Reflecting on My Participation in the "Science Will Win with Youth" Project

I recently had the honour of engaging with a bright group of young minds through my involvement in the "Science Will Win with Youth" project, a collaboration between the Bilim Kahramanlari Dernegi (Science Heroes Association) and Pfizer Turkey. This initiative seeks to bridge the gap between experienced professionals and students passionate about the fields of science and engineering. My contribution to this project was an insightful and enriching experience, both for me and, hopefully, for the participants as well.

In my session, I chose to focus on the topic of sustainable energy production, sharing insights from my journey in environmental engineering. Starting with my academic path, I discussed the challenges and rewards of a career dedicated to developing sustainable solutions. This opportunity allowed me to not only recount my personal experiences but also to spark a dialogue on the practical implications and global impact of our work in environmental science.

The conversation delved into the importance of shifting towards renewable and sustainable energy sources, emphasizing the need to decrease our dependency on fossil fuels due to their adverse effects on the environment and public health. I explored the innovative potential of utilizing biological wastewater treatment processes for bioenergy production, highlighting sustainable approaches to energy that prioritize environmental health.

The "Science Will Win with Youth" project, running from October 2023 to June 2024, is set to feature a series of online and physical science events. It provides a unique platform for high school students aged 14-18 to meet and learn from professionals across various scientific and engineering disciplines. Being part of this initiative reminded me of the critical role that education and mentorship play in empowering the next generation to address the environmental challenges of our time.

I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to share my passion for environmental engineering and sustainable energy practices. This experience has strengthened my dedication to environmental stewardship and the mentorship of future scientists and engineers.

For more insights into the project, follow the conversation on X

Rediscovering Potential with Science: A Seminar to Remember with LOSEV

I recently conducted an online seminar in collaboration with LOSEV, the Foundation for Children with Leukemia. The seminar was aimed at high school and university students who had overcome leukemia and were rediscovering their educational paths. During the seminar, we discussed the scientific research journey and its practical applications, and I shared insights from my academic and professional journey in the sciences.

The seminar was not just about knowledge exchange but also about instilling hope and empowerment. It celebrated the resilience and potential of these young survivors and aimed to renew their aspirations, encouraging them to pursue fields that hold the promise of a limitless future. Through this collaboration with LOSEV, I hope to inspire even more young minds to explore the wonders of STEAM and the prospect of a career in it.

Initiatives like this are crucial in fostering an early love for science and creativity, laying the foundation for a generation of informed and empowered individuals. This journey towards a brighter, more inclusive future is a collective mission that calls for the involvement and support of the entire community. Together, we can create a world where every child, regardless of the challenges they've faced, has the opportunity to explore, learn, and grow through the wonders of STEAM.

Bridging Generations: Reflecting on Two Inspiring Educational Engagements

In a world where education plays a crucial role in shaping the future, I recently had the privilege of interacting with young minds at two high schools. My journey started at Pendik International Girls' Anatolian High School in Istanbul, where I was invited to participate in the TÜBİTAK Science Talks. Later on, I visited my former school, Manisa Fatih Anatolian High School, where my visit became more personal.

At Pendik International Girls' Anatolian High School, I was greeted by a room filled with young, eager faces, all keen to explore the realms of science and technology. The importance of STEAM education in fostering independence and shaping the futures of these young women cannot be overstated. By diving into fields like science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics, these girls are not just preparing for careers; they're paving the way for their independence. As I shared my academic and professional experiences, I saw my own past curiosity reflected in their eyes. Their insightful questions probed not just the facts but the challenges of the scientific journey, especially in developing countries. We discussed the importance of perseverance, the thrill of discovery, and how science shapes our future. It was an important reminder of the transformative power of education.

I visited Manisa Fatih Anatolian High School, where I once studied, to give back to my school. Different from the earlier one, this visit wasn't part of any official program; it was something I organized. During my visit, I shared my scientific research and post-graduation experiences with the current students. The visit gave me an opportunity to inspire, give back and connect with the next generation of students. It was a moment to reflect on the place where my own aspirations took flight.

