Congratulations to Asst. Prof. Özen Nergis Dolcerocca, Asst. Prof. Didem Unat and Asst Prof. Mehmet Cengiz Onbaşlı for winning the prestigious ERC Starting Grants from the European Commission at Koç University this year.

Here is brief information about the winning proposals:

1)           Özen Nergis Dolcerocca (Assistant Professor, Comparative Literature) is supported for an action titled “NONWESTLIT: Modernizing Empires: Enlightenment, Nationalist Vanguards and Non-Western Literary Modernities”, with a requested budget of 1.45M EUR. This project “is a comparative study of cultural reforms, linguistic renewal and literary renaissance movements in three imperial traditions, caught between the East-West divide: Russia, Turkey and Japan.”

2)           Didem Unat (Assistant Professor, Computer Engineering) is being supported by ERC for her proposal titled “BeyondMoore: Pioneering a New Path in Parallel Programming Beyond Moore’s Law”. She requested a budget of 1.5M EUR, to address the post-Moore’s Law crisis in the field of computer programming. Her proposal is offering a way out of the crisis by offering “an autonomous execution model that is more scalable, flexible, and accelerator-centric by design”. In the alternative model to be explored by Dr. Unat, “accelerators have autonomy; they compute, collaborate, and communicate with each other without the involvement of the host.”

3)          Mehmet Cengiz Onbaşlı (Assistant Professor, Electrical and Electronics Engineering) requested a budget of 2.5M EUR for his ERC action titled “SKYNOLIMIT: Ultralow power and ultra-wideband spintronics near thermodynamic limits”. The project aims to experimentally demonstrate ultra-wideband, ultralow-power and non-volatile logic circuit architectures that operate based on nanoscale spins called magnetic skyrmions. Interestingly, Dr. Onbaşlı is also addressing the post-Moore’s Law era, this time from a more physical take on computational elements.

All three of our ‘Starting’ grant project proposals have been approved for funding, representing a total funding level of 5.5 Million Euros.  The three Koç University ‘Starting’ Grants are the only grants approved by the ERC at Turkish universities in this round and with these additions, Koç University is now hosting 16 out of 31 ERC grants retained at Turkish universities.

The fact that two of the winners are women faculty members also makes us greatly proud of our institution. We are truly proud of our faculty winning these grants in the context of these very tough European-wide competitions. We wholeheartedly congratulate all of them!