Abdullah Saleh Alharbi
Saudi Aramco
Data Centre Industry Contribution of the Year
Entry Description
Abdullah’s multi-disciplinary backgrounds led to major success in the data center era – where he works-. He successfully led major project in expanding a giant data center to meet the company’s ever-expanding computing requirements. The project was executed on an operational mission critical facility without any service impact or safety incident. Such complex project is a unique experience in the industry. Furthermore, Abdullah leveraged his experience through reviewing a prefabricated data center project and lately in designing an indoor smart modular data center where the design took place during COVID19 critical time. This represents the personal accountability to deliver great results at any circumstances.
Leading mission critical operations towards zero downtime and safety incident in a giant and risky facility is a huge challenge. However, without a strategic focus to always refresh the center and do more with less, operation requirements will drain more resources and position the data center as a bottleneck in supporting the company’s expanding IT demand. Hence, Abdullah has initiated and implemented several innovations to augment the human element, supplement any current shortages, maximize safety, efficiency and maintaining the highest level of reliability. This was demonstrated through implementing Energy Optimization Program, Remote Racking Technology Project, Smartphones Connected Thermal-Camera, IR Thermal Monitoring Technology, and Remote Batteries Monitoring System for different scattered sites. In addition to the development of several PoCs for the smart data centers transformation as part of the digital transformation effort. The PoCs are related to Augmented Reality Solution for remote assistance between facilities’ experts and Artificial Intelligence solution to maximize the energy efficiency of the cooling system.
Learning is a continuous journey and there are a lot of education channels that individuals usually pursue. Starting with the most effective way of learning which is teaching. Knowledge sharing transforms individual knowledge into organizational knowledge, attracts talents to the industry we work in, builds the knowledge-sharing culture as it needs a constant and consistent efforts, and harnesses knowledge to achieve business impact via showcasing the value they are bringing to their organizations. Hence, Abdullah takes the responsibility to collaborate with peers by delivering technical sessions and sharing experience. This was illustrated via the development of five in-company’s Engineering Procedures in the area of technologies and his efforts as Instructor at Saudi Aramco Talent Essentials Program (STEP) to deliver session related to IT and data centers. Also, he developed a new course related to UPS & Battery system and delivered many other education sessions for knowledge sharing to different organizations. At a national level, Abdullah has developed different technical sessions about data centers for local universities as part of an outreach program and was an invited instructor for UMM ALQURA University engineering collage for their virtual 2020 summer training. At a global level, Abdullah is a valued data center professional armed with the needed qualifications which helped him build an impressive reputation in the industry. Moving from the future outlook of the next generation data centers that was presented in “UAE 2019 Future Date Centers And Cloud Summit” to powering up this industry via DC technology that was presented in “2019 AFCOM Data Centers World Conference” in Phoenix USA, Abdullah was a global keynote speaker and panelist in several international conferences such as “The 3rd IEEE ICDCM 2019 International Conference on DC Microgrids” in Japan, “40th International Communication Energy Conference” in Italy, and “4th International Conference on Electric Power Equipment-Switching Technology” in China. He is a recognized technical professional as a result of his technical publications in IEEE, editorial board technical member at International Journal of Energy & Power Engineering, and different international conferences technical committees to evaluate and accept conference papers. Also, Abdullah published four technical papers in IEEE and was invited as a writer in the inaugural issuance of the international data center magazine (InnoVision) which was published in July 2020. Additionally, he will be a speaker in the largest virtual event for big data and cloud festival in October 2020. This is in addition to his patent in the data center field which is currently under filing.
Abdullah is currently working as an engineering lead with data center organization in Saudi Aramco where it hosts all the company’s critical oil and gas computing loads such as hydrocarbon management, seismic processing, geological modeling, reservoir management and others to ensure reliable service delivery and enable the company to meet its strategic objectives, Abdullah has been marked as a data center engineering specialist in one of the most advanced data centers in the middle east. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in electrical power engineering with a GPA of 3.78/4 and a master’s degree in engineering management with a GPA of 3.88/4. Additionally, he is a certified data center management professional and a certified data center design professional by CNet in UK. He is also a certified green belt lean six sigma and a certified fundamental electrical engineer by US NCEES and Saudi counsel of Engineers (SCE) where he has a professional engineer credential. Also, he completed more than 170 hands-on technical and leadership training within Saudi Aramco.
Irrespective of the leadership positions Abdullah has held such as leading scattered communications facilities, corporate data center site or technical support teams, his passion and commitment toward business make him a lead-by-example role model. This was confirmed through inspiring many members of different teams to do and learn more where they acquired higher educational degrees and international credentials. Furthermore, Abdullah is a mentor of eight engineers where he strives to build their success stories and enable Saudi Aramco to meet its objectives.
In spite of his key operational obligations, Abdullah is passionate about what he does which reflects on the new generation he is working with. Additionally, his active involvement in media such as TV interviews, newspapers, and social media channels in relation to data center business is a motivational factor for others.