These visits, though different in nature, were united by the common thread of learning and inspiring. At Pendik International, it was about sowing seeds of curiosity and ambition, in a setting that champions the empowerment of young women through STEAM education. At Manisa Fatih, it was about nurturing those seeds in the place where mine were once sown. Reflecting on these experiences, I'm reminded of the responsibility and joy of connecting with young minds. These visits were not just about imparting knowledge, but about creating a bridge between generations, a continuity of the quest for knowledge and excellence, which I will continue as much as I can.

As I move forward, these experiences will remain etched in my memory, a testament to the ongoing journey of learning, sharing, and inspiring. Here's to more such enriching encounters, to more learning, and to the shared journey of shaping the future.

Encouraging Young Minds for STEAM Education at European Researchers Night

In the bustling corridors of Ataturk University in Erzurum (Turkey) taking place on 29 - 30 September, a spark of creativity and science was kindled by Dr. Gokce Kor Bicakci during the vibrant European Researchers’ Night 2023. With a profound commitment to the “Science from Nature to your Table - Sci-NURTURE (ID: 101061699)” Project funded by EU, Dr. Bicakci showcased the wonders of science through the engaging world of STEAM—fostering an early fascination in the minds of the young.

Dr. Bicakci's approach to STEAM activities is hands-on, immersive, and filled with discovery. Participants from all ages had the joy of experiencing unique STEAM activities, where children delved into experiments that made colors dance in milk and balloons expand without air. They witnessed water rise with a simple candle—each activity a lesson wrapped in delight.

The activities were not mere fun but a testament to the ingenuity of engineering and the beauty of the arts. Dr. Bicakci believes in the power of these practical demonstrations to lay the groundwork for a lifelong love of learning. As Dr. Bicakci looks to the future, her vision is clear—continuing to ignite curiosity and innovation through the RADIOPREFOLIS project. Her sessions are designed to be accessible to all, ensuring that children and the general public can grasp complex concepts like the reduction of micropollutants in wastewater in a simple and enjoyable manner.

Dr. Bicakci's sessions are more than just a learning experience—they are a call to action for the young minds to think critically and creatively about the environment and their future within it.

For detailed information:
👉 https://scinurture.atauni.edu.tr/radiofrepolis/

Sharing Insights from the RADIOFREPOLIS at CEST2023 Conference

Dr. Gokce KOR BICAKCI presented her research paper at CEST2023

It's always a commendable accomplishment when a researcher is invited to share their findings at a global platform. Recently, Dr. Kor Bicakci took the stage at the 18th International Conference on Environmental Science and Technology (CEST 2023) in Athens, presenting some of the findings from RADIOFREPOLIS project. Her research paper was entitled as "Assessing the effect of an innovative radio frequency sludge pretreatment on removal of pharmaceuticals of ibuprofen and diclofenac in advanced anaerobic digestion” (ID: cest2023_00169).

For those unfamiliar with the legacy of CEST, it began its journey in 1989. CEST has evolved into a leading environmental conference where the brightest minds, including experts, scientists, entrepreneurs, public administration members, and social initiative leaders, converge to share state-of-the-art research on pressing and emergent environmental issues. This conference stands as a testament to the fusion of academic and industry insights, where the ideas pave the way for a cleaner, healthier, and more sustainable future.

Moreover, CEST ensures that the scientific outputs of the conference is documented and accessible. Majority of the presented papers find their way into the esteemed CEST proceedings (ISSN 2944-9820). For those interested in tracing the lineage of research at CEST, the proceedings are available and the CEST2023 book of abstracts can be downloaded from CEST2023 website.

The ethos of CEST2023 is particularly noteworthy. Announced amid global shifts from linear economic models to circular economy and bioeconomy, this edition of CEST prioritized these paradigms, integrating them into its session planning and side events. The CEST2023 event was a great success: gathering 60 participating countries from all over the world. During CEST2023, 47+ sessions and 5+ side events were organized and over 450+ oral/poster papers were presentedalong with 18 invited and keynote speeches.

