Scientific Community of Turkey Honors Selim Ünlü


TÜBİTAK, the leading funding and promoting source of the scientific community of Turkey, has awarded Professor Selim Ünlü (ECE) the TÜBİTAK Special Award for his significant contributions to the advancement of universal science.

The Special Award is reserved only for Turkish scientists living abroad and, along with the TÜBİTAK Science Award, is Turkey’s highest award given for scientific achievement. According to TÜBİTAK, Ünlü was recognized for “significant contributions to research at the international level in optical electronics and nanotechnology, specific high-performance photo detectors, near field scanning microscopy and hi-resolution subsurface microscopy fields.”

“I am honored to receive this highly prestigious award,” Ünlü said. “It’s a great feeling to be recognized by the scientific community of my home country.”

Ünlü will be recognized at a ceremony at Turkey’s Presidential Palace in Ankara later this year. A native of Sinop, Turkey, Ünlü was nominated for the award by his longtime collaborator, Bilkent University Professor Ekmel Ozbay.

The award, as described in the nomination process, is based in part on his work on five publications: “Resonant Cavity Enhanced (RCE) Photodetectors” (1991); “Resonant Cavity Enhanced Photonic Devices” (1995); “Near-field Optical Beam Induced Current Measurements of Heterostructures” (1995); “Beam Divergence of Waist Measurements of Laser Diodes by Near-field Scanning Optical Microscopy” (1997); and “High Spatial Resolution Subsurface Microscopy” (2001). Details of his research and publications can be found at the Optical Characterization and Nanophotonics Laboratory website.

Ünlü’s work in optoelectronics and nanotechnology extends over two decades. He was named a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers in 2007. Long active in the IEEE, he is an associate editor for the IEEE Journal of Quantum Electronics and served as chair of its Laser and Electro-Optics Society, Boston Chapter, which won the LEOS Chapter-of-the-Year Award in 1994 and 1995. Ünlü has served as founding chair of the IEEE/LEOS technical subcommittee on nanophotonics and past chair of its technical subcommittee on photodetectors and imaging.

Ünlü was selected as a LEOS Distinguished Lecturer from 2005 to 2007 and Australian Research Council Nanotechnology Network Distinguished Lecturer for 2007. He won a National Science Foundation Research Initiation Award in 1993, a United Nations TOKTEN award in 1995 and 1996, and both the National Science Foundation CAREER and Office of Naval Research Young Investigator awards in 1996.

Ünlü joined Boston University as an assistant professor in 1992. He was named the College’s Associate Dean of Research and Graduate Programs in 2007. He received his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Turkey’s Middle East Technical University in 1986 and his master’s and doctoral degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois in 1988 and 1992.