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January 2010 / Volume I, Issue I

Magazine 8

Alfaisal Campaign “A Commitment to Excellence�

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The Business of Engineering, Research & Technology

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H1N1 Flu Vaccine: Promising Initial Results for Pregnant Women

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Nano-Patterning of Fuel Cell Electrodes and Applications of Titanium Oxide Nano-Tubes

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Boeing, a Longstanding Relationship with the Kingdom

Sponsored by:

Convocation 2009/2010


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Lorem Ipsum Dolor

November 2009

Alfaisal Magazine


Cover Story

Alfaisal Magazine

November 2009

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Content Page

Board of Trustees

Contents

HRH Prince Abd Allah Al-Faisal King Faisal Foundation (KFF) HRH Prince Muhammad Al Faisal King Faisal Foundation (KFF) HRH Prince Khalid Al Faisal Chairman, Board of Trustees

Word from

4

Member, Board of Trustees Chairman, Executive Committee Alfaisal University

HRH Prince Saud Al Faisal King Faisal Foundation (KFF) HRH Prince Abd Al-Rahman Al Faisal King Faisal Foundation (KFF) HRH Prince Sa’ad Al Faisal King Faisal Foundation (KFF)

Letter from the Editor

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HRH Prince Bandar Al Faisal King Faisal Foundation (KFF)

Cover Story

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HRH Prince Turki Al Faisal King Faisal Foundation (KFF)

Development Office

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HH Prince Khalid bin Fahad bin Khalid Al Saud King Faisal Foundation (KFF)

College of Business

9

HH Prince Bandar bin Saud bin Khalid Al Saud King Faisal Foundation (KFF)

College of Engineering

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HH Prince Khalid bin Abduallah bin Mogren Al Saud Ministry of Education

College of Medicine

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Sheikh Hamad bin Abdulaziz Al-Jomiah Al-Jomiah Holding Company

College of Science & GS

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Research

Sheikh Saleh Abdullah Kamel Dallah Albaraka

19

Feature Article

23

Boeing

Student Affairs

25

Facilities

27

Faculty Interview

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Information Technology

29

Human Resources

30

Public Relations

31

Book Review

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News at Alfaisal

Sheikh Bakr bin Mohammed Binladin Saudi Binladin Group Sheikh Saad Aldeen bin Rafiq Al-Hariri Saudi Oger Dr. Qassem Alqassabi Chief Executive & Director King Faisal Specialist Hospital & Research Center (KFSHRC) Mr. Ahmed Al Jazzar President, Boeing of Saudi Arabia Mr. Peter Wilson MD BAE Systems Mr. Fred Nader United Technologies Corp. Mr. Marc Cathelineau THALES Dr. Abdullah Abdulrahman Al-Othman Rector King Saud University Dr. Mohammed bin Yahya Al-Shehry Professor of Surgery, King Khaled University Dr. Abdullah Abdul Karim Al-Musallam The Secretary for National Commission for Academic Accreditation & Assessment. Dr. Abdulrahman Mohammed Abouammoh King Saud University

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A Word of Thanks from Chairman, Executive Committee

A Word of Thanks from the Chairman of the Executive Committee

Inspired and guided by the words of the Late King Faisal, Alfaisal University has been established as a student-centered, private non profit, world-class, research university. We are committed to create, disseminate and apply knowledge in the fields of business, engineering, medicine and life sciences that support the development of a knowledgebased economy. We would like to express our sincere appreciation in this first edition of the Alfaisal University Magazine to those who were here first, to make it happen. They are our Co-founders and Campus Donors. We thank them for their support and belief in Alfaisal’s mission. We in particular want to thank one of our Co-founders, The Boeing Company, for sponsoring the inaugural publication of this Magazine. Alfaisal University opened its doors to its first students in October 2007, thanks to the efforts and support of its dedicated and distinguished team of administrators and faculty, who have led and guided our students on their path to a world-class educational experience at Alfaisal. One of our fundamental roles as a University is to educate students to appreciate the complexities of the world we all live in, and to prepare them to participate actively, thoughtfully and productively as citizens of their communities and leaders in their careers. Our University is committed to excellence in higher education, with enormous potential for our students. We understand well that the nations with the power of knowledge shall lead the world. So let us stand united and support the Kingdom’s vision for higher education on our journey to a nation rich in the power of knowledge.

Bandar bin Saud bin Khalid Al Saud Member, Board of Trustees Chairman, Executive Committee, Alfaisal University

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Letter from the Editor

Letter from the Editor

Magazine Editorial Team

Welcome to Alfaisal University Magazine

Managing Editor:

Jeehan Al-Heddawi Deputy Managing Editor:

Saphia Ikram

It is with great pleasure and pride that I place in your

Editor

hands the first issue of Alfaisal University Magazine.

Simon Hull

The purpose of this magazine is to arouse, foster and disseminate information about our dream that came true, “Alfaisal University”. I have always envisaged Alfaisal as participating in a big global community, and sharing the same goal of making

Web-Publishing & Photo Courtesy:

Akram Husain Graphic Artist:

Rovelyn P. Rico

it a better place. Therefore we had to have a reliable principle means of communication among this family, not only to update and enlighten, but most importantly to

How to Contact us:

strengthen and maintain our ties.

Tel. No. 920000570 01 461 3677

Because Alfaisal is a global community, this magazine

Fax No. 920000571

also covers the latest news and events of interest from

01 440 1626

around the world.

P.O. box 50927 Riyadh 11533

Finally I would like to thank every one who has supported this project, especially our co-founders Boeing who

Website: www.alfaisal.edu

always believed in Alfaisal and believed in this project to

Email: sikram@alfaisal.edu

help us “rise together”.

Jeehan Al-Heddawi PR & Marketing Director

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January 2010

Magazine


Cover

Story

Cover Story

Alfaisal University Celebrates its Second Annual Fall Convocation Ceremony 2009/2010 B y S aphia I kram This Fall, Alfaisal University welcomed students and faculty to its second academic year, which was commemorated at a major campus-wide event. The Alfaisal community of Scholars, Learners and Professionals all came together with a flurry of excitement, to celebrate the Second Annual Fall Convocation Ceremony on Wednesday 14 October 2009, in the Alfaisal university campus. With over 200 attending the event, Alfaisal leadership, faculty, students and their families were invited to join Acting Provost and Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, Dr. Ronald Bulbulian, and distinguished keynote speaker Mr. Rami Alturki, President, of the Alturki Group and established entrepreneur, to mark the beginning of the academic year. Fall Convocations are traditional at universities around the world. They usually mark the opening of each new academic year. Alfaisal University entered such a tradition last year with its inaugural Fall Convocation 2008/2009, and this year’s ceremony was another example of the continuous effort to expand on this custom in culturally appropriate ways. In his Provost speech, Dr. Ronald Bulbulian welcomed all faculty, students and their families to the ceremony by stating: “You are the reason we are here today. We are very happy to have you join our community and become a part of the great University we are striving to become.  Together with those who helped launch Alfaisal University last year, we hope to continue

building on the vision of our founders as a first class private research University”. In his keynote address, Guest Speaker Mr. Rami Alturki overwhelmed the audience at the ceremony with his inspirational words and a motivational recollection of personal experiences, which captivated and enthralled the students and their families. The essence of his speech was in the five main points which he gave the students to take with them: “Find your passion and follow it; Learn how to adapt to constant changes accruing around you; Surround yourself with people who are smarter than you; Don’t over-extend yourself - you cannot go from zero to 100 overnight; and finally, never ever, ever give up!!” Mr. Alturki is the President of Khalid Ali Alturki & Sons (Alturki Group), a leading family investment company which has been operating in Saudi Arabia for over 35 years. Mr. Alturki holds an operational role as President of Saudi Readymix, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Alturki Group and is the largest supplier of concrete products in the Middle East, ranking # 80 in the 2009 top 100 Saudi Companies listed, and chosen as one of the Saudi Fast Growth 100 Companies. He has also held several senior positions with a variety of companies throughout the region as well as internationally, including ORBCOMM Middle East, & Central Asia, Bahrain and Arthur Andersen, New York. He has over 13 years of experience in the business world after completing his BA degree in (Continued on Page 7) Magazine

January 2010

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Cover Story

“Find your passion and follow it; learn how to adapt to constant changes accruing around you; surround yourself with people who are smarter than you; don’t over-extend yourself- you cannot go from zero to 100 overnight; and finally, never ever, ever give up!!”. Economics from Williams College, Williamstown, MA, in the United States. Spokesperson for Alfaisal University and Master of Ceremonies for the event, Saphia Ikram, stated: “Every year a successful entrepreneur from our community is selected by the University Leadership to be the Guest Speaker at Convocation, a role model to inspire our next generation. We took the opportunity to showcase outstanding role models like Mr. Rami Alturki, to influence our students in the planning of their lives. He has truly inspired our youth to think about what they want to be, what they want to do and how they will contribute to the community. Mr. Rami Alturki is a role model for our students, an example of hard work, and success applicable to all walks of life, and who has, today, helped our students to realize their possibilities.” Held at University Campus, the Convocation ceremony also provided students with an opportunity to gather with their classmates, recognize the size and strength of their class, and join the Alfaisal University academic community in a major campus event that parallels the joyous and meaningful commencement ceremony that will mark their graduation only a few short years in the future. In a special note, Bara AlMakadma, 2nd year student, College of Medicine, gave encouraging and heartening advice to the freshman class of 2009/2010 by stating: ‘Its important that you learn from us and the people that surround you... manage your time to achieve high results and take up the opportunities offered here at the university to be an active student of Alfaisal”. Another highlight of the event was the ‘Honoring of the Honor List Students’. Students who achieved a Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.75 or above out of 4.00 for academic year 2008/09 07

January 2010

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were congratulated and awarded at the ceremony by Acting Provost Dr. Ronald Bulbulian, and Vice President Student Affairs, Dr. Abdulhamid Al Abduljabbar for their academic performance. Recipients of the award included to two students from the College of Business, three from the College of Engineering and nine from the College of Medicine, all of whom will receive an additional scholarship of 20% of tuition fees, provided by the college. Alfaisal University remains committed in its mission to deliver world class research and teaching, and to contribute to the development and advancement of the kingdom. Dr. Ronald Bulbulian stated: “In order for Alfaisal University to achieve its lofty goals and mission as fast as possible, what is needed is cooperation, teamwork, and commitment from the entire Alfaisal University community. Students, faculty, deans and staff must be committed to this new vision, and they must work in collaboration with Alfaisal University leadership to boldly advance our common goals and vision. I am confident of the enthusiastic support of our faculty, managers, directors and students in making this vision a reality”. Alfaisal University posseses magnificent potential in its students. By opening them to life’s possibilities, and recognizing their achievements, we hope to continue in helping them to strengthen their values and live up to their full potential.


