Serhat Yesilyurt
Sabanci University
Tuzla, Istanbul
+90 216 483 9579












Research Interests

Bio-inspired micro-swimming robots has a huge potential to revolutionize the modern medicine. Currently, we are studying controllable propulsion mechanisms and the swimming behavior of natural and artificial micro swimmers in channels and confinements with experiments on mm-long helical magnetic structures, and developing computational models to analyze hydrodynamic interactions between micro swimmers and channel boundaries. We are interested in collaborating national and international partners on using micro/nano swimmers to identify nano-bio interactions.


Proton Exchange Membrane fuel cells (PEMFC) have high energy density that can match the IC engines in automotive applications; however, degradation and durability issues prohibit the rapid commercialization of PEMFCs despite their advantages and high potential. We are studying simplified designs of PEMFC that have very high utilization of hydrogen and the modeling of mechanical deformation and degradation of PEMFCs coupled with energy, charge and mass transport of gas and liquid species and electrochemical kinetics.  We are interested in collaborating with national and international partners in development of durable and robust PEMFCs for extreme operating conditions.


Vertical Axis Wind Turbines (VAWT) are attractive in small scale applications in urban areas and remote locations owing to their simplicity and omnidirectional operation. Currently we are studying design and energy-efficient power control of VAWTs with CFD simulations and hardware-in-the-loop simulators. We are interested in collaborating with national and international partners to develop VAWTs that can operate in extreme wind conditions.


General research interests include:

·       Viscous flows including microflows

·       Heat transfer

·       Simulation-based analysis & design

·       Renewable & sustainable energy systems






[02-present] Faculty Member, Mechatronics Eng., Sabanci University, Istanbul, Turkey

[08&16] Visiting Prof., Automotive Res. Cent., Univ. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA
[98-02] Sr. Simulations Engineer, Cape Simulations, Natick, MA, USA
[97-98] Post-doctoral Associate, FSU, Comp. Sci. and Eng. Prog., Tallahassee, FL, USA
[95-96] Post-doctoral Associate, MIT, Mechanical Eng. Dept., Cambridge, MA, USA
[91-95] Research Assistant, MIT, Fluid Mechanics Laboratory, Cambridge, MA, USA



  1. ENS206 Systems Modeling & Control   (Spring 03, 04)
  2. ENS207 Introduction to Energy Systems (Fall 13 - current)
  3. ME307 Fluid Dynamics  (Spring 05-Fall 14)
  4. ME309 Heat & Mass Transfer  (03-09)
  5. ME409 Microsystems Technology  (Falls 03-05)
  6. ME410 Computer Aided Engineering  (Falls, 02-09)
  7. ME411 Mechanical System Design (Spring 09)
  8. ME415 Computational Analysis & Simulation (Spring 10 - current)
  9. ME420 Renewable & Sustainable Energy Systems (Spring 10 - current)
  10. EE572 Simulation and Animation of Motion (Spring 04, 05)
  11. ME561 Advanced Fluid Mechanics  (Fall 06, 09)



1.     Modeling of static and rotating magnetic field effects on crystal growth, NAS8-40899 National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), 1998-2000 (Co-PI)

2.     Computational analysis of traveling magnetic fields, Universities Space Research Association, USRA3548-1 (subcontract, NAS8-00128 Prime Contract), 2001 (Co-PI)

3.     Modeling of the transients of the PEM Fuel Cells, Sabanci University Internal Grant; Budget: 20,000 TL; 2004-2006 (PI).

4.     Modeling and validation of PEM Fuel Cells, TUBITAK; Budget: 40,000 TL; 2005-2009 (PI).

5.     Analysis of the traveling-plane wave mechanism for  he propulsion of microswimmers, Sabanci University Internal Grant; Budget: 163,000 TL; 2006-2008 (PI).

6.     Measurement of surface displacement and deformation by three dimensional optical holography and microphone array, TUBİTAK, 2007-2010 (Co-PI).

7.     Boiling heat transfer and boiling instabilities in microchannels, TUBİTAK, 2008-2011 (Co-PI).

8.     Modeling and Validation of Transport, Deformation and Degradation in PEM Fuel Cells with Dead-Ended-Anode Operation, TUBITAK-NSF Joint Project, TUBITAK-Budget: 185,000 TL; 2009-2012 (PI in TUBITAK, Co-PI in NSF).

