Skip to main content


International Women's Day 2023 Profile: Dean Gul Kremer

For International Women’s Day 2023, we are sharing conversations with international women who are part of our UD community. Gul Kremer is Dean of the School of Engineering at UD. 

Tell us a little about you and your background. What inspires you?

I was born in Tekirdağ, Turkey, and went to a boarding school in Edirne starting at age of 11 – this is a point in my life, I started learning English. My second language is German, which I studied for about six years. 

I grew up as the oldest child of my parents, who were dedicated high school teachers. Those who are children of teachers know what that means. I consider myself to be a continuously learning human with many trusted advisors, including my brother (an M.D.), my sister (an architect), my husband (an engineer) and my son (a future engineer and an M.D.).

I have given my years to design engineering teaching and research, purposefully and lovingly. Design is at the core of all engineering thinking and practice. I enjoy the richness of design contexts with many fundamental questions to explore. My research interests span a broad spectrum-- from reading neurophysiological signals to understanding gender stereotypes to using decision sciences and machine learning for defect detection in support of sustainability.  The best part of research is that it provides a stimulating context for collaborating with gifted students and colleagues.

What does it mean to you to be a global citizen? 

I am not sure this is a Boolean adjective for a person! It might be more of a continuum where one grows through actions of curiosity and openness for interactions with all people close and far. Such actions bring the delight of new tastes, new meanings, and new ways of connecting and thinking. 

Engineering has been a wonderful vehicle supporting my journey on this continuum. My work took me to many magical locations, including Dublin, Cartagena, Querétaro, Bergen and Qingdao. There is engineering everywhere, on the Great Wall, in the Bugattis at the Automobile Museum in Alsace. Some hear me say “Engineers make the world,” and indeed we do.

How have you engaged with global learning, both here and abroad? 

Over half of the doctorate holders in engineering are foreign-born*, like me. Naturally, in my years as an engineering faculty member I not only interacted with engineering faculty members across the world but also was privileged to advise graduate students from India, South Korea, China, Taiwan, France and Turkey. I also taught in Turkey, in France and in Ireland through sabbatical or Fulbright assignments.  I feel lucky to have current research collaborators with roots in Bangladesh, China, Iran, Netherlands, Poland, South Korea, and Turkey.  While teaching abroad or through advising my graduate students, I continue to learn. 

How do you promote global and intercultural learning in your area?

Over the years, I have served on the organizing committees for international meetings, including PASI on Manufacturing Innovation through Sustainable Design and Intensive Program on Sustainability Management & Technology. Such meetings bring together talented researchers and engineers, who normally do not benefit from face-to-face conversations on important topics. Being at the same table and breaking bread connects them strongly, providing pathways for mutual understanding and compassion. I would like to continue to be a catalyst for bringing people together for interdisciplinary research to benefit the world. 

What do you want your students to learn about the world? Why, in your opinion, is that important?

There is good everywhere. Curiosity and openness are needed to see it. Open minds support open hearts; open hearts support peace and prosperity for all. 


Previous Post

International Women's Day 2023 Profile: Karren Gunalan

International Women's Day 2023: Meet Karren Gunalan
Read More
Next Post

Building peace, creating dialogue

The story of a group of "rebels" imagining a more just future
Read More