Wednesday November 29, 2017

Earthquake Expert Spends Sabbatical on Teaching and Research Collaborations in Turkey and Russia

By Karen Updyke, School of Engineering

"Interacting with students from around the world is priceless; they are creative with bold ideas and are eager to learn new things from experts from other nations. In terms of education and research, there are very strong universities across the globe, which is comforting. It makes me feel that the civil engineering profession is in good hands around the world," said Dr. Ömer Bilgin, associate professor with the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Engineering Mechanics at the University of Dayton.

For his current sabbatical, Bilgin was invited to Turkey to conduct earthquake research at the Boğaziçi University and the University’s Kandilli Observatory and Earthquake Research Institute. While in Turkey, Bilgin also visited Russia and taught a course at the Far Eastern Federal University (FEFU)

Bilgin, well known in the fields of geotechnics, soil dynamics and earthquake engineering, contributes to numerous professional journals and presents his research at conferences worldwide.

"I was invited by several colleagues at various countries to spend my sabbatical at their institutions. I selected Turkey because their research interests aligned well with mine," said Bilgin.

He explains that "Turkey is an earthquake country, and Boğaziçi University and the University’s Kandilli Observatory and Earthquake Research Institute are very strong in earthquake research." 

“My colleagues and I wanted to combine their earthquake expertise with my pipeline expertise to conduct research on the effect of earthquakes on pipelines and soil-pipe interaction. And, Istanbul is an amazing city, very alive and vibrant with a remarkable history,” said Bilgin.

At FEFU in Russia, Bilgin spent a mini-sabbatical teaching and conducting research on soil dynamics and earthquake engineering. “For the last four years, I have collaborated on research with FEFU colleagues,” Bilgin said. “A few years ago, I hosted a visiting scholar from FEFU for about a year, and we have been conducting and publishing joint research since.” 

Bilgin used this sabbatical as an opportunity to visit FEFU and actually hoped for a longer visit, but because of his commitments at Boğaziçi University, he only had two weeks. “In the future, I envision that I will be visiting FEFU again,” said Bilgin, "to teach and collaborate on current and future research as well as discuss possible student exchange opportunities between FEFU and the University of Dayton."

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