Created in June 2020, MEI’s Defense Leadership Series is a speakers' forum for current and former high-level military and defense leaders from both the United States and the Middle East to discuss the most important policy issues facing the two sides. The series was inaugurated on June 10, 2020 with a conversation with U.S. Marine Corps General and Commander of CENTCOM Kenneth F. McKenzie Jr.
In this episode, MEI Senior Fellow and Director of the Defense and Security Program Bilal Y. Saab speaks to Saudi defense specialist and aerospace engineer Saeid A. Alzahrani. This conversation will focus on unmanned aerial systems, the missile war in Yemen, and Saudi Arabia's evolving missile defense capabilities.
Saeid is CTO & Co-Founder of SRB Aerial Systems LLC and Managing Partner of BRAQ Industries LLC. He is one of MENA’s leading and youngest innovators under 35 in Urban Air Mobility (UAM), holding several patents. He is an aerospace engineer and considered as a pioneer in UAS technologies. He is the first Saudi national to pursue UAS studies in the United States. Saeid believes he can influence young professionals through promoting STEM education, innovation, and entrepreneurship.
He has received numerous awards throughout his career including being named as a Top 5 KPMG Global Tech Innovator, Forbes 30 Under 30 in Manufacturing & Industry, and EmTech MENA Innovator Under 35 by MIT Technology Review. He has been selected as an astronaut candidate for Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Center (MBRSC) Astronaut Program in 2019.
His patents include a Multi-Mode Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, a Multi-Mode Aerial Vehicle, and Methods and Apparatus for Multi-Role Air-Launched Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (SUAS) and Loitering Munitions. Saeid is a member of the Association for Unmanned Vehicles Systems International (AUVSI) and the American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), among several other prestigious organizations.