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91 NO.3 FALL




“Georgia Tech broadened the horizons of what was possible.” — John D. Pelton Sr., IM 1962 From an early age, John D. Pelton Sr., IM 1962, had great admiration for Georgia Tech. When he attended his first football game at Grant Field, he was awestruck — not only by the Tech players’ fierce competitiveness, but also by their sportsmanship. Pelton was born in Roanoke, Virginia, and grew up in Decatur, Georgia. The Decatur High School graduate was so certain of his interest that he submitted one college application — to Georgia Tech. As an undergraduate, he worked his way through school at Westinghouse and, in spite of his demanding schedule, Pelton still found time to work as a lifeguard and to be involved in Sigma Alpha Epsilon, Alpha Phi Omega, and Kiwanis Club. After graduating in 1962, he entered the real estate business, where he enjoyed a remarkable career spanning all aspects of the industry. He is the founder and chairman of The Pelton Group, the parent company of Pinnacle Construction, Lakeside Properties, and Lakeside Mortgage Corporation. All of his real estate efforts were devoted to providing affordable housing, and he served in several leadership roles for the National Association of Home Builders at the local, state, and national levels.

Now retired, Pelton lives in Covington, Georgia, and enjoys traveling the world to hunt and fish. In addition to more than five decades of giving to Roll Call, he is also giving back to his alma mater through a testamentary provision of real estate to benefit the Scheller College of Business, which has meant so much to him for more than 50 years. Pelton’s estate gift will one day establish an endowed faculty chair that will bear his name. To this day, he remembers his graduation in 1962 and the theme of the Commencement speech, “Limit Not Your Thinking,” an idea that has resonated over the course of his life. Georgia Tech “prepares you well for your future, for the challenges you will face. Tech broadened the horizons I had as a young man, encouraging me to aspire to what was possible. I want that to continue happening for the Tech students of tomorrow.” Pelton stays connected to his alma mater by attending football games and serving on the Scheller College Advisory Board. He is also a member of The Hill Society, the Institute’s most prestigious giving society.

Founders’ Council is the honorary society recognizing donors who have made estate or life-income gifts of $25,000 or more for the support of Georgia Tech. For more information, please contact: 404.894.4678 • •

Georgia Tech Global Learning Center is the official meeting facility of the Georgia Tech Alumni Association. Next time you’re planning a meeting or conference – think the Georgia Tech Global Learning Center. We’ve got meeting spaces, conference facilities, and connected classrooms – perfect for your company’s needs, with the Georgia Tech excellence you expect. Schedule your personal tour today.

Where Meeting and Learning Converge



features VOLUME 91 NO.3 FALL 2015




As man continues to reach for the stars, private companies and global players are taking us to new places.

Why we don’t have to worry yet about bowing down before our robot overlords.

A timeline of sci-fi predictions that came true inspire Tech faculty to share some bold visions of their own.

P 40



P 50

P 59

Cover Illustration: Dave Thompson Opposite Page: Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute

departments p 14

p 24



p 26

p 34



012 A Tale of Two Telescopes

084 Weddings

014 Do Not Adjust That Dial

088 Births

018 A Minor for Major Geeks

090 In Memoriam

024 10 Questions A Q&A with sci-fi author Kathleen Ann Goonan.



028 Anchoring with Authenticity Chris Cotter, Mgt 93, had to earn his way into ESPN.



032 Dollars & Sense How GameStop CEO Paul Raines, IE 85, markets to gamers and sci-fi nerds.



104 Tech Artifact One professor’s radical idea predates Elon Musk’s Hyperloop by decades. 105 Time Machine



The importance of science fiction

034 @Issue: Star Wars vs. Star Trek 038 Seeing Red Dan Carey, AP 85, is willing to give up everything to travel to Mars.



070 Welcome, New Trustees! 072 Success Through Improv A mentor pushes a Tech student to break out of his comfort zone. 074 Tech Travel Preview 080 Calendar of Events

Cover Illustration: Dave Thompson Opposite Page: Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute





Helping to Make Sci-Fi Become Reality

Georgia Tech Alumni Magazine Vol. 91, No. 3 PUBLISHER Joseph P. Irwin, IM 80 VP MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS Dawn Churi EDITOR Roger Slavens ASSISTANT EDITOR Melissa Weinman

From my earliest days, I can remem-

ber being inspired by science fiction—first visually with old television shows like The Twilight Zone, Lost in Space and Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea. Then I started reading sci-fi and became even more entranced by the genre. The incredible imaginations of Isaac Asimov, Frank Herbert, Robert Heinlein, Arthur C. Clarke and others captured me for years—and still do. When Star Trek hit television, “Beam me up, Scotty” became part of my personal jargon and the Spock “live long and prosper” hand sign became a parting symbol. When I turned 10, man finally landed on the moon, a feat which inspired many in my generation to want to grow up to become astronauts. Not long after, Star Wars hit the silver screen. I don’t know if there’s been a more powerful pop cultural influence on Gen Xers and Millennials than Star Wars. (Be sure Wars or Trek? to read the lively That’s like asking Star Wars vs. Star me if I want a ribeye or a filet Trek showdown, mignon. Hmmm... featuring College of I guess I’d give the Engineering Dean nod to Star Wars. I Gary May on page mean, who doesn’t 34.) So when Editor want a lightRoger Slavens sugsaber?—Joe Irwin gested we devote an issue to science fiction, I was completely on board. We hope you like this issue: sci-fi Georgia Tech style. This whole field emanates from the imaginations of people and their passion for predicting and shaping the future. Georgia Tech is a sweet spot for people to imagine, create, discover and change the world as we know it. And the history of Tech is filled with just such people. The Winter 1972 issue of this Alumni Magazine ran an article about a human transport system where a person would get in an air-powered tube and be transported at high speeds to other locations. In 2012, visionary thinker and entrepreneur Elon Musk suggested the Hyperloop—a much more advanced version of this same idea. 006


DESIGNER Joshua Baker | COPY EDITOR Rebecca Bowen STUDENT ASSISTANTS Christine St. Jean and Lauren Dognazzi EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE Benton J. Mathis Jr., IM 81, Chair Robert N. Stargel Jr., EE 83, Past Chair Andrea L. Laliberte, IE 82, MS IE 84, Chair-Elect/Vice Chair of Roll Call David Bottoms, Mgt 00, Vice Chair of Finance Elizabeth Bulat Turner, IAML 04, Member at Large

(See “Before the Hyperloop” on page 104 for more details.) Artificial intelligence is another hot topic of Tech research—our College of Computing ranks sixth nationally in AI thought leadership—that has long been a mainstay of science-fiction conjecture. Now advanced AI is becoming a reality as computational capabilities have exploded. We only need to look back at the past decade or two to see the remarkable, sometimes scary changes that have resulted from our new technological capabilities. Teaching machines to “think and reason” will be transformational. In this issue, we take a deep look at the ethics of AI (see page 50), and how we can work to make sure humankind won’t ever bow down to its robot overlords. These are just two of the fascinating future-thinking ideas the Alumni Magazine explores in this issue. As human beings, we’re only constrained by the limits of our imagination. Some of these ideas are hundreds of years old. Take DaVinci’s winged suit, for example, and then look at the flying suits of today’s mountain daredevils. Science fiction truly is a “thought channel” which enables us to think beyond the boundaries, the paradigms and the truths of today.

Paul S. Goggin, Phys 91, Member at Large James L. Mitchell, CE 05, Member at Large Elizabeth H. Wallace, Arch 96, Member at Large Joseph P. Irwin, IM 80, President & CEO BOARD OF TRUSTEES Stanley E. Anderson, IM 75; J. Paul Austin, Mgt 99; Dorothy B. Autin, ChE 80; Jeni S. Bogdan, Mgt 89 MS MoT 96; Julian A. Brown III, Mgt 97; Frank T. Campos, EE 80, MS MoT 97; C. Richard Crutchfield, IM 69; Richard DeAugustinis, IE 92; W. Keith Edwards, ICS 89, MS ICS 91, PhD ICS 96; D. Shawn Fowler, Mgt 88; Jeanene Fowler, IE 84; Rick L. Garcia, CE 73; Jeffrey V. Giglio, EE 77; Timothy A. Heilig, IE 75; Lara O’Connor Hodgson, AE 93; Justin C. Honaman Jr., IE 96; Julie Sumerford Johnson, Mgt 84; MG Ronald L. Johnson, MS OR 85; Garrett S. Langley, EE 09; Judy W. Liaw, ME 98; Mark E. Ligler, ME 76; Wonya Y. Lucas, IE 83; Errika N. Mallett, IE 96; Robert D. Martin, IE 69; Thomas J. O’Brien, IE 81; Whitney S. Owen, IA 03; Shantan R. Pesaru CmpE 05; Vicky S. Polashock, ChE 90, Phd ChE 95; Michael John Rafferty Jr., EE 02; William J. Ready, MatE 94 , MS MetE 97, PhD MSE 00; John L. Reese III, BC 80; Valerie Montgomery Rice, Chem 83; Kary E. Saleeby, NE 77, MS ME 78; Ricardo Salgado, IE 98; Jocelyn M. Stargel, IE 82, MS IE 86; Mayson A. Thornton, Mgt 05 ADVERTISING Holly Green (404) 894-0765 GEORGIA TECH ALUMNI MAGAZINE (ISSN: 1061-9747) is published quarterly by the Georgia Tech Alumni Association, 190 North Ave. N.W., Atlanta, GA 30313. Periodical postage paid in Atlanta and additional mailing offices. © 2015 Georgia Tech Alumni Association POSTMASTER Send address changes to: Georgia Tech Alumni


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“Who would have ever thought one student could be involved in developing both a child’s pacifier that indicated a fever and a car diagnostic app?” Jim Kennedy, AM 61 Huntsville, Ala.

and ethnicity! I would totally send in my hair to see what the analysis says. Nicole de Vries Columbus, Ga.

More Memories of Coach McCauley

When I took drownproofing, my classmates and I all enjoyed the course except for one senior who had been avoiding it for four years. Coach Herb McCauley coached us up for the 50-meter underwater swim by having us practice the turn by going over and back on the width of the pool. He showed us how long a varsity swimmer took to swim the 50 meters and all the techniques the lad used (long coasting, efficient strokes, turn and push off with our legs, etc.). He timed him and then had us practice staying under I read the latest issue of the Alumni Magazine (Summer 2015, Vol. 91 No. 2) about Tech’s entrepreneurship programs and thought it was the best promotional piece I’ve ever seen from Tech about all the opportunities that exist for our students and graduates. We need more of this kind of comprehensive storytelling to really let people know what Tech offers. Congratulations to the staff for a job well done!

water as long as we could. I made the 50 meters but had gone too deep on the last leg and took my first “breath” 3 inches under water. That was embarrassing but quite spectacular! The whole course was a masterful job in confidence building. Rich Gregory, Bio 71 Charlottesville, Va.


In the Gold & White Honors Gala supplement, we failed to update award winner Janice Wittschiebe’s place of employment. She now works as principal for Stevens & Wilkinson, an architecture, engineering and interiors firm. Additionally, alumnus Alex Gregory earned his degree in textile engineering (TE), not textiles (TEXT).

Henry Ford Would Be Proud fantastically! Who would have ever thought one student could be involved in developing both a child’s pacifier that indicated a fever and a car diagnostic app? Proud of you.

Steve Zelnak, IM 69 Raleigh, N.C.

Jim Kennedy, AM 61 Huntsville, Ala.

Much Ado About Myavana

After reading the story of alumna Candace Mitchell and her startup Myavana in the last issue (“A Not-So-Hair-Brained Idea,” Summer 2015, Vol. 91 No. 2), from what I have seen, this may well be the first ever custom service that will eventually prove to be a true service for women of color with concerns about harsh chemicals and having options in dealing with “natural” hair! Great engineers make great products! Glenda Duncan Atlanta

To student Rachel Ford, whose story was told in “Pursuing a Pioneering Path” (Summer 2015, Vol. 91 No.2), all I can say is: Great work. Things have definitely changed since I was there two times—EE and Math in the 1950s with four years in the U.S. Navy in between, though not the long hours and lack of sleep. You are doing

Rachel Ford’s story is one that should be passed onto potential incoming students. I have in mind a certain student at St Mary’s in Memphis, Tenn., who is evaluating between Georgia Tech and Emory in biomedical engineering. Tech’s commitment to encouraging students to create their own businesses and inventions may just set the Institute apart. J. R. Anderson, ME 58, MS IM 62 Germantown, Tenn.

Want to get in touch? Send letters to: Editor, Georgia Tech Alumni Magazine,

This is pretty amazing—brilliant even. As a tomboy at heart, I would love to see this service extended to people of all genders 008


190 North Ave. N.W., Atlanta, GA 30313, or Comment at or at View our letters to the editor policy at Justen Clay

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Night Vision

Maria Lioy

On a clear night, the Georgia Tech Observatory on top of the Howey Physics Building features stunning views of Atlanta—as well as the moon and stars. Of course, you can get an even better look if you peer through the world-class 20-inch telescope installed in 2014.


01 1


A glimpse at the biggest—and, sometimes, the strangest—news from campus.

Reaching for the Stars

Roger Slavens

A tale of two telescopes—located thousands of miles apart—and the faculty member who helped bring them to Georgia Tech. Perched relatively high

atop the Howey Physics Building on the southwest side of campus resides something that would surprise most Tech students and alumni. After all, instead of a telltale dome aimed skyward, there’s just a nondescript, rectangular structure that looks like it could be a storage area or perhaps a small classroom. But when you slide the roof back, you come faceto-face with one of the first Raven-class telescopes ever installed at a U.S. academic institution. The 20-inch Space Object Research Telescope (GT-SORT), valued at $110,000 and weighing well over a ton, is the centerpiece of the Georgia Tech Observatory. Purchased and installed in the summer of 2014 by Marcus Holzinger, assistant professor for the School of Aerospace EngiPhysics faculty member Jim Sowell played an instrumental role in creating Georgia Tech’s campus observatory. neering—and shared with the School of Physics—this high-powered, who began teaching astronomy at Tech At first, Sowell split time with his work world-class telescope gives faculty, staff and in 1992. “I had started working a few at GTRI, teaching a few intro to astronostudents a precise, automated instrument years earlier at the Georgia Tech Research my classes. But in 1999 he moved to the for viewing low Earth-orbiting satellites, as Institute (GTRI), but my heart belonged School of Physics full time. Sowell’s perwell as the moon and bright planets. to astronomy,” Sowell says. “I finally suasive ways and tenacity over the years The observatory itself is the brainchild convinced the chair that the school needed helped lead to not only the creation of the of physics faculty member Jim Sowell, a real astronomer to teach the subject.” observatory, which opened in 2007, but !





Tech’s place among universities producing the best startup talent, as ranked by


investment in Georgia Tech to recruit and retain $5 million Intel’s underrepresented minority students to STEM majors Maria Lioy

“My hope is that someday soon a second grader will be so excited to operate the telescope and investigate the stars that she’ll be inspired to go on to become an engineer or scientist and do it for a career,” Sowell says. also a more robust astronomy program at Tech at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Furthering this commitment, the School of Physics now offers robust tracks in astrophysics for all students, with research being conducted on everything from black holes to gravitational waves. While the observatory—which is open to the public for monthly viewing sessions—still remains mostly a hidden jewel on campus, it’s just one part of

particular, educational purpose. “I wanted to be able to bring nighttime celestial objects into daytime classes for K-12 students,” Sowell says. “Hawaii offered excellent viewing conditions, as well as the necessary difference in time zones so that children in Atlanta and elsewhere could view the night sky during regular school hours.” This fall during the first round of field testing, teachers at participating schools—including some Atlanta Public Schools—can sign up for time with the Aloha Explorer telescope at By using a sophisticated video camera system and a secure web-based network, their students can control the telescope remotely to view the heavens. “I’m not trying to make 100 new astronomers,” Sowell says. “I’m trying to spark excitement. The observatory sits atop the Howey Physics Building. My hope is that someday soon a Tech’s growing astronomical facilities. second grader will be so excited to opThousands of miles away in Maui, at erate the telescope and investigate the the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory, stars that she’ll be inspired to go on to Tech owns and runs the Aloha Explorer, become an engineer or scientist and do an 11-inch telescope dedicated for a very it for a career.” from the National Science Foundation will help Tech $18.5 million Grant researchers revolutionize geotechnical engineering


Instructor: Robert Rosenberger Objective: To review and evaluate philosophical accounts of the ethical, political and social character of technology. Prerequisites: None Problem Question: What does it mean to think of technology as something that shapes our politics? Do technologies enforce social agendas? If so, whose agendas? Are there moral implications to technology’s central place in our everyday lives? Course Project: The course oscillates between considering abstract philosophical theories and concrete examples. The abstract theories addressed include ethics, metaphysics, politics, science and society. Through the lens of these theories we analyze any number of examples, including videogames, park benches, nanotech, mobile computing, bodily implants, surveillance technology, distance education, speed bumps and social media.

ranking on Business Insider’s list of the 50 best #5 Tech’s computer science and engineering schools in the U.S. GTALUMNIMAG.COM VOLU M E 91 NO.3 2015



Accomplishments, both stunning and silly, by the alumni of tomorrow.

Do Not Adjust That Dial Melissa Weinman

Sci-fi-themed student radio show on WREK reaches fans across the globe. The show begins, as it does every week,

with David Bowie. On this Thursday at roughly 6 p.m., Sci Fi Lab co-host Chris Carl ventures into the vaults at WREK— Tech’s student radio station—and pulls the Ziggy Stardust LP from the shelves and shelves of musty records. Bowie in hand, Carl joins his co-host Travis Gasque in a loungey area to discuss the day’s topics and write some “future news”—fake headlines, kind of like Saturday Night Live’s “Weekend Update,” but with jokes about aliens, video games and post-apocalyptic scenarios instead of skewering the news. The duo bat several of these lines back and forth, shooting down some as quickly as they emerge. They talk a little bit about the movie Mad Max: Fury Road, which they will discuss on air. And then, with just a minute to spare, they casually head into the radio booth. The clock strikes 7 p.m. and Carl lifts the needle on the record player and sets it down on “Starman,” and just like that, their congenial,fanboy banter is beamed out to anyone with the radio dial on 91.1 FM. The Sci Fi Lab is a weekly radio show that serves as an outlet for students to explore their interests in science fiction work and criticism outside of the classroom. The show was born in part as a response to an ultimatum from Georgia Tech. In 2006, Georgia Public Broadcasting was interested in buying the campus radio station, which then played mostly music. Tech officials gave WREK a challenge: Come up with more original !


“It’s a strange but devoted following, and I mean that in a good way,” Yaszek says. programming or, in six months, we’ll take the offer from GPB instead. So the student radio station reached out to faculty like Lisa Yaszek, a professor in the College of Literature, Media and Communication, who leads Tech’s Science Fiction Initiative, for help creating unique programs related to their areas of expertise. “We started the show in 2006 and it’s been running regularly ever since,” Yaszek says. The Sci Fi Lab show, which airs on Thursdays from 7-8 p.m. on WREK, welcomes a variety of guests onto the show, from Tech robotics professors to musicians to first-time authors, approaching science fiction from a variety of angles and cultural aspects. “There are as many definitions of science fiction as there are fans,” Yaszek says. “It absolutely changes year by year depending on the students involved.” For example, several years ago the students broadcast original science fiction radio dramas, while the current hosts are more interested in science fiction in education. Yaszek serves as an advisor and a facilitator, often using her connections in the broader science fiction community to

connect the student hosts with authors, musicians and groups like Atlanta’s Black Science Fiction Collective. Otherwise, the student hosts run the show. “This is truly a student-run initiative and I have never seen such a group of dedicated and active and exciting students,” Yaszek says. Carl and Gasque, the current co-hosts, have different interests. Gasque, a graduate student who has been involved with the show since its early days, is big into narrative and role-playing games. One of his favorite Sci Fi Lab memories is interviewing Ross Payton of Role Playing Public Radio. Gasque says he also enjoys covering the many fan conventions, or “cons,” that take place in Atlanta, including Dragon Con, Onyx Con, and Momo Con, which started on Tech’s campus. Carl says he enjoys when he is able to merge his love of music with his love of science fiction. One of his favorite shows featured science fiction musicians from Paris called Remi Orts Project and artist Alan B., who created a concept album based on an old Russian sci-fi novel. “It’s just weird to get an email from people in France that want to be on your show,” Carl says. The French musicians are


Yellow Jackets in Georgia student socials held by 3,085 New Tech’s freshman class 80 Accepted alumni networks around the world GTALUMNIMAG.COM VOLUME 91 NO.3 20 15

students in the freshman 41% Female class, an all-time high

Travis Gasque (left, sitting) and Chris Carl man the booth during their Sci Fi Lab radio hour.

a pretty good representation of the show’s reach—fairly large, but eclectic. The hosts say they often are contacted after a show by people interested in delving deeper into a particular topic. “It’s a strange but devoted following, and I mean that in a good way,” Yaszek says. The show has a fairly open-door policy, Daniel Owens

and they’ve welcomed a variety of guests from Georgia Tech and the broader science-fiction community. “The great part of Sci Fi Lab is the true act of science fiction,” Carl says. “Getting people together to think about the future and science and technology and art and other people is not something we passively

report on. It’s something we create continuously with fans and listeners, so that’s a super interesting and exciting thing to be a part of.” Listen to the Sci Fi Lab radio show Thursdays from 7-8 p.m. ET on Tech’s WREK 91.1 FM or GTALUMNIMAG.COM VOLU M E 91 NO.3 2015



Accomplishments, both stunning and silly, by the alumni of tomorrow.

Yellow Jacket Selected As Nation’s Top Student Leader Melissa Weinman Chad Sims, BA 15, was well known around campus for his dedication as a student leader. But this hard-working Yellow Jacket was recently recognized as the best in the entire country, winning CASE ASAP’s National Student Leader of the Year Award. Sims graduated in May after devoting countless hours to the Alumni Association’s student programs, including The Georgia Tech Student Foundation (GTSF), Student Ambassadors and the Student Alumni Association (SAA). “It felt great to be recognized for the work I accomplished over the past five years, but it meant more to me to represent Georgia Tech at a national level,” Sims says. “Being a part of these organizations and working with the amazing students that help lead them really encouraged me to give and do more. Receiving this award was proof of the personal growth that I, and anyone else can experience through

involvement with the Alumni Association student organizations.” To achieve this honor bestowed by The Council For Advancement and Support of Education Affiliated Student Advancement Programs—which represents student organizations at more than 300 CASE member institutions—Sims bested seven other incredibly impressive student leaders from around the country. The achievement is even more impressive knowing the giant workload at Tech. But Sims says he was always able to balance his schoolwork with his commitments to the student organizations—inspired in part by the organizations themselves. “These organizations set big goals for themselves every year. No goal is too big with the right plan and attitude and these organizations had both. I will always keep that mentality with me,” Sims says. Sims joined SAA shortly after arriving on campus. He says he set his sights on two goals for his colSAA Named No. 1 lege career: “I wanted a co-op job and I wanted to lead an orin Nation, Too! ganization.” Getting involved in SAA, and later GTSF and Not to be outdone, Georgia Tech’s Student AlumStudent Ambassadors, paved ni Association won top CASE ASAP honors as the the way for him to achieve 2015 Nation’s Outstanding Organization. “In five both. “Working with these orshort years, our Student Alumni Association has ganizations helped set the taught thousands of students the importance of stage for a lot of my professionphilanthropy to Tech, the value of the alumni netal career,” Sims says. “Public work and what it means to be a proud Ramblin’ speaking, leading groups and Wreck,” says Alumni Association President and surpassing goals were all great CEO Joe Irwin. things to talk about in interviews for co-ops, internships



and full-time work. I like to think the Student Foundation played a big role in landing my first job at the NASA Johnson Space Center.” After graduating in May, Sims began work as a financial analyst with Focus Brands Inc., the franchiser and operator of restaurant brands such as Cinnabon, Moe’s Southwest Grill and Auntie Anne’s Pretzels. Alumni Association Student Organizations Manager Laura Giglio, EE 10, MS ECE 11, says Sims, who came to Tech as a needs-based Promise Scholar, personally understood the power of philanthropy and it drove him to pay it forward. “I was constantly impressed by Chad’s drive, passion and selflessness,” Giglio says. “He worked tirelessly to help educate his peers on the impact philanthropic giving has on the Georgia Tech community. He understood the mission of the GTSF unlike any other student I have ever worked with.”


since engineers including President Emeritus G. Wayne Clough went to 10 Years New Orleans to help rebuild following the devastation from Hurricane Katrina GTALUMNIMAG.COM VOLUME 91 NO.3 20 15

(and counting!) conducted by 1,014 Interviews GT’s Living History Program

The Leadership Circle is the cornerstone of Roll Call, Georgia Tech’s annual fund. By becoming a member of the Leadership Circle, you help ensure Tech’s prominence and adaptability in an ever-changing world. Join one of our leadership giving clubs and enjoy benefits such as a limited edition tie or scarf and an invitation to the annual President’s Dinner, Celebrating Roll Call. A tradition of leadership has evolved at the Georgia Institute of Technology over many generations … we hope you’ll join us.



