Dr. Malak Al Nory

Al Nory
Ministry of Energy
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Fellowship Dates: 

01 September 2012 to 31 August 2015

MIT Department/Faculty Supervisor(s): 

Sloan School of Management, Engineering Systems, Prof. Stephen Graves
Mechanical Engineering Department, Prof. John Leinhard


Dr. Malak Al-Nory is a technologist, academician, and expert in clean water and clean energy resource management and strategic planning.

She is an advocate for women empowerment, women in Clean Energy, and women in STEM. She worked in Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), USA as postdoctoral fellow from 2013 to 2015 and as a Research Affiliate in Department of Mechanical Engineering in MIT from 2016 until present. Dr. Al-Nory currently serves as Advisor to the Ministry of Energy in Saudi Arabia. She was formerly the Provost of Effat University. She serves as an editorial board member in a number of journals including Nature NPJ Clean Water Journal and Advisory Board member in MIT Technology Review Arabia. She has spoken as a keynote speaker at many international events and conferences, and served as a jury member at many national and international prizes.

Dr. Al-Nory is an established researcher with published resear​ch and national and international research collaborations. Her research interest includes development of optimization models and analytical tools for strategic planning of clean water and clean energy, and electricity supply chain. She is also experienced in strategic policy development. She is the Lead Author of a policy brief for the G20 2020 Engagement Groups, Think Tank 20 (T20) Climate Change and Environment Task Force and a member in Science 20 (S20) Circular Economy Task Force.

She led a number of solar energy projects including Effat University first two installations of grid-connected 20.15 kWp and 17.4 kWp Rooftop Solar Photovoltaic (PV) systems in collaboration with industrial partners. Dr. Al-Nory received recognition from multiple international organizations, among these:

• Clean Energy Innovation Leader and Mission Innovation Champion 2020 representing Saudi Arabia in MI program, a global initiative working to accelerate clean energy innovation.

• Clean Energy Education and Empowerment (C3E) Ambassador by Saudi Ministry of Energy, Industry, and Mineral Resources representing Saudi Arabia in Clean Energy Ministerial, 2016 until 2020.


MIT Fellowship Research Abstract: 

Publications from MIT research


  • Al-Nory, Malak T; Optimal Decision Guidance for the Electricity Supply Chain Integration with Renewable Energy: Aligning smart cities research with Sustainable Development Goals, IEEE Access, 2019.
  • Balfaqih, Hasan; Nopiah, Zulkifli Mohd; Al-Nory, Malak T; Saibani, Nizaroyani; Sustainable Framework for Water Desalination Supply Chain: Delphi-AHP Technique, Advance Science Letters, 2017.
  • Al-Nory, Malak T; Dydak, Victoria; Integration of Renewable Energy Sources by Energy Storage,Desalination, and Pumped Hydro SystemsA Technical Report, MIL Lincoln Lab, 2016.
  • Balfaqih, Hasan; Nopiah, Zulkifli Mohd; Al-Nory, Malak T; Saibani, Nizaroyani; Performance Measurement of Water Desalination Supply Chain Using Balanced Scorecard Model, International Journal of Engineering and Technology, 2016
  • Balfaqih, Hasan; Mohd. Nopiah, Zulkifli; Saibani, Nizaroyani; T. Al-Nory, Malak; Review of Supply ChainPerformance Measurement Systems: 1998-2015, Computers in Industry, 2016, Elsevier
  • Balfaqih, Hasan; Al-Nory, Malak T; Nopiah, Zulkifli Mohd; Saibani, Nizaroyani; Environmental and economic performance assessment of desalination supply chain, Desalination, 2016, Elsevier.
  • Al-Nory, Malak; El-Beltagy, Mohamed; An energy management approach for renewable energy integration with power generation and water desalination, Renewable Energy, 2014, Elsevier
  • Al-Nory, Malak; Brodsky, Alexander; Bozkaya, Burcin; Graves, Stephen C.; Desalination supply chain decision analysis and optimization, Desalination, 2014, Elsevier


  • Al-Nory, Malak; El-Beltagy, Mohammed; Optimal Selection of Energy Storage Systems, Saudi Smart GridConference, 2015, IEEE
  • Mansouri, Noura; Al-Nory, Malak; Ghoniem, Ahmed; Optimizing Solar Energy Options for Desalination: The Case Study of PV-RO and CSP-MED in Saudi Arabia, International Desalination Association World Congress on Desalination and Water Reuse, 2015, IDA
  • Al-Nory, Malak; Sharqawy, Mostafa; Economic and Environmental Evaluation of Solar Desalination Networks: The Case of Saudi Arabia, International Desalination Association World Congress on Desalination and Water Reuse, 2015, IDA
  • Al-Nory, Malak T; Brodsky, Alexander; Towards Optimal Decision Guidance for Smart Grids with Integrated Renewable Generation and Water Desalination, 2014 IEEE 26th International Conference on Tools with Artificial Intelligence, IEEE
  • Al-Nory, Malak T.; Brodsky, Alexander; Mitigation of Interrupted Supply from Renewable Energy for the Smart Grid by Desalination, 2013, IEEE
  • Al-Nory, Malak T.; Graves, Stephen C.; Water Desalination Supply Chain Modeling and Optimization: The Case of Saudi Arabia, IDA World Congress 2013 TIANJIN, CHINA.
  • Al-Nory, Malak T; Graves, Stephen C; Water desalination supply chain modelling and optimization, Data Engineering Workshops (ICDEW), 2013 IEEE 29th International Conference on, 2013, IEEE​

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.

Fellowship Sponsored By: 

King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM)