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I'm Waleed Alhayaza

I have always been interested in problem-solving and in understanding how to improve the process of decision-making. Thankfully, my early interests in math, technology, and policy positioned me in the top one percent of high school graduates in Saudi Arabia. This enabled me to join KAUST’s Gifted Students Program (KGSP), where I received a fully-funded scholarship to pursue my undergraduate studies abroad. KGSP offered me both a scholarship program and a training program that include summer research at KAUST.

In doing so, I enrolled at Pennsylvania State University (PSU) where I studied my bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering with a minor in Engineering Leadership Development (ELDM). This helped me to advance my quantitative analytical skills by working on applied research engineering projects. For my work at Penn State, I received recognition from the Dean of the College of Engineering as a Grand Challenge Scholar. 


Upon graduation, I have come to understand the interconnectedness between the different systems and their impact on decision-making. Therefore, driven by my passion to understand how to model, analyze, and develop complex systems. I joined the Center for Complex Engineering Systems (CCES), a joint center between King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Where I worked on multiple projects under the leadership of great professors those projects include Extreme Weather Events Under Changing Climate under the guidance of Professors Adam Schlosser and Adnan Alsaati, ​Urban Water and Agriculture p​roject under the supervision of Prof. Christoph Reinhart, and Smart Logistics under the supervision of Prof. Kamal Youcef-Toumi and Prof. Anas Alfaris. 


My research experiences in analyzing complex systems and developing models to serve as decision-support tools made me appreciate the impact that complex systems research had on societies, increasing my passion for Complex Systems Engineering even further. Thankfully, I was admitted to the Technical Leaders Program at KACST, where I received a fully-funded scholarship to pursue my graduate studies. 


Currently, I am studying my master's program in Systems Architecting and Engineering at the University of Southern California. Where I am striving to expand my quantitative analytical and qualitative research skills, as well as my knowledge of behavioral science in complex systems. Upon graduation,  I aim to work on the development of decision-support models that would help address the technical as well as behavioral challenges of the 21st century. 


Outside of work, I love to ride bicycles, swim, and listen to podcasts. 


Research interests: Research Area: Decision Analysis, Complex Systems, systems engineering, energy Systems and Policy.

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