9.     Characterization and modeling of the helices rotating and moving inside tubes with small diameters, TUBITAK, Budget: 158,000 TL; Jan 2012- Jan.2014 (PI).

10.  A prototype development for portable power generation with vertical axis wind turbines (VAWT) for communication towers, SU-Internal Grant, Budget: 109,000 TL; 9/2012 – 8/2015 (PI)

11.  Design, manufacturing and membrane, electrode and catalyst development and testing for polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells operating at ultra-low stoichiometric flows in the anode. TUBITAK - 1003, MAG 213M023, Budget: 2,035,364 TL, 8/2014 – 8/2017 (Project Director and PI)



1)    E. Demir, S. Yesilyurt, “Low Reynolds Number Swimming of Helical Structures in Circular Channels,” J. Fluids & Structures, 2017, (accepted).

2)    H. O. Caldag, A. Acemoglu, S. Yesilyurt, “Experimental characterization of helical swimming trajectories in circular channels,” Microfluidics & Nanofluidics, 21:136, 2017, doi:10.1007/s10404-017-1973-9

3)    M. Mehrtash, I. Tari, S. Yesilyurt, “Impacts of inhomogeneous clamping force on local performance and liquid water formation in polymer electrolyte fuel cells,” Int. J. Hydrogen Energy (In Press)

4)    A.O. Onol, A Onat, S Yesilyurt, “Comparisons of controller performance for small-scale vertical axis wind turbines,” American Control Conference (ACC), 4698-4703, 2017.

5)    A.O. Onol, S. Yesilyurt, “Effects of Wind Gusts on a Vertical Axis Wind Turbine with High Solidity,” J. Wind Engineering & Industrial Aerodynamics, 162, 1-11, 2017.

6)    O.B. Rizwandi, “Design of Anode Flow Channels and Headers for a Large PEMFC Operating at Ultra-Low Stoichiometric Flow Conditions at the Anode Exit,” 14th Int. Conf. On Nanochannels, Microchannels and Minichannels (ICNMM), ASME, Washington DC, July 10-14, 2016.

7)    A.O. Onol, U. Sancar, S. Yesilyurt, “Modeling, hardware-in-the-loop simulations and control design for small-scale vertical axis wind turbines,” Proceedings of the ASME 2016 Dynamic Systems and Control Conference (DSCC2016), ASME, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, Oct. 12-14, 2016.

8)    Acemoglu, S. Yesilyurt, “Modeling and experiments on effects of Poiseuille flows on swimming of magnetic helical robots in circular channels,” Microfluidics & Nanofluidics, 19 (5), 1109-1122, 2015.

9)    F.Z. Temel, S. Yesilyurt, "Confined swimming of bio-inspired micro robots in rectangular channels," Bioinspiration & Biomimetics, 10, 016015, 2015.

10) A.O. Onol, U. Sancar, A. Onat, S. Yesilyurt, “Model predictive control for energy maximization of small vertical axis wind turbines,” ASME 2015 Dynamic Systems and Control Conference, Columbus, Ohio, USA, Oct. 28-30, 2015.

11) A.O. Onol, U. Sancar, A. Onat, S. Yesilyurt, “Hardware-in-the-loop simulations and control design for a small vertical axis wind turbine,” 2015 XXV International Conference on Information, Communication and Automation Technologies (ICAT), IEEE, Oct. 29-21, 2015.

12) A.G. Vilella, S. Yesilyurt, “Analysis of heat storage with a thermocline tank for concentrated solar plants: Applications to AndaSol I,” IEEE Int. Conf. on Industrial Technology (ICIT), Sevilla, Spain, March 17-19, 2015, 2750-2755.

13) A.Acemoglu, F.Z. Temel, S. Yesilyurt, “Characterization and modeling of micro swimmers with helical tails and cylindrical heads inside circular channels,” Journal of Fluids Engineering, 136 (12), 121106-1-6, 2014.

