Dr. Eda Yildirim-Ayan, associate professor and undergraduate program director in The University of Toledo Department of Bioengineering, received the Council on Undergraduate Research Engineering Division Mentoring Award for Undergraduate Research Mentoring.
The national award recognizes mentors who have influenced undergraduate research through direct mentoring of individuals or groups of undergraduate students in engineering research.
“I love teaching and mentoring engineering undergraduate and graduate students,” Yildirim-Ayan said. “That is the reason I chose to be at a public research university rather than working in the industry. I have such a rewarding job because faculty can create meaningful change in students’ lives and guide them through their career.”
Yildirim-Ayan’s research focuses on the interface among biomimetic design, biomanufacturing, cellular processes, biomaterial sciences, biophysics and mechanobiology. She has mentored more than 25 undergraduates and coauthored nine peer-reviewed journal articles with undergraduates.
She also established course-based undergraduate research experiences as well as a two-semester Freshman Design course to provide preparation and research projects involving ideation and entrepreneurship for students early in their college career.
“It is a great feeling that your effort and time in mentoring undergraduate students in research are recognized not only at the college level but at the national level as well,” Yildirim-Ayan said. “I am honored and looking forward to working with more students who are interested in research.”
Yildirim-Ayan earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering at Ege University in Turkey, a master’s degree in mechanical engineering at Izmir Institute of Technology in Turkey and a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering at Drexel University.