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Saudi Arabia's New Technology University Opens Its Doors

The university, called KAUST, has the Middle East's fastest supercomputer and a multibillion-dollar endowment

2 min read

On an afternoon in late July, Tony Eastham sat in a half-built office outside Jeddah, in Saudi Arabia. A table, a few chairs still wrapped in plastic, a desk, and some white settees occupied the room. Outside, the whines and growls of construction heralded the rise of a university in the desert.

These facilities are part of the hardware that makes up the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, an ambitious graduate-level research university with a multibillion-dollar endowment. Known as KAUST, the institution will open its doors to students for the first time this month, and Eastham, the director of laboratories, has quite a few labs left to build. ”What’s happening here is an experiment, one that is only possible because of the resources available in Saudi Arabia,” says Eastham, an IEEE member and until recently an engineering professor at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.

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Asad Madni and the Life-Saving Sensor

His pivot from defense helped a tiny tuning-fork prevent SUV rollovers and plane crashes

11 min read
Asad Madni and the Life-Saving Sensor

In 1992, Asad M. Madni sat at the helm of BEI Sensors and Controls, overseeing a product line that included a variety of sensor and inertial-navigation devices, but its customers were less varied—mainly, the aerospace and defense electronics industries.

And he had a problem.

The Cold War had ended, crashing the U.S. defense industry. And business wasn’t going to come back anytime soon. BEI needed to identify and capture new customers—and quickly.

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