Spotlight on FREEDM Alumni: Yigitcan Unludag

Originally from Istanbul, Turkey, FREEDM Alumnus, Yigitcan Unludag (Yeet-John Un-loo-duh) is part of a family of Wolfpack graduates.  Both of his parents and an older brother attended NC State and it was while visiting Raleigh that Yigitcan decided to follow in their footsteps.  First learning about the Electric Power Systems Engineering (EPSE) Masters program from Dr. Mesut Baran, Yigitcan completed a second Bachelors of Science degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering and earned his Masters in EPSE within three years.  He graduated in Spring 2012.

Currently, Yigitcan works as an Operations Manager at Electric Power Systems.  Electric Power Systems is a technical engineering service organization that specializes in design, commissioning, start-up and maintenance testing for utilities, industrial and governmental clients.  Yigitcan is based in Garner, North Carolina.  To learn more about Electrical Power Systems, visit their website at

1. During your time at FREEDM, how did interactions with industry prepare you for your first professional job?

All of the courses I took during the EPSE Program had guest lecturers from industry and during the Capstone Project, I had the chance to work with one of the leading consulting companies in the industry.  I received one-on-one coaching. Every interaction helped me to have better social skills and understand how to become a better team player and to take charge as a leader.

2. How have you applied cross disciplinary education experiences so far in your career?

I think cross disciplinary education can be challenging but they are a key to understanding, analyzing and solving problems. In my career, my main focus is power protection and control. When I’m troubleshooting a problem, I use the skill set that I developed over the years by learning how electronics, communication, cyber security and technology work together.

3. What has been your biggest professional contribution to this point?

I started as an entry level engineer and worked my way up to operations manager in a few years. I’ve been training technicians and engineers and trying to set an example of a career path that they can take if they work really hard and by learning the technical aspects of the job as well as developing skills in communications, interactions, customer support, reporting, analyzing and troubleshooting problems.

4. What is the most valuable lesson you learned during your time at FREEDM?

I realized that I was capable of doing more than I thought I was able to. I learned that it was important not to give up, learn from mistakes and find solutions. So when a problem presents itself, I can go back to my training and education to focus on the problem and find the answers.