INTERVIEW QUESTIONS – ANSWERS
Birol Kilkis Ph.D. Fellow ASHRAE
1. Would you give a brief biographical sketch of your life (Place and date of birth, family size, early schooling, higher education, employment background outside of the HVAC industry, current family—spouse, children)?
I was born in Ankara in 1949 as the only child to an air force officer-judge and a mother of dietician of the Red Crescent. I attended Sarar Primary School and Ankara College. I graduated from Ankara College High School in 1966 with high distinction (9.15/10). The same year has entered the Mechanical Engineering Department of Middle East Technical University (METU) and received with B.Sc. degree in 1970 with high honors. During my M.Sc. studies in the same department, I have attended the prestigious von Karman Institute on Fluid Dynamics and Aerodynamics and graduated with High Honors Diploma in 1972. In 1977, I have received my M.Sc. Degree and in 1980 my Ph.D. Degree from METU. In 1981 I was awarded a TUBITAK Encouragement Award. I was employed at METU as an assistant, instructor, Asst. Professor, Associate Professor, and Professor until 1991. In between, I used my sabbatical leave for two years at Gannon University, Erie, PA. and became a contractor to the US Department of Energy. Between 1991 and 2008 I was in the USA at Heatway Radiant Company with a capacity of Director of Research and served several ASHRAE Technical Committees and was the head of Section 6. I worked at Baskent University between 2009 and 2018. Very recently I have resigned from that university with my own will. Currently, I am the President of Turkish Society of HVAC and Sanitary Engineers (TTMD), an associate society of ASHRAE. I am married and have two children
2. What attracted you to engineering and the HVACR industry?
My M.Sc. thesis was about CAD of heating systems of Buildings. With my supervisor, Prof. Dr. Bilgin Kaftanoglu, we developed the first full-coverage and fully functional computer code in Fortran Language to calculate the thermal loads and the heating systems and equipment in the World. This attracted me instantly to the HVAC World and Energy.
3. What was your first experience in the HVACR industry and where did it lead?
I applied my computer code to several public buildings
4. Describe the industry at that time. What were the challenges that you and your colleagues were facing?
In those years, load calculations and system selection were so limited to boiler, radiators, fan-coils at most. It was quite standard with no much room for RD and innovation.
5. How and when did you get started in ASHRAE?
I Became a member in 1988.
6. Do you have any participation in any committee of ASHRAE?
I have been in more than 20 technical committees, standards committees at capacities of Chairperson, Secretary, Chair of sub-committee etc. I have founded TC 7.4 Exergy. Currently, I am a member of 3 committees and one standards committee.
7. When did you get a Fellow grade and what was your target in getting involved in ASHRAE?
In 1996, ASHRAE to me is a second home for the technical evolvement of the World and true decarbonization using new principles of Exergy that we have developed.
8. Which projects did you completed related to HVAC-R and Are there any project planned for future related to HVAC-R sector?
I was the lead mechanical designer of several Green buildings both in the USA and Turkey. One of them is Eser Building in Ankara, the first LEED platinum building with the highest score ever obtained.
9. What are your opinion about Turkish HVAC sector and its future?
Currently, the HVAC sector is more or less in a cut and paste mode, unfortunately. We need to change that with domestic and national R and D efforts, fundamental research and theory, national and domestic production, and exergy-aware green applications with novel combinations, with international collaboration on a mutually beneficial and well balanced platform.
10. HVAC related courses offered in universities in Turkey Is it enough? What can be done to diversify courses related to HVAC and to increase students’ interest in the HVAC sector?
Not enough at all. Higher Education Board of Turkey needs to focus on this subject matter with collaboration with academia, industry, building and energy sector.
11. The Turkish Society of HVAC and Sanitary Engineers (TTMD) was founded in 1992 with the purpose of developing the HVAC Engineering. You have been serving as the 13th Term President of the Turkish Association of HVAC Engineers since March 25, 2017. As the president of the association, what are the projects you are aiming to achieve and What you have accomplished so far for the development of the HVAC industry?
Along with Domestic and National efforts, TTMD is a true pioneer in International cooperation like the ASHRAE, REHVA, ABOK, India, Pakistan, Iran, Mediterranean Countries and more. We are the Associate Society of ASHRAE, which gives us several privileges like publishing ASHRAE publications in Turkish. We aim to strengthen our international relations while keeping a good balance with national establishments. For example, recently we signed an agreement of Cooperation with TTMD, which I am one of the very early members of TIBTD and was the editor of the Journal for several years,
12. What has ASHRAE meant to you personally?
A well balanced international cooperation with a common goal
13. What advice would you give to a young person entering the HVACR field?
Become active members of all related societies
14. What do you think the ASHRAE Turkish chapter should do to help the Turkish HVAC industry?
TTMD and the Chapter have different tracks and positions in ASHRAE. A close cooperation is possible but we need to work on it more. The chapter may foster more interest in the HVACR sector and building sector with TTMD, TIBTD, and all other societies within its scope and responsibilities strictly defined by ASHRAE.
15. Evaluated in terms of duties and responsibilities, how should be the relationships with ASHRAE Turkish Chapter and TTMD, and how can it be improved? Is it possible to realize common projects between the institutions?
Personally speaking, I am very motivated for a close cooperation for the benefit of our future and the World in the perspective of Global Warming (not climate change).
16. Any other comments you would like to make?
Cooperation, cooperation, and good will no personal feelings. We do not have such a luxury.