the importance of joint cooperation and its positive impact on the development of higher education institutions. The difference between the institutions of higher education do not prevent the great cooperation between them, but it is a reason for this cooperation, and that this is the right moment to work together in the knowledge production which has become a measure of progress, one of the most important determinants of comprehensive development and one of the most important goals.

Together, the two universities provide a wonderful example of scientific and human cooperation on the path of rapid progress from Thuwal to Dhahran and from Dhahran to Thuwal, made by men driven by the desire of giving to the homeland. They know the meaning of belonging to their good land. They prove that great scientific institutions share their interaction, relations and openness to other universities in writing their history. This was not strange to King Fahd University, which transferred its experiences and a number of initiatives associated with its name to many universities, as was not strange to the King Abdullah University for Science and Technology, which targeted, from the beginning to be a bridge of communication between civilizations and peoples and to become a beacon of knowledge.

"The cooperation between the two universities has been accompanied by industrial, economic, social and environmental needs in vital areas such as electrical engineering, chemical engineering and applied mathematics, as well as the studies to assess the environmental impacts of the KAUST construction, collaborative research on carbon, mitigation of climate change, and the development of three-dimensional modeling operational platforms, which will become a reference tool for risk assessment, spills management in the Arabian Gulf, seaweed and coral reefs in the Arabian Gulf.

A numerous areas of cooperation include student admissions, employment, labs development, teaching courses, summer training and other areas of cooperation which I believe they will grow in the coming years.

Once again, I would like to reiterate my sincere thanks and gratitude to His Royal Highness Prince Saud bin Naif bin Abdulaziz for sponsoring and honoring the ceremony and for the constant support and care for the University's activities and programs. I also thank His Excellency Engineer Ali Al-Naimi and the KAUST Director and all its officials and guests."