MBRAS Awards

MBRAS awards the Mohammed bin Rashid Medal for Scientific Distinguishiment to notable scientists in the UAE. The Medal is the highest scientific acknowledgement in the UAE. It celebrates scholars and scientists and highlights their role in the society to present scientists as role models and source of pride for the UAE. It further aims to create an enabling environment for promoting innovation and scientific research, especially among young scientists. In addition to the medal, the winners and their family members will be eligible to receive the Golden Visa.

Nomination Criteria

Scientists with research careers that have a significant impact on their field of science

The area of research has a direct or indirect positive impact on the UAE’s society

Scientists who are active members of the scientific community and work on developing young scientists

Scientists who are considered experts and points of reference in their field regionally and/or internationally

Previous Recipients

Dr. Saeed Alhassan
Mohammed Bin Rashid Medal for Scientific Distinguishment 2017
Professor Hassan Arafat
Mohammed Bin Rashid Medal for Scientific Distinguishment 2017
Professor Ali Al Mansouri
Mohammed Bin Rashid Medal for Scientific Distinguishment 2019
Professor Lihadh AlGazali
Mohammed Bin Rashid Medal for Scientific Distinguishment 2019
Professor Omar Yaghi
Lifetime Achievements Award 2019
Professor Lourdes Vega
Mohammed Bin Rashid Medal for Scientific Distinguishment 2020
Professor Rachid Yazami
Lifetime Achievement Award 2020

Dr. Saeed Alhassan is an Associate Professor in the department of Chemical Engineering and director of Gas Research Center (Petroleum Institute) at Khalifa University. He holds BE, MSc and PhD in chemical engineering from Vanderbilt University (2003), Colorado School of Mines (2006) and Case Western Reserve University (2011), respectively. His research expertise is on colloids, polymeric material and surface sciences with focus on developing application based on these domains in the areas of nanomaterials, enhanced oil recovery and sulfur based materials.

Prof. Arafat is a Professor of the Chemical Engineering department at Khalifa University in Abu Dhabi, UAE, where he leads the Membrane and Sustainable Desalination Research group. His current research expertise is in membrane-based desalination, with particular focus on third-generation desalination processes such as membrane distillation (MD). Working on MD, he patented two process improvements and developed several novel membranes for enhanced productivity and reduced fouling. He initiated a new research trend on sustainable desalination, in which he looks at integrating multiple multidisciplinary tools to enhance the prospects of deploying desalination and reducing the economic and environmental impacts thereof, with the aim of achieving national water and food security.

Ali Almansoori is a Professor of Chemical Engineering at Khalifa University in Abu Dhabi. During his profession, Dr. Almansoori held several administrative positions including: the Coordinator of President’s Duties, Dean of Engineering, and Chair and Deputy Chair of the Chemical Engineering Department. He also was the Interim Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs during the merge between PI, Masdar Institute, and Khalifa University of Science, Technology, and Research.

His main research interest is in the area of Process Systems Engineering with the focus on energy systems design, simulation, modeling and optimization. He also conducts general research in the area of renewable energy and fuel cell technology with applications to the oil and gas industry.

Professor Lihadh AlGazali has dedicated her life to identifying and characterizing genetic conditions and abnormalities unique to families in the region. Among her many breakthrough discoveries was a genetic disease in the UAE, now named the Al Gazali Syndrome. Furthermore, she launched a Clinical Genetics Service, supported by cytogenetic and DNA laboratories, for the entire UAE population. Moreover, she offers counselling, education and support for families affected by genetic diseases.

Her work has seen her bestowed with countless domestic and international awards, including the globally-recognized honor, L'Oréal-UNESCO Award for Women in Science.

Omar M. Yaghi received his B.S. degree from State University of New York-Albany (1985), and Ph.D. from the University of Illinois-Urbana (1990) with Professor Walter G. Klemperer. He was an NSF Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard University (1990-92) with Professor Richard H. Holm. He has been on the faculties of Arizona State University (1992-98), University of Michigan (1999-2006), and UCLA (2007-2011). He is currently the James and Neeltje Tretter Chair Professor of Chemistry at UC Berkeley, and a Senior Faculty Scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. He is the Founding Director of the Berkeley Global Science Institute. He is also the Co-Director of the Kavli Energy NanoScience Institute, and the California Research Alliance by BASF.