Development Office

Development Office A

commitment

A “

to

Excellence

the

commitment to Excellence” is the campaign for Alfaisal University. It was developed by the endorsement of the Board of Trustees and the active involvement of a selected group of

business leaders and private individuals and academics. The campaign of Alfaisal University is chaired by HRH Prince Khaled Alfaisal in his continuous role of supporting the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the vision of his late father, King Faisal Al Saud. The Alfaisal campaign aims to attract world class academics to bring their research ideas and teaching skills to the Kingdom, and in order to establish state of the art research centers through endowment and unrestricted funds. The campaign is a part of a major fund-raising initiative to strengthen the university’s highest priorities, including completing the construction of a world class campus, fulfilling academic priorities such as endowed chairs and scholarships, and supporting the university’s early operations. All this can be achieved through building a good reputation and relationship with our potential donors. A number of events have taken place in order to support this idea. HRH Prince Khaled Alfaisal–Chairman of the Board of Trustees, addressed prominent business men and women about Alfaisal University’s mission at the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry meeting, as a follow-up event to the successful

event at the Riyadh Chamber of Commerce. This all comes in a number of yearly scheduled events which not only focus on introducing Alfaisal to the public but also play a major role in acknowledging our donors, who helped and supported Alfaisal when it was just a green field. The Development Office at Alfaisal University established different phases that would assure a solid, well organized program of recognition

campaign

for

Alfaisal

University

Campaign Achievements Total of more than SR 530,000,000 primarily Land and Construction

Patrons and Co-Founders taking on-

going and active roles. Building Donors HRH Prince Khalid Al Faisal President Rafiq Al Hariri (deceased) Sheikh Saleh Kamel Sheikh Bakr Bin Ladin Dr. Nasser Al Rushaid Sheikh Mohammed Al Almoudi

Other Partners; Supporting Alfaisal operations and programs such as Scholarships HRH Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud HRH Prince Abdulaziz bin Ahmad bin Abdulaziz HRH Prince Faisal Bin Salman Al Saud Sheikh Addulrahman Bin Ali Al Jeraisy Sheikh Abdulrahman Bin Hassan Sharbathly Sheikh Jameel Al Hojailan Sheikh Khalid Ibrahim Abdulaziz Al Ibrahim Sheikh Abdulaziz Ali Alsshowaeir Mr. Abdularahman Abdulaziz Al Rajhi Dr. Ibrahim Abbas Natto Mr. BAshir Al Azim

for all our donors. Magazine

January 2010

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College of Business

College of

Business

College of Business Experts Address Critical Issues in International Arena

T

he College of Business welcomes two new faculty members this year in the areas of Accounting and Economics. These faculty members each hold a doctoral degree and collectively have many years of experience in the educational, private and government sectors on several different continents. Dr. Dennis Greer is joining the faculty from Utah Valley University where he received awards for outstanding teaching in Accounting. In addition to his work in academia, Dr. Greer’s career has also encompassed a vast wealth of practical workplace experience, including time with KPMG in California and Hawaii, Paramount Pictures in Hollywood, ZUB in Salt Lake City, and US AID in West Africa. He has also taught in Germany, Hawaii, and China. Dr. Greer holds a doctoral degree from Utah State University. Dr. Hazbo Skoko comes to the College of Business from Charles Sturt University in Australia where he taught various courses in Economics and Finance at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Dr. Skoko’s research focuses on the economics of information and information technology. He is the author of several books and articles published in the European, Australian and international press. Dr. Skoko earned his doctoral degree at the University of Belgrade and holds two masters’ degrees and a bachelor’s degree in Economics from

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New Zealand and the former Yugoslavia. Below are highlighted some of the ways that new and returning faculty members are sharing their expertise and enhancing the reputation of Alfaisal University. Alfaisal University College of Business (AU) expertise is being sought in the heart of Europe as a new faculty member of the College of Business, Dr. Hazbo Skoko, has been appointed to expert advisory panels for the European Union (EU), FP7 Marie Curie International Fellowship and Initial Training Network (EIF, IIF, OIF, ITN). He has also been appointed to tertiary education accreditation expert panels for the Republic of Slovenia, Ministry of Education, Science and Technology.

Alfaisal University, College of Business expert advises European Union


College of Business

In doing so Dr. Skoko has also helped several universities around the region to adopt the process initiated by the Bologna Declaration to make higher education in Europe more compatible, competitive and attractive for Europeans and for students and scholars from other continents, including Australia. Dr Hazbo Skoko, was nominated to the panels by academics from EU countries and the former Yugoslavia.  The EU FP7 Marie Curie expert panels of independent reviewers will assess proposals for the EU funding within the Framework Programme 7. While in Slovenia, expert panels will evaluate proposals by existing and newly established universities for the accreditation of new programs in economics and finance which will comply with the Bologna Declaration and relevant EU regulations.

Faculty Member Contributes to the Discussion on Global Climate Change

Dr. Wright, the Acting Dean of the College of Business, recently had an article accepted for publication in the International Journal of Environmental, Cultural, Economic, and Social Sustainability. His research, co-authored with Dr. Hadyn Bennett of the University of Ulster in Northern Ireland, focuses on the cross-cultural differences involved in team work in Pacific island sustainability. Issues of sustainability have become particularly salient over the past recent years as rising sea levels have begun to eat away at the island homes of many of the peoples of the Pacific. Efforts to remediate the damage frequently involve international non-governmental participants from the United States, Australia, and New Zealand working with local islanders. This study by Dr. Wright and Dr. Bennett yields insight into the ways that Pacific islanders and Anglos express conflict within culturally diverse teams. It is hoped that the study’s findings will allow cross-cultural teams in the Pacific island region to work more effectively together in coping with and even preventing the damaging effects of global climate change. Dr. Wright addressed related issues as an invited keynote speaker at the International Conference on ‘Protecting Cultural Heritage: From Risk to Security’ held in Vinovo, Italy, this summer.

Magazine

January 2010

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College of Engineering

College of

Engineering

The Business of Engineering Research & Technology By: Mr. Mohammed Jameeluddin, MBA ( Technology Management & Marketing)

T

echnology refers to the theoretical and practical knowledge, skills, and artifacts that can be used to develop products and services as well as their production and delivery systems [Burgelman et al (2001)]. Mansfield saw technological change as the advance of knowledge relative to the industrial arts, and perhaps the most important factor responsible for economic growth. There is little conflict in saying that the pace at which technology is growing in many fields is giving the industries barely enough time to adapt. In order to survive in such a world of technology change, industries need to proactively make decisions and adapt to these changes. To be able to do this, one needs to look closely at the technology value chain and the points of value addition. Technology, as defined above, does not rise from an industrial plant or an assembly line or even from a laboratory. Technology is a gradual by-product of a series of R&D activities carried out at different stages with different goals. These stages could be classified as Basic R&D, Applied R&D, New Product Development (NPD) and subsequently diffusion into the market. Each of these stages has its own levels of development. The technology or technology platforms generally spring out of the Applied R&D stage. However, a careful note should be made that these technologies take their roots from the Basic R&D stage and it is this stage of the value chain that is 11

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of interest to us. If we imagine the basic R&D stage to be a black box, and apply the systems approach from a purely engineering perspective, the inputs to this box will be predominantly human resources, comprised of students and faculty of the engineering education, financial funding and laboratory infrastructure. The environmental factors affecting this process will be R&D needs of the industry, and industrial collaborations and technology trends, and the outputs will be feasible technological solutions, skilled engineers as well as engineering knowledge. These outputs act as inputs for the next stage, i.e. applied R&D. After passing through these stages of value addition, the technology/technologies transform to give rise to New Products. These New Products may be classified as inventions if they have a newness when compared to their prior art (history of technological growth), an obvious utility for the targeted beneficiaries and a non-obviousness about its whole function. Thus, an invention has possible utility and a sure newness but its commercial advantage is yet to be proved. When proved to be commercially profitable, these inventions can be called innovations. Thus, innovation is derived when we maximize newness and commercial gains. Innovations have newness, are driven by customer needs and most definitely have economic gains, whereas inventions may result in delayed economic gains, provide “knowledge intelligence” and are most definitely new. Innovations have market as a “pull factor” and inventions have prior art as their


