Dr. Gürsel Sönmez Research Award

Dr. Gürsel Sönmez joined Faculty of Engineering and Natural Sciences in September 2004 as a faculty member. On January 16, 2006 we lost him in an unfortunate traffic accident. His very short but extremely bright academic life includes quite prodigious contributions to science.

In order to memorize Dr. Gursel Sonmez and have his valuable achievements inspire people once again, Faculty of Engineering and Natural Sciences honors one graduate student each year with "Dr. Gursel Sonmez Research Award".

Those Ph.D. students who graduated in the last two academic years, or expected to graduate within an academic year can be nominated for the award. A student can nominate herself/himself or she/he can be nominated by a Sabancy University faculty member.

An application has to be related to a research study. It usually is related to a Ph.D. thesis work, however it can also be related to a journal or conference publication, or to a patent, or simply to a set of results from an unpublished research study. The application has to be made to the Dean's Office of Faculty of Engineering and Natural Sciences with the following documents:

  • A recent CV of the applicant which includes a list of the academic studies
  • A summary of the study to which the application is related
  • A hard copy of the related publication or research study results
  • The deadline for the application to this award is announced every year by the Dean's Office of Faculty of Engineering and Natural Sciences.
  • The award can be presented to multiple recipients in which case the award money is shared equally among the recipients.
Seyyed Hamed Mousavi

Seyyed Hamed Mousavi’s MS work first explored the ground-breaking work of Hardy, Ramanujan, and Rademacher on finding an exact formula for the partition function p(n). He then studied another problem pursuing similar ideas for another partition enumerant, and concluded with an almost complete result of his own. His original result is an exact formula for a certain class of colored partitions. He also has an alternative method to prove the second of the theorems. Hamed showed an outstanding performance and completed his MS course work and thesis in two semesters. He has submitted one journal article out of his thesis work and he has two other articles in preparation for submission. He was won five national and international medals in various venues.

Tolga Çağlar

Tolga Çağlar’s PhD work focuses on phase transitions, specifically in spin glasses and other similar systems having quenched random impurities with dimensionality dependence. He took on various original problems where he used hard-spin mean field theory and renormalization group theory to obtain phase diagrams of various degrees of ordering in these systems and their transition characteristics, a topic of deep interest among the statistical physics groups with implications for a variety of other problems including networks. The global renormalization- group calculations are stated to be of the kind that very few people in the world can perform, and Tolga has successfully made original contributions in this area. His work led to novel and interesting results, and publication of four articles in one of the most well-known and prestigious journals in his field of research.

Rebi Daldal

Rebi Daldal, during his MS studies in Sabanci University, worked on modeling and developing algorithms for the batch testing of a series system in the sequential testing problem, a topic which has not been tackled in the existing literature. His work, which also constituted the basis for a TÜBİTAK 1001 project later on, resulted in two research articles in prestigious journals in his field. The first article focuses on the sequential testing problem when the groups of tests that can be performed together are restricted to subsets of given groups of tests. In the second article, he addressed the case where all groups of tests can be performed together. Rebi is the leading author in both articles and had significant contribution in problem modeling, the proof of their NP-hardness, algorithm design, and in particular coding and computer implementation. In addition to his thesis work, Rebi was also involved in a side project where his contribution led to a refereed international conference proceedings paper.

Alperen Acemoğlu

Alperen Acemoğlu has been active in the research area of microswimming robots which promise new methods of targeted drug delivery. He has transversed the complete spectrum of the field from modeling microswimming robots, to design and finally their exerimental implementation using advanced and novel techniques. The research has culminated in several research papers in high impact journals and conferences. It is realistic to expect that the results of his research will have a significant impact on human health. Görevi: Doktora Öğrencisi, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia

Nurşen Aydın

Nurşen Aydın, in her Ph.D thesis, has made important contributions to the operations research revenue management area. She has already published two articles in a highly prestigious journal in the field of transportation and logistics. In her first paper, she studied single-leg airline revenue management problems considering overbooking and cancellation. She developed both static and dynamic stochastic programming models which are hard to solve and introduced computationally tractable models that provide tight upper and lower bounds. In her second paper, she addressed contingent commitment options in revenue management. She developed an exact dynamic programming model, which suffered from curse of dimensionality, and proposed an efficient approximation approach. Ms. Aydın also co-authored a conference paper on sensor networks which received the best paper award in the 2011 International Symposium on Performance Evaluation of Computer and Telecommunication Systems. Görevi: Öğretim Üyesi, Warwick Business School

