Gulsun Saglamer (President)

Prof. Dr. Gulsun Saglamer, Former Rector of Istanbul Technical University (1996-2004) is a professor of architecture at Istanbul Technical University. She graduated from Istanbul Technical University with a Master of Architecture degree in 1967 and received her PhD from the same university in 1973. She became Associate Professor in 1978, Full Professor in 1988 at ITU.  She taught Architectural Design, Computer Aided Architectural Design, Logic Model of Design, Architectural Design Methods and Theories at ITU since 1973 until she retired in 2012.

She carried out her post-doctoral studies at the Martin Centre, Department of Architecture, University of Cambridge, UK 1975-1976 and continued her studies at the Martin Centre for short periods in 1987 and 1989.  She was a member of the Scientific Committee of TUBITAK (The Scientific and Technical Research Council of Turkey) INTAG between 1990 and 1996. Prof Sağlamer was invited to Queen's University of Belfast as a Visiting Professor between 1993 and 1996 and was also invited to be an external examiner at the same university for four years between 1999 and 2003.  She is a member of the Editorial Boards of “Open House International”, “International Journal for Housing Science and Its Applications”, “ITU Journal AZ/ Architecture Design” (in Turkish). She has been on numerous architectural competition juries at national  level and also at international level such as the jury for the prestigious Daimler-Chrysler-UNESCO Mondialogo Engineering Prize 2005.

She was a Board Member of EUA (European University Association) (2005-2009) and a member of the Steering Committee of the EUA’s Institutional Evaluation Programme (IEP) (2009-2013), a chair of evaluation teams in IEP evaluations since 2011 and a member of the Research Policy Working Group of EUA since its establishment in 2005 till 2017.  She has been an Executive Committee Member (2003-2021) of the International Association of University Presidents (IAUP) and the President of CMU (Community of Mediterranean Universities) (2012-2016). She was invited to the Marie Curie People Programme (EC) Advisory Group for five terms: 2006-2018 and has been the Chair of the Marie Sklodowska Curie Actions Advisory Group in Horizon 2020 (2013-2016). She was invited to the” Expert Working Group on The External Research Funding of Universities”, established by the EC (2007-2008). She was a member of the Steering Committee of the OECD/IMHE Quality Teaching Project (2009-2012).

She is a Member of the Board of Trustees of Kadir Has University (2006-2014)(2020-2024) and the President of the Council for Technology and Technoparks in Turkey (2006-2010). She is the Founder and a Board Member of ITU’s Technology Park and Incubation Centre, ARI Techno-City and a Board Member of ITU Development Foundation (2009-2021). She is the founder of ITU Development Foundation’s K12 Schools: Nursery (1998), Primary School (2001), High School (2006) to provide better work-life balance for ITU academic staff. She was the Chair of the Academic Council of these schools for 8 years (2000-2008)

Professional experience

Gulsun Saglamer is a registered architect at the Chamber of Architects of Turkey, Istanbul. She designed several important architectural projects and received awards at national and international levels such as First Prize in the Architectural Competition of the Aydin-Kusadasi Tourism Complex, Organized by the Ministry of Public Works, 1982; Best Buildings of the Year 2000 by Kolleksiyon, ‘Sedat Üründül Nursery’. Same project also received a prize from OECD PEB 2nd Compendium of Exemplary Educational Facilities, 2000.  She designed a five-star hotel building with 320 beds (Trabzon-Grand Zorlu), a housing group with 360 dwelling units (Trabzon-ATAŞEHİR), a research centre, and villas in different parts of Turkey.  She has served as jury member in many national architectural design competitions. She is the founder and president of “the Association for Architectural Education” (MIMED)(ArchED)(1997-2019) MİMED has been organizing very prestigious “Architectural Students Projects Competitions” since 2001 at National level.  She is the first female Vice-Rector (1992-1995) and the first female Rector (1996-2004) of Istanbul Technical University since its establishment in 1773.

Research interests and experience

Major research areas are Computer Aided Architectural Design (CAAD), Architectural Design Theories, Computer Applications in Housing, CAAD of Dwelling Units, Morphological Studies of House Forms, Housing for Low Income Groups,Immigration from Rural to Urban Areas, Squatter Settlements, Comparative Studies in Housing, Space Syntax in Housing, CAAD in Housing, Higher Education and Research Management, and Women Academics in Science and Engineering. She did her PhD in CAAD in 1973. She is the pioneer of the CAAD courses at undergraduate and graduate levels at ITU and supervised 11 PhD theses together with 25 master theses at ITU Graduate Schools.