College of Engineering

benchmark. Inventions lead to patents and innovations lead to immediate profits. Both can become products either unitarily or aggregated. Coming back to the point of being able to dynamically adapt to technology changes, a popular tool used in the industry is Technology Road Mapping, giving rise to Technology Road Map(s) (TRM). Given the different goals of the industry and research institutions, there are two different kinds of TRM exercises, viz. Product Technology Road Maps and Science Technology Road Maps for the industry and research institutions respectively. I will not delve into their details in this article except to say that the Product Technology Road Map is more focused towards the market needs and in most cases will follow the top down approach where the end goal is formulated and the process is developed backwards to meet that goal. The Science Technology Road Map on the other hand is focused on research ongoing and less on the market needs. The technology outputs of these research institutions are then transferred to the industry which then tailors them for a finished product. Let us now consider the technology value chain. The basic R&D stage has been discussed to some extent and needless to say, it forms the foundation of what comes out of the other end of the value chain. Thus, the institutions involved in the function of basic R&D are the ones who are shaping the future. One might ask what these institutions are. These are the institutions involved in theoretical R&D for the most part. They are Corporate Laboratories, Industrial R&D centers, but predominantly Universities and quite rightly so, as the amount of cross-disciplinary resources available at the universities at the given costs gives them an advantage over any other R&D centers. Further, the fields of research as we know them are fissuring into disciplines delaying with something as minute as nanotechnology, and yet having such a high impact. I will give an example of a Technology Road Map that I did for a major aircraft manufacturer. The aim was to gradually get rid of all the wired systems in an aircraft by making the data communication as well as power supply to sensors and

actuators through wireless means, a very futuristic project but nevertheless within the grasp of modern technology. The solution proposed involved areas of breakthrough research in Materials Engineering, Aerospace Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering and Electronics and Communication Engineering. Such a cross- disciplinary application could only be done in a University with researches in these laboratories. There is, therefore, a growing trend in the industry to form collaborative programs with Universities and Academic Institutions, as they can access such research for low costs. It is agreed that the technology outputs of the Academic Institutions are of low readiness levels and they have to undergo many levels before they can actually be deployed, but this itself is the role of these institutions, viz. to provide basic R&D. This brings us to the issue of technology management. Within a large research institution, there is a possibility of the lack of communication regarding the type of research issues being addressed within different departments and therefore, there might be cases of ‘reinventing the wheel’. Further, the output of the research institutions that is a feed for applied research exercises should be properly protected with the appropriate Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) and it should also be ensured that the University gets returns over its IPR’s. To ensure the above and more such issues, a proper technology management cell should be in place. I would like to say here that it will not be prudent to isolate research exercises from commercial exercises as all research, if not profitable, should at least be self-sustainable. Thus, a business outlook should always be included in the purview of Technology Management. In order to be a world class research institution, a university must aim at being at the helm of technological breakthroughs. The College of Engineering will act as a means of achieving these breakthroughs. But this can be achieved through research conducted in a highly directional manner, sensitive to the needs of not only the immediate beneficiary (the industry) but also the end customers. If this is done in a planned and timely manner, the College of Engineering at Alfaisal University can truly shape the future. Magazine

January 2010

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College of Medicine

College of

Medicine

H1N1 Flu Vaccine: Promising Initial Results for Pregnant Women B y D r. M . H asan R ajab and M ichele C owan

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very flu season has the potential to cause illness, doctor visits, hospitalization and maybe even death. The national and international health communities have been greatly concerned about the 2009-2010 flu season. Vaccines have proved to be the most effective tool that we have to prevent influenza. However, the former flu vaccine is not expected to provide protection against H1N1 influenza. A new vaccine, the H1N1 flu vaccine, is currently in production and it arrived in the Kingdom a few days ago. It is not intended to replace but instead to be used in conjunction with seasonal flu vaccine. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the use of one dose of 2009 H1N1 flu vaccine for persons 10 years of age and older.

has approved the use of H1N1 flu vaccine before the beginning of Hajj. In addition, the rumored side-effects of the H1N1 flu vaccine have been spreading fear and prompting questions about the vaccine safety and effectiveness. Pregnant women are among the first groups recommended to receive the 2009 N1H1. According to the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention, pregnant women are at high risk because … “they are at higher risk of complications and can potentially provide protection to infants who cannot be vaccinated”. In the United States, at least 100 pregnant women have been hospitalized in intensive care units, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP), and out of those 28 have died.

At home, there is still some confusion over whether H1N1 flu vaccine is necessary. However, just recently the Saudi FDA

Preliminary results of an ongoing clinical trial sponsored by the United States National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) show healthy, pregnant women of 14-34 years

January 2010

Magazine


College of Medicine

of age, build up strong immune response to just one dose of 2009 H1N1 flu vaccine. These initial results are very reassuring because it has been shown that pregnant women are among the most vulnerable to serious health problems from 2009 H1N1 infection, but are responding favorably to the vaccine. Thus far, in this clinical trial, no safety concerns related to the H1N1 flu vaccine have arisen and the vaccine appears to be well-tolerated. Â For all individuals, prevention is critical. The following are recommendations from the CDCP to help protect yourself from getting sick from the spreading of germs that cause respiratory illnesses like the flu. 1) Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it. 2) Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub. 3) Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way. 4)Try to avoid close contact with sick people. If you are sick with flu-like illness, CDCP recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. (Your fever should disapear without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.) Keep away from others as much as possible to keep from making others

sick. 5) Follow public health advice regarding school closures, avoiding crowds and other social distancing measures. 6) Be prepared in case you get sick and need to stay at home for a week or so; a supply of over-the-counter medicines, alcoholbased hand rubs (for when soap and water are not available), tissues and other related items could help you to avoid the need to make trips out in public while you are sick and contagious.

References: http://www.cdc.gov/hiniflu/vaccination/acip.htm http://www.nih.gov/news/health/nov2009/ninaid-02.htm http://www.cdc.gov/H1N1flu/qa.htm

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College of Science and General Studies

Artist’s impression design by architect Faisal Al Dubaiban , Design contributed by Khaled S. Shobily for Investment Company

College of

Science and General Studies

The College of Science and General Studies will launch fouryear programs for students who wish to pursue degrees in the fields of Genetics and Life Science and Molecular Biology. The College currently provides core courses in the natural sciences, humanities, and social sciences for students majoring in Engineering, Business, and Medicine. These courses include Biology, Chemistry, English (Rhetoric, Literature, Oral Communication and Technical Writing), Mathematics, Philosophy/Biomedical Ethics, and Physics. The University has recruited an outstanding group of reputable scholars from a wide range of disciplines, thus offering a rich array of educational experience for Alfaisal students. This daily interaction of professors from such diverse disciplines makes for a most vibrant academic environment for the students, faculty, and for the university as a whole. The curriculum of the College of Science and General Studies will involve problem-based and technology- enhanced learning. The goal of the undergraduate program is to train students to be critical thinkers, problem solvers, and teamwork- oriented professionals. As our programs are designed to meet high international standards, much of the curriculum is developed through collaboration with major western research universities. The Genetics and Life Science program will provide training in all aspects of modern genetics, including the structure and function of genes (DNA), transmission of genetic information from the gene 15

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to functional RNA and protein molecules, human and population genetics and evolution, as well as legal and ethical aspects of genetics and genetic engineering. The curriculum of the genetics program will emphasize the acquisition of skills in molecular biology. Biotechnology is a series of enabling technologies that involve the manipulation of living organisms or their sub-cellular components to provide useful products, processes or services. More and more industries are turning to biotechnology to improve products, enhance manufacturing processes, improve purity and maximize cost effectiveness. These trends in biotechnology have greatly increased the demand for a technically and professionally trained work force in genetics and biotechnology. Students will be taught and guided by distinguished researchactive faculty from western universities. Participation in faculty research projects will be a featured focus for undergraduate students in the College of Science and General Studies. Typical course offerings for the Genetics and Life Science programs would include human physiology, molecular biology, heredity and gene action, genomics, biotechnology, cell signaling, and experimental design, to name a few. The College of Science and General Studies is also central to the operation of Alfaisal University because it delivers a substantial number of general education credits in keeping with international standards and requirements for top-level accredited Universities. The General Education Requirements offer a list of required and elective courses designed to broaden and deepen


College of Science and General Studies

Alfaisal University Foucault Pendulum Project of the Engineering Innovation Club

the student’s academic preparation and intellectual capacities , thus launching them into effective global citizenship. The Mission of the College of Science and General Studies is to prepare well-rounded professionals through an outstanding educational experience which includes problem-based experiential learning, undergraduate research involvement, and exposure to a wide variety of academic, professional, and social experiences. Students are prepared for rewarding professional careers with future advancements as lifelong learners. The Vision of the College of Science and General Studies is to provide advanced education that shapes future leaders in molecular genetics and biotechnology for Saudi Arabia and the world at large. The faculty who have embarked with Alfaisal University in making this vision a reality are the following:

Dr. Ronald Bulbulian

Dr. Ronald Bulbulian joined Alfaisal University in July 2008 and currently serves as Vice Provost of Academic Programs, as well as Acting Dean of the College of Science and General Studies. Dr. Bulbulian received his Ph.D. from the University of Southern California in Stress Physiology with a research focus and interest in Neuromuscular Physiology and the Prophylactic Effects of Work Physiology. He completed his Bachelors and Masters level studies at Brigham Young University in Kinesiology. Dr. Bulbulian is a Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine with a distinguished academic record which includes over 45 refereed publications in prestigious journals such as Journal Applied Physiology, Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise,

SPINE, and European Journal Applied Physiology. Additionally, he has authored several book chapters and technical reports, scores of national and international presentations, invited lectures, consultantships, and editorial reviews. He also has been awarded in excess of 4.5 million dollars of intramural and extramural grant and contract funding from private, state, and federal agencies including several research fellowships with Air Force Aerospace and Naval Aerospace Research Laboratories and NASA. Academically, he has served as a tenured professor at Kansas State University and University of Kentucky and held numerous adjunct appointments in Physical Therapy, Biomedical Engineering, Nutrition, and Veterinary Medicine. He served 6 years as a Dean of Research, and 5 years as Founding Dean of a College of Health and Human Services.

Dr. Norman Swazo

Dr. Norman Swazo is a Professor of Philosophy and Biomedical Ethics. He holds a PhD in philosophy from the University of Georgia (1988), a Graduate Certificate in Global Policy Studies (1987), a Master of Health Services Administration degree from the University of Michigan School Of Public Health (1978), and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Science and Human Affairs from Princeton University (1976). Before coming to Alfaisal University, Dr. Swazo was a faculty member at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, where he taught a variety of courses including Ethics, Introduction to Philosophy, Introduction to Logic, Ethics in International Affairs, Biomedical Ethics, Ethics and Public Policy and Contemporary Philosophical Problems. Dr. Swazo is the author of Crisis Theory and World Order: Heideggerian Reflections (SUNY Press, 2002) and numerous publicaM a g a z i n e January 2010

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College of Science

tions in professional journals, e.g., The International Journal on World Peace, Public Affairs Quarterly, Journal of Medicine and Philosophy, Yale Journal for Humanities in Medicine, and Journal of Philosophy, Science, and Law. His research interests are in Ethics in International Affairs, Biomedical Ethics and recent European Philosophy.

Dr. Alexander Kouzmenko

Dr. Alexander Kouzmenko is Professor of Molecular Biology and Adjunct Professor at the KFSH&RC. He received his PhD degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the Institute of Cytology and Genetics in the former USSR. Dr. Kouzmenko has taught many courses including Introduction to Biological Sciences and Molecular Genetics, and specialized courses such as Signal Transduction and Molecular Pathology. He has conducted research at world leading universities and research institutions such as the University of Tokyo, Japan; Garvan Institute of Medical Research, Sydney; the University of Melbourne, Australia; and the German Cancer Research Center, Heidelberg, Germany. He is a recipient of several prestigious international academic awards, including the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft and Japanese Society for Promotion of Science Fellowships, and the Japanese Society for Bioscience, Biotechnology & Agrochemistry Award for Excellence. Dr. Kouzmenko has published papers in some of the most influential journals such as Nature, Lancet and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA. His main scientific interests include signal transduction, regulation of gene expression, nuclear hormone receptor action, adult stem cells, aging and carcinogenesis.

Dr. Richard Arnold

Dr. Richard Arnold is Professor and Director of English Studies. He received his Ph.D. (1983) in Rhetoric and English Literature from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, where he held the prestigious United Kingdom Commonwealth Scholarship, Master and Bachelor degrees in English Literature from McMaster University, Canada. Prior to joining Alfaisal University, Dr. Arnold was a Department Chair at University of Lethbridge (Alberta, Canada) and taught several courses such as English Language and Literature, Rhetoric and Argument; Poetry, Romantic Poetry; Romanticism, Satire; Practical Criticism and Post-Colonial Literature. Dr. Arnold is author of several books including: English Hymns of The Eighteenth Century (1991), The English Hymn: Studies in a Genre (1995), English Hymns of the Nineteenth Century (2004) and Logic of the Fall: Right reason and [Im] Pure Reason in Milton’s “Paradise Lost” (2006). In 2009 he edited Crystalline Gems of Islamic Jurisprudence, the book of Islamic Law, for the Ministry of Islamic Affairs of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Dr. Arnold’s research interests include hymnology; rhetoric, argument, and persuasion embedded within popular multidisciplinary texts; the relationship between words and music; popular culture; theological and religious writings; editing and editorial theory; literary theory; English literature and aesthetic theory of the 17th to 20th centuries; Medieval literature, Canadian litera17

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ture; theories of narrative; creative writing; distinctions between [auto]biography, fiction, and meta-fiction; anatomy of the business pitch.

Dr. Hisham Abad

Dr. Hisham Abad is Professor of Physics. He earned his Ph.D. (1991) in Physics from the University of Illinois at Chicago. The topic of his PhD dissertation was the determination of the optical properties of semiconductors by the use of spectroscopic ellipsometry (SE). After graduation, Dr. Abad won the prestigious National Research Council Post Doctoral Fellowship which he completed at the US Naval Research Laboratory. He has taught physics courses at the University of Illinois at Chicago and the University of the United Arab Emirates, where he worked on the growth of advanced semiconducting and metallic thin films by molecular beam epitaxy (MBE), and on the in-situ characterization of such films by SE. Dr. Abad has more than 40 scientific publications and presentations. His current research interests include the growth of thin films for solar cell applications, the use of SE and other optical methods for the in-situ characterization of MBE growth processes, and research on fresh water resources and the protection of the environment.

Dr. Jalal Karam

Dr. Jalal Karam is Associate Professor of Mathematics. In the year 2000 he received his PhD in Engineering from the Technical University of Nova Scotia, Canada. He received his BSC and MSC in Mathematics from Dalhousie University in 1993 and 1995 respectively. Prior his joining Alfaisal University, Dr. Karam worked at Gulf University for Sciences and Technology (GUST, Kuwait, 20062009) where he taught several math courses including Calculus I, II, Linear Algebra, Statistical Analysis (MBA) and Intermediate and College Algebra. He also held Department Head positions at the Open University in Beirut, Lebanon, American University (LAU, Byblos, 2006), and American University of Beirut (AUB, Beirut, 2001-2002). Dr. Karam is the author of over forty Journal and Conference Publications and he is the Editor – in – Chief of the International Journal of Computational Sciences and Mathematics. He is a Reviewer for the Mathematical Reviews of the American Mathematical Society. He is also a participant, reviewer, and organizer of many International Conferences and Workshops, and was a Recipient of the Achievement Award from the 2007 World Congress in Applied Computing held in Las Vegas, USA, June 2007. His research interests include Mathematical Modeling, Wavelets Theory and Applications, Complex Analysis, Digital Signal Processing, and Speech Compression and Recognition. He is the author of over forty Journal and Conference Publications.

Dr. Edreese Alsharaeh

Dr. Edreese Alsharaeh is an Assistant Professor of Chemistry. In 2004, he received his Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from Virginia Commonwealth University, M. Sc. in Organic Chemistry (1997)


College of Science

from Tennessee State University, and B. Sc. in Chemistry in 1993 from Jordan University of Science and Technology. Prior to joining Alfaisal University, Dr. Alsharaeh was Assistant Professor of Chemistry at George Mason University and Gulf University for Sciences and Technology where he taught several courses including Chemistry in the Environment and Everyday Life, Introduction to Chemistry, and Introduction to Organic Chemistry. Dr. Alsharaeh has extensive teaching and industrial experience, as well as a number of scholarly achievements. He has published ten journal articles in major refereed journals (American Chemical Society Publications) and made numerous presentations in ACS Meetings nationally and regionally. He has worked as Sr. Scientist in The R&D Laboratory of the Vintage Pharmaceutical Company. His research interest is in structural information, mechanism of oligomers via polymerization in the gas phase and nanostructure material. In addition, his research involves reactions and solvations of Atomic Metal Cations within Molecular Clusters and Mass Selected-Cluster Ion Mobility Mass Spectrometer for structural characterizations and binding energies of gas phase molecular cluster ions.

Dr. Simon Hull

ung (1998) and an M.Sc. from Delft University of Technology (2001), both in aerospace engineering and with honors. Prior to joining Alfaisal University, he was with the Institute for Mathematics, Technical University of Berlin, Germany, and the University of British Columbia, Canada, as a Postdoctoral Fellow. He taught Seismology, Theoretical Fluid Dynamics, Introduction to Computational Fluid Dynamics, Numerical Analysis and Differential Equations. zDr. Erlangga has authored numerous journal and conference papers. He is a member of SIAM, MAA, SEG, and AIAA, and a reviewer for several journals, including SIAM Journal of Matrix Analysis, SIAM Journal of Scientific Computing, and Journal of Computational Physics. He was also a research fellow at Theoretical and Computational Aerodynamics Group, National Aerospace Laboratory (NLR), The Netherlands. His research interests include linear algebra, matrix analysis, numerical methods for partial differential equations (PDEs), numerical linear algebra, iterative methods for large scale linear/ non linear systems, and PDE-constrained optimization, with application in fluid dynamics, wave propagation and seismic exploration/imaging. He is also interested in aircraft design and involved in the design of a high altitude-long endurance unmanned aerial vehicle.

Dr. Simon Hull is Assistant Professor of English. He holds a Ph.D. from University of Bristol, which he completed in 2006. This project focuses on periodical writing and metropolitan culture in the 1820s, as embodied in the essays of Charles Lamb. Dr. Hull undertook a Masters in Romanticism at the University of Bristol, graduating in 2002. He gained a first class honors degree in 1998 in English and Literary Studies at University College Worcester. Prior to joining Alfaisal University, Dr. Hull has taught undergraduate courses at the University of Bristol: Approaches to Poetry, The Fiction of George Eliot and Writing the Self: Literature and Autobiography. He has also published two essays in the following peer-reviewed journals: Studies in Romanticism (Spring 2009), and Romanticism on the Net (August 2007). In addition, he has edited and introduced a collection of essays in 2008 for Humanities EBooks, on The British Periodical Text, 1797-1835. Emanating from a highly successful conference which Dr. Hull devised and organized at Bristol in September 2006, his own contribution addresses the inherent difficulties of editing for book publication literature originally produced for the periodical press. Dr. Hull has recently had published a monograph on the issue of Romanticism and the city, entitled Charles Lamb, Elia and the London Magazine: Metropolitan Muse, published by Pickering & Chatto.