Dr. Lourdes F. Vega holds a PhD in Physics from the University of Seville, Spain (1992) in collaboration with the Chemical Engineering Department of the University of Southern California, USA. She is currently the Joint Chair Professor of the Gas Research Center at Khalifa University (Sas Al Nakhl campus). She has developed her career between academia and industry, with academic positions in the USA (University of Southern California, Cornell University), Spain (University of Sevilla, Universitat Rovira I Virgili, National Research Council of Spain) and the UAE. She has also been an Invited Visiting Professor at several universities in Europe and America. In the industrial sector she has been the General Director of MATGAS (public-private research center), Technology Director of Air Products and Chemicals, Founder and CEO of AlyaTech and Independent Member of the Board of Directors of ERCROS, SA. She is an Elected Corresponding Member of the Academy of Mathematics, Physical- Chemistry and Natural Sciences of Granada (Spain) since 2017. Professor Vega’s scientific work has been directed towards the combination of fundamental and applied research focused on sustainable processes and products. Recent work includes materials for different applications (new refrigerants, catalytic and adsorbent materials, water treatment, removal of contaminants and CO2 capture and utilization). She is sole author of one book, co-author of 5 books, 170+ papers in referred journals (5200+ citations, h-index: 39 – google scholar) and 5 industrial patents under exploitation. She has participated in several competitive and industrial projects, leading 40+ of them, supervised 20+ Master’s theses, 11 Ph.D. students and 20 postdoctoral researchers. She serves as an editorial board member in three journals. She is also serves a member of several scientific boards in companies and research institutes as well as international conference committees. Her work has been internationally recognized with different research and teaching awards.

Prof. Rachid Yazami, is a native of Fez, Morocco and a graduate of the Grenoble Institute of Technology (INPG) electrochemistry and materials science where he also received a Ph.D. on graphite intercalation compounds for lithium battery application, and began his career and rose to research director at CNRS (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique) in Grenoble. Recently, after over 40 years in academic research Prof. Yazami retired from the CNRS pursuing his career as entrepreur.

Yazami is the inventor involved in over 150 patents related to battery technology, including the graphite anode used in most commercial lithium ion batteries an over $80b business. Dr. Yazami co-authored about 250 articles in peer-reviewed journals, book chapters and international meeting proceedings.

Yazami served a visiting associate in Materials Science and in Chemistry at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in collaboration with JPL/NASA together with being the President of the International Battery Association (IBA). His name appears in International Scientific Board of several lithium battery conferences and events.

In 2010, Dr. Yazami joined the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore (NTU) where he held the Nanyang Visiting Professor in Materials Science position together with being a PI of battery research at the TUM Create Center of e-mobility, jointly managed by NTU and the Technological University of Munich.

In recognition of his invention of the graphite anode in lithium ion batteries, Yazami received several scientific awards, including from NASA, NATO, IBA, JSPS, Hawaii Battery Conference, the IEEE and the Draper Prize in 2014 considered as the Nobel Prize in Engineering.

In 2014 Yazami was decorated by HM the King of Morocco. He is the recipient of the French Legion of Honor in 2016 and of the “2018’ Takreem Award” in Science and Technology Innovation, considered the Arab Scientist of the Year Award. Recently Prof. Rachid was the recipient of the 2019’ Arab Investor Award during a Forum held in the UNESCO headquarters in Paris.


Mohammed Bin Rashid Medal for Scientific Distinguishment has launched its third edition to pave the way for scientists to highlight their contributions and achievements and pose as successful role models for future generations.

Application process have been closed and winner will be announced soon

This award is given annually in recognition of the efforts to support research and the scientific community in the UAE. This award is very important as the winner will present a role model to others to invest in science with the aim to achieve objective of supporting science and technology in the UAE. This award is given every year during the Holy Month of Ramadan.

Nomination Criteria

Nominated by individuals and institutions

Contributed to research and the scientific community in the UAE

Investment and research funding

Previous Recipients

Dr. Wael Al Mahmeed
Mohammed Bin Rashed Award for Investing in Scientific Research 2019

Dr. Wael Al Mahmeed, MD, is a Staff Physician in the Heart & Vascular Institute at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi.

Prior to joining Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, Dr. Al Mahmeed served as the Head of Cardiology at Sheikh Khalifa Medical City (SKMC) in Abu Dhabi. He was also the Deputy Chief Medical Officer during his time at SKMC.

Dr. Al Mahmeed received his medical degree from University of Southampton in Southampton, England. He completed his Residency in Internal Medicine at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, and his Fellowship in Cardiology and Echocardiography at The University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada.

Dr. Al Mahmeed is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. Additionally, he is also a Fellow of The American College of Chest Physicians, The American College of Physicians, The American College of Cardiology, The European Society of Cardiology and The Asian Pacific Society of Cardiology.