King Abdullah Breaks Ground on World-Class University Aimed at Unlocking Scientific and Technological Discovery

    Renowned Academics from Around the World Also Mark Milestone with
    Symposium on Global Scientific Research

    THUWAL, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Oct. 22 /CNW/ -- King Abdullah bin
Abdulaziz Al Saud, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, today hosted a gathering
of more than 1,500 dignitaries from around the world to officially break
ground for a new world-class, graduate-level science and technology university
on Saudi soil.
    With one of the largest university endowments in the world, a program to
recruit top-flight faculty and students from across the globe and
collaborations already underway with prestigious research institutions across
several continents, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST)
is positioned to become a leading center of scientific discovery and human
advancement within the Kingdom, across the region and around the globe.
Construction of the facility on the shores of the Red Sea has begun, and the
University is expected to open for operation in September 2009.
    KAUST was the brainchild of King Abdullah, who has inspired and overseen
a heightened investment in education and the economy in recent years in the
Kingdom.  King Abdullah selected His Excellency Minister Ali Ibrahim Al-Naimi
to lead the development of KAUST.
    "KAUST is the decades-long vision of His Majesty King Abdullah to build a
world-class University in Saudi Arabia dedicated to convening the best minds
for the purpose of unlocking the great mysteries of science and technology for
the progress of all humanity," His Excellency the Oil Minister said.  "And
indeed, that vision is now becoming a reality."
    KAUST Interim President Nadhmi Al-Nasr further emphasized that while the
University will be physically grounded in Saudi Arabia and serve the Saudi
people, it will be an international institution as well.
    "KAUST will collaborate with the best institutions and convene the most
talented scientists from around the globe to enable discovery that will help
all humanity," Al-Nasr, said.  "It will also deepen and diversify Saudi
Arabia's knowledge-based economy."
    Underlining the groundbreaking celebration, KAUST will also host a
special academic symposium on October 22 titled "The Role of the Research
University in the 21st Century," which will draw on many of the most
influential scholars and academic administrators from around the world.
    Among those participating in the conference will be:
    -- His Excellency Khalid Al-Sultan, Rector of King Fahd University of
       Petroleum and Minerals(*)
    -- His Excellency Mohammed Al-Suwaiyel, President, King Abdulaziz City for
       Science And Technology

    -- Olivier Appert, Chairman and CEO, Institute Francais du Petrole(*)
    -- Robert Brown, President, Boston University
    -- Paul Ching-Wu Chu, President, Hong Kong University of Science &
    -- Marye Anne Fox, Chancellor, University of California San Diego
    -- John Hegarty, Provost of Trinity College, Dublin
    -- Wolfgang A. Herrmann, President of Technische Universitat Munchen
    -- Karen Holbrook, President Emeritus, Ohio State University(*)
    -- Frank H. T. Rhodes, President Emeritus, Cornell University - Moderator
    -- Fawwaz T. Ulaby, Williams Professor, Electrical Engineering and
       Computer Science, University of Michigan - Moderator
    -- Dr. Charles M. Vest, President of the National Academy of Engineering
       and President Emeritus of MIT, who will offer the keynote address
       (*)denotes member of KAUST International Advisory Committee
    "This symposium will be an example of how KAUST will play a critical role
of convening the best minds from around the world and of collaborating with
other leading institutions to uncover new innovations and discoveries," noted
Ahmad Al-Khowaiter, interim provost of KAUST.
    KAUST's academic model is structured around four research institutes,
each including research centers devoted to a particular set of issues or
challenges that could benefit from concentrated scientific and technological
    In the 12 months since the University has been under development, KAUST
has formed partnerships with some of the world's leading research
institutions.  These include formal agreements with Woods Hole Oceanographic
Institution in the U.S.; Indian Institute of Technology in Bombay, India;
Institut Francais du Petrole in France, the National University of Singapore
and the American University in Cairo.  These relationships were established to
help foster innovation and convene some of the world's leading minds in
science and technology.
    About KAUST
    King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) 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,
across the region and around the globe.  As an independent, merit-based
institution, KAUST will employ many of the best practices from leading
research universities and enable top researchers from around the globe and
across all cultures to work together to solve challenging scientific and
technological issues.  The KAUST global research and education network will
support diverse talents both on its campus and at other premier universities
and research institutions through collaborative research agreements, grants,
and student scholarship programs.  The core campus, located on more than 36
million square meters on the Red Sea at Thuwal, is set to open in September
2009.  For more information about KAUST, visit

For further information:

For further information: KAUST Saudi Arabia, Jamil Al-Dandany, + 
966-50-480-3736,, or KAUST United States, Jeff 
Weintraub, +1-202- 828-8836,, or KAUST U.K. and Europe, 
David Hart, +44-(0) 20-7395-7131, Web Site:

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