Dr. Yogi Erlangga

Dr. Yogi Erlangga holds an Assistant Professor appointment in Mathematics. He received his PhD in Applied Mathematics from Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands, in 2005. His PhD thesis was named the NMC best PhD thesis and among the best PhD theses according to the European Community on Computational Methods in Applied Sciences (ECCOMAS). He has a B.Sc. from Institut Teknologi Band-

This drawing shows a top view of the planned Alfaisal Foucault Pendulum base. Currently, Alfaisal students are engaged with some young artists from two art institutions to design an art work to replace the circular area occupied in the figure by the world map. The names of donors to the university will be engraved on the perimeter formed by the black granite tiles.

M a g a z i n e January 2010

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Research

Research Nano-Patterning of Fuel Cell Electrodes and Applications of Titanium Oxide Nano-Tubes

anode-electrolyte interface where it oxidizes librating electrons. The liberated electrons migrate out of the anode and through the external circuit where work is performed, then finally, into + the cathode. On the other hand, the positive hydrogen ions (H+) migrate across the electrolyte, towards the cathode, where they ultimately react with oxygen gas and electrons to form water.

B y D r. M aher A lodan, D r. M onsour A lhoushan, M r. K aushik P armar

Figure 1 Simplified Diagram of the H2 - 02 Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell

1. Introduction

Fuel cells are an efficient and nonpolluting power source producing little noise and having no moving parts. Energy production from oil, coal and gas is an extremely polluting, not to mention wasteful, process that consists of heat extraction from fuel by burning it, conversion of that heat to mechanical energy, and transformation of that mechanical energy into electrical energy. In contrast, fuel cells are electrochemical devices that convert a fuel’s chemical energy directly to electrical energy with high efficiency and without combustion. It has played a key role in providing electricity on space craft since the 1960s. Currently, technologists are developing and adapting fuel cell technology for practical use in exhaust-free automobiles, in electricitygenerating plants and in many other useful applications. A fuel cell produces electricity from fuel and an oxidant, which react in the presence of an electrolyte. The reactants flow into the cell, and the reaction products flow out of it, while the electrolyte remains within it. Figure 1 shows simplified diagram of the H2 02 Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell. Fuel gas (in this case pure hydrogen) is transported through the anode towards the

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Fuel cells also contain catalysts that separate electrons and protons of the reactant fuel, and allow them to transfer through electric circuit generating electric current. Catalysts are used with fuels such as hydrogen or methanol to produce hydrogen ions. Platinum, which is very expensive, is the catalyst typically used in this process. Much research is being conducted into developing the nano-porous structure of platinum to reduce the amount of platinum needed, or using nanotubes of other materials to replace platinum entirely and thereby lower costs. Nanoporous structure can provide large surface areas, which provide high reactivity and thereby increase the efficiency of the fuel cell. The main objective of this trilateral collaboration project between Alfaisal, KACST and MIT is to develop efficient and low cost fuel cells for hydrocarbon fuels. To satisfy this objective, the project is divided into mainly two tasks. The first task is to develop and test the nano-patterning technology and the second task is to apply that technology to enhance the capabilities of the fuel cell.

2. Ti Oxide Nano-tube

Ti Oxide nanotube arrays may serve as structural components for miniature fuel cells, or they may be doped electronically to enhance their ability to support attached fuel cell catalysts. As catalyst supports, their high surface area and regular structure will facilitate the synthesis of effective catalysts for oxygen reduction, for hydrogen oxidation, and for methanol oxidation. Therefore films of titanium oxide with nanoporous structure are chosen for the above mentioned tasks. The diameter, wall


Research

thickness, separation and number density of tubes are affected by voltage, time, and electrolyte composition, so the final morphology of TiO2 can be easily controlled by controlling the anodizing voltage, time, electrolyte composition, and substrate pretreatment. In the past, TiO2 nanotube arrays were formed by immersing titanium foil samples into aqueous HF solutions (0.5 wt%) and anodized at 20 volts for 20 minutes. During this project a similar approach was adopted with a new idea of forming nanotubes on quartz crystal microbalance (QCM). QCM technique was first tried and tested on crystal coated with copper immersed in a 0.5 M sulfuric acid (H2SO4) solution.

3. Experiments

Figure 4. FE SEM top-view images of titanium oxide films anodized in 0.5 wt % HF solution for 20 min under constant voltage of 10 V

Figure 5. FE SEM top-view images of titanium oxide films anodized in 0.5 wt% HF solution for 20 min under constant voltage of 20 V

Experiments to grow TiO2 nanotube by anodizing techniques were performed.

Figure 2. Schematic shows the two-electrode electrochemical cell with a platinum foil as the cathode and the titanium coated crystal as the anode.

The experiments were performed with crystal coated titanium immersed in 0.5 wt % HF aqueous solution. Before the anodizing, the crystal coated titanium samples were rinsed and sonicated in isopropanol, and then the crystal was dried in a nitrogen stream. The crystal samples were anodized for 20 min at different anodizing voltages. For each sample, the anodizing voltage was kept constant during the entire period. Anodizing of titanium coated crystal samples was conducted using a two-electrode electrochemical cell, with a platinum foil as the cathode and the titanium coated crystal as the anode. In the setup (Figure 2), titanium coated crystal was connected to the power supply and QCM. For comparison, one sample was immersed in the solution connected to QCM with no voltage.

Figures 3-5 show, respectively, FE-SEM images of the film structures obtained with different anodizing voltages, 5, 10, and 20 V in 0.5 wt% HF aqueous solution. At low voltage a spongelike, randomly porous structure is formed and only a few pits appear on the film surface, Figure 4. As the voltage increases a discrete cylindrical tube-like feature starts to appear. At 20 V as shown in Figure 5, a more developed tubular morphology of titanium oxide is obtained.

4. Summary and Conclusions

Figure 3. FE SEM top-view images of titanium oxide films anodized in 0.5 wt% HF solution for 20 min under constant voltage of 5 V

For the first time an anodizing process to form nanotubes has been connected to QCM. Such experiments have led to a better understanding of the mechanism of nanotube formation. QCM results have shown an excellent match with a currenttime anodizing curve. Using similar experiments the mechanism of nanotube growth will be further investigated to understand the effect of the electrolyte pH and concentration. Further experiments are planned to introduce this technique into the development of fuel cell electrodes. M a g a z i n e January 2010

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Boeing, a Longstanding Relationship with the Kingdom Boeing is the world’s leading aerospace company and the largest manufacturer of commercial jetliners and military aircraft combined. Additionally, Boeing designs and manufactures rotorcraft, electronic and defense systems, missiles, satellites, launch vehicles and advanced information and communication systems. As a major service provider to NASA, Boeing operates the Space Shuttle and International Space Station. The company also provides numerous military and commercial airline support services. Boeing has customers in more than 90 countries around the world and is one of the largest U.S. exporters in terms of sales.

B

oeing has a long tradition of aerospace leadership and innovation. We continue to expand our product line and services to meet emerging customer needs. Our broad range of capabilities includes creating new, more efficient members of our commercial airplane family; integrating military platforms, defense systems and the war-fighter through networkcentric operations; creating advanced technology solutions that reach across business units; e-enabling airplanes and providing connectivity on moving platforms; arranging financing solutions for our customers. Headquartered in Chicago, Boeing employs more than 150,000 people across the United States and in 70 other countries around the globe. This represents one of the most diverse, talented and innovative workforces anywhere. More than 90,000 of our people hold college degrees-including nearly 29,000 advanced degrees-in virtually every business and technical field from approximately 2,700 colleges and universities worldwide. Our enterprise also leverages the talents of hundreds of thousands more skilled people working for Boeing suppliers worldwide.

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Boeing in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: 60 years of partnership Boeing’s relationship with Saudi Arabia goes back more than 60 years: it was on February 14, 1945 that King Abdulaziz Al-Saud received a DC-3 Dakota airplane as a gift from U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt. This event marked both the beginning of the Boeing relationship with Saudi Arabia and the dawn of commercial air travel in the Kingdom. Following World War II, Saudi Arabia began using the Boeing DC-3 to carry passengers and cargo between Jeddah, Riyadh and Dhahran. The service proved so successful that King Abdulaziz ordered the purchase of two more DC‑3s, launching the Kingdom’s aviation sector and marking the beginning of Saudi Arabian Airlines. Since then, Boeing has developed and expanded relationships with the Saudi civil and defense authorities as well as with the private sector, reaffirming its commitment to the Kingdom in 1982 by establishing Boeing Middle East Limited (BMEL) in Riyadh. Boeing and Alfaisal University In addition to its successful commercial relationship with the Kingdom, Boeing continues to develop initiatives to support


Feature Article

and participate in the fields of scientific and technological research and development through strategic relationships with a number of academic institutions. “Saudi Arabia is diversifying its economy away from dependence on oil and evolving into a knowledge-based economy,” said Ahmed Jazzar, President of Boeing Saudi Arabia. “King Abdullah has an intense focus on the rapid creation of the talented work force required for this transformation. He has driven many initiatives aimed at developing the human capital with a clear concentration on the quality of education as well as scientific research. Boeing has a long history of partnership in Saudi Arabia and believes that education and R&D are fields in which we can partner with key institutions to support the Kingdom in reaching its goals.” When, in 2001, the King Faisal ambitious program to establish the Kingdom, Boeing joined this contributing financial support as

Foundation embarked on an the first private university in effort as a founding member, well as skills and expertise.

