Professor El-Atab to feature in NEOM “Changemakers” video series

By David Murphy
Nazek El-Atab, KAUST assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering and the principal investigator of the Smart, Advanced Memory Devices and Applications (SAMA) Lab, has been recently selected to feature in the upcoming NEOM “Changemakers” video series. 

The initiative will highlight NEOM’s mission to “inspire change and champion the young talent looking to make the world a better place.” Covering 14 sectors, local, regional and international interviewees, the series will encourage participants to share their stories and experiences with NEOM.

Situated in Saudi Arabia’s northwest Tabuk Province along the Red Sea coastline and Gulf of Aqaba, NEOM is a planned futuristic “smart city” and independent economic zone set to span over 26,500 km2. 

Innovative achievements in corrugation technology

El-Atab’s selection was based on her ongoing innovative achievements in developing a corrugation technology that allows the transformation of inorganic rigid solar cells into their ultra-flexible, ultra-stretchable and lightweight versions. Her video will cover her expertise in flexible and stretchable solar cell technology and the pivotal role it can place in Saudi Arabia and the wider region. 
“We would like to recognize change entrepreneurs, such as [Nazek], who strive to make a positive difference for the benefit of humankind,” Chief Executive Officer of Technology and Digital at NEOM Joseph Malik Bradley said. 
I feel honored to be recognized among the NEOM Changemakers and to be acknowledged as a thought leader with the ability to make the world a better place through my research, which is focused on solving global challenges and making the human’s life easier.
El-Atab’s video will cover her expertise in flexible and stretchable solar cell technology and the pivotal role it can play in Saudi Arabia and the wider region. Her current research focuses on the design and development of innovative smart memory electronic devices for futuristic in-memory sensing and in-memory computing applications. 
Along with several significant awards for her research—including the L’Oréal-UNESCO 2015 For Women in Science Middle East Fellowship, the L’Oréal-UNESCO 2017 International Rising Talents Award, featuring in MIT Technology Review Arabia’s “MENA Innovators Under 35” for 2020—the Lebanese researcher has also been invited by L’Oréal-UNESCO to represent the Middle East and Africa at their 2021 Women in Science Festival in Paris last month.