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New alliance announced between Imperial College and King Abdullah University of Science and Technology

A new partnership is announced today between one of the world’s newest universities and Imperial College London.

Imperial and King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) have signed a $50 million (US) Academic Excellence Alliance which will see joint collaborations in research, curriculum development and academic recruitment.

Imperial will partner KAUST, a new international, post-graduate research university opening in Saudi Arabia in 2009, during its first years of operation to enable it to build up its academic staff and curriculum in materials science and chemical engineering.

The partnership will push forward research in a range of areas including carbon capture, hydrogen rich fuels, membranes, materials for high stress environments, structural ceramics, including fuel cell materials, energy engineering, process systems engineering, materials for clean power generation, fluid mechanics and biomaterials.

KAUST’s President-designate, Professor Choon Fong Shih, said: “Imperial College has a sterling reputation for world-class research and academic development. Partnering Imperial College will help to establish a strong relationship between KAUST and similar departments and institutions around the world, further highlighting the many benefits we have to offer our students and faculty.”

Sir Richard Sykes, Rector of Imperial and member of KAUST’s International Advisory Council (IAC), welcomed the agreement saying:

“High quality scientific research and teaching know no borders – it is a global aspiration and has the potential to improve quality of life worldwide. Because of that, we are delighted to partner KAUST in this exciting new venture, which I hope will create a hub of research excellence that can play its part in tackling the challenges of the twenty first century which science and technology will be vital to solving.”

KAUST will work with Imperial College to:

•Jointly organise the graduate course curriculum and monitor performance
•Create and conduct joint research projects at Imperial College and at KAUST
•Collaborate in setting the requirements for the M.E., M.S.E., and Ph.D. degrees at KAUST
•Collaborate in the nomination of the initial group of KAUST faculty
•Collaborate in joint thesis advisory committees for Ph.D. candidates at KAUST
•Collaborate in joint programs to host visiting fellows, conduct seminars, and participate in technical symposia

•Collaborate on the design and acquisition of research equipment and facilities

“KAUST’s decision to enter into an academic alliance with both the Department of Chemical Engineering and Department of Materials at Imperial College is based on its pre-eminent global reputation, built on the long-time scientific achievements of its faculty,” said Nadhmi Al-Nasr, KAUST’s Interim President.

He added, “Imperial College will provide KAUST not only with the practical tools to build the new University’s intellectual capital, but is also a model of the sort of research university KAUST aspires to be.”

KAUST has also signed Academic Excellence Alliances with Stanford University, University of Texas at Austin and University of California-Berkeley.

Colin Smith | alfa
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