“We believe Georgia Tech is a great place to capture a high return. Roll Call giving at the Leadership Circle level enables your gift to grow exponentially as it benefits so many on campus.” – ANGELA G. MITCHELL PTCH ’04 AND JAMES L. MITCHELL CE ’05 (GEORGIA TECH ALUMNI ASSOCIATION BOARD OF TRUSTEES) 15 CONSECUTIVE YEARS OF ROLL CALL GIVING AND LEADERSHIP CIRCLE SINCE 2006

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Please send your gift or pledge to: Roll Call, Georgia Tech Alumni Association 190 North Ave., Atlanta, GA, 30313-9806 Donate online at or call (800) GT –ALUMS


A glimpse at the biggest—and, sometimes, the strangest— news from campus.

A Minor for Major Geeks Melissa Weinman

Student demand and Tech’s sci-fi tradition lead to a new specialized track of study. Though the subject may be inherently fictional, Tech professor Lisa Yaszek will tell you that science fiction is not wholly divorced from reality. Thanks to the freedom of imagination, ideas in science fiction often lead to big developments in real-world science and technology. “Sometimes in modern scientific and technological research it’s easy to fall into a trap if you’re a scientist or engineer or policy maker of saying, ‘What I’m talking about is real, it’s not science fiction [or fantasy],’” Yaszek says. “It’s easy to lose sight of how scientists and engineers are inspired by science fiction to think Wars or Trek? differently and creMy earliest childatively about the hood memory is of world. Their work watching Star Trek reruns with my paris as much creative ents while eating and imaginative as organic veggies it is practical and from our garden. applied.” So I was obviousG eorgia Tech ly destined to be was among the either a farmer or a science-fiction first universities scholar. I’m glad it to teach science turned out to be the fiction at the collatter!—LISA YASZEK legiate level, but had never offered any formal program of study in the field. But starting this year, Tech students may now officially pursue a minor in Science Fiction Studies. Yaszek leads the Institute’s Science Fiction Initiative within the School of Literature, Media and Communication. She says the minor was born in part



from incredible demand from students. The science-fiction courses always fill up quickly, and students have consistently

asked for more ways to embrace and study the genre during their time at Tech, Continued on page 20 she says.

5 MUST-SEE SCIENCE-FICTION FILMS We asked professors Jay Telotte and Lisa Yaszek of Georgia Tech’s Science Fiction Initiative to recommend a handful of classic science-fiction movies everyone should watch. 1. 2001: A Space Odyssey: “It’s the most visionary of science-fiction films. ‘Where are we going?’ it asks. ‘What are we going to be like?’ ‘How might humanity evolve?’ — JAY TELOTTE 2. Blade Runner: “This story of humans and replicants provides the insight that, real or robot, we’re not all that different. We’re all products of our culture, and that’s OK. We can all share moments of love and freedom and expression. Also, visually, it sets the tone for so many of the dystopic high-tech movies we’ve watched over the past 30 or so years.” —LISA YASZEK

3. Forbidden Planet: “It’s THE film about space flight, alien cultures and robotics. It’s the film that

effectively introduces the three laws of robotics that Isaac Asimov had propounded much earlier, and introduces them to a popular audience.” —TELOTTE 4. Metropolis: “It’s one of the first full-length science-fiction films. It has the most amazing sets in the universe—they’re just beautifully, beautifully constructed—and its iconography is enduring. Much of the science-fiction imagery we see today can be traced back to Metropolis.” — YASZEK 5. Snowpiercer: “I love it because it’s a truly international effort. It’s based on a French comic book that was turned into a movie by a Korean director and features a global cast of actors. It’s visually stunning, narratively compelling, and it’s the face of the future.” — YASZEK


from DARPA and Air Force Research Lab $4.2 million Received for Tech researchers to improve cyber security GTALUMNIMAG.COM VOLUME 91 NO.3 20 15

students awarded Alumni Network 150 Tech and Affinity Group scholarships this year Daniel Owens and Roger Slavens

Professor Lisa Yaszek teaches classes such as Artificial Intelligence and Science Fiction and has access to one of the largest collections of sci-fi books and periodicals in the world.

arts@tech Enjoy the Arts on Campus this Fall! Georgia Tech Jazz Ensemble Band

and Symphonic

September 24

Arts@Tech Season:

Tito Puente Jr. Orchestra September 25

DramaTech Presents:

Parallel Lives

by Mo Gaffney and Kathy Najimy September 25 – 26, October 1 – 3 Arts@Tech Season: An Evening with Radiolab’s

Jad Abumrad September 26

Georgia Tech School of Music Presents:

Sibelius Festival

September 27

Poetry@Tech Presents: The Fourteenth Annual

Bourne Poetry Reading

featuring Ellen Bass & William Corbett October 1 Arts@Tech Season:

Huang Yi & KUKA

October 1-2

Arts@Tech Season:


October 8-9

Arts@Tech Season:

Sister Outsider

October 16

Poetry@Tech Presents:

An Evening of Poetry with Linda

Gregerson & Christopher Howell

October 22

Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket Marching Band: Surround Sounds October 23 Arts@Tech Season:

Spanda Dance Company– Past Forward

October 25 DramaTech Presents:

Othello, the Moor of Venice

by William Shakespeare October 30–31, November 5–7, 12–14

details and more events at 404-894-2787

Continued from page 18

Students pursuing the minor will be required to take two courses—one on science-fiction literature and one on science-fiction film and television—and three other science fiction-related electives of their choosing. Yaszek says this is how students can tailor the sci-fi minor to their own interests. Those interested in creating their own science-fiction work could take courses in creative writing or video production, while a biomedical engineering student might take a course on biomedicine and culture that examines the representation of artificial or bionic body parts in science fiction, for example. “We feel that we can offer students a really thorough exploration of science fiction across a range of media, and also provide them a framework to talk about it in the technological and scientific contexts they’re working in elsewhere in their majors,” Yaszek says. “We can provide them a new way, and a hopefully fun and productive way, of thinking about the work they do and the kind of work other people do in the modern world.” In 1969, the first collegiate science-fiction course was taught at the University of Kansas. Just two years later in 1971, Professor Irving F. “Bud” Foote officially introduced science-fiction studies to Tech students. “Tech was a real pioneer in thinking about the ways fiction can be used to address real-world issues in science and technology,” Yaszek says. “The Institute has a very long-standing commitment to science fiction.” Foote retired in 1999 and donated his personal collection of more than 8,000 sci-fi books, one of the largest of its kind in the nation, to Georgia Tech. Following his departure, Yaszek filled his role and became the faculty face for the Institute’s science-fiction studies. Two other prominent science-fiction academics have a home at Tech. Professor Jay Telotte is a leading scholar on film and television, and Professor of the Practice Kathleen Ann Goonan is a critically acclaimed sci-fi author and futurist. (Read more about her on page 22.) Yaszek says it’s unique to have three science-fiction scholars on staff, which makes Tech very competitive with other programs of its kind around the nation. Tech’s science-fiction program, of course, stands out because of its proximity to so much cutting-edge science and technology happening in other departments. Telotte believes the science-fiction courses are so popular because most Tech students have an innate passion for the subject matter. “I find them much more willing to speak up, to involve themselves in classes, to do outside viewing and basically bring their own experiences to class,” Telotte says. Because they are so exposed to the genre, students have a keen interest in better understanding it, Telotte says. “You can’t get around it: Wherever you look in the media and popular culture, you bump into science fiction in one form or another,” he says. “And if it is something we run into, we have to think about it because it conditions how we look at the rest of the world. It becomes imperative that we study it.”

Philanthropy at Work “These donors are giving the gift of hope on a grand scale.” Georgia Tech President G.P. “Bud” Peterson The Engineered Biosystems Building (EBB) is the most ambitious research facility in Georgia Tech’s history. A visionary partnership between the Institute and the State of Georgia, EBB represents an investment in the future of the biosciences, biotechnology, and bioengineering, and a transformative approach to diagnosing and treating disease. Comprising 200,000 square feet of advanced research space, EBB has been designed around the concept of “research neighborhoods,” each with a specific focus, bringing together faculty and graduate students from a variety of disciplines to study — and combat — diseases, from cancer and diabetes to Parkinson’s and immune disorders.

EBB was made possible by the generous philanthropy of two anonymous donors and Tech’s research and innovation partner in pediatrics, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. These three commitments to the $113 million project brought the facility’s private funding total to its goal of $34 million. State appropriations provided $64 million, with Institute funds providing $15 million.

Facilities construction and renovation are among the top priorities for Campaign Georgia Tech, the $1.5 billion effort to enable Georgia Tech to define the technological research university of the 21st century.


02 1

A glimpse at the biggest—and, sometimes, the strangest— news from campus.


Admiral James “Sandy” Winnefeld Joins Tech Faculty Adm. James “Sandy” Winnefeld, former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has been named a Distinguished Professor in the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs. He will also serve as a senior fellow in the school’s Center for International Strategy, Technology and Policy. Winnefeld, AE 78, brings recent experience in the fields of strategy and policy, leadership and defense investment to Tech, where he will work with faculty, researchers and students on various projects, classes and presentations. “Adm. Winnefeld is one of our nation’s most distinguished and valuable military

leaders, and is now returning to his home base at Georgia Tech,” said Sam Nunn, a former U.S. Senator and the namesake of Tech’s School of International Affairs. “This is great news for the Nunn School and the Institute. Sandy will continue to render invaluable service to our nation by working with our students and faculty as they tackle some of our most important international and technological challenges.” Prior to his position as the nation’s second highest-ranking military officer, Winnefeld served as the commander of United States Northern Command and the North American Aerospace Defense

Command (NORAD). He also commanded the United States Sixth Fleet and NATO Allied Joint Command, Lisbon.

2015 FRESHMAN CLASS: BY THE NUMBERS Georgia Tech’s incoming class is among the most competitive and diverse of all time. “For the first time in Tech history, incoming female students topped 40 percent of the class, and the percentage of African American enrollees is up by 35 percent,” says Tech Director of Undergraduate Admissions Rick Clark. Here’s a breakdown of the new Yellow Jackets on campus this fall:




2060-2250 AVG. SAT SCORE


Female to Male Ratio











Taylor Bennett, a former quarterback for the Yellow Jackets football team, won an Aug. 11 runoff for a seat in Georgia’s House of Representatives. Bennett will represent District 80 in the Atlanta area that includes parts of Brookhaven, Chamblee and Sandy Springs. The race was widely watched for its larger implications on Georgia’s state politics. With his victory, Bennett, a Democrat, ended a Republican super-majority in the State Legislature, providing the Democrats with enough votes to block any Republican-led efforts to make changes to the state constitution.

Eric Boe, MS EE 97, and three other astronauts have been chosen by NASA to prepare commercial space flights for the private sector. The astronauts will work with The Boeing Co. and SpaceX to develop transportation to and from the International Space Station. Boe was an Air Force pilot before NASA selected him as an astronaut in 2000. He has spent more than 28 days in space aboard two spaceflights, STS-126 in 2008 and STS-133 2011. The contracts with Boeing and SpaceX require a crewed flight test with at least one NASA astronaut on board to verify the fully integrated rocket and spacecraft system can launch, maneuver in orbit, dock to the space station and land safely.

COLLEGE OF ARCHITECTURE WINS DISTINGUISHED CONSERVATIONIST AWARD Georgia Tech’s College of Architecture has been selected as the winner of Georgia Conservancy’s 2015 Distinguished Conservationist Award. The award recognizes the College of Architecture’s 20-year collaboration with the Conservancy, during which students in Tech’s School of Architecture and School of City and Regional Planning developed successful and sustainable growth plans for communities around Georgia. Through this community-oriented program, Georgia Tech and the Georgia Conservancy have helped improve life for tens of thousands of people. Georgia Tech’s College of Architecture joins an elite and influential group of past Distinguished Conservationist Awardwinners, including: The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation, Ray Weeks, Gov. Zell Miller, Sen. Sam Nunn and Ted Turner.

COMPUTING TEAM WINS INTERNET DEFENSE PRIZE A team of researchers from Georgia Tech’s College of Computing received the Internet Defense Prize, an award from Facebook in partnership with USENIX, which provides the team with $100,000 to continue their research on Internet security. The team developed a new cyber security analysis method that discovered 11 previously unknown flaws with Internet browsers. The research of Ph.D students Byoungyoung Lee and Chengyu Song, with Professors Taesoo Kim and Wenke Lee, explores vulnerabilities in C++ programs that result from “bad casting” or “type confusion.” The work was selected for Facebook’s second ever Internet Defense Prize award, which recognizes superior quality research that combines a working prototype with significant contributions to the security of the Internet, particularly in the areas of protection and defense.  GTALUMNIMAG.COM VOLU M E 91 NO.3 2015



A chat with someone who makes Tech tick.

Putting the Literary in Sci-Fi Literature

Lori Ferguson

Tech professor and renowned author Kathleen Ann Goonan shares her sci-fi secrets. For those with even a passing interest in science-fiction literature, the name Kathleen Ann Goonan should ring a bell. A leading light in literary sci-fi for many years, Goonan has garnered starred reviews for each of her seven novels by such renowned review journals as Publishers Weekly, Kirkus Review and Booklist. In 2007, Goonan received the Campbell Award for best science-fiction novel for In War Times. Goonan recently stepped away from her keyboard to tell the Alumni Magazine why she loves writing science fiction and teaching the topic to students at Tech. You earned a degree in English and were a Montessori teacher for a decade. Where did your interest in science fiction originate?

My father was an engineer and read

science fiction when I was growing up, so there were always sci-fi paperbacks around the house. Though I didn’t interact with the genre much as a kid, I always thought of science fiction as very intellectual literature, and the older I got, the more interested I became.

top, which in turn suggested giant bees, and I thought “How did this situation come about?” Then I thought about bees— how they communicate, how they perceive the world, etc.—and the story spun out from there.

Your books are a wonderful mélange of concepts involving consciousness, literature, music and sci-fi. What’s your primary wellspring for ideas?

In a 2001 Library of Congress talk, you spoke of the ghettoizing of science fiction in the U.S. and expressed hope that this was changing. Have your hopes been realized?

It really depends on the work. Some ideas come from life—you read something interesting in the newspaper and say to yourself, “What if the characters were in a different environment or a different technological period?” Others appear randomly. For example, I got the idea for my novel Queen City Jazz while jogging—I had a vision of a city with large flowers on

No. The attitude that science fiction is less serious literature remains entrenched in our culture. The face of the genre today is gaming and movies, both of which are very different from literary science fiction. Many view science fiction as literature for children and young men, which seems particularly sad to me because we’re living in a deeply technological age.

5 IMPORTANT WORKS OF SCI-FI LITERATURE, ACCORDING TO KATHLEEN ANN GOONAN 1. Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley (1918): “Widely regarded as the first sci-fi novel, it remains relevant as we edge closer to understanding consciousness and developing artificial intelligence that has the potential to be self-aware.” 2. Anything by H.G. Wells and Jules Verne: “Contemporaries who generated interest



in explorations of Earth and the moon, first contact scenarios, time travel, and our kinship with other forms of life. Their work remains a template for science fiction that focuses on the wider moral and social questions we continue to face today as technologies evolve.” 3. The Left Hand of Darkness, by Ursula K. Le Guin (1968): “Le

Guin pioneered the sciencefictional exploration of gender and became the first woman to win the Hugo Award and the Nebula Award for Best Novel.” 4. Neuromancer, by William Gibson (1984): “This book introduced cyberpunk and the intense, compact style that has made Gibson an international best-selling author and social

visionary. It won several awards, and predicted the worldwide web and its hackers.” 5. Patternist, Parable and Xenogenisist series by Octavia Butler: “Butler received a MacArthur Genius Grant for groundbreaking work that shows humanity immersed in radical, unavoidable change, often over vast periods of time.”

You’ve observed that “the job of science fiction is to imagine what will later be made real.” What are you imagining these days?

I’m very interested in neurological developments and brain science. Our lives have been dramatically altered by antibiotics, germ-free surgery and advanced communication tools, and I think humanity will be similarly changed as we learn more about the human brain and the brains of other creatures who inhabit our world. You teach creative writing; literature; and science, technology and ideology at Tech. What do you enjoy most about the pedagogical process?

I love finding ways to get individual students into a subject—I try to construct a bridge of relevance between them and their environment by showing them how they can be part of a subject that they want or need to learn about. Josh Meister

Why Georgia Tech?

I was invited to teach here by Lisa Yaszek in 2010, shortly before my novel This Shared Dream was published, and I jumped at the opportunity. The School of Literature, Media and Communication is an amazing place. Students here are well-versed in the technological world, so I have the pleasure of teaching them to interact with the imaginary world by acquainting them with the history of science fiction and how it’s related to the history of technology. What issues occupy your students’ minds, and how do they manifest in their work?

My students are very preoccupied with the idea of the apocalypse—radical change on a deep societal level. They’re worried about what’s coming next and how that’s going to affect their lives.

What’s the most important concept you want your students to take away from your classes?

I want them to know that they can make a difference, in their own lives and in the lives of others. You’ve been praised for your powerful imagination. How do you treat technology in your daily life?

I embrace any technology that makes my job easier and my work more fun. You’ve been a leader in literary science fiction for years now. How would you like to be remembered?

As someone who took my imagination to the limit and mastered the skills necessary to bring my vision to the public. I’m always working to be a better writer, someone with more depth who communicates with others in ways that are important. I’m different, and I have more novels left in me! GTALUMNIMAG.COM VOLU M E 91 NO.3 2015



Recent works penned by members of the Georgia Tech community.

Excerpt: ‘A Short History of the Twentieth Century, or, When You Wish Upon A Star’ Kathleen Ann Goonan Carol Hall, five years old, is parked

in front of the black-and-white television set an hour before the Disneyland grand opening television special is to begin. Chet, her father, a jet propulsion engineer presently at North American Aviation, had wanted to go to the beach that beautiful Sunday, but when Carol had gotten wind of his plan she had thrown herself on the floor, sobbing, “We’ll miss the grand opening!” “How did she hear about this allconsuming event?” Chet asks as he rummages in the icebox for olives. Tall and loose-limbed, Chet looks good in a suit and tie. His blond hair is cut in a flattop, his eyes are hazel, and he wears the heavy black glasses of his jet-propulsion-engineer tribe. Just now, he wears khaki slacks, sandals, and a short-sleeved sport shirt with the tail out. The windows of their new ranch house are open, and a breeze flows through the kitchen. From the boomerang pattern of the Formica countertop to the Eames chairs in the living room that they found,

astonishingly enough, put out in the trash on Sunset Boulevard, the house and the lives of the Halls lean and yearn toward the sunny future and away from the war, the bomb, sacrifice, and uncertainty. June says, “I think the olives are behind the milk, honey. They’ve been talking about the grand opening on the Disney show for months.” June’s short blond hair falls in soft natural waves around her face. Her eyes are blue, her legs are long, she is tall and beautifully proportioned, and she has a BS in chemical engineering. She and Chet make a nice couple, as they have frequently been told since 1949, when they met and married. She rarely wears her expensive, fashionable suits any longer, but is still a knockout when she does. Carol likes to clunk around in the green snakeskin peep-toed shoes June wore on her honeymoon in Cuba. Now that June is a mother, she mostly wears white Keds. “You’re going to miss it!” yells Carol from the living room.

She also has a six-shooter cap gun and a holster, but she’s only allowed to play with it outside. It makes real smoke and noise. 026


June and Chet settle on the couch, armed with martinis. Though it’s early, they feel fully justified. Carol has a glass of milk—with a straw in it that makes it taste, distantly, like strawberries—which is getting warm on the coffee table behind her. She sits crosslegged on green wall-to-wall carpeting, coonskin hat jammed over blond braids. She holds her life-sized rubber bowie knife upright, as if she might be a grizzled frontiersman waiting for a slab of bear meat in a backwoods river tavern, or maybe she’s planning to stab Mike Fink in the gullet. Her knife has a gray blade and a green handle. She is forbidden to stab things with it, but when she thinks no one is looking she does a lot of stabbing—furniture, walls, dirt, trees—all to no avail, since the blade curls up, but it’s still entertaining. She also has a six-shooter cap gun and a holster, but she’s only allowed to play with it outside. It makes real smoke and noise. She jumps up. “Look! There’s Walt Disney! He’s the train engineer!” “Yup,” says Chet. “A man of many talents.” The camera follows a parade down idyllic Main Street. “Oh, boy! It’s Yesterdayland! We’re back in 1900! No world wars.” “I don’t think there’s a Yesterdayland,” says Carol doubtfully. The camera moves to another live grand opening scene. “Who is that man? He talks funny.” “Why, it’s good old Heinz Haber. I met him in Germany and saw him at a seminar just last week. Guess you have to have a German accent to get a job with Disney.”

“He’s a physicist, isn’t he?” asks June. Chet nods. “Eisenhower asked Disney to do a series about space and science last year. Disney Studios has a good reputation—they made a lot of shows for the army and US Treasury during the war. Not that we don’t have brilliant American physicists, but the government is in love with these Nahzees.” He’s pronounced “Nazi” as “Nahzee” ever since he heard it in Churchill’s “blood, sweat, and tears” speech. “Oh, that’s right—none of them were Nahzees. We went to a lot of trouble to get them. Got to show them off to the Russians, I guess. Grabbed them right under their noses.” June teases, “You’re just jealous you’re not on TV. All of you at the jet lab and NAA.” “Don’t push it, June.” June decides not to—in fact, she’s sorry she said a word. Chet had been in the group of Army scientists that tracked down and captured the German scientists (although “captured” is probably not the right word, as the Germans were quite eager to go to America rather than to Russia). When in Germany, Chet saw atrocities that he claimed these German TV scientists knew about, war crimes that they had committed. Technically, he should not even have told her; it was all top secret, completely suppressed by the Office of Strategic Services, which had cleansed their records and made them look as if they were angels. June takes Chet’s hand. “Sorry, honey.” He shrugs. “Oh, anything for a laugh.” Now he’ll be broody. Oh, well. At the entrance of Tomorrowland, Haber holds a Ping-Pong ball, which represents an atom of uranium, delicately between his thumb and forefinger. “These contain energy,” he says gravely. In front of him stands a table covered with other “atoms” loaded into mousetraps. His son tosses a Ping-Pong ball into their midst, which starts a chain reaction, a wild flurry of snaps and flying white balls, each of which sets off even more traps. Haber holds up a cardboard picture of an atomic pile, which he says will soon provide us with all the energy we will ever need. We will no longer even need hydroelectric Wesley Allbrook

dams. It will all be like magic. “Use it wisely,” he admonishes. This is only a small sample of the show Carol will see on TV a few months later. Ward Kimball, Disney’s right-hand man, using a loose style that is new at the studio, is collaborating with Dr. Haber to create “Our Friend the Atom.” A towering, threatening genie—atomic energy—will emerge from a bottle, arms crossed, while the skinny, hapless man who released him skitters about

on the beach, terrified, until he tricks the genie back into the bottle, ensuring that atomic energy will be used in medical applications and for electrical power. Carol will remember the show her entire life, though after the dark twist she will not recall it for years. But the dark twist comes later. ... Read the remainder of Kathleen Ann Goonan’s sci-fi novelette at:

Are you an author? Send details about your book and a book cover image to Editor, Georgia Tech Alumni Magazine, 190 North Ave. NW., Atlanta, GA 30313 or GTALUMNIMAG.COM VOLU M E 91 NO.3 2015


On the


The latest buzz from Tech’s teams and alumni.

Anchoring With Authenticity

Jonathan Crowl

How ESPN’s Chris Cotter, Mgt 93, pushed—and was pushed—to claim one of sports broadcasting’s top jobs. Some legendary ESPN SportsCenter an-

chors such as Stuart Scott and Dan Patrick were known for their distinct styles and witty catchphrases, but it’s fitting that current deskman Chris Cotter doesn’t bother with building up an oversized on-air persona. Instead, he sticks to the shtick that brought him to sports broadcasting’s biggest stage: being himself. “For me, it’s all about being true to who I was,” Cotter says. Cotter’s broadcasting brand is his authenticity—he’s the same guy during broadcasts that he is when he’s off camera. That businesslike approach has brought him a long way. He’s been working for “the worldwide leader” in sports broadcasting since 2012. “I felt like if I could go to ESPN and succeed there, at worst, that opens up opportunities in so many other areas,” Cotter says. “But I came here with the intention of being here the rest of my career.” Cotter’s career is even more impressive considering its relatively late start. As a Georgia Tech undergraduate, broadcasting wasn’t even on his radar when he was studying business management. In fact, his first job in broadcasting was handling radio ad sales for 790 The Zone in Atlanta. But one fateful evening in 1997, Cotter was invited down to the station during a nightly sports radio program, just to observe how a show was put together. That night, two of the show’s three hosts called in sick. The third host met Cotter at the station’s front door and told Cotter he was going in front of the microphone. “‘It’s just you and me tonight,’” Cotter recalls being told. “‘For the next three hours, 028


you and me are doing sports talk radio.’” The morning after, Cotter had earned the station owner’s praises—and an offer to contribute on more programs. He was working on his MBA from the University of Georgia at the time, and he thought he was moving forward with his business career. “Going back to school get my MBA was one of the best decisions of my life because it gave me a totally renewed focus on my personal life and career,” Cotter says. “I was

much more willing to take chances and to embrace failure as an opportunity. That attitude certainly helped make the decision to move into broadcasting full time an easier one.” As sports talk radio grew in popularity and spread to stations across the country, Cotter had an enviable position: He worked in a large market with an entrenched following. Over time, he even started contributing segments to CNN on ESPN

sports-related topics, such as Barry Bonds and baseball’s steroids scandal. Such opportunities served as meaningful rungs on Cotter’s career ladder. But no moment was more pivotal than when, in the spring of 2005, he was fired from his gig at 790 The Zone. “Sometimes you need to get pushed,” Cotter says, “and that really pushed me to look into some other avenues.” Cotter started to work his connections around Atlanta. Within half a year, he had an agent representing him. “Once I made that move, all kinds of doors started opening up,” Cotter says. “I always tell young broadcasters that finding good representation is much tougher to do earlier in a career than it is later, but that’s a huge move. They have all the contacts that you don’t have. They were able to open a lot of doors for me.” With an agent in his camp, Cotter joined SportsNet New York in 2006. In 2009,

he went to Fox Business Network as an anchor, and did so expecting to stay on board for a long time. “I probably would not have left Fox for very many places,” Cotter says. “But when the opportunity to move to ESPN came along, I jumped on it.” Cotter says ESPN’s opening came out of the blue: His agent called with an interview lined up, so Cotter traveled up to the company’s headquarters for meetings and an audition. Two weeks later, he got an offer. ESPN has been an experience unlike his past career stops. “Just the sheer size of the network, and navigating that, was a new challenge,” he says. But the company’s extensive operations have made it easy for Cotter to get involved in his areas of interest, specifically covering NASCAR and college football. This fall, Cotter has moved into his largest role yet: ESPN announced in July that he would host the college football studio

Cotter gets Tech’s Paul Johnson to laugh on set.

coverage every Saturday on ESPN2. Those opportunities are one reason why Cotter, who happens to be in a contract year, doesn’t see another employer in his future. “I’m thrilled with these new responsibilities,” he says. Most importantly to Yellow Jackets fans, Cotter’s dueling GT and UGA degrees haven’t split his allegiances on game days. “At Georgia, I was sort of infiltrating behind enemy lines,” Cotter says. “For me, it always will be Georgia Tech.”

