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Faculty Rockstar: Faruk Erkmen, Ph.D.

Written by Anju Kakkar

Faruk Erkmen, Ph.D.

Professor, Faculty of Applied Sciences and Technology (FAST)

Researchers work tirelessly to understand, deconstruct and unearth new ideas, technology, truths and revelations. Promoting a love for learning and knowledge, they apply a learner’s mindset to themselves before impacting change and sharing insights. Faruk Erkmen is most definitely a continuous learner and one of our much-appreciated researchers at Humber. His professional career covers a wide range of product development philosophies and customer profiles, spanning senior engineering roles and management roles for over 10 years. Faruk’s exposure and comprehension of industry research & development advancements are a key factor in advocating the applicability of technical know-how in the real-world and guiding learners to remain continuously engaged.

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Faruk’s journey with Humber began in 2019 as Professor at the Faculty of Applied Sciences and Technology. Faruk acquired a B. Sc. in Electrical & Electronics Engineering from METU, Turkey, in 2006 and earned his M. Sc. In RF, Microwave and Antennas from The Ohio State University, US in 2008 on full scholarship, where he also received the Best Paper Award by AMTA in 2007. That’s not all; he went on to further acquire an MBA, specializing in Technology Management, from Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, in 2013 and then earned his Ph.D. in Electrical & Computer Engineering from the University of Waterloo in 2019. Faruk’s master’s and doctoral degrees were acquired while he worked full-time. Faruk holds several certifications as well: PMP, P.Eng. and Lean Six Sigma Green Belt.

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Faruk Erkmen has received the President’s Bravo Award for Going Beyond while working at Honeywell Aerospace in 2018. Notably, while he worked with Blackberry in Waterloo as an Antenna Designer, his contributions resulted in a valuable patent titled ‘Uplink Antenna Selection Method for Improved Uplink / Downlink Channel Reciprocity’ in 2015. His team also received 5-star Recognition for Innovation for delivering BlackBerry’s and possibly industry’s best-performing LTE MIMO antenna system in the smallest LTE form factor (BlackBerry Q10) in 2012.

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I am a big believer in supporting theory with experiential learning. My most notable learning experiences come from hands-on work in the lab, through prototyping and testing ideas. So, my goal is to provide similar learning opportunities for my students.”, states Faruk.

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He emphasizes that he likes to train his students in all aspects of the engineering discipline while providing them learning opportunities through diverse project assignments, which creates a dynamic learning environment. We asked Faruk why he values research and what are the benefits of leading a research project, and he fittingly responded:

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“Technology and its applications are rapidly evolving in my field. Leading an applied research project gives us the opportunity to collaborate with industry, stay up to date with the latest developments, and provide our students the chance to apply their skills on solving real-life problems.”

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This is what Faruk had to say about his involvement with Humber’s research community; he shared his admiration for Humber College’s focus on encouraging faculty to engage in diverse industry experiences in different sectors of the economy along with focusing on building academic talent:

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“Humber has excellent institutions to support applied research. The Faculty of Applied Sciences and Technology, the Office of Research and Innovation as well as the Barrett Center for Technology Innovation have provided tremendous support every step of the way. From the very early outreach efforts all the way to the completion of projects, Humber supports its faculty and students to deliver excellent results.”

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Humber encourages faculty to build industry connections and relationships, engage different companies that align with Humber’s strategic objectives, allowing the educational platform to embed research-based learning into the curriculum, and the support and enthusiasm of researchers, like Faruk, help us achieve that goal. Have a look at one of the research projects that Faruk has led with success:

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Electromagnetic Lenses for Millimeter-Wave Sensors:

Eleven-X and Humber aimed at developing electromagnetic lenses to increase the directivity of mm-wave sensors and avoid false object detections. The results of this project will help Eleven-x develop superior products in terms of accuracy, reliability and low power consumption.

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We thank Faruk for his valuable contributions and look forward to collaborating on a future research project. In the meantime, get to know Faruk a little better; here are 3 things you didn’t know about him, in his words:

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  • When I’m not at work, I am outdoors keeping active or spending time with my kids.
  • A website I visit most often is Twitter to stay up to date.
  • Coffee or Tea: Both, but coffee more than tea.

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Our Researcher Rockstar shares with us the most rewarding part of his teaching profession:

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“I try to relate everything I teach in class to real-life situations. When the theory is relevant to everyday applications, I see the spark in students’ eyes, which is most rewarding. That’s why experiential learning and applied research are so important, once students are engaged and curious about a topic, they are incredibly enthusiastic about figuring out the rest.”

– Faruk Erkmen


To get involved, visit:https://www.humber.ca/research/get-involved/