Alfaisal University’s AI Seminar Series explores ways artificial intelligence (AI) can benefit society, our environment, and the economy. In weekly talks, leaders from academia, industry, and NGOs, who are at the forefront of using AI for social good, showcase AI applications that are forging positive changes in healthcare, the environment, education, technology, government and more. Like the AI Center itself, the seminar series has a broad scope, covering both new methodological contributions, ground-breaking applications, and impacts on society.

Seminar on Dec 16, 2021

On Thursday, Dec 16th, the College of Engineering hosted Dr. Souraya Goumri-Said, Associate Professor of Physics at Alfaisal University’s College of Science for a seminar titled, “Efficient Search for Materials Design: Best Practices for Materials Scientists and Engineers” as part of the AI Seminar Series. The seminar started with opening remarks, presented by the Director of Alfaisal’s AI Center, Dr. Areej Al-Wabil, welcoming the guest speaker and attendees to the College’s AI Seminar Series.

The seminar highlighted applications, opportunities, and transformative potential of AI in Materials Science and Materials Engineering which often open the door to new technologies, whether they are in civil, chemical, construction, nuclear, aeronautical, agricultural, mechanical, biomedical or electrical engineering domains. Dr. Souraya provided an overview of the Materials informatics (MI) field, a subset of materials science that employs high-throughput computing to examine vast datasets of material properties in order to gain novel insights. She presented data-driven methodologies such as machine learning (ML) which have lately been embraced in MI to analyze the richness of available experimental and computational data in materials science, resulting in a paradigm shift in materials science research.

Dr. Souraya highlighted how new materials have been among the greatest achievements of every age and they have been central to the growth, prosperity, security, and quality of life of humans since the beginning of history. She presented an overview of how AI-powered solutions can transform materials science and the possible applications of AI and ML in materials science and engineering. Use cases ranging from data analysis (e.g. solving crystal structures from diffraction patterns) to screening databases of known materials (e.g. identifying suitable materials for a particular application based on known properties), property prediction (e.g. predicting mechanical, electrical or optical properties for known or new materials), materials modeling (e.g. simulating the behavior of materials under different sets of conditions) and inverse design (e.g. designing new materials having tailored properties) were discussed. Dr. Souraya concluded by summarizing how development of AI methods in any of the application areas would lead to significant speed-ups in materials design, synthesis and characterization.

The seminar was attended by students and faculty in both the College of Engineering and College of Science, on campus and remotely via zoom. The seminar was geared towards materials scientists and engineers who want to conduct machine learning-based research as it focused on general rules and best practices for data collection and treatment, feature engineering, model training, evaluation, and comparison, popular materials data and bench-marking data sources, as well as model validation and architecture sharing. The event concluded with thanking the speaker, attendees, and the organizing committee for their participation and an open discussion with the speaker.

Bio of the Speaker

Dr. Souraya Goumri-Said 🟀  Associate Professor of Physics, Alfaisal University

Born in Toulouse (France), Souraya Goumri-Said is an Associate Professor of Physics at Alfaisal University. She received her PhD degree from the Bourgogne University in Dijon, France in 2004 and then spent one year in Val de Marne University as temporary assistant professor. In 2005, she joined the condensed matter group in the physics department of the Technical University of Kaisterslautern in Germany.

From 2006 to 2010, she was awarded different research fellows in France and Belgium as postdoctoral and assistant professor at Maine University (Le Mans, France) from 2006 to 2008. Then she worked as researcher at Namur University (Belgium) from 2008 to 2010. Souraya worked and managed an industrial project within the Arcelor Mital research and development department in collaboration with three universities in Wallonie region in Belgium. From July 2010, she was employed at KAUST University (Saudi Arabia) before joining Georgia Tech where she was working as research scientist within Prof. Jean-Luc Bredas group at the School of Chemistry and Biochemistry and Center for Organic Photonics and Electronics. Her main area of research is density functional theory applied to material science and modeling the physical properties of functionalized materials such as perovskites, ceramics, carbides, nitrides, and materials for storage hydrogen. She also specializes in modeling optical, photonic devices and nanostructures for photovoltaic applications. Dr. Souraya has been the Editor of Open Physics (formerly the central European journal of physics,) within the Dedegruyter edition since 2008. She edited her first book in 2006 about ab-initio methods applied to physical properties of semiconductors nitrides and perovskites. Souraya is author and co-author of more than 153 papers, 6 chapters and books with h-index=30. She joined the advisory Editorial Board of the Computational Condensed Matter Journal at Elsevier.

Photos of the Event