- Our Scientific Committee

P. Martin Mai

Chair of Scientific Committee

Professor of Earth Science and Engineering

Email: martin.mai@kaust.edu.sa

Prof. P. Martin Mai is professor in the Physical Sciences and Engineering Division at KAUST. He joined KAUST in June 2009 as founding faculty member. Prior to his affiliation with KAUST, Prof. Mai worked as senior research scientist at ETH Zurich, Switzerland. Since 2003, Prof. Mai has supervised more then twenty PhD and MSc students, guided ten postdoctoral researchers, and served on numerous student evaluation committees. Prof. Mai is an active member of the American Geophysical Union (AGU), the Seismological Society of America (SSA), the European Geosciences Union (EGU), and the German Geophysical Society (DGG). Prof. Mai has published over 80 peer-reviewed papers in highly ranked international journals, has (co-)organized several international workshops and conferences, and chaired many special sessions at international conferences. In 2015, he was elected Division President of the Seismology Division of the European Geosciences Union (EGU). In Professor Mai’s research, he and his team members and collaborators investigate the physics of earthquakes and the complexity of earthquake phenomena, focusing on earthquake-source imaging, dynamic rupture modeling, and earthquake mechanics. His work extends to strong ground-motion properties and near-source seismic wave-field simulations that include wave scattering in heterogeneous media. As such, his work spans from fundamental earthquake physics to earthquake-engineering applications, by quantifying earthquake source complexity to improve ground-motion simulation for seismic hazard assessment. In addition, he works on uncertainty quantification in earthquake source studies, leading an international collaboration to perform numerical experiments for validating and improving earthquake source inversion strategies. The second major thrust in Prof. Mai research investigates the Earth’s structure underneath Saudi Arabia, using seismic data recorded by the Saudi Geological Survey and by their own observational network. The goal is to better image the structure of the Earth crust and upper mantle underneath the Arabian plate, as these affect our ability to locate earthquake and understand their tectonic origin. As such, these fundamental studies facilitate further seismological research in Saudi Arabia, as well as studying the geodynamic context of the Arabian plate and the Red Sea.

Abdullah M. Alamri

Professor of Earthquake Seismology​

Director of Seismic Studies Center, King Saud University (KSU).

Email: alamri.geo@gmail.com

He holds a Ph.D. (1990) in Geophysics from University of Minnesota, USA. He is the President of the Saudi Society for Geosciences and editor-in-chief of the Arabian Journal of Geosciences (AJGS). His research interests are in the area of crustal structures and seismic zonation of the Arabian Peninsula. His recent projects involve also applications of EM and MT in deep groundwater exploration and geothermal prospecting. He has published more than 80 research papers, achieved more than 45 research projects as well as authored several books and technical reports. He is a principal and Co-investigator in several national and international projects (KSU, KACST, NPST, IRIS, CTBTO, US Air force, NSF, UCSD, LLNL, OSU, PSU and Max Planck ). He has also chaired and co-chaired several SSG, GSF, RELEMR workshops and forums in the Middle East. He obtained several worldwide scientific prizes and awards from Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Algeria, Tunisia, Oman, Kuwait, and USA.

Faisal Alqahtani

Associate professor of Petroleum Geology and Sedimentology

King Abdulaziz University

Email: falqahtani@kau.edu.sa

He received his MSc (2006) from Colorado State University in Sedimentology and Petroleum Geology and Phd (2010) from Imperial College London in 3D seismic geomorphology. Dr. Faisal is now the department head of Petroleum Geology and Sedimentology and the Director of Geohazards Research Center (GRC) at KAU. He is the author and co-author of several articles and two translated books in sequence stratigraphy and 3D seismic Interpretation. He is currently a member of the AAPG, IAS, SEG, SPE, SSG, and DGS. Dr. Faisal's main research interests are in Petroleum Systems, Basin Analysis, Sequence Stratigraphy, Geophysics especially 3D Seismic interpretation, sedimentology, and geology of fluvial systems (both ancient and modern).

Stewart Greenhalgh

Saudi Aramco Professor of Geophysics

College of Petroleum Engineering and Geosciences King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia.

