Dr. Pinar Omur-Ozbek

Dr. Pinar Omur-Ozbek is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at Colorado State University. She was born and raised in Ankara, Turkey where she obtained her B.S. degree in Environmental Engineering from Middle East Technical University, one of the most prestigious universities in Turkey. Pinar had a chance to work for a leading construction company in Turkey to overview the design and construction of a complete infrastructure system (dam, water treatment, drinking water distribution, sewer system, wastewater treatment system and a landfill project) for her summer internships while she was an undergraduate student.

Pinar was intrigued by the emerging environmental issues during her studies and decided to pursue her education in environmental engineering. She received her M.S. degree at Virginia Tech where she focused on taste-and-odor problems related to algal products in source waters and its relation to human perception of tap water safety. Realizing her passion for academia: teaching and research, Pinar continued with a Ph.D. degree at Virginia Tech. During her Ph.D. work, she conducted an interdisciplinary research to investigate the metallic flavor of drinking water caused by iron and copper. Her research evolved from sensory analyses to medical and biomedical field to further study the effects of metal ions on the oral epithelial cells. Findings suggested a possible relation between oxidation of oral epithelial cells with iron and metallic flavor perception of cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. During conducting sensory analyses she also developed the first international odor standard to be adopted and used for Flavor Profile Analysis of drinking water. Pinar has presented her work in many national and international conferences and published articles in top environmental engineering journals.

Pinar is very excited to be a part of the industrious faculty and staff at Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at CSU. Pinar is currently teaching two undergraduate classes (Pollution Control Engineering, and Water and Wastewater Characterization) and enjoys educating young minds while hoping that they will be intrigued by the environmental issues as well. Pinar is also looking forward to establishing an interdisciplinary collaboration to tackle environmental issues as she has realized that one dimensional approach does not work. Her research interests include water quality, taste-and-odor issues with drinking water, indoor air quality (related to use of contaminated drinking water), and effect water infrastructure on flavor and safety of tap water. Pinarís ultimate goal is to find a simple yet effective solution for a drinking water problem, which will effect a big population.

Pinar enjoys the sunny weather of Colorado very much and hopes to find time to ski in the upcoming years.