Diversity Where We Work

New Yanbu’ scientist sees her work highlighted on global portal

Refaa E. Bajnaid’s work on a new synthesis method for derving chemical compounds from indole reduces cost and waste.

New Yanbu’ scientist sees her work highlighted on global portal

The Yanbu’ Refinery Department (YRD) Laboratory recently celebrated the selection of a master’s degree thesis of lab scientist Refaa E. Bajnaid for publication ProQuest, the respected international scientific portal. 


ProQuest partners with more than 9,000 publishers around the world, and is utilized by more than 98% of the world’s top 400 universities, and by 26,000 libraries in 150 countries. 


Bajnaid, who graduated from Western Illinois University with a master’s degree in chemistry, joined YRD labs in July 2022. Her master’s degree research discovered a new synthesis method for deriving new chemical compounds from an organic compound called indole. These synthesized compounds serve as raw materials for the pharmaceutical, fertilizer, and other industries. 


Bajnaid’s new method was especially beneficial, since it reduced the number of steps in the synthesis process, which reduced costs and the waste of materials, improved safety, and produced compounds with higher purity and value. 


Bajnaid’s academic accomplishments are just one example of the talented female employees being recruited by Aramco into the workforce, in alignment with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 goals for sustainable development. 


Diversity in the oil and gas industry
While only 22% of the global oil and gas workforce is female, according to a 2021 report by the World Petroleum Council, Aramco has made strides in attracting and retaining women, and supporting them as they enter fields that was once the domain of men. These efforts are beginning to bridge the gender gap that persists at all levels of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines.

Diversifying the workforce makes good business sense. Gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls have the potential to boost the economic development of the Kingdom, while also providing new solutions and generating value for Aramco. 


On a mission to reduce emissions

Fares M. Rowaili, YRD Laboratories supervisor, said that Bajnaid has been given challenging work in her new position as a lab scientist at YRD labs. 


“After she joined the refinery, she has started working on a project about reducing emissions,” Rowaili said. “Emissions means waste, and so her work will involve finding out how to recover hydrogen from the refining process. Right now, this is in the theoretical phase, but hopefully, this will go further toward finding new solutions.”


For her part, Bajnaid said she feels “lucky” to join Aramco, and to be a part of the talented team at YRD labs. 



There is a world of talent here at Aramco, and I feel super lucky to be here.
— Refaa E Bajnaid

“My management is inspiring and talented. My supervisor is always pushing us to be better today than we were before,” she said. 


Caption for top photo: Refaa E. Bajnaid works in the Yanbu’ Refinery Department Laboratory. Since joining in 2022, she has been working on a project about reducing emissions.


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