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King Faisal University

College of Engineering

As a newly incepted college, the College of Engineering at KFU realized that it was hard to decide on its specific research priorities. Therefore, the college opted to work along two parallel approaches in defining its research priorities: the Internal Approach and the External Approach. In the internal approach, the college draws and builds on the various research expertise of existing faculty from different disciplines, making it a little variable. Such expertise generally includes but not limited to RF and Microwave Communications, Bioenergy, Computational Methods, Modeling and Optimization, Polymers, Gas Purification and Desulfurization, Industrial Water Treatment, Multi-scale Modeling/Simulation in Fluid and Heat Transfer and CFD, and Engineering Education. 
As for the external approach, the research priorities are identified based on the industry needs and the challenges that are most significance to the national economy. 
In fact, it was not difficult for the College to underline the issues of national significance within the Saudi Arabian context but further elected to categorize them under two main classes: competitive advantages and competitive disadvantages. A competitive advantage is an industry or sector where Saudi Arabia enjoys an apparent strength in which it can compete globally such as oil and gas and petrochemicals, while a competitive disadvantage refers to a problem or challenge in the Kingdom that calls for urgent action like water scarcity and corrosion.
In its efforts thus outlined, the College focuses on specific industries/sectors perceived as most affected by these issues. These industries or potential customers include Oil and Gas, Petrochemicals, Fertilizers, Mining, Energy, Water Desalination, Telecommunications, Transportation, Construction, Air Conditioning and Energy-Efficient Buildings, and Healthcare Facilities. 
It is obvious that these themes are quite broad and, therefore, the College has been seeking to narrow them down and be more focused. To this end, the College has passed through two phases: the first entails selecting the core competency where the College singled out "efficiency" among other significant potential competencies.