Carnegie Mellon University

Fethiye Ozis

January 07, 2022

Ozis Joins CEE as Assistant Teaching Professor

Fethiye Ozis recently joined CEE as an Assistant Teaching Professor. She brings to the department teaching expertise as well as research experience in sustainable cities, biotechnology for air pollution control, and sustainable methods of water treatment. Prior to moving to Pittsburgh, Ozis taught at Northern Arizona University where she was named a 2021 Educator of Influence and a 2020 Teacher of the Year.

Ozis’ PhD research at the University of Southern California involved use of biofilters to remove Volatile Organic Compounds from the air. She chose to utilize biofilters because they’re a more sustainable means of air pollution management. “I was fascinated by the fact that we can train and use bacteria to remove some air pollutants,” Ozis adds. She’s also served as a research mentor for undergraduate students—focused on novel biotechnologies for water and wastewater to recover Cadmium and Yttrium by using corncobs and algae.

She describes her teaching style as “learner-centered” and encourages students to become self-regulated learners. “I use content to balance my students’ need to discover with what I need to share. I’m clear about my teaching philosophy, which helps students develop as lifelong learners.”

“Fethiye Ozis brings impressive breadth of professional experience and outstanding skills as a teacher to CEE,” said Dave Dzombak, Hamerschlag University Professor and Department Head.  “We are fortunate to have an ASCE ExCEEd (Excellence in Civil Engineering Education) program instructor – a teacher of teachers – joining our faculty.”

Ozis asserts that within her classes, each student has a voice and a role. She works to create team-based learning that’s active, engaging, and respectful. “I tell my students that I am a learner as well, and that I learn from them every semester,” she states.

Ozis is focused on supporting and working with underrepresented groups in engineering, and has served as the faculty mentor for NAU Chapter of Society of Women Engineers for the past six years. She also has close ties with Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, O-STEM, American Indian Science and Engineering Society, SACNAS, and the National Society of Black Engineers. She conducts research related to engineering classrooms and innovative pedagogical strategies to broaden participation in the field.

Ozis’ experience includes work with USC Sustainable Cities program on an eco-industrial park in Los Angeles. The program engaged participants in interdisciplinary research, allowing her to problem-solve with people in areas from communications to ethnic studies.

She earned a PhD and MS in Environmental Engineering from USC and a BS in Environmental Engineering  from Middle East Technical University in Ankara, Turkey. As she gets to know Pittsburgh—she’s never lived in the eastern United States before—she’s excited to kayak, bike, and hike with her husband and two teenage sons.

Ozis will be teaching courses in the CEE undergraduate programs in Civil Engineering and Environmental Engineering, as well as CEE graduate courses.