Brief History Of The Energy Commission Of METU Alumni Association – OpEd


Here your writer would like to present you a brief information note about our history. Our METU Alumni energy commission was established in year 2006. Previously, there was another commission for the “Greater Middle East Project”. We wanted to present an energy outlook panel within the work of this commission. We held the panel on Thursday, December 7, 2006, at 1900, in the Alumni conference room. Your writer was the moderator of the panel.

We invited six panelists. Prof. dr. Mustafa Özcan Ültanır (Ankara University) , Dr Ömer Ünver (Mine’68), Budak Dilli (EE”72), Etkb Energy General Manager, Muzaffer Başaran (Sabancı Holding), Mücella Ersoy (Tki), Darek Baker PhD (METU) participated as panelists. We did not limit the speakers in their topics, we left them to choose the topics they wanted to talk about. The conference hall was full and there was an incredible number of audience.

Then the panel made a lot of impact, the Alumni board of directors of the period decided to establish a separate energy commission. Chairman Hikmet Şahin met with your author. In the following days, we started to gather in Eymir or hall-56 meeting rooms between 1900-2100 on Tuesday of every week. Mete Göknel (ChemE’68), our oldest member, was elected as our founding president in the first year. Your author has been appointed as the Alumni board observer.

We elect a new president on the first Tuesday of October each year. We took a break from our meetings at the end of May every year. We do not meet in the summer period. In the following years, Nurşah Koşar, Mustafa Tuygun, Yusuf Bayrak, Erdal Coşkun, Huzur Keskin, Yusuf Bayrak served as presidents for one year each. Each new president brought a new breath, a new perspective to the commission.

We had very colorful, very knowledgeable, very experienced members, we eagerly awaited their speeches and presentations. Our now deceased members Osman Sevaioğlu, Orhan Baybars, Orhan Yıldırım and İrfan Uçar shared their unique experiences with us. We remember them fondly.

Our commission had strict rules. Men will dress as parliamentarians, business suit with kneck-tie, the meetings will start in 1900 sharp, will end in 2100, anyone can eat food from the restaurant, those who did not attend the previous meeting will bring a bottle of good quality wine to the next meeting, everyone will taste more or less wine, Each meeting will have a predetermined invited speaker. Everyone will definitely take the floor and speak, speeches and comments will not exceed 3 minutes, mutual squabbles will not be polemic.

The energy commission added value to all participants, our members learned a lot from each other, the unwritten and unknown were told, most importantly the English Chatham house rule was applied, everything (including names and companies) were discussed, but it was forbidden to refer to the commission. The fine details, secrets and subtleties of the energy market were explained.

In year 2012, METU Alumni Istanbul association also wanted to establish an energy commission, we attended the Istanbul meeting from Ankara to be in the establishment stages of this commission and to explain the rules. They also hold meetings independently of us. All of our Istanbul energy commission members are private sector employees, they are talking about more investment finance renewables.

Each meeting was recorded with a written summary report. During the coronavirus plague, our meetings were taken to the zoom internet environment, we meet every Tuesday between 20-22 hours. We hope that the effect of the corona epidemic will pass in the future and we will meet in face to face again.

The “Energy outlook report” prepared by our members oguz Türkyılmaz, orhan Aytaç, mehmet kayadelen and Yusuf Bayrak every year and submitted to the commission in March has had an impact on the entire local energy market.

We tried to hold a public panel at 1400 on the last weekend of every month on Saturdays. We worked on thermal, nuclear, natural gas, fossil domestic imported coal, hydraulics, solar power, res, renewable energy and efficiency.

Now, our new young members have taken over the commission management, and we have started to share their experiences on new renewable energy issues. Ersin Küçükparmak became our president in the 2022-2023 period. Our weekly Zoom meetings continue. We hope that our commission will continue for many more years.

Haluk Direskeneli

Haluk Direskeneli, is a graduate of METU Mechanical Engineering department (1973). He worked in public, private enterprises, USA Turkish JV companies (B&W, CSWI, AEP, Entergy), in fabrication, basic and detail design, marketing, sales and project management of thermal power plants. He is currently working as freelance consultant/ energy analyst with thermal power plants basic/ detail design software expertise for private engineering companies, investors, universities and research institutions. He is a member of Chamber of Turkish Mechanical Engineers Energy Working Group.

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