Association of British Turkish Academics (ABTA) started its 2012-2013 season with its third annual lunch on 6th of October, 2012. Following up on a series of impactful activities over the last year, ABTA (Association of British Turkish Academics) successfully organized its third annual lunch at University of Cambridge this year.
ABTA 2012 Annual Lunch took place on 6th of October, Saturday, at University Arms in the city of Cambridge, UK. The annual lunch event and trip was attended by 124 academics from diverse disciplines, universities, and cities in the UK. The exciting day of activities, running from 12.00 until 19.00 celebrated ABTA’s third year. The theme of the meeting this year was "Reaching and Sustaining Excellence in our Teaching, Research, and Service". University of Cambridge, which has celebrated its 800+ years in academic excellence, was chosen as the perfect venue to reflect on excellence in research, teaching and academic service.
The event organized at the city of Cambridge attracted more than 120 academicians across the UK. Turkish and non-Turkish academicians joined the event from other cities and universities across the UK including London, Southampton, Northampton, Norwich, Leicester, Loughborough, Manchester, Newcastle, Cardiff, Leeds, and Oxford.
ABTA members enjoyed delicious cuisine, warm conversations, and new friendships over lunch and coffee on a rare bright and sunny day in Cambridge. 1
The event was introduced by Dr. Ozgur Yazaydin from University of Surrey; followed by greetings and welcome messages from Dr. Oktay Urcan; one of the founders of ABTA. Dr. Urcan of London Business School shared brief remarks on how Association of British Turkish Academics (ABTA) was born, the idea and vision behind it, and ABTA’s contributions to academic communities of the UK and Turkey.
Prof. Nicholas Postgate; Professor of Assyriology at the Department of Archaeology and Anthropology at the University of Cambridge; offered a very warm welcoming speech to ABTA members. Prof. Postgate talked about his archeological research on Sumer social and economic history conducted in Kilise Tepe, in Mersin in Turkey and shared some of the most memorable stories about the Turkish culture, Turkish language, and people while he stayed and worked there. Prof. Postgate mentioned the work being done at the University of Cambridge to re-offer Turkish language courses after some years.
After the welcome speeches and remarks, participants enjoyed a delicious lunch with a mesmerizing live guitar and ‘baglama’ performance.
The lunch was followed by an address by Mrs. Oya Tunca, The Ambassador of Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. Ms. Tunca has shared her strong support for the significant role ABTA has had in advancing high quality education and research opportunities for Turkic communities in the UK. Ms. Tunca talked on ‘academic excellence’ and how ABTA contributes to it by acting as the social platform for Turkish and British academics to meet, exchange research ideas, and professionally help each other.
The keynote speech of the event was made by Professor Serpil Acar, Professor of Design for Injury Prevention at Loughborough Design School at Loughborough University. After receiving an award from ABTA in recognition of her academic contributions, leadership, and research track record; Prof. Acar has shared her advice to young Turkish academics to become successful in academia. Talking about her own body of research in the area of the security of pregnant women in motor vehicles, Prof. Acar mentioned the importance of not giving up and working hard in the face of challenges or failures. ‘Academic successes such as publishing or getting research funding are the result of years of consistent and persistent hard work’, Prof. Acar insisted, recommending ABTA members to work relentlessly to contribute to innovation and society. Prof. Acar’s team has produced the world’s most comprehensive body of research to ensure pregnant car users and their unborn babies enjoy safer and more comfortable journeys.
At the end of the event, Dr. Ozgur Yazaydin was also awarded by ABTA for the recent major breakthrough his team at University of Surrey made in the potential for vehicles powered by biofuel. Dr Yazaydin’s team of chemical engineers at Surrey has conducted a two-year collaborative study of metal organic frameworks and found the highest gas storage capacity that will vastly improve fuel capacity and can have dramatic implications for the energy industry.
Through a passionate closing speech, Dr. Fahri Karakas congratulated ABTA members and Turkish scientists for their contributions to science, innovation, and society in the UK. Dr. Karakas mentioned that the quickly growing Turkish academic community in the UK was striving for excellence in their research activities, in their search for innovation, and contribution to societal well-being.
The lunch was followed by informal gatherings, socializing and networking among the 124 ABTA members and academics who attended the event. The networking event was arranged into three sections: 1) Engineering and Natural Sciences, 2) Social Sciences, 3) Business, Economics, and Finance.
After networking and coffee session, ABTA members headed for punting in Cambridge where they sat back, relaxed, and enjoyed the River Cam's splendid views on punting tours. ABTA members had a chance to visit magnificent touristic and cultural landmarks of Cambridge, one of UK's most spectacular historical sightseeing locations. ABTA members tremendously enjoyed visiting University of Cambridge and the majestic city surrounding it, which has been selected as one of the most beautiful places and cities in the world by Forbes Magazine. It has been a magical day of enchanting sights, sounds, tastes, and colors in Cambridge. It has also been a rare day of long-lasting friendships, high quality connections, warm conversations, and fond memories.