Department History

The history of Geological Engineering Department dates back to the establishment of Mining Engineering Department which started its education within the barracks deployed in the premises of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey in 1960.  In 1962, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Melih N. Tokay transferred from Mineral research and Exploration Institute of Turkey (MTA) to the Mining Engineering Department and started to offer Physical Geology, Structural Geology, and Economical Geology courses.  In the same year, Coşkun Ünan and Taştan Revi, graduates of the Department of Mining Engineering of İstanbul Technical University (ITU) also joined the Mining Engineering Department of METU as teaching assistants.


 Dr. Coşkun Unan, Prof. Dr. Melih N. Tokay (with hat) and Prof. Dr. Hayri Erten are with the Department of Mining Engineering students of 1960 and 1961 on the terrace of boathouse building at Eymir Lake for tree-planting event.



Following the attempts of Prof. Dr. Melih N. Tokay, in 1962-1963 academic year, Mining Engineering Department started to offer two options; Mining Engineering (MinE) and Mining Geological Engineering (MinGeoE). Two of the Mining Engineering students, Vedat Doyuran and Orhan Akıman, transferred to the MinGeoE Option and four remained in the MinE Option. 

In 1963, the department moved to the new barracks in the  METU campus. The same year Ayla Bayiç (Tankut), graduate of the Mining Engineering Department of ITU, joined the department as an assistant and Dr. Suat Erk from Ankara University was employed as a part-time instructor to offer paleontology and stratigraphy courses. In early 1960’s there were only a few geology instructors who could offer courses in English.  Thus, instructors from abroad have been invited.  Dr. Gerrit Van der Kaaden from Netherland to teach mineralogy and petrography, Dr. Barnes from England to teach geochemistry, and Prof. Dr. Norman R. Martin, UNESCO Technical Advisor, to teach geological mapwork joined the department on a full-time basis.

MinGeoE option has given its first graduates in June 1965. However, the term “option” first appeared in the BS diplomas of 1966 graduates.

At the University Trustee meeting of April 1965, it was planned to establish a faculty embracing Mining, Geological and Petroleum engineering departments. It was hoped that the options could soon be converted to independent departments. However, no progress had been achieved until 1969 and thus the idea of establishing a faculty had faded out.

The name of the MinGeoE Option has been changed to Geological Engineering (GeoE) Option in 1968-1969 academic year.


  Prof. Dr. Melih N. Tokay and his students are in the Field Geolgy course.


During the period 1965-1970, Prof. Dr. Kerim Afshar from U.N. (mineral deposits),  Dr. Philips (mineralogy, economical geology), Prof. Dr. Paul Dean Proctor (mineral deposits, geochemistry), Prof. Dr. Matthew P. Nackowski (applied geology, mineral deposits), and Prof. Dr. Alfred Snelgrove (applied geology, mineral deposits) from the U.S.A. joined the department as visiting scholars for a period of two years.  Prof.  Dr. Jan Bernard from Czechoslovakia also joined the department to teach mineralogy.

Dr. Teoman Norman (geology for civil engineers) who joined the department on a part-time basis in 1965, transferred to the department from MTA on a full-time basis to teach sedimantology, physical geology and geological mapwork in 1969. Starting in 1970’s Dr. Fethullah Özelçi (Geophysical prospecting) began to teach on a part-time basis. In 1970’s the laboratory facilities of the department was insufficient but MTA generously offered its laboratory facilities for the geology students.

In 1971-1972 academic year, GeoE Option was separated from the Department of Mining Engineering as a new department within the Faulty of Engineering of METU. Prof. Dr. Melih N. Tokay was assigned as the chairman of the new department.

 In the early years of the department, the education continued with a small number of students, a few full-time staff members and part-time instructors. Thus, a program was initiated to send assistants abroad for PhD studies. Coşkun Ünan (1961) and Taştan Revi (1962) were sent to the University of Birmingham and University of London, respectively, through CENTO and AID programs. In 1967, Orhan Akıman  (Durham University), in 1968 Vedat Doyuran (University Of Utah), in 1969 İsmail Özkaya (University of Rolla at Missouri) and in 1970 Ayhan Erler (University Of Utah) have been granted scholarships for PhD studies. In the following years, more PhD graduates educated abroad joined the department and it is with these young and enthusiastic staff members that METU has become a leading university of Turkey. The staff members, without any strict hierarchical order and with full responsibility continued their teaching and research activities at METU.


Geological Engineering Department of METU is the first department in Turkey established within the Faculty of Engineering and offering education entirely in English. As of 2010 there are about 27 Geological Engineering Departments in Turkey and METU Geological Engineering Department admits student with the highest score of the university entrance exam. Since 1965 the department has graduated 1221 BS, 286 MS, and 71 PhD students. In the year 2002, the department was accredited by ABET. It is the first geological engineering department honoured with accreditation in Turkey. The department has maintained its leadership through publications in the journals accredited by SCI.

The department has successfully organized six international and two national symposiums. International Volcanological Congress (IAVCEI) was the first international activity realized within the METU campus. A total of 500 earthscientists, 350 from 35 foreign countries and 150 from Turkey participitated. This was an excellent opportunity for the promotion of METU campus.


 List of international/national symposium/congres/Conference organized by the Department of Geological Engineering at M.E.T.U.





3. Ulusal Kil Sempozyumu

21-27 September 1987


Melih Tokay Jeoloji Sempozyumu’87

11-13 November 1987


International Volcanological Congress (IAVCEI)

12-16 September 1994


Third International Turkish Geology Symposium

31 August-4 September 1998


Paleo’Forams 2001 International Conference on Paleozoic Benthic Foraminifera

20-24 August 2001


International Workshop on the North Anatolian, East Anatolian and Dead Sea Fault Systems

31 August-12 September 2003


EUROPROBE Neoproterozoic-Paleozoic Time Slice Symposium

30 September-6 October 2003


Fourth Mediterranian Clay Meeting

5-10 September 2006



Melih Tokay Geology Symposium, 1987.


Memories and inputs of those faculty; Prof. Dr. Melih N. Tokay, Assistant Prof. Dr. Ender Atabey, Prof. Dr. Ayhan Erler and Prof. Dr. Ayla Bayiç Tankut who passed away untimely are greatly cherished and appreciated. The supports of foreign faculty provided, especially in the early years, are never forgotten. Last but not the least, part-time faculty supports has always been appreciated.




Full-time faculty members of the Department of Geological Engineering since 1963 (in order of entrance date)

Prof. Dr. Melih N. Tokay

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Gerrit Van der Kaaden

Prof. Dr. Teoman Norman

Dr. Utarit Bilgütay

Assist. Prof. Dr. Taştan Revi

Prof. Dr. Coşkun Unan

Prof. Dr. Ayla Bayiç Tankut

Assist. Prof. Dr. Orhan Akıman

Prof. Dr. Vedat Doyuran

Assoc. Prof. Dr. İsmail Özkaya

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Taylan Lünel

Prof. Dr. Ayhan Erler

Dr. Tuncay Yaşar

Prof. Dr. Yavuz Çorapçıoğlu

Assist. Prof. Dr. Ender Atabey

Prof. Dr. Asuman Türkmenoğlu

Prof. Dr. Demir Altıner

Assist. Prof. Dr. Namık Çağatay

Assist. Prof. Dr. Oğuz Arda

Assist. Prof. Dr. T. Yalçın İrfan

Prof. Dr. Nurkan Karahanoğlu

Prof. Dr. Niyazi Türkelli

Dr. Öğr. Üyesi Altan Necioğlu

Prof. Dr. Göksenin Eseller

Prof. Dr. Ali Koçyiğit

Prof. Dr. Kadir Dirik

Prof. Dr. Erçin Kasapoğlu

Prof. Dr. Nilgün Güleç

Prof. Dr. Vedat Toprak

Assist. Prof. Dr. Öznur Mindevallı

Prof. Dr. İbrahim Çemen

Prof. Dr. M. Cemal Göncüoğlu

Prof. Dr. Hasan Yazıcıgil

Prof. Dr. F. Bora Rojay

Prof. Dr. Tamer Topal

Prof. Dr. Haluk Akgün

Prof. Dr. Sevinç Özkan Altıner

Prof. Dr. M. Zeki Çamur

Assist. Prof. Dr. Pırıl Önen

Prof. Dr. Erdin Bozkurt

Prof. Dr. Lütfi Süzen

Prof. Dr. Nuretdin Kaymakçı

Prof. Dr. İ. Ömer Yılmaz

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Fatma Toksoy Köksal

Assist. Prof. Dr. Peter Redecke

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Arda Özacar

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Koray K. Yılmaz

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Kaan Sayıt

Assist. Prof. Dr. Ali İmer

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ulaş Avşar

Part-time faculty members of the Department of Geological Engineering since 1963 (in order of entrance date).

Prof. Dr. Suat Erk

Prof. Dr. Oğuz Erol

Dr. Emin İlhan

Dr. Fethullah Özelçi

Dr. Mehmet Yıldız

Dr. Tandoğan Engin

Dr. Mehmet Topkaya

Dr. Bilal Sözeri

Dr. Erdoğan Demirtaşlı

Y. Müh. Savcı Özbayoğlu

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Volkan Ediger

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Kadir Gürgey

Dr. Abdullah Ateş

Dr. Rüçhan Yılmaz

Prof. Dr. Reşat Ulusay

Y. Müh. Gökhan Uğurtaş

Dr. Akın Geven

Dr. Tamer Özalp

Dr. Arda Arcasoy

Dr. Cengiz Soylu

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Zühtü Batı

Dr. Cengiz Demirci

Dr. M. Emin Ayhan

Dr. Çağıl Kolat

Dr. Mesut Soylu

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Serhat Köksal

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Hüseyin Evren Çubukçu

Dr. Zeynep Elif Yıldızel

Dr. Özgür Sipahioğlu

Dr. Mustafa Yücel Kaya

Visiting faculty members of the Department of Geological Engineering since 1963 (in order of entrance date).

Prof. Dr. Norman R. Martin

Dr. Barnes

Prof. Dr. Philips

Prof. Dr. Jan Bernard

Prof. Dr. Kerim Afshar

Prof. Dr. Paul Dean Proctor

Prof. Dr. M.P. Nackowski

Prof. Dr. Alfred Snelgrove

Dr. Abdelrahman Shiehi

Prof. Dr. Lawrence T. Larson

Prof. Dr. Howard R. Cramer

Steven K. Mittwede


Assist. Prof. Dr.. Deborah Thomas

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Elizabeth Catlos

Prof. Dr. Christan Schlüchter