KAUST Commencement 2021: celebrating success through difficult times

At KAUST's 12th Commencement ceremony on December 17, 234 Ph.D. and master's degree graduates joined the University's alumni community.

​On December 17, KAUST recognized the graduating class of 2021 as part of its 12th Commencement ceremony.

This year's ceremony honored 148 master's degree graduates (95 male/53 female) and 86 Ph.D. graduates (59 male/27 female) from KAUST's three divisions and various programs. Among the 234 graduates, 93 are from Saudi Arabia (57 male/36 female). The following represents the number of graduates from each academic division:

Graduates take part in 2021's Commencement ceremony on campus.

President Tony Chan welcomed the combined graduating classes of 2020 and 2021 with words of congratulations:

"As President of King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, and on behalf of the entire KAUST family, I congratulate you, the class of 2021 and the class of 2020 present here today, for the singular honor of becoming KAUST graduates.

KAUST President Tony Chan gives his opening remarks as part of the University's 12th Commencement ceremony.

"You became scientists and engineers because you recognized that the real world is full of wonder and complexity; and you chose KAUST because you also understood that we focus here on the world's hardest problems."

Dr. Antonia Sugar delivered the student address. Sugar joined KAUST and the Ali I. Al-Naimi Petroleum Engineering Research Center (ANPERC) in 2018, earning her Ph.D. in petroleum engineering within three years.

Antonia Sugar, 2021's Commencement student speaker and Ph.D. graduate from the energy resources and petroleum engineering program in the Ali I. Al-Naimi Petroleum Engineering Research Center.

Antonia completed her Ph.D. with the Energy Resources and Petroleum Engineering Program in the Physical Science and Engineering division with Associate Professor Hussein Hoteit. During her time at the University, she successfully collaborated with Professor Satoshi Habuchi of the Biological and Environmental Science and Engineering (BESE) division on polymer research, studying the most commonly used polymers in the oil industry using a bio-inspired molecular approach.

"This year's commencement not only celebrates the hard work of my graduating class, but also the resilience and power we showed during this pandemic," said Sugar. "We continued our mission in what brought us together: the passion for science and innovation. Working on unsolved problems with cutting-edge technology and exceptional mentorships made us push our limits every day. KAUST turned us into super humans!"

His Excellency Khalid A. Al-Falih, Saudi Minister of Investment, was Commencement 2021's Distinguished Speaker.

KAUST was honored to host our distinguished Commencement speaker: His Excellency Kahlid A. Al-Falih, Saudi Minister of Investment. The Ministry of Investment was created in February 2020 to facilitate investment opportunities across the Kingdom and promote Saudi Arabia as a world-class investment destination. Al-Falih's career includes two previous prestigious appointments as Saudi Arabia's minister of energy, and chairman of Saudi Aramco. His Excellency offered words of encouragement to the graduates as well as words of wisdom.

President Chan offered closing remarks to the new graduates:
"My sincere congratulations again to each of you, your mentors, your parents, your families and loved ones. We are all certainly very proud of you today, but in the future, we know that we will be prouder still."

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