16th Dr. Gürsel Sönmez Research Award Winner Announced

Our Faculty of Engineering and Natural Sciences continues its research award program organized on behalf of our Faculty Member Gürsel Sönmez, who passed away in 2006.

2021-2022 Academic Year Dr. Gürsel Sönmez Research Award, which was held for the 16th time this year, was presented to Seyedeh Ferdows Afghah, graduate of Materials Science and Nanoengineering PhD program.

Seyedeh Ferdows Afghah, who was deemed deserving of the award for her achievements and contributions in the field of research, was presented the award by FENS Dean Erkay Savaş.

Afghah continues her studies at our university as a TÜBİTAK Postdoctoral Researcher.

We congratulate her and thank all the students and graduates who participated.

Seyedeh Ferdows Afghah graduated from the Materials Sciences and Engineering department. Her Ph.D. thesis was in the interdisciplinary field of tissue engineering by means of 3D bioprinting. She mainly focused on bone and skin tissues with a thesis entitled “Hybrid 3D Bioprinting of Functionalized Structures for Tissue Engineering”. One major critical factor in tissue engineering is to fabricate functional scaffolds having hierarchical characteristics capable of mimicking the intricate properties of native tissues. In this regard, during her Ph.D. she developed functionalized and hybrid structures by implementing multiple 3D printing techniques including extrusion-based printing and melt electrowriting. Her research includes synthesis, mechanobiological characterization, and biofabrication of constructs toward more functionality and complexity in terms of biological and physiochemical properties. She did work with several materials including ceramics, hydrogels, and stiff polymers to reach the goal of tissue engineering to restore and improve impaired tissues. Ferdows’s research findings led to several publications in peer-reviewed and prestigious journals in the field of tissue engineering and biofabrication. She also contributed to writing research proposals to continue her Ph.D. studies in a more practical way.

About Gürsel Sönmez and the Award

Gürsel Sönmez joined the Faculty of Engineering and Natural Sciences in September 2004. Shortly thereafter, on January 16, 2006, he was involved in a fatal traffic accident. His short academic career was nevertheless fruitful and significant, and he made great contributions to the sciences.

"Dr. Gürsel Sönmez Research Award" was established by the Faculty of Engineering and Natural Sciences to keep his legacy alive and remind students about his achievements to motivate them.  The award entails prizes for one or more graduate students based on their research efforts and achievements to date. Submissions are open to doctorate students. Graduates and candidates may only apply once. Candidates may nominate themselves or be nominated by a member of Sabancı University faculty.