Priorities:Istanbul Technical University Faculty Project

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Project Name: LET’S: Leaders in Engineering and Technology

Project by Faculty Innovation Fellows Candidate Zeynep Erden Bayazit

Why is this project important to you, your department, & your Fellows?

İTU GİNOVA was founded by faculty members of the Management Engineering Department with a mission of being the meeting point for entrepreneurship and innovation on İTU Campus. We have worked with faculty members from other departments, yet the extent of this has been limited to those who were early adopters . We have been the champion for the entrepreneurial mindset but, the Center has been perceived as mainly a place for supporting start ups at the ideation level. Now, there is an opportunity to expand this. At the same time this will help increase the ownership of the Center by all academics. While the fellows will be working on the engagement at the student level, I will take on the responsibility to improve academic engagement around the future of İTU, which will, also ensure the sustainability of the change projects UIF fellows will be working on.


With the pandemic, the challenge for academics to adapt to the new ways of teaching has arrived. Before, it was part of the future, now it is here. With the UIF program and the support of UIF fellows, we can create a new conversation on Campus towards the future of İTU, and start conversation around the need for innovative ideas for HE, and create a more engaged academic community.

The project will aim to:

  • Envision the future for engineering education at İTU
  • Create new thought leaders on Campus
  • Increase engagement
  • Improve innovative skill sets of academics

To achieve these, there will be a series of cross disciplinary workshops. The methodology will be design thinking. ‘How might we improve the engineering education experience at ITU?’, will be the problem statement.

The workshops will begin by debriefing on the future of the universities (digitalization, changing role of the Universities, the need for socially engaged engineers, practice versus theory).

By going through the steps of empathize, define, ideate, prototype, the workshops will help equip participants with tools for innovation, as well as create a cross disciplinary community. The insights, ideas will be shared on the project’s website.

Once these initial workshops are completed, participants will be asked to come up with Personal Application Projects, which they will test/implement with their own students.

The outcomes of PAPs will, also, be shared on the website to showcase Best Practices.

Stakeholders served

  1. Junior Academics (Assistant/Associate Professors)
  2. PhD Students
  3. ITU Management

Key Milestones

  • December 2020: Launch (November), promote the Workshop series
  • March 2021: Series of workshops (monthly, Wednesdays-DT)
  • June 2021: İnsights (publish on website)
  • September 2021: Personal Application Projects
  • December 2021: Outcomes of the PAPs
  • March 2022: Exhibition of the results on website.

An Innovation Portfolio

The workshop highlights and insights from the workshops will be shared. There will be profiles of the selected participants (cases). PAP results will be shared.