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New Faculty Spotlight: Irem Eryilmaz

At a young age, Irem Eryilmaz became facinated by STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). So, when she finally attended Boğaziçi University in Istanbul, Turkey, she went on to earn her undergraduate and master's degrees in electrical and computer engineering.

“I have always been interested in STEM,” Eryilmaz said. “I find mathematics beautiful. I love numbers… It’s kind of like art.”

Recently, she accepted an assistant professor of practice position at The Ohio State University in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE), where she teaches students the application of engineering principles.

Beginning in August of 2016, Eryilmaz taught part one of the capstone series in ECE, which focuses on the principles of engineering design. This semester she is teaching both capstone series classes.

When it comes to teaching the ECE 4900 Capstone Design class, Eryilmaz said her job is mainly to serve as a guide.

“The students do most of the work. I just supervise their projects,” she said. “It’s not really a classroom lecture, but that’s fun.”

Prior to her teaching position, Eryilmaz received her ECE doctorate at Ohio State in 2016. During the program, she conducted research in wireless communication and networks, delving into how information is transferred, broken up and coded within devices. It was a good combination of mathematics and ECE principles. 

Today, Eryilmaz still enjoys conducting research, and completes projects related to ECE, but it is not her top responsibility.

“Ohio State is a really good school,” Eryilmaz said. “I like the atmosphere and the students. It’s very welcoming. I don’t feel much competition, it’s more cooperation, so it’s a good atmosphere to teach in.”

Apart from her new position, Eryilmaz continues to find career inspiration in a quote from her favorite novel, Antoine de Saint-Exupery's 1939 memoir, “Wind, Sand and Stars."

It is a quote that speaks to the concept of bringing people together, something she believes engineering helps accomplish:

"Transport of the mails, transport of the human voice, transport of flickering pictures - in this century, as in others, our highest accomplishments still have the single aim of bringing men together..."

“I have adopted this quote because it resonates,” Eryilmaz said. “I love the book... I never fail to find something new in it.”

Story by: ECE Student PR Writer, Lydia Freudenberg