KAUST presents sustainability science to the world

KAUST President Tony Chan was accompanied by KAUST faculty members Peiying Hong, Mohammed Eddaoudi and Derya Baran.
Updated 03 July 2019
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KAUST presents sustainability science to the world

King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) recently led a session of the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Meeting of the New Champions in Dalian, China.

KAUST President Tony Chan was accompanied by KAUST faculty members Peiying Hong, Mohammed Eddaoudi and Derya Baran. This year’s edition of the annual event was held under the banner “Leadership 4.0: Succeeding in a New Era of Globalization.”

Chan inaugurated the IdeasLab session — a first for the Kingdom. The session, titled “Fast-Tracking Green Technology,” featured the innovative work of KAUST researchers including water reuse technologies, carbon sequestration and transparent solar panels embedded in windows.

Chan described KAUST as a new, innovative hub for global research and education, before introducing the session’s three academic presenters.

Peiying Hong, associate professor of environmental science and engineering at KAUST, focused on her work on water reuse and used a famous quote of environmental scientist Dr. Jonathan Foley: “When we think about threats to the environment, we tend to picture cars and smokestacks, not dinner. But the truth is, our need for food poses one of the biggest dangers to the planet.”

She hopes to help the Kingdom replicate methods of water reuse that have proven effective in water-challenged cities such as Singapore. She demonstrates a multimodal approach, combining anaerobic decay, which can generate methane as an energy source, with membranes and ultraviolet light. The combination of three approaches can serve to obtain clean water for safe reuse.

Mohamed Eddaoudi, distinguished professor of chemical science at KAUST, highlighted his research on carbon capture technologies.  

Eddaoudi hopes to help bridge the gap between humanity’s energy needs and the rising levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. “A better approach to the CO2 problem is to deploy effectively a circular carbon economy,” Eddaoudi said.

Derya Baran, assistant professor of material science and engineering at KAUST, gave a presentation on her research on transparent solar cells. Baran has launched a KAUST spinoff, iyris, which aims to turn windows into solar power plants the world over.

“At KAUST, we designed a new solar panel that is able to selectively absorb the infrared portion of the spectrum, convert it into electricity and leave the visible part undetectable to the human eye,” Baran said. She envisions cities of the future offsetting much of their power needs locally by turning all glass windows into power generators.

Thus, coming from entirely different fields, each of these technologists accomplishes a separation that is environmentally valuable in its own right, and as a by-product, it partly pays for itself.


King Abdullah Economic City launches summer festival

Updated 22 July 2019
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King Abdullah Economic City launches summer festival

King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC) has announced the launch of the Turquoise World summer season in the coastline of turquoise water on the Red Sea. 

Taking place until Aug. 31, the festival will feature a variety of thrilling events and activities that fulfill KAEC visitors’ and residents’ expectations, particularly those who are seeking a distinctive lifestyle of recreational and entertainment within a modern environment.

“In line with the Kingdom’s ambitious vision 2030, King Abdullah Economic City is living rapid growth in its several strategic sectors, including the quality of life program along with the tourism and leisure sector, in order to create a world of entertainment at the heart of our nation,” said Ahmed Linjawy, group CEO of KAEC.

“Set to become the leading destination on the Red Sea, KAEC is fully equipped for hosting and organizing massive events and activities due to its logistical and state-of-the-art infrastructure, including world-class social, sports and leisure facilities that have been developed to provide a high-quality environment to meet the needs of those who aspire to a luxury lifestyle overlooking the virgin beaches of the Red Sea.” said Linjawy.

The “Turquoise World” festival was inspired by KAEC’s new identity “Another World” to offer an exceptional experience that has been designed to entertain all family members, with unique direct turquoise view of the Red Sea. 

The festival offers a variety of exclusive activities and events at the Beach Walk, and range of water sports at the Yam Beach, and the Bay La Sun Marina and Yacht Club, including water games at Aqua Fun, K-MAX — the first multi-dimensional movie theater in the Kingdom, and Juman Karting, among others. 

In addition to top-class hotels with an elevated standard of living and services that make KAEC an ideal destination to visit and live.

King Abdullah Economic City is the largest privately funded new city in the world, situated on the west coast of Saudi Arabia. 

KAEC covers an area of 181 sq km of land, approximately the size of Washington DC. KAEC comprises King Abdullah Port, the Coastal Communities residential districts, the Haramain Railway district and the Industrial Valley. 

The city is under development by Emaar, The Economic City, a publicly listed Saudi joint-stock company established in 2006.