The study of alternative aviation fuels consumes most of Gozdem Kilaz’s work days at Purdue. And the knowledge she gleans often makes it to her son’s second grade classroom.

He proudly announced one day, when answering a science question, that Indiana is known for its “miles and miles of jet fuel growers.” And it is. The corn stalks left in the ground after harvest can be used to create fuel for cars, trucks and even airplanes.

With a background in chemical engineering, Kilaz’s work at Purdue as a post-doctoral researcher has centered on alternative fuels, especially those planned for use in aviation. She currently fills the role as chief scientist for AIR TIES (Air Transport Institute for Environmental Sustainability) headquartered in the Department of Aviation Technology.

A new fellow in the Laboratory of Renewable Resources Engineering (LORRE) in the College of Engineering, she is constantly making connections with faculty across campus to enrich her research and the body of knowledge available for students.

“Our college has brilliant, skilled and hardworking students. They deserve a great education. As faculty, we have to take bold actions in transforming the Technology curriculum,” she said.

That is Kilaz’s motivation as a Purdue Polytechnic Institute Faculty Fellow.

She hopes to develop a course in aviation sustainability with an emphasis on lifecycle analysis. The course would include knowledge from a variety of Purdue faculty and their academic disciplines. The study of sustainability incorporates knowledge from economics, social sciences and environmental sciences.

Ph.D. in chemical engineering, Purdue University
M.S. in chemical engineering, Bogazici University, Istanbul, Turkey
B.S. in chemical engineering, Bogazici University, Istanbul, Turkey