14) A.F. Tabak, S. Yesilyurt, “Computationally-validated surrogate models for optimal geometric design of bio-inspired swimming robots: Helical swimmers,” Computers & Fluids, 99, 190-198, 2014.

15) A.Acemoglu, S. Yesilyurt, “Effects of Geometric Parameters on Swimming of Micro Organisms with Single Helical Flagellum in Circular Channels,” Biophysical Journal, 106 (7), 1537-1547, 2014.

16) A.F. Tabak, S. Yesilyurt, “Improved Kinematic Models for Two-Link Helical Micro/Nano-Swimmers,” IEEE Transactions on Robotics, 30 (1), 14-25, 2014.

17) F.Z. Temel, A.G. Erman, S. Yesilyurt , “Characterization and Modeling of Biomimetic Untethered Robots Swimming in Viscous Fluids Inside Circular Channels,” IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics, 19(5), 1562-1573, 2014.

18) A.F. Tabak, S. Yesilyurt, “In-Channel Experiments on Vertical Swimming with Bacteria-Like Robots,” IEEE/RSJ Int. Conf. on Intelligent Robots & Systems (IROS2013), Tokyo-Japan, Nov. 3-8, 2013.

19) A.F. Tabak, S. Yesilyurt, “Hydrodynamic surrogate models for bio-inspired micro-swimming robots,”   arXiv:1311.3429, also accessible in ScienceOpen:

20) F.Z. Temel, A.E. Bezer, S. Yesilyurt, “Navigation of mini swimmers in channel Networks with magnetic fields,” Proc. IEEE International Conference on Robotics & Automation (ICRA 2013), Karlsruhe, Germany, May 6-8, 2013.

21) A.F. Tabak, S. Yesilyurt, “Experimental validation of a CFD-based resistive force coefficient set for rotating helical tails in cylindrical channels,” Seventh Subrata Chakrabarti Int. Conf. on Fluid Structure Interaction, Gran Canaria, Spain, April 10-12, 2013.

22) F.Z. Temel, S.Yesilyurt, “Simulation-based analysis of micro robots swimming at the center and near the wall of circular mini channels”, Microfluidics & Nanofluidics, 14, 1-2, 287-298, 2013.

23) J. Chen, J.B. Siegel, T. Matsuura, A.G. Stefanopoulou, S. Yesilyurt, “Experimental Validation of Stable Equilibria in Fuel Cells with Dead-Ended Anodes,” Proc. of the European Control Conference, Zurich, Switzerland, 17-19 July, 2013.

24) S.Yesilyurt, J.B.Siegel, A.G. Stefanopoulou, "Modeling and Experiments of Voltage Transients of PEM Fuel Cells with the Dead-Ended Anode," J. of Fuel Cell Science and Technology, 9, 021012-1-7, 2012.

25) F.Z. Temel, O. Erin, A.F. Tabak, S. Yesilyurt, “Bio-inspired micro robots swimming in channels,” 13th Mechatronics Forum Int. Conf., Sept. 17-19, 2012, Linz, Austria.

26) A.F. Tabak, S. Yesilyurt, “Experiments on in-channel swimming of an untethered biomimetic robot with different helical tails,” Proc. IEEE Int. Conf. on Biomedical Robotics and Biomechatronics, Roma, Italy, June 24-27, 2012.

27) A.F. Tabak, S. Yesilyurt, “Experiment-based kinematic validation of numerical modeling and simulated control of an untethered biomimetic microrobot in channel,” Proc. 12th Int. Workshop on Advanced Motion Control, Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, March 25-27, 2012.

28) A.F. Tabak, F.Z. Temel, S. Yesilyurt, "Comparison on experimental and numerical results for helical swimmers inside channels," Proc. of the IEEE/RSJ 2011 International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS 2011), San Fransisco, CA, USA, Sept. 25-30.

29) F.Z. Temel, S. Yesilyurt, "Magnetically actuated swimming of microrobots in mini channels," Proc. IEEE Int. Conf. on Mechatronics (ICM2011), Istanbul, Turkey, 13-15 April, 2011.

