Introducing Faculty in Focus - Fall 2021

Meet the pioneering faculty tackling global challenges at KAUST

Faculty in Focus:

Mark Tester

“…The food sector is arguably the most environmentally damaging of all sectors of human activity."


Mark Tester, professor of plant science and associate director at Center for Desert Agriculture in the Biological and Environmental Science and Engineering Division at KAUST.

Faculty in Focus:

Peiying Hong

“…we want to use that energy from the wastewater to clean the wastewater and maybe even leave with excess energy and use it for other purposes as well."


Peiying Hong is associate professor in environmental science and engineering and a member of the Water Desalination and Reuse Center. Her research focuses on making wastewater safe for reuse, and potentially used as an energy source.

Faculty in Focus:

Mani Sarathy

“ Our goal is to motivate future generations to understand that these problems are there but to not be deterred from solving them…”


Mani Sarathy is an associate professor for chemical engineering and the associate director for the Clean Combustion Research Center. His research focuses on developing sustainable energy technologies with decreased net environmental impact.

Faculty in Focus:

Mohamed-Slim Alouini

“ A big part of our job is about mentoring students... and that's actually the best part of the job.”


Mohamed-Slim Alouini is Distinguished Professor of electrical and computer engineering, focusing his research on 5G and 6G wireless communications.

Faculty in Focus:

Mohamed Eddaoudi

“...we do have one of the best materials that can capture CO2 from the air...and that's one path among many other mixes that will help to have zero emissions of CO2 by 2050.”


Mohamed Eddaoudi is a distinguished professor of chemistry and director of the Advanced Membranes and Porous Materials Research Center.

Faculty in Focus:

Pierre Magistretti

“...The most favorite part of my job is having my lab meetings; discussing with my postdocs, my students, technicians, discussing science: that's really what drives me every day.”


Pierre Magistretti is a distinguished professor and director of the KAUST Smart Health Initiative.

Faculty in Focus:

Jorge Gascon

“...I simply discovered that the ones who were doing the jobs that I liked, they were all doctors. So then I decided to come back to university and do a Ph.D.”


Jorge Gascon is a professor of chemical engineering, the director of the KAUST Catalysis Center (KCC), and the lead of the KAUST Circular Carbon Initiative.

Faculty in Focus:

Yu Han

“...I personally enjoy the freedom - because we - especially at KAUST, with the almost unlimited resources and the support it offers we can, we can explore our real interests.”


Yu Han is a professor of chemistry.

Faculty in Focus:

Stefaan De Wolf

“A big part of our job is about mentoring students... and that's actually the best part of the job.”


Stefaan De Wolf is an associate professor of material science and engineering and interim associate director of the KAUST Solar Center.

Faculty in Focus:

Boon Ooi

“ Our work has been transferred to industry; even until today they are still using it to provide very high bandwidth internet to the world and that part I feel quite good about.”


Boon Ooi is a professor of electrical and computer engineering at KAUST, working on photonics.

Faculty in Focus:

Håvard Rue

“ The favorite part of the job is interaction with all the young ones - and also to see that the kind of the methods we develop, the tools we provide is actually being used - just during COVID there being more than 150 papers out there using our tools to do COVID analysis”


Håvard Rue is a professor of statistics in the computer, electrical and mathematical science and engineering division at KAUST..

Faculty in Focus:

Magnus Rueping

“The fact which I like most is if one of the students comes to me and has a wonderful result or when they share with me that they have obtained a new position, maybe in academia or in following up with the students and see how they evolve is really the most interesting part.”


Magnus Rueping is a professor of chemical science and Associate Director of the KAUST Catalysis Center.