Dr. Muhammad M. Al-Saggaf

President of King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals


Dr. Muhammad M. Al-Saggaf was appointed as the acting President of KFUPM in January 2020. Prior to that he was the senior vice president of Operations and Business Services in Saudi Aramco with a portfolio spanning the company’s activities in aviation, marine, transportation, training, safety, security, community, and medical services. He was also the chairman of the Saudi Aramco Total Refining and Petrochemical (SATORP), Johns Hopkins Aramco Healthcare (JHAH), and Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures (SAEV).

Prior to his appointment as senior vice president in Saudi Aramco, Dr. Al-Saggaf was president of the King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center (KAPSARC) from 2012, which is an independent, nonprofit research institution researching energy economics, policy, technology, and the environment, across all types of energy.

In Saudi Aramco, from 2012 one of the strategic tasks he led was heading Saudi Aramco’s Strategic Transformation Office, which had the responsibility for a broad and comprehensive transformation of the company to achieve its ambitious aspirations for the next two decades and readying it for the future, including an expanded business portfolio.

Previously, he had assumed several roles related to research, energy development, technology, and strategy. From 2009, he was the chief petroleum engineer, responsible for the reserves and the development and management of all of Saudi Aramco’s oil and gas fields.

In 2006, Dr. Al-Saggaf was the head of upstream research and development, where he articulated some of the most cutting-edge technologies — many of which are now becoming realities, including extreme reservoir contact wells, gigacell simulation, autonomous fields, Smart Water, and reservoir nanorobots.

He joined Saudi Aramco in 1989, and held several positions within the company in Upstream, including direct operational roles in the Safaniyah and Shaybah fields. Before that he worked as a graduate assistant at KFUPM.

Dr. Al-Saggaf holds a B.S. degree in mathematics from King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM) with Highest Honors, M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in geophysics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and an MBA from KFUPM. He is also a graduate of Harvard Business School’s Program for Management Development.

Dr. Al-Saggaf has received several international awards, including the J. Clarence Karcher Award from the Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG), the Lester C. Uren Technical Excellence Award, the Distinguished Member Award from the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE), and the Eisenhower Fellowship. He is one of the very few worldwide who has achieved international recognition in both geoscience and petroleum engineering. Dr. Al-Saggaf has authored a number of refereed technical papers and founded and edited a new technical journal.

He was president of the Dhahran Geoscience Society (DGS), a member of Saudi Aramco’s Corporate Innovation Board, vice-chairman of the Board of SPE-Saudi Arabia Section, and vice-chairman of the board of directors of the South Rub’ al-Khali (SRAK) company. Dr. Al-Saggaf was also a member of advisory boards of the Petroleum Engineering departments at KFUPM and Heriot-Watt University. Dr. Al-Saggaf is an avid computer enthusiast and was one of the early pioneers of the development of the Linux operating system.