Postgraduate spearheading research in Saudi Arabia wins top award

  • Date

    Thu 16 Mar 23

An Essex postgraduate who is spearheading linguistics research in Saudi Arabia has won a prestigious Study UK Alumni Award.

Dr Muhammad Alzaidi was named the winner of the Culture and Creativity award in Saudi Arabia during a special ceremony last week.

Dr Alzaidi, who graduated from Essex with a Masters in Linguistics in 2010 and a PhD in Linguistics in 2014, said: “I'm very proud of this achievement.

“Being a student at the University of Essex helped not only equip me with knowledge and science, but also equipped me with the skills that help me to learn more and make a difference in my community.”

Dr Alzaidi was recognised for his outstanding work around word order and prosody.

He is currently working as an assistant professor at King Saud University, teaching MA and PhD students, while also running a YouTube channel where he teaches and inspires more than 2,000 followers.

Dr Alzaidi has recently become part of a specialised team who are working on Saudi dialects for AI, having previously set up the Saudi Society of Linguistics, which has been formerly recognised by the Government.

Essex Vice-Chancellor, Professor Anthony Forster, said: “We are very proud of Muhammad and delighted he has been recognised on such a global platform.

“Muhammad continues to embody the Essex Spirit - his curiosity and determination has fuelled his entrepreneurial outlook helping him to create innovative and effective ways of supporting the language development of children in Saudi Arabia across multi-media platforms.

“We’re delighted to be able to celebrate Muhammad’s work and I would like to congratulate him for this outstanding achievement.”

Essex enjoyed its best ever year in the Study UK Alumni Awards, with 12 alumni being either shortlisted, named finalists or crowned winners across the regional and national categories.

Professor Forster added: “The Study UK Alumni Awards show the impact of our Essex graduates and their commitment to making a difference.

“This has been an amazing year for recognition of our graduates through the Study UK Awards. I am so proud of the graduates who have helped make this a record-breaking year."

Those shortlisted for the Study UK Alumni Awards are recognised as leaders in their fields, who have used their experience of studying at a UK university to make a positive contribution to their communities, professions and countries.