SPE-KSA’s T&PP May 2023 End-of-Term Dinner Meeting

AI+X and the Future of Academia

By Abdullah Almubarak, SPE-KSA T&PP Team Member.

On May 29th, 2023, SPE-KSA’s Technical and Professional Programs (T&PP) team hosted its end-of-term dinner meeting of 2021-2023. The keynote speaker and guest of honor was the President of King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals, Dr. Muhammad Al-Saggaf. The dinner also held a momentous occasion in oil and gas industry, the anniversary of 90 glorious years of Saudi Aramco.

About the Speaker

Dr. Muhammad Al-Saggaf, the 6th President of King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals, and the first since the University became independent.

He started his career at KFUPM, then spent 30 years in Saudi Aramco, culminating in his position as Senior Vice President of Operations & Business Services, before re-joining the University in January 2020.

He holds a B.S. degree in mathematics from KFUPM, M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in geophysics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, an MBA from KFUPM, and a graduate of Harvard Business School’s Program for Management Development.

Dr. Al-Saggaf received several international awards, including the J. Clarence Karcher Award from the Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG), the Lester C. Uren Technical Excellence Award, the Distinguished Member Award from the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE), and the Eisenhower Fellowship. Dr. Al-Saggaf has authored several refereed technical papers and founded a new technical journal.

Reflections and Key Takeaways

During his talk, Dr. Al-Saggaf delivered an inspiring speech that focused on the future of academia in the context of digital transformation, the economy, and talent acquisition. He emphasized on the cruciality of talent in driving innovation in various sectors and contributing to economic growth. 

Following that, Dr. Al-Saggaf stressed on investments in multiple sectors. Most importantly, the role of equipping diverse talents in growing and shaping the economy. He illustrated that there are three types of talents: (1) Economy Burdening Talent, (2) Economy Maintaining Talent, and (3) Economy Creating Talent. The speaker advised to invest in the economy, creating talent as they pave the way for enriching and introducing new sectors. 

Dr. Al-Saggaf also shed light on the pivotal role of academia in bringing new frontiers of digital solutions. He highlighted new sub-majors that steer the career path of the new generation of young talents. Such as: 

  • Hydrogen Mobility 
  • Cloud Computing 
  • Artificial Intelligence 
  • Cybersecurity 
  • Gene Sequencing
  • VR and Metaverse 
  • Robotics 

In addition, Dr. Al-Saggaf demonstrated multiple industry-linked master’s programs that speed up the growth of the economy. Hence, King Fahad University of Petroleum & Minerals designed purposeful programs that align with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s 2030 vision. These accelerated master’s program will sharpen the technical skills of our new generation by equipping them with the required industrial mindsets. The key takeaway from Dr. Al-Saggaf was that the industry’s future relies on current investments in young talents for a thriving economy.

SPE-KSA Recognizes its Sponsors

During the dinner meeting, SPE-KSA chapter concluded the term with recognizing the key pillars of SPE-KSA’s term success, our sponsors, for their unwavering and continuous support. 

Diamond Sponsor


Gold Sponsor


Silver Sponsor


Diamond Sponsor

Baker Hughes

Gold Sponsor

Rawabi Holding

Bronze sponsor


Platinum Sponsor

Saudi Aramco

Silver Sponsor


With that SPE-KSA, has concluded the dinner meetings series with an outstanding celebration of the 90th years anniversary of Saudi Aramco. This have not been achieved without your remarkable support and contributions to the 2021-2023 term. SPE-KSA is looking forward to host more fruitful events alongside with the support of its management, key sponsors and members.