Rüştü Umut Tok

Rüştü Umut Tok, in the course of his Ph.D. research, has made significant contributions to the design, manufacturing, and characterization of nanoantenna surfaces with a broadband absorption, reflection and transmission response. His work involves not only designing such systems, but also has applications in several different disciplines such as solar energy research and femtosecond pulse shaping. He has authored a total of five papers in leading journals in his field and 11 conference papers. His papers have already been cited over 40 times. Mr. Tok is also the recipient of the 2013 Leopold Felsen award and a 100K Tubitak 1512 fund, which led to his founding a spinoff company. Görevi: Doktora Sonrası Araştırmacı, University of California, Los Angeles

Sinem Şaşmaz Muş

Sinem Şaşmaz Muş, during her Ph.D. work has contributed significantly to the worldwide collection of observational data on magnetars, which are highly magnetized neutron stars. Such data provide clues to the inner structure of these very rare celestial objects. In particular, by analyzing the data from the space-based Fermi gamma ray telescope and the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer, she was able to obtain new results on magnetar glitches and anti-glitches, and properties of the X-ray spectrum of magnetars. She was in fact the first person in the world to use the Fermi telecope data to study magnetars. The glitches, which are sudden tiny changes in the spin rates, shed invaluable light on the inner dynamics of neutron stars, the incredibly highly compressed leftovers from supernova explosions, and, more generally, on the properties of matter under extreme conditions. This has led to her being the lead author in three articles in highly prestigious astrophysics journals. In her last paper, Ms. Muş initiated the study and successfully led a beginning graduate student to this research area. Görevi: Doktora Sonrası Araştırmacı, İstanbul Teknik Üniversitesi

Süleyman Kardaş

Süleyman Kardaş, Ph.D thesis contributes to the fields of communication security and applied cryptography, specifically considering security and privacy problems of radio frequency identification (RFID) systems. He proposed a generic privacy model using physically unclonable functions and developed two security and privacy protocols achieving highest protection, while also addressing the practical concerns of implementing them in real products. He also investigated the optimal security limits of distance bounding protocols, and security and privacy models for RFID/cloud integration. Mr. Kardaş’s works have a shaping effect to the field, since he not only solved existing problems, but he defined new problems, attack models, evaluation models and application areas for RFID security/privacy. These resulted in five published, two submitted articles in highly prestigious journals and 13 conference publications. His works have been cited over 160 times, which shows significant impact to the field. Görevi: Öğretim Üyesi, Batman University

Tolga Dinc

Tolga Dinc's MS thesis titled "SiGe BiCMOS Front-end Integrated Circuits for X-band Phased Arrays" contributes to the field of RF/Microwave integrated circuits and system technologies, by introducing novel designs of several SiGE BiCMOS circuits for next generation phased array radars, such as, a high linearity switch with the highest power handling capability compared to the existing works reported in the literature, a slow-wave switch which employs the slow-wave concept for the first time in any BiCMOS technology, a two stage low noise amplifier (LNA) with the highest figure of merit reported in SiGe BiCMOS technologies, and an X-band switched LNA employing the resistive body floating technique for the first time in switched LNA design to improve power handling capability. All designed circuits were fabricated and tested for first time success, and the entire transmit/receive module was also implemented to be produced as a low-cost and light weight silicon-based fully integrated solution for next generation phased array radars. Tolga's MS work resulted in three accepted, one submitted articles in respected journals, and six conference proceedings. Tolga is a graduate of Sabancy University Electronics Engineering program and he also has a published article from his senior design project. Position: Phd Student, Columbia University

Beyza Vuruşaner

Beyza Vuruşaner's work during her Ph. D. has contributed significantly to the advancement of oxidative stress signaling and reactive oxygen control in cells. Lipid oxidation is a veryimportant phenomenon that has implications in devlopment of serious human diseases including cancer, Alzheimer's disease and atherosclerosis. Beyza has a strong scientific track record of high-quality publications in international peer-reviewed high impact journals. In the first year of her PhD studies, she published a review article in an international, interdisciplinary journal and the article is ranked 6th in the list of the most downloaded articles of the journal. In addition, it was cited more than 100 times including Cell journal. Two research articles, which are directly related with her PhD thesis were published in highly prestigious peer-reviewed journals. In the molecular biology/molecular medicine field, 90-95% of the published work is produced by the first author. She deserves all the credit for her papers.

Jamal Seyyed Monfared Zanjani

Jamal Seyyed Monfared Zanjani , while pursuing his Ph.D. degree in Materials Science and Engineering, worked in the field of composite material development and structural health monitoring. During his stay at Sabancı University, he actively conducted research in synthesis and characterization of different carbon based nano-materials and their effect in different polymeric matrices that are used in composites. He made significant contribution to the literature regarding nano-engineered design and manufacturing of high-performance epoxy matrix composites with carbon fiber/selectively integrated graphene as multi-scale reinforcements. Following this work, he successfully developed a method to design and fabricate hollow and filled graphene-based polymeric spheres via core-shell electrospraying. In the course of these activities Jamal developed post processing codes and computer protocols to analyze the results of sophisticated experimental data and authored or coauthored 8 journal publications in four years at Sabancı University.

