Ilker Tonguc Telci, doctoral candidate in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) at Georgia Tech, is the recipient of the prestigious Hydro Fellowship award. He is one of fourteen recipients recently selected bythe Hydro Research Foundation, Inc. to receive this outstanding honor. Each fellowship is valued at approximately $94,000 awarded over a two‐year period of study. The awards are made possible by a $3M four‐year grant from the Wind and Waterpower Technologies Program of U.S. Department of Energy. This year's recipients represent eleven universities from ten states. Currently, the program funds twenty-three students at fifteen universities.
Ilker's research entitled "Renewable Energy Production from Water Distribution Systems" investigates the recovery of energy used in water distribution systems designed to satisfy consumer demands throughout the world. He states, "Water distribution systems are the infrastructures designed to satisfy demands at the outlet nodes as adequate pressures are maintained throughout the network. These systems inevitably work under excess energy conditions because it is extremely difficult to maintain target pressures due to periodic expansion of the systems." His study proposes a methodology for the design of optimal energy recovery systems for water supply networks and provides an efficient tool for the assessment of renewable energy potential in water distribution systems.
Georgia Senator Saxby Chambliss personally congratulated Ilker for this honor stating, "This is a great accomplishment and reflects your sincere commitment to yourself and academia. You should be very proud, and I commend you for your hard work. The hope and future of our great nation lies in the hands of people such as you. I wish you the very best of luck in all of your future endeavors."
In 1999, Ilker earned a BS from the department of Civil Engineering at the Middle East Technical University in Ankara, Turkey. Upon graduation, he continued his studies as a master's student in Hydromechanics within the same department and worked as a research and teaching assistant. He earned his MS in 2002 with a master thesis proposing a methodology to predict the downpull force acting on vertical gates installed in the intake structures of hydroelectric power plants. Ilker began his doctoral studies at Georgia Tech in 2006 under the advisement of CEE Professor Mustafa Aral. He currently works as a graduate research assistant and is a member of the Multimedia Environmental Simulations Laboratory (MESL). His previous studies in MESL focused on optimal design of real-time water quality monitoring networks in river systems. Also, he proposed a methodology to determine the location of contamination in river systems utilizing water quality monitoring data. His recently proposed research project concentrates on the assessment of renewable energy potential in water distribution systems and methods to design an optimal energy recovery system.
The Hydro Fellowship program is designed to stimulate new student research and academic interest in research and careers in conventional or pumped‐storage hydropower. Established in 1994, the Hydro Research Foundation is an independent non‐profit corporation under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. The Foundation has two principal objectives: (1) to facilitate research; and (2) to promote educational opportunities related to hydropower. Additional information about the Hydro Research Foundation is available on line at: www.hydrofoundation.org.