Selis Önel, PhD


Hacettepe University

Department of Chemical Engineering

Beytepe Campus

Ankara, TR-06800

E-mail   :

Phone    : +90(312)297 7401
Fax        : +90(312)299 2124


Chemical Engineering






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       My multi-disciplinary background includes research and teaching with a focus on mathematical modeling of thermodynamic systems, especially involving nonequilibrium phase transformations due to fast interface kinetics.  Post doctoral studies at the Center for Engineering in Medicine, a leading research center on biopreservation run jointly by Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, provided me with the sources to move my research interests into the biomedical field, namely to develop mathematical models for freezing and vitrification of cells. My ongoing research at Hacettepe University is on the optimization of a novel automatic controlled electro-chemical machining (ECM) device that we developed as an R&D company in the University Technopark with the Techno-Innovation grant from the Turkish Ministry of Industry and Trade. The long term goal is to further improve the ECM technique for application to MEMS devices. For my Ph.D. research, I developed a mathematical model for dendritic crystal growth, where a tree-like morphology develops at the solid-liquid interface at high cooling rates that make plane-front freezing unstable. The ability to predict the highly coupled solidification parameters such as the size, growth rate, and chemical composition of a dendrite growing in a super-cooled liquid as a function of the temperature difference is crucial to achieve desired microstructures and, thus, material properties.  My new dendritic-growth model went beyond the existing models by calculating the interfacial driving force using a thermodynamic-solution model and correctly relating it to the linear kinetic theory.  Compared to the existing models, this enabled it to better predict the range of solutions for the temperature difference, at which the transition from mass diffusion to thermal diffusion begins for the material in particular, to achieve the desired material properties.  I developed an iterative algorithm to fit the thermodynamic model to empirical solidification and thermo-chemical data and estimated the thermodynamic parameters in solving the multivariate nonlinear system of equations, which were incorporated into the new dendritic-growth model. While working towards my M.S., I optimized the energy use of the drying unit of an operating paper machine in collaboration with the paper industry.  For this work, I was rewarded with a research award by the Pulp and Paper Foundation of Turkey.  In addition to my research experience, I have also had the opportunity to develop my teaching skills.  During my studies at Northeastern University, I have taught more than 450 students in the Materials Science labs and received accreditations as well as university-wide awards as a teaching assistant. I continue to teach many undergraduate and graduate students in various Chemical Engineering topics at Hacettepe University and mathematics related topics at the Turkish Military School.


Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering (2006)

Specialized in Mathematical Modeling in Materials Science and Engineering

Northeastern University, Boston, MA, USA

Advisor: Dr. Teiichi Ando

M.S. in Chemical Engineering (2000)

Specialized in Heat and Mass Transfer and Energy Optimization

Middle East Technical  University, Ankara, Turkey

Advisor: Dr. Güniz Gürüz

B.S. in Chemical Engineering (1997)

Middle East Technical  University, Ankara, Turkey

Lycee Diploma, Mathematics Section (1992)

American Collegiate Institute, İzmir, Turkey


Undergraduate Courses

  • Numerical Analysis with MATLAB®, Sophomores

  • Computer Programming with MATLAB®, Sophomores

  • Chemical Engineering Thermodynamics I, Sophomores

  • Chemical Engineering Thermodynamics II, Juniors

  • Materials Science and Technology I, Juniors

  • The Materials Package (Click here to view the package presentation), Juniors and seniors

  • Chemical Engineering Unit Operations Laboratories I and II, Seniors

  • Chemical Engineering Research Project, Seniors

  • Process Control and Design, Seniors

  • Materials Science and Engineering Lab, Sophomores

  • Capstone Design Project, Seniors

  • Engineering Mechanics and Design, Sophomores

Graduate Courses

  • Advanced Engineering Thermodynamics

  • Numerical Analysis, Mathematical Modeling and Simulation with MATLAB®

  • Advanced Engineering Mathematics

  • Chemical Engineering Graduate Seminars I and II

Selected Honors and Awards
  • Career Award, Ankara Maltepe Rotary Club, 2011

  • TASSA Young Scholar Award, 2008

  • Full assistantship, Graduate School of Engineering, NU, 2000-2006

  • “A Model of Success,” appeared as the cover story in NU Engineer 2006

  • Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award, College of Engineering, NU, 2006

  • Leader Teaching Assistant credentials, Center for Effective University Teaching, NU, 2006

  • Expert Teaching Assistant credentials, Center for Effective University Teaching, NU, 2006

  • Academic Delegate, NU Provost’s Delegation visiting several research centers and institutions of higher learning in Turkey with the aim of creating international education partners, May 2005

  • Outstanding Graduate Student Award in the category of Community Service, NU, 2005

  • Outstanding Teaching Assistant Certificate of Achievement, NU, 2005

  • TMS Graduate Student Research Travel Grant, 2004 and 2005

  • Phi Beta Delta Honor Society for International Scholars - Alpha NU Chapter, 2003

  • Who’s Who campus leader (Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges), 2003

  • Turkish Pulp and Paper Industry Foundation Research Award, 2000

  • Eczacibasi International Research Travel Award, 2000

  • Yaşar Foundation Graduate Study Award, 1997-1999

  • Dean’s Honor List, Dept. of Chemical Engineering, METU, 1995-1997

  • IAESTE  International Technical Training 1st place Award, 1995