On the


The latest buzz from Tech’s teams and alumni.

Believe the Buzz Yellow Jackets football grabs national attention. The Georgia Tech football team entered the 2015-16 season ranked No. 16 in the Associated Press Top 25 poll, the first time it has been ranked in the Top 25 since 2010. The Yellow Jackets finished last season ranked No. 8. The Jackets enter the 2015 season as the third-highest ranked team in the ACC, following Atlantic Division members Florida State (No. 10) and Clemson (No. 12). Four of Tech’s 2015 opponents are ranked in the preseason AP poll, including Georgia (No. 9) and Notre Dame (No. 11), in addition to Florida State and Clemson. Meanwhile, redshirt junior QB Justin Thomas—who was the MVP of the 2014 Capital One Orange Bowl—has

been named to several award watch lists, including Davey O’Brien Award and Manning Award (national quarterback awards), Maxwell Award (college player of the year) and Walter Camp Player of the Year. As season-ticket sales continue on record pace, fans can purchase tickets in person at the Georgia Tech Ticket Office (9 a.m. to 5 p.m., M-F), by phone at 888-TECH-TIX, or online at

Nine Standout Athletes Elected to 2015 Hall of Fame Class Two-time Olympian and NCAA track champion Chaunte Lowe, All-American softball pitcher Jessica Cole, long-time director of broadcasting Wes Durham, as well as first team AllAtlantic Coast Conference tailback, Joe Burns, are among the nine former Georgia Tech sports icons who have been elected to the 2015 Georgia Tech Sports Hall of Fame class. Four-time Academic All-American punter Dan Dyke, first team All-American shortstop Tyler



Greene, four-year Georgia Tech football manager and alum Charlie Germany, All-Atlantic Coast Conference golfer Kris Mikkelsen, as well as Jakie Rudolph, an All-American Specialist and two sport letterman in football and golf, are also in the 2015 class. These outstanding individuals will be inducted into the Georgia Tech Hall of Fame at the annual induction dinner on Oct. 16 at the Georgia Tech Hotel and Conference Center.


between Atlanta and Dublin, Ireland, where 3,935 Miles Tech will kick off the 2016 football season GTALUMNIMAG.COM VOLUME 91 NO.3 20 15

NOTICE OF GEORGIA TECH NCAA VIOLATIONS In July of 2011, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I Committee on Infractions found the Georgia Institute of Technology men’s basketball and football programs responsible for committing violations of NCAA legislation. The Institute was cited for a lack of cooperation during the investigation, a failure to meet the conditions and obligations of membership, and preferential treatment violations. Also cited were additional violations in the men’s basketball program related to the conduct of a nonscholastic men’s basketball tournament on campus. The NCAA public report further details all of the findings. Penalties Included: ! Public reprimand and censure. ! Four years of probation from July 14, 2011 through July 13, 2015. ! A $100,000 financial penalty. ! A reduction of two men’s basketball recruiting days during the 2011 summer evaluation period (selfimposed by the Institute). ! A limit of 10 official visits for the men’s basketball program for the 2011-12 and 2012-13 academic years, respectively. ! Vacation of contests won by the football team during the 2009 season after November 24, which is when the university was alerted to potential eligibility issues. Additionally, in September of 2014 the NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions cited the Institute for a failure to monitor recruiting activities, and the football, men’s basketball, and women’s basketball programs were cited for recruiting violations surrounding impermissible telephone calls and text messages sent to prospective student-athletes. The NCAA accepted the Institute’s self-imposed penalties. The NCAA public report further details all of the findings. Penalties Included: ! Public reprimand and censure. ! Two additional years of probation, extending through July 13, 2017. ! Recruiting restrictions during the 2012-13 academic year, including telephone call restrictions and a reduction in off-campus recruiting opportunities (self-imposed by the Institute). As a result of the exhaustive investigation and review process and because of Georgia Tech’s steadfast commitment to compliance, the Institute completely revamped and enhanced its athletics compliance operation and staffing. A robust monitoring system was implemented and a more frequent and meaningful rules education program was established across all sports. The Institute remains committed to operating all of its athletics programs within the letter and spirit of NCAA, ACC, and Institute rules and regulations.

of baseball players inducted into the Georgia Tech Athletics Hall of Fame, in66 Number cluding the latest inductee, former Yellow Jackets shortstop Tyler Greene

In the


Ramblin’ Wrecks generating buzz beyond the Atlanta campus.

Dollars & Sense: Paul Raines, GameStop CEO Roger Slavens

Few people know how to market to gamers and geeks like Paul Raines, IE 85, who leads the largest brick-and-mortar and online storefronts in the video gaming industry. This summer, GameStop doubled-down on nerd culture by acquiring, which sells sci-fi novelty items and collectibles. We reached out to Raines to find out what’s most challenging about meeting the demands of such a rabid and influential audience. You used to be a top executive with The Home Depot here in Atlanta. Though GameStop is a major retailer, the audience is quite different. What are your most important tactics in marketing to gamers and sci-fi geeks?

The most important thing about our customer base is that you have to be authentic. We compete primarily against big box stores such as Target and Walmart, as well as Amazon online, all of which sell a wide variety of goods. One out of two video games sold in the U.S. is sold at a GameStop. We focus on our passion for games and gamers, and they really respond to that. We also build strong relationships with our vendors, who are monopolies. There’s only one company Wars or Trek? that produces SuI grew up watchper Mario; there ing Star Trek, and all the characare no other alterters are like family natives. So we work members. But Star closely with them to Wars was a spegive our customers cial phenomenon. special experiences I have a Yoda that and exclusives that sits above my desk our competitors who gives me daily wisdom. Ultimatecan’t. One other ly, I’d have to side area that’s differwith Star Wars. ent is that we have a —Paul Raines buy-sell-trade platform. If you play a game and finish it, you can trade it in for credit. Last year, GameStop had over $1 032


billion in trade credit—it’s a special kind of currency that provides tremendous value and builds loyalty. Who is GameStop’s primary audience?

Twenty percent of our customers make up 80 percent of our sales. Half

of this 20 percent is made up of hardcore gamers, males age 16-28, who are typically enthusiasts for specific video game genres, whether sports or role-playing games or first-person shooters. The other half of the 20 percent is made up of the friends and GameStop

families of these gamers who buy the games as gifts. Sci-fi and gaming and comic books used to be seen as more of a fringe market made up of mostly teenagers and kids. But the so-called geek market is now pretty mainstream and knows few boundaries, including age, gender or race. How has this happened?

For one, teenage geeks grow up to become older geeks. People have been playing the Xbox for years, and they take the gaming habit with them. Boomers have habits that previous generations didn’t. Females are also more into gaming than ever, partly because gaming has more genres than ever—it’s not just sports and action-adventure. Believe it or not, dance games are the fourth largest video game niche. Titles like Assassin’s Creed open up more thoughtful storytelling by letting you explore different eras

throughout history, which open up gaming to a wider range of people. Finally, consumers also have more leisure time than ever, and a greater thirst for entertainment, which video games can fill. Why did GameStop acquire GeekNet and ThinkGeek?

We got into online gaming because we are constantly looking at ways to diversify our business. As we looked around for opportunities, we discovered ThinkGeek was one of our audience’s most respected and in-demand brands. In our PowerUp rewards program, which has 42 million-plus members, gift certificates were the No. 1 requested reward. Plus ThinkGeek already held a lot of great licenses such as Star Wars, Star Trek, Marvel Comics, Doctor Who, Game of Thrones and others. We feel that with our processes and supply chain expertise, we can make shopping at ThinkGeek an even better experience, and we

plan to start selling more ThinkGeek products in our GameStop stores. There’s a lot to leverage, including possibly some other specialized store fronts. I’ve read that GameStop was getting more into selling old-school games and consoles. What power does nostalgia have these days as a marketing tool?

It’s extremely powerful. We stopped carrying Nintendo 64 games about 10 years ago, and there was such an outcry from our customers, especially over titles like Legends of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, that we reopened our trade program to accept older games to make sure they were available to those who wanted them. Older games carry tremendous emotional connections to the games and consoles they played growing up. And to make sure these older games are still playable and an enjoyable experience, we run a big reconditioning operation.


Answering the question, “What does Georgia Tech think?”

Star Wars vs. Star Trek: The Ultimate Showdown Few educational institutions love their science fiction like Georgia Tech, and that includes students, faculty and staff alike. So we asked a well-known Trekkie and a wouldbe Sith Lord to weigh in on the matter, hopefully settling the debate once and for all.

THE FORCE IS STRONG(ER) WITH THIS ONE Sherry Farrugia From the moment I heard the first note of John Williams’ iconic Star Wars theme, and was filled with heart-pounding fear instilled by Darth Vader’s “Imperial March”—I knew I was hooked. So began my love affair with The Force. Continued on pg. 36 034


Josh Meister

IT’S A HIGHLY LOGICAL CHOICE Gary S. May “Space, the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations …” The opening monologue for Star Trek still gives me goose bumps. As a kid, I remember waiting with breathless anticipation at each episode for what would follow. Although the show is nearly 50 years old and has spawned countless TV spinoffs, movies and books, the original series still holds a special place in the hearts and minds of devotees such as myself. What is it about this iconic science-fiction drama that captivated people like me? Let me try to narrow it down to a few major reasons. The Technology: No self-proclaimed geek could resist the allure of the futuristic technical advances on display in nearly every Star Trek episode. The list is impressive: faster-than-light space travel, tractor beams, force fields, teleportation, universal translators, tricorders, phasers and androids were just a handful of these wonders. Continued on pg. 37 GTALUMNIMAG.COM VOLU M E 91 NO.3 2015



Answering the question, “What does Georgia Tech think?”

Continued from page 34

There are many reasons Star Wars is— by far—the best science-fiction franchise of all time, but what truly sets it apart from the rest is The Force. It’s powerful, magical, a religion of sorts. Through The Force everything in the universe is connected and there is a constant push and pull between good and evil, love and hate, compassion and aggression, and honesty and deception. In many ways, it is a reflection of modern society painted on a canvas of sophisticated characters,




complex relationships, fast-changing technology and political upheaval. I remember watching the original Star Wars film for the first time and thinking how much I wanted to hate Darth Vader, who is arguably the greatest villain of all time. After all, he represented the Dark Side, the embodiment of evil. But for some reason, I felt a connection to him, a kindred spirit of sorts. Was it the beauty of obedience? His self-discipline? His competitiveness? Regardless, I felt myself sympathizing with him. Aren’t we all at some point lured into the self-indulgent, winning-at-all-costs, world-domination mindset? Not to mention, the fantasy of standing 6’8” in flats and wearing black every day. But I know the difference between good and evil, and also have a real connection to the Light Side. To quote the Supreme Jedi Master Yoda, “A Jedi uses The Force for knowledge and defense, never for attack.” It is a source of knowledge, it connects all space and time, and it is directly linked with emotion. I often think back to the scenes in The Empire Strikes Back when Luke Skywalker was receiving instruction from Yoda. Luke

continues to let his emotions get the best of him, but Yoda teaches him to let go of his fear and to trust himself. Only then does he fully realize his potential. I’m reminded that even the greatest villain of all, Lord Vader, turned to the Dark Side in order to save the one he loved, and in the end turned away from the Dark Side to save his son. One might argue that he embraced the Dark Side, but in the end his intentions were good. Much like him, the moment I let go of the fear of losing and allow knowledge to light the way, I return to my Jedi ways and find comfort in knowing that a Jedi’s life is to be the guardian of peace and justice, and I still have much to learn. The battle between good and evil is real: without it there is no balance in The Force. Star Wars is more than cool technology and awesome fighter ships, even though the T.I.E. Fighter is far superior to any spacecraft—even the Enterprise itself—in Star Trek. What’s more, you don’t have to be born in a certain part of the galaxy to be “special,” like the Vulcans. You simply have to listen to that voice inside your head, set fear aside and act. Because as Yoda says, “Do or do not, there is no try.”

Sherry Farrugia is the managing director of Health Research Partnerships and director of the Georgia Institute of Technology & Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Partnership.

Wise Adviser (Pointy Ears Required) Yoda

Original Medium

Coolest Tech

Dastardly Villain

Signature Ship

Expendable Crew

George Lucas


Lightsabers (freakin’ laser swords!)


Millennium Falcon


Gene Roddenberry


Transporter (freakin’ teleportation!)


U.S.S. Enterprise

Redshirts Spock





Continued from page 35

Some of these devices later became the inspiration for real-life innovations to come—including the desktop computer, voice activation and the cellular flip phone. In many ways, the technology I saw on display in Star Trek was a motivating factor in my decision to pursue an engineering career. The Characters: Captain Kirk, Mr. Spock and Dr. McCoy. The interaction of this troika was so seamless that at times they almost seemed like a single person (ego, superego and id, if you will). They each were simultaneously archetypical and complex. Kirk was the heroic playboy/cowboy, but he was also a master improvisational strategist who cared deeply for his crew and his ship. McCoy was the angry, but brilliant and supremely talented physician with a heart of gold. Spock, the stoic and logical alien outsider, is arguably the greatest fictional character ever created (and definitely the greatest alien). Every episode revealed something new and interesting about him. His mother was human? He has to mate every seven years or he’ll die? He has an inner eyelid? The supporting characters—Uhura, Scotty, Sulu and Chekov—all had their moments as well and were fascinating to watch. As Kirk would say, they were the best crew in the fleet.

Scantily Clad Seductress

Child Prodigy

The Diversity: Speaking of that crew, its diversity was like nothing ever seen before in popular media. The bridge team consisted of an alien, an Asian, a Russian, a Scotsman and an African woman—all with specific expertise and command level responsibilities. For a young black male like myself, the stunning presence of Lt. Uhura was particularly irresistible. Nichelle Nichols became a boyhood crush whose autographed picture still hangs in my office today. Beyond the characters, the episodes themselves also challenged conventional stereotypes and norms. “Plato’s Stepchildren” portrayed the first interracial kiss in the history of television (Kirk and Uhura). In “The Ultimate Computer,” the Federation’s most brilliant computer scientist was a black man. In “Devil in the Dark,” what was thought to be a monstrous and murderous creature was revealed to be a mother merely trying to protect her offspring. The Concepts: The most compelling aspect of Star Trek was, without a doubt, the stories—the awe they inspired and how they made us think about the human condition. A few personal favorites: “The City on the Edge of Forever,” “Who Mourns for Adonais?” “Return to Tomorrow” and “A Requiem for Methuselah.” These stories used concepts such as alien life, artificial intelligence, immortality and time travel to pose deep philosophical questions: Do the needs of the many outweigh the

needs of the few, or the one? Should advanced cultures aid the development of more primitive ones, or does such wellintended assistance actually do more harm than good? Is there a higher power with a purpose and plan for mankind? Ultimately, what these stories did was illustrate universal human themes like friendship, loyalty, love, sacrifice and our underlying connectedness. The original Star Trek series consisted of only 79 episodes over three seasons. Rarely has a show of such a relatively brief duration had such a lasting impact on pop culture. However, I, and many others owe that show a great debt. It is what has inspired us “ … to boldly go where no man has gone before.” Gary S. May is Dean of the College of Engineering and Southern Company Chair.

Overly Emotional Android

Cuddle Factor

Glamorous Coiffure

Colorful Bar

Favorite Drink

Guns By Any Other Name

Worst. Decision. Ever.

Words to Live By

Gold bikiniwearing Princess Leia

“Annie” Skywalker



(tie) Chewbacca’s lustrous fur and Leia’s donut buns

Mos Eisley Cantina

Blue milk


Jar Jar Binks (or, arguably, all three prequels)

“May the Force Be With You”

Greenskinned Orion slave girl

Wesley Crusher



William Shatner’s toupee

The Ten Forward

Romulan Ale

Phasers (usually set to stun)

Star Trek V: The Final Frontier

“Live Long and Prosper”




Tipping our cap to alumni who know how to multitask.

Seeing Red

Melissa Weinman

Dan Carey, AP 85, remains in the running for a one-way ticket to Mars. It never hurts to throw your hat into the

ring. At least, that was Dan Carey’s thinking when he decided to apply to become one of the first humans ever to step foot on Mars—and never again return to Earth. “The possibility of participating in the human exploration of the solar system is something I just couldn’t walk away from without at least putting in a piece of paper and a video,” Carey says. Carey, AP 85, thought it was a long shot. He was one of a reported 200,000 people who started an application to the Mars One project. But after making it through the first two elimination rounds, Carey is now one of just 100 people selected as potential colonizers of the red planet by Mars One. Mars One is a nonprofit organization based in the Netherlands that hopes to launch the first manned mission to Mars in 2026. The organization plans to fund the mission with private investments and revenue generated by broadcasting the mission on TV. It’s backed by some heavy hitters in the space exploration field, including several revered sciWars or Trek? entists, engineers As a teenager, I revand even a former eled in Star Wars’ special effects and chief technologist soaring music. But from NASA. But Star Trek had a vithere are many sion for humanity’s skeptics who quesfuture and a phition whether Mars losophy about how One can make we should conduct these plans a reality. ourselves as individuals and as a In any case, species. Star Trek is Carey says he’s inthe logical choice. spired by the —DAN CAREY o r g a n i z a t i o n ’s unconventional approach to space exploration. And that includes the fact that Carey is not an astronaut—he’s a data architect. He doesn’t have 038


a PhD, and doesn’t have any of the technical training that he would need for a space mission with NASA. But he’s made it this far in the selection process because Mars One is interested in more intangible qualifications. “They’re not looking so much for a particular skill set. If you have someone who’s reasonably intelligent, you can train them,” Carey says. “But you have to find the right personality to deal with people in a very limited circle. It’s a one-way trip—you’re going to be living with these people forever.” Carey’s interest in the Mars One mission stems from a life-long love of space. His first library book at age 5 was about the Mercury space program, and the Apollo astronauts who went to the moon were his childhood heroes. But his candidacy does comes with a price. He’s a husband and father who will have to leave his family forever if he’s selected for the program.

“Prior to Mars One coming along, I couldn’t conceive of something that would make me want to leave my wife and my children and the rest of my family and friends,” Carey says. “But because I do believe a human mission to Mars is important enough and would have a beneficial enough effect, it feels almost like an obligation to go.” Carey understands there are many critics who can’t understand why he would consider giving up everything for a cramped and isolated existence on a far away planet. There are obvious reasons— to pioneer, to explore, to hunt for signs of life—but also a desire to give people back on Earth a reason to prioritize better stewardship of the planet. “When people see how stark Mars is—it’s beautiful in its way, but it’s stark— when they see how we have to really work and struggle to survive in the second best place to live in the solar system, that may Mars One

make them pay a little more attention to Earth and take a little better care of it,” Carey says. While he has thought a lot about Mars, Carey’s departure from Earth is far from a done deal. First, he still has to make it through the remaining selection process, which will whittle the Mars One candidates from 100 to 24. A selection committee will observe the remaining candidates as they go through group dynamic challenges and assess how each of them works together. The 40 strongest candidates will then proceed to the next phase, where they will spend nine days in an isolation unit. “It is very important that the candidates are observed closely to examine how they act in situations of prolonged close contact with one another,” says Dr. Norbert Kraft, Mars One chief medical officer. “During the journey to Mars and upon arrival, they will spend 24 hours a day with each other. It is during this time that the simplest things

A rendering of what the Mars One colony may look like.

may start to become bothersome. It takes a specific team dynamic to be able to handle this and it is our job to find those that are best suited for this challenge.” After the isolation phase, 30 candidates will be chosen for an extended interview to determine their suitability for Mars settlement, after which the final 24 candidates

will be offered full-time employment with Mars One. Carey understands those skeptical of the mission. “There are a ton of challenges to be met,” he says. But he can’t help being optimistic. “Believe in the future. Believe in humanity. This will be one of the great things humankind undertakes.”


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BE ď °

Artist’s concept of the New Horizons spacecraft encountering Pluto and its largest moon, Charon, in July 2015


Space exploration is taking us to places—and offering up opportunities—once imaginable only in science fiction. As private companies

and global players continue to exert increasing influence on the science and economics of reaching for the stars, we’re beginning to see the universe in a whole new way.





YOND Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute GTALUMNIMAG.COM VOLUME 91 NO.3 2015

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Former NASA astronaut Sandra Magnus, PhD MSE 96, had been preparing

for her 2002 mission to the International Space Station on the Space Shuttle Atlantis for years. She knew, intellectually, that when she got her first glimpse of the Earth from space, it would be like nothing she’d experienced before. Still, when the moment came—when she opened the shuttle’s payload doors and saw the Earth in the context of the vast expanse of outer space beyond it—she instinctively understood that her seemingly sturdy home planet was no more durable than a robin’s egg. “I said, immediately, without even thinking, ‘Wow, our  Tech Professor Bobby Braun at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory atmosphere is so thin’,” recalls Magnus, who now serves as the executive director of TODAY’S BIGGEST SPACE CELEBRITIES the American Institute of Aeronautics and AREN’T KNOWN FOR LOGGING TIME IN Astronautics (AIAA). “It looked so fragile, and it’s something we have no sense of SPACE; THEY’RE TITANS OF THE BUSINESS in our daily living,” she says. Her expe- WORLD WHO WANT TO OPEN UP SPACE AND rience of seeing the Earth as a fragile, ITS MYRIAD BENEFITS TO EVERYONE. tiny ball of life felt transformational. now within our grasp. It’s not just that rocketing off to space will Until recently, the only people who become possible for those with the cash to spare. It’s that the posever had a real shot at experiencing this sibilities open to us have increased exponentially in recent years. kind of sublime, otherworldly experience In the past few months, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft (see  Sandra Magnus, were those who’d spent years pursuing story on page 46) has beamed back extraordinary images of PluPhD MSE 96 that dream: a few hundred highly educatto, and the Kepler telescope may have identified Earth 2.0. ed, rigorously trained, and keenly ambitious men and women. It From human space travel to planetary research to advances makes sense: nine-figure mission budgets made anything else that will make even our life here at home seem more magical, we implausible. are in a transformational time. The universe beyond our planet Today, space tourism for the masses is getting tantalizingis looking more interesting—and reachable—every day. ly close. Private space exploration firm Virgin Galactic has sold FROM PIPE DREAM TO PRACTICAL more than 700 tickets (at up to $250,000 a pop) for suborbital spaceflights in the coming years, More than 40 years ago, the biggest names on the American which would more than double the toWars or Trek? space scene were Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong, the men who tal number of astronauts the world has Star Trek—the donned the bulky, NASA-emblazoned space suits to walk on seen. Another player, XCOR Aerospace, original series the moon. Today’s biggest space celebrities—Elon Musk, Richexpects to be carrying eager customers on —has my vote. ard Branson and Jeff Bezos—aren’t known for logging time in its suborbital vehicle, Lynx, by 2016. Who wouldn’t space; they’re titans of the business world who want to open up In other words: Our sci-fi future in want “to explore space and its myriad benefits to everyone. space has arrived. strange new That transition marks a sea change in the way we’ve approached Thanks to vast growth in our knowledge worlds, to seek out new life and new space exploration as a nation, says Robert “Bobby” Braun, Georbase, shifts in funding, and increasing opcivilizations, to gia Tech’s David and Andrew Lewis Professor of Space Technology portunities for research and exploration boldly go where no and a former chief technologist for NASA. “If you take any major at many levels, the science and experiencman has gone sector of our economy, the government has always been the first es that once seemed possible only in the before?” in,” Braun says. “It was a prime motivator for ground transportafeverish imaginations of authors like Doug—BOBBY BRAUN tion when it built highways, for example.” CONTINUED ON PG. 45 las Adams and Arthur C. Clarke seem

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NASA’s Z-2 Development Suit

SUITING UP FOR SPACE Ian Meginnis, MS AE 12, helps design the latest functional fashions for travel to Mars and other interplanetary destinations.

