The liquid electrolyte in the battery of our smartphones (ionic liquids), the insulin pump used for a diabetic patient (biotherapeutics), the bacteria that reproduce in the rice from yesterday's meal (thermophilic proteins) are all common examples of condensed matter. We have made significant progress in understanding the isolated bulk behavior of these materials. However, their rational design and optimization for practical applications rely on gaining a fundamental level understanding of how these materials behave in complex environments: where environmental perturbations alter their response, the material itself perturbs its environment, and the interplay between these coupled interactions give rise to interesting behavior. This poses new questions to our understanding. Our research goal is to advance the current fundamental knowledge on the structure and dynamics of condensed matter, focusing on systems relevant to emerging problems in biotechnology and energy. We aim to do this using tools and techniques derived from statistical mechanics with the aid of computer simulations, data science, and modern numerical methods, when appropriate, combined with principles from diverse disciplines of experimental science. We ultimately aim to design optimized structures and systems for targeted applications using the fundamental level knowledge we obtain.
Betul Uralcan is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering at Princeton University and a Fellow of Polymer Research Institute (PRC). She received her B.S. in chemical engineering in 2013 from Bogazici University, and her Ph.D. in chemical engineering from Princeton University, USA in 2018 under the supervision of Pablo G. Debenedetti. Betul continued her postdoctoral studies at Princeton until she joined Bogazici University. In 2019, she was the recipient of the TUBITAK 2232 International Felloship for Outstanding Researchers.
December 2021: Dilara Saadetnejad successfully presented her PhD proposal.
February 2022: Duygu Kaya, Ayse Saliha Korkut and Sabri Hakan Sakallioglu successfully completed their Master's Degrees in Chemical Engineering.