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KGSP Student Spotlight: Mohammed Khan

Mohammed Khan, a KGSP junior at Pennsylvania State University majoring in Material Science, was recently sponsored to attend the 2019  Material Science and Technology Technical Meeting and Exhibition in Portland, Oregon.  This annual conference brings together students, scientists, engineers, and business leaders to engage in discussions of emerging research in Material Science. 

The KGSP is structured to emphasize the critical importance of growing an active professional network—even as a young undergraduate—by providing its recipients with the tools and occasions to do so.  Mohammed was therefore prepared to best utilize this opportunity by attending as many different presentations as possible, and proactively introducing himself to conference speakers.  He stated that “Every time I attend a conference, I learn something new.”

At Penn State, Mohammed is currently working on a project to improve the growing conditions of thin films by experimenting with various methods to make substrates smoother.  While attending this conference he had the opportunity to meet other researchers working in this particular area, and to discuss his ideas on how to improve his research: “I talked to many professors at the conference, and when discussing my research, many stated they had never thought of re-polishing the substrates in the manner in which I’m working. They thought it was a really smart idea, and has the potential to change the way of growing materials.”  This feedback was not only encouraging, but gave Mohammed new avenues of exploration to pursue.    

Participating in such events is just one of the many benefits provided to KGSP students.  The Program provides extensive programmatic, financial, and logistical support for students to attend top professional conferences in their fields, and to augment their undergraduate experience.


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.