University celebrates 2016 Spring Graduation

KAUST President Jean-Lou Chameau speaks to new master's degree and Ph.D. graduates at the University's Spring Graduation Luncheon on June 1. Photo by Helmy Al Sagaff.


KAUST celebrated the graduation of 74 master’s degree and 34 Ph.D. students at a Spring Graduation Luncheon ceremony on June 1 in the University’s Conference Center (building 19).

KAUST graduates pose with faculty and administration at the University's Spring Graduation Luncheon on June 1. Photo by Helmy Al Sagaff.​

Attended by 41 graduates and approximately 50 guests, including graduates’ families, KAUST faculty and administration and President Jean-Lou Chameau, the luncheon gave KAUST the opportunity to wish the graduates well in their futures and welcome them to the global alumni community.

Spring graduates look forward to the future

Graduate Matthias Mueller received his master’s degree in electrical engineering at the ceremony, and advised new students to “enjoy [their] time here—it’s over faster than you expect. As a matter of fact, I enjoyed KAUST so much that I’ve decided to stick around for another three years to complete my Ph.D. here,” he said.

“I spent six great years at KAUST,” said computer science Ph.D. graduate Ahmad Showail, who began studying at the university in 2009 also completed his master’s degree at KAUST. “I’m extremely proud of my achievements, but I always advise new students to remember a Ph.D. is a marathon and not a sprint.” Showail joined the faculty of computer engineering at Taibah University in Madinah after completing his Ph.D.

‘Happiness and victory’ at graduation

Nouf Alsharif completed her master’s degree in bioscience and said she feels “happiness and victory that I completed something I planned to do. KAUST is a beautiful place not just for your studies but also for meeting people from many nationalities and taking part in new activities, like horseback riding and climbing. Day by day, I found myself surrounded by new family and friends on campus,” she said. She will continue on with her Ph.D. studies after graduation.

After graduating from KAUST with his Ph.D. in mechanical engineeringMohamed Ismail accepted a position as an assistant professor at Zagazig University in Egypt. “I’m very happy to graduate from a growing university like KAUST, and I really feel I spent the best five years of my life here,” he said. “The University has excellent facilities for research and is now recognized by the scientific community all over the world. One day I hope to see KAUST at the top of the list of all worldwide universities.”

Hard work pays off

Hind Al-Johani came to KAUST in 2011 and completed her Ph.D. at the University’s Catalysis Center. “Graduation is the culmination of four years of hard work—all of those including late nights and early mornings. It’s exciting because although it marks the end of my ‘KAUST era,’ it also marks the beginning of my entry into the ‘real world.’ If you really want to do meaningful research and produce high-quality publications, KAUST is the place for you.” Al-Johani will return to her previous position as an assistant professor at the University of Tabuk in Saudi Arabia after graduation, but noted she will “surely come back to visit KAUST in the future.”

-By Caitlin Clark and David Murphy, KAUST News