Burcu Beykal is a third year Ph.D. student in Dr. Pistikopoulos’ group, and she is working on big data analytics, specifically focusing on data-driven modeling and global optimization of constrained grey/black-box models. Grey-box systems are usually complex, where they are characterized by expensive finite-elements, partial differential equations and high-fidelity models. The global optimization of such models using deterministic methods is often challenging, since the calculation of the derivatives is subject to high noise and/or computational expense. Motivated by this, Burcu is working on finding computationally efficient methods for the constrained global optimization of complex systems via creating tractable approximations using surrogate modeling. She is also extending her research towards several different classes of optimization problems such as multi-objective optimization, bi-level optimization and dynamic optimization. Due to widely applicable nature of her research, she has been involved with many research projects in varying fields of engineering and sciences. She has worked on oil production optimization and control, energy systems design, food-energy-water nexus and currently working on modeling biomedical and environmental systems for the Superfund Research Program.
Burcu is from Istanbul, Turkey and she received her B.S. in Chemical and Biological Engineering from Koc University. During her undergraduate studies, she worked on developing MEMS sensors for measuring the density and viscosity of supercritical fluids under the advising of Dr. Can Erkey. After graduating Koc University with honors, she joined Dr. Meagan Mauter’s group at Carnegie Mellon University for her M.S. degree in Chemical Engineering. In her Master’s, she investigated the interaction of biological foulants with charged electrode surfaces for the characterization of fouling dynamics in capacitive deionization electrodes. Thereafter, she joined Texas A&M in Fall 2015 and started her Ph.D. studies with Dr. Christodoulos Floudas. After Dr. Floudas’ passing away, she joined Dr. Pistikopoulos’ group where she is continuing her studies on the global optimization of data-driven systems. She had a chance to present her research at various conferences including the AIChE and the World Global Optimization Congress. Additionally, she is currently serving as a journal reviewer for Computers & Chemical Engineering and as the President of Texas A&M Energy Research Society. In her free time,
Burcu enjoys swimming, skiing, cooking and watching sports.