KABAM (predecessor of KUBAM) was founded in cooperation between Koç University (KU) and Ak-Kim company to establish a scientific center with competence in advanced boron technologies and initiate the advancement of high-tech boron-based materials and related modern chemicals with the sole purpose of research excellence in science and technology in our country, which holds beyond 72% of global stocks of boron.
In December 2018, Ak-Kim changed its policy and decided to focus on different industrial products excluding boron-based materials; on that account, the cooperation agreement was terminated.
At the end of August 2019, Prof. Mehmet Somer—the director of KABAM at the time—retired from the university and honored as Emeritus Professor while Asst. Prof. Umut Aydemir from the Chemistry Department was officially appointed as the new director of the KABAM Research Center, effective October 1, 2019. Assoc. Prof. Sedat Nizamoğlu from the Electrical and Electronics Engineering Department was selected to serve as the Associate Director of the center along with Asst. Prof. Aydemir.
In February 2020, a new name was assigned to the center as “Koç University Boron and Advanced Materials Application and Research Center (KUBAM)" by the Council of Higher Education in Turkey. Since 2020, the number of board members of the center has been expanded to seven with the appointment of three new members, namely Assoc. Prof. Uğur Ünal, Asst. Prof. Safacan Kölemen, and Res. Asst. Prof. Özge Balcı. KUBAM has been targeting to increase the scope and profoundness of the cutting-edge research being implemented within KU since August 2017. The center devotes particular attention to building a bridge between academia and industry; likewise, the integration of science and engineering through collaborative research and interdisciplinary projects. In conjunction with ongoing studies at the graduate level, undergraduate students from diverse educational backgrounds also participate in a wide variety of research activities. As of today, KUBAM hosts 26 researchers with 4 senior scientists, 3 postdocs, 8 Ph.D. students, 5 MSc students, 4 undergraduates, 1 technician, and 1 visiting scholar.
The purification of boron oxide minerals and conversion into more value added high-tech boron compounds will promote the national welfare and significance. National export goods will be more esteemed and dedicated to leading industries internationally. Application areas of these products are aimed to be enwidened and enriched.
Academic and Technical Motivation
Boron is a lightweight and unique element that can perform some carbon – like behaviors and forms similar alterations. Due to high thermal resistivity, hardness, superconductivity, neutron absorbance properties, boron compounds are being used in pioneering applications. KUBAM projects are motivated to implement boron compounds into newer systems and improve the existing ones.
Enriching the scientific knowledge by academic contributions while forming interconnections within other disciplines and industry are the main function of the center.
Integrating the academic knowledge with the industrial operations reduces the cooperative gap while providing know-how oriented solutions for large-scale problems. Balancing the high-quality yield in the laboratory and low-cost objectives in production can only be realized via cooperating alliances as aimed at the KUBAM. Optimization of methodologies and alteration of parameters at R&D scale increases the overall efficiency.
Our center aims to bridge the profession and the industry over the knowledge and the application.
Importance of Boron
Boron is an important element for academy, R & D centers and industry thanks to its wide range of uses with its current outstanding features. It is used in close to 250 fields like energy, defense materials, chemistry, metallurgy, building materials, ceramics, nuclear applications, medicine and high technology all around the world.
Predominant boron reserves in the world are located in Turkey, USA, Russia and South America. The recent boron deposits of our country are located in the Western Anatolia; Eskişehir-Kırka, Kütahya-Emet, Bursa-Kestelek and Balıkesir-Bigadiç.
Turkey’s possession of the first place in boron resources ranking with its 73 % (3.3 billion tones) share of world’s reserves, emphasizes importance of research areas including boron based materials.