René Morcos, ISC-Sharjah, Class of 1999
Graduates from SABIS® Network schools around the world belong to an exclusive, yet expanding group of individuals who have leveraged the strong foundation they gained through a SABIS® education and gone on to achieve success in college and beyond. They hold high-level positions in the private and public sectors, contribute to the world of academia, make advancements in scientific research, contribute to healthcare, actively adopt worthwhile causes, and engage with their communities. René Morcos is a member of this exclusive group and we are proud to share his story.
In 1991, René Morcos joined the International School of Choueifat – Sharjah (ISC-Sharjah) in the U.A.E. as a 6th grader. Today, at just 34 years of age, he is at the helm of a leading artificial intelligence construction engineering company that operates out of Silicon Valley in California, U.S. His story is one of dedication, perseverance, and scientific achievement.
When René joined ISC-Sharjah in 1992, it was an up-and-coming school located in an emirate of the U.A.E. that was still largely underdeveloped. When the school opened in 1976, there were just 17 students enrolled! Over the next four decades, and thanks to its success and reputation in the community, ISC-Sharjah grew to become one of the largest schools in the global SABIS® Network, educating close to 4,200 students in Kindergarten through Grade 12 in the 2015-16 academic year.
From the time he enrolled at ISC-Sharjah, René was captivated by the rigorous science program implemented at the school. His love for science grew with him over his school years and remains the driving force in his life today. “Studying Einstein’s Theory of Relativity remains one of my greatest intellectual adventures,” he recalls.
Upon graduating from ISC-Sharjah in 1999, with four As under his belt on his math, physics, mechanics, and chemistry A Levels and acceptances to both The American University of Beirut (AUB) in Lebanon and Purdue University in Indiana, U.S., René chose to study civil and environmental engineering at AUB. Upon graduating from AUB, René relocated to Afghanistan, where he worked as a construction project manager leading 114 people in designing and building the country’s first factory that produced professional PVC windows and doors. After a successful time in Afghanistan, he traveled through Latin America for six months before deciding to continue his studies.
In 2006, René moved to the U.S., where he pursued and obtained a master’s degree in construction management from the University of Southern California and later a Ph.D. in artificial intelligence applications in construction engineering from Stanford University.
Looking back on his academic career, René largely credits his time at ISC-Sharjah for laying the groundwork for his success. “ISC-Sharjah gave me an unbelievable foundation in mathematics, physics, and the sciences, which I continued to draw upon during my Ph.D. at Stanford University. […] ISC-Sharjah was the best school I could have attended. It gave me a great foundation. It was very hard, but once I succeeded at Choueifat, I could succeed anywhere.”
In 2014, René founded ALICE Technologies. ALICE stands for Artificial Intelligence Construction Engineering, and it is the first system in the world that can, within minutes, automatically and parametrically generate thousands of valid ways to build construction projects, thus substantially reducing the cost and duration of construction. Prior to this system, it would take project managers weeks, even months, to create a single construction schedule. This new system generates thousands of schedules in a matter of minutes. Today, René continues to lead the company he founded and is a strong proponent of his alma mater.
“What I cherish most about Choueifat is the extremely strong scientific background it gave me. This background allowed me to go from a school in the desert to not only being accepted to but also competing in some of the world’s most strenuous academic environments. It provided me something to fall back on when I needed it the most, allowing me to achieve my dreams thus far,” commented René.
For more information about ALICE Technologies, visit alicetechnologies.com. If you would like to know more about alumni who are making their dreams come true, read future SABIS® Newsletters and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.