Wednesday 01 December 2021 to Thursday 16 December 2021

We are going to host our sixth session of the Turkey Higher Education Talks webinar series to talk about the importance of research partnerships to tackle the impacts of climate change. We will host the respected project owners of two valuable Newton Fund projects and discuss the importance of research partnerships to overcome the challenges in climate change and the role of grant programmes in their research.

The topic of the webinar is Creating Sustainable Future Through Research Partnerships.

Climate change is one of the most serious global threats and a priority for many countries including the UK and Turkey. Through Newton Fund, the British Council has been supporting research projects about tackling the negative effects of climate change. Researchers from Turkey and the UK have been working together in joint projects on different areas to minimise the harmful effects of industrialisation and create new ways to cope with critical changes.

In this session, we will focus on two Newton Fund projects:

1. Reducing CO2 Emissions with New Green Concrete

Researchers from the University of Bradford, UK and Hacettepe University, Turkey have created a new low-cost ‘green concrete’ made entirely from recycled construction waste. This project won 2020 Newton Prize Award.

2. Knowledge Transfer and Capacity Building for Sustainable Water Pollution Management in Bursa, Turkey

A joint project of University of Birmingham, UK and Bursa Technical University aims to create new methodologies in management of water resources, in cooperation with local authorities.

Project owners will share detailed information about their projects and answer the following questions: 

  • What is the impact of their project on the climate change?
  • How did they benefit from their partnership? 
  • What was the role of Newton Fund grants in enabling their research? 
  • How can similar research projects be sustainable and create an impact?

Join us on Thursday, 16 December at 15.00 (TR time) – 12.00 (UK time). The webinar will be held in English and the panel members will answer your questions during the live session. 


Prof. Ashraf Ashour, Professor of Structural Engineering, University of Bradford

Ashraf Ashour is a Professor of Structural Engineering at the University of Bradford, received his PhD from Cambridge University, a Fellow of the Institution of Structural Engineers (FIStructE) and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA). He was the Director of Research and Knowledge transfer (2016-2018) and Head of the Civil Engineering Department (2007-2012).

Ashraf has extensive research experience in the development of sustainable construction materials and their use in structural engineering. He was ranked among the top 2 per cent scientists in Civil Engineering in accordance with the global database produced by Stanford University. He published more than 250 papers in highly reputable journals and international conferences in structural engineering and reinforced concrete. He recently received UNESCO Newton Country Prize in 2020 for his work in developing sustainable materials.

Prof. Mustafa Sahmaran, Professor of Civil Engineering, Hacettepe University

Dr. Mustafa Şahmaran is currently working as a professor with the Department of Civil Engineering at Hacettepe University. His specialties include the resource efficiency and circular economy of building products, recycling industrial and natural waste products into useful building materials, new generation multifunctional composites including additive manufacturing in construction, carbon capture, smart cities and low-cost and high-speed accommodation to vulnerable groups (e.g., refugees and earthquake survivors). Dr. Şahmaran has authored or co-authored over 200 technical publications in his career, including more than 100 refereed journal papers. He received the Province of Ontario Fellowship in 2007, Turkish Academy of Sciences Distinguished Young Scientist Award in 2012, The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey’s Young Scientist Incentive Award in Engineering in 2014, The American Concrete Institute (ACI) Wason Medal for Materials Research in 2018, and UNESCO Newton Country Prize in 2020.

Dr. Soroosh Sharifi, Assistant Professor of Water Engineering, University of Birmingham

Dr. Soroosh Sharifi is an Assistant Professor of Water Engineering at the University of Birmingham. His main area of expertise is hydroinformatics, where he uses various physical and numerical techniques to model complex hydro-environmental systems. His current research focuses on modelling sediment and pollution transport in rivers and catchments, developing nature-based flood mitigation approaches, optimising sustainable urban drainage networks and developing low-cost water and wastewater treatment technologies.

Dr. Babak Vaheddoost, Assistant Professor in Hydraulics and Water Resources Management, Bursa Technical University

Dr. Babak Vaheddoost is an Assistant Professor in the field of hydraulics and water resources management at Bursa Technical University. His expertise is in watershed hydrology, drought assessment, hydro-climatology, groundwater, advanced mathematical simulation and statistical analysis. He is now working on several topics including, the salinity intrusion in the coastal areas, historical drought in Aegean Region, and water quality assessment in Bursa.

Moderator: Erhan Yavas, Newton Fund Manager, British Council Turkey

Erhan Yavas is working as Newton Fund Manager. He is responsible for the management of Newton Fund Programme and other joint research programmes in Turkey on behalf of the British Council. Previously, Erhan worked in research and innovation focused companies in a managerial capacity and as a consultant.

Click here for registration.