Nima Tofighi

Nima Tofighi, during his PhD research in Sabanci University, has made noteworthy contributions to numerical solutions of complex viscoelastic flow problems with smooth particle hydrodynamics (SPH) method. In particular, he developed a general incompressible approach to overcome the accuracy issues of the SPH methods efficiently and applied this approach successfully to fluid-solid interactions of Newtonian and non-Newtonian fluids, electro hydrodynamics, multiphase flows and the motion of rigid bodies in stationary fluids under external forces such as the gravity and the electric field. He demonstrated his solid academic background, intellectual capacity and research abilities in developing solution strategies for complex problems, carrying out tedious steps for the solution of the problems and documenting his contributions with well-written manuscripts. As an outcome of the productivity of his research efforts, he prepared and contributed to eleven articles (five already published) in leading scientific journals, and nineteen articles in refereed international conference proceedings.

Çağlar Tırkaz

Çağlar Tırkaz’s PhD work contributes to the field of computer vision, particularly to sketch recognition and attribute-based learning. His PhD thesis is aimed at improving human computer interaction by enabling computer applications to respond to hand sketches and to create descriptions of images by visual qualities, which are used by humans to describe objects and scenes. His important contribution to sketch recognition is to introduce auto-completion of sketched symbols, which makes recognition of partially drawn sketches possible. His work in attribute-based learning proposed an automatic mining of attributes to describe object categories visually. These works have led him to being the lead author in two articles in prestigious journals in the computer vision field. Being a bright, studious, independent, and resourceful researcher, he won a Fullbright scholarship to visit a computer vision group at Georgia Tech, USA, and contributed to other research work in his team, which resulted in additional publications. Position: Researcher, Amazon

Bala Anı Akpınar

Bala Anı Akpınar’s PhD research has contributed to mankind’s understanding of the genome of bread wheat, Triticum aestivum, a crop that is essential to human nutrition and animal feed. The determination of the wheat genome is a challenging, ongoing task becasue of its large size and high content of repetitive elements. Together with her collaborators, Ms. Akpınar has characterized the repeat landscape, gene content, and tRNA repertoire of the 5D chromosome of wheat through survey sequencing and physical mapping. This work has led to a valuable genomics resource that the wheat breeders and researchers should benefit from. By further sequencing the 5D chromosome of Aegilops tauschii, a wild progenitor of bread wheat, Ms. Akpınar and her coworkers have shed light into the chromosome-level evolution of the wheat genome. Ms. Akpınar is the first author of three research and two review articles in highly prestigious scientific journals and has coauthored many more. Her PhD studies have been supported by a TÜBİTAK scholarship. Position: Post-doct Research Fellow, Sabancı Üniversitesi

Mostafa Shojaeian

Mostafa Shojaeian: During his MS study in Sabancı University, Mostafa Shojaeian has made noteworthy contributions on the analysis of single and two-phase heat transfer in non-Newtonian flows. In particular, his work describes the effects of slip coefficient, power-law index and viscous heating on heat transfer characteristics of non-Newtonian flows between parallel plates; rarefaction effects on heat transfer characteristics of plug flows in micro/nano scales with closed form analytical expressions for the the Nusselt number as a function of the Knudsen number; and analytical solutions for fully-developed non-Newtonian fluid flows in circular channels. As first author, Mr. Shojaiean has published five articles in SCI-indexed journals and two articles in international conferences, has submitted two articles for publication SCI-indexed journals from his MS research, and plans to continue his PhD studies in Sabancı University. Position: Phd Student, Technische Universität Darmstadt

Alperen Acemoğlu

Alperen Acemoğlu has been active in the research area of microswimming robots which promise new methods of targeted drug delivery. He has transversed the complete spectrum of the field from modeling microswimming robots, to design and finally their exerimental implementation using advanced and novel techniques. The research has culminated in several research papers in high impact journals and conferences. It is realistic to expect that the results of his research will have a significant impact on human health. Görevi: Doktora Öğrencisi, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia

Ayşe Özlem (Sezerman) Aykut

Ayşe Özlem (Sezerman) Aykut In her PhD thesis titled "Redistribution of States and Inducing New Channels for Conformational Change: Computational Studies on Calmodulin" Ms. Aykut focuses on the conformational shifts observed in proteins and comparison of two linear-response based methodologies. For her studies on the onset of the dynamical transition in folded proteins with temperature, she used both computational and experimental approaches. Results of this study were published in one of the top journals of the field, the Biophysical Journal. During her PhD, Ms. Aykut worked as a visiting student at the University of Basel which is one of the top institutions forming the bridge between academia and the pharmaceutical industry. The research output of this thesis includes 3 published and 2 submitted journal articles, 3 conference proceedings and an attendance to a highly competitive workshop with full accommodation scholarship. Position: Post-doct Research Fellow, University of Basel

Elif Özden Yenigün

Elif Özden Yenigün Ms. Ozden-Yenigun's PhD thesis titled "Designed-in Molecular Interactions and Cross-Linking Interface for Superior Nanocomposites: A Multiscale Insight" consists of her studies on different aspects of nanocomposites. Her work was the first implementation of the nanofibers of chemistry that is designed to establish cross-linking interface with epoxy matrix. This designed-in nanofiber enabled significant increase in the mechanical properties of the composite. She later extended these studies by incorporating carbon nanotubes into the surface treated nanofibers. Her novel work resulted in implementation of the nanofibers into traditional structural composites. In addition to her experimental studies, she did computer simulations at molecular scale to understand macro scale behavior of the composite materials with cross-linked interfaces. Ms. Ozden-Yenigun has 3 published and one submitted journal articles and 4 conference proceedings. Position: Instructor, İstanbul Teknik Üniversitesi

Göktuğ Karpat

Göktuğ Karpat Mr. Karpat's PhD thesis titled "Entanglement and Other Measures of Non-Classicality", consists of several topics related to the theory of quantum entanglement and the dynamics of quantum systems. He worked on the classification of entangled states under local quantum operations and on the optimal conversion probabilities of these entangled states into each other. In addition, he investigated the dynamical properties of quantum correlation measures in several physical models. His theoretical prediction regarding the spontaneous breaking of qubit exchange symmetry under decoherence has been demonstrated experimentally by another research group which is a significant achievement and contribution in his field. Mr. Karpat has 7 published and one submitted journal articles. Position: Post-doct Research Fellow, UNESP

Zeynep Altıntas

Zeynep Altintas completed her PhD degree in February 2012 with a thesis titled "Development of nanoparticle-modified sensor platform for cancer marker detection." As an Erasmus exchange student, she went to Cranfield University in England, where she studied capacitive sensor platforms for cancer diagnosis at the beginning of her Ph.D. education at Sabanci University. Upon her return, she proposed a thesis on the development of high- sensitivity capacitive biosensors for the detection of cancer markers with novel nanomaterial- modified sensor platforms, and successfully demonstrated that biosensors with the improved sensitivity are very effective in detection of cancer types with multiple marker assays and have great potential for clinical use. She demonstrated the quality of her work with four published and three submitted articles in highly esteemed journals. Position: Faculty Member, Cranfield University

Nurdagul Anbar

Nurdagul Anbar finished her PhD under the supervision of Prof. Henning Stichtenoth in three years which is unusually short. During her PhD studies, she visited Prof. Massimo Giulietti for a year at University of Perugia, where she enriched her research by working in new topics. Nurdagul's PhD thesis is titled "On Algebraic Curves in Prime Characteristic" and it consists of two parts. In the first part, for a fixed q and g, she studies the number of rational points that an algebraic curve of genus g defined over the finite field Fq can have and considerably improves the result of Elkies et al from 2004. For this she constructs explicit curves, and uses techniques from the arithmetic of function fields and towers of function fields. In the second part of the thesis, a nonsingular plane curve X over an algebraically closed field K of positive characteristic is considered. It is proved that if the automorphism group of Xhas more elements than a certain constant in terms of the genus of X then the curve must be birationally equivalent to the Hermitian curve. This result improves a result of Henn from 1978. Various methods such as the ramification theory in algebraic curves, Stohr- Voloch theory on Weierstrass points and group theory are used in the proof of this result. In addition to the results in her thesis, Ms. Anbar learned finite geometry, a topic different than the ones mentioned above, and constructed small complete caps from algebraic curves. These efforts led to four articles all of which have been submitted to very prestigious journals. Variety and depth of the techniques used and the number of articles produced, in only three years, are rare and remarkable in a field like mathematics. Position: Post-Doctoral Researcher, Technical University of Denmark

Feysel Yalçın Yamaner

Feysel Yalçın Yamaner Ph.D Thesis, ''Design and implementation of capacitive micromachined ultrasonic transducer for high intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU)''. As a result of this study, he discovered a new operation mode of capacitive micromachined ultrasonic transducers (CMUT) which enabled an experimental record value in the transmit pressure of these transducers. This new mode of operation will enable new generation of medical imaging devices and will be a perfect candidate for noninvasive treatment of cancers. Yalcin has a patent application from his studies as well as 2 SCI papers already accepted in prestigious IEEE transactions on Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics and Frequency Control. He has also many conference papers and presentations on CMUT arrays. Position: Faculty Member, İstanbul Medipol Üniversitesi

