Abdul Rahman Al-Athel

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Saleh Abdul Rahman Al-Athel, (Prof.) (Arabic: صالح عبدالرحمن العذل‎), (born Al-Rus, Saudi Arabia, 1940) is a respected Professor of Science and Mechanical Engineering in Saudi Arabia and is a member of the United Nations Commission on Environment and Development UNCED.


Professor Al-Athel received his Bachelor of Science BSc in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Texas in 1965; an MSc in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University in 1968, and a PhD in Applied Mechanics in 1971 from Stanford University also.

Two years later he enrolled at King Saud University (Riyadh, Saudi Arabia) where he became Vice-Dean of the College of Engineering (1974-1975), Dean of College of Engineering (1975-1976).


He became Vice-President for Graduate Studies and Research (1976-1984).

In 1984, Prof Al-Athel was appointed President of the King Abdulaziz City for Science & Technology (KACST), Riyadh, Saudi Arabia). This is an institution which can be considered as the main focal point of scientific and technological activity in Saudi Arabia.

Dr Al-Athel is a member of the UN World Commission on Environment and Development; the UN Advisory Committee on Science and Technology for Development, ICSU/UNESCO distinguished fellowship programs, the Saudi Working Committee for Education Policy and of the Scientific Committee of the Pio Manza International Research Centre.

Dr Al-Athel is a Founding Fellow of the Islamic Academy of Sciences (1986) and served as its Vice-President (1986-1990). He is also a former member of the Executive Committee of the OIC Ministerial Committee of Scientific and Technological Co-operation (COMSTECH).


He is the author of more than 60 articles on science, engineering and technology published in various international publications and journals. He wrote one book on engineering structures and has translated three others.

Other work[edit]

He is a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers