Widening The Base of Scientific & Literary Study in Saudi Arabia
Penn State Wilkes-Barre engineering faculty crosses the ocean to help bring discovery and invention to Middle East
By: Rachel Olszewski
In December, Penn State Wilkes-Barre’s very own Dr. Albert Lozano-Nieto, Professor of Engineering, travelled to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as part of an ABET team for a reaccreditation visit at King Saud University. Located in the capital of Riyadh, the university was established in 1957 and boasts a reputation as one of the oldest and largest universities in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
According to the dictates of the Royal Decree No. 17, King Saud bin Abdulaziz founded the public university and appointed Prince Fahd, who would eventually become the Saudi King himself, as the first minister of education. Prince Fahd set forth the overriding mission of King Saud University that is still followed to this day, which is to “disseminate and promote knowledge in Our Kingdom for widening the base of scientific and literary study, and for keeping abreast with other nations in the arts and sciences, and for contributing with them discovery and invention.”
Dr. Lozano Visits Saudi Arabia
Credit: Penn State
Today, the student body is 40,000 strong and offers courses in the natural sciences, the humanities, and professional studies. The College of Applied Medical Sciences, which was the focal point of Dr. Lozano-Nieto’s trip was established in 1962 and consists of seven departments offering the Bachelor of Science Degree for the Biomedical Technology Program. The university as a whole is ranked the top secondary education facilities in the Arab World by the Academic Ranking of World Universities.
Dr. Lozano-Nieto represented the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI) as a Program Evaluator for the reaccreditation process of King Saud’s Biomedical Technology Program. The organization is centered around the advancement and development of safe and effective uses for medical technology. A voluntary organization, committees of manufacturers, healthcare professionals, regulators, scientists, and academics develop new or revise existing recommended practices and standards.
ABET is a non-governmental organization that accredits college and university programs in the disciplines of applied and natural science, computing, engineering and engineering technology. Program Evaluators are expert professionals from industry, academia and government dedicated to contributing to their professions through the ongoing improvement of the quality of technical education.
“It was an honor to be selected to represent AAMI and ABET for this visit” said Lozano, who has been involved with ABET as a Program Evaluator and Team Chair since 1998. “In addition to meeting with instructors, students and administration from the University and learn about their daily lives, the team had the opportunity to learn about the history and culture of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia” continued Lozano.