İbrahim Muter

İbrahim Muter has been an impressive Ph.D. student with his dedication and ability in proposing interesting research questions. Ibrahim's dedicated work led to three publications in highly regarded journals, namely, Mathematical Programming, INFORMS Journal on Computing, Computers and Operations Research. We would like to emphasize that publishing papers in Mathematical Programming and INFORMS Journal on Computing is really prestigious and influential in operations research and is certainly a rare accomplishment for a doctoral student. Moreover, Ibrahim is the first author in all his publications. In his research he focuses on developing general solution algorithms for large classes of combinatorial optimization problems which clearly goes beyond focusing on a niche in the literature. This is a truly significant achievement and contribution in his field. Position: Faculty Member, Bahçeşehir Üniversitesi

Nilay Duruk Mutlubaş

Nilay Duruk Mutlubaş studied a general class of nonlocal nonlinear differential equations in her PhD thesis. Some well-known examples of nonlinear wave equations follow from her model by suitable choices of the kernel function. She obtained sufficient conditions for global existence or finite time blow-up of solutions. She has written 3 articles with her advisors in IMA Journal of Applied Mathematics (2009), Nonlinearity (2010) and Journal of Differential Equations (2011). Her advisor states that she has the major contribution in all of these articles. Publishing 3 articles during graduate studies is a remarkable success in mathematics. Moreover, these are in very prestigious journals (Nonlinearity and J. Diff Eqns are in TUBITAK's A list). Nilay's 2010 and 2011 papers are considered as fundamental pioneering work by her advisor and both have received very quick and strong reviews from the referees. Her 2011 paper has already been cited and she and her collaborators have been receiving invitations to present their results in national and international meetings and colloquiums. Ideas she developed in her thesis led to further research in which she is actively involved. Next year, she will be supported by a TUBITAK project as a post-doc, collaborating with researchers from Isik, Sabancy and Istanbul Technical Universities. She then plans to spend some time abroad and eventually continue her academic life in Turkey. Position: Faculty Member, İstanbul Kemerburgaz Universitesi

Lütfi Taner Tunç

Lütfi Taner Tunç by his Ph.D thesis titled "Identification and modeling of process damping in turning and milling using a new approach". Lutfi Taner Tunc graduated from the IE program and Erdem is graduating from the ME program. Taner came to our university from METU Mechanical Engineering Department for graduate studies. He also got his MS degree at Sabanci University. He has been working with the supervision of Erhan Budak. Taner has 5 accepted or published SCI-E indexed articles one of which is from his master's thesis. He has one more article in an international journal. He has three more articles in preparation. He worked in TUBITAK and industrial projects. He supervised Graduation Projects and helped to run the Manufacturing Research Lab. Position: Post-doct Research Fellow, University of Sheffield

Erdem Öztürk

Erdem Öztürk by his Ph.D thesis titled "Modeling of 5- Axis Milling Forces and Form Errors". Erdem Ozturk graduated from the ME program. Erdem came to our university from METU Mechanical Engineering Department for graduate studies. He also got his MS degree at Sabanci University. He has been working with the supervision of Erhan Budak. Erdem has 4 accepted or published SCI-E indexed articles one of which is from his master's thesis. He has one more article in an international journal. He has 4 more articles in preparation. He in TUBITAK and industrial projects. He supervised Graduation Projects and helped to run the Manufacturing Research Lab. Position: Post-doct Research Fellow, AMRC (Advanced Manufacturing Research Center BOEING) The University of Sheffield

Taner Aytun

Taner Aytun by his M.Sc thesis titled "Determining the Architecture of ZnO Polystyrene-block-Poly (2-vinylpyridine)Micellar Reactor for ZnO Nanoparticle Synthesis". Taner's work at Sabancy University contributed to number of scientific articles. Two of them were published in a well respected journal Langmuir (impact factor of 4.0). Another one is submitted to Applied Physics Letters and currently under review (impact factor of 3.7). He was involved in seven conference papers (four international and three national). For his presentations and a short research visit to MIT, Taner was three times recipient of Insitute for Complex Adaptive Matter junior travel grant. Taner is a graduate of Sabanci University, Materials Science and Engineering program, and he has been actively involved in research projects since his undergraduate years at SU. Additionally, Taner trained and supervised undergraduate students through their senior design projects. Position: Phd Student, Northwestern University

