Bilsen Beler Baykal was born in 1957 in Istanbul, Turkey. She completed her elementary education at Sisli Terakki and high school at Uskudar American Academy for Girls (now Uskudar American Academy), both in Istanbul. She received her BS and MS degrees in Chemical Engineering from Bogazici University, Istanbul in 1979 and 1981, respectively. She went to The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA on a Horace H. Rackham Fellowship where she was a Dual Degree Student in the departments of Chemical Engineering and Environmental Engineering. She received her MSE degree in Environmental Engineering in 1985. In the same year she transferred the doctoral work she was pursuing in Ann Arbor to Istanbul Technical University and completed it there in 1988. Serving at Bogazici University as assistant and researcher, at the University of Michigan - Ann Arbor as teaching and research assistant, at the Technical University of Hamburg (1993-1994 and 1998-2000) as visiting professor, and at Istanbul Technical University as research assistant, assistant professor, associate professor, Bilsen Beler Baykal was appointed as the first female professor (1998) and in turn the first female department chairperson (1998) of ITU’s Environmental Engineering Department. She is married and has one son.