KAUST Alum Wins Prestigious Prize

Omran at Ain Shams University

KAUST alumnus, Dr. Hesham Omran, won the UNESCO-Al Fozan International Prize for the Promotion of Young Scientists in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) on June 19. This was the first edition of the prize, which is given biennially to five laureates representing all five of the UNESCO regions. The prize recognizes scientific and outreach achievements in STEM fields that have an economic impact and encourage careers in STEM. 

Dr. Omran is now an associate professor at Ain Shams University (Egypt) but earned his Ph.D. at KAUST in 2015. He won the award for creating the Analog Designer’s Toolbox (ADT). ADT simplifies the design of full-custom blocks in integrated circuits, a task that has generally depended on a high level of expertise. In parallel, he has shared his knowledge of microelectronics with the public through his Mastering Microelectronics YouTube channel, which has garnered over 1.2 million views and 12,000 subscribers, many of whom come from Arabic-speaking countries. “My passion is not only about doing research on microelectronics. It is also about teaching microelectronics. This award is a great honour that will boost my dream of making the Arab world a hub of microelectronics innovation,” he said. 

At KAUST, Dr. Omran worked under the supervision of Professor Khaled Nabil Salama, where he investigated methods to optimize the energy consumption of sensor interface circuitry, one of the energy sinkholes in smart electronic devices.

The UNESCO-Al Fozan International Prize is the latest addition to a list of many awards Dr. Omran has earned since graduating from KAUST for his work on integrated circuits and design automation. Dr. Omran received the Design Automation Conference (DAC) Innovator’s award in 2022, Ain Shams University Encouragement Award in Technology in 2022, and Egypt’s State Encouragement Award in Engineering in 2020. Read the official announcement about why he won the UNESCO-Al Fozan International Prize here.