Lead, Safety & Facility
Ahad Syed is the Lead for Safety and Facility at the Nanofabrication Core Lab in KAUST. After graduating with a Master’s degree in Micro-electronics & Photonics from West Virginia University, Ahad joined the IBM Watson Research Center as a Process Engineer (contractor) in July 2008. His work involved process development and optimization working specifically on wet/dry etch and material deposition (sputtering).
In June 2009, Ahad joined KAUST on the shores of Red Sea, Saudi Arabia as a Staff Engineer to work in the Nanofabrication Core Labs. His initial responsibility was to commission the facilities (DI-water, PCW and PVAC) of the 2000sqm class-100 cleanroom. After that, he worked to set-up the dry and wet etch facility in the cleanroom. He successfully helped install and commission eight dry etch tools (including 2 DRIEs), a XeF2 etcher and two ion-beam etch tools. He was responsible for day to day operation, maintenance, SOPs, process optimization, training and teaching. He also worked on freeze drying and ink-jet printing in the same capability.
Ahad moved to the back-end of cleanroom operation, taking over as a Lead of safety & facility in early 2018. He is responsible for the uninterrupted operation of the cleanroom and micro-fluidics lab. This role includes safety compliance and smooth running of facility and equipment. He ensures that the cleanroom is a safe and productive environment by holding cleanroom safety trainings and tours, conducting safety walkthroughs, meetings with colleagues and ensuring that recommendations are complied with. His team also includes engineers who are also responsible for equipment maintenance, new equipment installation and upgrades.
Ahad has been an author/co-author in 15 journal publications and 4 Conference proceedings. He was also awarded the KAUST Service Excellence Award in 2016 for his dedication to the mission of the University and KAUST Research Safety Award in 2019 for his contribution to the safe environment at Nanofabrication Core Lab.