undergraduate programs
Immersive study
abroad experience
Committed advisors
A vibrant academic
Cultural experience
Access to KAUST’s
premier faculty and
The opportunity to
contribute to KAUST’s
bold global mission

Reflections on the 44th IAEE International Conference



By Abdullah Alshangiti 

Abdullah Alshangiti, freshman at Columbia University majoring in Material Science and Engineering.

Image 1: Abdullah Alshangiti, freshman at Columbia University majoring in Material Science and Engineering.

As a KGSP student, I am constantly looking for opportunities to learn about the latest developments in my field and explore different aspects of engineering. That's why I was thrilled to attend the 44th IAEE International Conference in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, hosted by the King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center and the Saudi Association for Energy Economics. This conference provided a unique opportunity for me to gain exposure to the latest research, developments, and innovations in the energy sector. 

The conference theme, "Pathways to a clean, stable, and sustainable energy future," was particularly relevant to my studies and interests. The panels and keynote speeches covered a wide range of topics related to renewable energy, energy efficiency, and the energy sector's challenges, including issues such as energy storage, carbon capture, and hydrogen fuel cells. As an engineering student, exposure to these emerging technologies and their potential applications is crucial to stay current and competitive in my field. 

One of the key benefits of attending the conference was the opportunity to network with professionals from academia, industry, and government working on cutting-edge research and innovative projects. I was able to meet experts from different countries and backgrounds and learn about their experiences and insights in the field of energy economics. These interactions gave me valuable insights into the diverse perspectives and approaches to solving complex engineering problems. 

Participating in the panel discussion on "Hydrogen-Fueling the Future: Opportunities and Challenges" was a highlight of the conference for me. This session addressed the critical issue of financing low-carbon hydrogen and explored the complexities and challenges in this field. The panelists were experts from academia, government, and industry who shared their experiences and insights on the current state of hydrogen fueling technology and the challenges that need to be addressed for its widespread adoption. This discussion gave me a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities associated with hydrogen fuel cells, which is an area of interest for me. 

Overall, attending the IAEE International Conference was an invaluable experience for me as an engineering student. It allowed me to learn about the latest research and trends in the energy sector, network with professionals from academia, industry, and government, and gain insights into the diverse perspectives and approaches to solving complex engineering problems. The exposure to emerging technologies and innovative projects will benefit me as I pursue my studies and future career. 

Abdullah is a freshman at Columbia University majoring in Material Science and Engineering. The KGSP encourages and supports its students as they engage in enrichment activities that expand their knowledge and interests in their preferred fields. Attending and participating in conferences like the IAEE’s provides young academics the opportunity to gain real-world experiences and engage with both up-and-coming, and established professionals in various sectors, offering dynamic mediums of immersion into STEM fields.  


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.