Seeing the sheer power created by

a shuttle launch in person made Ian Meginnis’ day when he was a kid. The Indiana youngster’s dad was friends with former NASA astronaut Greg Harbaugh, so Meginnis and his family received a personal invitation in 1993 to come watch a shuttle launch. Now all grown up, Meginnis, MS AE 12, helps make sure today’s astronauts are taken care of from head to toe as a NASA space suit engineer at the Johnson Space Center in Houston. His primary job is to look for ways to improve the functionality of space suits—some of which have been in use for decades—and update them so they’re, well, suitable, for more advanced missions. By comparing past and c urrent space suit designs, Meginnis and his colleagues are able to take their best aspects, combine them and adapt them for future needs. On the most basic level, a suit must enable astronauts to move, bend their limbs and maintain a good field of vision in a variety of environments, Meginnis says. One development suit Meginnis has been working on—the Z-2—will one day enable astronauts to conduct in-space NASA

and planetary exploration tasks more efficiently. The Z-2 is primarily a walking suit, and marks the first time NASA was able to use 3-D human laser scans and 3-D-printed hardware during suit development and sizing. The suit features a large, bubble-shaped helmet that provides a wide field of view, a hard upper torso for durability and protection, joints that provide greater mobility, and a rearentry system that allows the astronauts to slip on the suit all at once, rather than fuss with a two-step, pants-and-torso donning process. After a suit prototype is designed and manufactured, it’s tested on Earth in locations that can simulate the environment of a variety of destinations, from the vacuum of space to the moon to Mars, Meginnis says. Reduced-gravity aircraft, known more casually as “Vomit Comets,” help simulate those conditions. Space suit design, as you might expect, requires the skills of a large team of designers. Meginnis, however, may sometimes be tasked to work on individual projects or systems. For example, he plays a pivotal role in developing ground-based life support systems to test suits on the ground and see how they

Ian Meginnis dons a space suit for testing.

hold up under various stressors. “Building life-support systems—building those components and testing them—sometimes that’s the responsibility of just one person,” Meginnis says. “It’s challenging, but rewarding when you turn it on and your design works. Those moments are great. You do it to make a difference.” —BRIAN HUDGINS GTALUMNIMAG.COM VOLUME 91 NO.3 2015

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SLEEPING OUR WAY TO MARS SpaceWorks is exploring a novel way to make manned travel to the Red Planet a reality. It’s time to suspend your disbelief about suspended

animation chambers designed for space travel—the kind that allows crew members to snooze comfortably as they make long interstellar journeys. As president of Atlanta-based SpaceWorks Enterprises, a 15-year-old government and commercial space contracting firm, John Bradford, MS AE 98, PhD AE 01, is working to turn these fantastical ideas into something much more concrete. However, in this case, it’s  Tech alumnus John Bradford envisions a torpor-inducing transfer habitat as one way to get a manned crew to Mars. not travel between the stars that SpaceWorks is interested in, but rathtechnique used in extreme medical casstimulation to prevent atrophy would also er just the relatively short hop to Mars. es where patients’ body temperatures are be required. “We envisioned that robotic One of the biggest problems scientists lowered and placed in a controlled, comaarms would do the work in managing and haven’t yet figured out in engineering tose state for two to three days at a time. “It manipulating the crew while they are in manned expeditions to the Red Planet is helps stop swelling and slows the metabotorpor,” he says. how to rocket the necessary payload out of lism to give the body time to start repairing Though NASA did not pick up the secearth’s atmosphere, Bradford says. itself,” Bradford says. “And we thought, ond round of funding for the SpaceWorks “By cutting the habitation facilities ‘Would it be possible to extend this state project, Bradford says that many other enand consumables for the human crew, for longer periods of time, say weeks or tities are interested in their idea and the you could yield a dramatic savings on even months?’” research will continue. Meanwhile, Spacethe payload—more than half by our It was such an intriguing question that Works has many other projects in the calculations—as well as the propulsion NASA funded SpaceWorks’ initial repipeline, ranging from aerodynamics to needed to escape earth’s orbit,” Bradford search on the matter. Though Bradford advanced propulsion systems to planetary says. “Additionally, putting the crew into freely admits that there’s still a ton of redefense systems. medically induced torpor could also search to be done, he says his team has “We tackle about six to eight projects minimize the psychological challenges of talked with a lot of medical researchers at a time,” Bradford says. “Often NASA or such a long flight.” around the world and found no showother clients will come in with ideas they The secret to his suspended animastoppers. “It’s something of a polarizing want explored, and we help engineer solution could be therapeutic hypothermia, a concept,” he says. “Therapeutic hypothertions to their specifications. Or sometimes mia was once a radical process we’re asked to do some reverse engineerthat’s now used widely. It takes ing. But we have our own ideas we pursue, time to get people to wrap their as well.” mind around the idea.” Bradford and his colleagues have Meanwhile, SpaceWorks began grown tired of people talking about sketching out ideas for how such traveling to Mars and, with the torpora system—which Bradford calls a inducing habitat, wanted to “bridge the torpor-inducing transfer habitat— gap” between science fiction and realicould be engineered. A primary ty. “I’ve been at this for a long time, and need would be to provide total parit always seems there is a 20- to 30-year enteral nutrition, which involves horizon for making a trip to Mars feafeeding the crew members insible,” he says. “We’d like to speed that  A sleeping crew means a smaller payload. —ROGER SLAVENS travenously. Neuromuscular timeline up.” 0 4 4


SpaceWorks Enterprises

CONTINUED FROM PG. 42 “The same is true university researchers—and their students—to get in the space of air transportation,” he says. “The private game. Dave Spencer, professor of the practice in Tech’s School sector typically comes in only after the govof Aerospace Engineering, for example, has been working with ernment makes the initial investment.” students for years to develop Prox-1. Integrated with its science The enormous cost of space exploration, payload and subsystems, the 110-pound spacecraft holds an particularly during the early days, made 11-pound “CubeSat”—a tiny satellite designed for space research. it impossible for any private company to Among other things, Prox-1’s mission in low Earth orbit will showconsider it seriously. At the height of NAcase automated trajectory control relative to the deployed CubeSat.  Alex Hreiz, AE 07, SA’s work with Apollo, for example, NASA’s Tech students are responsible for designing the mission, buildMS AE 09 budget represented a full 4.4 percent of the ing and testing the spacecraft and conducting mission operations. federal budget—$43 billion in today’s dollars. Today, NASA’s bud“We’re entering a realm where universities can play a lead role, not get represents just a half a percent of the total budget. just as science investigators, but actualWhile private companies have been pursuing opportunities ly implementing the visions,” Spencer says. in space for years (Elon Musk’s SpaceX, for example, was found“Not only that, but we’re giving students the ed in 2002), interest exploded when it became clear that NASA chance to get their hands dirty and develwould officially retire the space shuttle fleet in 2011—with no plans op ‘engineering intuition’ that you just can’t to build a near-term replacement. Private companies headed by learn from a textbook.” space-loving visionaries eagerly arrived to fill the vacuum. Richard Magnus, for one, marvels at the changes. Branson promised to democratize access to space; SpaceX wants “Designing, building, launching, and operto help people live on other planets; Nanoracks bills itself as the ating CubeSats in mission controls that they  Dave Spencer, “concierge to the stars,” giving high schools and even Kickstarter have in universities?” she says. “That was Professor of the customers a way to get their payloads into space. unheard of when I was in college.” Practice These companies absorbed everything NASA had learned in the previous “WHEN I TEACH THE CAPSTONE SPACE half-century, and then used laser-focus to upend its most weighty, expensive pracSYSTEMS CLASS, I ALWAYS ASK STUDENTS tices to open up space to researchers, enthusiasts and entrepreneurs. WHERE THEIR DREAM JOB IS,” SPENCER Virgin Galactic propulsion manufacSAYS. “NASA? LARGE INDUSTRY? SPACEX turing engineer Alex Hreiz, AE 07, MS AE 09, for example, is helping his company OR BIGELOW AEROSPACE? ABOUT 85 scale up its production of engines, a process that ultimately will bring the cost of PERCENT OF STUDENTS ARE INTERESTED space travel down; it’s a formula that private companies have down to a science. IN NEW SPACE. TWENTY YEARS AGO, THAT “The private sector has shown that it can WASN’T EVEN AN OPTION.” do high-volume production faster, better and cheaper than the government,” Hreiz says. “The launch system is still several years out, but [increasing The recent growth in private sector businesses—“new space”— the accessibility of space travel] is one of the things that is revitalizis attracting a generation of student space junkies eager to make ing America’s interest in space.” an impact through these entrepreneurial companies. Spencer says SpaceX, too, has committed to slice space launch prices by up the shift has been dramatic. “When I teach the capstone space systo 100-fold, in part by reusing rockets and improving a vehicle’s tems class, I always ask students where their dream job is,” he says. turnaround time. If they’re successful, it could reduce the cost for a “NASA? Large industry? SpaceX or Bigelow Aerospace? About 85 person to go to space to just a few thousand dollars. percent of students are interested in new space. Twenty years ago, Ian Clark, AE 03, MS AE 06, PhD AE 09, that wasn’t even an option.” visiting assistant professor in the School of These new opportunities, in other words, are opening up a new Aerospace Engineering and current memgeneration to the possibilities of space. ber of the technical staff of the Jet Propulsion THE BIG DREAMS BEYOND LOW EARTH ORBIT Laboratory, says such approaches represent a new way of thinking about space. “Today’s For now, private companies are primarily focused on the opporstartups are attacking the chiseled philosotunities in low Earth orbit—an altitude between 99 and 1,200 phies of aerospace that we had for 40 years, miles above the planet—as NASA continues to push into the great like, ‘Don’t recover your first stage [rock Ian Clark, AE 03, unknown. “You can think of space exploration as an expanding bubets],’” he says. “These companies are saying, MS AE 06, PhD AE 09 ble,” Magnus explains. “The surface is the government, which keeps ‘Let’s go back to the drawing board and realexpanding—from low Earth orbit, to the moon, to the rest of the ly understand why folks haven’t done this in the past.’” solar system. There’s private enterprise in the bubble, but the govThose lowered costs are having effects outside of the consumernment is still invested in leading the charge.” CONTINUED ON PG. 48 er space, too. These days, it’s increasingly financially possible for GTALUMNIMAG.COM VOLUME 91 NO.3 2015

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FROM MERCURY TO PLUTO Andy Calloway, AE 89, helped lead two of NASA’s most high-profile unmanned missions —on opposite ends of the solar system—to out-of-this-world success. Only 10 weeks after NASA’s

interplanetary mission to Mercury ended, another arrived at Pluto and started beaming back incredible photos from the ice-and-rock dwarf that most of us grew up thinking was the full-on ninth planet in our solar system. In both cases, Andy Calloway, AE 89, played a critical operations role. In fact, the day after the Mercury MESSENGER spacecraft ran out of fuel and crashed into the planet as expected, Calloway switched gears to help the New Horizons team plot a precise trajectory to rendezvous with Pluto. “It was quite a roller coaster ride of mixed emotions,” says Calloway, who served as the MESSENGER Mission Operations Manager (aka “MOM”) at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) for eight years before jumping onboard New Horizons. “There was a sense of both satisfaction and loss when the MESSENGER mission was finally over, but that was quickly offset by the critical tasks at hand and excitement of helping ensure the success of the Pluto expedition.”  MESSENGER performed three successful flybys of Mercury and mapped 100 percent of its surface. Despite such deep feelings, Calloway is usually known for his problem with the primary computer and primary computer just in time for the cool and calm demeanor under presswitched over to the backup computer, transition to the core nine-day flyby sure, a prerequisite for coping with the clearing out the programmed command sequence.” anomalies and uncertainties of space sequence and macros. This kind of anomaly is a team’s worst exploration. “The New Horizons team essentialnightmare, Calloway says. “But evCase in point: 10 days prior to New Holy performed two weeks of work in two erybody was ready for it and up to the rizons’ scheduled flyby of Pluto on July days, working around the clock and challenge,” he says. “The results have been 14—meaning the Fourth of July holicontending with a four-hour-plus, lightspectacular.” day weekend—the team was faced with time roundtrip,” Calloway says. “The As the deputy Encounter Mission a major challenge. The spacecraft’s faultoperations team was able to test and reManager for the New Horizons project, protection autonomy system detected a load everything and safely return to the Calloway’s job was to work closely with the 0 4 6


NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington

navigation and mission operations teams on approach to plan the perfect path for the Pluto flyby. “Pluto takes 248 Earth years to orbit the sun and we only have an 85-year record of Pluto’s orbit,” Calloway says. It therefore takes some very careful planning and plotting to determine exactly where Pluto and its moons are at any given moment relative to Earth and the spacecraft. “We used optical navigation image processing to track Pluto and its moons, taking specific camera sequences as New Horizons approached,” he says. “That enabled us to execute small maneuvers in March and June to fine-tune the trajectory and to confirm that the spacecraft pointing and timing were consistent with the location of Pluto. It was a process of constant assessment and refinement as we got closer.” Ultimately the Pluto flyby turned out to be a huge success that captured the public’s imagination. But, to Calloway, it couldn’t overshadow the triumphs of the Mercury MESSENGER mission, which was a large part of his life for the past 13 years. Calloway landed on the MESSENGER team at the APL after working at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland for six years. By this point in his career, he had accumulated a great deal of hands-on experience, ranging from his start in the industry as a flight controller with several commercial  Andy Calloway, AE 89 geosynchronous satellites to working with low Earth-orbiting satellites. This variety and exposure made him an excellent candidate for space operations management. “In 2002, I moved on to the Mercury MESSENGER planetary mission, running end-to-end mission simulations and practicing launches, deep-space maneuvers and planetary flybys.” Calloway says. “I was a lead for several subsystems, and then progressed to deputy mission ops manager.” The mission operations manager at that time, Robert Farquhar, was the former MOM for the highly successful

Calloway helped plot New Horizons’ trajectory to intercept Pluto.

NEAR mission. Calloway says Farquhar’s mentorship was so important to his career that he’s tried to pay it forward by working with the Alumni Association’s Mentor Jackets program over the years. Calloway eventually took over as MESSENGER’s MOM in January 2007. One primary goal of MESSENGER was to fill in the gaps left by Mariner 10, a NASA probe that flew by Mercury back in the 1970s. “Mariner 10 only captured about 40 percent of the planet in photos and data scans,” Calloway says. But despite the technological advances and knowhow gained since Mariner 10, the MESSENGER mission wasn’t going to be a cakewalk. “With a mission of this length in such a harsh thermal and space weather environment, bad things can and do happen,” Calloway says. “We wanted to get as complete a picture of Mercury as we could, treating each flyby opportunity as a critical activity that could be the last.” MESSENGER successfully performed three Mercury flybys and nailed the nail-biting 15-minute Mercury orbit insertion, eventually mapping 100 percent of the surface after four years in orbit. Some of the mission’s findings shocked the scientists back home. For example, even though Mercury is 70 percent closer to the sun than the earth, MESSENGER detected water ice at its poles. “Mercury has a negligible tilt to its spin axis, and because of that, comets and asteroids with ice that crashed near its poles created craters that remain in permanent

NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute

shadow,” he says. “This ice—called polar deposits—never evaporated.” Meanwhile, Calloway isn’t done with the New Horizons mission. It will take 12 to 16 months to unpack and return all the data from the Pluto flyby, he says. “We’re so far away from the Earth, the data comes in at a trickle.” New Horizons also has fuel left onboard to target another destination, likely at the end of 2018. “If approved, it will be a smaller body in the Kuiper belt,” he says. “As for me, I hope to continue exploring our solar system and to guide a new mission to success in other equally amazing and exotic destinations.” Some might ask why these interplanetary missions are important, especially given the time and expense. Calloway has some ready answers: “It’s about pure exploration and gaining knowledge about our solar system and the universe,” he says. “It’s about better understanding our origins and how everything came to be. And it’s about the countless exploration and technology discoveries that we can apply to improve our lives right here on Earth.” But exploring space is an even more personal mission for Calloway. “I want to inspire future generations to get involved in space and other STEM careers,” he says. And he’s also doing this in an unexpected way, taking what he’s learned from his space missions and turning it into books he hopes will capture the imagination of young children. —ROGER SLAVENS GTALUMNIMAG.COM VOLUME 91 NO.3 2015

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And the government is interested in exploring some of the USING SPACE TO DEVELOP EARTHLY IMPROVEMENTS questions we’ve been asking as a species for millennia. For perhaps as long as humans have been around, we’ve been askThough the prospect of space tourism or planetary visits doesn’t ing ourselves if we’re alone in the universe. And in recent spark everyone’s imagination, the innovations spurred by our space years, researchers are helping us circle ever closer to answers. ambitions might, Hreiz says. In July, NASA announced that data collected from the “Whether or not you feel that going to the moon and having peoKepler telescope, which launched in 2009, revealed a planet— ple on the moon, by itself, was worthwhile, the work we did to get inelegantly named Kepler-452b—that was more Earth-like than there was,” he says. “Developing the technology to get to the moon any that had yet been discovered: It’s a bit bigger than our home and sustain people on the moon is technology that can help make planet, but it has a 385-day orbit around a many more inhospitable places in the world open up to us in new star much like our sun. ways.” For Braun, such discoveries feel like revEverything from ultra-precise GPS and water filtration systems elations. “If we were talking eight years ago, to life-saving heart pumps and LED lights all trace their lineage I might have told you that when I look up at back to the space program. You don’t have to believe in the objecthe night sky and I see all those stars, I know tives of every single space mission to understand that the resulting in my gut that there have to be other [Earthtechnical breakthroughs have made our own planet seem a tiny bit like] planets out there,” he says. “But, back more miraculous. then, we didn’t have any hard evidence.”  Britney Schmidt, And ideas that companies are currently pursuing could push “Since then, we’ve flown missions that have Assistant Professor those innovations to new levels. For example, some companies are proven that there are thousands of planlooking at putting up constellations of new satellites—perhaps up to ets in existence around stars, including a dozen that are Earth-like. 200—to make weather prediction more accurate in lifesaving ways. Scientists can uncover just a few key facts about these planets, but “If we could detect an earthquake or a tornado even two minutes beas detection capabilities grow ever stronger in the coming decades, Braun suspects that researchers will be able to draw out even more information “IF A COMPANY LIKE SPACEX COULD PROVIDE about these distant planets: Are they covered by a liquid ocean? Do they have PERSISTENT, FROM-ORBIT INTERNET, YOU nitrogen-based atmospheres? COULD BE ANYWHERE—EVEN A SAILBOAT IN Are there trace THE SOUTH PACIFIC—AND GET BROADBAND pollutants in the atmosphere? INTERNET,” HOLZINGER SAYS. Scientis ts are also getfore it occurs, that could be lifesaving for hundreds to thousands of ting more concrete data closer to home people,” says Braun, who himself co-founded a private space compain search of the building blocks of life be Marcus Holzinger, ny, Terminal Velocity Aerospace LLC, which offers services designed yond Earth. Britney Schmidt, assistant Assistant Professor to provide safe re-entry and return of spacecraft payloads. “We’re not professor at the School of Earth and Atmothat far from having those remote-sensing capabilities. Is there any spheric Sciences, is doing critical work for REASON, one of the better reason to have a space program than to save lives?” instruments that will be traveling on the NASA mission to one of A vast collection of new satellites could also play a role in helpJupiter’s moons, Europa, in the 2020s. The instrument will use ing make the world a little bit smaller through the Internet, says radar to determine what lies beneath Europa’s icy shell. “REAMarcus Holzinger, assistant professor in the School of Aerospace SON is going to be the first thing that actually goes and looks for Engineering. “If a company like SpaceX could provide persistent, water inside Europa’s ice shell, and that’s incredibly exciting,” from-orbit Internet, you could be anywhere—even a sailboat in the Schmidt says. South Pacific—and get broadband internet,” Holzinger says. “That Spencer believes that space exploration is also ready for its could change the way that all of us live.” moment in “sample return missions” to Mars, which may Other innovations may be murky now, but their economic impact bring back everything from atmospheric is not. NASA’s work, for example, has paid more than its share of divparticles to soil and rocks from the planWars or Trek? idends. Stanford University researchers have calculated that every et’s surface. If properly selected, these I have a 4-ft.-long, dollar spent on the space program has netted $8 of economic benefit. samples might offer the best chance we’ve 20 lb., 3,152 piece But in a way, to reduce this progress—an ability to connect to had to date to discover if Mars once harLEGO Super Star anyone in the world in an instant, a chance to see just a tiny glimpse bored life. “We’ve done flyby missions and Destroyer in my into the future—to dollars and cents misses the point. It is a tesorbital missions and for Mars, we’ve even office. I’ve abandoned tament to the ingenuity and willing collaboration of thousands done landed missions, but we haven’t impartiality on the that is bringing us a world that no one could have imagined done sample returns,” he says. “We’re goStar Wars vs. Star just a few decades ago. ing to get so much more, scientifically, Trek question Our planet may be one among many billions, fragile and when we can bring a sample back to the decades ago. tiny. But there’s no question that the dreams of the people who lab and have scientists work on it, rather —MARCUS live on it—who look beyond its confines and see beauty and than having robotic instruments trying to HOLZINGER wonder and opportunity—are very, very big. do the analysis in place.” 0 4 8


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The Ethics of Artificial Intelligence, or

Why We Don’t Have to Worry Yet About Bowing Down Before Our Robot Overlords BY ELLIS BOOKER Once the stuff of science fiction, autonomous, “thinking” robots are increasingly ubiquitous. They explore the surfaces of Mars and comets, wheel medications up and down hospital corridors, and, more recently, even drive themselves around our freeways. So how did robots become so capable so quickly in the 21st century? Experts say a confluence of core technological advances—in processors, sensors and materials, as well as control algorithms and machine learning— are making robotic systems and other forms of artificial intelligence (AI) both more reliable and better able to navigate the world on their own. With such advances, however, comes an almost ageless concern: Are we on the brink of creating an artificial intelligence that will pose a threat to humanity? The faculty and researchers at Georgia Tech, one of the top centers of research on the topic of human/robot interaction, take this concern seriously. But they stress that the emergence of “strong” AI—where it becomes as functionally equal or superior to human intelligence— is unlikely in the foreseeable future, no matter what you see in movies or read in books. (See “Strong vs. Weak AI,” page 52.) “People are worried about super-intelligences, and their profound potential impact on the human race,” says Ronald Arkin, Regents professor and director of the Mobile Robotics Laboratory for Tech’s College of Computing. As one of the nation’s most respected roboticists and roboethicists, he’s personally more worried about the “questions that are confronting us in the here and now,” rather than those that might affect us somewhere far down the road. Arkin presented his views this summer in Washington,

D.C., at an Information Technology and Innovation Foundation panel titled “Are Super Intelligent Computers Really A Threat to Humanity?” As Arkin sees it, humanrobot interactions are already surfacing ethical quandaries. Examples include lethal autonomous systems on the battlefield and machines designed to mimic human qualities and elicit emotional reactions from us. The ethical questions prompted by such systems are worthy of immediate attention, “perhaps more than the potential extinction of the human race,” he says. There are more practical questions, too, that will soon be relevant. Take a self-driving car skidding on an icy street. Will the AI choose to crash the vehicle into a crowded school bus, a couple of adults on the street, or drive itself into a wall, potentially killing its owner? “Someone will have to design what the system chooses to do, under those different types of circumstances, if it is indeed perceptually able to recognize those situations,” says Arkin, noting this dilemma is a version of the classic Trolley Problem, in which we’re given the option of redirecting a runaway trolley to kill one person and so save five others on the tracks. Yes, the autonomous car may have to be programmed with strategies when confronted by a no-win crash. “Just don’t expect universal agreement,” Arkin cautions, citing the lack of agreement about many life and death questions, including smoking in public, capital punishment and abortion. “Part of the problem with ethics is, quite often, there are no universally agreed upon answers.” GTALUMNIMAG.COM VOLUME 91 NO.3 2015

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Paradoxically, Arkin has argued that lethal robots on the battlefield, not self-driving cars, are better positioned to be ethical agents because of the long-negotiated agreements around the rules of war. “Nations have come together and encoded laws of war in the Geneva Convention and the like to say, ‘If we’re going to kill each other on the battlefield, this is what’s legal and this is what’s not legal,’” he says. Robots will follow these rules strictly and dependably, while human soldiers may not. Banning ‘Killer Robots’?

