Dr. Malak Al Nory

Dean of Graduate Studies and Research, Assistant Professor
Information Systems, College of Engineering
Effat University
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

MIT Department/Faculty Supervisor(s): 

Sloan School of Management, Engineering Systems, Prof. Stephen Graves

Fellowship Dates: 

09/01/2012 to 08/31/2015


King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM)


Malak Al-Nory is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Information Systems at the College of Engineering at Effat University where she has been a faculty member since 2010. She served as the department chair successfully leading the department in the recent curriculum review and the national accreditation process. She has served on many conference and workshop program committees. She has served on the IEEE International Conference on Tools with Artificial Intelligence and the IEEE International Conference on Data Engineering Workshop on Data-Driven Decision Guidance and Support Systems. She served as the general chair of the Learning and Technology Conference in 2011 and 2014.

Malak completed her Ph.D. at George Mason University and her undergraduate studies and her Master degree at King Abdulaziz University in Jeddah. Malak has taught a graduate level Database Systems course at George Mason University and many undergraduate courses including Software Engineering, E-Business, and Advanced Database Systems at Effat University.  Her research interests focus in the area of modeling and optimization of supply chains and decision guidance with a focus on mathematical programming models for strategic and operational planning. In recent years, she found interest in desalination systems modeling and optimization which led to her fellowship at the Center for Clean Water and Clean Energy at MIT and KFUPM.

Research Plan: 

Publications from MIT research

1.  M.T. Al-Nory and A. Brodsky, "Towards Optimal Decision Guidance for Smart Grids with Integrated Renewable Generation and Water Desalination  ", IEEE International Conference on Tools with Artificial Intelligence, Nov 2014, submitted

2.  M.T. Al-Nory, and M. El-Beltagy, "An Energy Management Approach for Renewable Energy Integration with Power Generation and Water Desalination"  , Renewable Energy, Dec 2014.

3.  M.T. Al-Nory, A. Brodsky, B. Bozkaya, and S.G. Graves, “Desalination Supply Chain Decision Analysis and Optimization”,  Desalination, Aug 2014.

4.  M. T. Al-Nory and A. Brodsky, "Mitigation of Interrupted Supply from Renewable Energy for the Smart Grid by Desalination,  " Saudi Arabia Smart Grid, Nov 2013, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

5.  M. T. Al-­Nory and S.G. Graves, "Water Desalination Supply Chain Modelling and Optimization: The Case of Saudi Arabia  ," IDA Journal for Desalination and Water Reuse, Maney publishing, Dec 2014.

6.  M. T. Al-­Nory and S.G. Graves, "Water Desalination Supply Chain Modelling and Optimization: The Case of Saudi Arabia  ," International Desalination Association World Congress, Tainjin, China, Oct, 2013.

7.  M. T. Al­-Nory and S.G. Graves, "Water Desalination Supply Chain Modelling and Optimization  ," the 29th IEEE International Conference on Data Engineering Workshop on Data-­Driven Decision Guidance and Support Systems, Brisbane, Australia, Apr 2013.

Water Desalination Supply Chain Modeling and Optimization

During her first year as a fellow at MIT and in collaboration with Prof. Stephen C. Graves Dr. Al-Nory defined the water desalination supply chain components and activities in a holistic approach to allow for optimal solutions for desalination investments as well as operations. In fact, they coined the term “water desalination supply chain” to represent the desalination as supply chain network which allows for global optimization rather than unit level optimization.  They also studied the decisions related to desalination supply chain design and operation and proposed systematic methodologies and mathematical models to optimize the desalination supply chain to provide system designs that are not just technically feasible but also economically and environmentally feasible as well. The methodologies they propose provide the decision makers with the investment alternatives comprising combinations of the different desalination locations, capacities, technologies, and energy sources, and decision graphs showing the performance of each decision alternative in terms of quantitative and qualitative performance metrics.

Integration of Renewable Energy Sources

Another research direction of Dr. Al-Nory constitutes studying the impact of the intermittence of the renewable energy sources on the integration of these sources with the electricity grid and the desalination capacity. The integration of renewable energy sources in the electricity grid increases the complexity of the grid management. The desalination capacity that is integrated with the grid can be used to mitigate for the variability of the renewable energy supply and/or water and electricity demands. A mathematical linear programming models can be developed to propose optimal solutions.

Thermoeconomic and Environmental Evaluation of Solar Desalination

The integration of solar energy with desalination provides very promising sustainable solution for regions with abundant solar energy resources and critical water shortage problem. However, one of the major drawbacks of using solar thermal desalination technologies is the high capital cost of the solar field investments. Therefore, it is very important for the engineers, consultants, and decision makers who are willing to implement solar desalination technology for water production on a large scale to have accurate economic and environmental analysis as well as the expected performance evaluation. Dr. Al-Nory, in collaboration with Dr. Mostafa El-Sharqawi from KFUPM, is conducting research on assessment tools to evaluate the thermal, economic and environmental performance for solar thermal desalination used for large scale water production.

Teaching and Learning Proposal

Dr. Al-Nory and Prof. David Wallace of the Mechanical Engineering Department at MIT have been working on a collaboration project between MIT and Effat University. The objectives of this project is capturing the characteristics of the MIT classroom experience with a focus on defining the main attributes of the purposeful teaching practices and identifying models and measurable learning objectives of the total student learning experiences at MIT.  This will allow to replicate the models in other institutions in Saudi Arabia and conceivably around the world.