Burcu Cetin

Burcu Cetin, recently graduated from Saint Joseph French High School, is a freshman from Istanbul, Turkey and is interested in Computer Science, Environmental, and Sustainable Engineering.

Burcu has always been driven by creating an impact not only locally but also globally through innovation and technology. She has always wanted to be an engineer as she thinks that engineering possesses the ability to transform radical ideas into everyday use and benefits all humankind. She started her entrepreneurial journey by co-founding a transdisciplinary innovation platform, called SUNPO Community, which focuses on generating ideas and designing sustainable projects in order to expand knowledge on social impact and innovation. SUNPO Community now has more than 100 active student members who work on peer to peer learning. Through her efforts in SUNPO, she did an internship at imece Social Innovation Platform working on the creation of imeceLAB which is an open innovation platform where young people can create and design by acquiring skills to determine economic, social, and cultural dynamics. imeceLAB aims to expand the scope of education and create a changemaker mindset not only for privileged students but also in underprivileged parts of Anatolia.

Alongside her efforts in social innovation, she developed a researcher perspective. At Harvard University, she wrote a research paper titled "Reassessment of the Innovation Ecosystem of Istanbul" in which she surveyed entrepreneurs all around Istanbul to map out the current situation of Istanbul's entrepreneurial ecosystem. She also joined a bilingual research project contest named LS Dreams, which further reassured her that the scientific field was the best fit for her. Her team came in second place in that international contest on Earth and Life Sciences, with a project called "Waterproof." Her design was based on the sustainability concept and consisted of a water turbine and solar panel system, which produces its required energy internally. With this system, her team aimed to create a product that will fight against droughts and economic disruption and will improve both agriculture, purified water production.

The social awareness she gained from her research helped her realize that engineering and computing are essential in creating and sustaining impact. Therefore, she did an internship at Proente Automation, a startup focused on machine-learning solutions, in order to keep up with the current developments in Industry 4.0.

At Columbia, Burcu is more than excited to combine her entrepreneurial perspective with an in-depth understanding of engineering as an incredibly humanistic field in order to work for the benefit of society and the evolution of humankind.