Regardless, concern over the militarization of robotics has been growing. In July, more than 1,000 AI and robotics experts signed an open letter calling for a ban on “offensive autonomous weapons.” “The endpoint of this technological trajectory is obvious: Autonomous weapons will become the Kalashnikovs of tomorrow,” say the authors, who presented the letter at the International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on July 28. “The key question for humanity today is whether to start a global AI arms race or to prevent it from starting.” The letter, presented by the Future of Life Institute, was signed by luminaries including Tesla’s Elon Musk, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, Google DeepMind chief executive Demis

‘Strong’ vs. ‘Weak’ AI Are scientists close to creating a self-aware artificial intelligence, one that thinks, plots and acts on its own accord? This simple answer is “No,” according to Georgia Tech College of Computing Regents Professor Ronald Arkin. Despite science-fiction novels and movies in which that kind of AI is a familiar character, such a powerful (potentially malevolent) entity isn’t likely in the foreseeable future, he and his colleague say. For decades, there was optimism and investment around “artificial general intelligence,” or machines able to perform general-purpose cognitive tasks as well as or better than human beings. But when the pursuit of so-called “strong AI” hit innumerable obstacles, computer researchers turned their attention to a plethora of narrower problems, such as algorithms able to perform

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Hassabis and British physicist Stephen Hawking. Not among the signatories was Arkin. “I am not a signatory and I believe that a pre-emptive ban is premature,” he says. “Rather I support a moratorium to determine via research whether reductions in noncombatant casualties are achievable.” Last month, Arkin wrote an opinion piece for IEEE Spectrum titled, “Warfighting Robots Could Reduce Civilian Casualties, So Calling for a Ban Now Is Premature.” In it, he expresses optimism that autonomous robotic military systems could lead to a reduction in non-combatant deaths and casualties. For starters, robots won’t need to have self-preservation as a foremost drive, if at all. Their lack of emotional responses like anger, frustration, fear and the hunt for revenge—things that can cloud human judgment in the fog of war—is another advantage, as is the robot’s ability to “integrate more information from more sources far faster before responding with lethal force than a human possibly could in real-time.” Such systems on the battlefield, serving as impartial monitors to the actions of human beings on all sides, might be a positive influence too, Arkin speculates. “This presence alone might possibly lead to a reduction in human ethical infractions,” he writes. Technical hurdles notwithstanding, if such battlefield systems are shown to be better at adhering to international humanitarian law than human beings, “there may even exist a moral imperative” to use them, he argues. “Let us not stifle research in the area or accede to the fears that Hollywood and science fiction in general foist upon us,” Arkin writes, adding in conclusion: “It’s not clear how one can bring the necessary people to the table for discussion starting from a position for a ban derived from pure fear and pathos.”

classification, language translation, speech and facial recognition. These “Weak” AI systems “mimic what people do” in constrained settings, explains Mark Riedl, associate professor for the School of Interactive Computing. Today, weak AI is all around us: in smartphones, online shopping sites and customer-support telephone “agents.” Moreover, it’s improving rapidly. Platforms like Apple’s Siri, used by millions of people daily, “learns” from its mistakes and, so, becomes incrementally more accurate all the time. Increasingly, we simply expect these automated systems to understand what we say and what we want, just like a human being would. “It’s what we call the ever-vanishing definition of AI,” Arkin says. “Meaning, as soon as you can do it, it’s no longer AI, and it vanishes into the background noise of technology.” —ELLIS BOOKER

Will future AI be more The Terminator or more WALL-E?

As any moviegoer can tell you, ambivalence about robotics and autonomous systems is strong within popular culture. One needn’t look hard to find a movie—cue The Terminator, The Matrix and this year’s Avengers: Age of Ultron—about a dystopian future in which humanity and its machines face off in a war for survival. But there are an equal number of positive portrayals, where robots choose to help mankind, including the droids of Star Wars, Short Circuit, The Iron Giant and WALL-E. Meanwhile, consumers continue to delight in the ever-improving generations of Siri, Apple’s intelligent personal assistant, which uses a natural language user interface that gets more accurate and personalized over time. Recently, Stephen Hawking and Microsoft founder Bill Gates wandered into the fray with statements about the potential dangers of unchecked artificial intelligence.

 Regents

Professor Ronald Arkin is one of the nation’s most respected roboticists and roboethicists.

Ominous warnings about AI’s risks irk Arkin, but he welcomes calm discussion about the impact of these systems on humanity now and in the future. “To me, that’s a reasonable approach,” he says. And he believes that this discussion shouldn’t be limited to just computer scientists and engineers. “The important thing is you can not leave this up to the AI researchers,” The Washington Post quoted Arkin saying at the ITIF event in D.C. “You can not leave this up to the roboticists. We are an arrogant crew, and we think we know what’s best and the right way to do it, but we need help.” Indeed, funding is flowing to the subject. Earlier this year, after billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk donated $10 million to the Future of Life Institute (FLI) to finance studies aiming to keep AI safe and beneficial, almost 300 teams submitted their research proposals. The FLI has since decided to grant $7 million from Musk and the Open Philanthropy Project to 37 different projects over the next three years. While some futurists fret, robots have already shown great promise as helpers and rescuers. One of the leading lights in the so-called rescue robotics field is a former student of Arkin’s, Robin Murphy, ME 80, MS CS 89, PhD CS 92, currently Raytheon Professor of Computer Science and Engineering, and Engineering Faculty Fellow for Innovation in High-Impact Learning Experiences at Texas A&M University. Josh Meister

Murphy’s specialized robots work on land, underwater and in the air, and include novel physical designs, such as a robot that moves like a snake to burrow in granular materials (a collaboration with Georgia Tech and Carnegie Mellon University). To date, her robots have been deployed in 20 disasters, including urban search and rescue, structural inspection, hurricanes, flooding, mudslides, mine disasters, radiological events, and wilderness search and rescue. But Murphy is forever refining these platforms. “Our research focuses on human-robot interaction because a little bit over 50 percent of the documented terminal failures of robots during a disaster are ‘human error,’” Murphy says, clarifying that these are often errors made by the human designer of the system, not the robot’s operator. One recent design improvement has been to give the robot and its operator the same visual view. “If both [the robot and the robot operator] are looking at the same thing, generally what the robot camera view is, there is less confusion,” she says. The Skywriter project, which allows a user with no experience to exploit a visual common ground with the robot, also adds the ability to sketch on or highlight the camera view, obviating the need for verbal instructions and simplifying the process of sending directions to a robot in the field. Skywriter is now being commercialized. CONTINUED ON PG. 58 GTALUMNIMAG.COM VOLUME 91 NO.3 2015

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Big Hero 6

Programmed with advanced AI like the fictional Baymax, these robots’ mission is simple: Make human lives better.






1. MABU: The Mabu Personal Healthcare Companion, the brainchild of Tech alumnus Cory Kidd, CS 00, and the cornerstone of his company, Catalia Health Inc., is an in-home robot that has daily conversations with patients to ask them important questions about their health and make sure they’re on track with their prescribed medication, treatments and exercises. The combination of AI with behavioral psychology creates strong relationships between the health care companion and the patient. This encourages patients to adhere to

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treatment while providing the capability to collect data on a daily basis about the patient’s treatment progress and health. This data can be shared with caregivers—kept to the highest HIPAA standards of course—to optimize treatment outcomes. 2. DARWIN OP: It turns out that children with cognitive disabilities would rather play tablet video games with a robot than they would with an adult. Darwin OP, a small, perky humanoid robot, closely watches the kids play a

game like Angry Birds, and then take its own turn, mimicking their gameplay movements and celebrating if it succeeds (or shaking its head if it does not). Tech researchers Ayanna Howard and Hae Won Park found that children played the game longer, with more interaction, with Darwin than an adult—a huge boost to the kids’ perhaps otherwise dull rehabilitation exercises. 3 & 4. CURI & SIMON: This dynamic duo does duty as personal service robots, working alongside humans to help out

with everyday tasks such as operating a microwave or washing the dirty dishes. Curi and Simon, equipped with arms, fingers, eyes and even voices—adapt their skillsets in dynamic environments by interacting with humans and learning from them, what Tech researchers call socially guided machine learning. Andrea Thomaz, professor of interactive computing, continues to work with both robots to train them for advanced domestic duty. Curi, for one, has learned to cook a mean pasta dinner. 5. ROBOT DRUMMER: Unlike the other robots in this bunch, Robot Drummer doesn’t have a cool name. But music lovers will agree that what it does is definitely beyond cool. Developed by Gil Weinberg in Tech’s Center for Music Technology, the high-tech prosthesis can take the place of a drummer’s amputated arm and power two drumsticks, essentially making the musician a cyborg. The first stick is controlled physically by the drummer, as well as electronically by using muscle sensors. The second stick’s AI “listens” to the music and improvises, employing anticipation algorithms to predict what the drummer will do next. It also allows the drummer to play faster than humanly possible. 6. A HERO WITH NO NAME: The PR2 is a commercially available robot model that has served as an in-home personal assistant for Henry Evans, a quadriplegic. Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering Charlie Kemp and his team have programmed the PR2 and modified its hardware to intelligently adjust to its surroundings and operate in typical cluttered domestic settings. But what’s most impressive is that the robot uses custom whole-arm tactile sensors made out of a soft, stretchable fabric designed to help it interact physically with humans in a gentle way. Most robots can’t do that, and it’s especially important when caring for a person with disabilities such as Evans.

Inhuman Intelligence: Of Swarms and Slowbots Georgia Tech computer scientists are taking cues from not just humanity, but all of Mother Nature to inform the development of new robots. In fact, for years, Tech has been part of the U.S. Navy-funded Heterogeneous Unmanned Networked Teams (HUNT) project, looking at assorted animal interaction—from wolves stalking an elk to squirrels hiding acorn caches—as inspiration for developing new algorithms to guide intelligent autonomous systems. But a more recent project looks at the potential of “swarm” robots controlled by a single human operator. Earlier this year, researchers demonstrated the use of a tablet and a light to control an entire fleet of robots. The operator taps the tablet to control where a light beam appears on the floor, and the swarm rolls toward it. The Georgia Tech-developed algorithm allows the swarm to make “hive” decisions on its own about how best to evenly cover the lit area, rather than being directed by the human operator. This is accomplished by having the individual members of the swarm in constant communication with one another. “It’s not possible for a person to control a thousand or a million robots by individually programming each one where to go,” says Magnus Egerstedt, Schlumberger Professor in Georgia Tech’s School of Electrical and Computer Engineering. “Instead, the operator controls an area that needs to be explored. Then the robots work together to determine the best ways to accomplish the job.” Egerstedt is optimistic that swarm robots are set to come out of the labs and start doing real work on factory floors, farms and disaster areas. “This is a very exciting time right now in swarm robotics,” Egerstedt

says. “During the past 10 years, we’ve reached a point where we’ve understood a lot of the issues that allow us to advance from local rules to global behaviors. We’ve seen a convergence of algorithms, better platforms and better sensors. The science and technology have lined up to allow us to produce large teams of robots that can solve interesting problems.” Swarms are just one area of research that show promise. Another development is so-called Slowbots. Earlier this year, College of Computing Regents Professor Ronald Arkin studied mammals like the tree sloth and the slow Loris (a nocturnal, treedwelling primate). These animals, Arkin says, could be “the basis for the behaviors of a robot capable of residing in an arboreal ecological niche, as might be found in certain jungle surveillance applications or agricultural tasks. We believe that by understanding the behaviors of these animals we can create durable, persistent and energy-efficient robotic platforms.” The next phase of the Tech’s Slowbot research will include studying the animals further, following up with simulation studies and then creating a physical instantiation of the robot that will be put through laboratory and outdoor tests. —ELLIS BOOKER



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Shall We Play a (Storytelling) Game? Tech Associate Professor Mark Riedl rethinks the Turing Test while exploring the role of creativity in artificial intelligence. For centuries, philosophers and scientists have struggled to create definitions for consciousness and intelligence. The problem took on new dimensions when mathematician, philosopher and cryptanalyst Alan Turing* wondered how we’d even recognize artificial intelligence in a man-made machine.

*For those who missed last year’s biopic The Imitation Game, Turing is widely considered the father of theoretical computer science and artificial intelligence. He created an electromechanical machine that vastly sped up the cracking of German naval ciphers during World War II which is credited with shortening the war in Europe by years.

In his 1950 paper, “Computing Machinery and Intelligence,” Turing proposed a thought experiment, what he called an “imitation game.” In Turing’s game, a human being and a computer would converse with a human interrogator who wouldn’t know which was which. If the interrogator couldn’t distinguish between the two participants, it would be unreasonable not to call the computer “intelligent,” Turing argued. His insight was the necessity of a subjective judgment from external observation, thereby avoiding an explicit test of consciousness. But there are problems with what’s now popularly know as the Turing Test, starting with its dependence on deception. In fact, programmers have learned to make computers more “human-like” and deceive less-sophisticated judges by, for example, having

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 Mark

Riedl researches how AI systems can think creatively to solve problems.

them respond to questions they don’t understand with vague answers or deflections. (Apple’s Siri, chat bots and automated voice response systems use these tricks today.) Enter Mark Riedl, an associate professor in Georgia Tech’s School of Interactive Computing, who has conceptualized a creative update to the 66-year-old Turing Test. For starters, Riedl’s thought experiment takes out the need for deception. “You know you’re talking to a computer,” he says. “Either it will be

able to do the activity or it won’t.” Furthermore, the activity isn’t a conversation. Instead, Riedl’s approach takes as its guide the “creative problem-solving and artistic skills” we associate with humans. In Riedl’s thought experiment, dubbed the Lovelace 2.0 Test, one might start with a simple query, such as asking the system to draw a picture of a plant. Next, the system would be asked to draw a plant with blue leaves, for which there are no real-world examples.

Finally, it’d be asked to draw a plant with blue leaves and four eyes. As constraints are added, the level of difficulty—the creative challenge—increases, he explains. Lovelace 2.0 builds on earlier work by Selmer Bringsjord, Paul Bello and David Ferrucci, who in 2001 came up with a test to determine that an artificial agent possesses intelligence in terms of whether it can “take us by surprise.” Riedl’s Lovelace 2.0 has never been run, because “there is no AI that could succeed more than one or two rounds,” Riedl explains, adding that even his own state-of-the-art storytelling program probably couldn’t last more than two rounds.

Storytelling and Game Design That program is a software system developed by Riedl and his colleagues that generates original stories about everyday events. Aptly named “Scheherazade,” for the legendary Arabic queen and the storyteller of One Thousand and One Nights, the system writes original stories about going to the airport, a movie date or a bank robbery. Story generators dealing with the real world present a harder problem than some earlier systems, which output fairy tales, he explains. That’s because if the details about a mundane activity, such as going to a restaurant, are wrong, out of order or just plain weird, “it becomes very apparent to the human” that something’s wrong, that the system isn’t working right, Riedl says.

Wars or Trek? I’ve been a geek as long as I can remember, and science fiction has always been an inspiration for my work. Star Trek is my day job—I may not be a captain of starship, but I am a Scotty and Spock rolled into one in my research lab. But at the end of the day, when I close my eyes: The Force (and Star Wars) is with me.—MARK RIEDL

Scheherazade augments its knowledge base by using crowdsourcing platforms like Amazon’s “Mechanical Turk” to ask questions about everyday scenarios. Consider a trip to the airport. As frequent flyers know, there’s a lot involved: standing at the ticket desk, taking off your shoes in a TSA line, dealing with screaming infants and much more. By looking for patterns among these crowdsourced stories, Scheherazade synthesizes elements to use in its  One AI system that Riedl has worked on watches own, original story. YouTube videos of people playing Super Mario Brothers Scheherazade wrote the following and then builds its own new levels of play. story about a bank robbery. It was one of a variety of different bank robbery John quickly fled the bank and enstories, in which parameters were changed to tered into his car. try to control the “colorfulness” of the John escaped in the car. language. “Bank Robbery Situation” John drove to the bank, with a nervous look on his face. John opened the bank door while his heart was beating fast. John put on sunglasses. John walked into the bank with a handgun underneath his jacket. John looked around the bank, scoping out security cameras or guards. John noticed one of the tellers named Sally seemed bored and distracted. John stood in line. John approached Sally naturally as to not raise alarm. John pulled out a gun. John leveled the gun at Sally and kept it on her. Sally let out a bone-chilling scream. John barked his orders at Sally, demanding she put the money in the bag. John forced the bag into Sallys hands. Sallys hands were trembling as she put the money in the bag. John then grabbed the bag of money out of Sallys nervous hands. Sally felt tears streaming down her face as she let out sorrowful sobs. Still shaken, Sally reached for the phone and in a panicked manner called the police.

A Whole New Level Another project that Riedl is working on is a system that designs new maps for the Super Mario Brothers video game. In operation, the yet-unnamed program studies YouTube videos of people playing the Super Mario Brothers video game. It uses machine vision to look for patterns, watching the gameplay videos to see where players spend most of their time. Its goal is to determine high-interaction areas—those spots where players spend more time to collect bonus items or master a challenge. The system then tries to create new levels. It doesn’t duplicate exactly what’s out there, Riedl explains, but creates a map that a human would assess and realize wasn’t completely random. “What we’re really interested in is the role of human expertise in creativity,” he says, noting that this is similar to the strategy of the Scheherazade storytelling program. “This is a creativity problem, too,” Riedl explains. “We want to see if a system can learn to mimic these skills.” —ELLIS BOOKER


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Advances in image processing are going to be a huge enabler for disaster robotics, Murphy says. “During the recent floods in Texas, small UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles), including ours, flew missing persons missions,” she says, explaining that a single, 20-minute flight could generate upward of 800 high-resolution images. Rather than manually inspecting these images for signs of a person, Murphy’s students programmed in one day a set of anomaly detectors to help triage the images. Like her colleagues, Murphy is enthusiastic about the future of robotics. But just like the dawn of the personal computer and its profound impact on mass culture, robotics will take off as compelling applications come to market. “Just having the computer power wasn’t sufficient,” she says. Tech faculty and students also have several AI-driven robots that are working to help humanity on multiple fronts, from teaching autistic children how to play games to specialized, “smart,” prosthetic devices. (See “Big Hero 6,” page 54.) Physical and Psychological Safety


Working out the different ways in which humans will work and play with intelligent machines, and the potential risks of embedding them in the community, can take interesting paths. It turns out that physical safety is just one part of the puzzle. As AI and robotics increase in sophistication, so will their potential interactions with people. In theaters this year, the sci-fi movie Ex Machina plays with these themes. The thriller asks: How Wars or Trek? can we tell if an arTough call. I’m tificial system is pretty sure I’ve intelligent, and can seen every episode of both. we trust it? GeorStar Trek is laden gia Tech computer with social scientists like Mark commentary and Riedl are working Star Wars is pure on this question, escapism through too—well, at least the creation of an alternate universe. the first half. (See So I’ll skirt the “Shall We Play a question and take Game?” on page the Dune series by 56.) Frank Herbert, What Arkin calls which does both! “intimate robots” —RON ARKIN tap into the human

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tendency to anthropomorphize inanimate objects, “to make people care about these plastic, metal and electronic artifacts.” Arkin should know: Years ago, he worked with Sony on its now-discontinued robot dog, AIBO. There are deep ethical considerations around these products. “When we take it to the next level, which is where we incorporate more physical interactions, where we foster the illusion of life in these systems,

facial muscles. The lifelike quality of the face is made possible by a patented elastic polymer called “Frubber,” short for “Flesh Rubber,” according to Hanson Robotics, which showcased Han at the Global Sources electronics fair in Hong Kong in April. Hanson executives suggest Han will be useful in settings where face-to-face communication is important, such as hotel registration, entertainment and hospitals. The ethics of such intimate systems is

There are deep ethical considerations around these products. “When we take it to the next level, which is where we incorporate more physical interactions, where we foster the illusion of life in these systems, there are questions about the psychological and sociological impacts,” Arkin says. there are questions about the psychological and sociological impacts,” says Arkin, who explores these questions in his class “Robots and Society.” In other words, what if a robot or AI looks as human as it acts? The character testing the robotic AI in Ex Machina, for instance, has a decidedly difficult time because the robot takes the form of a very attractive woman. Such sci-fi is not far off base. Consider the Realbotix, a new project by Matt McMullen who developed the RealDoll, a customizable, life-size sex doll that has sold more than 5,000 units since 1996. Within the next two years, McMullen plans to produce an interactive head that can be attached to an existing RealDoll body. That product, selling for around $10,000, will be followed by a full-body Realbotix, which will reportedly range in price from $30,000 to $60,000. Closer to commercialization is Han, a robotic head that can engage in basic conversations and go through a range of complex facial expressions, thanks to about 40 motors controlling his artificial

“No. 2 on my list, actually, in the things we should be worried about,” Arkin notes, pointing out that there currently are no restraints on their commercial development. While humanoid robots have come a long way in just the last few years, Tech scientists are pursuing non-humanoid robotic designs too, taking their cues from other living creatures. (See “Inhuman Intelligence: Of Swarms and Slowbots,” page 55.) Finally, some economists remain worried about the economic repercussions of autonomous systems, with more advanced robots and computers potentially taking more jobs than they create. “It’s a topic we discuss, too,” Arkin says. “Right now we have cheap labor that’s gone overseas and created a middle class in China and India. If we create robots that are cheaper than them, what will this mean to geopolitical stability?” What happens to people during this transition concerns Arkin. “It’s a question of how societies and political systems manage that change,” he says.


SCIENCE-FICTION It takes a certain kind of imagination to make fantastical forecasts about the technological advances of mankind and the fate of our blue planet. Science-fiction writers have been doing it for centuries, and when their visions of the distant future come true, it can be downright surprising. But it shouldn’t be. After all, many believe that their predictions also serve as key influences to engineers and scientists equipped and inspired to turn far-flung fantasies into reality. The Alumni Magazine takes a closer look at a timeline full of sci-fi soothsaying, and asks some of Georgia Tech’s most innovative minds to make some bold prognostications of their own.




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SCIENCE-FICTION WRITERS DON’T HOLD A MONOPOLY ON PREDICTING THE FUTURE. THESE FOUR GEORGIA TECH SCIENTISTS HAVE SOME PRETTY FASCINATING VIEWS ON HOW THE WORLD MIGHT CHANGE— PRIMARILY FOR THE BETTER—IN A FEW DECADES OR SO. SCI-FI PREDICTION NO. 1 By 2050, we will develop the ability to turn the immune system on and off against any disease threat, including cancer. —M.G. Finn, professor and department chair of chemistry and biochemistry “Evolution is the most powerful engine in the universe for the development of new things and capabilities, and the immune system is nature’s way of harnessing evolution for the benefit of every higher organism on Earth. It keeps us alive against constant threat by viruses, bacteria, fungi, parasites and cancer. Only very rarely does it fail, and that’s when we get sick. “Scientists today are beginning to understand the ways in which the immune system is regulated and directed. With

a complete understanding should come the ability to turn it on against any invading organism or condition, and then turn it off again when the threat is neutralized. “Conventional medicines will become largely obsolete, and chronic autoimmune diseases (rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease and a host of others) will be eliminated. My lab is working on this by harnessing one kind of pathogen—viruses—to tickle or suppress the immune system at will. I foresee the day when you might visit

a doctor’s office to diagnose your malady, get it cured by breathing in a mist dispensed by a temporary vaccine machine—let’s call it a “taccine”—and then turning off this taccine later by taking a pill at home.”


Gulliver’s Travels, Jonathan Swift In this wellknown fantasy novel, Swift postulated that Mars had two moons long before astronomers even suspected it. In 1877, sure enough, they discovered that Mars did indeed have two moons in orbit, Phobos and Deimos.


From the Earth to the Moon, Jules Verne Verne was a prolific prognosticator, and often eerily close to the mark. In this seminal novel, he envisions man launching to the moon from Florida—albeit by cannon!—and splashing down in the ocean 0 6 0


in return capsules. The Apollo astronauts did almost exactly that in 1969, more than 100 years later.


Looking Backward, Edward Bellamy In a novel that vied in popularity, back in the day, with Uncle Tom’s Cabin and Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ, Bellamy envisioned a utopian society where debit/credit cards were widely used.


“The Land Ironclads,” H.G. Wells In this short story, Wells imagined 100-foot-long metal war tanks—more than a decade before they’d be first used

in 1916—that moved on sets of pedrail wheels and were armed with remotecontrolled guns.


The World Set Free, H.G. Wells Wells did well at predicting wartime weapons. This novel presaged the atom bomb, the first of which was detonated in New Mexico in 1945.


Brave New World, Aldous Huxley Set in London in 2045, this much-read


SCI-FI PREDICTION NO. 2 By 2050, the world will be exclusively powered by hydrogen fusion. — Tim Lieuwen, MS ME 97, PhD ME 99, executive director of the Strategic Energy Institute and professor of aerospace engineering “Hydrogen fusion plants will start as larger industrial units that replace coal, natural gas, wind farms and solar as the lowest-cost, zero-emissions

classic imagines a future society that is controlled by mood-enhancing drugs—Zoloft-like antidepressants—as well as genetic engineering.


power source. Subsequent developments will enable these technologies to be packaged at a scale appropriate for individual homes. “This will eliminate centralized electric utilities for power generation, transmission and distribution. The freed up space will then lead to a massive increase in nationally connected greenways and parks, using former transmission line right of ways. “In addition, power will be beamed wirelessly everywhere. There will be no need for power cords or recharging stations.”

listening to music and tuning out the world (now ubiquitous, thanks to Apple), and the public’s fascination with watching criminal chases live on TV.


1984, George Orwell Orwell’s dark novel predicted an oppressive surveillance state some 65 years before the general public in 2013 realized just how much the National Security Agency had been spying on it.

2001: A Space Odyssey, Arthur C. Clarke Odyssey’s astronauts had portable tablet computers and received communications from geosynchronous satellites, that is, before HAL 9000 took over.



Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury This book about fear of the written word held numerous prophecies for the future, including the earbud for

Stranger in a Strange Land, Robert Heinlein Waterbeds. Some predictions are just passing fads. CONTINUED ON PAGE 62

In 1952, Galaxy Science Fiction magazine published a list of 19 predictions for the year 2000 made by one of the genre’s greatest authors, Robert Heinlein. As you’ll see, it takes a few swings and misses before you hit some straight out of the park.

