Dr. Ahmad Elzatahry, a scientist in King Saud University’s’ Petrochemicals Research Chair (PRC), has won the 2011 Egyptian State Prize of Egypt in Advanced Science and Technology .
The award winner has frequently lectured on research and published articles involving nanotechnology and about consolidating scientific creativity in the Arab World and Africa.
In announcing Dr. Elzatahry’s award, PRC Supervisor Dr. Salem Al-Deyab said the world is on the verge of a tremendous technical revolution, equal in effect to the industrial revolution that brought about the age of the machines and the technical revolution that allowed man to travel in space. He said the nanotechnology revolution is striving to use today’s ability to manufacture infinitely small tools for use in all knowledge fields, in chemistry, physics, biology, and industry.
Nanotechnology, Dr. Al-Deyab added, has become a determining factor in the scientific and research civilities submitted for the awards. He emphasized these efforts were underscored by the presence of many joint studies undertaken and published by Dr. Elzatahry and the PRC in a quest to produce large amounts of clean and environmentally-friendly energy.
Established in the summer of 2008, the PRC’s efforts are focused on the fruitful application of science in research and development, in the area of petrochemicals, through reliance on distinguished scientific skills and advanced laboratory instruments. The Chair’s goal is to provide research, training courses, technical services and consultation to specialized companies.
Dr. Elzathahry, an Egyptian native, began working with the PRC a little more than a year ago, first as a consultant and eventually was granted full-time assistant professor status. Some of the achievements and activities that impressed the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research and Technology have been his work in scientific output, his involvement in projects linked to ideas and their quality, his international collaborations, and his consultant efforts in the industrial community. He also is a member of several organizations, specifically to the activities of the handicapped.
In addition to Egypt, Elzatahry has acquired an impressive international resume through his lectures, seminars and collaboration with experts dealing with a variety of subjects such as hydrogen production, catalysts in water desalination, energy, food safety, and biodegradable materials. He was one of five scientists trained on the concept of initializing and management of science and techno parks and spearheaded the installation of a science park in Egypt.
Science, research, technological, and biomedical parks – the term depending on the type of science or research in which the park’s entities are engaging -- are usually areas with a collection of buildings dedicated to scientific research on a business footing. Such parks are also associated with or operated by colleges or universities. The involvement of higher education often results in greater organization and more effective planning and management, and it promotes extensive exchange of ideas and concepts with other parks, of which there are approximately 140 worldwide.
Other areas with which Dr. Elzatahry has been involved the various sources of power, the different facets of water treatment, medical research, telecommunications, and transportation.
“I also have managed seminars regarding the concept of developing marketing plans, based on economic studies of national needs,” Dr. Elzatahry said. “So, I also have given several seminars about that concept and had the pleasure to lecture at the African Technical Policy Studies Network which is a multi-disciplinary network of researchers, practitioners, and policy makers that promote science, technology, and innovation policy.”
Dr. Elzatahry’s mother tongue is Arabic, but he also speaks German and English, which has been beneficial in his international travel that has included visits to Switzerland, The Netherlands, and the United States where he has shared his expertise and exchanged information with government and science park authorities.