Abdulkadir Akın

Abdulkadir Akın by his M.Sc thesis titled "One-bit Transform Based Motion Estimation Hardware Designs". Abdulkadir's work at Sabancy University has produced four papers/presentations in prestigious conferences, two journal articles, which have been published in IEEE Transactions on Consumer Electronics (in SCI), and one article which has been recently accepted for publication in the same journal. Abdulkadir is a graduate of Sabanci University, Electronics program, and he has been imposed to research since his undergraduate years. One of his articles, where Abdulkadir is the second author is from his senior design project, where he helped a Sabanci graduate student Ozgur Tasdizen. In his articles as the first author, Abdulkadir had full contribution in the work, for proposing ideas, completing the implementation and performance analysis. Abdulkadir also trained and supervised undergraduate students through their senior design projects. Position: Phd Student, Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne

Çınar Öncel

Çınar Öncel by his Ph.D thesis titled "Novel Production Technique for Electrolyte Assembly Leading to High Power Density". Cinar Oncel's PhD thesis investigates LSGM electrolyte based solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC). As a result of this study, SOFC with the highest power density in the literature is realized. Cinar also has publications in SCI indexed articles that are not related to his thesis topic. In total, he has five articles that are in SCI indexed journals (1 article, 1 review and 3 proceedings papers) with Sabanci University address. Position: Faculty Member, Muğla Üniversitesi

Elif Damla Arısan

Elif Damla Arısan by her Ph.D thesis titled "Molecular Mechanism of Drug Induced Apoptosis and Chemoresistance in Estrogen Receptor alpha +/- Breast Cancer Cell Lines: MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231". In Elif Damla Arisan's PhD thesis, she focused on investigation of the role of Bcl-2 in drug-induced apaptosis mechanism. Her results suggest that alteration of other pro-apoptotic or anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 family members may dictate the apoptotic response when Bcl-2 inhibitor is combined with chemotherapeutic drugs. She already published eight papers in journals, indexed by SCI, out of which one article is on her PhD work. She has numerous other papers / presentations, that appeared in national international journals, and in various conference proceedings. Position: Faculty Member, İstanbul Kültür Üniversitesi

Mustafa Parlak

Mustafa Parlak by his Ph.D thesis titled "Low Power H.264 Video Compression Hardware Designs". MustafaParlak's Ph.D thesis focuses on energy saving low power hardware architectures for video compression algorithms. As a result of this study, he proposed a novel idea which reduces the amount of computation in H.264 video compression standard significantly. Mustafa has three Science Citation Indexed (SCI) publications including ''Low Power H.264 Deblocking Filter Hardware Implementations'' which is an output from his Ph.D work. He has already found his next research position in Georgia Institute of Technology as a PostDoctoral Fellow. Position: Post-doct Research Fellow, Georgia Institute of Technology

Canan Dağdeviren

Canan Dağdeviren by her "Smart Composite Materials and Structures: Development, Characterization and Engineering Design Applications". Canan Dagdeviren's M.Sc. thesis, focuses on integration of micro- and nano-sized fibers with piezoelectric properties into a polymer matrix. Such structures are recently in demand for a variety of applications including aerospace technologies. During her M.Sc., Canan published two papers in two respected SCI journals as well as submitting one to Journal of Applied Polymer Science, another respected, high impact SCI journal. In addition to being a highly motivated researcher and a very hard working student, Canan also attended meetings and conferences to present the results of her research including a presentation at Materials Research Society Fall Meeting in 2009, a very important gathering for the materials science community. Canan was also awarded a highly prestigious Fulbright Scholarship in support of her Ph.D. study at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign starting in Fall of 2009. Position: Post-doct Research Fellow, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Emre Özlü

Emre Özlü by his Ph.D. thesis titled "Analytical Modelling of Cutting Process Mechanics and Dynamics for Simulation of Industrial Machining Operations". Emre Ozlu's work contributes to the area of machining process modeling and simulations in order to improve the process capability in terms of increased productivity and quality. All the derived models were verified by experiments. The developed models can be applied to industrial applications to increase productivity and reduce manufacturing costs. The thesis work resulted in 5 SCI indexed articles in respected journals at the time of the application to the award and many more articles related to this work were in preparation. Position: Faculty Member, Sabancı Üniversitesi

Osman El Atwani

Osman El Atwani by his M.Sc. thesis titled "Diplock Copolymer Micelles for Zinc Oxide Formation Via Exchange Reactions: Preperation and Characterization, Loading and Dynamics". Osman El Atwani's work aims to study the use of micelles to synthesize nanoparticles and develop techniques to characterize the materials systems. As a matter of fact, Osman started working with Gursel Sonmez and he was able to publish an article from his work with Gursel Sonmez. Afterwards, he completed his thesis under the supervision of Cleva Ow Yang. Position: Phd Student, Purdue University

