KAUST-STRATE Innovation and Design Program

This summer, six KGSP students traveled to the Strate School of Design (STRATE) in Sèvres, France to take part in the 2019 KAUST-STRATE Innovation and Design Summer Camp.  After a competitive application process administered by the KGSP, participants were selected based on their high academic achievement, excellent technical writing skills, interest in design, and demonstrable capacity for collaboration and innovative thinking. 

STRATE, a private institution for technical education and one of the world’s top design schools, is dedicated to the teaching of industrial design, 3D modeling, and design thinking.  For two weeks, participants of this unique program learned how to apply team-based design methodology to address real-world STEM challenges in an international setting, specifically within the fields of Artificial Intelligence, Renewable Energy, Algorithms- Big Data-Data Visualization, and Smart GRIDs. 

KGSP Students Working
KGSP Students Working

The KAUST-STRATE Innovation and Design Summer Camp is the first summer program in which KGSP has directly partnered with a continental European partner, and students benefited from the opportunity to not only learn under a different pedagogical system, but also to visit French industrial sites like PSA Groupe, the French car manufacturer, and Spoon. AI, a robotics company.  Of course, in their free time participants also enjoyed Paris’ famous cultural attractions!

Ameen Qoqandi, a junior majoring in Applied Mathematics and Computational Sciences at Boston University, enjoyed his experience at STRATE and noted that, “besides learning alongside great people with different academic and cultural perspectives, being near Paris meant that we were embraced by the culture and had a real taste of the French experience.”

Abdulrahman Jamalallail (Left), Abdulaziz Yaslam (center), Ameen Qogandi (right) outside the Palais Garnier
Abdulrahman Jamalallail (Left), Abdulaziz Yaslam (center), Ameen Qogandi (right) outside the Palais Garnier

Abdulaziz Yaslam, a senior majoring in Biomedical Engineering at University California, Davis, took great interest learning about Interactive Design at STRATE, identifying the experience as “a landmark moment in my life due to its nature of being a topic I never thought I would learn about.”

Concluded Ameen, “I believe that embracing new experiences and expanding our horizons should be our most important goal as KGSP students.”  KGSP is committed to providing its recipients with best-in-class research opportunities like the KAUST-STRATE Innovation and Design Summer Camp, as these experiences not only expand recipients’ knowledge base and promote further learning, but also support each student’s quest to develop innovative solutions to some of the world’s most pressing technological and scientific issues.

Dr Walid Abediseid, the KGSP Scholarship Officer managing this important initiative, asserts: “The first KAUST-SRTATE Innovation and Design Summer Camp was a great success for our students, with intensive training in how to tackle real-world problems through cutting-edge innovation and design. In our rapidly-changing world, innovation is the key to competitiveness; as design is at the heart of innovation, it is essential for KGSP students to learn these fundamentals under experts like those at STRATE."