International Member
Dr. H. Polat Gülkan
Dr. H. Polat Gülkan
International Member
Professor, Baskent University
Ankara, Turkiye
More Info
  • 2023
  • Civil & Environmental Engineering
More Info
  • 2023
  • Civil & Environmental Engineering
More Info
  • 2023
  • Civil & Environmental Engineering
Election Citation
For improving earthquake safety of buildings and seismic resilience worldwide.
Biography

Prof. Dr. Polat Gülkan

Currently at Başkent University Department of Civil Engineering

(Until Statutory Retirement, Professor at Middle East Technical University,

Department of Civil Engineering, Ankara, Turkey)

 

Dr. Polat Gülkan spent the bulk of his academic career at the Civil Engineering Department of Middle East Technical University (METU) from 1971 until he retired. While at METU, he served as the Director of the Earthquake Engineering Research Center and the founding Director of the Disaster Management Research Center. He assumed the responsibility of engineering deanship of Hacettepe University Faculty of Engineering between 1982-86, and was a visiting professor at the University of California, Berkeley and Purdue Universities. He worked as a chief consultant at Basler & Hofmann Consulting Co. in Zurich, Switzerland. He is associated with the Rose School at the University of Pavia, Italy.

Professor Gülkan is an earthquake and structural engineer and has been active in many areas within the scope of global risk reduction since 1971. He is a Professional Engineer (PE; C-30455) in the state of California. He served in various capacities at the International Association of Earthquake Engineering (IAEE) between 1996 and 2016, and between 2010 and 2014 he was its president. He has served Turkish Atomic Energy Authority for many years as a consultant in the site selection studies of Akkuyu and Sinop Nuclear Power Facilities. He contributed to the preparation of various editions of the Turkish Building Earthquake Regulation, prepared under the coordination of AFAD, the national authority for resilient buildings. The latest version has entered into force on 1.1.2019, where he was a Working Group Coordinator and as a member of the Coordination Committee that produced the final text.

Between 2007 and 2013, Gülkan was the editor-in-chief of “Earthquake Spectra”, one of the leading professional journals in the field of earthquake engineering and listed in the SCI Core Table. He also currently serves on the editorial boards of eight international journals.

Professor Gülkan's professional work was awarded with "NATO Science Prize" (2004) and subsequently with the TUBITAK Science Award (2007). He was also conferred the title of "Honorary Member" of the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI) in 2012. Professor Gülkan was elected as an IAEE "Honorary Member" at the 16th World Earthquake Engineering Conference convened in Santiago (Chile) in January 2017. In February 2023, he was elected a member of the American National Academy of Engineering (NAE). The same year, 2023, he was elected as member of the Science Academy in Turkey.

Mr. Gülkan has been involved not only with the purely technical aspects of earthquake engineering, but also with the broader horizon of disaster risk mitigation. In this regard he has served in many UN agencies (UNDP, UNIDO and UNDRO) and associated programs such as IDNDR, ISDR and the Sendai Framework, the World Bank and several EU programs. He spearheaded a seminal examination of the building development system in Turkey, where the poor performance of the building stock at large is the visible tip of a massive iceberg composed of legislation, standards, regulations and professional guidelines complemented by legal loopholes, local government shortcomings and urban planning weaknesses. The flaws of this imperfect system have most recently become confirmed by the disastrous losses incurred during the triple earthquakes in February 2023 in the southcentral provinces of Turkey.

His scientific works are included in articles, book chapters, encyclopedia articles and 350 papers and reports. He is the author and editor of 6 books. A survey of his professional achievements may be viewed at https://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en&as_sdt=0%2C5&q=polat+g%C3%BClkan&btnG=.

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Employment
  • Baskent University