Live Video Streaming of The Biggest News in The Recent History of R&D in the Arab World: The Inauguration of King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST)

23 Sep, 2009

Post Updated and edited . To see what the Twitter world has been saying about the event tune in here.

King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) is opening now. KAUST inauguration is very significant because it is the biggest technology R&D center and university in the Arab world and is supported by a multi-billion dollar endowment (Islamic Waqeef), thanks to the great support of King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. (The Live streaming video at the End of the post.)

The University which is open to men and women from around the world offers degrees in 9 fields of study:

1. Applied Mathematics and Computational Science (AMCS)

2. Bioscience (B)

3. Chemical and Biological Engineering (CBE)

4. Computer Science (CS) 5. Earth Science and Engineering (ErSE)

6. Electrical Engineering (EE)

7. Environmental Science and Engineering (EnSE)

8. Materials Science and Engineering (MSE)

9. Mechanical Engineering (ME).

The state-of-the-art university will focus on key research fields:

  • Resources, Energy and Environment;
  • Biosciences and Bioengineering;
  • Materials Science and Engineering;
  • Applied Mathematics and Computational Science.

KAUST which its core campus is located on more than 36 square kilometers along the Red Sea at Thuwal in Saudi Arabia, has deployed Cutting-edge laboratories that will enable researchers to make major scientific breakthroughs.

Other research institutions in the Kingdom and the region will link to KAUST’s supercomputer and other laboratory facilities through the 10 gigabytes per second (Gbps) Saudi Arabian Advanced Research and Education Network (SAREN).

Some of the great massively heavy weighted gears you can find at the laboratories are:

Supercomputer: Shaheen — the Arabic word for peregrine falcon (Falcon also means Saqer in Arabic) — is the fastest supercomputer in the Middle East and one of the most powerful in the world. Developed with IBM, it is capable of 222 teraflops, or 222 trillion floating point operations per second. In non-technical language, this means Shaheen can solve 222 trillion complicated calculations per second.
• 16–rack IBM Blue Gene/P System providing 65,536 processor cores.

• Next-generation data center with scalability to achieve exascale computing requirements.

• High-performance storage and networking subsystems to support double precision peak performance with 64 terabytes of aggregate memory capacity.

• Petaflop capability within the next two to three years, with scalability for future demands.

• A storage subsystem composed of multiple storage building blocks providing 1.9 petabytes (one quadrillion bytes) of raw capacity and an aggregate bandwidth of 16 Gbps.

Visualization: CORNEA is a fully immersive, six-sided virtual reality facility that gives students and researchers the ability to turn data into 3D structures that they can interact with and examine. It was built in partnership with the University of California, San Diego.

• A Mechdyne-built VL6 with the world’s highest resolution (100 million pixels) and brightest (10,000 lumens) visualization environments.

• 24 Quad HD Projectors, the highest native resolution projectors available at 4096×2160 pixels each.

• An advanced spatial/surround sound audio system that adapts to match visual images – the only known research center of this type in the world.

• A multi-purpose room with a 32 million pixel digital cinema projection system that enables stereoscopic viewing for 75 people.

Nanofabrication, Imaging, and Characterization: A clean-room environment equipped with leading-edge tools to support research in advanced materials, biotechnology, electronics and photonics, and MEMS/NEMS.

The Imaging and Characterization Labs include a suite of 10 advanced nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectrometers and facilities for scanning, transmission, confocal, and Raman microscopy, magnetic and thermal measurements, allowing scientists to examine nanostructure devices and surfaces down to the level of individual atoms.

Coastal and Marine Resources: Located next to the Red Sea, the Coastal and Marine Resources Lab facilitates marine research.

The facility builds and deploys modern oceanographic instrumentation and provides operational services to support research vessels for marine exploration, diving, and sampling. Indoor and outdoor seawater facilities allow researchers to culture marine organisms.

Analytical Core: These labs boast highly skilled staff focusing on spectroscopy, chromatography and mass spectrometry, trace metals analysis, wet chemistry, and surface analysis.

Biosciences and Bioengineering: These facilities include genomic and proteomic labs essential to the study of cellular molecules for DNA sequencing and genetic analysis, as well as the investigation of cellular processes. The genomics facility is equipped with robots and laboratory automation.

KAUST opening is a new dawn for Saudi Arabia, the Arab world and the world in general, as we will see the next break- through technologies coming from the land Two Holy Mosques.

Investing in R&D is what will bring the technology sector to its next level in the region and pave the way for the next generations of Tech Startups. And as my new friend told me, Thuwal might be their home base.

We at ArabCrunch have been asking Arab governments to get involved and to invest billions of dollars on R&D, But  today we see it  happing for real. Thanks to the King Of Saudi Arabia and thank you, for using calling it “Waqef” not an NGO, which shows how much you respect our past when Muslims used Waqef before the term NGO was ever there.

We hope the amount of Investment put into the Facilities, equipment and Human resources will bring US soon break-throughs that will solve real problems to Saudi Arabia the region and the world.

Here is the live streaming of the ceremony:
Update: Live video streaming is over here is a link to the recording.

(PS: thanks to TechCrunch for reporting about this event as I knew about it via a CrunchGear post, unfortunately my Saudi friends where kind of lazy to ping me before hand :D .)

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  1. Nadine  |  September 23rd, 2009 at 4:48 PM #

    This is huge, interesting, and opens a whole new set of possibilities. Students studying there are very lucky… those who are hungry to explore have it all within reach. Very cool.

    Who's attending the inauguration from Jordan?

  2. Mohammad Badi Irshid  |  September 23rd, 2009 at 5:17 PM #

    What to day about the greatest IT university in the arab world (Supposedly)? This is really great and the best ever. I think now I'll not see a lot of Saudi students in my university :)
    Note: looking for something related to Computer Networking, but nothing?

  3. Gaith  |  September 24th, 2009 at 12:48 AM #

    @Nadine I was not invited I knew about it via TC. @MBAdi the university accepts only selected amount of students like MIT. It is not easy to enter it, but I encourage you to apply. if you see the city the faculties you ll be impressed! it is a WOW WOW :D

    I am happy we have such a center in the Arab world, and hope to see great things coming out from KAUST that I can report about here on AC.

  4. ilm  |  September 24th, 2009 at 3:05 AM #

    Assalamu'alaikum. This is just one of the many good things happening in the Muslim world. May Allah give it success. ameen

  5. More Recent Random Thoughts and Ideas » Blog Archive » Saudi Arabia Inaugurates New R&D University, American Scholars Plan for Muslim College  |  September 24th, 2009 at 9:04 AM #

    [...] this college is still in the idea stage, ArabCrunch reports on a major new research university opened its doors today in Saudia Arabia, streaming its inaugural [...]

  6. TripleM  |  September 24th, 2009 at 12:13 PM #

    We should note that it’s the 1st co-ed university in KSA. And going to be one of the most prestiges tech-hubs in the whole world.
    Watching such huge accomplishment coming true makes me feel proud and honoured.
    I wish I can get a scholarship in there. Thanks a lot.

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