The impact of CEST isn't merely quantified by its increasing participants. Its scientific relevance is evident in its citation index. As of October 2022, CEST papers published from 2007 to 2022 in special issues of collaborative journals have been cited a staggering 7220 times, boasting an h-index of 49. Given the conference's focus on water-related research, it aligns perfectly with IWA's interests and upholds the quality criteria of IWA supported events.

Igniting Young Minds: A Fascinating Journey through STEAM Activities

Dr. Gokce KOR BICAKCI visited local preschools introducing children to a myriad of STEAM activities and have fun

One of the key pillars of any research should be nurturing many more into the science and research. As part of the RADIOPREFOLIS, Dr. Kor Bicakci aimed at nurturing young minds' curiosity for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM). In the recent months, she had the pleasure of visiting three local preschools, introducing children to a myriad of STEAM activities.

Dr. Kor Bicakci brought science to life with a series of engaging experiments. The young minds witnessed the dancing colors in magic milk, learnt how yeast works by inflating balloons without air, and observed the incredible effects of pepper and soap interaction.

Children also had a hands-on experience in creating a color density tower and experimenting with a candle that resulted in rising water. They had the opportunity to serve as little firefighters, extinguishing flames with carbon dioxide, and creating fireworks in a jar, safely of course! They separated colors with magic paper, investigated the chemical properties of red cabbage, and created wriggly paper worms.

Engineering principles were illustrated in fun activities like making a CD Balloon Hovercraft. The children also delved into the fascinating world of technology by learning how to separate pepper from salt using simple techniques, and how to make a scuba diver float in a bottle.

Arts was interwoven in these activities as children created a washing soap powered boat and made a fish float on paper. They brought gummy worms to life by making them dance, and learned the amazing science behind making a lava lamp at home.

The captivating magic skittles rainbow experiment demonstrated a colorful integration of science, arts, and mathematics. The children saw firsthand how the principles they learned were applied practically and excitingly.

The enthusiastic participation and excitement in the children's eyes provided reassurance about the promising future of STEAM. These hands-on activities were not only fun but educational, sparking an early interest in these significant fields. As an extending activities, the children has completed the painting of the great Marie Curie drawing from My Super Science Heroes -Marie Curie and the Power of Persistence.

Dr. Kor Bicakci firmly believes that introducing children to STEAM concepts at a young age fosters a deep appreciation and curiosity that can guide their future learning path. She is looking forward to more visits, spreading the joy of learning, and igniting the spark of innovation in our future leaders.

A big thank you to the preschools for welcoming Dr. Kor Bicakci into their classrooms and to the children for their delightful engagement. Your curiosity and creativity are a testament to the bright future of STEAM! Stay tuned for more STEAM adventures with Dr. Kor Bicakci.

Click here to see the colorful Marie Curie paintings done by amazing children!


H2020 Info Days - 2019

17th May 2019, Istanbul

TUBITAK, with the collaboration of the European Commission and Boğaziçi University, organized the “Marie S. Curie Actions Roadshow”  in İstanbul (May 17th, 2019).

Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) under Horizon2020 EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation contribute to excellent research, boosting jobs, growth and investment by equipping researchers with the new knowledge, skills and international and intersectoral exposure to fill the top positions of tomorrow and solve current and future societal challenges. The MSCA thrives by being open to all domains of research and innovation addressed under the treaty on the functioning of the European Union. These are chosen freely by the applicants in a fully bottom-up manner. During the roadshow, detailed information about the contributions of Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) to the European Research Area, future objectives and the upcoming calls of 2019 – 2020 were presented.

Representatives from the European Commission delivered presentations on MSCA - Individual Fellowships (IF), Innovative Training Networks (ITN), Research and Innovation Staff Exchange (RISE) and Co-funding of Regional, National and International Programmes (COFUND). Also, testimonials from MSCA-IF Fellows and expert viewpoints from EC project evaluators were presented during the Infodays. Moreover, for the first time, the Marie Curie Alumni Association (MCAA) Turkish Chapter also had a session to introduce its initiatives in the Turkish Research Area.

