KU Affairs

4th Arab-American Frontiers of Science, Engineering and Medicine Symposium Opened by HE Dr. Ahmad Belhoul

September 21, 2018

His Excellency Dr. Ahmad bin Abdulla Humaid Belhoul Al Falasi, UAE Minister of State for Higher Education, today inaugurated the Fourth Arab-American Frontiers of Science, Engineering and Medicine Symposium at the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology’s campus in Abu Dhabi.  

The symposium runs until 7 November and is hosted by Masdar Institute and the US National Academies of Sciences (NAS) in partnership with Petroleum Institute, Khalifa University of Science Technology and Research, and New York University Abu Dhabi. The event’s US sponsors include the National Science Foundation and the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).  

Nearly 100 scientists, engineers, and medical professionals from the US and 21 countries in the Arab League are taking part in the symposium. This is the first time that Arab-American Frontiers Symposium has technical sessions dedicated to space technology and brain science.  

HE Dr. Belhoul said: “There is immense opportunity to advance research and development through greater scientific exchange and exploration. As Minister of State for Higher Education, I am personally committed to fostering an environment where the private sector, public sector and academic institutions can work together with the aim of contributing towards a knowledge economy. The Annual Arab-American Frontiers of Science, Engineering and Medicine Symposium is an important platform to achieve this goal—facilitating global partnerships and collaborations, amplifying collective efforts and creating a brighter future for all of us.”  

Dr. Dalal Najib, Senior Program Officer, National Academy of Sciences, welcomed the gathering following the opening. Dr. Steve Griffiths, Vice President for Research and Interim Associate Provost, Masdar Institute, followed with an overview of the region-relevant research activities being undertaken by Masdar Institute. Dr. John Boright, Executive Director of International Affairs, National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, was also present at the event.

Dr. Dalal Najib said: “This symposium provides a rare platform for a high level scientific exchange across disciplines. It is also an opportunity for US and Arab researchers to connect at an early stage of their career, learn from one another and explore how they can work together to develop innovative solutions to pressing global issues. In addition, this symposium is particularly unique since we are partnering with four outstanding Abu-Dhabi based institutions, each one of them contributing to the technical program through the participation of their respective faculty members as organizers, speakers and/or general participants.”

Dr. Behjat Al Yousuf, Interim Provost, Masdar Institute, said: “This Fourth Arab-American Frontiers of Science, Engineering and Medicine Symposium has brought together the most innovative minds in various science and technology sectors. The discussions at the symposium reflect the stature of scientific research-related events that are hosted in the UAE, especially by Masdar Institute and its partners. We believe this event will pave way for collaborations, resulting in new discoveries in these areas.”

Dr. Tod Laursen, Khalifa University’s President: “Khalifa University is proud to be involved with this symposium and the opportunity it provides to young Arab and American scientists and researchers. We were also pleased to welcome these innovative researchers to our campus, and show them some of the facilities at our disposal and the atmosphere of creativity our campus has. This symposium is a great opportunity for young scientists because it encourages one to one conversations and informal group discussions, the symposium is creating an environment that encourages the sharing of ideas about key areas of science and engineering, which can lead to further innovation and even useful collaborations. These young researchers will undoubtedly benefit from these conversations for years to come, and join a global conversation about the future of science and technology.”

NYU Abu Dhabi Provost Fabio Piano said: “By combining our collective expertise and bringing together some of the world’s leading scientific minds, we are opening new pathways of discovery and pushing the boundaries of exploration. This partnership supports our shared vision of advancing the development of new knowledge and harnessing the potential to improve lives, while deepening our connections and understanding of science, engineering, and medicine on a local and global level.”

This years’ Arab-American Frontiers symposium is centered on five critical themes including solar energy and water for sustainable living; nanotechnology for next generation electronics and photonics; exploring the brain; advances in petroleum geosciences, oil and gas exploration; and new spacecraft technologies for earth and space exploration.   The Arab-American Frontiers Program is based on the long-standing Frontiers of Science and Engineering Programs managed by the US National Academies over the past 20 years. The Arab-American Frontiers program is designed to enhance the scientific exchange and dialogue among young researchers in Arab countries and the US.


Clarence Michael
News Writer
06 November 2016