KAUST professors reap Shoman awards

Lebanese-born Dr. Omar Knio, professor of applied mathematics and computational science at KAUST, was joint recipient of the Shoman Award for Mathematical Modeling.
Updated 01 October 2019

KAUST professors reap Shoman awards

Dr. Mohamed Eddaoudi, from Morocco, professor of chemistry and director of the Advanced Membrane and Porous Materials Center (AMPM), Physical Science and Engineering Division at KAUST, recently received the Abdul Hameed Shoman Award for Arab Researchers, an annual award presented by Abdul Hameed Shoman Foundation focusing on six disciplines of science.

Dr. Eddaoudi was not the only KAUST professor to receive this year’s Shoman award. Lebanese-born Dr. Omar Knio, professor of applied mathematics and computational science, Computer, Electrical and Mathematical Science and Engineering Division at KAUST, was joint recipient of the Shoman Award for Mathematical Modeling along with Dr. Shaher Mohammed Ahmad Momani from Jordan. 

Dr. Eddaoudi’s research focuses primarily on developing new strategies for the design and synthesis of functional solid-state materials from molecular building blocks and advancing the understanding of the structure-property relationship of materials.

His team at KAUST is working toward developing made-to-order metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) to tackle more challenging and lingering problems, such as clean energy alternatives, advancing MOFs to store adequate hydrogen at room temperature and moderate pressures, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and advancing the field of MOFs in the direction of creating efficient, low-cost MOFs that can capture large amounts of carbon dioxide.

Dr. Knio focuses on the development of mathematical methods, algorithms, and software for the simulation of complex thermo-fluid systems, the quantification of uncertainty in model predictions, Bayesian model calibration, optimization under uncertainty, and on the application of advanced computational methods to atmospheric and oceanic flows, combustion, and energetic materials.

Earlier in September, the Abdul Hameed Shoman Foundation announced the winners of the Abdul Hameed Shoman Award for Arab Researchers in its 37th cycle for 2019. According to the award’s scientific committee, winners were selected upon reviewing the reports of 12 specialized committees, including an elite group of Arab researchers, who juried submissions.

This year’s award received submissions from 382 candidates from Jordan and the Arab world; 23 applications were disqualified due to noncompliance with the basic conditions of the award. Fifteen researchers submitted for the award’s six fields. Each field is divided into two alternating topics, which are selected by the award’s scientific committee. 

Valentina Qussisiya, CEO of the Abdul Hameed Shoman Foundation, stressed the urgent need to support serious scientific research aimed at overcoming barriers to societal development, and the importance of scientific research directly aimed at problems in the Arab world, particularly those related to localization of technology, food shortage, shrinking arable land, and other challenges that hinder development.


MBRSC & Nat Geo air film on UAE astronauts

Updated 27 May 2020

MBRSC & Nat Geo air film on UAE astronauts

National Geographic, in partnership with Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Center (MBRSC), has aired a new film documenting the UAE’s extraordinary journey into space. The 22-minute eye-gripping documentary, the second in a four-part film series, premiered on May 25 on National Geographic and National Geographic Abu Dhabi.

Capturing the journey of UAE Astronauts Hazzaa Al-Mansoori and Sultan Al-Neyadi, the documentary highlights their dreams and aspirations, which inspired them to follow their ambitions to become astronauts. The film also highlights the hundreds of hours of mental and physical training that enabled them to successfully complete the UAE’s historic mission to reach the International Space Station (ISS).

Celebrating the first Emirati astronaut mission, the National Geographic film depicts Al-Mansoori’s experience of arriving at the ISS and sheds light on his emotional journey back to Earth.

Showcasing how the dreams of a young boy growing up in a small desert town in Liwa turned to reality, the documentary narrates the personal story of Al-Mansoori, who achieved his long-cherished goal of space travel, with sheer grit and determination.

“I have grown up with this dream of reaching the stars and I believe that everyone should look outside at night and dream about space. 

HIGHLIGHT

The documentary charts the journey of UAE Astronauts Hazzaa Al-Mansoori and Sultan Al-Neyadi as they prepare for their iconic mission, fine-tuning their bodies mentally and physically and learning to adapt to microgravity in space.

“The night before the launch, I was really busy and could not sleep as I was really excited that I was going to space. Reaching the ISS was the proudest moment of my life and I am extremely proud that I accomplished the mission,” said Al-Mansoori.

Moreover, the film gives unique insights into how the UAE astronaut Al-Neyadi’s experience and special expertise in dealing with cutting-edge technology at the UAE military prepared him toward solving some of the most challenging and complex problems related to space.

“Space is really tough on humans and so I had to undergo a lot of physical training exercises, strengthening my muscles and being well equipped to handle everything as a backup flight crew. The specialized training really helped me in adapting myself to all kinds of environments expected in space,” said Al-Neyadi.

In a riveting and compelling style, the documentary charts the journey of Al-Mansoori and Al-Neyadi as they prepare for their iconic mission, fine-tuning their bodies mentally and physically and learning to adapt to microgravity in space. The film also depicts how the Emirati astronauts trained for emergencies that could potentially endanger their lives and the safety of their mission in space.