- Izmir, Turkey
An active and dedicated IEEE volunteer, Levent Onural has expanded IEEE’s mission of advancing technology for the benefit of humanity around the world. Dr. Onural’s first major accomplishment was founding the IEEE Turkey Section in 1989. Where others had previously failed due to required high-level government approval at that time in Turkey, Dr. Onural’s persistence paid off as he navigated the difficult course to successfully establish the section. As director of IEEE Region 8 (2001-2002), which is comprised of Europe, the Middle East and Africa, Dr. Onural dealt with many issues including the sensitive issue of U.S government sanctions against certain countries that prevented IEEE from holding section activities in some countries in Region 8, or from publishing technical papers of authors from these countries. Dr. Onural saw this as an affront to IEEE’s mission and was instrumental in driving IEEE to work with the U.S. government to resolve the issue in IEEE’s favor. Dr. Onural’s dedication to student education was exemplified as Region 8 Student Activities Committee chair (1995-1998) and as vice chair of student activities for the IEEE Regional Activities Board (1998-1999), initiating many strong programs that increased the number of student chapters in Region 8 and around the world, improved the quality of student membership and promoted member retention. Dr. Onural was elected IEEE secretary in 2003 and developed modifications to the IEEE constitution that were critical to ensuring its long-term stability.
An IEEE Fellow, Dr. Onural is currently Professor and Dean of Engineering at Bilkent University in Ankara, Turkey, where he has taught since 1987.