30) A.G. Erman, S.Yesilyurt, "Swimming of onboard-powered autonomous robots in viscous fluid filled channels," Proc. IEEE Int. Conf. on Mechatronics (ICM2011), Istanbul, Turkey, 13-15 April, 2011.

31) S. Yesilyurt, "Modeling and Simulations of PEM Fuel Cesll with Poroelastic Approach for Coupled Liquid Water Transport and Deformation in the Membrane," Journal of Fuel Cell Science Technology, 7 (3), 031008-031017, 2010.

32) J.B. Siegel, S.B. Bohac, A.G. Stefanopoulou, S. Yesilyurt, “Nitrogen front evolution in purged polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell dead-ended anode,”J. Electrochem. Soc., 157, B1081, 2010.

33) J.B. Siegel, A.G. Stefanopoulou, S. Yesilyurt, “Reduced complexity models for water management and anode purge scheduling in DEA operation PEMFCs,” ECS Trans., 33(1), 1583, 2010.

34) J.B. Siegel, A.G. Stefanopoulou, S. Yesilyurt, “Modeling and simulations of PEMFCs operating with periodically purged dead-ended anode channels,” Eighth Int. Fuel Cell Science, Eng. and Tech. Conf., FuelCell2010, Brooklyn, New York, USA, June 2010.

35) A.F. Tabak, S. Yesilyurt, “Validated reduced order models for simulating trajectories of bio-inspired artificial micro-swimmers,” Proc. Third Joint US-European Fluids Engineering Summer Meeting and Eighth Int. Conf. on Nanochannels, Microchannels and Minichannels (FEDSM2010-ICNMM2010), 2010.

36) A.F. Tabak, S.Yesilyurt, “Modeling and simulations of the motion of bio-inspired micro swimming robots,” NEMB2010: Proc. of the ASME First Global Congress on Nanoengineering for Medicine and Biology-2010, 2010.

37) M. Koz, S. Yesilyurt, “Simulation-based analysis of the micropropulsion with rotating corkscrew motion of flagella,” ASME 2009 Fluids Engineering Div. Summer Mtg., (FEDSM09) Aug. 2-6, 2009, Vail, Colorado, USA, 2009.

38) J. B. Siegel, A.G.Stefanopoulou, S. Yesilyurt, “Extracting model parameters and paradigms from neutron imaging of dead-ended anode operation,” Seventh Int. Fuel Cell Science, Eng. and Tech. Conf., FuelCell2009, Newport Beach, CA, June 2009.

39) J.B. Siegel, A.G. Stefanopoulou, S. Yesilyurt, “Effects of nitrogen and water accumulation in the dead-ended anode operation of PEM fuel cells,” In 215th Electrochem. Soc. Meeting, 359, 2009.

40) A.F. Tabak, S. Yesilyurt, “Simulation-based analysis of flow due to traveling-plane-wave deformations on elastic thin-film actuators in micropumps”, Microfluidics and Nanofluidics, vol 4, no 6, pp 489-500, 2008.

41) M. Koz, S. Yesilyurt, “Simulations of microflows induced by rotation of spirals in microchannels,” Proc. of SPIE, vol 6886, Microfluidics, BioMEMS, and Medical Microsystems VI, ed. Wang, Wanjun, Vauchier, Claude, Jan. 2008.

42) M. Koz, S. Yesilyurt, “Simulation-based analysis of a biologically-inspired micropump with a rotating spiral inside a microchannel,” 6th Int. Conf. on Nanochannels, Microchannels and Minichannels, Darmstadt, Germany, ASME, June 2008.

43) S. Yesilyurt, “Modeling and simulations of deformation and transport in PEM fuel cells,” Sixth Int. Fuel Cell Science, Engineering and Technology Conference (FuelCell08), Denver, Colorado, USA, ASME, June 2008.

44) S. Yesilyurt, “Three dimensional simulations of transient response of PEM fuel cells,” ASME Int. Mechanical Eng. Congress and Exhibition, Seattle, USA, ASME, November, 2007.

45) M.F. Serincan, S. Yesilyurt, “Transient analysis of Proton Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cells (PEMFC) at Startup and Failure”, Fuel Cells, 7(2), 118-127, 2007.

