Mohamed Eddaoudi wins 2023 Kuwait Prize for chemistry

KAUST Distinguished Professor Mohamed Eddaoudi

KAUST Distinguished Professor Mohamed Eddaoudi was the recipient of the prestigious Kuwait Prize today. The Kuwait Prize, first introduced in 1979, is awarded annually to recognize the lifetime achievements of Arab scientists for their work in a range of academic fields, including basic sciences, applied sciences, economics and social sciences, and art and literature. Eddaoudi won in the category of basic sciences in the field of chemistry for his leadership in conceiving design strategies for the synthesis of functional solid-state materials and their subsequent deployment in various energy and environment sustainability applications.  

At KAUST, Eddaoudi’s lab aims to develop and synthesize new functional solid-state materials. Examples of his materials include metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) for several chemical applications, such as gas separations, catalysis, energy storage and carbon capture. These new materials are based on innovative design strategies that entail molecular and supramolecular building block approaches for their assembly.  

Eddaoudi was born and raised in Morocco, where he earned his bachelor’s degree at the University Ibn Zohr. He continued his graduate studies in France at Denis Diderot University, where he earned his master's and doctorate degrees He then moved to the United States, where he established his academic career at several universities and eventually became a full professor at the University of South Florida. He joined KAUST as a founding faculty member in 2009 and was promoted to distinguished professor in 2016.   

Eddaoudi is sharing the chemistry prize with Prof. Nashaat Nassar (University of Calgary, Canada). The other two 2023 Kuwait Prize winners are Prof. Mohamed Sultan (applied sciences hydrology; Western Michigan University, U.S.) and Prof. Dina Katabi (emerging technologies; Massachusetts Institute of Technology, U.S.), but Eddaoudi is the only one of the four working at an Arab institute. 

Eddaoudi joins an impressive list of KAUST scientists to have won the award previously: in 2018, Husam Alshareef had the honor; in 2020, Ibrahim Hoteit and Mohamed-Slim Alouini were selected; and in 2021, Osman Bakr and Omar Mohammed were recipients.  

This is the latest professional accolade for Eddaoudi. In addition, since joining KAUST, he has made Clarivate’s list of Highly Cited Researchers annually.  

“It is an honor to receive this prize. This award recognizes not just me, but the many people who mentored me and the many people who have come through my lab and achieved excellent science,” said Eddaoudi about the Kuwait Prize. 

“We are extremely proud of his hard work. This prize not only exemplifies the great work by Prof. Eddaoudi, but it is also a testament to KAUST’s position globally in science and in the Arab world for excellence,” said KAUST Vice President of Research Pierre Magistretti.