Derek Baker
CERES: Clean Energy Research, Education, and Service
Middle East Technical University > Department of Mechanical Engineering
Derek Baker
Derek Baker, Ph.D.
- Professor, Dept. of Mech. Engr.
- Co-Director, ODAK: Conc. Solar Thermal Energy Lab; Part of GÜNAM: Center for Solar Energy Research and Applications
Mech. Engr. E-105
Middle East Technical University
06800 Ankara, Turkey
Tel.: +90-312-210-5217
Fax: +90-312-210-2536
Sustainable Energy Group (SEG): Visit the initial SEG website. Over the winter 2015 break I started working with several faculty members to create a Research Group to promote Research, Human Resources and Technology Development, and Innovation in Sustainable Thermal Energy Technologies.
About CERES:  Several years ago I gave CERES as an unofficial name to the group of students with whom I was collaborating to give structure and a sense of identity to our research group.  To facilitate communication among group members, I made a Google Group with the name CERES. I regularly use this Google Group to pass along important information and ideas to our group. Initially the group was quite small and consisted only of my graduate students and me. Subsequently the group grew to include undergraduate students I was trying to prepare for graduate school. More recently as I began to co-advise graduate students with many different faculty members, I added these faculty members to the Google Group for transparency. Over the past year I have collaborated with many graduate students I am not officially advising on conference papers and journal articles, and have added their names to this Google Group. Currently this Google Group called CERES contains ~ 40 people including graduate students I am and am not officially advising, prospective graduate students, undergraduate students, alumni, and other faculty members. Therefore this group has morphed into an entity without clear membership boundaries. By looking at my CV below one can easily identify the people with whom I am collaborating, but this list of people does not always overlap with the names in the CERES Google Group.
CERES Mission: Many of today's global challenges are intimately tied to energy such as economic development, climate change, national security, resource depletion, and pollution. These challenges represent an opportunity for engineers to create innovative solutions and make a meaningful contribution to society. Through Research, Education, and Service, CERES members are working to develop solutions to these global challenges that are economically viable and socially, environmentally, and globally responsible.
CERES Goals: Our goals are excellence in research, education, and service in the area of clean thermal energy conversion systems. The simplest measure for success in reaching these goals are opportunities. Specifically, if we are successful in reaching these goals, members will have opportunities to achieve their professional goals within our group, and opportunities to pursue their professional goals by moving to other groups both within Turkey and internationally. Additionally, high quality new members will want to join our group due to the opportunities we offer.
CERES Research: Most of our current research fits under the broad umbrella of clean processes that can be driven using Concentrating Solar Thermal (CST) technologies, with a specific emphasis on Solar Thermal Electricity (STE) (also called Concentrating Solar Power/CSP) and thermal powered air conditioning systems (e.g., adsorption, absorption, and desiccant). Our research extends into geothermal energy, thermal energy storage, building energy systems, and distributed energy networks and micro-grids.
CERES Research Objectives: Our Objectives are for all members to demonstrate the ability to do research of publishable quality and to disseminate this work through publications.
Short Bio: Derek Baker is a Full Professor in Mechanical Engineering at Middle East Technical University (METU). He is also the Co-Director of ODAK, The Concentrating Solar Thermal (CST) Research Laboratory, which is part of The Center for Solar Energy Research and Applications (GÜNAM) at METU. He received his BS from Virginia Tech in 1992, and his MS and PhD from The University of Texas-Austin in 1996 and 2000, respectively, all in Mechanical Engineering. Currently he is the METU Principal Investigator for the European Union (EU) Horizon 2020 project Integrating National Research Agendas on Solar Heat for Industrial Processes (INSHIP). From 2012-2016 he participated in the EU-SOLARIS Research Infrastructure project on CST. He regularly serves as an independent expert for the evaluation of EU research proposals and is active in the European Energy Research Alliance Joint Program on Concentrating Solar Power (EERA JP CSP). He received awards from the Turkish Council of Higher Education (YÖK) for his research performance in 2016 and 2017 and from METU for his overall academic performance (research, education, and service) in 2017. He was twice named METU Educator of the Year (2003-4 and 2005-6), and in 2013 was named METU Outstanding Educator, which is METU's highest and terminal teaching award.
CV: Download (PDF). In the past I tried to replicate my information in my CV on a webpage, and I found it too difficult to keep both the CV and webpage updated and consistent. Therefore to simplify my life I am only attaching a link to my CV and am making no attempt to replicate this information on a webpage.

Publication and Citation Information:

Information for Prospective Graduate Students: As of 11 April 2017 I have several unfunded graduate students, I am currently looking for funding for these students, and I will not have funding for new graduate students this fall. If you do not need funding and potentially want to work with me, you can email me and state in the subject "Do not need funding". Due to the large number of emails I am receiving from prospective students who need funding, I am no longer answering these emails (i.e., if you email me looking for funding, I will assume you did not take the time to look at my webpage in detail and therefore are not serious about wanting to work with me, and I will delete your email immediately).

For the Fall 2017 I am hoping to start ~ 2 new graduate students in the broad area of Solar Heat for Industrial Processes (SHIP) to support the European Union Horizon 2020 INSHIP Project. For details about the INSHIP project see the project website. Note this project is primarily designed to create opportunities to fund research, and not to actually fund research; i.e., our budget is small but the opportunities are big. I do not want to advise students in other areas.

Fall 2017 Course Information:

  • 351:
    • 06 Oct. Syllabus Etc: The syllabus, lecture notes, etc can be found at I will be placing files here in sequential order by date, where e.g. the file prefix 171005 means 17 (year) 10 (month) 05 (day), and thus all files are ordered by date.
    • 6 Oct. Registration Information: I communicated with our Dept. Admin last night about the EE's and IE's wanting to register for my section. I was told that I am free to admit or reject these EE's and IE's students as I wish. I will admit EE and IE students who:
      • Attended class yesterday as evidenced by signing the attendance sheet.
      • Submited a request to our Student Affairs office to take my section.
      • Agree that first asking me to accept them into my class and then asking for special treatment is unprofessional. Specifically, the class is designed for MinE students and not EE or IE students, and this includes MT and final exam dates and times. EE and IE students should not come to me with conflicts for MT and final exam dates and times - you will need to work this out with your other class. Similarly, a problem with large classes is that they become noisy, and you should not disrupt class by talking, etc. As per our discussion last night, unprofessional behaviour can result in an reduction to your final course average and last semester I reduced a student's final course average who first missed class due to work (which is not a problem) and then emailed me to learn what he missed (this is unprofessional). By registering for (or not dropping) this class you are agreeing to these policies.
      • I am traveling Sat (tomorrow) - Wed and will submit the list of EE and IE students who can take the course to Student Affairs shortly.
  • 496:
    • 6 Nov. Indiv. In-Class Presentation Date Preferences:  Register your preferred dates for your individual in-class presentations.
On-Going Projects and Affiliations
EU Solaris Logo METU NCC Logo
Current and Recent Funding and Consulting Agencies
EU Horizon 2020
7th Framework Programme EU SFERA Logo Tubitak Logo NSF Logo
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Middle East Technical University
Created: Nov. 04, 2014
Last Updated: Mar. 28, 2017