The winners of the Study UK Alumni Awards 2022-23 in Saudi Arabia have been announced at a ceremony hosted by the British Ambassador in Riyadh. Saudi alumni of UK universities were recognised for their outstanding achievements as business professionals, entrepreneurs, and community leaders, and for their contribution to strengthening ties between the UK and Saudi Arabia. The ceremony was organized by the British Embassy and British Council in Riyadh and attended by senior representatives of the government and UK alumni.
The Study UK Alumni Awards judging panel selected recipients for four award categories: Science and Sustainability, Culture and Creativity, Social Action, and Business and Innovation.
The UK honors Saudi alumni of UK universities
These prestigious international awards celebrate UK higher education and the achievements of UK alumni all over the world. Now in its ninth year, the award received an outstanding number of applications from nearly 100 countries, representing more than 120 UK higher education institutions.
Neil Crompton, British Ambassador to Saudi Arabia said: “I am delighted to host this year’s Study UK Alumni Award ceremony. We are immensely proud of our alumni, who have built on their education to become leaders in different fields and champions of social change, in turn enriching the lives of those around them.
“The UK and Saudi Arabia share a strong and modern partnership. We consider the alumni of British universities to be ambassadors for both countries and are a testament to our strong people-to-people links. My congratulations to all our finalists and winners.”
“We consider the alumni of British universities to be ambassadors for both countries and are a testament to our strong people-to-people links”
Eilidh Kennedy McLean, Country Director at the British Council in Saudi Arabia, added: “The remarkable individuals we celebrated today have all taken their UK education as a starting point to excel in their chosen careers and shape the world around them. This year’s awards ceremony is testimony not only to the diversity of UK alumni and their endeavors, but also to the transformative impact of a UK education, with over 100,000 UK graduates, there’s a lot to celebrate with!”
The Science and Sustainability Award was presented to Dr Hani, a Professor and Consultant of Molecular Diagnostics and Medical Biotechnology at King Abdulaziz University.
Professor Hani Alhadrami has over 10 years of academic and community service (with the accomplishment of four patents, over 80 publications in high-impact peer-reviewed journals, and the establishment of several academic degrees). He is a Person in Charge at the Center of Genomic Medicine Research and the Special Infectious Agent Unit BSL3. He is the founder of the Saudi Society of Molecular Biology & Biotechnology. His research on Covid-19 has had a remarkable impact worldwide in terms of detection and treatment.
Professor Alhadrami has been promoted to a full professor in less than 10 years since his graduation from the UK. British education has significantly contributed to his success as a scientist and a leader. His achievements have been widely highlighted on social media and TV channels. He is one of the stakeholders who are forming research rules for the future of KSA and other countries.
The Culture and Creativity Award was presented to Dr Muhammad Alzaidi, currently, an Assistant Professor at King Saud University, chairing the Saudi Society of Linguistics and teaching MA and PhD students. Dr Alzaidi graduated from Essex with a Masters in Linguistics in 2010 and a PhD in Linguistics in 2014. His research is mainly concerned with how word order and prosody – the rhythm, stress, and intonation of speech – interact. His YouTube channel, Linguistics Café, sees him teaching and inspiring people around the world for free. Dr Alzaidi has always felt it important to interact with people from different countries and cultures. Remembering his time at Essex he said: “When I started studying at the University of Essex, I received loads of help, including social and academic help. The University welcomes all people from all countries regardless of nationality, race or anything. It opens all the chances to its students. At Essex, we learned new skills that not only help us in the academic world but also help us improve our lives.”
The Social Action award was presented to Dr Reham Fakieh, Economics Research Director at the National Development Fund of Saudi Arabia. She is one of the very few women who significantly contribute to political development, social diversification, and economic innovation projects.
Manchester Metropolitan University gave Dr Reham the professional and academic qualities required of world-class economists. She left with more than a PhD; she gained a network of first-class mentors, international conference exposure, and confidence.
Dr Reham will lead pioneering and complex research into energy and social issues. She will continue to engage with policymakers, interface with universities, and inspire women to consider economics and politics as career choices.
The Business and Innovation award was presented to Dr Abdullah, who received a degree in Computer Engineering from Taif University in 2011, a Master’s degree in Wireless Communication from Kent University in 2014, and a PhD degree from Brunel University in 2018. In 2011, he joined Taif University where he is currently an Associate Professor and the Head of the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Centre. He is a fellow of a higher education academy. He has also received several certificates, such as the professional certificate in Entrepreneurship Centers’ Management.
Dr Abdullah works to enhance the entrepreneurship ecosystem in society. He led his team to organize many activities and help several start-ups to be launched. He observes that the UK education system equipped him with the great skills he needs. He works to increase the level of innovation and entrepreneurship in Taif to meet the requirements of achieving the Saudi vision 2030.