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


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      My multi-disciplinary background includes research, solving engineering problems, and teaching with a focus on mathematical modeling of thermodynamic systems, especially involving solid-liquid interfaces and 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 resources to move my research interests into the biomedical field, namely to develop mathematical models for freezing, drying, and vitrification of cells. I was awarded with the Fulbright Visiting Scholar Award in the 2016-2017 academic year and visited the same lab for my sabbatical leave. As part of my ongoing collaboration with this center, I use mathematical models and develop microfluidic systems to control the preconcentration of cells prior to biopreservation. This way, we hope to develop novel technologies to facilitate safe preparation and storage of delicate mammalian cells that will eradicate the complexities originating from the necessity of using high cooling rates and high cryoprotectant agent concentrations.

My tasks at Hacettepe University involve research, teaching undergraduate and graduate courses, advising, and consulting. I direct a research lab including post-docs, technicians, graduate and undergraduate students and the ongoing research is focused on these topics: 1. Microfluidic solutions for biomedical problems, a project supported by the National Science Foundation of Turkey. 2. Classification and statistical analysis of bread wheat based on physical, chemical, and mechanical properties, a project supported by the Ankara Chamber of Commerce. 3. 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. 4. Statistical entropy based analysis of physical data.

For my Ph.D. research, I developed a mathematical model for dendritic crystal growth during rapid solidification, 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.

While working towards my M.S., I performed heat and mass transfer analysis and optimized the energy use on 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 in the Mechanical Engineering department 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 engineering topics at Hacettepe University, Middle East Technical University North Cyprus Campus, and the National Defense University in Ankara.

As part of service to the University and to the community, I have been actively involved in various University committees and have been advising five different student groups on campus as well as acting as a liaison between Northeastern University (NU) and its alumni in Ankara as the founding president of the NU Ankara Alumni Chapter.


Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering with minor in Materials Science and Engineering (2006)

Specialized in Thermodynamics of Materials and Mathematical Modeling

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

*       Computer programming with MATLAB®, sophomore level

*       Numerical analysis with MATLAB®, sophomore level

*       Chemical engineering thermodynamics I, sophomore level

*       Chemical engineering thermodynamics II, junior level

*       Materials science and engineering, junior level

*       Materials science and technology I, senior level

*       Materials science and technology II, senior level

*       Chemical engineering unit operations laboratories I and II, senior level

*       Process control and design, senior level             

*       Chemical engineering research project, senior level

Graduate Courses

*       Introduction to microfluidic systems, doctorate level

*       Solid state chemistry, doctorate level

*       Numerical analysis, mathematical modeling and simulation with MATLAB®

*       Advanced engineering mathematics

*       Advanced thermodynamics for chemical engineers

*       Chemical engineering seminars I & II

*       Mathematical approach to natural disasters

*       Introduction to risk and disaster management systems

Assisted undergraduate courses

*       Materials science lab, sophomore level  

*       Capstone design project I, senior level

*       Engineering mechanics and design, sophomore level

Selected Honors and Awards

*       Fulbright Outreach Lecturing Fund Award (for 6 lectures in PR, NJ, CA, HI), United States Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, 2017

*       Fulbright Visiting Scholar Program Scholarship, Harvard Medical School, 2016-2017

*       Career Award, Ankara Maltepe Rotary Club, Sep. 2011

*       TASSA Young Scholar Award, Apr. 2008

*       Full scholarship/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

*       Expert and Leader Teaching Assistant credentials, Center for Effective University Teaching, NU, 2006

*       Student representative, 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 Scholarship, 1st place, 1995


*       Article: "Model of Success", NU Engineer 2006, p.5

*       Outstanding Graduate Student Award, Hurriyet USA News, April 28, 2005