Prof. Erkin Seker's Wins 2020 Graduate Studies Distinguished Graduate and Postdoctoral Mentorship Award!

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Please join us in celebrating Prof. Erkin Şeker as a 2020 recipient of the Graduate Studies Distinguished Graduate and Postdoctoral Mentorship Award!

This university-wide award by the Graduate Studies acknowledges Şeker’s outstanding service to mentorship at UC Davis. His current and past graduate students and postdoctoral mentees, as well as Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Graduate Student Association (GSA) officers, nominated Şeker for his multi-faceted efforts in mentoring the trainees in his research group, vitalizing the ECE GSA, advising graduate students on professional and personal matters, developing a new course to guide incoming ECE graduate students, and leading university-wide collaborations to develop novel mentorship approaches.

His dedication to academic and professional development of graduate students and postdoctoral researchers is evidenced by personal experiences described in the nomination letter. His trainees highlighted Şeker’s talent in “assessing the strengths and weaknesses of his students and giving enough independence to utilize their strengths, while at the same time providing enough mentoring to improve upon weaknesses” and “leading by example and providing a nurturing environment to grow”. The students stated that Şeker “maintained extremely high ethical standards” and “helped his mentees develop communication skills, creativity in problem solving, independent and critical thinking” while “humbly performing experiments side-by-side with his students at the initial stages of their lab work”. The trainees further commented on Şeker being “a fantastic advisor for research but also a great mentor for life” and “proactive in ensuring that trainees maintain an appropriate work-life balance”. The ECE GSA officers described Şeker’s dedication “to help every ECE graduate student and bring the community together” and his enthusiasm “to know about the students’ feedback on overall graduate program to make the program better”. Şeker’s mentorship extended well beyond a trainee’s residence at UC Davis, described by a former student as Şeker “continuing to be an outstanding mentor through the promotion of his career and constructive advice to improve his own mentoring abilities.”

Prof. Erkin Şeker, an associate professor and graduate program chair of electrical and computer engineering at UC Davis. Şeker joined the UC Davis College of Engineering faculty in 2011. He is actively involved with several graduate programs and leads the highly-interdisciplinary Multifunctional Nanoporous Metals Lab, which studies nanoscale material properties and innovates micro-/nano-fabrication techniques. In collaboration with researchers across UC Davis, his group simultaneously translates this knowledge to engineering molecular biosensors, miniature drug delivery devices, multifunctional neural interfaces, and organ-on-a-chip platforms.

Şeker previously received an NSF CAREER Award and NIH Trailblazer Award, participated in National Academy of Engineering’s Annual Frontiers of Engineering Education Symposium, and was selected as a BMES Cellular and Molecular Bioengineering Young Innovator.  He served as an Associate Scientific Advisor for Science Translational Medicine journal and he is on the Editorial Board for Annual Review of Biomedical Engineering.

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