My name is Serap Ozmen and I am a second year PhD student in Energy and Power. Also, I am one of the Energy and Power PhD representatives of the Energy and Power Department and President of the Cranfield University Turkish Society.

Can you tell me about your PhD
My project is about applying artificial intelligence on gasification of waste plastic to produce hydrogen. I am now setting up a gasification reactor meanwhile creating a machine learning model by using MATLAB.

Why did you choose to study this course at Cranfield?
The main reason was there was a project which has almost the same topic with the project that I want to study during my PhD. Then, I searched for the university and my supervisor. As there are so many advantages at Cranfield as a PhD student and the supervisor of the project is so passionate on his field, I decided to come and study here.

How did you become interested in this field?
I have a scholarship from the Ministry of Education of Turkey and according to this scholarship I need to work on Chemical and Process Engineering. I graduated from Chemistry department in Turkey and I did my master on Sustainable Chemical Engineering at Newcastle University. For my PhD I wanted to focus on mostly process engineering. Also, as artificial intelligence become more popular in all fields, I wanted to include AI to my project. Basically, my project aims to find a solution for plastic pollution and improve hydrogen production with artificial intelligence. That is why I believe I have a fantastic project.

What have been some of the highlights of your course?
One of the highlights of my project is the laboratory facilities on campus. I am setting up a new reactor for my project, and all people around me are quite helpful not only my supervisor but also technicians and other students.

Can you tell me some more about the Turkish Society?
The aim of the Cranfield University Turkish Society is to assemble Turkish members of Cranfield University in order to improve academic and social network and enhance relationship with other members who are interested in Turkish culture.

I was the president of Newcastle University Turkish Society during my master’s degree. When I start my PhD at Cranfield University, I have realised that there is no Turkish Society in there. So that, I have met other Turkish students and ask them if they are interested to set up a Turkish society with me. Then, we had an election and I became the president of the society.

It is hard to say the number of the members of the society because membership is not allowed during Covid-19 (it is same for all societies). However, I can say that we have (generally) around 25 Turkish people (student, academic and staff) (from Cranfield and Shrivenham campus) who attend our meetings. I’m sure there are more and we hope to contact them soon.

How has your experience at Cranfield been so far?
My experience is quite positive so far. I really like the campus. The most important point of mine about the university is that when I need help for something, I can find a way to solve my problem easily all the time. I believe this is because there are no undergraduate degrees in Cranfield.  All academics and staff have time to fix their students problems, even if they are quite busy.

What aspect of your course or time at Cranfield did you find most enjoyable?
Cranfield was my first choice of my PhD application process and I never feel regretful for being here. On the contrary, I feel very grateful. Interaction with tutors/supervisors and students are great. I can find a solution easily when I need help with anything. The part of Cranfield that I have found most enjoyable is that all the members of the university are quite helpful and they all really like to be there. You can learn something useful from anyone you speak to.

How have you found the combination of face-to-face and online learning?
I can say it is quite useful if you have a good study space in your home. Online learning has so many advantageous. You can record the meeting/courses and listen them again when you need. Apparently, face-to-face learning is quite different than online learning but I can’t say it is more effective. I believe online learning is much better for this generation.

What is the best thing about being a Cranfield student?
The best thing about being a Cranfield student is the opportunities that we have as a Cranfield student. The university has a strong relationship with the industry. You can easily contact the companies, and this would help your future career to find a job. Also, as I am working in the lab, I would like to add that the facilities of the university are great. You can have anything that you need to use for your project.

This year, Cranfield University and the British Council are offering one scholarship of £10,000 for a Turkish student applying an MSc in energy, agrifood, environment, water or design. Find out more.

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