Driving Innovation

Driving Innovation: EXPEC ARC honors Researcher Development Program grads

The RDP bonds young researchers with experienced mentors to nurture their growth into independent and pioneering researchers.

Driving Innovation: EXPEC ARC honors Researcher Development Program grads

The EXPEC  Advanced Research Center (EXPEC ARC) recently held its third graduation ceremony for the Researcher Development Program (RDP) in Dhahran. 


The event, attended by guests including Waleed A. Al Mulhim, senior vice president of Petroleum Engineering and Development, and Ghaithan A. Al Muntasheri, acting director of EXPEC ARC, celebrated the accomplishments of eight individuals who completed the program. The RDP, an innovative initiative within EXPEC ARC, bonds young researchers with experienced mentors to nurture their growth into independent and pioneering researchers capable of leading cutting-edge research and technology development.


The graduation comes after a rigorous program, encompassing a range of criteria to ensure a comprehensive development of the candidates. These requirements include:


  • Leading multidisciplinary technical teams
  • Executing field deployment and implementation
  • Publishing technical papers
  • Securing patents
  • Active participation in professional societies and events. 


To maintain the program's high standards, a Technical Review Committee (TRC), led by the RDP chairman, conducts regular reviews of each candidate's development plan.


The RDP graduate recognition event was organized collaboratively by the RDP committee, RDP graduates, mentors, TRC members, and chief technologists. 


Al Mulhim highlighted the importance of engagement and alignment with the company's strategic goals, and expressed pride in the graduates while commending their commitment to pushing the boundaries of their respective fields.


Additionally, Ghaithan acknowledged the valuable investment that EXPEC ARC has made in nurturing these promising young researchers through the RDP. He emphasized the program objectives, nothing they guide and support candidates in achieving their goals, aligning their efforts with the mission and vision of EXPEC ARC in developing world-class researchers focused on cutting-edge technology.


During the ceremony, recognition was given to the former RDP chairman and TRC members for their unwavering dedication and support to the program. 


The new RDP chairman, Mohamed L. Zeghlache, and committee members were introduced, highlighting their commitment to further enhancing the RDP. 


Currently, the RDP boasts about 110 enrolled young researchers from diverse technology divisions, and with the recent graduates, the total number of successful graduates now stands at 32 since the program's inception.


The graduates include:


Mustafa Al Ibrahim (Geology Technology Division)

Mentored by Mokhles Mezghani

  • Leading the Digital ARC Infrastructure Group enabling researchers develop 4IR technologies
  • Double BSc degrees in Geology and Geophysics from University of Calgary, MSc in Geology from Colorado School of Mines, and PhD In Energy Engineering from Stanford University
  • Developed and deployed 13 technologies related to quantitative geologic analysis, automation, and artificial intelligence
  • Authored more than 45 publications and granted four patents


Mohammed Mubarak (Geophysics Technology Division)

Mentored by Constantinos Tsingas

  • Joined EXPEC ARC in 2016 from Exploration within which he completed multiple assignments in geophysical data acquisition, processing and advanced services
  • BSc in Geophysics Leeds and MSc in Geophysics also from KAUST
  • Leading several projects related to seismic data processing & analytics
  • Winner team for 2018 ADIPEC Award for Best Exploration Technology, 2019 Saudi Aramco CEO Excellence Award, 2020 World Oil Finalists for Best Exploration Technology and Recognition (twice) by the Aramco Corporate Innovation Award 


Hussain Albahrani (Drilling Technology Division)

Mentored by Abdullah AlYami

  • Focus Area Champion of Drilling Geomechanics in DTD
  • BSc degree in Petroleum Engineering from KFUPM, MSc and PhD in Petroleum Engineering from Texas A&M University
  • He is developing tools for modeling the impact of dynamic events while drilling 
  • Published more than 20 peer-reviewed and conference papers, authored 39 granted patents
  • Received the 2020 Texas A&M first place Award for his PhD research, and one of the youngest to be selected by SPE as a Distinguished Lecturer in the 2023/2024 cycle


Bader Harbi (Production Technology Division)

Mentored by Mohammed Bataweel

  • Focus Area Champion of Smart Fluids in PTD
  • BSc in Chemical Engineering and MSc in Petroleum Engineering from KFUPM and PhD in Petroleum Engineering from Heriot-Watt University
  • Research interests include well stimulation, scale mitigation and water shutoff
  • Contributed to deployment of more than seven technologies
  • Authored and co-authored more than 35 journal and conference papers. Inventor and co-inventor of more than 25 patents


Hassan Alqahtani (Reservoir Engineering Technology Division)

Mentored by Amr Abdel-Fattah

  • Specialized in Nanomaterials and Green Hydrogen Production
  • BSc in Physics from KFUPM, MSc in Nanotechnology and PhD in Materials Science (physical chemistry) form Flinders University-Australia
  • Leading several projects related to Hydrogen and Nanomaterials Platforms
  • Published more than 13 refereed international journals and more than 13 conference papers



Abdallah Alshehri (Reservoir Engineering Technology Division)

Mentored by Howard Schmidt & Amr Abdel-Fattah

  • FAC of Reservoir Deep Diagnostic team
  • He received his PhD degree in Electrical Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, USA 
  • He is undertaking various industry-leading research projects to develop novel technologies to increase hydrocarbon discovery and reservoirs recovery
  • He deployed many technologies, has 30+ patents and 60+ publications


Muhammad Almajid (Reservoir Engineering Technology Division)

Mentored by Sunil L. Kokal

  • Leading CCUS research
  • BSc degree in Petroleum Engineering from Colorado School of Mines, MSc and PhD from Stanford University
  • Leading and contributing to several key projects in RETD that focus on CO2 sequestration, oil recovery, and gas mobility control
  • Contributed to deployment of more than five technologies, authored more than 30 publications and 20+ patents


Abdulaziz Ba Hamdan (Advanced Technical Services Division)

Mentored by Jeremey Babington 

  • Supervisor of Chemical Evaluation & Qualification Unit in ATSD
  • BSc in industrial Chemistry and MSc in Polymer Science & Engineering from KFUPM
  • Led technical evaluation and qualification of more than 100 new drilling fluids technologies which resulted in more than 40 deployments
  • IKTVA subject matter expert to allocate and approve IK chemical manufacturers and is voting member of drilling fluids chemical RUS committee
  • Completed 18 months Service Company Training Program (SCTP) with Halliburton USA


Caption for top photo: Graduates of the Research Development Program in EXPEC ARC pose with leadership and those who help conduct the program.


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