Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Life is Full of Changes

It is hard to believe that the first KAUST masters student graduation and commencement is tomorrow! An impressive majority (more than 50 percent) of these graduating students have chosen not to leave, but to continue their education at KAUST this coming year - either by beginning a thesis project or going straight to Ph.D. research.

Other students are pursuing diverse and exciting employment opportunities around the globe. Saudi Arabian companies, such as SABIC and ARAMCO, have offered jobs to Saudis and non-Saudis alike, and even to the female students; other students will be working at high-caliber multinational corporations such as Dow Chemical and Proctor and Gamble; and, not surprisingly, an impressive number of students are beginning to join start-ups or to create a new company with the help of KAUST's seed fund to further an idea or discovery which was made here. Whether in Saudi Arabia or abroad, pursuing a Ph.D. or a career, the graduates have an exciting future.

In other news, the labs are looking much better. This Professor is proudly posing in a stocked biological laboratory. Reagents are now arriving within weeks rather than months, and equipment has steadily cleared procurement and customs - a huge leap ahead from only one year ago when almost all research materials seemed to be held-up indefinitely by a disorganized procurement supply chain and a tight-fisted national customs office.