Loved physics, gave up her childhood dream
Senem Özdemir, who has been dreaming of becoming a pilot since childhood, graduated as the top student in the Department of Physics at Izmir University of Economics (IUE), which she started with the thought that she would never give up piloting even if she studied in another program. Özdemir, who loved physics as she studied and focused on research in this field, gave up on becoming a pilot and charted a completely different career path for herself, expanding to Europe with her achievements. Continuing her educational journey with a master's degree, Özdemir went to world-renowned laboratories in Italy and Switzerland and started to work in the field of ‘nuclear physics’. Stating that she aims to return to IUE as an academic one day, Özdemir said, “At my university, where I laid the foundations of my interest for physics, I want to work as an academic, contribute to science, and instill the magic of physics in young students.”
Senem Özdemir from Izmir became interested in airplanes when she was still in elementary school and set her sights on becoming a pilot at an early age. Thinking, ‘No matter which program I study at university, my decision will not change anyway’, Özdemir enrolled in IUE Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Department of Physics in 2017. Özdemir's choice of Izmir University of Economics became a turning point in her life. Özdemir, who adapted to her program in a short time, accelerated her studies in physics with the guidance of her professors.
THE DESIRE TO EXPLORE NEW THINGS
As she carried out scientific projects and deepened her research, Özdemir, who loved physics very much and decided to advance in this field, also shelved her dream of becoming a pilot. Continuing her studies with the wide field of study offered by physics and the excitement of discovering new things, Özdemir attracted the attention of her professors with her success in her courses. Özdemir graduated from IUE Department of Physics in 2022 with the first rank.
THE LARGEST LAB
Deciding to pursue her academic career without a break, Özdemir started her master's degree in ‘nuclear physics at Ege University. Özdemir focused her studies on ‘particle accelerators’ and ‘electron clouds’ that provide information about atoms, molecules and the laws of physics. Özdemir, who started to continue her research in cooperation with the National Laboratory of Frascati (LNF), the largest laboratory of the National Institute for Nuclear Physics (INFN) in Italy, and the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Switzerland, aims to produce projects that will make a difference in the world of science.
SOMETIMES I AM SURPRISED AT MYSELF
Stating that as a young physicist she wants to conduct studies that would shed light on the world of science, Özdemir said, “I never thought that one day I would give up being a pilot. However, I loved physics and my professors very much. I realized that being interested in physics would make me happy. I am glad I chose this program and my university. This choice has shaped my life from beginning to end. After my master's degree, I want to do my doctorate and continue my academic progress. As a young female physicist, I want to experience the joy and pride of promoting my university and my country. I would also like to work as an academic at my university where I laid the foundations of physics, contribute to science with my research and projects, and instill the magic of physics in young students.”
STUDIES THAT MAKE A DIFFERENCE
Özdemir stated the following: “One of the most important points that attracted me to physics was the wide field of research and the desire to solve the unknowns. I believe that the most important way to succeed in something is to love it. I love physics and I am confident in myself. I work on particle accelerators and electron clouds, one of the collective effects that limit their performance. There are not many scientists working on this subject in Turkey. I aim to carry out studies that make a difference in this field. I would like to thank Izmir University of Economics, Head of the Department Prof. Dr. Abbas Kenan Çiftçi, my advisor Assoc. Prof. Dr. Rena Çiftçi and most importantly my co-advisor Dr. Özgür Etişken.”