Women and Family Research and Application Center


Istanbul Ticaret University Women and Family Application and Research Center organized a conference with the participation of FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) graduates. In the program, graduates, who have participated in FRC and graduated from Istanbul Ticaret University, made speeches and shared their experiences. Their speeches, in which they talked about the contributions of the FRC to their lives, the successes they achieved and their failures during FRC process, the effects of the F11C on their choices of professioni and their suggestions to the teams that will participate in FRC, attracted the attention of the young audience.

The Conference started with the opening speech of Ms. Güllü Sonakalan, Istanbul Ticaret University Women and Family Application and Research Center specialist. Stating that the previous two trends in the field of entrepreneurship involved women and micro-credits, Ms. Sonakalan emphasized that young people can have a great impact on the global economy in today’s communication society in particular, thereby representing the third wave in the field of entrepreneurship.

Ms. Sonakalan emphasized that Istanbul Ticaret University attaches great importance to studies in the field of technology and informatics and supports the studies of young people in these fields. FRC graduates took the floor following Ms. Sonakalan, and shared their experiences.

Enis Getmez (the youngster who received a ‘thank you letter’ for finding the security vulnerabilities of Google and Facebook)

I, Enis Getmez, work on autonomous vehicles. My interest in software started in elementary school. In the later period, I continued to improve myself in this field. This is how I came across the FRC event organized by the Fikret Yuksel Foundation in Turkey. With the talents I acquired through FRC, I was able to win awards in many software competitions in Turkey. I have developed projects in artificial intelligence and biotechnology, and have been granted awards also in these fields by many international institutions. These day, I am occupied with my own artificial intelligence (AI) startup company.

Alex Francis Burchard 

I, Alex, spent a huge amount of time on computers before I participated in FRC. I have not always been successful. Even at times when I failed, I did not stop and continued to work. After coming across the FRC, I really enjoyed what I did. I participated in many competitions afterwards. After a short stay in Istanbul, which I came to visit, I loved this city very much and thought that I should live here. I came to the conclusion that I should ensure the spread of the FRC in Turkey’s all 81 provinces. We established the Fikret Yüksel Foundation to support and spread the FRC, which Dede (The “Grandfather”) Fikret Yüksel also attaches great importance to. Together, we are doing great work there.

Kağan Kapıcıoğlu

I graduated from Bahçeşehir University Industrial Engineering and Mechatronics Engineering Departments. I am currently doing my Master’s in Mechatronics Engineering at Sabancı University. My interest in the field of robotics has continued without interruption since the beginning of my high school years. I have participated in many national and international robotics and project competitions, and achieved various degrees in different fields. My interest in robotics was further increased after I came across FRC while in 9th grade. In addition to actively participating in FRC competitions while in 10th and 11th grades, my relations with FRC continued also after I graduated within the capacity of an FRC mentor. Designing and running robots that have many functions and fulfill certain tasks during a six-week period constitutes a great opportunity for a student. In this regard, FRC is an event that furnishes students with engineering skills and real business life experience. In fact, I, as well, have seen a lot of benefits of having participated in FRC in my professional life. I have contributed to the growth and spread of, and the awareness on, the FRC community, by forming and mentoring FRC teams in many parts of Turkey.

Dilan Nehir Altıparmak

I am a first year Electrical and Computer Engineering student at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. My journey with robotics started in the 5th grade, and continues since then for the last 10 years. I participated in hackathons, and national and international robotics competitions, and achieved various awards in these events. I assumed leadership and engineering roles in FRC teams which I came across while I was in high school. Thanks to FRC, I gained a lot of technical knowledge and received a full scholarship from the university I am currently enrolled in.

Alper Dokay

I am Alper Dokay, enrolled in Computer Engineering program at Eskişehir University. During my high school years, our interest in robots led my friends and I us to participate in the FRC event organized by the Fikret Yuksel Foundation. Consequentially, we have been granted the Rookie All Star award, and with that award, we have earned the right to compete in America. Thereafter, I improved myself in the field of software, and developed numerous software projects. As a matter of fact, the lottery codes available on the packaging of the products you currently buy are created with the software I developed.