Judith Confal – A doctoral thesis study prepared by a German PhD student Ms. Judith Maria Confal from the ITU Geophysical Engineering doctoral program under the supervision of Prof.Dr. Tuncay Taymaz was awarded the most successful doctoral thesis in the field of earth sciences by the ITU Rectorate. She was presented with the most successful doctoral thesis award at the graduation ceremony held this year in the ITU by our rector Prof.Dr. İsmail Koyuncu.

The title of Judith Maria Confal’s thesis work is “Investigation of Mantle Kinematics Beneath Turkey and Adjacent Regions based on Seismological and Numerical Modelling” and her findings is particularly important given the fact that our country is located in an active tectonic-earthquake zone and is shaken by many destructive earthquakes. Therefore, a good understanding of the physics of earthquakes and the dynamic and tectonic processes that cause earthquakes in the ground is extremely important in terms of reducing seismic risks in the geography we live in.

In this doctoral thesis, prepared by Judith Maria Confal, for the first time, geodynamic events at the source of the tectonic processes that developed in the Eastern Mediterranean Region and Anatolian regions and the temporal and spatial behavior of the related deep subsurface tomographic images were interpreted by modeling. In summary, in this doctoral study, three different approaches that are completely new for the region allow to understand the distribution of seismic anisotropy in the mantle and the mechanism that causes anisotropy, while also enabling us to understand the effect of existing anisotropy on P-wave velocity anomalies, which can be modeled by isotropic inversion approaches. In addition to interpreting the results together, the extensive discussions made in the light of their current studies reveal new information about the active tectonics and mantle dynamics of the Eastern Mediterranean Region and have brought to light the high-resolution model results that are vital for understanding the origin of earthquakes in our country.

Findings from Judith Maria Confal's doctoral thesis were published within 3 separate articles in prestigious and qualified journals with high impact factor indexed by WOS SCI indexes including Journal of Geophysical Research-Solid Earth (JGR-SE), Earth and Planetary Science Letters (EPSL) and Physics of Earth and Planetary Interiors (PEPI).


Burak Topçu, a senior year student from the Department of Mineral Processing Engineering has successfully represented Turkey in Qatar Challenge & Innovation Forum 2021. He was selected as a gold medalist with his 'Smart Mine' project from over 100 projects from 38 countries. He got second place in the 48-hour hackathon with his teammates.

Challenge and Innovation Forum is the most prestigious event in the MENA region and organized by the Qatar Scientific Club that belongs to the ministry of Qatar Sports and Youth. During the event, participants presented their projects to the juries for two days, and they worked on a project in the hackathon from scratch.

ITU Mineral Processing Engineering student Burak Topçu has designed and developed a project for increasing operational efficiency with real-time monitoring and optimization of the equipment in the mine site. In addition, to increase efficiency, the project continuously improves occupational safety in the field by analyzing the safe and economical driving abilities of the drivers.

In the interview with Doha 360 and Qatar Television Burak Topçu said “Ongoing digital mine innovation is expected to transform the key aspects of mining over the next few years. Increased investment and government support for digital mine innovation are expected to trigger the demand for mining equipment for the next decade. Improvements and innovations in extraction technologies and equipment have contributed to the betterment of ore grades, thus, extending the life of older mines. The use of telematics in the mining industry has proven to be a game-changer. With the increase in a competitive environment all around the industries, companies are constantly looking for process optimization, which has been increasing the demand for automation in the mining industry in turn. With the project, I want to be a pioneer in that field in the world.”


Mehmet Tolga Sipahi, who is performing his master thesis project under supervision of Assist. Prof. Dr. Kayhan Develi, made a presentation entitled “Modelling of Hydraulic Fracturing Treatments in South East Part of Turkey with DFN Method and Comparison with Simulation Results” at 55th US Rock Mechanics / Geomechanics Symposium organized by the American Rock Mechanics Association (ARMA). The paper was presented virtually at the symposium held in June 2021 and published in the article with the identity "ARMA-2021-1213", whose authors are M. T. Sipahi and K. Develi.

Nurdeniz Altuntaş: ITU Rover Team, of which our undergraduate student, Nurdeniz Altuntaş from the Department of Geophysical Engineering is a member, ranked 3rd among the 36 teams in University Rover Challenge (URC) that was sponsored by NASA and Elon Musk. ITU Rover Team designs and makes rovers for international challenges. Rovers are instruments that can help astronauts with a robotic arm, as well as make scientific measurements to analyze possible life in space, satellites or planets.

The team of “Robees” joined the contest of “Türksat Model Satellite” under the leadership of our undergraduate student, Ömer Filiz, and under the consultancy of Assist. Prof. Dr. Caner İmren from the Department of Geophysical Engineering. In the past, Robees team placed 1st and 2nd in the "European BEST Engineering Competition ITU" and "European BEST Engineering Competition Turkey" competitions, respectively.