Dr. Ilday’s research builds on a creative interplay between basic science, applications, and engineering. Its keystone is the judicious engineering of nonlinear dynamics, which explores in laser physics and ultrafast light-matter interactions. He studied theoretical physics at Boğaziçi University, Istanbul, Turkey, graduating valedictorian in 1998. He took his Ph.D. in applied physics from Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA, in 2003. He worked at MIT, Cambridge, MA, USA, from 2003 to 2006. Between 2006 and 2023, he worked as a professor at Bilkent University, Ankara, Turkey. In 2023, he answered the call of the prestigious Alexander von Humboldt Professorship, nominated by the Ruhr Universität Bochum, Germany, where he is now a professor.
Dr. Ilday was awarded the European Research Council’s (ERC) prestigious Consolidator Grant in 2013, the first ERC grant on basic science in Turkey, the ERC Proof of Concept Grant in 2021, and the ERC Advanced Grant in 2022. His contributions to science have been generously recognised through the Findlay Award, TÜBA-GEBIP Award, Teşvik Award (TÜBİTAK), Engin Arık Science Award from the Turkish Physical Society, and the top award in science in Turkey, the Science Award of TÜBİTAK, and the Humboldt Professorship by the esteemed Humboldt Foundation. Dr. Ilday has been elected to the Science Academy of Turkey and Academia Europaea.