Dr. Chameau announces first KAUST Alumni Chapter in Saudi Arabia

A few of the alumni who came from KAUST.

In April, Saudi Aramco hosted the KAUST Alumni Celebration, honoring the achievements of alumni living and working in the Kingdom. Attendees from KAUST and throughout the Kingdom participated in this unique celebration, which featured a robust day of career development and industry workshops, VIP tours of company operations, and presentations by six talented alumni now working at Saudi Aramco, SABIC, or pursuing doctorates at KAUST.

Photos from the KAUST Alumni Celebration

Shared Future

Mr. Amin Nasser, Senior Vice President of Upstream Operations at Saudi Aramco and Co-Chairman of the Saudi Aramco – KAUST Collaboration Oversight Board, organized the event in collaboration with KAUST and described three key goals of the celebration. First, it promoted and strengthened the bond among alumni and enlisted them as partners in a shared and promising future. Second, it celebrated the world-class education afforded by KAUST, and its crucial work to produce key talent. Third, it demonstrated the strategic partnership between KAUST and Saudi Aramco.

Building on these themes, Mr. Nasser affirmed Saudi Aramco’s commitment to talent development as the largest employer of KAUST alumni in the Kingdom. To those alumni already at Saudi Aramco, he promised, “We aim to make the most of your careers at our company.”

Dream to Reality

The partnership between Saudi Aramco and KAUST began in 2006 when the University was still a dream of King Abdullah. His ambitious vision saw the creation of a leading international university that would provide the world with innovative research, boost economic development within the Kingdom, and enhance global connectivity.

“The dream is a reality today, manifested by you,” Mr. Khalid Al-Falih, President and CEO of Saudi Aramco, told the alumni. “And you are just at the beginning. The best of ‘you’ is still ahead. The dream is already a reality—not only in terms of numbers; not only in terms of the geographic representation within the Kingdom, but really in terms of the quality, the energy, the can-do attitude we are seeing and the ability to deliver results in an incredibly short period of time.” Mr. Falih then urged alumni to “Keep on dreaming and stay bold.”

Leading Change

Dr. Jean-Lou Chameau, President of KAUST, emphasized the importance of educating students and engaging them in an environment that promotes a culture of excellence, curiosity, integrity, as well as a passion for contributing to society through meaningful and cutting-edge research.

“I encourage you as KAUST alumni to make contributions that showcase our culture of cross-disciplinary problem-solving as well as curiosity-driven research,” said Dr. Chameau. He encouraged alumni as leaders in science and technology to become change agents, inventors, and entrepreneurs, advancing KAUST as a “beacon of attraction for the Kingdom.” In this way, alumni are shaping the future of KAUST and its reputation as a great university and an “active hub of education, discovery, innovation, and entrepreneurship.”

First Alumni Chapter

In a timely complement to the Celebration’s closing session, Dr. Chameau announced the formation of KAUST’s first alumni chapter in Saudi Arabia. “As the birthplace of KAUST, it is fitting that the first alumni chapter be established here in the Kingdom, where so many of you are contributing to the future of the country.”

Dr. Chameau added that alumni would be engaged in forming this chapter, which would represent the growing alumni body in the Kingdom. The inaugural chapter will facilitate alumni communication, build future partnerships within the Kingdom, and support alumni as they go on to accomplish groundbreaking advancements in their fields.

About the Event

The KAUST Alumni Celebration was sponsored by Saudi Initiatives, which implements KAUST’s goals of scientific and technological innovation within the context of strategic national development by cultivating future talent in the Kingdom.

Working in close collaboration with Saudi Aramco, KAUST leadership, and KAUST’s Graduate Affairs and Alumni Office, Saudi Initiatives facilitated the design of this unique event to recognize talented alumni in the Kingdom. These alumni’s invaluable work is advancing the mission of KAUST and will directly contribute to the formation of a rich knowledge economy in the Nation for generations to come.

A total of 148 in-Kingdom alumni attended the event from KAUST and from cities throughout the Kingdom including Jeddah, Dhahran, Riyadh, Jubail, and Al Hufof. Companies and institutions represented included Saudi Aramco, SABIC, King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center, Ministry of Higher Education, National Port Services, Saudi Airlines, Saudi Business Machines, and King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy.

The alumni attendees comprised many nationalities, representing countries including Saudi Arabia, China, United States, Colombia, Canada, Egypt, Philippines, Hong Kong, Australia, Jordan, India, Lebanon, Pakistan, Mexico, Spain, and Indonesia among others.

In addition to Dr. Chameau, KAUST leadership in attendance included Mr. Nadhmi Al-Nasr, Executive Vice President for Administration and Finance; Dr. Najah Ashry, Vice President of Saudi Initiatives; Prof. James Calvin, Vice President for Academic Affairs; Prof. Brian Moran, Dean of Graduate Affairs; and top academic leadership and program chairs. 

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