“Alfaisal University, remains an important priority for us. As a cofounder and supporter of the University, the Boeing Company

will continue to explore areas of potential collaborations”, added Jazzar. The University remains important to the Boeing Company in its role as a founder and supporter of educational and research projects, particularly in the Engineering program. HH Prince Bandar bin Saud bin Khalid Al Saud, Board Member and Chairman of the Executive Committee, Alfaisal University, said: “Boeing has been a friend of the University since its inception and we are grateful for its continued support over the years. Alfaisal University has evolved into a centre of excellence in engineering and this would not have been possible without the constant encouragement and contributions from our industry partners who have shared their knowledge, expertise and resources.” Over the years, Boeing has also supported education, training programs and other initiatives with King Saud University, King Abdulaziz University and the Riyadh Chamber of Commerce. In addition, Boeing has a strategic relationship with King Abdullah University of Science & Technology (KAUST) as a key member of the KAUST Industrial Collaboration Program.

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Student Affairs

Student

Affair s

Alfaisal is committed to attracting excellent students, and giving them the opportunity to study and excel, regardless of their financial situation

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his Fall, Alfaisal University welcomed 125 new students from over 230 applicants from the University Preparatory Program (UPP) graduates and those applying directly to Alfaisal. The new student body is quite diverse as they come from 13 different countries representing Asia, Africa, Europe, and North America; Saudi students constituting 42% of the total number of students. This is quite in line with the Alfaisal commitment to diversity and equal opportunity for all students, regardless of their background. We are also proud to have admitted a student with visual disability, and who, regardless of the physical challenge, had the academic excellence and the courage to apply for the College of Engineering. Alfaisal

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continues to commit itself to basing the admission requirements on what the students have in terms of achievements and capabilities, not who they are or where they come from, or any disability they may have. An important element of the mission of the Division of Student Affairs is to provide support and guidance to students as soon as they are admitted to Alfaisal, to ensure that they have a good start in their studies. That’s why we invited all new students to an Orientation Day on Tuesday September 27, in which we introduced them to the most important information regarding study and life on Alfaisal Campus, and addressed their concerns and worries about their transition to college life.


Student Affairs

This was possible through the generous grants provided by: Alfaisal University His Excellency, Mr. Abdulrahman Bin Abdulaziz AlRajhi His Excellency, Mr. Abdulaziz Bin Ali AlShwayer King Faisal Foundation, with the Prince Sultan Scholarship Program Atheeb Company with the leadership of HRH Prince Abdulaziz bin Ahmed Bin Abdulaziz These new scholarships are in addition to the scholarships offered to continuing students. The Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE) also offers scholarships to Saudi Students who satisfy certain merit criteria set by the Ministry. The Office also manages the student employment process in the university, which not only helps the students financially, but also has a positive impact on their skills and attitudes. Last year, we had 10 appointments, and this year we expect the numbers to increase, as the demands of different academic and support departments increase.

Information on how to succeed academically and qualify for scholarships was presented at this event. Moreover, students received their Class Schedules, and a helpful informational pamphlet that was prepared by members of the current student associations. Overall, the students liked the program, and some suggested that we offer such valuable information to incoming UPP students, as it will be helpful for them also. The admission process is the result of a year-long recruitment plan that has involved different departments of Alfaisal, in addition to a fruitful partnership with the UPP. The total number of interest forms collected during the recruitment activities was around 4000; of which the offices of admissions in Alfaisal and the UPP received around 430 applications, with a total of 340 students admitted in both programs. Planning and preparation for recruitment has begun and new recruitment activities will start at the beginning of November 09. Alfaisal is committed to attracting excellent students and giving them the opportunity to study and excel regardless of the financial situation. The Scholarship Office managed the process of granting scholarships to over 60 new students to finance their study.

With the start of the academic year, the Office of Student Activities and Services is working to provide the best possible environment for our students. Student Organizations are already in place from last year, and sports competitions between colleges, which were started last year, are expected to be fiercer this year. It remains to be seen whether the College of Medicine football team will retain the title, or Business or Engineering teams will triumph. Through Alfaisal collaboration with our partners to provide extracurricular learning opportunities for our students, the Boeing Saudi Arabia Fellowship Program selected students from the Colleges of Engineering and Business to participate in this program in October this year. The program includes visits to Boeing sites in the United States, meeting with Boeing business and technical professionals, participating in leadership training and learning about the company’s business activities, values and culture. The visits include Boeing sites in Chicago, St. Louis, Seattle and Washington, D.C. Preparations are underway to run the election for student representatives in the Students’ Council for this year. The new Council is expected to build on last year’s achievements and coordinate contributions of associations of different colleges. Among the tasks that are proposed is to control the budget dedicated to students’ activities and dictate allocations to different activities. Moreover, social and cultural activities, especially those initiated and managed by students, will be nurtured and encouraged this year after the success we had last year. With such highly-motivated students, we think that student activities and Magazine

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Facility

Facilities

Depart ment

Facilities Management: Customer Focused and Cost Effective The Facilities Department, believes combining resources and activities, is vital to the success of any organization. We contribute to the delivery of the strategic and operational objectives of AU. On a day-to day basis, we provide a safe and efficient working environment, which is essential to the performance of our students, faculty and staff. Facilities Management has adopted the philosophy of being Customer Focused and Cost Effective. The customer is the most important person in our business! Why? It’s simple: If there were no customers, there would be no partnership. Our major customers are students, so if there were no students, there would be no AU.

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roadways and parking areas, etc. To oversee the University’s custodial services, to maintain health and sanitation standards. • Oversee the University’s security program which provides for the protection of personnel and property. • Provide operations, maintenance and repair services for academic and administrative facilities at the Alfaisal campus including physical facilities, landscape areas, roadways and parking. • Provide repair services to various staff and academic departments.

Dealing with our customers, we educate our staff to: 1. Treat the customer the same way you would like to be treated. 2. Predict and accommodate our customer’s needs. 3. Make the customer feel at home. 4. Act to solve any and all complaints and problems to the customer’s satisfaction. 6. Do a little extra. 7. Always smile, be friendly and considerate 8. If you cannot assist a customer, direct him to someone who can.

• Provide essential services to students, colleges, and staff, contributing to the overall enhancement and quality of life of the University community.

Some of the ways we achieve our goals are: • Deliver effective management of Alfaisal’s assets. • Enhance the skills of people within the FM Dep. • Enable new working styles and processes. • Enhance and project the AU identity and image. Key Responsibilities: To oversee the University’s maintenance of facilities and grounds including the maintaining of physical facilities, landscaped areas,

Facility management is performed during the operational phase of a building’s life cycle which normally extends over many decades. As such, we will represent a continuous process of service provision to support the AU where improvement will be sought on a continuous basis.

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• Be responsible for the development and on-going renewal of campus facilities and infrastructure through an integrated program of campus/capital planning and implementation for new construction, renovations, alterations and facility renewal projects. • Source and select suitable procumbent vendors for the University.

Facilities Department facility@alfaisal.edu


Faculty

Interview

Faculty Interview

One of the many things that Alfaisal University prides itself in is its highly reputed and esteemed faculty members, who bring with them a wealth of knowledge and expertise. Here we give you the opportunity to meet some of our academic scholars that are committed in making our educational mission a reality. Dr. Pallab (Paul) K. Ganguly, MBBS, MD, FACA Professor of Anatomy College of Medicine Alfaisal University Dr. Paul K. Ganguly joined Alfaisal College of Medicine in September 2008 as Professor of Anatomy. Prior to this he was Professor at University of Manitoba,Winnipeg, Canada, and explains why he chose to be part of our mission. Academic Achievements: My latest and finest academic achievement is entangled with my own students at Alfaisal University who showed an excellent progress in year 1 of the medical program. All of them are dear to my heart and I am personally very proud of them. Apart from that, I have had best teacher award from my past Institutions and a gold medal from International society for heart research. Many of my awards in the past are related to scholarly activities such as Young Investigator Awards from Canadian Cardiovascular Society, American College of Angiology and Canadian Heart and Stroke Foundation. I received a very prestigious award, Rh Award from the University of Manitoba, Canada for my research, teaching and scholarly activities. Interestingly, the Rh factor/group was first discovered in the University of Manitoba, Canada and has saved millions of lives world-wide. However, I have to show yet my scholarly activity right at Alfaisal University and I am confident it is not far away. Q. Why have you chosen Alfaisal? The main reason for my interest at Alfaisal University is related to the program of College of Medicine. The problem-based curriculum is certainly one of them. The college of medicine is committed to providing state-of-the art facilities to develop an integrated medical resource centre; fortunately I am a part of that. I also worked earlier in this part of the world. Both my wife and I love the family value integral to the culture of this place. Besides, who would not like to shop around in the best shopping centers in the world!!!    Alfaisal University in 10 Years: I have witnessed a clear vision from His Highness, Prince Bandar and Prof. Khaled Al-Kattan, the Dean College of Medicine. Both of them love Excellence and I strongly believe that College of Medicine will be one of the finest medical schools in this part of the world. We have wonderful people onboard and I can assure you that we are in the right direction given the right opportunities. The number of good students applying to our medical school is a clear testimony of the achievement of Alfaisal University. I certainly will not leave this place unless Alfaisal University is in the map of excellence.

