KAUST Named Among the Best Nanoscience Universities Internationally

King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) is named one of the world's best universities in nanoscience and nanotechnology.

Thuwal King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) is named one of the world’s best universities in nanoscience and nanotechnology.

The ranking announced by US News & World Report is a part of its comprehensive analysis of global universities.

Nanofabrication scientists of King Abdullah University of Science and Technology deposit nanometer-thick films and characterize their properties

Behind world-class cleanroom and equipment, safety and facility specialists support to help advance research.

KAUST is ranked 18th in the publication’s Best Universities for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology list for 2022.

The university has been recognized for its basic and applied research at micro and nano levels across various disciplines.

“I was at a strategy retreat when I heard the news,” said Kenneth Kennedy. Kenneth is the director of the Nanofabrication Core Lab at KAUST.

“My initial reaction was not of surprise, as I know we have amazing people, research capabilities, facilities, and equipment.

I was immensely pleased to see KAUST receive recognition on an international stage. I was pleased for our staff who worked hard for many years to achieve this.”

Reviewing the US News & World Report nanoscience and nanotechnology rankings, KAUST performed strongly across various metrics.

The metrics cover publication success, outreach efforts, and international collaboration, scoring 81.7 out of a possible 100.

KAUST scored particularly well for the citations of its publications. It ranked 9th for “nanotechnology and nanoscience normalized citation impact.” And 16th in highly cited papers. Placing its research among the top one percent most cited.

Referring to the keys to such well-respected and cited research, Kennedy said: “We have something unique here at KAUST with our Core Labs.

The facilities are world-class. Cutting-edge tools are reviewed regularly and replaced when required. Our highly experienced staff collaborates with faculty to support and sustain their advanced research across multiple disciplines.

He added that the proximity and consistency between all the labs help researchers to transition between them seamlessly.

​​​​Kennedy’s nanofabrication is a part of Core Labs. It is a system of interconnected multidisciplinary laboratories.

These combine to form KAUST’s research ecosystem. It provides training, research support, collaboration, and services to KAUST faculty, researchers, students, and external partners.

KAUST’s nanoscience faculty’s collaboration with international partners and institutions is thriving. Currently, the Nanofabrication Core Lab team, headed by Kennedy, is working with an international pioneer in the research of nanoscale patterning and etching of materials to produce flat, pin-head-sized optics.

The importance of the research could be sizeable, as these will result in next-generation wearable tech. Like, smart wearable glasses and smartwatches.

 KAUST’s manifold skills base, state-of-the-art equipment, and facilities can stage the entire research process.

This strong base offers a competitive advantage for the nanoscience lab, its collaborators, and Saudi Arabia.

“This area of science covers infinite applications and devices with potential impacts on everyday lives and economies.

Semiconductors are a huge global business, which currently has a very high profile in the media,” Kennedy said.

“We must ensure our position to address the need for going smaller. Yet, also be agile enough to move with rapid changes in research and materials.

Furthermore, there is a need to integrate previously incompatible materials and devices to provide compactness and additional functionalities, which will be challenging.

Still, we are not here to solve easy problems.”

US News examines the world’s top universities in its annual university rankings, including the very best from the United States and more than 90 other countries.

The global university rankings measure 13 indicators that measure academic research performance and global and regional reputations.

The rankings also break down into each particular discipline, such as nanotechnology and nanoscience.

2022 marked the eighth edition of the list of Best Global Universities. It showcases the world’s leading 1,750 institutions. And KAUST finished inside the top 100 with an overall score of 70.9 out of 100.

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