Heinlein writes: So let’s have a few free-swinging predictions about the future. Some will be wrong—but cautious predictions are sure to be wrong. 1. Interplanetary travel is waiting at your front door—C.O.D. It’s yours when you pay for it. 2. Contraception and control of disease is revising relations between the sexes to an extent that will change our entire social and economic structure. 3. The most important military fact of this century is that there is no way to repel an attack from outer space. 4. It is utterly impossible that the United States will start a “preventive war.” We will fight when attacked, either directly or in a territory we have guaranteed to defend. 5. In fifteen years the housing shortage will be solved by a “breakthrough” into new technologies which will make every house now standing as obsolete as privies. 6. We’ll all be getting a little hungry by and by. 7. The cult of the phony in art will disappear. So-called “modern art” will be discussed only by psychiatrists. 8. Freud will be classed as a pre-scientific, intuitive pioneer and psychoanalysis will be replaced by a growing, changing “operational psychology” based on measurement and prediction. 9. Cancer, the common cold, and tooth decay will all be conquered; the revolutionary new problem in medical research will be to accomplish “regeneration,” i.e., to enable a man to grow a new leg, rather than fit him with an artificial limb. CONTINUED ON PAGE 63 GTALUMNIMAG.COM VOLUME 91 NO.3 2015

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SCI-FI PREDICTION NO. 3 By 2030, cars will continue to change, but how we use them will drastically transform as part of a larger, interconnected transportation system. — Bert Bras, professor of mechanical engineering and director of the Sustainable Design and Manufacturing Program “The next 10 to 15 years will be a very disruptive time in the automotive and transportation industries. But what’s going to happen to cars isn’t so much about their physical design changing much—though we will continue to move toward the majority of them being electric or at least hybrid—but how they will become part of a greater utility system. “If you look at cars, the way we use them isn’t very efficient. Most commuters only use them maybe a couple of hours a day to get to work, plus some time for side trips and errands, which means about a 10 percent utility rate. In fact, they’re often more of a hindrance and unneeded expense. “I see a future where you wake up in the morning in Alpharetta, Ga., get in your car and drive to the highway yourself while it collects information wirelessly from the ‘cloud’ about today’s traffic, construction, weather and news. When you reach Ga. 400—now a smart, interconnected highway—the car then becomes effectively part of a ‘commuter rail’ system and lets you sit back while it does the driving. That is, until you get to your exit, and then other systems come into play, such as a parking app that can find you the best spot, and even pay for your meter time. Or perhaps instead you’ll engage a service that lets you get out right at your place of work and your car is then remote-controlled—perhaps by somebody on the other

side of the globe—to a parking spot so you save time. And while you’re working, you can put your car up as a rental and let someone else use it, making money on it and improving the utility. “On your return trip home, as you get close, the car connects to your house and turns up the A/C, turns on the oven and opens up your garage door automatically. This last part is the closest to becoming reality—less than five years out since some of this communication is already happening between smart homes and smartphones. While self-driving cars are getting a lot of buzz right now, there’s still too much to work out in terms of safety—especially in city traffic with pedestrians—to believe that completely autonomous vehicles will be commonplace in 15 years or so.”


A Fall of Moondust, Arthur C. Clarke 2001—the actual year—marked the first time a paying tourist traveled to space. In this novel, Clarke envisioned not only excursions to the moon, but also cruises across lunar seas.


Stand on Zanzibar, John Brunner This sprawling, Hugo Award-winning novel features a plethora of prophesies of a dystopian future, some of which

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are very real right now—from technologies such as on-demand TV and electric cars, to social issues such as school shootings and the legalization of marijuana.


Cyborg, Martin Caidin Before there was Steve Austin and the Six Million Dollar Man, there was Caidin’s Cyborg, which presaged the first bionic leg implant by more than 40 years.


The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams Readers might enjoy Adams’ purposefully humorous Babel fish wearable tech—which the author described as “small, yellow, leechlike, and probably the oddest thing in the universe”—but they’d probably prefer the real-time language translators built right into today’s smartphone apps.


Neuromancer, William Gibson Gibson brought cyberspace—a term he coined—and the computer hackers who thrive in it to life long before the Internet and World Wide Web became a big thing.

SCI-FI PREDICTION NO. 4 By 2040, we will have our own personal, biological avatars “in a petri dish” to test whether a particular pharmaceutical or biological treatment is the right treatment before using it on our own bodies. —Robert Guldberg, professor of mechanical engineering and executive director of the Parker H. Petit Institute for Bioengineering and Bioscience “Adult cells such as skin fibroblasts could be reprogrammed to create induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) very similar to embryonic stem cells. That discovery led to a Nobel Prize in 2012 for Shinya Yamanaka and, in less than 10 years, has transformed stem cell research and, hopefully soon, stem cell therapies. Large investments are being made in the production of iPSC banks for treating a broad range of diseases, and clinical trials are underway for a few clinical applications such as age-related macular degeneration. “In addition to circumventing the ethical debate surrounding embryonic stem cells, one exciting aspect of iPSC technology is the potential to create autologous (i.e. the patient’s own) pluripotent stem cells. Treatment with our own iPSCs could be considered one example of the precision medicine initiative announced by the White House in January of this year. One of the major challenges facing iPSC and other types of cell therapies is the development of technologies and standards for manufacturing large numbers of high-quality, clinical-grade cells at low cost. To address this challenge, Georgia Tech in partnership with the Georgia Research Alliance has formed a private-public consortium to create the first national roadmap for cell manufacturing to be completed by the end of 2015. “Beyond cell therapy, iPSCs also offer the opportunity to understand better what causes diseases in the first place and potentially to screen the effects of drugs in a very personal way. Doing this requires another biotechnology that has rapidly advanced over the past decade: ‘organs-on-a-chip’.” “Organoids or organs-on-a-chip are 3-D organ-like tissues constructed using human cells in an incubator.

HEINLEIN’S IDEAS (CONTINUED) 10. By the end of this [20th] century mankind will have explored this solar system, and the first ship intended to reach the nearest star will be a-building. 11. Your personal telephone will be small enough to carry in your handbag. Your house telephone will record messages, answer simple inquiries, and transmit vision. 12. Intelligent life will be found on Mars. 13. A thousand miles an hour at a cent a mile will be commonplace; short hauls will be made in evacuated subways at extreme speed. 14. A major objective of applied physics will be to control gravity.

organs-on-a-chip represent an interdisciplinary innovation by biologists and engineers that combines advancements in stem cell and developmental biology with bioreactor and microfluidics technology. Laboratories at Georgia Tech, MIT and elsewhere have recently developed systems resembling lung, liver, bone, kidney, heart, and even whole limbs and brain. “Going a step further, there are efforts to connect the different systems to create a ‘human-on-a-chip,’ allowing systemic interactions to be modeled. Why do this? Organs-ona-chip offer the potential to study disease development and screen drugs for safety and effectiveness in ways never previously possible. Looking even further to the future, such 3-D tissue systems could be made of your very own iPSCs to create ‘You-on-a-Dish.’ This is already being done in a limited way using iPSCs from individuals with genetic disorders to better understand their disease. Investigators at Georgia Tech and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta are collaborating, for example, to create iPSCs from pediatric patient skin biopsies to look for disease development patterns and develop improved treatment strategies.”

15. We will not achieve a “World State” in the predictable future. Nevertheless, Communism will vanish from this planet. 16. Increasing mobility will disenfranchise a majority of the population. About 1990 a constitutional amendment will do away with state lines while retaining the semblance. 17. All aircraft will be controlled by a giant radar net run on a continent-wide basis by a multiple electronic “brain.” 18. Fish and yeast will become our principal sources of proteins. Beef will be a luxury; lamb and mutton will disappear. 19. Mankind will not destroy itself, nor will “Civilization” be destroyed.

Here are things we won’t get soon, if ever: › Travel through time. › Travel faster than the speed of light. › “Radio” transmission of matter. › Manlike robots with manlike reactions. › Laboratory creation of life. › Real understanding of what “thought” is and how it is related to matter. › Scientific proof of personal survival after death. › Nor a permanent end to war. GTALUMNIMAG.COM VOLUME 91 NO.3 2015

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Grant to establish Southern Company Dean’s Chair in the College of Engineering Georgia Tech’s College of Engineering is the largest, the most diverse, and among the most highly respected in the world. And it just got better. U.S. News & World Report ranks the College’s overall undergraduate program No. 4 nationally, while the graduate program is ranked No. 6. All of the College’s degree programs are ranked in the nation’s top 10, and the industrial engineering degree program has been ranked No. 1 for more than two decades. The renowned culture of quality, rigor, leadership, and innovation that has always been the College’s hallmark will be elevated to even greater heights, thanks to a recent commitment from the Southern Company Foundation to establish the Southern Company Dean’s Chair in the College of Engineering. This grant will establish the fifth dean’s chair among Georgia Tech’s six colleges, following those already established in the Colleges of Computing, Liberal Arts, Business, and Architecture. The Southern Company Dean’s Chair will be dedicated to the incumbent dean of the College of Engineering — currently Gary S. May, EE 1985 — enhancing the College’s ability to attract and retain eminent teacher-scholars to this senior position of academic leadership. A portion of the income from the permanent endowment will be available to the dean to pursue research in his or her field as a member of the faculty, with the majority of the funds available to the dean for the enhancement of the College without restriction, whether to meet immediate needs or to invest in future initiatives. Michael K. Anderson, IE 1979, president and CEO of the Southern Company Foundation, made the announcement at the College of Engineering Alumni Awards ceremony. “As we look ahead to our shared future, and to further advance our ongoing relationship and partnership with Georgia Tech, I’m pleased to announce the most recent commitment by the Southern Company Foundation directed to what is arguably the largest, most diverse, and finest College of Engineering in the nation,” Anderson said. “That doesn’t just happen — it takes more than a century of hard work, coupled with great students, successful alumni, extraordinary faculty in the classroom and the laboratory — and the visionary leadership of the College’s dean,” Anderson added. “As a Georgia Tech alumnus, I am particularly excited about the potential that this philanthropic investment represents,” said Southern Company Chairman, President, and CEO Thomas

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The College of Engineering’s research enterprise will benefit from the Southern Company Dean’s Chair. A. Fanning, IM 1979, MS IM 1980, HON Ph.D. 2013. “With a strong history of innovation, interdisciplinary activity, and collaboration with government, industry, and other universities, Georgia Tech provides a distinctive environment in which corporate partnerships may flourish, creating a brighter future for our region and our nation.” “The vision that the Southern Company Foundation has demonstrated with their philanthropy is truly transformative,” said Georgia Tech President G.P. “Bud” Peterson. “They have provided our College of Engineering leadership with critical new resources that will make a real difference in our ability to attract and retain the finest teacher-scholars. This is a truly milestone gift for Georgia Tech.” With more than 4.5 million customers and approximately 46,000 megawatts of generating capacity, Atlanta-based Southern Company is the premier energy company serving the Southeast through its subsidiaries (Alabama Power, Georgia Power, Gulf Power, and Mississippi Power). The company received the 2012 Edison Award from the Edison Electric Institute for its leadership in new nuclear development, was named Platts’ 2011 Power Company of the Year, and is continually ranked among the top utilities in Fortune’s annual “World’s Most Admired Electric and Gas Utility” rankings. To inquire about making a gift in support of the College of Engineering, contact Senior Director of Development Molly Ford Croft at 404.385.0128 or n


Marcus Foundation’s grant supports brain tumor research A promising cancer research project is getting a major boost from one of the Institute’s most valued philanthropic partners.

Ray C. Anderson Foundation makes commitment to sustainable business Ray C. Anderson, IE 1956, HON Ph.D. 2011, was as devoted to his alma mater as he was to the idea of sustainability in manufacturing.

The Marcus Foundation has made a $6.5 million grant to the tumor monorail project, a collaboration among Georgia Tech, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, and Emory University that involves the design and testing of a novel device for more efficient treatment of brain tumors.

Now, the foundation that bears his name

“Research labs such as ours are set up to achieve scientific and engineering breakthroughs, but for these breakthroughs to reach patients, we need to follow good manufacturing practices,

has made a generous commitment to the Ray C. Anderson

Ernest Scheller Jr. College of Business that will provide $5 million in expendable

rigorous safety and quality testing, adhere to FDA guidelines for

funds over the next decade. The philanthropic investment has

obtaining regulatory approvals, and design appropriate clinical

also resulted in a term-of-years naming for what will now be

trials,” said Ravi Bellamkonda, professor and Wallace H. Coulter

known as the Ray C. Anderson Center for Sustainable Business.

Chair in the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engi-

Established in 2013 with seed funding from the Ray C.

neering. “All of these processes are going to be greatly enhanced

Anderson Foundation, the center was originally known as

and accelerated with this critical and visionary Marcus Foun-

the Center for Business Strategies for Sustainability. Since

dation support.”

its founding, it has been active in launching new research

Invaluable support for the project has also been provided

and developing coursework in business sustainability for

by Ian’s Friends Foundation, an Atlanta-based nonprofit that

students at all levels — undergraduates, MBAs, Ph.D. students,

supports pediatric brain tumor research. Though the monorail

and executives.

project was inspired by a desire to treat pediatric brain tumors, the research may also be applied to adult brain tumors. n

It is envisioned that the Center will work across the Institute, in






underway, including the Brook Byers Institute for Sustainable Systems. n

Texas Instruments commitment creates ECE student plaza and maker space in the Van Leer Building A $3.2 million commitment from Texas Instruments Inc. (TI) will support the construction of the Texas Instruments Plaza and the Texas Instruments Maker Space in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering. The plaza and the maker space will be located, respectively, adjacent to and inside the Blake R. Van Leer Building. “Georgia Tech is focused on providing an environment that nurtures project-based learning and professional leadership,” said Steven W. McLaughlin, the Steve W. Chaddick School Chair in Electrical and Computer Engineering. “Inside the TI Maker Space, electrical and computer engineering students, as well as students from other disciplines across Georgia Tech, will work together to solve technology design challenges that will give them the necessary project skills for career success and provide the experience to address problems facing the industry and the world.” The TI Maker Space will offer space for project-based undergraduate courses that cover subjects such as embedded systems, analog devices, and communications, as well as senior

ensure equipment is current, fully leveraged, and meeting the needs of students and faculty. “We are very excited to be a part of what is happening at Georgia Tech, and have benefited greatly through the years by engaging its faculty and students,” said Steve Lyle, TI’s director of Engineering Workforce Development and University Programs. “We are hopeful that these spaces will inspire generations of engineers and computer scientists to create innovations that will change the world.” n

design projects. The company will conduct annual reviews to


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Prominent naming opportunity remains available for Scheller College of Business building

In 2012, a historic $50 million gift from Ernest “Ernie” Scheller Jr., IM 1952, HON Ph.D. 2013, triggered the naming of the Ernest Scheller Jr. College of Business and transformed business education at Georgia Tech. Today, an extraordinary opportunity exists to name the building that houses the Scheller College. An eight-figure gift or commitment toward an unrestricted endowment within the College will be similarly transformative, providing a steady stream of income in perpetuity.

Harrison endows chair in School of Architecture

Timing is everything. The College recently launched a five-year strategic plan, “Shaping the Future,” articulating a bold vision to be globally recognized for defining the innovative business school of the 21st century. “A naming gift for our building will provide much-needed unrestricted endowment funds, helping Scheller College fulfill its great potential,” said Maryam Alavi, dean and Stephen P. Zelnak Jr. Chair. “Additional resources are essential to ensure that we achieve our vision. Since less than half of our operating budget comes from state funds, we remain heavily reliant on philanthropy to compete effectively with the nation’s top business schools.” She added that a naming gift would “generate essential annual discretionary resources to achieve our near-term strategic goals, while helping the College continue to thrive and ascend in the long term.” To inquire about a naming gift or commitment in support of the Scheller College, contact any development officer or Director of Development Scott Bryant at 404.385.2194 or scott.bryant@, or Director of Development John Byrne at 404.385.3878 or n

Caddell Building dedicated

“The question is, what do you want your legacy to be? For me, it’s improving education.”




H. Harrison, ARCH 1971, is helping to improve Georgia Tech’s School of Architecture with a significant commitment establishing an endowed faculty chair in his name. Bill Harrison

Indeed, faculty support has been among the highest priorities of Campaign Georgia

Tech, now in its final months. Thanks to alumni and friends such as Harrison, along with so many others, the goal of endowing

On April 28, 2015, surrounded by their children, grandchildren,

100 new faculty chairs and professorships is now within reach.

friends, and fellow alumni from the College of Architecture,

“I’m committed to Tech, because Tech is a phenomenal

Joyce and John A. Caddell, ARCH 1952, participated in the dedi-

school,” Harrison explained. “I hope that this chair will help

cation of the newly renovated home of the School of Building

provide a boost, to help make it even more successful.”

Construction, which now bears their names. n

After graduating, he started a development and construction business in Atlanta, and in 1990 he founded Harrison Design, which specializes in the design of luxury, custom residential homes and specialty commercial projects. n

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Campaign Georgia Tech Update

Campaign Georgia Tech Steering Committee

July 1, 2004 through March 31, 2015


Funds Funds Raised Raised v. v. Required Required

Warren L. Batts, EE 1961 Chicago, Illinois Shawn & Brook Byers, EE 1968, HON Ph.D. 2010 Menlo Park, California

1,600 1,500 1,500 1,400 1,400 1,300

$1,563.5 $1,447.9

1,300 1,200 1,200 1,100 1,100 1,000 1,000 900

Average Required Average Required Funds Raised Funds Raised

Jun-15 Jun-15

Jun-14 Jun-14

Dec-15 Dec-15

$1,248.3 $1,421.8 $1,248.3 $1,421.8

Jun-13 Jun-13

$1,115.2 $1,115.2

Jun-12 Jun-12

$1,019.0 $1,019.0

Jun-11 Jun-11

$862.8 $862.8

Jun-10 Jun-10

$713.1 $713.1

Jun-09 Jun-09

$615.2 $615.2

Jun-08 Jun-08

$428.2 $428.2

Jun-07 Jun-07

$255.1 $255.1

Jun-06 Jun-06

$124.1 $124.1

Jun-05 Jun-05

800 700 700 600 600 500 500 400 400 300 300 200 200 100 100 0 0

Jun-04 Jun-04

Millions Millions

900 800

Funds by Source 226.1%




Progress Toward Goal

160% 140%




120% Time Elapsed — 93.5% 100%




40% 20% 0%












Other Organizations

Faculty/ Staff



Surviving Spouses








Goal: $750M



110% 100%



Time Elapsed — 93.5%

Progress Toward Goal






Penny & E. Roe Stamps IV, IE 1967, MS 1972, HON Ph.D. 2014 Miami, Florida Carolyn & H. Milton Stewart, IE 1961 Vero Beach, Florida

$613.1 Endowment


$228.0 Facilities





Current Operations



Lawrence P. Huang, IMGT 1973 Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida John R. Huff, CE 1968 Houston, Texas Andrea L. Laliberte, IE 1982, MS IE 1984 Jacksonville, Florida John S. Markwalter Jr., IMGT 1981 Atlanta, Georgia

Alfred P. West Jr., AE 1964, HON Ph.D. 2010 Oaks, Pennsylvania ___________________________________

David M. McKenney, PHYS 1960, IE 1964 Atlanta, Georgia


Robert A. Milton, IM 1983 Godalming, Surrey, England

VICE CHAIRS Rodney C. Adkins, EE 1981, HON Ph.D. 2013 Somers, New York

David W. Dorman, IM 1975 Hillsborough, California Francis S. “Bo” Godbold, IE 1965 Tierra Verde, Florida

William J. Todd, IM 1971 Atlanta, Georgia



Hubert L. Harris, IM 1965 Atlanta, Georgia

Joseph W. Rogers Jr., IM 1968 Atlanta, Georgia



Roberta & Ernest Scheller Jr., IM 1952, HON Ph.D. 2013 Villanova, Pennsylvania

Frances G. Rogers, ECON 1993 Atlanta, Georgia



David D. Flanagan, IE 1976 McLean, Virginia

Gary T. Jones, GMGT 1971 Atlanta, Georgia


Joseph W. Evans, IM 1971 Atlanta, Georgia

Anita P. & Julian D. Saul, IM 1962 Dalton, Georgia

Kenneth G. Byers Jr., EE 1966, MS 1968 Atlanta, Georgia

Funds by Use

William R. Collins Jr., ME 1957, MS IM 1963 Atlanta, Georgia

Thomas A. Fanning, IM 1979, IMGT 1980, HON Ph.D. 2013 Atlanta, Georgia

Mary R. & John F. Brock III, ChE 1970, MS 1971 Atlanta, Georgia ___________________________________


A. Russell Chandler III, IE 1967 Atlanta, Georgia

Susan & Michael T. Duke, IE 1971, HON Ph.D. 2011 Bentonville, Arkansas

Suzanne & Michael E. Tennenbaum, IE 1958 Malibu, California



Roberta & Steven A. Denning, IM 1970 Greenwich, Connecticut

Charles W. Brady, IM 1957 Atlanta, Georgia

Stephen P. Zelnak Jr., IM 1969 Raleigh, North Carolina ___________________________________

Charles D. Moseley, IE 1965 Atlanta, Georgia Deborah A. Nash, IE 1978 Medina, Washington Michael A. Neal, IM 1975 Stamford, Connecticut Lawton M. Nease III, IM 1965 Atlanta, Georgia Parker H. Petit, ME 1962, MS EM 1964 Marietta, Georgia Beverly J. Seay Orlando, Florida C. Meade Sutterfield, EE 1972 Atlanta, Georgia Howard T. Tellepsen Jr., CE 1966 Houston, Texas __________________________________ EX OFFICIO


Michael K. Anderson, IE 1979 Atlanta, Georgia


Benton J. Mathis Jr., IMGT 1981 Marietta, Georgia

AT-LARGE MEMBERS H. Inman Allen Atlanta, Georgia G. Niles Bolton, ARCH 1968 Atlanta, Georgia



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TAKING FLIGHT Outgoing Georgia Tech Alumni Association Chairman Bob Stargel, EE 83, hosts Leadership Circle donors at the 2015 President’s Dinner Celebrating Roll Call, held this past June at the magnificent Delta Flight Museum.

Cassie Xie


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Visit the Alumni Association's website at and register to see what's new.

Welcome, New Trustees! On July 1, 12 new members began their terms on the Georgia Tech Alumni Association’s Board of Trustees, along with two new leaders added to the board’s executive committee. The 45-member board, which is the governing body of your Alumni Association, meets quarterly and works to actively further the mission of the Association. Congratulations to these outstanding alumni! GTAA BOARD OF TRUSTEES EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE Ben Mathis, IM 81, is the new Chairman of the Association. He served as the Association’s vice chair of Roll Call last year. Mathis, of Marietta, is managing partner of Freeman, Mathis and Gary LLP. Mathis is an accomplished lawyer who is also a leader in civic organizations, including the Cobb County Chamber of Commerce, the Georgia Chamber of Commerce and the United Way of Cobb. Bob Stargel, EE 83, is the past chair of the Association. Stargel, of Alpharetta, is the vice president of Global Nonwovens for Kimberly-Clark Corp. He is responsible for the development, commercialization and supply of materials used to support Kimberly-Clark’s branded personal health and hygiene products. Stargel was named a 2015 Distinguished Alumnus by the College of Engineering. Andrea Laliberte, IE 82, MS IE 84, serves as this year’s vice chair for Roll Call. She served the Association last year as the Vice Chair, Finance. Laliberte, of Jacksonville, Fla., is a retired senior vice president of distribution for Coach Inc. and is currently the Edenfield Executive in Residence at Georgia Tech. She also serves as a board member for the Campaign Steering Committee, the Georgia Tech Foundation Board and as an emeritus member of the ISyE Advisory Board. She was named a Distinguished Alumna by the College of Engineering in 2008. David Bottoms, Mgt 00, is now vice chair of Finance. In his professional life, Bottoms is senior vice president of benefits at The Bottoms Group LLC. He lives in Atlanta. Bottoms was a President’s Scholar as a student and won the Outstanding Young Alumnus Award at the 2014 Gold & White Honors Gala. Bottoms is also a member of the Scheller College of Business Advisory Board. 0 7 0


GTAA EXECUTIVE COMMITTE MEMBERS AT LARGE Betsy Bulat Turner, IAML 04, is an attorney at Martenson, Hasbrouck & Simon LLP in Atlanta. While a student at Tech, Turner was a President’s Scholar, a member of Zeta Tau Alpha sorority, and on the cross country and track teams. Paul S. Goggin, Phys 91, is vice president of technology for Free All Music LLC. This is the second year of his two-year term as an at-large member. Goggin is a member of the College of Sciences Advisory Board. As a student, he was a member of student government and Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity. Jimmy Mitchell, CE 05, is the business development manager for Skanska USA Building Inc. in Atlanta. He is a member of the Civil Engineering Advisory Board. As a student, he was a member of the Ramblin’ Reck Club and Sigma Chi fraternity. He was also the recipient of the 2012 Outstanding Young Alumnus Award at the Gold & White Honors Gala. Betsy Wallace, Arch 96, is a management consultant for NeighborWorks America. This is the second year of her two-year term as an at-large member. Wallace is an active member of the Mentor Jackets Program and an officer of the North Metro Georgia Tech Club. She was a member of Phi Mu sorority at Georgia Tech.

