Published Research Highlight
Several KGSP students have started making a mark in the world of scientific research. Through their experiences working under the guidance of skilled professors, researchers, and graduate students during summer enrichment, these undergraduates have contributed to possibly groundbreaking research projects that have been subsequently published in national and international scientific journals. As they break into highly competitive academic and professional spaces, KGSP students are gaining invaluable experience while making a change in scientific communities across the world.
Mohammed Alkhurisi, a senior at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) majoring in Chemical Science, conducted research at the University of Regensburg (UR), an internationally renowned public research university in Regensburg, Germany in the summer of 2022. Through the MIT-Germany Program, Mohammed worked hands-on under Professor Florian Wisser and was partnered with a UR PhD student on their research in optimizing catalytic properties in chemically engineered materials, a process Mohammed said will be of incredible importance in the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy. During his research experience, Mohammed was responsible for measuring the properties of the rhodium functionalized catalyst. “We used a porous organic polymer, a pyrene based covalent triazine framework, as a photocatalyst to generate hydrogen. We then loaded the polymer with an organometallic rhodium complex and demonstrated that we can catalyze the reduction of carbon dioxide to formic acid.”
Image 1: Mohammed Alkhurisi, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Chemical Science.
Mohammed’s research team’s findings were outlined in a paper titled, "Pyrene and Bipyriding-based Covalent Triazine Framework as Versatile Platform For Photocatalytic Solar Fuels Production," that was published in ChemCatChem, a peer-reviewed European chemistry journal covering the whole spectrum of catalytic chemistry. Mohammed hopes that the information he and his team produced might help with averting a climate crisis. “It means a great deal to me that something I worked on got published,” he said. “I've had this dream of being a scientist since I was little, and the more I went on in my academic career, the higher the goals I set myself [to be considered] a scientist. I have decided that If I can do work that others can trust to be correct, then I can say I am one.” Mohammed also added that he enjoyed his time at UR, and advised current KGSP students pursuing publication to keep detailed, dated notes of all their work in the lab. “When writing a manuscript, you need to be 100% sure you can recall everything you've done because whole experiments can be left out due to bad record keeping. This, along with constantly asking questions and sharing your progress continually would be a big help.”
Mohammed is one of a handful of current KGSP students whose research appeared in national or international publications.
Image 2: Mohdi Almarzooqi, University of California, Los Angeles, Computer Science and Engineering.
Modhi Almarzooqi, a senior at the University of California, Los Angeles majoring in Computer Science and Engineering, co-authored a paper titled “Surface Coating by Mechanofusion Modulates Bulk Charging Pathways and Battery Performance of Ni-rich Layered Cathodes” during her KGSP customized summer enrichment program at Virginia Tech in summer 2021. The paper was published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), a peer-reviewed journal of the National Academy of Sciences, and one of the world’s most cited scientific journals.
Image 3: Khalid Ajran, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Mathematics and Computer Science.
Khalid Ajran, a junior at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology majoring in Mathematics and Computer Science co-authored a paper titled “Factorization in additive monoids of evaluation polynomial semirings” during his time at MIT’s Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program in summer 2022, where he conducted mathematics research under the guidance of Dr. Felix Gotti, and in collaboration with other undergraduate students. The paper was published in Communications in Algebra, a peer-reviewed scientific journal covering topics in algebra.
Image 4: Mohammed Suleiman, University of Pennsylvania, Chemistry & Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
Mohammed Suleiman, a senior at the University of Pennsylvania majoring in Chemistry & Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering co-authored a paper titled “Anion-Dependent Structure, Dehydration, and Hydroxide Ion Conductivity of Magnesium Aluminum Layered Double Hydroxides” while conducting research under the guidance of Professor Thomas Mallouk. The paper was published in Chemistry of Materials, a peer-reviewed journal under the American Chemistry Society (ACS) Publications.
The KGSP supports and encourages students as they pursue research and become published scholars in STEM. Accomplishments like these publications capture a snapshot of the potential and talent within the KGSP community. The Program would like to congratulate these students on this profound recognition of their work, and looks forward to their remarkable impact on the future of Saudi Arabia and of the world.