BASF Distinguished Lecture: Gulay Serhatkulu
Abstract: After going through 150 years of mass production during the industrial era, we are going into the next industrial revolution with digital technologies and new business models. On top of the desire to be full-fledged digital in everything we do; we also face climate and ecological emergencies which need to be addressed as we reach the tipping point. There are major challenges going from the take-make-waste business model developed during the first industrial revolution into a new era where environmental concerns are properly addressed, solutions for pollution and waste are developed and sufficient food, clean water and other resources are available for the growing population without further damaging the natural habitats. Today, we are at a crossroads where strongly increasing public awareness is coinciding with more concrete legislation as well as companies globally setting targets and moving their products to more sustainable offerings. Every day we see new technologies for renewable energy, materials, and production. Businesses such as automotive, construction, healthcare, and fashion are all seeing opportunities to move towards circular business models. Engineers are looking for disassemble/reassemble and reuse options of the products at the design stage. Manufacturers are looking at eliminating waste and reducing their overall CO2 footprint. Supply chain providers are looking for ways to recover the products after their lifecycle for refurbishing, remanufacturing, or recycling. Cost to buy decisions are slowly evolving to full lifecycle cost perspectives. There are early adopters with great success stories and exciting developments as well; companies with new business models related to a sharing economy that offers products as service, and circular inputs that show financial success. In summary, it is an exciting time to learn more about circular economy, what it means to us and to our future and also learn how we can contribute and support.
Biography: Gulay Serhatkulu is Senior Vice President responsible for the Performance Materials business for BASF Corporation in North America. This business encompasses the entire materials know-how of BASF regarding innovative, customized plastics under one roof and is globally active in four major industry sectors – transportation, construction, industrial applications and consumer goods.
Gulay joined BASF in 2006 as a technical service representative. She has held a variety of
roles with increasing responsibility within BASF including product management, marketing,
sales, strategy and most recently procurement. Prior to BASF, she earned two postdoctoral
appointments at the University of Nottingham, UK and Wayne State University in Detroit,
Gulay earned a PhD, MSc, and a BSc degree from the University of Akron, OH and
Hacettepe University, Ankara, Turkey in the fields of polymer science and engineering, and