Rising Stars 2020:

Nazek El-Atab

Postdoctoral Researcher

King Abdallah University of Science and Technology, Saudi Arabia

PhD '17 Masdar Institute, Khalifa University of Science and Technology

Areas of Interest

  • Physical Electronics


Topologically Transformed Electronics


We live in the age of information where electronics play a critical role in our daily life. Moore’s Law: performance over cost has inspired innovation in complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) technology and enabled high performance, ultra-scaled CMOS electronics. Moving forward as Internet of Everything (IoE) with advanced energy harvesting technologies seamlessly connects people, process, device and data – can CMOS technology be expanded further to achieve new features in CMOS electronics while maintaining and/or strengthening existing attributes? Can the existing applications be further strengthened and/or diversified? What potential applications may emerge? What energy harvesting technology will be able to meet the power requirements? My research addresses these questions through three main projects: 1) Nano-islands growth using an atomic layer deposition tool for application in low power non-volatile memory devices, 2) Multi-dimensional integration of heterogeneous materials and devices into a standalone system with a reduced area, high yield and low cost for IoT applications and 3) Flexing and stretching of inorganic solar cells with high efficiency for application in wearables, foldable electronics and solar drones. Finally, I propose a future direction for my research where I intend to leverage the materials growth, device fabrication and integration skills that I have gained throughout my dissertation and postdoctoral experience, in order to contribute to a world where more connectivity and more computations are possible at a reduced energy consumption. This will be addressed using an innovative, smart and multifunctional memory device (MEMSOR) which enables In-Memory Sensing.


Dr. Nazek El-Atab is currently a Research Scientist with Professor Muhammad Mustafa Hussain at the MMH labs at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Saudi Arabia. Her current research focuses on the design and fabrication of futuristic electronics. She received her Ph.D. degree in Interdisciplinary Engineering from the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology in collaboration with the MIT, in 2017, funded by the US Office of Naval Research. She is a Senior IEEE member and currently serves as the Secretary of the IEEE Western Saudi Arabia Branch. She was selected to participate in the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting 2020, and was portrayed in the 2019 “Remarkable Women in Technology” by UNESCO. She is the recipient of the 2018 “Rafik Hariri University” Alumni Award, the 2017 International Rising Talents Award by L’Oreal-UNESCO, the 2016 IEEE Nanotechnology Student Travel Award, the Best Paper Award in the Micro/Nano-systems section at the UAE’GSRC 2016 conference, and the 2015 For Women in Science Middle East Fellowship by L’Oreal-UNESCO. She is currently serving as an Associate Editor in Nano Select, Wiley, and a Review Editor in Flexible Electronics, Frontiers in Electronics.