She coordinated a Med Campus Project titled “Housing for Low Income Groups in Turkey” under the 4th Framework Programme in 1995 and established “The Housing Research Centre” at ITU in 1997. This centre has taken part in many research projects and has organised international meetings for international networks. This centre also designed a master degree programme for “Earthquake Resistant Housing”(2000- ).

Prof. Saglamer established a centre at Istanbul Technical University titled “Women Studies in Science Engineering and Technology“ in 2009 and served as the director of this centre 2009-2012. She organised the “European Women Rectors Conferences” at ITU in Istanbul four times (2008, 2010, 2012 and 2014). Prof.Saglamer also chaired the “European Women Rector Platform” (EWRP) that was established in 2010. She has led the ITU team in 5 of the EC funded (FP6 and FP7) projects on Women in STEM (2006-2017). In December, 2015 European Women Rectors Association (EWORA) has been established under the Belgian Law in Brussels and Prof. Saglamer is the founding Board member and the President of EWORA. She is re-elected as the President of EWORA for the second period of 2019-2023. She has been representing Turkey in ERAC Standing Working Group on Gender in Research and Innovation (Former Helsinki Group) since 2o18. She has been  an “External Assessor of Senior Academic Leadership Initiative 2020” of the Ireland Higher Education Authority.

Prof. Saglamer has a great interest in graduate programmes and under her leadership all the graduate programmes of ITU were restructured and new graduate programmes were created on “Advanced Technologies in Engineering” in 2000. The aim of these programmes was to train doctoral candidates for employment not only in academia but also in industry. This project was funded by the State Planning Organisation of Turkey and was successful in attracting funds from industry as well.

She has continued her work on graduate programmes after stepping down from her rectorship and established a research group on “Doctoral Education in Architecture”, and organised the first Conference on “Doctoral Education on Housing Studies” in 2008. After completing the pilot study at international level on “Doctoral Education in Architecture” she co-chaired the first international workshop on this subject at ITU in November 2011. She has established a research group on “Doctoral Education in Architecture and co-authored the book titled “Doctoral Education in Architecture” by Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2015.

She is also representing Turkey in the network titled “European Research in Architecture and Urbanism” and chaired the EURAU 2014 Conference on “Composite Cities” and Co-authored a book titled “Reinterpreting and Restructuring Composite Cities” (2016).

She has given over 90 keynote speeches and invited lectures on architecture and different aspects of higher education (such as research policy, doctoral education, quality assurance, quality enhancement, funding) at international meetings besides her keynotes on gender equality in HE&R, that has been her major research area since 2008. 

Other significant events and prizes

  • Honoris Causa by
    • Carleton University, Canada (2001),
    • Universitatea de Nord Din Baia Mare University, Romania (2002),
    • Ovidius University of Constantza in Romania (2009),
    • Queens’ University Belfast (2018)
  • American Institute of Architects (AIA) Honorary Fellowship (Hon FAIA) in 2006
  • “Leonardo da Vinci Medal” by SEFI (Société Européenne Pour la Formation Ingénieurs - European Society for Engineering Education) in 2005-2006
  • Founding Board Member, Global Relations Forum (2009-2017)
  • Member of European Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters since 2011
  • Member of the Selection Committee for Fulbright Prize 2014
  • Chair of the Selection Committee of the Vehbi Koç Educational Prize, 2015.


She has led the ITU team in 5 of the EC funded (FP6 and FP7) projects on Women in STEM (2006-2017)

1. UNICAFE–Survey of the University Career of Female Scientists at Life Sciences versus Technical Universities, funded by European Commission, 2006-2008

2. Meta Analysis – Meta-analysis of gender and science research, funded by European Commission, 2008-2010:

3. SHEMERA–Euro-Mediterranean research cooperation on gender and science: SHE Euro Mediterranean Research Area, funded by European Commission, 2011-2014

4. FESTA–Female Empowerment in Science and Technology Academia, funded by European Commission, 2012-2017

FESTA Resistance Handbook on Resistance to Gender Equality in Academi a (

Authors: Gülsün Sağlamer, Mine Tan, Hülya Çağlayan, Nina Almgren, Minna Salminen-Karlson,Liv       Baisner, Eva Sphia Myers, Gitte Toftgaard Jorgensen, Manuela Aye, sabine Bausch, Pat O’connor,          Clare O’Hagan, Ita Richardson,Mario Conci, Georgi Apostolov, Irina Topuzova

5. COST Gender STE, Science, Technology, Environment. genderSTE is a network of policy makers and experts committed to promoting fair representation of women and better integration of gender analysis in research and innovation