MIT’s Bilge Yildiz Has Been Awarded the Rahmi M. Koç Medal of Science

Bilge Yildiz, the Breene M. Kerr (1951) Professor and professor of nuclear science and engineering and materials science and engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has been awarded the Koç University Rahmi M. Koç Medal of Science. The award recognizes scientists of Turkish origin younger than 50 who have made outstanding contributions to their fields. It’s given to people from various disciplines, from biological and physical sciences and engineering to social sciences.

“It’s an opportunity for people in Turkey to get to know about my work and my story,” Dr. Yildiz said. “I’m also hoping that this motivates young students, that it shows them what’s possible no matter where you come from.”

Professor Yildiz’s lab today works on a huge array of projects, all centered on the movement of charged atoms in materials. They include human- intelligence-inspired computer processors; fuel cells, which convert hydrogen and oxygen into electricity; and electrolysis, which uses electricity to cause chemical reactions — for example, to produce hydrogen and other useful industrial chemicals. She recently contributed to a NASA project to turn the carbon dioxide in the Martian atmosphere into oxygen.

Professor Yildiz earned a bachelor’s degree in nuclear energy at Hacettepe University in Türkiye. She holds a Ph.D. in nuclear engineering from MIT. Dr. Yildiz conducted postdoctoral research in electrochemistry and research at the Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois.

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