Dr. Ahmet Can Sabuncu, Hunt Institute Fellow

Ahmet Can Sabuncu, Hunt Institute Fellow, teaches Mechanical Engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. His teaching interest is on mechanical engineering design and thermal-fluids engineering. Dr. Sabuncu is eager to bring real-world experiences to his students using collaborations with industry, start-up companies, or using an idea that involves the pain points of stakeholders. His research and professional interests are on engineering education research on laboratory-oriented courses, renewable energy, and the development of biomedical devices from idea to market. Dr. Sabuncu is eager to discover next-generation workforce skills and to educate the next generation of engineers who will carry industry 4.0 forward considering the needs of the global world.

In Toys with Wings: Creating Value through Collaborative Entrepreneurial Mindset Learning (EML), Dr. Sabuncu and his team use EML to, “…students develop entrepreneurial thinking and empathy by intentionally seeking to create an educational toy with a potential societal value.” Their findings are students discover opportunities and insight with these hands-on problem-solving exercises.

His most recent research focuses on the development of bioelectric sensors for tissue and cell diagnostics. The sensor uses bioimpedance measurements in the broadband frequency range to obtain a dielectric data of superficial tissues. These sensors can be effective in determining the locations and severity of lesions. Currently, he is testing this technology on intestinal tumor tissues in collaboration with the Massachusetts General Hospital. He is also working on linking cell and tissue impedance spectra to cellular function and structure. In addition to these, he has developed metallic electrodes with fractal topology to enhance dielectrophoresis, whose applications include biological cell separation and nanoparticle manipulation.

When asked what motivates him to do impact work, Dr. Sabuncu answered, “I want to create value for the developing world with my research.”

Preciously, he instructed senior design and biomedical engineering-related courses at Lyle School of Engineering. Dr. Sabuncu is working on low-cost and energy-efficient urban farming technologies in collaboration with the Hunt Institute. His research expertise includes the use of microfluidics and micro&nano sensors for biomedical applications such as single-cell manipulation and cancer diagnosis. The techniques he uses are bioimpedance spectroscopy, dielectrophoresis, microfabrication, micro-particle image velocimetry, finite element, and Monte Carlo simulations.

Dr. Sabuncu holds a Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering from Old Dominion University, a Master of Science in Aerospace, Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering from Istanbul Technical University, and a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Yildiz Technical University.

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