Student Focus: Mohammad Alabdullah

KAUST M.S./Ph.D. student Mohammad Alabdullah works in the University's Catalysis Center under the supervision of Professor Jorge Gascon. Photo by Sarah Munshi.

​-By David Murphy, KAUST News

Mohammad Alabdullah is a master's degree/Ph.D. student based in the KAUST Catalysis Center (KCC). Under the supervision of Professor Jorge Gascon, Alabdullah's current research interests focus on designing a reactor for crude oil conversion and formulating a catalyst for industrial applications. As a member of Gascon's Advanced Catalytic Materials research group, he works on a project to convert crude oil into valuable chemicals and products.

The young chemical engineer believes he derived the inspiration necessary for his research from a desire to contribute fully to the field of petrochemical research.

"I want to be equipped with the necessary tools to develop innovative technology that will help to make a breakthrough in future industrial-related research," Alabdullah emphasized.

The Saudi native describes KAUST as a unique place full of talented faculty members who are utilizing the University's state-of-the-art facilities and tools to advance their research.

"I think what is special about research at KAUST is that it is related to real life and industrial applications. I believe that KAUST has an amazing array of high-quality equipment that researchers can [use]," he said.

"[So far during my time at KAUST,] I have spent some time attending courses provided by KAUST faculty, and on the other hand, I am working on my Ph.D. project...In my spare time outside of the lab environment, I like reading and socializing with my KAUST colleagues," Alabdullah noted.

Before joining KAUST, Alabdullah obtained his bachelor's degree in chemical engineering from King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM) in May 2013. Directly after his graduation from KFUPM, he then joined Saudi Aramco's Research & Development Center in Dhahran as a research engineer, where he worked on an upgrading and refining-related project.

KAUST student Mohammad Alabdullah plans to return to Saudi Aramco, where he worked before his studies at KAUST, after completing his degrees at the University. Pictured here is Saudi Aramco’s main headquarters in Dhahran. Image courtesy of Saudi Aramco.

After completing his studies at KAUST, Alabdullah plans on returning to Saudi Aramco to fulfill his goal of advancing current refining-related projects and technologies.

"My experience at KAUST will allow me to apply the knowledge and skills I gained [at the University] to benefit [Saudi Aramco,] one of the most successful companies in the world. I will do my best to develop and improve technologies in upgrading and refining-related projects and technologies," Alabdullah said.

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