King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals won two prizes in the 19th Almarai competition for scientific creativity. The research unit award went to the Center of Research Excellence in Renewable Energy (CoRE-RE), and Ph.D. student Muhammad Yunus Dita from the Department of Physics shared the Student Creativity Award.
On December 8, 2020, H.R.H. Prince Mishaal bin Majid bin Abdulaziz, Governor of Jeddah, honored the winners of the 19th Almarai Scientific Creativity Award. The ceremony was organized by the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, in the presence of the Chairman of Almarai Company, Deputy Chairman of the Supreme Council of the Award, H.H. Prince Nayef Bin Sultan Bin Mohammed Bin Saud Al Kabeer.
Dr. Fahad Al-Sulaiman, Director of Center of Research Excellence in Renewable Energy, said that winning the research unit award reflects the quality of the Center’s research, and the efforts made in the field of renewable energy to achieve the Kingdom's 2030 vision in this field. KFUPM has a great awareness of the importance of advanced applied research closely related to national development priorities. It has accumulated experience in the field of renewable energy, indicating that the Center helps to highlight the University's potential and develop its research capabilities to meet the needs of the industry.
He explained that the CoRE-RE aims to foster postgraduate research in five disciplines: solar energy, wind energy, advanced energy storage systems, grid-connected systems, economics, and policies of renewable energy. Its vision is to be a national center that contributes to spreading knowledge, providing training and innovation, as well as marketing renewable energy technology in the Kingdom and the Gulf region.
Dr. Muhammad Younas, a postdoctoral fellow in the Physics department, said that he was happy to win the prize for his research work.
He mentioned that his research work, at the Ph.D. level, aims to improve the fabrication of solar cells, the 3rd generation solar cells, which have attracted huge attention from scientists and energy companies around the globe due to their outstanding characteristics.
He described that at present, the available photovoltaic cells are not very cost-effective and difficult to fabricate. The 3rd Generation photovoltaics, especially perovskite and dye-sensitized solar cells, enjoy advantages over their silicon-based counterparts in that they are easy to fabricate and highly cost-effective.
During his Ph.D. thesis, Dr. Muhammad Younas focused on the most important parameters of photovoltaics, i.e., reduction of cost, improvement of efficiency, and stability of these emerging photovoltaics. He used novel co-sensitization and cost-effective approaches to enhance the performance and efficiency, as well as to reduce the recombination of charges.
So far, he has published 14 ISI journal papers and several are in the queue. From his Ph.D. thesis, he has published 8 journal papers and 1 submitted patent.
The Almarai Scientific Creativity Award was launched in 2001 as part of Almarai's social responsibility in cooperation with the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology. The award aimed at supporting science, scientists, and researchers in the fields of basic sciences, applied and development sciences, and innovation in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Since its inception, 26 researchers, 116 creative and research works, and 13 research units have won the award.