Ms. Derya Baran
Derya Baran is Co-Founder and Chief Engineer at RedSea, a leading AgTech business driven by innovation and whose pioneering technology enables commercial farming in hot climates globally. She has developed and patented a composite that can be embedded in various greenhouse roofs allowing visible light through whilst blocking heat, acting as a transparent heat shield. Derya’s technology has been productized as ‘iyris Heat Blocking Greenhouse Roof’, which recently won the prestigious ASABE AE50 award and the Davidson Prize in the USA.
In addition to her role at RedSea, Derya is a faculty in Material Science and Engineering, working with novel and functional materials that can be utilised in sustainable energies and electronics. She has published over 160 scientific papers in highly impactful journals such as Nature Energy and independently built a global team of 18 members, being an active ambassador of diversity and equity.
Prior to joining KAUST in 2017, Derya was a Helmholtz Association joint fellow between Imperial College London, UK and Julich Research Center, Germany. She completed her studies in Turkey (ODTU) and completed her PhD in Material Science and Engineering in Germany, 2014. She has been a Global Young Academy member since 2020.
Recently Derya was appointed as Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC). She has also been awarded the esteemed “12 most talented scientists in chemistry” given by the biggest Engineering journal C&EN and the MIT award “Innovators Under 35”.
Derya is driven by the hypothesis that local and fresh food can be a viable reality for the >1 billion people living in desert regions using sustainable resources and is determined to help where possible.