The ICTEA conference series was inspired by the need to help provide an opportunity for professional development of scientists and engineers in the Middle East, including the Gulf region and North Africa. The need for such development persists, despite the strong commitment of regional governments, in improving undergraduate education and in building research capabilities in institutions of higher learning. Until recently, attracting highly motivated academic staff to advance research agendas and to make significant contributions to GDP growth was not among the top priorities. But, thanks to the foresight of regional leaders, higher education in this part of the world is starting to change. However, the fact remains that highly skilled scientists and engineers in the region who are dedicated to research often must seek work abroad in academic and research institutions in order to develop themselves professionally.