Dr. Bader Al-Suwaidan is the director of the Space and Aeronautics Research Institute at King Abdul Aziz City for Science and Technology (KACST).
Al-Suwaidan is also the Saudi Geostationary Satellite 1 (SGS-1) program director. The satellite was launched on Tuesday from the French Arianespace complex in French Guiana.
The satellite, developed by a team from KACST, will provide telecommunications capabilities, stronger internet connectivity, TV and secure communications in the Middle East, North Africa and Europe.
“We had a very accommodating and smooth launch campaign thanks to the team from KACST, Arabsat and Lockheed Martin. We’re ready for the launch,” Al-Suwaidan said. “We’re grateful for the collaboration and service provided by Arianespace.”
Al-Suwaidan has worked in several positions at KACST for more than 18 years, since 2000. Previously, he was the supervisor of the National Satellite Technology Center at the Space and Aeronautics Research Institute of KACST.
He received his Ph.D. from the University at Buffalo in 2008. He then rejoined KACST as an assistant research professor at the National Satellite Technology Center.
He was a visiting researcher at Stanford University, working on GP-B data analysis and the MGRS project with KACST-Stanford Center of Excellence between 2009 and 2011.
Al-Suwaidan became the director of the National Satellite Technology Center in 2013.
In 2014, he became the deputy director for scientific affairs at the Space and Aeronautic Research Institute before his promotion to director of the institute.
KACST leads the national strategy of localizing the satellite industry. It is a primary provider of satellite-related services to other government agencies in the Kingdom. It has carried out numerous programs to manufacture satellites locally and to oversee major national satellites programs in collaboration with end-user organizations.