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Aselsan Academy: A New Industry-Academia Partnership Model

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2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

October 19, 2019

Conference Session

College Industry Partnerships Division Technical Session 3

Tagged Division

College Industry Partnerships

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Paper Authors


Mehmet Çelik Aselsan Inc., Council of Higher Education of Turkey

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Mehmet Çelik graduated from Middle East Technical University (Turkey), Department of Mechanical Engineering in 1989. He obtained his M.Sc. and PhD degrees in the same department in 1991 and 1997, respectively. During that time, he had worked as a teaching assistant. In 1995-1996, he had studied as a research scientist at Ohio State University. Between 1998-2010, he had worked in ASELSAN MST/REHİS as Mechanical Analysis Manager, Test Unit Manager and Senior Lead Design Engineer. In 2010, he was appointed as a full-time professor at KTO Karatay University. He served as the Head of the Department of Mechatronics and Mechanical Engineering Department, Vice Dean and Director of the Institute of Science at this university. Then, he had worked as a Vice President of TUBITAK (Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey) between 2015 and 2017. He has become a member of TÜBA (Turkish Academy of Sciences). He was appointed as the Vice President of ASELSAN-Defence Industry, responsible from Technology and Strategy Management, in 2017. In 2018, he was appointed as a Higher Education Council Board Member and currently serves as the head of University-Industry Cooperation Committee. Recently, he has been appointed as a member of the Science, Technology and Innovative Technology Policies Committee of the Presidency.

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Acceleration in the pace of technological advancements forces defense industry to rapidly adopt to the modern warfare requirements and keep up with the latest available technologies in a highly competent market. Additionally, increasing costs, a more multipolar world order and new types of threats necessitating new technologies, products and processes renders industry-university collaborations a must, not a choice. In this paper, we present a new model for a direct industry-university partnership program, Aselsan Academy, formed by Aselsan Inc., biggest defense contractor in Turkey, and 4 major Turkish research universities: Gazi University, Gebze Technical University, Istanbul Technical University and Middle East Technical University. The state-approved graduate program offers M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees to Aselsan employees in the fields of electrical, computer, mechanical, and materials engineering. Lectures are held in the main campus of Aselsan Inc., given by academic staff of the four universities and Ph.D. employees of the company. Thesis topics are set in parallel to the technological roadmap of the company; by the employee, his/her managers, principal supervisor in the university and a Ph.D. co-supervisor from Aselsan. Graduate work of the employees is aimed to solve problems and/or develop cutting edge products, methods and technologies directly related to employees own projects and responsibilities in Aselsan. During the studies, the students are allowed to have 17 hours/week (paid) for their graduate studies and also encouraged to participate in conferences and other academic events. After completion of the studies, students are awarded diplomas from the partner universities. Currently, at its second year, there are more than 300 employees enrolled to the program working on a broad range of topics such as: 5G networks, electro-optic systems, new generation radars, artificial intelligence, machine learning, smart materials and composite ceramics. In Aselsan Academy, we aim to form a sustainable industry-academia collaboration model to develop next generation defense systems and technologies.

Çelik, M. (2019, June), Aselsan Academy: A New Industry-Academia Partnership Model Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--32108

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