Melis Onel is a rising fourth year Ph.D. candidate in Dr. Pistikopoulos’ group. Her research focuses on solving challenges related to energy, environment, and healthcare via big data analytics, machine learning and optimization. Specifically, Melis aims to develop effective dimensionality reduction/feature selection algorithms so as to create valuable insights from big data. The outcome of her work generates optimal data-driven models and frameworks that can be used to detect desired/undesired conditions for chemical processes, diagnose conditions from key variables, predict future states of a key variable or process, and prevent undesired consequences. As part of this effort, she has developed a data-driven framework for fault detection and diagnosis that aims to deliver an online decision support tool for chemical process monitoring, control, and optimization. By enabling real time advanced decision making, her research plays a crucial role for wide range of scientific fields.
Upon receiving B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees in Chemical Engineering from Bogazici University, Melis has been pursuing her Ph.D. at Texas A&M University under the supervision of late Dr. Floudas and Dr. Pistikopoulos. During her doctoral studies, Melis has participated in the 12th installment of “Critical Assessment of Techniques for Protein Structure Prediction (CASP)”, a worldwide experiment for protein structure prediction, and represented her group in the worldwide collaborative effort, called WeFold. In these extensive experiments, she has successfully implemented her expertise on data-driven modeling, and global optimization in bioinformatics setting. Additionally, Melis is a key member of the Data Science Core team of the Texas A&M University Superfund Research Program, where she is working on the development of descriptive models and tools that can predict possible hazardous effects of chemical exposure during environmental emergencies and produce robust solutions to mitigate the negative effects on human health. She has authored/co-authored 5 publications, and presented in 8 national conferences and symposiums.
Aside from her technical background, Melis has served as a founding member and the internal outreach lead of the Texas A&M Energy Research Society (TAMU ERS) where she has contributed in the organization of inaugural and second TAMU Conference on Energy, and establishment of the TAMU ERS Spotlight Series. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, playing tennis, reading, and traveling.