NEW GTAA BOARD TRUSTEES Decie Autin, ChE 80, is a project executive with ExxonMobil in Houston, Texas. She was named a Distinguished Alumna by the College of Engineering in 2004. At Tech, she was a member of Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society. Autin is a current member of the SEI Advisory Board.

Alex Brown, MGT 97, is managing partner and CFO at Hunter Technical Resources in Atlanta. Brown was a member of the Gold & White Honors Committee and a member of Sigma Nu fraternity at Georgia Tech. Frank Campos, EE 80, MS MoT 96, is a management consultant based in Huntsville, Ala. Campos was a co-op student at Tech and participates in the Co-op Affinity Group and the Hispanic Alumni Network. Lara Hodgson, AE 93, is president and CEO of NOWAccount Network in Atlanta. Hodgson is a member of the Engineering Advisory Board. At Tech, she was a member of Phi Mu sorority, the Ramblin' Reck Club, and Omicron Delta Kappa Honor Society. Ron Johnson, MS OR 85, is a professor of the practice at Georgia Tech. Johnson is a member of the Military Affinity Group, the Georgia Tech Foundation Board of Trustees and the Tennenbaum Institute

Advisory Board. He was a member of Omega Psi Phi fraternity at Tech. Garrett Langley, EE 09, is president of Moment LLC in Atlanta. Langley is involved with the Mentor Jackets program and was a member of Sigma Chi fraternity. Mark Ligler, ME 76, is vice president with Factory Automation Systems in College Park, Ga. Ligler was a co-op student and a member of Phi Kappa Tau at Georgia Tech. He is currently involved with the Georgia Tech Band Affinity Group. Bob Martin, IE 69, is partner at Interlochen Group and lives in Smyrna, Ga. Martin was a Sigma Chi at Tech and is a current member of the ISyE Advisory Board. He was named a Distinguished Alumnus by the College of Engineering in 2010. Tom O’Brien, IE 81 is president and CEO of Axion BioSystems in Atlanta. O’Brien was a co-op student, a member of Delta Tau Delta fraternity and the Ramblin' Reck

Club at Tech. He’s currently involved with the Co-op Affinity Group. He was named a Distinguished Alumnus by the College of Engineering in 2010. Jud Ready, MatE 94, MS MetE 97, PhD MSE 00, is a professor and researcher at Georgia Tech. He’s a member of the Georgia Tech Aviation Affinity Group. At Tech, he was a member of the Scuba Club. Jocelyn Stargel, IE 82, MS IE 86, is the business assurance manager at North American Electric and lives in Alpharetta, Ga. Stargel was a member of Delta Sigma Theta sorority at Georgia Tech. She is involved with the Council of Outstanding Young Engineers, the ISyE Advisory Board and the Women's Alumni Network. Mayson Thornton, Mgt 05, is a senior marketing manager with the Coca-Cola Company in Atlanta. She was a Student Ambassador and a member of Alpha Delta Pi sorority at Tech. Thornton is a member of the MBA Jackets Affinity Group.

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Become a mentor to a current Yellow Jacket, no matter where you live. Find out more at

Success Through Improv Melissa Weinman

How an alumni mentor took student Sethu Chidambaram outside his comfort zone. The thing that Tech graduate student

Sethu Chidambaram likes most about improv is making connections. For example, a skit that starts with a tree could lead to a backyard, then to a childhood home, to a trophy on a mantel, and then to a story about winning a trophy. “You could start somewhere and it could lead somewhere completely different,” Chidambaram says. “Everything is done on the spot, all it takes is milliseconds. Seeing those connections being made is what fascinates me.” Chidambaram, a self-proclaimed introvert, says he never imagined himself enjoying improv workshops—organized by Let's Try This at DramaTech—or standing up in front of a group of strangers and saying the first thing that comes to his mind. But this new hobby, and the confidence it has given him in his daily interactions, is one of the unexpected lessons he gleaned from his experience in the Student Alumni Association’s Mentor Jackets program. “I really didn’t go in with any expectations,” says Chidambaram. “I came out with a really different experience and really loved it.” The Mentor Jackets program matches current Tech students with alumni mentors who can provide guidance on navigating Georgia Tech and the professional world. Chidambaram’s mentor, David Reynolds, IE 01, MBA 11, says as a business consultant, he didn’t have much in the way of field-specific advice for Chidambaram, who is pursuing a master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering. But Reynolds found he had a lot of advice to offer Chidambaram about networking, communication and even how to buy a properly tailored suit. “He had all the big things figured out, but he was still kind of working on how to 0 7 2


engage people,” Reynolds says. Chidambaram, an international student from India, was still getting settled at Tech when he met Reynolds, who suggested that he try something a little unconventional to improve his communication skills and meet new friends. “He encouraged me to go out of my comfort zone, to meet new people that are not from the same background as me,” Chidambaram said. “He helped me slow down the way I speak so that it would make me more understandable to a wider audience.” Reynolds says he pulled the idea for improv comedy from his own experience. He had tried improv classes to break out of the isolation in his consulting work. “It was really scary to stand in front of people and make up stuff based on what someone said to you two seconds ago,” Reynolds says. Reynolds also has a unique perspective on the Mentor Jackets program, having experienced it both as a mentor and a mentee. He signed on when he was an MBA student, and had two alumni

mentors that helped him tremendously. “Of all the positive things that have happened in my career in the last five years, 95 percent of that has come directly from people I’ve met through the Mentor Jackets program or connections that have come from it,” Reynolds says. “When I had the opportunity to become a mentor, I wanted to set a goal of being as impactful as my mentors have been for me for some other students.” Reynolds, who is now a partner in a management consulting firm, says he’s experienced how beneficial it is to nurture connections between Tech alumni. “As you go in your career, it becomes more and more about the relationships you have and the people you know, and expanding that out,” Reynolds says. Chidambaram is now working as an intern for Intel in California. But he’s still participating in improv workshops and wants to perform when he's back on campus. “I promised David I would perform. So when I get back, I’m going to invite him,” Chidambaram says.

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The Alumni Travel Program takes Tech alumni to exciting locales around the globe.

Adventures by Land, River and Sea Melissa Weinman and Martin Ludwig

A preview of the 2016 Georgia Tech Alumni Travel program offerings. Whether you prefer your adventures on land, river or sea, the Georgia Tech Alumni Association has got you covered with an exciting roster of travel adventures in 2016. Georgia Tech Alumni Travel is designed for those with a passion for exploration and life­long learning. If you are looking for opportunities to learn and immerse yourself in new cultures around the world, see what we have in store for the year ahead. Georgia Tech Alumni Travel works with reputable tour operators and Alumni Association staff and leadership to guarantee your journey is an enjoyable Tech experience.

One of the biggest benefits of being a Tech traveler is that you not only enjoy quality educational trips, but get to share these amazing experiences with fellow Yellow Jacket alumni and friends of Tech. Whether you want to take in the sites by boat, pound the pavement in some of the world’s greatest cities, or even check off a major sporting event from your bucket list, Georgia Tech Alumni Travel has a trip for you. Below is just a small sampling of the exciting adventures we have planned in 2016. To see our full schedule of 40-plus trips, visit

By Land MACHU PICCHU TO THE GALAPAGOS, MAY 3 – 17 They rank as two of South America’s greatest treasures, and a small group tour is the natural selection for both: the enigmatic ruins at Machu Picchu and the fascinating Galapagos Islands, Darwin’s “living laboratory. ”  PARIS IMMERSION, MAY 7 – 18 Paris should be savored. Nicknamed the “City of Light” during the Enlightenment for its embrace of education and new ideas, Paris remains a rich center of culture. Explore the city at an unhurried pace to soak up all it has to offer. MADRID –THE ART OF LIVING, MAY 8 – 30 Discover Spain’s allure on an authentic three­ week introduction to living abroad. Reside in your own apartment near Madrid’s beautiful and historic Old Town and explore the highlights of Spain’s cosmopolitan capital. 0 7 4


By Sea 


And by … Sporting Venue

Take in wonderful architecture, dramatic coastal vistas and timeless medieval centers as Oceania Cruises’ elegant Riviera takes you from Spain to celebrated ports in France, Monaco, Italy, Greece and Turkey. PALMS IN PARADISE, APRIL 24 – MAY 10

 WATERWAYS OF HOLLAND AND BELGIUM, APRIL 28 – MAY 6 There is no better way to experience the beauty, history and culture of Holland and Belgium than by cruising their legendary waterways. Travel into the heart of one of Europe’s most colorful regions aboard the stylish and modern M.S. Amadeus Silver. CRUISE THE FACE OF EUROPE, MAY 12 – 27 Take in Europe’s picturesque valleys and landmarks while cruising along three of the continent’s major rivers. Begin your journey on the Rhine River in Amsterdam, continue along the Main River and end on the mighty Danube in Budapest.

ESSENCE OF THE ATLANTIC, MAY 14 – 28 Sail across the Atlantic Ocean from New York to Lisbon, where beautiful ports and lush islands beckon with eclectic architecture, intriguing cultures and enchanting, rugged scenery on a tranquil odyssey aboard Oceania Cruises’ luxurious Marina.

BURGUNDY & PROVENCE RIVER CRUISE, JUNE 2 – 13 Enjoy picturesque countryside and quaint villages on this 12­-day journey through the heart of France. Disappear into alleyways of medieval towns, admire timeless art, and savor sights, sounds and flavors of France while enjoying the simplicity and convenience of river cruising. Want to travel with fellow Ramblin’ Wrecks? More information is available at, or call Martin Ludwig, director of Alumni Travel, at (404) 894-0758.

THE MASTERS, APRIL 6 – 9 Experience one of golf ’s greatest traditions, The Masters Golf Tournament, with Georgia Tech alumni and friends. This tour offers the perfect combination of golf, relaxation and Southern charm. KENTUCKY DERBY, MAY 4 – 8 

By River

From palm-­s tudded emerald landscapes to majestic colonial architecture, experience all that Central America has to offer. Oceania Cruises takes you from Florida to Colombia, through the Panama Canal and on to Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Mexico and California.

Explore what makes the Run for the Roses a truly special event. Enjoy Dawn at the Downs, the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, working horse farm tours, Keeneland racetrack and more. Then, sit front and center at Churchill Downs for all the excitement and grandeur (and hats!) on Derby Day. U.S. OPEN TENNIS CHAMPIONSHIPS, AUG. 28 – SEPT. 1 Enjoy the sites in New York City along with the unique experience of watching the premier tennis championship at beautiful Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. GTALUMNIMAG.COM VOLUME 91 NO.3 2015

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Tap into career advice and resources for alumni at

Tips for Handling the Pressure of Pitching Yourself Caroline Player

How to make a lasting good impression when you’re put on the spot. Whether you are an engaged networker, an active job seeker or just regularly meet new people, you have likely been faced with this seemingly simple prompt: “Tell me about yourself.” We’ve heard it many times before, but delivering the perfect response is often stressful. Unless you are a gold-standard networker, your pulse likely elevates a tad when you imagine delivering your pitch. Why is that? We don’t know exactly what to say. The possibilities are endless, right? Do you want to know that my favorite pizza toppings are pepperoni, black olives and onions? Do you want to know that my favorite movie director is M. Night Shyamalan? How well do you want to know me? We don’t know want to seem too rehearsed. When answering questions about your background, whether in an interview or at a casual meeting with a new client, you want to sound natural and approachable, not like a robot. We want to do well. Typically in professional situations, something is on the line. Whether it is starting a networking event on the right foot, nailing an interview or trying to win a new piece of business, what you say about yourself and how you say it will make an impression regarding how good of a fit you are for the job and company culture. There is undeniable pressure in communicating your best attributes in a few short, neatly tied sentences. Telling complete strangers about yourself is never easy. But a few simple guidelines will make the process more comfortable. 0 7 6


Focus on recent professional background. In any professional situation, most content should be focused on your business life. Don’t talk about your love of Star Trek (at least not in this initial introduction). Be relevant. Communicate the skills and experience that are most relevant to the position, to the pitch and to the networking event. You may need to adapt your pitch according to the situation. Be prepared but don’t memorize. Think of a few strong points you’d like

to mention. Focus on professional contributions, things you enjoy and areas of expertise. Don’t memorize your delivery as if it were a speech. Be aware of the flow of conversation. Depending on the situation, you may not be able to download all of your planned pitch points in one fell swoop. It actually may be better and seem more natural to work your interests and background into the course of the conversation. Good luck, Yellow Jackets—live long and prosper!

Caroline Player is the director of Career Services at the Alumni Association. Learn more about our Career Services offerings at

“My team and I are working smarter and saving money

after earning our project management certificates.

We immediately applied information from the first class and are seeing major changes even to this day. As a business owner, I have the satisfaction of knowing we were trained by the best.� Matt Rawlins

President, Rawlins Mechanical 2013 Project Management Certificate

Courses, Certificates and Degree Programs Online, Classroom and Blended Formats /gtalum GTALUMNIMAG.COM VOLUME 91 NO.3 2015

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Find an Alumni Network or Group at

KUDOS! The Alumni Association’s Networks and Affinity Groups depend on volunteer leadership to organize gatherings, fundraisers and community service projects. Here are a few leaders who deserve thanks for all of their hard work: Deb Parrish, ID 78, has brought new life to the Gainesville, Ga., network, volunteering to reinv i g o rate what wa s o n ce a d o rmant group. Along with her husband, Michael, she org a n i z e d eve n t s , raised scholarship funds and established

connections between local alumni. She is stepping down after several years as president, but will remain an active member of the leadership team. Callie Reis, ME 08, MS ME 09, has served the Georgia Tech Boston Alumni Network as president for the past year. Prior to that, she led the network's award-winning community service and volunteer outreach initiatives. Reis is also an important and highly valued ambassador of Georgia Tech to prospective students and their parents. Her hard

Georgia Tech Alumni Association Presents


work and dedication to Georgia Tech has increased the value of the Georgia Tech brand in the greater Boston area. Russ Hickman, IE 73, MS IE 74, i s a h e l l u va e n g i n e e r. He i s a n active member of the Northeast Tennessee Alumni Network, a longtime supporter of Georgia Tech Athletics and a loyal contributor to his local alumni network scholarship program. Over the years, his generosity has helped many northeast Tennessee students earn their Georgia Tech degrees and become proud Yellow Jackets.

21,000' Conference/Event Space 252 Beautiful Guest Rooms Only True Campus Hotel Georgia Tech Inspired

This financial seminar is taught by David W. O’Brien, Senior Vice President- Investment Officer with Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC, and a member of SIPC. David is registered in the area of investment securities and insurance licensed. Wells Fargo Advisors is not a tax or legal advisor. Class topics include: • Financial Basics • Taxes • Social Security • Retirement Income • Risk Management

• Medicare • Investments • Retirement Goals • Estate Planning • Retirement Plans

Where Innovative Meetings Thrive

Dates, Time and Location September 8, 15, 22, 29 6:30 - 9 p.m. Georgia Tech Alumni Association Alumni/Facility House 190 North Avenue NW Atlanta, GA 30313 To register call: 404-894-0751 or email:

For more information visit: 404.347.9440








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Make your gift to the 69th Roll Call: ROLL CALL, GEORGIA TECH ALUMNI ASSOCIATION 190 North Avenue | Atlanta, Georgia 30313-9806 o r c a l l ( 8 0 0 ) GT-ALUMS GTALUMNIMAG.COM VOLUME 91 NO.3 2015

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Discover more Alumni Association happenings at


Make sure to put these upcoming Alumni Association events on your calendar.

Philanthropy at Tech

We’re lucky to have so many successful and generous alumni. But you may not realize just how much the alumni family has given back to Tech. During the month of October, take a few minutes for a walk around


campus. The Georgia Tech Student Foundation has put together an impressive display with signs pointing out buildings and programs that have been funded partially or completely through private donations.

Homecoming & Reunion Weekend Homecoming is almost here: Are you ready to show off your Yellow Jacket pride? As always, there are a ton of fun events scheduled for the weekend, including reunion parties for the classes of 1965, 1975 and 1990; the Ramblin’ Wreck Tailgate; the Yellow Jackets taking on ACC rival Florida State, and more! Registration is open now at


Mentor Jackets Kickoff

If you don’t know about Mentor Jackets, you’re missing out. (See page 72 for more details!) This popular, awardwinning program pairs alumni like you with current Tech students for meaningful mentoring relationships. Sound interesting? Sign up, and then make plans to attend Mentor Jacket Kickoff, where you can network with other participants and learn how to get the most out of mentoring at


SAA Speed Networking Event Ever heard of Speed Dating? Try speed networking, a whirlwind evening of one-on-one, structured networking that allows students to connect with as many as six Georgia Tech alumni. This is a fantastic opportunity for students to practice their networking skills and broaden their networks. But this popular event only works if we have enough alumni to make the networking mad dash a reality. Join us for the fun! Learn more at

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SHAPING THE FUTURE Innovation and Technology Entrepreneurship Analytical Skills > Sustainability

Sustainability is not just the right thing to do

– it’s a business need.

Scheller’s Ray C. Anderson Center for Sustainable Business connects students, research faculty, companies, and entrepreneurs to create business-driven solutions to sustainability challenges. Pursuing the triple bottom line (profit, people and planet).


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1960s Don Matheson, IM 69, was elected chairman and CEO of the Institute of Management Consultants. Don is a successful management consultant with a long history of leading 501(c)3, 501(c)6 organizations as well as private sector companies. In addition to numerous leadership roles with IMC USA, he is also the founding chair of the IMC USA Foundation.

1970s Scott Heefner, CE 79, joined Information International Associates as senior vice president and director of national capital region operations in IIa’s Falls Church, Va., office. The company provides innovative solutions in information technology, knowledge organization and management, and data exploitation. In his new position, Heefner initially will focus on contract performance and customer relationships. He will also play a key role in business development as IIa increases its presence in the Washington, D.C. area. Gary A. Smith, IM 79, and his wife, Liz, celebrated their 35th wedding anniversary in June.  Gary is vice president of supply logistics for New York City Transit.  The couple resides in Manhattan. Rod Westmoreland, IM 74, was honored with the No. 1 ranking in Georgia on Barron’s “America’s Top 1,200 Advisors: 2015 State-by-State” list for the sixth year in a row. Westmoreland was also included on the 2015 Financial Times “Top 400 Financial 0 8 2



Have a new job or other news to share? Email details to

Tech Rugby Celebrates 40 Years Bruce Noggle, Arch 75, MS Arch 77

While Georgia Tech obviously provides a superb education, it also leaves you with life-long memories, like finals week, pulling all-nighters, forging deep friendships and, for me, helping start the Georgia Tech Rugby Club (GTRC). Before there was a rugby club, about 10 Tech students—Duffie “King” Matson, Glenn Bunker, Bob Carswell, Ralph Fitch, Steve Frost, Chris Ratcliff, Doug “Mabbet” Moss, Tom “Goose” Sharrar, Chris “Freak” Carville, Dave Bracken, Tom Darnell and others—along with professors Dr. Dan Papp and Dr. Wayne Book, played for the Atlanta Rugby Football Club (ARFC). In fall 1975, enough were playing that they split off to form the Georgia Tech Rugby Club. Our first head coach was “Rugby” Joe Langley. I was the first to show up for the first day of practice, standing in a slight drizzle, on a gray fall day at Burger Bowl Field, now Couch Park. The next two people to show up were the biggest guys I had ever seen. As they both stood beside me that day, I began to wonder what I had gotten myself into by coming to this rugby practice. That first year, the GTRC played other Atlanta teams, including the ARFC, Renegades, Old White, High Country and Emory, as well as Clemson, the hated Georgia Bulldogs, Vanderbilt and

others. We won nearly all of the matches, even breaking Old White’s 31-game winning streak. That first team also journeyed to the Bahamas, for a long weekend of international competition. We’re celebrating the start of the GTRC 40 years ago during Homecoming weekend. All GTRC alumni and current players are invited. GT Rugby Reunion Fri., Oct. 23 Individual get-togethers by decade Sat. Oct. 24 (subject to game time) 7 p.m. Rugby team members from all years will gather at Der Biergarten at 300 Marietta St. N.W. All are invited, including wives, girlfriends, mistresses, friends, etc. 9 p.m. Presentations and “State of the Union” addresses by GTRC President Curtis McPeek and Head Coach Paul Donnan. 10:00 p.m. Beer Chugging Contest: Alumni vs. current team, if the current team is up to the challenge. For more details, contact Bruce Noggle at 216-577-8789.

NASA’S AMANDA MITSKEVICH RECEIVES THE DEBUS AWARD Amanda Mitskevich, IE 87, was recognized by the National Space Club Florida Committee with the Debus Award, its most prestigious annual honor. The Debus Award was created by the National Space Club Florida Committee to recognize significant achievements and contributions made in Florida to American aerospace efforts. It is named for the Kennedy Space Center's first director, Kurt Debus. Mitskevich was recognized for her leadership of NASA’s Launch Services Program at the John F. Kennedy Space Center in Florida. According to Florida Today, Mitskevich is the fourth woman to receive the award. The Launch Services Program is responsible for launching rockets for NASA’s robotic missions, which range from weather satellites to the New Horizons probe, which recently provided scientists with their first glimpse at Pluto. According to Florida Today, the Debus award credited Mitskevich with managing more than 30 successful launches on a variety of rockets, developing a consulting service for spacecraft customers and adapting to new rockets like SpaceX’s Falcon 9.

Advisors” list. Westmoreland is a private wealth advisor in the Private Banking and Investments Group at Merrill Lynch in Atlanta.

1980s Gerald V. “Trey” Anderson III, BC 82, was recently elected as the 2015-16 association president of the Associated General Contractors of Georgia. Anderson is president of Anderson Construction Company of Fort Gaines, Ga., and is a diversified commercial contractor with 51 years of experience in the industry, including conventional general contracting, design-build, construction management and service contracting. The firm has been an active member of AGC Georgia since 1964. Roberto Arrocha, EE 83, is now the CIO for DAVACO Inc in Dallas, Texas. He is also the CIO for ClearThread Technologies. Roberto lives with his family in Colleyville, Texas.

Engineers of North Carolina. The PENC Fellow designation recognizes a small and elite group of members who have distinguished themselves throughout their careers through significant engineering achievements, service to PENC and service to the profession.  Bill Magee, IM 85, has been named managing director of Shaw Contract Group Australia. Shaw Contract Group Australia & Shaw Industries is a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway. Magee has been with Shaw Industries for 30 years and will be relocating to Melbourne, Australia, with his wife, Renee.

1990s Tavie North Allan, ICS 90, was promoted to chief operating officer at Think Ministry Inc.

Peter J. Chassman, EE 89, became a partner at the law firm of Reed Smith LLP in Houston, Texas, in May.

Annie I. Antón, ICS 90, MS ICS 92, PhD CS 97, was awarded the national Alpha Delta Pi 2015 Outstanding Alumnae Achievement Award for Contribution to Profession. She is the first Georgia Tech alumna to receive the award since 1977, when the Zeta Omicron chapter was established at Georgia Tech. Anton is professor and chair of the School of Interactive Computing at Georgia Tech.

Herbert V. Congdon II, EE 86, has been named to the National Society of Professional Engineers’ 2015 class of Fellows. Fellow membership honors active NSPE members who have demonstrated exemplary and devoted service to their profession, the society and their communities. Congdon was also elected as a Fellow of the Professional

Sonya Summerour Clemmons, ME 94, gave several talks and seminars about biotechnology and mentoring girls at the 10th anniversary of the American Association of University Women's Tech Savvy Conference in Buffalo, N.Y.  Clemmons was the first keynote speaker of the event 10 years ago in 2005. Clemmons is a STEM specialist and travels

Russ Brockelbank, CE 82, is now DPR Hardin’s representative for the Buckhead Coalition, a selective business and civic organization whose membership is limited to top executives of major firms.


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1. Caroline Adams, Psy 13, and William Wolter, IE 13, on May 31, 2014, in Columbus, Ga. Caroline works for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and will begin Mercer University’s Physician Assistant program in January 2016, and Will is employed with United Structural Products as a quality assurance director. They live in Atlanta. 2. Brandi Brown, Bio 13, and Niall Brown, ME 13, on Oct. 9, 2013. Both are Second Lieutenants in the U.S. Air Force, having received their commission through Detachment 165 Air Force ROTC at Georgia Tech. Niall recently graduated pilot training and serves as an Air Force pilot.

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Brandi is attending Intelligence School. They live in Enid, Okla. 3. Jenna Castle, IAML 09, and Brian Watson, ME 09, MS ME 10, on May 16 in Marietta, Ga. Jenna is director of business development for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, and Brian is a supplier quality improvement engineer for Cummins Inc. They reside in Nashville. 4. Douglas Diefenbach, Arch 76, and Linda Pinckney on Sept. 6, 2014. Linda is a hospice nurse, and Doug is senior director of design center development for Ethan Allen Inc. They live in Danbury, Conn.