46) A.F. Tabak, A. Solak, E. Y. Erdem, C. Akcan, S. Yesilyurt, “Simulation-based analysis of 3D flow inside a micropump with passive valves,” ASME Int. Mechanical Eng. Congress and Exhibition, Seattle, USA, ASME, November, 2007.

47) F. Tabak, S. Yesilyurt, "Numerical analysis of planar wave propagation based micropropulsion system," ASME Int. Mechanical Eng. Congress and Exhibition, Seattle, USA, ASME, November, 2007.

48) A.F. Tabak, S. Yesilyurt, "Numerical Analysis of the 3D Flow Induced by Propagationon of Plane-Wave Deformations on Thin MembraneS Inside Microchannels", Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Nanochannels, Microchannels & Minichannels, ICNMM2007, Puebla, Mexico, June 18-20, 2007.

49) A.F. Tabak, S. Yesilyurt, “Numerical simulations and analysis of a micropump actuated by traveling plane waves” SPIE-Photonics West, MOEMS-MEMS,San Jose, 20-25 Jan. 2007.

50) A.F. Tabak, S. Yesilyurt, “Numerical Simulations of a Traveling Plane-Wave Actuator for Microfluidic Applications, Proceedings of the COMSOL Users Conference, Boston, October 22-24, 2006, ed. Jeri’Ann Hiller, ISBN 0-9766792-2-1.

51) S. Yesilyurt, M. Ozcan, G. Goktug, “Heat transfer in steady-periodic flows over heated microwires” Proceedings of the 13th International Heat Transfer Conference (IHTC-13), Sydney, Australia, August 13 - 18, 2006, published by Begell House inc., ISBN 1-56700-226-9.

52) M. Eriten, S. Yesilyurt, "Optimal distribution of carbon nanotubes in gas sensor design" Proceedings of 2005 the 5th IEEE Conference on Nanotechnology, Nagoya, Japan, July 2005.

53) M.F. Serincan, S. Yesilyurt, “Modeling Transients of a Proton Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cell (PEMFC),” Proceedings International Hydrogen Energy Congress and Exhibition IHEC 2005 , Istanbul, Turkey, 13-15 July 2005.

54) M.F. Serincan, S. Yesilyurt, “Modeling Transient Water Transport in a Proton Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cells (PEMFC) with Interdigitated Flow Fields,” Proceedings International Hydrogen Energy Congress and Exhibition IHEC 2005 , Istanbul, Turkey, 13-15 July 2005.

55) M.F. Serincan, S. Yesilyurt,”An Analysis of a Proton Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cell (PEMFC) at Start-ups and Failures” Lucerne Fuel Cell Forum 2005, 4-8 July 2005.

56) E. Armagan, S. Yesilyurt, G. Goktug, "Design Requirements for Robotic Arc Welding Applications," Proc. 4th Asian Conf. on Ind. Automation and Robotics, Bangkok, 11-13 May 2005.

57) G. Goktug, S. Yesilyurt, I. Tekin, "Non-contact surface measurement and prediction of transient distortion of thermal joining process," 4th CIRP International Seminar on Intelligent Computation In Manufacturing Engineering - ICME 2004, Naples, Italy, June 2004.

58) S. Yesilyurt, S.Motakef, K.Mazuruk, R.Grugel, "The effect of the Traveling Magnetic Field (TMF) on the buoyancy-induced convection in the Vertical Bridgman growth of semiconductors" J. Cryst. Growth, 263/1-4, pp 80-89, 2004.

59) S. Yesilyurt, M. Ozcan, G. Goktug, H.S. Olmez, "CFD simulations of transient response of a constant-temperature hot-wire anemometer," Proceedings of ENCIT 2004, Rio de Janeiro, Nov 29-Dec 03, 2004.

60) K. Abidi, A. Sabanovic, S.Yesilyurt, "Sliding-Mode Based Force Control of a Piezoelectric Actuator," IEEE Conference on Mechatronics , Istanbul, Turkey, June 2004.

61) K. Abidi, A. Sabanovic, S. Yesilyurt, "Sliding Mode Control Based Disturbance Compensation and External Force Estimation for a Piezoelectric Actuator", The 8th International Workshop on Advanced Motion Control, Kawasaki, Japan, March 25-28, 2004.

