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New Saudi university names investigator grant recipients

Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) has announced its initial awards to a group of Global Research Partnership (GRP) Investigator grantees.

Twelve scientists from six different countries create the inaugural group. Through the GRP, highly accomplished scientists and engineers, collectively known as Investigators, will receive five-year individual grants to support research on a wide range of issues of interest to Saudi Arabia, the region and the world. The initial research focus areas include new frontiers in efficient low-cost solar cells, and research in nanomaterials. Scientists' work is supported through the GRP at their home institutions, and researchers are expected to spend three weeks each year at KAUST.

Among the inaugural GRP Investigator grantees, two have contributed several papers and served on program committees for SPIE meetings:

  • Dr. Yi Cui, Stanford University, whose research is in advanced electrical energy storage using nanowires, and
  • Dr. Edward Sargent, University of Toronto, working on nanotechnology for solar energy.

KAUST is also providing three-year support to exceptional postdoctoral researchers.

The KAUST Investigators selection panel was composed of 14 distinguished and world-renowned scientists and engineers and chaired by Dr. Frank Press, President Emeritus of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. The members include two Nobel laureates, a winner of the Fields Medal and the King Faisal Prize, and experts who have received international recognition for their accomplishments in science and engineering. In the area of photonics, these include Dr. Zhores Alferov (St. Petersburg Scientific Center, Russian Academy of Sciences), Dr. Fawwaz Ulaby (University of Michigan), and SPIE Member Dr. Kumar Patel (Pranalytica; former Vice Chancellor for Research at UCLA).

King Abdullah University of Science and Technology is being built in Saudi Arabia as an international, graduate-level research university dedicated to inspiring a new age of scientific achievement in the Kingdom that will also benefit the region and the world. As a graduate-level research University, KAUST will be organized into interdisciplinary Research Institutes: Resources, Energy and Environment; Biosciences and Bioengineering; Materials Science and Engineering; and Applied Mathematics and Computational Science.

The university will open in September 2009.

Visit the KAUST website.