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Taous-Meriem Laleg-Kirati, KAUST associate professor of electrical engineering, was selected as one of three finalists in the academic of distinction category at the Leadership Excellence for Women Awards & Symposium in Bahrain in late 2018. File photo.
By David Murphy, KAUST News
Taous-Meriem Laleg-Kirati, KAUST associate professor of electrical engineering in the University's Computer, Electrical and Mathematical Science and Engineering Division, was selected as one of three finalists in the academic of distinction category at the recent Leadership Excellence for Women Awards & Symposium (LEWAS) in Bahrain. Laleg-Kirati was nominated for the award by former KAUST research scientists and students based on her outstanding achievements and participation in science and engineering and for her continuous advocacy for women in science. The symposium, held on October 25, 2018, was created by leading female figures in the oil and gas industry in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) to celebrate female research achievements and to encourage further collaboration and knowledge transfer among female colleagues.
"It was a great honor to be recognized in the academic of distinction category by industrial leaders in the engineering field," Laleg-Kirati said. "The LEWAS recognition illustrates the high impact of the research we conduct in my research group in the engineering field. This nomination empowers my position as a woman in engineering."
"It has not always been easy—very often finding myself with few women (and sometimes alone) in engineering classrooms or conference rooms. I hope this nomination will encourage more women to follow the engineering pathway," she added.
At KAUST, Laleg-Kirati conducts cutting-edge research in control engineering and signal processing with high impact in applications ranging from solar energy and water desalination to health and the biomedical science and engineering field. Her research aims to develop effective estimation methods and algorithms to understand and characterize complex systems and design control and monitoring strategies.
KAUST Associate Professor Taous-Meriem Laleg-Kirati is shown here with members of her research group on the University's campus. File photo.
Before joining KAUST in 2011, the Algerian native obtained her M.S. in control theory and signal processing in 2005 from Paris-Sud University and her Ph.D. in applied mathematics three years later from the National Institute for Research in Computer Science and Automation (Inria) in Paris.
Laleg-Kirati feels that her recent LEWAS academic of distinction nomination further emboldens her to continue encouraging young women with a passion for science and engineering to pursue their dreams.
"The LEWAS recognition also recognizes my commitment in the development of young women in engineering," she stated. "Indeed, my research team sets an outstanding example concerning the integration of women in science and engineering. Five [female] Ph.D. students graduated under my supervision during the last few years, and [they] occupy relevant academic jobs in prestigious places such as assistant professors in Saudi universities, postdoctoral fellows in [The University of] Texas [at] Austin and at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York."
"Also, my first graduated Ph.D. student is the first graduating Saudi female in the applied mathematics program at KAUST who joined Dar Al-Hekma University in Jeddah as an assistant professor. On a daily basis, I try to be a source of inspiration for young women," Laleg-Kirati said.