King Abdullah University of Science and Technology Announces Academic Excellence Alliance Partnership with Imperial College London

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Partnership between KAUST and Imperial College London will help establish academic curriculum, nominate founding faculty and establish collaborative research direction for the new international university in Saudi Arabia.

Imperial College is a renowned international institution with a stellar record for the development of world-class research and academic development. KAUST and Imperial will work together to develop the tools and faculty we need to build our intellectual capital and to establish our institution as one of the finest in the world.

King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) and Imperial College London today announced their partnership in KAUST's Academic Excellence Alliance (AEA), designed to establish joint research, collaborate in the design of the academic curriculum, and identify and nominate the founding faculty in chemical engineering and materials science and engineering for the new University.

KAUST is a new international, graduate-level research university opening in Saudi Arabia in 2009. The innovative new approach to institutional partnership and faculty nomination will enable KAUST to build its academic foundation during the University's first several years of operation.

The partnership will push forward research in a range of areas including carbon capture, hydrogen-rich fuels, membranes, materials for high-stress environments, structural ceramics including fuel cell materials, energy engineering, process systems engineering, materials for clean power generation, fluid mechanics, and biomaterials.

KAUST President-designate Choon Fong Shih said, "Imperial College is a renowned international institution with a stellar record for the development of world-class research and academic development. KAUST and Imperial will work together to develop the tools and faculty we need to build our intellectual capital and to establish our institution as one of the finest in the world."

Sir Richard Sykes, Rector of Imperial and member of KAUST's International Advisory Council, welcomed the agreement, saying:

"High-quality scientific research and teaching knows no borders - it is a global aspiration and has the potential to improve quality of life worldwide. Because of that, we are delighted to partner KAUST in this exciting new venture, which I hope will create a hub of research excellence that can play its part in tackling the challenges of the 21st century, which science and technology will be vital to solving."

KAUST will work with Imperial College to:

  •     Jointly organize the graduate course curriculum and monitor performance
  •     Create and conduct joint research projects at Imperial College and at KAUST
  •     Collaborate in setting the requirements for the M.E., M.S.E., and Ph.D. degrees at KAUST
  •     Collaborate in the nomination of the initial group of KAUST faculty
  •     Collaborate in joint thesis advisory committees for Ph.D. candidates at KAUST
  •     Collaborate in joint programs to host visiting fellows, conduct seminars, and participate in technical symposia
  •     Collaborate on the design and acquisition of research equipment and facilities

"The partnership between KAUST and Imperial is an innovative approach to faculty development that will help a 21st century research University like KAUST to grow and thrive," said Nadhmi Al-Nasr, KAUST's interim president.

By spring 2008, the AEA partners will have specified the KAUST core curriculum at a high level for prospective students and begun identifying the first group of KAUST founding faculty to deliver this curriculum to the entering class in September 2009.

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. KAUST will be merit-based, open to men and women from all cultures around the world, and governed by an independent, self-perpetuating Board of Trustees. 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 http://www.kaust.edu.sa

About Imperial College London

Imperial College London - rated the world's fifth best university in the 2007 Times Higher Education Supplement University Rankings - is a science-based institution with a reputation for excellence in teaching and research that attracts 12,000 students and 6,000 staff of the highest international quality.

Innovative research at the College explores the interface between science, medicine, engineering and business, delivering practical solutions that improve quality of life and the environment - underpinned by a dynamic enterprise culture.
Web site: http://www.imperial.ac.uk

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David Hart
KAUST United Kingdom
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Colin Smith
Imperial College London
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