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Under the patronage of His Excellency Dr. Mohamed bin Abdulaziz Al-Ayaf, Mayor of Riyadh District, Rector Abdullah Al-Othman of King Saud University, inaugurated on 26th May, 2005, an International Workshop of the Center of Excellence for Concrete Research and Testing at Sheikh Hamad Al-Jasser's Hall at King Saud University. At the beginning of the ceremony, Dr. Abdulaziz Al-Nagheemesh, Director of the Center for research and Testing, gave a brief introduction about the goals of the Center and its role in the professional development. This was followed by Dr. Al-Othman's speech in which he welcomed His Excellency Mayor of Riyadh District and expressed his gratitude to him for patronizing this scientific event. Dr. Al-Othman also welcomed the University's guests from inside and outside the Kingdom, adding that King Saud University focuses in its present strategy on societal partnership to achieve international leadership, and that the establishment of the knowledge society by investing in the local human resources is the only way to catch up with the developed countries. He then expressed his hope that one day, King Saud University will hopefully become the nation's main gate for the knowledge economy because it has all the qualifications for that. Dr. Al-Othman also praised the generous support and the direct sponsorship that King Saud University gets from The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and his Deputy and referred to the positive changes witnessed by the Kingdom in the field of higher education. He also stressed the necessity to establish a partnership with the public and private sectors, referring to the Research Chairs Program at the University, which was a great success.
On his side, Dr. Al-Ayaf expressed his thanks to the University and all its staff members, exalted the activity taking place there, and praised the College of Engineering for establishing the Center for Concrete Research and Testing. He also referred to the continued partnership between the College and Riyadh Town Hall in various projects.
After that, Dr. Al-Othman presented the University trophy to His Excellency Mayor of Riyadh District , and souvenirs to both of Professor Andrzej S. Nowak, the international expert in the field of structure safety and security and bridge design, and Dr. Shuaib Ahmed, Chief Engineer at the American Concrete Institute. Then the workshop activities began with the participation of the best international experts in the field of concrete research and testing, who delivered a number of specialized lectures.