Engineers will be responsible for building our future! And the quality of life will be highly dependent on the skills of today’s engineering students. From this viewpoint, what motivates me the most in engineering teaching is provide an ecosystem for my students where they have a chance to relate to the problems of the real-world. Therefore, putting application-focused teaching at the forefront of my adopted teaching philosophy, I have designed my courses in Civil / Structural Engineering such that the students have gone through an effective as well as an enjoyable learning process. Such a process has been realized through various in-class and field activities as well as the engineering competitions that I and my students participated both at national and international levels.
Imperial College, Aluminum Girder Design Challenge
Supervised students of Civil Engineering at Imperial College, London in the Aluminum Girder Design competition. In this student activity, students were expected to design, manufacture and assemble in the structures laboratory a cost-effective aluminum plate girder with a specified constant span length. Measures of cost-effectiveness were lightness, high strength and stiffness under a four-point bending load test. They were also expected to prepare and submit tender documents for their designs prepared based on a technical specification provided.
Seismic Design Competition
Supervised my students and prepared them for the Seismic Design Competition (SDC) organized annually by the American Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI). This is a student competition where teams of Civil Engineering students are expected to design and build a seismically resistant and cost- effective building model using balsa wood material. In 2016 more than 30 teams from all around the world competed in SDC including the top ranking US universities. In this competition held in San Francisco in April 2016 our team ranked 5th in overall evaluation and won the first prize in the Earthquake Architecture category.
DASK Seismic Resistant Building Design Competition
Sponsored by DASK (Turkish Earthquake and Disaster Insurance Agency), successfully implemented the famous Seismic Design Competetion in Turkey. Acted as Technical Committee member within a team of professors from various universities from around Turkey. DASK SDC is now a very well established and the most successful student competition organization of its kind in Turkey
Steel Bridge Competition
Supervised teams of undergraduate students of Civil Engineering to compete in the International Steel Bridge Competitions held annually at Bosphorus University in Istanbul. In this competition students are expected to design, manufacture and assemble on site a cost-effective steel bridge with high aesthetic features. Cost-effectiveness is provided by designing a lightweight bridge with high strength and stiffness characteristics. Constructability was another important feature that needed attention as the time needed to assemble the bridges on site was directly translated into better cost-effectiveness. Within around 7 years of participation to this competition teams that I supervised won the championship for 3 times.
Structural Design Laboratory
Structural Design Laboratory aims at providing students of Civil Engineering with a better understanding of the behavior and design of structural systems under the actions of static and dynamic loads. This is made possible by making students work in groups on projects where they are expected to analyze, design, fabricate and physically test scaled down models of certain types of structures; mostly high rise buildings and bridges. The goal is to design strong and cost-effective structural systems. Cost-effectiveness is achieved through the use of least possible amount of material. Hence the goal is to produce lightweight structural models that are able to meet the mininum strength and also deflection critera set at the beginning of the design stage.
Technical Site Visits
Technical site visits have always been an indispensible part of a Civil Engineering undergraduate education. As a professor I find such visits very fruitful as students get a chance to see and have a feel for real life engineering activities on site or within a fabrication shop. These visits give them good oppurtunity to relate theory with practice.
SteelPro / Student Steel Design Competition
This competiton aims to provide a platform for students of civil engineering and architecture to compete in groups with the goal of producing designs that would utilize structural steel within a selected architectural program in a best possible way. The designs are expected to result in economic and aesthetically pleasing structures with ecological, social and cultural significance. The designs adopted by my teams were mostly composed of structural systems that resulted in lightweight structures utilizing typically tension members, curved surfaces and spatial systems including either single or doubly curved space systems with pure membrane stresses. Prosteel competitions have provided my students with great oppurtunity to develop a sound understanding of the principles of utilizing structural steel effectively and efficiently in a given architectural program. They also developed professional communication skills owing to the high level of interaction of the future architects with future structural engineers.