Rector Atalar's Lecture to Give "A Brief History of Bilkent"

The Library would like to inform all Bilkenters that the first Library Lunchtime Lecture of this semester, entitled "A Brief History of Bilkent," will be given by our rector, Prof. Abdullah Atalar, this Wednesday, October 3. In his lecture, the rector will discuss the development of Bilkent University, from the seed of an idea in the mind of its founder, Prof. İhsan Doğramacı, through its early and uncertain days as Turkey's first private university, to the present, when Bilkent stands as the best university in Turkey and is recognized internationally for its teaching and research. Prof. Atalar will outline the vision of "Hocabey" and show how Bilkent maintains and extends that vision today. As a faculty member of Bilkent University since its establishment in 1986, when he was founding chair of the Electrical and Electronics Engineering department, and, subsequently, as the university's provost before becoming rector, Prof Atalar is extremely well placed to describe the twists and turns that Bilkent has experienced over the past two and a half decades. No doubt drawing on his own experiences and anecdotes, he will offer both an institutional and a personal account of the university's past, present and future.

The lecture will be held in the Art Gallery of Main Campus Library from 12:40 to 1:30 p.m. Please come early to get a seat, as this will undoubtedly be a popular and well-attended talk.

Concert at Bilkent to Benefit Music Education Project for Disabled Children

The Bilkent Concert Hall will host a piano and violin recital on Tuesday, October 16, with all proceeds going to a project providing music instruction to children with mental disabilities. For the concert, well-known violin virtuoso Suna Kan and pianist Cana Gürmen will share the stage.

Coordinated by the International Children's Center (ICC), the music education project is supported by the Rotary Club's Çankaya branch and the Bilkent University Faculty of Music and Performing Arts in cooperation with the Disabled Education and and Solidarity Foundation (ÖZEV). The project aims to develop the abilities, self-confidence and social skills of mentally disabled children through music instruction.

Instruction will take place within the framework of a special early music education program prepared by the Department of Music of the Bilkent Faculty of Music and Performing Arts. Fifteen children in the 6-14 age group will receive music instruction over a three-year period.

Tickets for the recital may be obtained online at or at the Bilkent Concert Hall box office (ext. 1775).

General Motors and Bilkent Join Forces

General Motors (GM) Company, one of the global leaders of the automotive industry and the manufacturer of well-known brands such as GMC, Chevrolet, Buick and Cadillac, recently kicked off its very first research and development partnership in Turkey at Bilkent University. Through a joint research project between GM R&D headquarters in the US and Asst. Prof. Emrah Özensoy's research group in the Bilkent Department of Chemistry, next-generation catalytic converters will be developed for the fuel-efficient cars of the future.

The catalytic converter, a crucial component of any given car on the road today, is in charge of cleaning the toxic gases generated by the fuel combustion in the engine. Ironically, as modern cars become more fuel efficient, they also tend to generate more toxic gases such as nitric oxides. Therefore, in trying to get these next-generation cars into the global marketing pipeline as fast as possible, automotive manufacturers are hard pressed to find new ways to meet the associated environmental challenges.

As Dr. Özensoy explains, "Current catalytic converter technology relies on complex materials containing precious metals called platinum group metals, or PGMs, which

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PhD Students Win R&D Contest Prize

A team consisting of Ebuzer Kalyoncu and Berna Şentürk, PhD students at UNAM (Institute of Materials Science and Nanotechnology), and Asst. Prof. Turgay Tekinay recently brought home a second place award in the 2nd Research and Development Project Market in the Chemical Products and Raw Materials Industry, held September 18-19 by the İstanbul Chemicals and Chemical Products Exporters Association and the Mediterranean Exporters Association.

The R&D Project Market is intended to serve as a forum for the dissemination and discussion of ideas for the improvement and modernization of the Turkish chemical production industry.

The Bilkent team won the second place prize in the Paints and Adhesives category for their project "Production of Glue from the Blue Mussel (Mytilus edulis)." Briefly, the project in question entails the commercial production of a very expensive, protein-based glue by utilizing a synthetic biology approach. The resultant glue is environmentally friendly, strong enough to rival inorganic glues and able to operate in aquatic environments, making the product a strong candidate for industrial production.