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​​​​KAUST Research Centers


The Academic Divisions and Research Centers support the University’s research mission by bringing together faculty members, researchers, and graduate students from across the disciplines. Together, they leverage the interconnectedness of science and engineering and develop interdisciplinary approaches to fundamental and goal-oriented research.

Advanced Membranes and Porous Materials

​The Advanced Membranes and Porous Materials Center (AMPMC) at KAUST develops novel materials and cutting-edge process technologies that provide solutions to challenges related to industrial separations with a particular focus on energy and water as well as environmental sustainability. Researchers in AMPMC develop membranes and porous materials for separations in the fields of natural gas and petrochemicals, carbon capture, and the production of potable as well as industrial water.

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Catalysis

​The KAUST Catalysis Center (KCC) gathers together inorganic, organic, organometallic, polymer and theoretical chemists, reaction engineers, and spectroscopists who take a "catalysis by design" approach to develop homogeneous, heterogeneous, photo- and bio-catalysts for the industrial, agricultural and consumer sectors. Researchers in KCC focus on the design, development and use of catalysts for energy, environment, health and materials applications.

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Clean Combustion

​The challenges arising from the combustion of fossil fuels, such as pollution, global warming and climate change are some of the main concerns of researchers at KAUST's Clean Combustion Research Center (CCRC). The activities of the Center span a broad spectrum with both fundamental and goal-oriented research in fuel formulation, fuel diversity and the control of emissions – from internal combustion engines to turbines. CCRC utilizes both experimental and computational tools to develop predictive capabilities for the development of more efficient and less polluting fuels. Projects include the development of innovative combustion processes with cleaner-burning fuels coupled to advanced technologies for their sustainable use with emphasis on ease of production, energy efficiency, and abatement of airborne pollution.

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Computational Bioscience

​Research at KAUST's Computational Bioscience Research Center (CBRC) encompasses computational biology and bioinformatics with applications in the life sciences. Researchers at CBRC develop computationally driven methodologies, tools and resources to speed-up the process of biological discovery. By developing methods to store, retrieve, organize and analyze vast amounts of data, the Center contributes to areas such as biotechnology and food, medicine, safety, and environmental protection.

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Desert Agriculture

​With harvest losses by drought, salt and heat stresses amounting to approximately 60% of the world's total agricultural productivity, researchers in the Center for Desert Agriculture (CDA) seek to find ways to improve the ability of plants to withstand droughts and the hot and salty environment of the desert. CDA researchers use genetic, genomic and epigenetic approaches to engineer stress-tolerant plants and apply their results directly to crop plants in the field.

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Extreme Computing

​The Extreme Computing Research Center (ECRC) creates algorithms and develops software to harness the exponentially increasing power of computer hardware for predictive simulation and to understand and exploit the deluge of digital scientific data produced at KAUST and beyond. Researchers at ECRC focus on computational simulation and developing algorithms and applications for emerging computing architectures.

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Red Sea

​KAUST's Red Sea Research Center (RSRC) is developing an integrated understanding of the various ecosystems of the Red Sea. In particular, emphasis is placed on coral reef ecosystems and their oceanographic context. Efforts are directed at gaining an understanding of the interplay between physical, chemical, biological, and geological factors as well as the stresses arising from natural and anthropogenic causes such as overfishing, coastal development, and global climate change. A main goal of the RSRC is to develop methods to sustain and conserve coral reef environments along the coast of the Red Sea.

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KAUST Solar Center

Researchers at the KAUST Solar Center focus on the generation, storage and conversion of solar energy. The Center draws together experts in materials science, chemistry and physics to explore innovative solutions for the harvesting and conversion of solar energy. Scientists study the fundamental processes involved in the conversion of photons into electricity and exploit their findings to design and develop the state-of-the-art materials used at the core of energy harvesting photovoltaic panels. In addition, the Center is involved in research and development studies aimed at minimizing the cost of photovoltaic panels while optimizing their performance in the sun-bathed but hot and dusty climatic conditions of the deserts of the Arabian peninsula.

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Upstream Petroleum Engineering

UPERC produces fundamental multidisciplinary research, disruptive technology, and academic and engineering talent to address the world’s pressing energy geo-engineering and science problems. UPERC will focus on increasing hydrocarbon recovery around the world with reduced environmental and economic costs related to reservoir access and production.

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Visual Computing

​Researchers at KAUST's Visual Computing Center (VCC) use multiscale modeling, multidimensional modeling and simulation techniques to develop methods to sense, model, simulate, process, understand and visualize all forms of visual information. VCC specifically develops novel applications for computational imaging and display, image and video understanding, geometric modeling and design, physical simulation and measurement and scientific visualization.

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Water Desalination and Reuse

Fresh water supplies across the globe are decreasing while, at the same time, production of potable water in desert and drought-ridden regions is extremely energy intensive. Researchers in the KAUST Water Desalination and Reuse Center (WDRC) focus on the development of new and optimized methods for low-energy water desalination and water reuse. The capabilities of WDRC extend from the laboratory scale to larger pilots with a view to transition the technologies to large-scale water production. While much activity is centered on membrane-based technologies, the goal of WDRC is to extend knowledge to other scalable approaches such as those involving the use of solar or waste heat as an energy source.

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