Naval Engineering Graduate Efe Kuyumcu Named to Turkish Sailing Team
Having graduated Stevens Institute of Technology with a Bachelor of Engineering degree with a concentration in Naval Engineering, Efe Kuyumcu now sets his sights on a new goal: sailing in the 2012 London Olympics. Efe is one of two athletes to be named to the 2011 Turkish Olympic Sailing Team. If he qualifies, he will represent his home country in Finn class (singlehanded) sailing at the 2012 Olympics.
“Efe’s achievement exemplifies the hard work that is characteristic of Stevens students both inside and outside the classroom,” says Dr. Raju Datla, Research Associate Professor of Naval Engineering.
The honor is a culmination of years of hard work, both in sailing and academics. Efe began sailing with the Turkish national team in 1998 in the junior division. He moved up to the senior national team in 2000, at the age of 15. From the beginning, his dream was to compete in the Olympics.
Efe continued to sail until late 2003, when an injury and work priorities forced him to take some time off. He came to Stevens to study Naval Engineering, a field that complemented his passion for sailing. Efe says his schoolwork has given him an appreciation of ship design and sailing: “It is incredible that as a naval engineer you can actually design any yacht you want from scratch, build it and sail around the world.” Efe found himself engrossed in the field, from testing Volvo racing boats in Davidson Laboratory to reading up on Stevens historical involvement in the sport. His senior design project consisted of designing three sailing yachts for a shipyard in Turkey. “It all made me realize that I wasn’t done with sailing,” he says.
Efe began training again in earnest in 2008 and was racing again with the Turkish national team in 2009. By year’s end he was named a member of the Olympic training team. In the fall of 2010, Efe was re-elected to the Olympic team, and has since focused his training to maximize his chance of representing his country.
Because of the physical demands of Finn class racing, Efe had to train hard to keep in excellent shape while still balancing his academic course load at Stevens. Efe trained up to four hours a day, six days a week, swimming, rowing, cycling, and lifting. His sleep and social life might have suffered a little, but Efe is pleased with the results: a degree from a world-class program in Naval Engineering, and the opportunity to represent Turkey in the Olympics.
Sailing at Stevens
Efe is writing the latest chapter in Stevens long involvement with sailing. John Cox Stevens was the first commodore and a founding member of the New York Yacht Club, started in 1844. In fact, the original clubhouse was located on what is now the Stevens campus. John’s brother Edwin, the founder of Stevens, served as the club’s fourth commodore. The two collaborated on the construction of the yacht America, winner of the 1851 regatta that would become known as the first “America’s Cup.”
“Stevens has an incredible past in sailing with the yacht America, America’s Cup, and the Davidson Lab,” Efe says. “So many and all the wonderful boats have been and continue to be tested here. I want my future to be involved in these incredible boats and yachts, whether in racing or engineering.”