STEAMWIN's first university meetup took place at Bahcesehir University on November 9th. Our guests warmed up with virtual reality games and demos. We thank VRFirst at Bahcesehir for their support.
The program started with Aslı Derbent Özkan, General Manager of Veripark, and her inspiring story as an engineer then, a technology entrepreneur now. In 1998, she discovered her calling and founded Veripark, a leading global software company, with many wins as a Microsoft Gold Partner. Veripark was recently awarded the prestigious Microsoft Global ISV award in 2017. Asli encouraged us to overcome our boundaries both in technology and in life.
Next we heard from Arzu Elma Gündoğdu, Customer Evaluation Manager at Intertech. Arzu was joined by her family, her husband and twin daughters! As she talked about balancing work and life demands, she was clearly a role model for us. She challenged us to always seek growth opportunities at work and ended her talk with a fair warning: "If you keep doing the same job, you will never learn anything new."
Our third speaker was Gökşin Bakır, Cloud and Enterprise Solutions Director at Microsoft. He first challenged us to find unique opportunities in times of change: AI, Industry 4.0., changing economic landscapes, block chain and new smart systems, all of which provide new and exciting career options. After introducing us to Boston Dynamics' Handler Robot - watch the video here - he added: "We had thought this kind of robotic mobility and balance were impossible; times are changing." He boosted our morale with his parting words: “Sometimes we try hard, we get lost, and fail, but you should never give up.”
Last, but certainly not least, we heard from Gül Tekin Temur, Academician at Bahçeşehir University. Gül gave us a good overview of AI technology development and ended her talk with a quote from Neil Postman: "It is a mistake to suppose that any technological innovation has a one-sided effect. Every technology is both a burden and a blessing; not either-or, but this-and-that."
The best surprise of the evening was the call out from the audience, high school students from the Bahcesehir Anatolian High School First Robotics Competition team - Adroit Androids! Not only did they prepare our prizes with CNC cutters (engraved wooden prizes), they also invited us to the upcoming FRC competition in December. We were delighted to meet young women, they were thrilled to meet different role models, what a win-win!
We thank BAU CO-OP and BAU Industrial Engineering Club for hosting us. This program is made possible with the generous contributions of Boeing Turkey and Intertech, our amazing STEAMWIN sponsors. For a short overview of the STEAMWIN program, check out our Slideshare presentation here. To catch a glimpse of our program, check out the event Facebook album here.