Email: greenhalgh@kfupm.edu.sa

Prior to taking up this position in August 2016 he was Professor Geophysics at ETH Zurich for 10 years. He is also Emeritus Professor of Physics at the University of Adelaide, Australia. He received a PhD in Geophysics from the University of Minnesota, USA in 1979 and a higher doctorate (D.Sc. degree) from the University of Sydney in 1997. He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering and the UK Institute of Physics. Professor Greenhalgh has published widely in both theoretical and experimental geophysics. His more recent interests include numerical seismic and electromagnetic (EM) modeling, poroelasticity theory, immersive experimentation/ physical seismic modeling, full waveform inversion, wave propagation in anisotropic media, near-surface characterization, wavefield gradiometry, signal processing, EM imaging and application of seismic methods to geothermal and oilfield exploration.

Najeeb Rasul

Technical Advisor

Saudi Geological Survey (SGS), Jeddah

Email: najeeb_rasul@hotmail.com

He holds a PhD in Geological Oceanography from the University of Wales, UK. He has been associated with several research organizations and has held key research positions at Geological and Geophysical Research Systems in Canada, the Challenger Division for Seafloor Processes at the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton, UK, Environment Canada in Burlington, Canada, and the Center for Marine Geology at the SGS. Najeeb has conducted research cruises with European Union Research centres, including the Institute of Marine Sciences (ISMAR), Italy and the IOC-UNESCO (TTR program) and has been a EUROMARGINS and Saudi Scientific Coordinator. He has been involved in several research projects and cruises as chief scientist and principal investigator in the Pacific, Indian and Atlantic Oceans, including the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, Mediterranean Sea, Lake Erie, Strait of Hormuz, Arabian Sea, and currently the Red Sea for the last 15 years. Najeeb's research interests have concentrated on the fields of both shallow and deep-water sedimentary processes, depositional mechanisms and environmental aspects. These include research on modern underwater sedimentary features and processes involved in their formation, deep-sea turbidite systems, sediment dispersal and pathways, sediment plumes, fluxes and deposition, contaminants and chemical pathways for pollution and their environmental impact in both time and space. Najeeb is chief editor of "The Red Sea: the formation, morphology, oceanography and environment of a young ocean basin", a book based on scientific research published in 2015, and the two forthcoming contributions one on the geology and related subjects, while the other is concerned with the environment, biology and anthropological topics, to be published by Springer in December 2017.

Volker C. Vahrenkamp

Professor of Geology

King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST)

Email: volker.vahrenkamp@kaust.edu.sa

Volker has joined the Ali Naimi Petroleum Engineering Research Center of KAUST in early 2017. Before he was Managing Director of Nordic Geothermal LLC, based in Dubai and has worked more than 28 years as carbonate geology expert for various Shell companies in the Netherlands, Malaysia, Oman and the United Arab Emirates, where he was until 2015 Exploration Manager. He has extensive technical experience covering both exploration and production aspects of the energy business - hydrocarbons and geothermal. His focus has been on stratigraphy, especially chemo-stratigraphy, facies architecture, diagenesis, core analysis including digital rock physics, rock typing and property upscaling, 3-D reservoir modeling & field development planning. His research aims at securing future energy supply with three main thrusts: 1.Refine the understanding of modern and ancient carbonate depositional environments and associated diagenesis for improved perception of reservoir heterogeneities, 2 Advance the quantification of the complex pore networks of Arabian carbonate reservoirs and its impact on reservoir performance, 3. Explore and develop geothermal energy in Arabian countries with special focus on desalination and cooling applications. Volker has organized and led international conferences and innovative core workshops in the Middle East. He is an accomplished fieldtrip leader for geological outcrops and modern analogues, has published widely and was AAPG Distinguished International Lecturer in 2008.

Salah ELHadidy Youssef

Technical Advisor

National Center for Earthquakes and Volcanoes (SGS)

Email: Youssef.SH@sgs.org.sa

He holds a Ph.D in the year 1995 in seismology from Ain Shams University, Egypt and his Master Degree from Cairo University, Egypt. He is an Associate Professor in the National Institute of Astronomy and Geophysics, Egypt. He was in charge to establish the Egyptian National Seismic Network. He has been the director of Earthquake Disaster Reduction Center, National Institute of Astronomy and Geophysics, Egypt. Salah's research interests have concentrated on the of seismicity and seismotectonic, phase identifications and its interpretation, moment tensor inversion, imaging the crustal structure using ambient noise technique and seismic network configuration and establishment. Since 2005, Salah ELHadidy is Technical Advisor in the Saudi Geological Survey (SGS) for the National Center of Earthquakes and Volcanoes. He is an effective member in establishing the earthquake center as well as the Saudi National Seismic Network. He has been a member in the scientific committee of the seventh Gulf seismic Forum that was held in 2012 and organized by SGS. He has many scientific publications in the National and International seismological Journals. He has been supervisor of Ph.D and M.Sc Theses. He is a reviewer for many National and International Seismological Journals.​

Mohammed Rashad Hassan Moufti

Professor of Volcanology.

Dept. of Mineral Resources and Rocks, King Abdulaziz University

Email: mbasyoni@kau.edu.sa

He holds a Ph.D. (1985) in Volcanology from University of Lancaster, UK. Currently his research covers all aspects of monogenetic volcanoes, including the petrogenesis of their volcanic rocks, detailed description of their surficial deposits as well as their possible volcanic hazards. His main areas of research and interest are: Volcanic geology, hazard and risk assessment of monogenetic basaltic fields. He also co-lead a large project in this research area: Determining Volcanic Volcanic Risk in Saudi Arabia (VORiSA) as a collaborative research work with Auckland University, New Zealand. In general his research in Saudi Arabia has been largely focused on four overlapping areas. These are the physical volcanology of Saudi Cenozoic volcanic lava fields (Harrats); Volcanic geohazards, particularly the volcanic hazards of the most recent Harrats; Industrial and Economic assessment of the volcanic rocks; and Igneous petrology of Precambrian volcanics of the Arabian Shield. Recently much of his research has become interdisciplinary and involves the geoheritage values of Saudi Harrats and the identification of distinctive GEOSITES in these volcanic fields, and promoting the concept of geotourism as well as the establishment of geoparks (aspiring) in Saudi Arabia. He is the coauthor of a recently published book about the Geoheritage of Volcanic Harrats in Saudi Arabia (Published by Springer 2016). He was a dean of the Faculty of Earth Sciences (RES), and the Director of the Geohazards Research center (GRC) at KAU.

Hassan Al Marzouki


Planning and Development, Saudi Geological Survey (SGS)

Email: Marzouki.HM@sgs.org.sa

Eng. Al Marzouki has obtained his B.Sc. degree in Engineering Geology, King Abdul Aziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia in 1996 and Diploma degree in diamond identification in 1999, Bahrain, as well as becoming a certified diamond grader from HRD, Belgium in 2000. Obtaining an Mphil in industrial rocks minerals & PG researcher 2010, Leicester, UK. Eng. Al Marzouki has participated, presented and attended many investments seminars, forums, conferences, and exhibitions inside and outside the kingdom of Saudi Arabia. He organised many training courses and industrial forums inside the kingdom, also appointed as the chairman of industrial minerals workshops in 2002 in cooperation with the British Geological Survey, and the Silica Arabia 2012 Conference, Jeddah. Eng. Al Marzouki joined BRGM, the French Geological Survey Mission in Saudi Arabia during 1996 and worked with them in the industrial mineral department. and in 1997 he was head of the Ornamental Stone Unit. After the foundation of Saudi Geological Survey (SGS) in 2000, Eng. Al Marzouki worked as a 1st Head of industrial mineral department. In 2009 he was pointed as the Director of Mineral Exploration, SGS. After setting up a new general administration of Planning and Development in SGS organisation, Eng. Al Marzouki was pointed as a 1st Director- general, Planning and Development in 2013, which he is currently holding this position. Eng. Al Marzouki has vast knowledge in Saudi mineral resources and mineral based manufacturing industry. He is currently leading numerous projects which help the Saudi Geological Survey to accomplish Saudi government’s goal and improve minerals industries. Eng. Al Marzouki has numerous publications that published in international journals as well as national and internal technical reports. Eng. Al Marzouki is a member in national and international committees and societies, as well as a member in some governmental committees. Eng. Al Marzouki is currently leading the SGS National Transforming Programme 2020, which is a phase towards achieving the Saudi Vision 2030.