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Student Spotlight: Yasser Althuwaini

Yasser Althuwaini, a freshman majoring in Mechanical Engineering at The George Washington University (GW), along with his research team won Third Place in the third annual George Hacks Medical Solutions Hackathon.  Organized by the student organization George Hacks, the Hackathon brings together students, professors, and faculty throughout the various academic schools at GW,  to brainstorm and cultivate new and innovative ideas to improve medical technology within just 24 hours. The two-day event provided training workshops to help students develop their ideas. 

“Broadening my learning areas and experiencing new things have always been important to me…” Yasser said, “so I couldn't resist the opportunity to join George Hacks”.  He enjoyed participating in the event, believing that the competition was a great way to encourage the best effort out of his peers, especially with professors and practicing doctors in attendance and providing professional insight to their constructs.

Yasser working
Yasser working during Hackathon brainstorming session

His team pitched the idea of creating a prototype of a voice-commanded ergonomic and height-adjustable step stool for surgeons.  Through its development, Yasser connected his interest in automating vehicles, particularly when it came to the design of the stool’s small mechanical parts and automaton feature.

Through this experience, Yasser expanded his professional networking by meeting many upperclassmen, professors, GW hospital staff, and even the GW President Thomas Le Blanc.  Some professionals have already expressed interest in any future potential projects from Yasser. As a freshman, Yasser is a prime example of the ambition and drive of KGSP students.
Yasser Team
Yasser with his teamates next to GWU President Thomas LeBlanc


KGSP students represent the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s future scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs, and thought-leaders. As both individuals and as a community, they reflect the KAUST mission of driving scientific discovery through excellence in education and cutting-edge research, and share a commitment to fostering innovation, economic development, and social prosperity throughout the Kingdom and the world.  


Selection to the KGSP is extremely competitive, and currently by invitation only. Successful applicants are Saudi Arabian students in their final year of high school who demonstrate impressive academic credentials within STEM fields, meaningful extra-curricular achievements, and who share the KAUST ethos of continuous discovery.  Learn more here.


The KGSP is administered by the Office of Strategic National Advancement at KAUST, under the direction of Vice President & Senior Associate to the President, Dr. Najah Ashry. Strategic National Advancement directs the university's strategy to serve Saudi Arabia's transformational priorities: Through initiatives in young talent and Saudi workforce development, social responsibility, and national engagement, the Office contributes to a thriving innovation ecosystem by building knowledge capacity, creating opportunities, and strengthening impact.