Dr. Ekenel is an Associate Professor at the Department of Computer Engineering in Istanbul Technical University, where he directs the ?Smart Interaction, Mobile Intelligence, and Multimedia Technologies (SiMiT) Research Group?. He received his B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees in Electrical and Electronic engineering from Bogazici University in 2001 and 2003, respectively, and Ph.D. degree in Computer Engineering from the University of Karlsruhe (TH)/Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in 2009.
He has played a leading role in face analysis tasks in several large-scale European and German research projects. He was the task leader for face recognition in the Computers in the Human Interaction Loop (CHIL) project, an Integrated Project funded under the European Commission's Sixth Framework Programme with a budget of 24 million EUR. He organized international face recognition evaluations within the CLEAR evaluation campaigns (http://www.clear-evaluation.org/). He has been responsible for face recognition system in the German SFB588 Humanoid Robots project. He has been the task leader of face recognition in the French-German Quaero project funded by French State Agency for Innovation with a budget of 200 million EUR. He developed the best performing face detection system in the CHIL 2004, 2005 evaluations and the best performing face recognition system in the CLEAR 2006, 2007 evaluations. In addition, his team was ranked third among the 14 research institutions worldwide and had the first place among the six European teams participating to the Facial Expression Recognition and Analysis Challenge in 2011.
In 2008, he received the EBF European Biometric Research Award. The generality, speed, and robustness of his approach facilitated several deployments for a wide variety of real-world applications, such as entrance monitoring and person retrieval. Several demonstration sessions have been held in international conferences and events. He received the Best Demo Award at the IEEE International Conference on Automatic Face and Gesture Recognition in 2008. His face analysis technology has also been used by several research labs and companies. He was nominated for a prestigious German applied research prize by Technicolor SA (formerly Thomson SA), Exalead, Fraunhofer IOSB, and Videmo Intelligente Videoanalyse in 2010. After completing his doctoral studies, he was promoted to group leader position at the KIT. He is a recipient of a Young Investigator Grant that he was awarded within the German Excellence Initiative, with which he has founded the Facial Image Processing and Analysis (http://face.cs.kit.edu/) group at the Department of Computer Science in Karlsruhe Institute of Technology.
Since January 2011, he has been coordinating the Benchmarking Facial Image Analysis Technologies (BeFIT) initiative. He is the primary organizer of the BeFIT workshops 2011 and 2012. Together with Dr. Gunes from QMUL, he organized the International Workshop on Affective Computing for Mobile HCI (http://www.ac4mobhci2012.itu.edu.tr/) that took place in Istanbul, Turkey. He has been on the program committee for a number of international conferences and workshops including ICCV, ACCV, FG, ICME, BTAS, and AVSS.