The University of Akron


An outstanding education partner, with a worldwide reputation in elastomer science, very high educational standards and the experience of campus management: a guarantee of high quality education.

The University of Akron, through The University of Akron Research Foundation (UARF), has been selected as an international partner to work with Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) and affiliates of ExxonMobil Chemical, the Technical Vocational Training Corporation (TVTC) and the Saudi National Industrial Clusters Development Program (NICDP) in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) to establish a world-class elastomer technology vocational training institute.

The High Institute for Elastomer Industries (HIEI) is located in Yanbu, Saudi Arabia.

The HIEI mission is to educate KSA high school graduate participants to establish and maintain a highly skilled work force to support the current elastomer conversion industry in KSA and the future rubber converters that the NICDP is committed to attract to the Kingdom.

There is already a tangible demonstration of this successful endeavor with the announcement by the Al-Amoudi Group company and the Al-Muwakaba for Industrial Development & Overseas Commerce (Holding), of a tire factory investment in Yanbu. The project will cost an estimated SR900 million (£148 million), and the facility is expected to employ 600 workers and have an annual output of 1.8 million passenger car and commercial vehicle tires. The commercial production of tires at this plant is expected to begin in 2015, which coincides with the year that the first class of Saudi technicians will complete their training at HIEI. (

The UARF and The University of Akron (UA) have been selected to provide the education and training components of the project, which will all be in English. UA’s location in the “Polymer Research Capital of the World” provides unique access to resources that will support the training program of HIEI. UA’s globally recognized leadership through the College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering will be valuable as the HIEI develops and delivers its work force training programs.

HIEI teaching staff – instructors and laboratory assistants – have been and will be trained at UA in elastomer science and technology and in English. The project began in 2008 and is underway with the first classes of Saudi Instructors and Laboratory Assistants having already completed their respective 2 years training and 9 months training in Akron. They are ready to welcome the first intake of students along with a team of Ph.D. elastomer experts who were selected by UA/UARF to support the start-up of this institute.

In order to ensure the long term sustainability of the HIEI education level and excellence, more than 90 per cent of the HIEI faculty staff and the functional personnel will be Saudis.

The training aspects of the project are being led by: UA’s College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering ( and are being developed in collaboration with the Akron Global Polymer Academy (AGPA), the educational outreach arm of the college; the Akron Polymer Training Center (APTC), which, as the work force development division of AGPA, provides consulting and training services to the polymer industry worldwide; the Applied Polymer Research Center; and the university’s English Language Institute.

The historically close relationship between The University of Akron and the elastomer converting industry means UA knows how to make the courses very practical and how to guarantee high quality education and relevance for finding an industrial position. Clear demonstration of this is the emphasis given to laboratory-based, hands-on training at HIEI; two-thirds of the education will take place in the state-of-the-art elastomer workshops.

Together with this prestigious education partner, the HIEI is committed to provide and maintain high educational standards and excellence, which will provide future graduates an essential advantage in finding jobs that lead to rewarding and attractive career developments in this new and growing elastomer industry.

Last, but not least, for the best HIEI students, working with UA will assist them in understanding opportunities to continue their education in polymer fields in Akron.

About The University of Akron:
The University of Akron is the public research university for Northeast Ohio. The Princeton Review lists UA among the “Best in the Midwest” in its 2011 edition of Best Colleges: Region-by-Region. Approximately 29,300 students are enrolled in UA’s 300 associate, bachelor’s, master’s, doctorate and law degree programs and 100 certificate programs at sites in Summit, Wayne, Medina and Holmes counties. For more information, visit The University of Akron’s web site at

About The University of Akron Research Foundation:
The University of Akron Research Foundation (UARF) was established in 2001 to promote, encourage and provide assistance to the research activities of University faculty, staff and students. Incorporated in the state of Ohio, this not-for-profit organization provides a means by which discoveries, inventions, processes and work products of The University of Akron employees and our community can be transferred to benefit the public, the University and its stakeholders. UARF aids technology-based economic development through its status as a separate corporation, which serves to support and commercialize university research. For more information, visit