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September 23rd, 2009
A three-dimensional room that takes you inside a living cell, an archaeological dig or a coral reef; the second fastest supercomputer at any educational institution in the world; the largest nanotech clean room.
It may be far from global techno-hubs like Silicon Valley, but Saudi Arabia's new KAUST research university has facilities and equipment that would wow scientists from anywhere.
One and half billion dollars is being spent on kitting out the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in hopes of powering the kingdom into the heady ranks of global research.
Chemical science professor Niveen Khashab, a PhD graduate of the University of Florida in the United States and one of five women on the faculty, said she was impressed by the resources and instrumentation available.
‘KAUST has everything that any assistant professor — regardless of gender — would look for.'
For scientists like Khashab who have signed on to KAUST, built from scratch in two years on the Red Sea coastal desert, the amount of state-of-the-art equipment is overwhelming.
There is a nanotechnology fabrication unit larger than any other university's. KAUST has eight nuclear magnetic resonance measuring machines — used for testing any material at the molecular level — with better specifications than almost anywhere.
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