Dr. Dennis P. Greer, CPA, CMA Professor of Accounting and Management Information Systems College of Business Alfaisal University Dr. Dennis Greer began teaching at Alfaisal University in October of this year, 2009 and was previously Professor of Accounting at Utah Valley University for 27 Years. Academic Achievements: Dr. Dennis P. Greer is an accounting educator who thoroughly enjoys international education. He has had career assignments on most continents and is well traveled. Two years ago he was invited to teach at Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU) in Shanghai, China for a year after a career at Utah Valley University near Salt Lake City, Utah, in the USA. He is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and has been interested in computerized accounting since its inception nearly 40 years ago. Professional and educational experiences have included working for such firms as KPMG, Paramount Pictures, the United States Agency for International Development, and the University of Maryland.  He enjoys educating students for careers in international business firms and loves to see their success. Q.  Why have you chosen Alfaisal? Wise men say that, “opportunity only knocks once.” With this in mind, Dr. Greer believes one should take an interesting opportunity when it comes. And so it is with Alfaisal University in Riyadh.   When Dr. Greer first heard of this new English language university just being built in the Middle East, he was impressed with its mission and direction. Having lived abroad in many places but never in the Middle East, this episodic opportunity in Saudi Arabia is adding additional meaning to his life.  Dr. Greer believes this is a very important geographical region of the world and feels that serving Saudi Arabian and international students by teaching them accounting and business is a significant capstone to his teaching career.  Alfaisal University in 10 Years: In ten years Dr. Greer foresees that Alfaisal University will be a prominent educational institution in the world because it is employing quality educators and researchers and it is admitting superior students. After one visits Alfaisal University it becomes apparent that this modern university has the potential to become one of the leading educational institutions in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Middle East, and the world. With its significant endowment, state of the art facilities, and its emphasis on technical education in English it will attract many Saudi and international students.

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Information Technology

Welcome to Alfaisal University

IT Services

ITS implemented and customized Moodle for Alfaisal and offered training for faculty and students. Over 80% of all faculty now have had their study materials posted on Moodle.

What we do? ITS is the central facility at Alfaisal University and is responsible for providing IT services to support all faculty and business areas. The offered services are grouped into five categories:

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

 User Support Services  IT Infrastructure  Information Systems Management  IT Management and Compliance  Web services Each of these categories has its own mission, structure, and approach to provide different services in accordance with an overall IT Governance framework, with focus on alignment with Alfaisal’s strategic business objectives. Where to find us? Our offices at the third floor next to the chemistry lab. You can contact us using itsupport@alfaisal.edu or Ext. 7888.

Some Modern Instructional Technologies

Guidelines for Safe Computing Keep your ID and Password safe. Use strong passwords and change them often. Don’t reveal your password to anyone. Ensure antivirus software is always running and updated. Use anti-malware/spyware programs. Be careful of what you download. Think before posting personal information to avoid identity, thieves, scammers and hackers. 8. Back up your critical files. 9. Erase your hard drive before discarding your old computer. 10. Don’t use pirated software. How to Create a Strong Password A strong password should appear to be a random string of characters; minimum of eight characters and include a combination of: uppercase or/and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. To test the strength of a password visit: http:// www.microsoft.com/protected/password/checker.aspx IT News & Facts

Blogs

Short for 'web log' used to publish personal information, often updated daily.

Wikis

Allows multiple collaborative users to create, modify and organize web page content.

Podcast

Pre-recorded digital media files downloaded for playback on a mobile device or a personal computer.

 40 % of all Internet users will have mobile Internet access by 2012  Google has released its ‘Sidewiki’ to allow users to comment on any web page.  Microsoft released free anti-virus software to the public.  The Saudi e-Government Program is called ‘Yesser’, visit http://www.yesser.gov.sa/ for info.

Webcast

Transmitted audio/ video content over the Internet to multiple users worldwide; live or pre-recorded.

Open Source

mLearning

Utilized by learners on ‘the move’ via portable technologies such as PDA.

Our Learning Management System (LMS)

Moodle stands for Modular Object-Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment. It is an open source LMS installed and managed by the ITS and currently used by Alfaisal & UPP. Moodle is used by over 39,089 educational institutions in 204 countries to deliver, track and manage training/education. The aim is to give educators the best tools to manage and promote learning. Below are key services offered by Moodle:  Electronic assignment submissions  Virtual areas for group work  Self-assessment quizzes and online testing  Sequential learning objects  Embedded Shockwave Flash files  Track specific student activity  Poll  Glossary 29

 Survey  Discussion forums  Links to external Web pages  Chat, Choice, Journal, Label, Lesson, Resource, Workshop, Quiz, Admin, Log, Access remotely, Calendar and SSO.

January 2010

Magazine

Open Sources programs are designed, developed and (re) distributed for free, offering practical accessibility to a software’s source code. Below are some examples: A programming language for producing dynamic web pages.z content. Free and open source office suite, including word processor, spreadsheet, presentation, vector drawing and database components. A computer operating system with source code Linux available for free use. Portal Naming Competition All students, faculties, and staff of Alfaisal University are invited to suggest a name for the University Portal. Many universities use convenient names for their portals; e.g. myucla for the University of California. We would like to use an imaginative and friendly name for our portal. Please submit your suggestion to itsupport@alfaisal.edu (The competition closes on 30th April 2010). The winner will be announced by email.


Human Resources

Human Resources

a huge leap by conducting a successful Orientation Program on 30 September 2009 to our newly joined Faculty Members. Dear Faculty, once again, congratulations on being offered employment at Alfaisal University and thank you for accepting.

NEW FACULTY MEMBERS College of Medicine • • •

Message from HR Director As a believer in Alfaisal University’s vision and mission I would like all members of Alfaisal Community to enjoy the journey of growing and achieving the University goals TOGETHER. We are delighted that you have brought your professional expertise and talents to Alfaisal, to contribute to our vision of being a world-class research university. We offer an education that is rooted in faith, knowledge and performance and that aims to inspire leadership that will benefit the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the region and the world. The campus community embraces staff, faculty, students and visitors. Your responsibilities and your efforts make an important contribution to the overall quality of life within Alfaisal community. Your work matters here, and so do you. We ask that you familiarize yourself with Alfaisal community. The HR department is here to support and assist you all with matters relating to any aspect of your employment at Alfaisal. We strongly feel that the more you know about Alfaisal University, the more you will benefit from being a part of our community. Our hope for you as an Alfaisal employee is that you will find your work challenging and rewarding. We trust that you will experience both professional and personal growth. Let us keep our heads in the present and our eyes to the future,

Dr. Tianzheng Yu - Associate Professor of Physiology Dr. Ahmed Yaqinuddin - Assistant Professor of Anatomy and Cell Biology Ms. Michele Cowan - Teaching Instructor of Anatomy

College of Business • •

Dr. Dennis P. Greer - Professor of Accounting and Management Information Systems Dr. Hazbo Skoko - Assistant Professor of Economics and Finance

College of Engineering • •

Dr. Abdallah Shami - Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering Dr. Rehan Ahmed - Professor of Mechanical Engineering

College of Science • • •

Dr. Jalal Karam - Associate Professor of Mathematics Dr. Edreese Alsharaeh - Assistant Professor of Chemistry Mr. Gary Norman Fitt - Principal Instructor of Laboratories Science

The Happenings in HR this Fall With the help of IT Services, the development and implementation of the Enterprises Resource Planning (ERP) System, Employee Relations, Benefits & Payroll, and many new initiatives occurring in Human Resources are planned to be online soon. The result of these projects will be a more automated, more user-friendly and more efficient process for performing the usual HR functions. These projects are mostly related to the re-engineering of the Human Resources Module. This reengineering has come to us through the years of modifications of the HR Management system. Outcomes of this action are listed below: •

Best of luck

Diana Orabi Director, Human Resources

Implementation of ERP System (Employee Data & Payroll Management) HR Web portal – (Online access to review Vacation Balance, Pay-slip etc..) Electronic Online Forms (Leave Application, Benefit Request etc..)

New Faculty Orientation Program,

At the beginning of this semester the HR Department has taken Magazine

January 2010

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Public Relations

News at Alfaisal B y S aphia I kram

31

Alfaisal University Students are the first to participate in the Boeing Saudi Arabia Fellowship program

business and industry to prepare them for future opportunities”.

Saad Al Assaf, and Abdullah Al- Ibrahim, two full time second year students at Alfaisal University who have a diverse academic background in engineering, finance and management,  were selected by the university to join a three week Boeing Fellowship Program, accompanied by Adel Thaib from the university’s administration. During this fellowship program, they had the opportunity to visit Boeing sites in Chicago, St. Louis, Seattle and Washington, DC. where  they met with Boeing business and technical professionals,  participated in leadership training and learned about the company’s business activities values and culture.

In 2001 Boeing joined the ambitious program, initiated by the King Faisal Foundation to establish Alfaisal University, as a co- founder. “Since then Boeing like our many other affiliates have contributed their skills and expertise to this University, and through this fellowship program our students have been able to gain real world experience. We believe that it is vital to bring new minds into industry, and we hope to see these new minds as the future Boeing leaders of tomorrow”, said Saphia Ikram, Spokesperson, Alfaisal University.

