Omur Dagdeviren, professor-researcher

Better understanding the mechanical properties of non-linear solids

Thursday, December 10, 2020
omur dagdeviren
Omur Dagdeviren.

That path that Omur Dagdeviren, a Professor-Researcher in the Mechanical Engineering Department, has carved out for himself is quite impressive. He recently earned a Master degree in Mechanical Engineering and a PhD in Engineering and Applied Science from Yale University, after having previously attended the famous Middle East Technical University in Ankara, Turkey, which is notoriously difficult to gain admission to, where he not only pursued a Bachelor degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering, but added a second degree in Mechanical Engineering. 

His research interests focus on the development of characterization techniques with a view to better understanding the behaviour of materials. Professor Dagdeviren explains: “I characterize their electrical, mechanical and chemical properties. This type of research work requires interdisciplinarity. The impact is not only important from an engineering perspective, but also from an environmental, sustainable development, social and economic perspective.”

As a Professor-Researcher, Omur Dagdeviren believes that teaching is a crucial component of research, and he devotes a significant portion of his time to it. He states: “My main objective is to stir up an interest in science among my students and make them understand that they are capable of making positive changes in their environment. My goal is to maintain a balance between theory and application in my classes, so that they can see how it relates to reality.” 

Between his time at Yale University his arrival at ÉTS, he carried out a post-doctoral fellowship and taught in the Physics Department at McGill University. One of his courses, entitled “Physics, Music and Acoustics”, was met with such success that some professors from McGill and other institutions approached him for inspiration. With its presentations, new experimental procedures and speakers, the course was nothing at all like a normal lecture course. A world-famous musician was invited to speak about the transformation of the music industry and the effect of technology on music. A number of students were even invited to visit the musician’s studio. 
During his doctoral studies and his post-doctoral fellowship, Professor Dagdeviren also developed digital and experimental methodologies for characterizing the chemical, mechanical, electronic and electrochemical properties of surfaces and interfaces in heterogeneous materials. 

Better understanding the dynamics of the mechanical properties of solids

At ÉTS, he plans to use digital methodologies to study the mechanical properties of non-linear solids with a view to better understanding the properties of complex structural materials used in manufacturing processes. According to Professor Dagdeviren: “The current level of understanding of the mechanical properties of solids rests solely on properties for which an average is calculated from large surfaces or large volumes. This approach prevents us from conclusively understanding the mechanical properties of non-linear solids. 

For example, we don’t adequately understand how the various heterogeneous interfaces and the inherent defects within material systems change the non-linear mechanical properties surrounding them, or the physical principles that govern them. In order to fill in the gaps in this fundamental problem, I plan to focus on modeling the mechanical properties of non-linear solids.” This research work will have a positive impact on the aviation and transportation industries, and on new sustainable applications for the renewable energy sector. 

Students wanted

Omur Dagdeviren has launched a research group aimed at characterizing the mechanical, electrical, chemical, electrochemical and optical properties of materials at their ultimate spatial and temporal boundaries. 

His current work, and especially the project entitled Nanoscale Characterization and Aim-Specific Design of Amorphous Materials, focuses on issues related to the fields of materials science, surface physics, catalysis, nanomechanics and calculation methods in materials research. 

The lab is seeking undergraduate and graduate students who are interested in advanced experimental and theoretical research and the characterization of materials at the nanometric scale.

Scientific contributions

Professor Dagdeviren has published 27 articles in peer-reviewed journals, 29 peer-reviewed conference articles, 15 articles produced as a guest speaker and in seminars and 25 poster presentations. 

He is also co-holder of a patent for which a licence has been granted to Scienta-Omicron GmbH. The product is marketed under the brand name QSpeed™ AFM (Atomic Force Microscopy).

Professor Dagdeviren’s research interests reside at the intersection of applied science and engineering, with a focus on three specific areas: 

  1. The characterization of amorphous materials at the nanometric scale, leading to a better understanding of their mechanical properties; 
  2. The characterization of the dynamic properties of materials with a view to better understanding the interrelations of these properties, and in a more general sense;
  3. The development of new techniques for characterizing mechanical properties.

Chantal Crevier

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