62) G.Goktug, S. Yesilyurt, M. Aksit, "Modeling and simulation of micro-optical switches  for dynamic and static loading," IEEE Conference on Industrial Technology, ICIT 03, Maribor, Slovenia, December, 2003.

63) S. Yesilyurt, S. Motakef, K. Mazuruk, R. Grugel, "Traveling magnetic field (TMF) applications for material processing" American Conference on Crystal Growth and Epitaxy (ACCGE15), Keystone, Colorado, July, 2003.

64) S. Motakef and S. Yesilyurt, “Equipment for Annealing of Calcium Fluoride,” 3rd Int. Symp. on 157 nm Lithography , Antwerp, Belgium, September, 2002.

65) S. Yesilyurt, L. Vjusic, S. Motakef, F. R. Szofran, A. Croell. "The influence of thermoelectromagnetic convection (TEMC) on the Bridgman growth of semiconductors." J. Cryst. Growth, 211, pp 360-364, 2000.

66) S. Yesilyurt, L. Vjusic, S. Motakef. "Electromagnetic control of convection in semiconductor melts: thermoelectromagnetic convection (TEMC) and rotating magnetic fields." Proc. of SPIE -The International Soc. of Optical Eng. Vol. 3792, pp. 124-138, 1999.

67) S. Yesilyurt, L. Vjusic, S. Motakef, F. R. Szofran, M. P. Volz. "A numerical investigation of the effect of the thermoelectromagnetic convection (TEMC) on the Bridgman growth of GeSi" J. Cryst. Growth, 207, pp 278-291, 1999.

68) M. Kambourides, S. Yesilyurt, and A. T. Patera "Nonparametric-validated computer-simulation surrogates: A Pareto formulation," Int. Jour. Num. Meth. Eng.,42, 971-1003, 1998.

69) J. C. Otto, M. Paraschivoiu, S. Yesilyurt and A. T. Patera "Bayesian--validated computer simulation surrogates for optimization and design: error estimates and applications." Mathematics and Computers in Simulation, 44(4), pp.347-367, 1997.

70) S. Yesilyurt, M. Paraschivoiu, J. C. Otto, and A. T. Patera, "Computer simulation response surfaces: a Bayesian--validated approach", Proceedings Computational Methods in Water Resources XI, Cancun, July 1996.

71) S. Yesilyurt, C. Ghaddar, M. Cruz and A. T. Patera, "Bayesian-validated surrogates for noisy computer simulations; application to random media." SIAM Journal on Scientific Computing, 17(4), 1996.

72) J. C. Otto, M. Paraschivoiu, S. Yesilyurt and A. T. Patera, "Computer simulation surrogates for optimization: application to trapezoidal ducts and axisymmetric bodies." Proceedings, CFD for Design and Optimization, ASME Inter. Mech. Eng. Conf., San Fransisco, November 1995.

73) J. C. Otto, M. Paraschivoiu, S. Yesilyurt and A. T. Patera, "Bayesian-validated computer simulation surrogates for optimization and design." Proceedings, ICASE Workshop on Multidisciplinary Optimization, March 1995.

74) S. Yesilyurt and A. T. Patera, "Surrogates for numerical simulations; optimization of eddy-promoter heat exchangers."Computer methods in applied mechanics and engineering, 121, pp 231-257, 1995.

75) G. Fu, M. J. Driscoll, N.E. Todreas, and S. Yesilyurt, "Heat transfer and friction factor behavior in the mixed convection regime for air up-flow in a heated vertical pipe." AIChe Symposium Series , 283 (87), pp 326-335, 1991.


Issued Patents

  1. S.Motakef, S.Yesilyurt, "Substantially-uniform-temperature annealing", US Patent No: 6,624,390, Sept. 23, 2003
  2. S.Motakef, S.Yesilyurt, "Substantially-uniform-temperature annealing", US Patent No: 6,919,539, July 19, 2005
  3. S. Motakef, S. Yesilyurt, “Substantially-uniform-temperature annealing”,  US Patent No: 7,019,266, March 28, 2006.