Mr. Ahmad Al -Jazzar, President of Boeing Saudi Arabia  stated: “The Boeing Saudi Arabia Fellowship Program is the first pilot program  the company  initiated this year and we are proud to launch this with students from Alfaisal University. I’m doubly proud, being a Saudi national that these students did a great job as ambassadors for the University and our country, through this program we are reaching out to the business and political leaders of tomorrow and developing a partnership with Alfaisal University, which is a leading academic institution in Saudi Arabia”   “The Boeing Saudi Arabia Fellowship Program is one of many global efforts by Boeing to reach out to young people around the world, to develop partnerships with academic institutions in the many countries where Boeing does business and to lay the groundwork for future technical and business partnerships”.   HH Prince Bandar bin Saud bin Khalid Al Saud, Board Member and Chairman of the Executive Committee, Alfaisal University, congratulated the students, thanked Boeing for its support and initiative, and stated: “This is just one example of the real benefit Boeing can bring to this University; Alfaisal University is committed through it’s mission to provide unique opportunities for its students to gain valuable professional experience and build leadership skills , and we will continue to develop handson programs for our students, designed to mentor and cultivate today’s young leaders, strengthen their understanding of

In a continued effort to promote and nurture the environment of academic excellence, Alfaisal University launched its ‘Deans’ List Program’ in 2008 to recognize and acknowledge the outstanding academic achievements of its undergraduate students, at the end of every academic year.

January 2010

Magazine

Deans’ List Students Honored at Convocation Ceremony

The Dean’s List is a category of undergraduate students at Alfaisal University who achieve a Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.75 or above out of 4.00. Students achieving a GPA of 3.75 are acknowledged by the listing of their names on the Deans’ List Wall of Honor, located at the main entrance of the Science Building, Alfaisal University Campus, and are awarded certificates of recognition, and also granted an additional 20% discount off tuition fees, as provided by their college. The Deans’ list is also published in all local newspapers by the University. At the Annual Fall Convocation Ceremony 2009/10 this year, students from the College of Business, Engineering and Medicine, made history as they were congratulated and acknowledged, as the first cadre of Alfaisal students to be listed on the Wall of Honor, for academic year 2008/2009. Mohaimeed Ahmed Bagabas and Fahad Abdulaziz Al-Essa from the College of Business, Ahmad Hazem Adi, Mohammad Iffat Anindo,  A’man Talal Inayah, Mohannad Mohammed Abusaleh, Bara Abdulkarim AlMakadma, Mohammad Essam Al-Sibae, Mohammed Samir Khusheim, Mohammad Fahmi Mathbout, and Hani Jamal Al-Turkmani, from the College of Medicine and Mohamed Ahmed ElAmeen, Ziad Ahmed El-Sawah,


Public Relations

News at Alfaisal B y S aphia I kram

Mohammad Husam Al-Razaz, from the College of Engineering were all presented a certificate of recognition by Acting Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Ronald Bulbulian at the convocation ceremony. Families of the students were also present at the ceremony to witness their achievements. “The Deans’ List is a program that encourages Alfaisal students to continuously strive for greater results; this incentive will allow our students to excel academically with zeal throughout their years of study, and we at Alfaisal are committed to recognising their hard work and efforts,” stated Dr. Abdulhamid Al Abduljabar, Vice President for Student Affairs. “We hope this has set an example for our freshman students and we look forward to honoring this year’s achievers”.

KFSH & RC International Advisory Panel Visit Alfaisal University

On a recent visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, The King Faisal Specialist Hospital & Research Center’s International Advisory Panel visited the Alfaisal University campus on Sunday, 4 October 2009. Dr. Qasim Al Qasabi, Chief Executive Director, King Faisal Specialist Hospital & Research Center (KFSH&RC) and Board Member of Alfaisal University highly recommended the visit to the International Advisory Panel, in order to get an insight into the University’s mission, academic programs and achievements to date paying particular attention to the College of Medicine. Alfaisal University is affiliated to King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center, (KFSHC), an agreement that was signed to develop educational, training and research programs for medical students and to move towards improving the Kingdom’s level of education, development and scientific research. The hospital will be a university hospital, aiding in the development of many of the academic programs it is already implementing. During the campus visit the International Advisory Panel met with Alfaisal leaders and Dr. Khaled Al-Kattan, Dean, College of Medicine and its highly reputed international faculty. The College of Medicine, at Alfaisal University has this year taken its second intake of students and is affiliated with PHMI, a nonprofit education entity which is currently developing a global network of medical excellence including medical colleges in various parts of the world. Alfaisal and PHMI have agreed to associate with each other for the purpose of developing a proposed medical college (‘Alfaisal Medical College’) as part of Alfaisal University under the supervision of Vice Provost for Academic Affairs Acting Provost, Dr. Ronald Bulbulian and Dean of College of Medicine, Dr. Khaled Al-Kattan.

Fraport, Saudi Arabia Sign MOU with Alfaisal

Riyadh, 3 October 2009 - Dr. Maher Alodan, Vice President for Research & Graduate Studies, Dean of Engineering signed a

Memorandum of Understanding with Mr. Ralf Schiffer, Chief Executive Officer, Fraport, Saudi Arabia for Airport Management and Development Services Company Ltd. The signing ceremony took place at Alfaisal University witnessed by officials from both institutions, Mr. Mario Bach, Director Human Resources, People Development & Training, Fraport Saudi Arabia, Dr. Ronald Bulbulian Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, Acting Provost, Dr. Ala Al Bakri, Professor & Vice Provost for Accreditation and Quality Assurance, Dr. Norman Wright, Professor of Management, Acting Dean College of Business, Dr. Mattheus Goosen, Associate Vice President for Research & Graduate Studies and Dr. Abdulhamid Al-Abduljabbar, Vice President for Student Affairs from Alfaisal University. The common goals of the participating parties are to support training and technological collaboration and to benefit from each others’ capabilities. Both parties will facilitate hosting guest lecturers from the Company at the University, allowing graduate student exchange projects, training of Company staff, Company input on Alfaisal undergraduate curriculum, and student internships at the Company. Ralph Schiffer, CEO, stated that it is important for “industry and educational institutions to work closely together to facilitate the country’s progress” and looks forward to the “huge benefit this agreement will bring to both parties”. Fraport Saudi Arabia (FSA) is responsible for airport management and development of King Khalid International Airport, Riyadh and King Abdulaziz International Airport, Jeddah. FSA holds contracts with the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. In terms of community relations and regional support, Fraport is active in a variety of fields; from supporting educational projects, to sponsoring sports events and environmental protection issues and community relations rank high with Fraport. The University seeks leadership in technical research and scientific development directly related to the needs of growth and production sectors in the country, through applied research projects conducted by faculty and students. This will help to build a skilled and experienced workforce. Alfaisal University welcomes this agreement with Fraport Saudi Arabia, in its efforts to build relationships and partnerships with industry locally, regionally and internationally enabling the university to produce graduates whose talents could be harnessed for the greater good of the country. David Chin, MD, Healthcare Consulting Practice,PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP & former President & Medical Director, Health Centers Division, Harvard Community Health Plan, Andrew Padmos, MD, FRCPC Chief Executive Officer, Royal College of Physicians (Canada) and Jamil Tajik, MD Prof. of Medicine & Pediatrics Mayo Clinic Rochester, USA, were among the International Advisory Panel to visit the University.

Magazine

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Book Review

Book

B y S aphia I kram

Review

is known as “a reader” this is not a problem. But if you aren’t comfortable with a book in your hands the danger is that after one or two chapters you really don’t like, you’ll decide that the whole activity is a washout. So what’s to be done? In the United States, according to The New York Times, some schools are piloting a program in which kids can pick out their own books. This might be Great Expectations; it might be Captain Underpants. Of course there are those who think that this is a good thing and those who do not. Some are of the belief that choices won’t gravitate to the greats as students will pick things that are trendy and popular. But that’s what you should do in your free time. Mark Bauerlein, Professor of English at Emory University and the author of The Dumbest Generation: How the Digital Age Stupefies Young Americans and Jeopardizes Our Future-formerly a passionate advocate of high-culture, booklist-driven learning-thinks we just need to preserve book habits among kids as much as we possibly can, whether its Conan novels or Hardy Boys or Harry Potter or whatever, that’s good.

A

belated Happy New Year & Happy New Year! What’s that you think? I’m talking about the new academic school year, which started in October 2009 and to me always has a truer ring of a fresh start than the travesty that occurs at midnight on December 31. Yes, I am afraid I am one of those people who always looked forward to the scent of new notebooks and freshly sharpened pencils — and, of course, a pile of new books to read. I find publishers, too, treat the autumn as a kind of New Year-it is, after all, the run-up to Christmas; hence the slew of heavyweight fiction and biography that appears as the leaves begin to turn. And so I pop into my local bookstore and pick out what I think I would like to read, unlike the way in which I received a pile of “new books” when at school and college that included discoveries such as Great Expectations and Wuthering Heights. The former, especially, was a revelation to me, as I got hold of a copy of Oliver Twist. When at school I was too young for it and decided I would always hate Dickens. Oops. This is the bliss of the assignment: being handed something you didn’t know you wanted to read and having to simply get on and read it.

Personally, I’ve moved towards Bauerlein’s position. Being asked to write on the Book Review Section for the magazine and asking students to send in book reviews made me realize that I didn’t want to recommend a book that our students may have no interest in. So instead I strongly urge students to visit our local Jarir bookshop and pick up what appeals to them off the shelves and send in their reviews of their latest reads. So I end with inviting our well-read students and faculty to send in reviews of their latest reads, whilst I continue with Unwem Akpan’s “Say You’re One of Them” that I never got round to finishing this summer. As I said, Happy New Year and Happy Reading!

But what happens, at school or college, when you’re given a reading assignment that you don’t like? If you are already what

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November 2009

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