Ahmet Fatih Tabak

Ahmet Fatih Tabak by his M.Sc. thesis titled "Simulation Based Experiments of Traveling-Plane Wave Actuator Micropumps and Microswimmers". In this work, Ahmet Fatih Tabak explored ways for self-propulsion in micro realm. He also derived the mathematical framework for modeling micropumps encompassing fully submerged and anchored waving film inside a microchannel using physical governing equations followed by simulation-based experiments. This work emerged as his own idea to design and build a microswimming robot and it lead to a well-received journal publication in 'Microfluidics and Nanofluidics' and to five top conference papers. Position: Post-doct Research Fellow, Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems

Funda Çelebi İnceoğlu

Funda Çelebi İnceoğlu by her Ph.D. thesis titled "High Performance Biodegradable Starch/Polyethylene Nanocomposites Prepared via Twin Screw Extruder" Funda Celebi Inceoglu`s thesis provided a way to produce biodegradable plastics exhibiting optimum combination of high mechanical properties, low cost and biodegradability. By using nanotechnology, the properties of the product are highly improved and it became a potential environmentally friendly material to replace conventional polyethylene and also other biodegradable polymers especially in packaging sector. This work emerged as her own idea. At the time of the application, the idea was in the process of commercialization, and there was an international patent application, one journal paper and four conference paper submissions. The project also received $850,000 fund from the industry. Position: Engineer, Kale Grubu

Behzad Sardari Ghojehbeiglou

Behzad Sardari Ghojehbeiglou’s PhD thesis was on the development of static Fourier transform spectrometers and real-time substrates for surface enhanced Raman scattering, where he performed both theoretical and experimental work. He made unique contributions to the field of spectroscopy and plasmonics, and the results of his studies were published in some of the leading journals in the field. His works also found coverage in international, flagship conferences such as the SPIE Photonics Europe’16 and SPIE Photonics West’17 during which he received the Best Student Paper Award and Student Author Travel Grant and Newport Award; respectively.

Çağatay Yılmaz

Çağatay Yılmaz’s PhD work emphasizes the development of a novel method to monitor micro level damage in fiber reinforced polymer matrix composites. These materials find use as structural components in a wide variety of applications ranging from automotive industry to aerospace mostly owing to their high strength-to-weight ratio. While their attractive properties favor them in many critical applications such as fuselages and wings of modern airliners, their complicated dual-component structure make prediction of failure in these materials a very hard task. Çağatay has been working in the direction of in-situ detection of damage inside the composites where optical detectors allow tracking of local cracks that are normally hidden from any external inspection tool. By comparing the in-situ findings with sophisticated characterization methods such as ultrasound based techniques, he and his colleagues were able to show that their approach is reliable in predicting remaining useful life of fiber reinforced polymeric composites, a very important outcome for the aerospace industry. His work led to publication of several articles in prestigious journals in this field of research and helped Sabancı University become a leading institution in the field of composite materials.

Ebru Demir

Ebru Demir’s research focuses on investigating low Reynolds number swimming of spherical particles and helical structures inside conduits. Low Reynolds number swimming is important for micro/nano robots that have high potential to be used in medical applications such as drug delivery and minimally invasive surgery, as well as in biological applications like cytometry. Ebru’s studies and contributions in this field cover both modeling and experimental work. She developed comprehensive models to identify the hydrodynamic interactions between helical structures and channel walls. Her models enable studying the effects of geometric parameters on the swimming performance of infinite helical structures, which provides a design guideline to achieve a certain performance goal. Her experimental work has focused on understanding the behavior of spherical particles in cylindrical conduits. She experimentally demonstrated that achiral structures can be manipulated with rotating magnetic fields to enable motion via hydrodynamic interactions between the particle and the channel walls for the first time, which is a significant contribution in the development of micro/nano robots.

Ahmad Motezakker

Ahmad Motezakker worked on novel surface modifications for boiling heat transfer enhancement during his MS studies in Sabancı Univeristy. Through his experimental work, he was able to obtain enhanced heat transfer with an energy efficient and environmentally friendly approach using next generation coatings such as polymer thin film coatings, bio-coatings and 3-D graphene coatings. These futuristic coatings have high potential to be used in many applications such as heating and cooling devices, thermal-fluids systems, batteries and microfluidic and nanofluidic devices for energy efficient high heat transfer performance. During his studies, Ahmad successfully collaborated with several groups in Sabancı University in a diverse range of fields such as materials science, molecular biology, electronics and applied physics. His interdisciplinary research efforts resulted in several journal publications and one patent application.

Abdolali Khalili Sadaghiani

Abdolali Khalili Sadaghiani’s PhD thesis focuses on micro/nano engineered techniques for enhanced boiling heat transfer. Boiling heat transfer is considered as an important heat removal mechanism for cooling applications in microscale, particularly for miniature devices to be used in aerospace, mechanical, biological, chemical, and optical applications. Abdolali’s studies contributed to the field both in theory and technology development and application. He attained the highest cooling rates ever achieved in history and his work led to new energy harvesting and data storage technologies. His research also provided valuable contributions to the design and development of microfluidic systems. Abdolali’s research efforts resulted in 7 first-authored publications in prominent journals in his field and 2 patent applications. He is also the co-author of 9 journal publications where he collaborated with several national and international research groups. His joint work with industry contributed to the development of surfaces for air-conditioning, refrigeration, and high power electronics cooling systems.

