KAUST launches first virtual lab for distance learning

The virtual lab trains users in end-to-end device fabrication sequence using well-tested process protocols. Each training session is followed by a Q&A session.
Updated 29 April 2019

KAUST launches first virtual lab for distance learning

King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) launched its first virtual lab to serve as an online platform for distance learning on semiconductor fabrication.

The vFabLab, short for Virtual Fabrication Lab, is an online-based virtual environment designed to help training on semiconductor device fabrication processes and associated complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) technology. The virtual lab, developed by the Computer, Electrical and Mathematical Science and Engineering division (CEMSE) at KAUST, trains users in end-to-end device fabrication sequence using well-tested process protocols. Each training session is followed by an interactive Q&A session.

“I was inspired by the vision to provide access to thousands of students and other enthusiasts who do not have access to expensive cleanroom facilities,” said Dr. Muhammad Mustafa Hussain, a professor in the electric engineering program at CEMSE.

“vFabLab intends to provide the crucial element missing in online education, which is an experimental module through labs,” he added.

At the postgraduate level, distance learning is a gateway for students around the world to have an open access to knowledge and to engage with educational materials and approaches profoundly different from their customary ones.

“Distance learning is an important tool to provide enhanced learning opportunities to our globally mobile student population,” said Dr. Tony Chan, president of KAUST.

“In everything we do, we aim to be forward-looking. Distance learning fits perfectly with this aim,” Chan added.

KAUST’s first involvement in distance learning took place in 2017, in the CEMSE division. CEMSE and Blue Waters Online Course co-produced a MOOC (massive open online course) on high-performance computing featuring Professor David Keyes, director of the Extreme Computing Research Center (ECRC) at KAUST. Two years later, the vFabLab was introduced, taking e-learning to the next level.

“The virtual lab is an exciting idea to take a branch of science that has always been gated by the availability of an expensive lab,” said Professor Mootaz El-Nozahy, dean of CEMSE. “At KAUST, we are trying to take this concept to the farthest, thereby sharing our infrastructure with the world.”

The vFabLab was presented on April 24 during a webinar organized and hosted by the IEEE Electron Devices Society.

Established in 2009, KAUST is a graduate-level research university located on the shores of the Red Sea in Saudi Arabia. The university is dedicated to advancing science and technology through interdisciplinary research, education and innovation. Research conducted by students, faculty, scientists and engineers aims to address the world’s pressing scientific and technological challenges related to food, water, energy and the environment.


Bentley marks 100 years at Monterey Car Week

Updated 21 August 2019

Bentley marks 100 years at Monterey Car Week

As part of its centenary celebrations, Bentley hosted a number of events during the Monterey Car Week, from Aug. 15 to 18.

To mark the occasion, two models debuted — the new Flying Spur luxury four-door grand tourer, and the EXP 100 GT: A vision of luxury mobility in 2035.

The third-generation Flying Spur sets new standards of driving enjoyment and luxury, showcasing Bentley’s application of modern technology, while integrating the latest British craftsmanship and innovation features.

The new Flying Spur will be the most advanced luxury grand touring four-door available. 

Alongside its totally new and advanced aluminum and composite chassis, it features optional electronic all-wheel steering — a first for a Bentley, coupled with active all-wheel drive and the Bentley Dynamic Ride active anti-roll system powered by a 48V architecture.

The Flying Spur was put on display on Aug. 16 at the Quail — a motorsports gathering and at the Home of Bentley for the remainder of the weekend.

It was joined by the EXP 100 GT concept car, which made its US debut. With the EXP 100 GT, Bentley has reimagined the idea of grand touring for the future.

The EXP 100 GT is pure Bentley, inspired by the company’s deep understanding of the desires of its forward-thinking customers. It embraces artificial intelligence (AI) as a means to reassert the car as a place for creating, experiencing and capturing extraordinary human experiences and emotions.

It displays the future of luxury craftsmanship with a seamless fusion of materials and the intelligent curation of technology. The vehicle’s battery system will power four motors that deliver superior performance. Projected performance figures include a 0-60 mph time of less than 2.5 seconds, a top speed of 186 mph, and maximum torque of 1,500 Nm.

Ahead of the EXP 100 GT’s Americas debut, Bentley launched a new and dedicated app for Apple devices.

Released on Aug. 12, the “Bentley 100 AR” app uses a printable QR code to provide an augmented reality experience of the EXP 100 GT, allowing users to explore the exterior and interior of the concept car. Users can even interact with a virtual version of the car in full scale, by using the app at selected Bentley retailers.

Bentley was a featured marque at Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, where numerous classic models competed in Bentley Centennial classes, including Vintage 4 Cylinder, Vintage 6 Cylinder, Derby and Postwar.