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Office of the President

Welcome to King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST). Our founder, King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, has said that our university represents a continuation of the great and noble virtue of learning that distinguished Islamic civilization in its Golden Age.

Centuries ago, science and invention had the power to transform human lives. Today, in the twenty-first century, KAUST is extending the frontiers of scientific understanding and discovering the technologies of tomorrow. We are working with our research and industrial partners at home and across the globe to help realize the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's vast potential as a diversified and knowledge-based economy. We are attracting and nurturing future generations of scientists and engineers, innovators and entrepreneurs, to contribute to a prosperous and sustainable future.

I invite you to learn more about us. Please read about the work of our faculty and graduate students in KAUST's academic divisions, research centers, and core laboratories. Enjoy a virtual tour of our breathtaking campus – with its outstanding scientific facilities along with its minarets and marina.

With its dedication to a culture of academic excellence, KAUST inspired me from the first moment I saw it. My hope is that you, too, will be inspired by what you see.

Yours in discovery,
Jean-Lou Chameau

Jean-Lou Chameau took office as the President of King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) on July 1, 2013.

Dr. Chameau is President Emeritus of the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in the United States, which he led for seven years. Caltech is one of the world's preeminent centers of instruction and research in engineering and science, as well as the home of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Throughout his career, he has been committed to fostering excellence in science and technology, as well as promoting a multidisciplinary approach to research and education. He encourages the development of programs in such areas as energy, medical science and the environment, which can provide the dramatic scientific advances and new technologies society is seeking. He is also a strong champion of industry-university partnerships and the involvement of universities in economic development, including the creation of new businesses with an emphasis on advancing entrepreneurial and international opportunities for faculty and students.

After receiving his engineering degree in France at the Ecole Nationale Superieure des Arts et Metiers and earning his Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from Stanford University, he had a distinguished career as a professor and administrator at Purdue University and the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech). He then served as president of Golder Associates, a geotechnical consulting company, before returning to Georgia Tech as Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar and Vice Provost of Research. He became Dean of Georgia Tech’s College of Engineering, the largest in the United States, and then Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs until 2006, when he joined Caltech.

His research interests include sustainable technology, environmental geotechnology, soil dynamics, earthquake engineering and the liquefaction of soils. He has received numerous awards for his research and contributions as an educator and academic leader. He is a member of both the U.S. National Academy of Engineering and the French Académie des Technologies. In his native France, Dr. Chameau was elected Chevalier de la Légion d' Honneur. Dr. Chameau's industry and public service roles have included appointment to the boards of the Council on Competitiveness, John Wiley & Sons, MTS Systems, Safran, the Academic Research Council of Singapore and the Advisory Committee of InterWest Partners.

He is married to Dr. Carol Carmichael, an expert in sustainability and science and technology policy. She is the former director of the Institute for Sustainable Technology and Development at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Below are a few of the speeches and videos from Dr. Chameau.

SPEECH: Northwestern University CEE Annual Distinguished Lecture – Boundless Opportunities for Engineering Talent in a Global World.

SPEECH: 2015 Times Higher Education MENA Universities Summit – From Startup to Maturity: Leadership and Role of a New University.

SPEECH: 2014 KAUST Commencement – The Road to Greatness Begins with You
KAUST's President Jean Lou Chameau delivers the customary final charge to the class of 2014.

SPEECH: 2014 KAUST Convocation of New Students
President Jean-Lou Chameau welcomes the new graduates to the campus. This year, between spring, summer and fall we welcomed 284 new students.

VIDEO: Interview by Phoenix TV with Dr. Chameau

VIDEO: Dr. Chameau's interview by CCTV Dialogue Program

SPEECH: 2013 KAUST Convocation of New Students

President Jean-Lou Chameau welcomes new graduate students to the university and shares his principles of success in graduate school.

SPEECH: Universities as Catalysts for Innovation: What makes them successful?

Jean-Lou Chameau speaks at the 5th Annual Saudi International Technology Incubation Conference in Riyadh on November 5, 2013.

SPEECH: Research Universities and the 'Spotify' Moment

Dr. Chameau shares some observations on the evolution of major research universities to the "new" normal for global institutions at the Inaugural Times Higher Education World Academic Summit on Oct. 3, 2013.

VIDEO: A Chat with Dr. Chameau: Passion for Discovery

Dr. Chameau shares his passion for disovery in science, technology and life in this video from Sept. 12, 2013.

VIDOE: News report about KAUST by CCTV

If you would like to contact President Chameau for scheduling purposes or have other inquiries, please email us at president@kaust.edu.sa


Office of the President
King Abdullah University of Science & Technology
Administration Building (16), Level 4, Room# 4002
Thuwal, 23955-6900, Saudi Arabia


+966 12 802 0185