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Last modified: Monday, March 24, 2008

H. Öner Yurtseven

John W. Ryan Award for Distinguished Contributions to International Programs and Studies

Dean, School of Engineering and Technology, IUPUI; Professor of Electrical Engineering
School of Engineering and Technology
Indiana University- Purdue University Indianapolis
Appointed to IU faculty, 1977
B.S.E.E., Middle East Technical University, 1967
Ph.D., The Johns Hopkins University, 1974

"The students themselves, Malaysia's next generation of engineers, have gotten an enormous boost. The leadership of Öner Yurtseven has been responsible for a rapid pace of accomplishment."

--Doris H. Merritt, Professor Emerita, Indiana University School of Medicine

Every year, more than 100 IUPUI alumni in Malaysia anxiously await a tea party that arrives in a box. The box, sent from Indianapolis, travels more than 9,000 miles overseas and is accompanied by the arrival of a special guest, Öner Yurtseven.

H. Oner Yurtseven

H. Öner Yurtseven

Print-Quality Photo

This annual "Hi Tea" in Kuala Lumpur is a celebration for alumni of the Universiti Tenaga Nasional engineering program in Malaysia, a program built by the vision and hard work of Öner Yurtseven, dean and professor of electrical and computer engineering at the Purdue School of Engineering and Technology at IUPUI.

Over the last three decades, Yurtseven has been ambassador and cartographer of the enormously successful relationship between IUPUI and Malaysia, a relationship that has given IUPUI a firm place on Malaysia's map.

The IUPUI Malaysia Program and its related projects prepare engineers for Malaysia's rapidly expanding economy. Dean Yurtseven has been the driving force in creating a presence in the educational marketplace of Southeast Asia and in increasing the international profile of the School of Engineering and Technology.

"Öner Yurtseven has made the School of Engineering and Technology a model for the transformation of a domestic operation primarily serving commuters to a truly international center of learning, international diversity, and exchange," says Tim Diemer, director of international services and clinical assistant professor of organizational leadership at the School of Engineering and Technology.

An international expert in electrical engineering, Yurtseven was selected to lead the school as dean in 1996 after serving in several administrative roles since he joined the IUPUI faculty more than 30 years ago. He served as assistant and then associate dean for academic affairs from 1979 to 1990, as associate dean for engineering from 1990 to 1992, as associate dean for academic programs from 1992 to 1994, and as provost of the IUPUI Malaysia Program from 1994 to 1996.

Before coming to IUPUI, Yurtseven taught at the Middle East Technical University in Ankara, Turkey, where he earned his undergraduate degree in electrical engineering. Before his position in Turkey, Yurtseven taught at Johns Hopkins University, where he received his Ph.D. in electrical engineering and which he attended on a Fulbright Scholarship. He has been a consultant and researcher for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the MUCIA-Institutional Excellence Program in Pakistan, United Nations development programs in Turkey, and the Union Carbide Corporation in Indianapolis.

He has published many important articles on engineering education, signal processing, control systems, and robotics. He is a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, the Robotics and Automation Society, and the American Society for Engineering Education. He is on the editorial boards of World Transactions on Engineering and Technology Education and Global Journal of Engineering Education. He serves as program evaluator for the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, ABET, Inc.

"He is tireless in his efforts to promote learning in the global context," says William M. Plater, Chancellor's Professor and director of the Office of International Community Development. "He negotiated one of the first credit transfer agreements between the University of Malaysia and an American university. He led in the establishment of a brand new private university established by Tenaga Nasional Berhard, the nation's electric company. In so doing, he created a network of respect and trust that has continued to serve Indiana University well."

Yurtseven's commitment to the school's global climate goes far beyond his long-term projects with Malaysia. The percentage of international students enrolled at the School of Engineering and Technology has more than doubled since Yurtseven became dean, and he is enormously supportive of the faculty's international programs and international recruitment efforts. The school now has formal articulation agreements with number of universities in Canada, China, France, Germany, Malaysia, Thailand, and Turkey for two-plus-two programs, as well as student and faculty exchange. "Under his leadership, international opportunities for IUPUI students have grown dramatically," says Nasser H. Paydar, IU East interim chancellor.

In 2007, Yurtseven received an honorary doctorate in engineering from the Universiti Tenaga Nasional in Malaysia. "It is one thing for the IU community to say the program was successful," says Paydar. "It is quite another for the host institution itself to recognize the contribution with the award of its first honorary degree."