Umit Ozkan

Professor of Chemical Engineering, Ohio State University
Go to her Profile

"Success is a journey. Enjoy the journey."

INTERVIEW DATE August 18, 2011
HER JOB Professor of Chemical Engineering, Ohio State University
Engineering Careers
Chemical |

When I was growing up, I loved math and science, especially chemistry. Chemical engineering seemed like a good way of combining the two.

Umit Ozkan, Ohio State University

ADDEDThursday, August 18, 2011

  • Q
    Describe what you do in your current work situation?
    A
    I am a professor of Chemical Engineering. I teach undergraduate and graduate classes. I do research in heterogeneous catalysis.
  • Q
    Why did you choose engineering?
    A
    When I was growing up, I loved math and science, especially chemistry. Chemical engineering seemed like a good way of combining the two.
  • Q
    Where did you go to school and what degree(s) do you have?
    A
    I have B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. degrees all in chemical engineering. B.S. and M.S. degrees are from Middle East Technical University in Turkey, my PhD is from Iowa State University.
  • Q
    What kinds of activities have typically been part of your work?
    A
    We do research in areas that are related to energy and environmental protection. Some of our recent projects involve developing precious-metal-free electrocatalysts for PEM fuel cells, producing hydrogen from bio-derived liquid and reducing NOx emissions from stationary sources.
  • Q
    What do you like best about being an engineer?
    A
    Being an engineer requires continuous learning. It also requires being creative and resourceful in solving problems. I like both of these aspects.
  • Q
    Which of your career accomplishments are you proudest of?
    A
    I had many talented students work in my laboratories and obtained Ph.D. degrees. I am always very proud of their accomplishments more than my own,
  • Q
    What challenges have you met and conquered in your pursuit of an engineering career?
    A
    I started at Ohio State at a time when engineering was still considered "non-traditional" for women. Being a "first" sometimes posed challenges.
  • Q
    Please tell us a little about your family.
    A
    I am married. My husband is also a professor (same university, different departments). We have a cat.
  • Q
    What are your short-term (1-2 years) and long-term (10+ years) goals?
    A
    Continuing my research in areas that are relevant and important and making a difference in those areas.
  • Q
    What (or who) had/has the greatest influence on your life choices?
    A
    My parents encouraged me to pursue my dreams. I think that was the most important influence in my life choices.
  • Q
    What advice would you give to a young woman considering a career in engineering?
    A
    Choose an area you feel passionate about and stick with it. At the same time, learn how to be flexible and handle change.
  • Q
    Quote
    A
    "Success is a journey. Enjoy the journey."
  • Q
    Any other stories or comments you would like to share with EngineerGirl visitors?
    A
    Success is a journey. Enjoy the journey.
  • Q
    Describe something about your life outside of work: your hobbies, or perhaps a favorite book.
    A
    I enjoy watching French movies and trying to improve my French. I like spending time with animals.