College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

Akinc selected as a Fulbright Senior Lecturer in Ankara, Turkey

Dr. Mufit Akinc has received the Fulbright Grant to Turkey for the 2017-2018 academic year. He will become Senior Lecturer at Middle East Technical University (METU) in Ankara, Turkey, for the spring semester of 2018.

Dr. Akinc currently holds many titles at Iowa State University. He is a professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Professor-In-Charge of International Programs with the College of Engineering, and Interim Director of the Iowa Energy Center.

Akinc received his bachelor’s and master’s degree in chemistry at Middle East Technical University in Ankara, Turkey in 1970 and 1973 respectively. He completed his doctorate at Iowa State in ceramic engineering in 1977. Akinc returned to Turkey from 1979 through 1981 as Chair and Assistant Professor at Middle East Technical University in Gaziantep, Turkey. In 1981, he returned to Iowa State as Assistant Professor, and he has been an influential faculty member and professional in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering and Iowa State University College of Engineering.

The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs sponsors the Fulbright Program that was established in 1946. The program awards an estimated 8,000 grants each year in over 155 countries. Grants are available for graduating college seniors, graduate students, young professionals, scholars, artists and other professionals. The goal of the Fulbright Program is to give scholars an opportunity to teach, study, conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns.

Mufit Akinc, pictured on the left, at his alma mater- Middle East Technical University in Ankara, Turkey
Mufit Akinc is pictured on the left at his alma mater, Middle East Technical University in Ankara, Turkey, in the early 1970s.

The application process required references and a proposal. Dr. Akinc’s proposal was evaluated in Washington, D.C for the first screening. Once each applicant passed the initial review, applications were sent to the country to which they were applying. There were only five open positions in Turkey. The institution of which candidates apply must have an interest in the candidate. Dr. Akinc had three offers from Turkey, and he accepted the invitation to his alma mater, Middle East Technical University in Ankara, Turkey.

This is not Akinc’s first time receiving the Fulbright grant. He was a Fulbright grant recipient during the fall semester of the 2008-2009 academic year at Koc University in Istanbul, Turkey.

“Going back to my alma mater is exciting, sentimental and very special to me. Two of my own Ph.D. students are currently faculty at METU,” said Dr. Akinc.

There are a few reasons that motivated Akinc to apply for the Fulbright grant to Turkey.

“Iowa State has given so much to me, and I have been trying to give back too. This is a way to give to both my alma mater and Iowa State,” Akinc said. “I would like to use my time in Ankara to recruit young scientists, promote the Fulbright Program and exchange knowledge and cultural sensitivity. I look forward to sharing ideas, telling about the wonderful university that we have in central Iowa, and bringing 35 years of insight and experience from a U.S. institution to Turkey.”