President’s Memo │ April 2021│ Issue 55

April 26, 2021

Dear KU Community,

I am so thrilled to welcome another academically strong and diverse entering class, as well as our returning faculty, students and staff back to a new academic year at Khalifa University! And I am delighted to welcome you all to a full return to campus, thanks to our dedicated KU employees who have worked over the summer to prepare our campuses for a safe in-person experience, and thanks to the UAE leadership who have made safe and effective vaccines available for all. I’d like to thank all of our students, employees, and community members who are now fully vaccinated.

Let’s show our appreciation by continuing to follow the recommended guidelines in order to keep the in-person learning experience safe.

Despite the pandemic, exciting things have been happening all summer long. 

Congratulations to Dr. Diana Francis for being appointed to Lead of the Ministry of Climate Change and the Environment’s Climate Data and Modeling Cluster; Dr. Hadi Belhaj for winning the 2021 SPE International Distinguished Service Award; Dr. Emad Shalabi for receiving the SPE Regional Reservoir Description and Dynamic Award for the Middle East and North Africa Region, and for being selected as a technical committee member of the SPE International Improved Oil Recovery Conference; and Dr. Sharmarke Mohamed for being appointed as a member of the advisory board of CrystEngComm, a Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) journal. 

I am also proud to share that a company founded by KU alumna Salwa Alzahmi, who is now a senior researcher at EBTIC, won two awards at the 2021 AI and Machine Learning Awards in the UK. 

And we also have many student achievements to celebrate: A 21-member student team won the top spot during the Knowledge Event at the 2021 Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Collegiate Design Series Supermileage Competition;  A five-member team won second place in the Chemical and Petroleum Engineering Category of the Undergraduate Research Competition; KU’s student chapter of the Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers (IISE) was recently honored with the IISE’s Gold Award; and a five-member team of Chemical Engineering graduates won INJAZ UAE’s Company of The Year Award 2021 for its subscription box company idea called ‘Ulbati.’

We made significant research advances over the summer, including the publication of a study of the UAE reference genome, which supports a broader understanding of the genome composition of the nation. And we jumped seven places from last year in the 2021 Nature Index Ranking for Research, placing first in the UAE and second among Arab institutions, proving once again that our faculty and researchers are publishing in the most prestigious journals and becoming highly cited. 

In addition to driving research breakthroughs, we are also proud of our efforts to engage the community we serve. We launched the 2021 Summer KU Community Webinars to inform the KU community and broader UAE public about important topics and technologies that are shaping our world. I encourage you to watch the webinars and share them with family and friends. 

It feels great to start the year with a number of accolades and successes already under our belt. Let’s keep up the momentum!

Wishing you all a productive, happy and healthy Fall semester!

View the President’s Memo here:

Yours sincerely,

Dr. Arif Sultan Al Hammadi
Executive Vice President
Khalifa University of Science and Technology