The selection committee for 2018 comprised of scientists from leading institutions of the world: Prof. Mehmet Toner (Harvard Medical School), Prof. Ataç İmamoğlu (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology – ETH Zurich), Prof. Cezmi A. Akdiş (Zürich University), Prof. Yusuf Leblebici (École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne – EPFL, Sabancı University President) and Prof. Umran İnan (Koç University President).
Metin Sitti is currently the only Turkish fellow of the Max Planck Society in Germany, and has been working as Director for the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems since Autumn 2014. Sitti’s research encompasses a wide variety of subjects in robotics and intelligent systems, including medical micro-robots, miniature moving robots and new materials inspired by nature, soft miniature robots, physical intelligence and micro/nano-robotics.
Having completed his undergraduate studies at the Boğaziçi University Department of Electrical and Electronics Engineering in 1992, Sitti received his Master’s degree from the same department in 1994. He completed his doctoral research at the Tokyo University Department of Electrical Engineering in Japan in 1999. Between 1999- 2002, Sitti worked as a post-doctoral researcher and lecturer at the University of California at Berkeley in the United States. Between 2002-2014, he continued his research as a professor at the Robotics Institute and the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University in the United States. Between 2011-2012, he was a Visiting Professor at Harvard University, EPFL and Sorbonne University.
Sitti’s current part-time academic engagements include working as Professor at the Koç University School of Medicine and College of Engineering, as Distinguished Professor at Carnegie Mellon University and as Honorary Professor at the University of Stuttgart.
Among the numerous awards, scholarships and titles received and held by Metin Sitti are the Monbusho Research Scholarship awarded by the Japanese Ministry of Education he received throughout his doctoral work between 1996-1999, the Best Paper Award at the IEEE/RSJ Intelligent Robots and Systems Conference, among the most prestigious conferences in the field of robotics, in 1998 and 2009, the Best Video Award at the 2002 IEEE Robotics and Automation Conference, the Best Biomimetics Paper Award at the 2004 IEEE Robotics and Biomimetics Conference,
the National Science Foundation CAREER Award in 2005 for his outstanding research and education contributions in the fields of micro/nano-robotics, the title of IEEE Robotics and Automation Society Distinguished Lecturer between 2006-2008, the 2011 SPIE Nanoengineering Pioneer Award for his pioneering work in micro/nano-robotics, the First Prize in the World RoboCup Micro-Robotics Competition in 2012 and 2013, the IEEE Fellowship in 2014, and the 2014 IEEE/ASME Best Mechatronics Paper Award.
Sitti has published and presented more than 410 papers in leading peer reviewed journals and conferences. He has published more than 220 journal articles in prominent journals, including Nature, Nature Reviews Materials, Nature Communications, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Science Robotics, Science Advances, Advanced Materials, Advanced Functional Materials, ACS Nano, Nano Letters, Small, angmuir, Journal of the Royal Society Interface, Biomedical Microdevices, International Journal of Robotics Research, IEEE Transactions on Robotics and IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics. These papers have so far received more than 18,300 citations. Sitti has published two
books. His book “Mobile Microrobotics” was published by the MIT Press in 2017. He has delivered more than 170 speeches upon invitation in various notable conferences, universities and companies in his field. The results of his research have been covered by such newspapers and magazines as the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Le Monde, Economist, Forbes, Science, Science News, Nature News and MIT Technology Review, and broadcast on various television channels. Sitti is also the chief editor of the journals Progress in Biomedical Engineering and Journal
of Micro-Bio Robotics, and the deputy editor of the journals Extreme Mechanics Letters and Biomimetics & Bioinspiration.
Metin Sitti has 11 published patents and more than 20 patent applications pending approval. In 2009, he launched the startup company nanoGriptech to commercialize a new adhesive material inspired by the micro/nano-hairs on the feet of geckos, whose working principles he was the first to discover and whose design and manufacturing he led. Commercialized under the name Setex®, the elastic microfiber adhesive has found many applications in a variety of industrial settings, and has entered markets starting from 2017.