Ercan Kalalı

Honorable Mention

Muhammed Ali Bingöl

Honorable Mention

Shahbaz Abbasi

Honorable Mention

Merve Keskin Özel

Merve Keskin Özel’s PhD thesis addresses several variants of the Electric Vehicle Routing Problem (EVRP). She focuses on the related route optimization of EV’s that has become more challenging due to the need for recharging the EVs during their delivery/pickup operations. Serving the goal of reducing the greenhouse gas emission, her research is important and has made and will have further impact. Vehicle routing problems become computationally demanding and intractable as the parameter sizes (such as the number of EV’s, the nodes to visit on the geographical topology) increase. While assuring optimality for small problems with mathematical modeling, Keskin Özel developed novel metaheuristic methods specific to her problems to obtain near optimal solutions for large size problem instances. She was also able to incorporate stochastic nature of wait times for recharging the EV’s in these problems that are traditionally modeled and solved via deterministic models. Having completed her PhD studies in four years, she was able to make four publications in highly reputable journals. This is an exceptionally high number for a PhD student like her from the broader field of operations research. Her first journal paper from 2016 has already garnered 72 citations according to web of science, a remarkable achievement considering similar works in her field and is also the second most cited paper for her thesis advisor. We also observe that her collaborators were few in number (at most one more academic in addition to her advisor), which indicates that her research stemmed primarily from her activities at Sabancı University and as pointed out in the reference letter, she played the main role in these research efforts. She also published three international conference proceedings, which we note because conference publications are also rare in operations research.

Isa Emami Tabrizi

Isa Emami Tabrizi obtained his Ph.D from the Materials Science and Nanoengineering Program upon successfully defending his thesis entitled “Understanding Failure Mechanisms in Hybrid Fiber Reinforced Laminates Through the Combined usage of DIC, AE, Thermography and Optic Based Systems” in November of 2020. His studies during his Ph.D period are concerned with mechanics and manufacturing processes of composite materials and structural health monitoring in engineering structures comprised of these materials using various cutting edge techniques. Composite materials are basically artificial structures where strong, hair-like fibers are held together via a resin matrix. They find use more than ever as strong, lightweight and cost effective materials in a variety of applications ranging from aerospace to static structures and have already replaced a large number traditional materials especially in aerospace. One of the major issues in composites that contain laminated layers decorated with various types of fibers is the prediction of the approaching failure under a given loading condition. Isa’s work aims to comprehensively analyze the failure mechanisms and damage development inside glass/carbon fiber hybrid laminates through simultaneous use of structural health monitoring techniques under various loading conditions, highlighting the sequence of mechanisms occurring inside the composite structure that would eventually lead to failure. Findings during his research have stimulated the development of predictive methods to identify an approaching failure in hybrid laminate based composites as well as aiding in optimal design of such structures for applications. The work of Isa has also led to several original publications in highly regarded journals in his field in addition to paving the way for new undertakings in composite material design and development.

Ahmet Can Mert

Ahmet Can Mert’s Ph.D. thesis has addressed the design and implementation of hardware accelerators for lattice-based cryptography (LBC), which has become significant and popular in cryptography due to its applications to fully homomorphic encryption (FHE) and post-quantum cryptography (PQC). FHE is a scheme that enables secure computations on encrypted data without decrypting it. FHE has the potential to help secure storage and manipulation of data in an insecure cloud environment without revealing any information to the cloud provider. However, the practicality of FHE and PQC depends on efficient implementations of computational primitives of LBC. Although theoretically sound and considered (not proven) to be secure, FHE requires complex and time-consuming polynomial arithmetic, namely polynomial multiplication over polynomial rings. His thesis, and articles based on his thesis, have presented the design and implementations of hardware accelerators for FHE schemes. He proposed implementations for Number Theoretic Transform (NTT) based polynomial multiplication, some of the fastest implementations in the literature. He visited NCSU in 2019 during when he investigated theoretical and implementation aspects of the utilization of neural networks over homomorphically encrypted data. He proposed a novel architecture providing configurability for both scheme parameters and throughput/area, which received the Best Paper Award at the Design Track of Design, Automation, and Test in Europe (DATE) Conference in 2020. He has four published and one submitted journal papers during his Ph.D. He also published five conference proceedings. On a special note, his journal publication in 2019 has already been cited 20 times according to Google Scholar, which shows the popularity and significance of his work.