Skip to main content

Computer Science student awarded honour for research activities


A Department of Computer Science student has received a 2023 Rawabi Holdings honour for her research work in promoting the mental well-being of young people.  

The British Saudi Society gave the honour to Sarah Abdullah Aldaweesh for her exceptional individual efforts and remarkable achievements through her academic journey and current research work at the University of Oxford.   

Sarah, who obtained her Bachelor’s in Computer Science and Master’s degree in Software Engineering, and works as a researcher at the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology and a visiting researcher at the University of California San Diego (UCSD), was honoured for her work, including the acquisition of a United States patent and a number of publications across interdisciplinary fields.  

Sarah’s research interest is rooted in employing cutting-edge technology to target local challenges with a particular focus on inclusive design. She has been actively involved in projects dedicated to enhancing technology accessibility for Arab individuals with disabilities, developing coding algorithms to support the Arabic language and leveraging technology to improve digital mental health support in Saudi Arabia. Her PhD research explores how technology can help in promoting the mental well-being of young Saudi populations.  

Sarah received The SABIC National Award for Mental Health Promotion. During her PhD journey, Sarah engaged in a number of research activities in the UK held by the Alan Turing Institute and Oxbridge Women in Computer Science, and she was approached to be a reviewer in well-recognised conferences in computer science.   

She has actively engaged in mentorship roles, offering her guidance and knowledge within programs tailored to gifted and talented students including guidance on how to acquire patents.  

In receiving the honour Sarah said: “It is a great honour to receive this award, which carries significant meaning and purpose.

This recognition holds special meaning for me as it represents not just personal achievement, but also great support for Saudi women. I would like to thank my family and my friends for all the great support and encouragement through my journey. DPhil student Sarah Abdullah Aldaweesh

"I also express my deep gratitude and appreciation to my country for the continuous support and empowerment. 

“Special thanks go to my supervisors, Professor Sir Nigel Shadbolt and Professor Max Van Kleek, who enabled me to dedicate my thesis to advancing research for the mental well-being of young populations. I sincerely thank the Saudi British Society for this award and my sponsor, the Saudi Arabia Cultural Bureau.”