Derman Vatansever Bayramol – Namık Kemal University 

Researcher Links Travel Grants Recipient 

Research Topic: production of energy harvesting polymeric filaments and 3-D fabric structures for wearable applications.

In the 21st century, it is vital that we promote and start generating energy that is environmentally friendly and sustainable

I want to start by expressing my gratitude to the Newton-Katip Çelebi Fund for providing me with the opportunity to undertake research in the UK. I was in the UK for twelve weeks during the summer pursuing research at the University of Bolton. I want to share some of my personal and professional experiences from the UK. 

Before heading to the UK, I searched and found out about the host family practise and decided to have this experience of living with a British family to familiarise myself with the British culture. I was lucky to live this experience through a friendly and hospitable family.

I also want to share with you a few of the reasons why I chose the University of Bolton for my research visit. The team at the university was composed of leading researchers from different backgrounds with multidisciplinary works. The vision of the colleagues in the university not only from UK but also from Hungary, Greece, France, India and Pakistan enabled me to strengthen my research endeavour as well as to expand my international network. Future collaboration opportunities were also discussed and plans for further partnerships were made so that we can combine the experiences of colleagues from both institutions to produce noteworthy projects. 

Another important factor that drew me to the University of Bolton was the availability of equipment and the enhanced facilities for research.  I was able to use equipment that I needed, such as compounder, melt extruder, fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, differential scanning calorimetry and a scanning electron microscope. These tools were crucial for examining some of my preliminary findings. I was also trained by the colleagues on the use of some of the equipment that I was not familiar with. This was an invaluable skill which I will also train colleagues at my home university. 

My research primarily focuses on producing environmentally friendly and sustainable energy. Harvesting energy from renewable natural resources has become increasingly significant as people become more concerned by climate change. The effects of climate change have a direct negative impact on nature and the living conditions of humans which make green energy ever more important for the world. The correlation between increasing the standard of living in developing countries, which requires a high level of energy consumption, and decreasing its negative impact on the environment needs to be harmonised. The day to day living necessities of humans, such as heating, driving, cooking etc. require energy that is mostly generated by the use of coal, gas, fuel or electricity. The burning of gas and fuel accelerates environmental damage and significantly contributes to global warming. In the 21st century, we are well equipped to start generating energy that is environmentally friendly and sustainable. It is critical for developing countries to start using green energy methods to advance their economies and fulfil the energy needs of their public. 

My research is twofold. First we attempted to produce piezoelectric filaments and use this in the production of 3D spacer fabric that enables it to become piezoelectric. Piezoelectric material is one that has the ability to produce electrical energy by applying mechanical force or applying electrical energy to generate mechanical force. These materials can be found in the environment and with the proper techniques and material produced, green energy from the environment may be the outcome. 

We were able to produce such materials and successfully tested it in the laboratories at the University of Bolton. The results showed that electricity generating fabrics were producible. Through further collaborations we plan to work on ways to increase the energy output from these types of produced fabrics.  These materials can then be used to harvest energy in all sorts of applications, cheaply and renewably, decreasing environmental damage and allowing the expansion of energy to greater portion of the population. 

In Turkey, in line with the growth in GDP per capita, the consumption of energy is increasing and will continue to increase in the coming years. Harmonising growth with sustainable practises is essential for eco-friendly development. The research we conducted will pave the way forward in which green energy can be utilised in greater amounts to slowly replace conventional energy generation practises. Providing cheaper energy will function to increase the overall wellbeing of the public and specifically work to increase the standard of living for the disadvantaged segments within the greater society. At the same time, reducing carbon emissions will lead to better atmospheric conditions and decrease the health hazards caused by pollutants in the air. Finally, this project will have a direct economic benefit to Turkey because a new sector will be created that requires a labour force with basic skills; increasing employment opportunity for sections of the society that are not qualified for other jobs. 

I can say that the grant has been very helpful in building collaborations between Namık Kemal University and University of Bolton. We currently have two other project plans that we have decided to collaborate on. We also aim to publish the findings of this research visit in academic journals and share our results at various relevant conferences. 

I would like again express my sincere gratitude to the British Council staff for their assistance and understanding. They tracked each and every step of the grant; informed and updated me about changes and reminded me of the deadlines. It could not be better than this. Thanks Newton-Katip Çelebi Fund!