Gokce Kor Bicakci delivered a session on “How to Succeed in Getting an MSCA Individual Fellowship?” to help the researchers willing to go abroad (to European countries or non-European ones) for research purposes or to reintegrate/visit Europe Research Area (from 12 to 24 months); research institutions willing to invite high qualified researchers were informed about how to make use of MSCA-IF call.

Download "How to Succeed in Getting an MSCA Individual Fellowship?" Presentation



Istanbul Chamber of Industry (ISO) 2018 Environment Awards

Dr. Gokce KOR BICAKCI received the ISO 2018 Environment Award, organized by the Istanbul Chamber of Industry

The ISO 2018 Environment Award in academician category was presented to Dr. Gökçe Kor Bıçakcı by the Istanbul Technical University rector, Prof. Dr. Mehmet Karaca and the Chairman of the Board of Directors, Erdal Bahçıvan. Gokce Kor Bicakci has been given the award for her research titled as "EFFECT OF MICROWAVE PRETREATMENT ON REMOVAL OF ANTIMICROBIAL TRICLOSAN DURING ANAEROBIC SLUDGE DIGESTION". The study of Gokce Kor Bicakci among with highly respected four other academicians were awarded this year, who added significant value to the ecosystem with their academic publications in the field of environment. The award ceremony held on 30 November 2018 at Istanbul, Turkey by the participation of Minister of Environment - Mr. Murat Kurum and several key members of academia, business and industry organisations.

Istanbul Chamber of Industry has been offering support to its members regarding environment-related issues since 1990. The chamber carries out its activities in the fields of training, consultancy, opinion-formation, environment projects, carbon footprint, waste management, mining and non-sanitary enterprise licenses, occupational health and safety, and forestation.

ISO initiated the environment awards in 1995 in an attempt to protect the environment, use energy and raw materials more efficiently, produce less waste, and encourage environment-friendly production practices. The tradition continues under the name “Environment and Energy Awards” since 2014. The ISO 2018 Environment Awards have been given after selective evaluation of the several researches and industrial projects on "environment friendly products", "reducing energy and raw material consumption" and "improving sustainability and environment management".

ISO 2018 Environment Awards in Turkish



German Water Partnership (GWP) Award 2017

GWP Prize in Next Generation Waste Water Treatment for Gokce Kor Bicakci

Gokce KOR BICAKCI received the GWP Award, which was organized by the German Water Partnership to support young experts in the field of water and wastewater. The award ceremony held on 2 November 2017 at Eskişehir, Turkey during 7. Turkish-German Water Cooperation Days. This event were organized by the German Water Partnership and the General Directorate of Eskisehir Water and Sewerage Administration (ESKI) and the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization also supported.

The prestigious award has been given after selective evaluation of the researches about "Concrete solutions to challenges in the operation and optimization of water and wastewater treatment plants and their infrastructure within the next 5 year". GWP Award was presented to Gökçe Kor Bıçakçı by Hans Joachim Werner, President of GWP Turkey Forum.

Gokce Kor Bicakci has been given the award for her research titled as "Effect of microwave pretreatment on removal of triclosan during anaerobic sludge digestion and biosolids quality for land application". Kor Bicakci’s study has been supervised by Dr.Eskicioglu, leader of UBC Bioreactor Technology Group and Dr. Cokgor from Istanbul Technical University Environmental Engineering Department.

Gokce Kor Bicakci's GWP Award has been featured on UBCO's website and ITU (Istanbul Technical University) Vakfi magazine.

İTÜ Vakfı Dergisi, Dosya: Yükseköğretimde Kalite, Ocak-Mart 2018, Sayı: 79, Page:110

Research conducted at UBC Okanagan Recognized by German-Turkish Water Organization