5. Shannon (Dobbins) Woodward, ChE 00, and William Woodward on June 13. Shannon is a lead process engineer at Amec Foster Wheeler. They live in Greenville, S.C. 6. Minh-Thu Trinh, ChE 11, and Toan Nguyen, CE 11, on June 7. Minh-Thu is a chemist at BASF and Toan is a bridge design engineer at the Georgia DOT. They live in Clarkston, Ga. 7. Amanda Trujillo and Henry B. McGill III, on April 25 in Greensboro, Ga. Amanda is the eldest daughter of Al Trujillo, AE 81, president at the Georgia Tech Foundation.

extensively around the country speaking on various topics related to STEM and related subjects to interested university and industry groups. Jeffrey W. Herrmann, AM 90, has been promoted to professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Maryland, College Park. Calvin Mackie, ME 90, MS ME 92, was honored with the College Board’s 2015 Dr. Asa G. Hilliard Model of Excellence Award. This accolade recognizes Mackie for his efforts in encouraging African-American students to strive for academic success. Mackie is an award-winning engineer, internationally renowned motivational STEM speaker, entrepreneur and bestselling author. Joel Pilger, ID 91, has been named chief experience officer of Influence Technologies. Pilger was tapped for the position after Influence Technologies acquired Impossible Pictures, founded by Pilger. Pilger is a director, cinematographer and creative director. Jud Ready, MatE 94, MS MetE 97, PhD MSE 00, was named a 2015 Brimacombe Medalist for contributions in electronics reliability, applied nanotechnology research, and service to the Minerals, Metals and Materials Society. Ready was also selected as meeting chair for the spring 2017 Materials Research Society Meeting. In addition, Ready was recently selected to serve as a trustee for the Georgia Tech Alumni Association. Ready is the deputy director of the Georgia Tech Institute for Materials.

2000s Christopher Brazell, CE 01, MS CE 04, has been promoted to senior principal owner of EMC Engineering

Services Inc., a consulting engineering firm headquartered in Savannah, Ga., with production offices located in Brunswick, Statesboro, Augusta, Atlanta, Albany, Valdosta and Columbus, Ga. Brazell is a licensed professional engineer in 11 states and is a licensed land surveyor in training in Georgia, where he is in the process of obtaining dual registration. In 2011, he also became the firm’s youngest principal owner. Brazell was the recipient of the prestigious Young Engineer of the Year Award in 2010, presented by the Georgia Engineering Alliance. He is the past president of the Columbus Georgia Tech Alumni Network. Leslie S. Leighton, MS HTS 07, received his PhD from Emory University in May. The title of his dissertation in medical history was "Explaining the decline of coronary heart disease mortality in the United States in the 1960s: An historical analysis." Soo J. Hong, Econ 03, received the 2015 Ross Adams Younger Lawyer Award. Hong is an attorney with Blevins & Hong P.C. Paolo Mentonelli, CS 06, launched BioRepublic SkinCare, a company that offers eco-conscious sheet masks available at upscale retailers, spas and salons. Matt Moore, IE 05, was re-elected to a two-year term as chairman of the South Carolina Republican Party. Dan F. Richard, IE 06, MS Stat 08, is now vice president, analytics and product strategy at FactorTrust Inc., an alternative credit bureau serving the underbanked market. Jonathan Robert Rosenfield, Phys 08, was awarded a PhD in medical physics from the University of Chicago in June. His dissertation, titled “An Investigation of a Prototype Acousto-Optic Transmission Ultrasound Imaging System for Improved Breast Cancer Screening

Sensitivity,” assessed the diagnostic value of a novel ultrasound imaging system intended to augment X-ray mammography in patients with high breast density. A former President’s Scholar at Georgia Tech and fellow of the American Association of Physicists in Medicine, Rosenfield began residency training in July at the Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University Hospital. Matt C. Wood, ME 04, has joined the litigation firm Weisbart Springer Hayes LLP. Wood has experience in a wide range of complex commercial litigation, including trial experience in both federal and state courts, representing individuals, emerging businesses and Fortune 500 companies. Wood was also selected this year to the Texas Rising Stars list of the state’s top young lawyers.

2010s Chandler Epp, IAML 10, is now director of strategic communications at Polymath Innovations.

Friends George Nemhauser has been named the Class of 1934 Distinguished Professor. Nemhauser is the A. Russell Chandler III Chair and Institute Professor in the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial & Systems Engineering. Nemhauser is considered to be one of the world’s top optimization researchers. The Class of 1934 Distinguished Professor Award recognizes outstanding achievement in teaching, research and service. It is the highest award given to a faculty member. The award is presented to an active professor who has made significant, long-term contributions that have brought widespread recognition to the professor, his school, and the Institute. GTALUMNIMAG.COM VOLUME 91 NO.3 2015

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Mostafa El-Sayed Wins Priestley Medal Georgia Tech Chemistry Professor Mostafa El-Sayed will receive the Priestley Medal, the American Chemical Society’s highest honor, in 2016. At Tech, Mostafa is a Regents’ Professor, the Julius Brown Chair and the director of the Laser Dynamics Laboratory. Throughout his career, El-Sayed has conducted highly acclaimed chemistry research and served as a chemistry educator and journal editor. Early on, he developed molecular spectroscopy techniques to elucidate the molecular mechanisms and dynamics of molecules, gas-phase clusters, solids and photobiological systems. More recently, El-Sayed’s research group has focused on developing nanoscale materials and using those materials

in catalysis, medicine and sensing. El-Sayed’s papers have been cited exhaustively and had a significant impact on the fields of chemistry and nanomaterials. “Mostafa El-Sayed is an outstanding choice” to receive ACS’s most prestigious award, ACS Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director Thomas M. Connelly Jr. says. He adds that El-Sayed’s contributions to nanoscience are “truly groundbreaking.” Connelly believes it is fitting that El-Sayed be recognized for inspiring students throughout his career and for his many years of journal editing.

Don Horn selected as AIA Fellow Don Horn, M Arch 88, has been selected by the American Institute of Architects for its prestigious College of Fellows. Although the AIA has more than 85,000 members, there are only about 3,200 distinguished with the honor of fellow. The AIA Fellowship Program was developed to honor architects who have made a significant and sustaining contribution to architecture and society and who have achieved a standard of excellence in the profession. Election to the fellowship not only recognizes the achievements of the architect as an individual, but also honors before the public and the profession a model architect, one who has made a significant contribution to architecture and society on a national and international level. Horn is the deputy director of the Office of Federal HighPerformance Green Buildings for the U.S. General Services Administration. Horn, who is also a LEED Fellow, is a leader in greenbuilding policy development and advocacy within the federal government. Horn serves GSA and the nation by promoting environmentally responsible decision-making for buildings. He works tirelessly to translate green-building strategies and ideals into regulations and guidance the federal government can use to meet building performance goals. 0 8 6


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Welcomed a future Yellow Jacket into your family? Send a photo and note to










1. Kristen Renay Adkins-Murdock, HTS 99, MS PP 03, and husband Micheal Murdock welcomed son Ciaran Rhys Adkins-Murdock on Oct. 23, 2014. The family lives in McDonough, Ga. 2. Sara Ballard Blackwood, IE 09, and husband Steven Blackwood, Bio 07, welcomed daughter Elizabeth Chastain and son William Green on April 29. The family lives in Milwaukee, where Steven is completing a residency in orthopaedic surgery. Sara is an assistant vice president in client security management at SunTrust Bank. 3. Robert Carswell, CE 06, and wife Lara welcomed daughters Charlotte Victoria and Elizabeth Adeline on

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Dec. 22, 2014. The twins also have a big brother, Leland. The family lives in Newnan, Ga. 4. Allie Ward Cochran, Arch 06, and husband Chris Cochran, CE 06, welcomed daughter Amelia on March 23. The couple also has a daughter, Adeline, age 3. 5. Kelly Fierro, Mgt 01, and husband Pete Fierro, ChE 00, welcomed daughter Caroline on Dec. 17, 2014. She joins big sister Mary Kathryn at their home in Atlanta. Pete works at The Home Depot and Kelly works at The Coca-Cola Company. 6. Casey Dart Igel, Mgt 97, and husband Eric Igel, CE 99, welcomed son Liam Frederick on Feb. 24. Liam joins big brother Otto age 5.

The family lives in St. Simons Island, Ga. 7. Shannon Langston Foster, Mgt 08, and husband Dan Foster welcomed daughter Lila Beatrice on May 21. The family lives in Denver. Lila is the granddaughter of Greg Langston, IE 70. 8. Erin Lawson, CE 04, and husband Michael Wojtaszek, Mgt 03, welcomed daughter Brianna Marie on June 2, 2014. The family lives in Clearwater, Fla. 9. Sara Ouzts Lindsay, ChE 04, and husband Ian Lindsay, ChE 02, welcomed daughter Teagan Marie on April 8. Teagan joins big sister Piper. Sara and Ian both work for Chevron in Hobbs, N.M.

Bill Killough Named Fellow of Litigation Counsel of America




10. Andrew Lopez, PMASE 11, and wife Rebecca welcomed son Alexander Noah on May 1. He joins brother Gabriel, 2, at the family’s home in Cumming, Ga. 11. Ashley Melvin Powell, CE 03, and husband Scott Powell welcomed son Ashton Taylor on March 19. He joins siblings William, Noah and Maddie. Ashley manages her own company, Building It Green Consulting, near Fernandina Beach, Fla. 12. Tam’ra Osborne Powell, Mgt 02, and husband Reinhard Powell, ME 00, MS ME 03, PhD ME 06,


welcomed son Pace Thomas on April 15. The family, including 2-year-old son, Rory, lives in Atlanta. 13. Alvaro Ramirez del Villar, ME 09, and wife Debra welcomed daughter Alice Anne on Jan. 1. 14. Alexis Simpson, ChBE 06, and husband Craig Simpson, ChBE 06, and welcomed son Aaron Forrester Simpson on June 3. Aaron joins sister Kate. Craig is a software engineer at PureCars and Alexis is a patent attorney with Troutman Sanders. They live in Atlanta.

Bill Killough, IE 74, has been selected as a fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America. LCA is a trial lawyer honorary society composed of less than one-half of 1 percent of American lawyers. Fellowship in the LCA is highly selective and by invitation only. Fellows are selected based upon excellence and accomplishment in litigation, both at the trial and appellate levels, and superior ethical reputation. Killough is an attorney with Barnwell Whaley Patterson & Helms LLC in Charleston, S.C. Killough’s law practice focuses on patents, trademarks, trade regulation and commercial matters. He was named Charleston-area Corporate Lawyer of the Year in 2015 by Best Lawyers, is listed in South Carolina Super Lawyers, and is regularly recognized by Best Lawyers for his work in intellectual property law. Killough also teaches patent law as an adjunct professor at the University of South Carolina School of Law in Columbia, S.C. He is a contributor to Practical Law Company’s South Carolina law summary in the area of trademark law and unfair competition law. Killough holds a Martindale-Hubble Preeminent rating (the highest), and he is a permanent member of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals Judicial Conference. GTALUMNIMAG.COM VOLUME 91 NO.3 2015

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memoriam 1930s Thomas Jacob Berry, IM 39, of Griffin, Ga., on April 17. Army Air Force. 5th Air Force. Alonzo Richardson, ME 39, of Burlingame, Calif., on May 18. Army Air Corps. WWII. Manager of engineering, Gaylord division of Crown Zellerbach.

1940s William Willis "Bill" Anderson Jr., EE 45, of Atlanta, on May 16. Navy. WWII. Georgia Power Company. Theodore "Ted" Arno II, Text 49, of Columbus, Ga., on March 7. Navy. WWII. President, Arenowitch Inc. Massachusetts Mutual Insurance Company. Manager, Georgia Tech football team. Georgia Tech Athletic Hall of Fame. Georgia Tech Alumni Association Board of Trustees. President, Miss Georgia Pageant. Son: Richard Arno, Mgt 87 William Calmese Buck, IM 49, of Columbus, Ga., on May 7. WWII. Pilot. President, Buck Ice & Coal Co. President, Georgia Ice Manufacturers Association. Secretary, treasurer, hall of fame member, Southern Ice Exchange.

Irwin “Buck” Freedman, IE 48, of Atlanta, on May 13. U.S. Army Signal Corps. President, Toronto lab, DeLuxe Laboratories. Motion picture film national sales manager, Agfa-Gevaert. Life Fellow, Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers. Member, Will Rogers Motion Picture Pioneers Foundation. Member, Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences. Son: Chuck Freedman, IE 67. Rickford James Hanner, ChE 43, of Charlotte, N.C., on April 11. Army Air Corps. WWII. President, Queen City Foundry. John F. Hardy, IM 47, of Winter Park, Fla., on May 9. Commander. Navy. WWII. Korean War. Vietnam War. Supply Officer, Naval Training Center. Norman Leonwood “Dutch” Holland, Cls 40, of Huntsville, Ala., on March 25. Army (Col.). Samuel Thomas Hurst IV, Arch 42, of Santa Barbara, Calif., on April 10. Dean, USC School of Architecture and Fine Arts. Dean of Architecture and Fine Arts at Auburn University. Instructor, Tulane University, Georgia Tech. Navy. WWII. Fellow of the American Institute of Architects. Founder, Architects, Designers and Planners for Social Responsibility. Founding board, The Sustainability Project. Myron Koplin, IE 49, of Macon, Ga., on March 29. Army. WWII.

Jack Clements Causey, EE 49, of Hoschton, Ga., on Jan. 24. Navy. WWII. Senior vice president of administrative services, Georgia Power.

Joseph Brooks Martin, IM 49, of West Lake Hills, Texas, on May 29. Air Force (Staff Sgt.). WWII. Air Medal. Purple Heart. Lone Star Steel. General Dynamics.

Mimms Ibrey Cleveland Jr., ME 47, MS ME 48, of Houston, on April 12. General Electric. District manager, Power Generation Services.

Dr. George Brown Miller Jr., AE 45, of Hardin, Ohio, on March 1. Navy. WWII. Education Department, Ohio Northern University.

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Julian Harry Schoenberg, ChE 49, of Greenville, S.C., on April 19. Navy. WWII. Chemical engineer, W.R. Grace Cryovac Division. Hugh Dorsey Sullivan, ME 49, of Huntsville, Ala., on March 11. Army. Air Corps. World War II. Louis J. Taratoot, Cls 44, of Atlanta, on April 22. Navy. WWII. Owner, Seitzinger Inc. Founder, Taracorp Industries. Thomas Harrison Winchester Jr., CE 43, of Macon, Ga., on March 31. Army. Construction president, St. Paul Village. Robert Edwin Worsham, EE 49, MS EE 50, of Knoxville, Tenn., on March 23. Navy. Instructor, Georgia Tech Department of Electrical Engineering.

1950s Milton Wesley Bennett, IM 53, MS IM 58, of Smyrna, Ga., on May 7. Air Force (2nd Lt.). National Air and Space Intelligence Center, working on Project Blue Book, a systematic study of UFOs. Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI). Resolution Trust Corp. Ben Frank Brian Jr., ME 52, MS ME 53, of Savannah, Ga., on May 19. Pi Tau Sigma and Tau Beta Pi engineering honoraries. Kappa Alpha Order. Air Force. DuPont. Director and vice president of Rotary International. Georgia Tech Club of Savannah. Joseph Hardwick Butler, CE 57, MS CE 63, of Macon, Ga., on March 26. Professional engineer. Professor of engineering, Middle Georgia College. Army Reserve (Lt. Col).

William Lloyd Carter, PhD ChE 50, of Clinton, Tenn., on March 30. Oak Ridge National Laboratory. First PhD recipient from Georgia Tech.

Jack Durham Haynes, Arch 58, of Brookhaven, Ga., on May 29. Architect. Past president, Atlanta chapter of American Institute of Architects.

Benjamin Hutton Cunningham Jr., Arch 52, of Louisville, Ky., on Jan. 31. Navy. Architect. Urban planner.

William Stough Hoover Jr., MS ChE 50, of Irvine, Calif., on May 13. Navy (Ensign).

John E. James, IM 54, of Macon, Ga., on April 5. John and Lillas James Scholarship Fund, Georgia Tech. Gwynn Ted Martin, EE 51, of Dunwoody, Ga., on Feb.17. Engineer, Lockheed. Army. WWII. Korean War.

Phillip Richard “Dick” Dalton, IM 56, of Houston, on May 3. Executive, Tubesales and Gulf Supply.

Robert C. Broward

Robert Campbell Dancy Jr., EE 54, MS EE 55, of Sandy Springs, Ga., on May 31. Army.


George W. Finison, EE 54, of Macon, Ga., on March 1. Army Signal Corp. Korean War. General Electric Company. Electronic engineer, Robins AFB. Air National Guard (Col.) Grandson: Benjamin Leon, AE 15. James Malcolm Fiveash, ME 53, MS IE 56, of Brunswick, Ga., on May 25. President, Five Transportation Company. Navy. Korean War. Sigma Chi Fraternity. Board of directors, Ameris Bank, Liberty Mutual Insurance Company. Brother: Charles Oliver Fiveash Jr., IE 49, MS IE 50. Theodore Roberts “Ted” French, IM 52, of Atlanta, on May 27. Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity. Distinguished Military Graduate. Army Infantry (1st Lt.). Partner, Aaron, Bell and French. Founder, French Inc. President, Automotive Associated Representatives. President, B6 chapter of Automotive Booster Club. Grandson: Theodore Roberts French III, BME 12. Carl Daniel Garlington, IE 55, of Jacksonville, Fla., on April 18. Army. Engineer. Samuel Marvin “Sam” Griffin Jr., IM 58, of Bainbridge, Ga., on April 27. Publisher and editor, The Post Searchlight. Navy (Ensign). Naval Aviator and Naval Helicopter Pilot. Charles Albert Hand Jr., IE 58, of Asheville, N.C., on April 23. Engineer. Lockheed. NASA. Bell Laboratories. Naval Engineer, Charleston Naval Shipyard.



roward was one of Florida’s most revered architects and a protégé of Frank Lloyd Wright. During his prolific 61-year career, Broward designed more than 500 buildings. Among Broward’s signature buildings were the Unitarian Universalist Church of Jacksonville, the Jacksonville Art Museum, the Koger Gallery of Oriental Art and his own riverfront home in St. Nicholas, according to the Florida Times-Union. After he graduated form high school in 1944, he served in the Army Air Corps and then studied architecture at Georgia Tech. At Tech, he studied the work of Frank Lloyd Wright, who championed “organic architecture,” a philosophy of designing structures in harmony with humanity and the environment. Broward wrote to Wright, who agreed to have him as an apprentice. Broward spent a summer working on the construction of Florida Southern College in Lakeland, the largest complex of Wright buildings in the world. Broward is remembered for the effort he put into getting to know not only his clients, but the site, before he designed a building. “What I always hope for is that when I finish a design and it’s finally built, that it will look like it has always been there,” Broward said in a 1982 interview. “Even though it may look like a rocket ship, it should look like it has always been there.” Besides his work as an architect, Mr. Broward was an adjunct professor of design at the University of Florida, an artist and a writer. He published two books on Jacksonville history, 1984’s “Henry John Klutho: The Prairie School in Jacksonville” and 2011’s “The Broward Family: From France to Florida, 1764-2011.”  Broward was a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects, his profession’s highest honor. In 1989, the Florida Association of the American Institute of Architects honored him with the Award of Honor Design for lifetime achievement. In 2012 he was inducted into the Florida Artists Hall of Fame.


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>> Gas Turbine Engines.

Marion Howard Massee III, BC 52, of Fitzgerald, Ga., on April 24. Navy. Co-founder, Mann and Massee Inc. Founder and president, Massee Builders Inc.

Ernest "Ernie" Osumi, IE 59, of Warner Robins, Ga., on Jan. 30. Korean War. Engineer, Robins Air Force Base.

Harry Oliver Northern, EE 55, of Vallonia, Ind., on April 4. Electrical engineer and test engineer, Allison

James L. Owens, EE 53, of Clemmons, N.C., on May 7. Army. WWII. Senior engineer, Western Electric.



ulbertson had a long and illustrious career in the aerospace industry, contributing to NASA’s major missions from the lunar landing through the International Space Station. After high school, Culbertson enlisted in the Navy with the intention of becoming a pilot, but his plans changed when World War II ended. Instead, he enrolled at Georgia Tech and studied aeronautical engineering. As a commissioned officer in the Navy, Culbertson worked on cutting-edge missile guidance systems. After leaving the Navy, he spent four years as a research associate at the University of Michigan designing and testing advanced supersonic aircraft. Culbertson later worked for General Dynamics, where he held several engineering and technical management positions including the conversion of the Atlas missile into a manned booster for the Mercury program and as a deep space launch vehicle. He became the principal liaison to NASA, and in 1965 accepted a position at NASA headquarters in Washington, D.C., to begin work on Skylab, America’s first space station. Over his 23-year career at NASA, Culbertson held various titles and worked with all of the manned mission programs from the lunar landings through the planning of the International Space Station. His positions include: Director of lunar mission studies, director of the Skylab Integration Program, director of the Advanced Manned Mission Program, director of Mission & Payload Integration, executive director of the President's Committee on Science and Technology, assistant for the Space Transportation System, associate administrator for Space Station, and NASA general manager. Culbertson was also integral in the planning of the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project in 1975, and served as the NASA representative in the 1979 ASAT treaty negotiations. He retired from NASA in 1988, but continued consulting in the aerospace industry. He served as senior vice president of the External Tanks Corporation, which sought funding to create space stations out of spent space shuttle external tanks. In accordance with his wishes, a portion of Culbertson’s remains will be launched into orbit aboard a Celestis Inc. flight.

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Edwin Hancel “Ed” Parker, EE 53, of Atlanta, on March 25. Navy. Engineer, Lockheed Martin. Holton Robert "Bob" Parris Jr., IM 51, of Canton, Ga., on Jan. 29. Navy. WWII. GE. Founder, Equity Utility Service. Son: Holton Robert “Rob” Parris III, IM 78. Robert L. Rabun Jr., IM 57, of Thomson, Ga., on April 14. Alpha Tau Omega fraternity. Owner and operator, McDuffie County Builders Supply. Robert Donald “Don” Read Jr., IM 58, of Fayetteville, Ga., on Nov. 6, 2014. James David Reeves, ChE 52, of Fort Myers, Fla., on Jan. 28. Standard Oil. Sun Oil Company. John Baptiste Remion Jr., CE 51, of Savannah, Ga., on May 11. Navy. Army Corps of Engineers. Leon James Scott Jr., IM 55, of Dunwoody, Ga., on March 25. Georgia Tech Student Council vice president. Class secretary and treasurer. Sophomore, junior and senior class president. ATO. ROTC. Vice president, ANAK. KOSEME. OKD. Ramblin Reck Club. Student Trial Board. Henry P. "Hank" Still Jr., CerE 56, of Decatur, Ga., on March 4. Entrepreneur. Dee Granville Sullins Jr., TE 55, of Stone Mountain, Ga., on March 28. Air Force. Phillip James Sullivan, AE 55, MS ME 57, of Alpharetta, Ga., on April 5. Navy (Capt.). Pi Kappa Alpha. Tau Beta Pi Honor Society. Pi Tau Sigma Engineering Honor Society. Engineer, Lockheed. President, Lockheed Canada. Senior vice president of govt. reqmts., Lockheed Martin Corp. Alfred Evans “Fred” Wamsley III, IM 56, of Atlantic Beach, Fla., on May 16. Navy. Director of trade relations, General Foods.

Theodore Roger Wirtz, IM 56, of Cary, N.C., on March 29. Sigma Chi fraternity. Army (1st Lt.). President and CEO, INDA.

1960s Robert Winston Albright, ME 66, of Greenville, S.C., on April 3. Pi Tau Sigma Honor Society. Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity. Navy. Design and lead engineer, General Electric. Project manager, Daniel Construction. Edwin Alonzo "Ed" Allbritton, IM 64, of Boerne, Texas, on May 10. Navy. Explosive Ordnance Disposal Team leader. Vietnam. Goldman, Sachs & Co. Founder, Allbritton Capital Management Associates. Dallas Safari Club 1991 Hunter of the Year. Texas State Champion in road cycling time trial event, 2011.

Planning engineer, Western Electric. Chief pilot, Southern Airways. Joseph Milus “Pat” Fallon, MS EE 67, of Mesa, Ariz., on April 22. Engineer, Motorola. James L. Flynt, AE 61, of Niceville, Fla., on May 11. Air Force (Maj.). Pilot. Dr. Gary N. Harrison, Chem 69, of Statesboro, Ga., on March 6. Georgia Tech national championship bowling team. Assistant professor, Medical College of Georgia Pulmonary Section. Founder, Statesboro Medical Specialist Practice. East Georgia Regional Medical Center. Watauga Medical Center.

Robert Bland, IM 61, of Duluth, Ga., on May 3. Commander. Navy. J. Don Brock, MS ME 63, PhD ME 65, of Lookout Mountain, Tenn., on March 10. Founder, chairman, CEO, Astec Industries Inc. Man of the Year, National Asphalt Pavement Association. Academy of Distinguished Engineering Alumni, Georgia Tech. ARTBA Top 100 Private Sector Transportation Construction Professionals of the 20th Century. Dr. J. Don Brock Transovation Award, American Road and Transportation Builders Association. Tim Bunce Sr., IE 68, of Edmond, Okla., on April 20. Engineer, Western Electric, AT&T, Celestica. Robert Morris Bush, Arch 67, of Atlanta, on April 10. Air Force (Capt.). Architect, Thomas Stanley.

Ed Hood, Cls 66, of Kennesaw, Ga., on March 31. Lockheed Martin. Claude Wesley "Wes" Ingram, IM 64, of Southside, Ala., on May 19. Terry McIntosh Kimball, Phys 60, of Savannah, Ga., on April 23. Tau Beta Phi Honor Society. Owner, Kimball’s Radio Tape Center. John D. "Dan" Longley Sr., Phys 61, of Ozona, Fla., on May 25. Air Force. Fighter pilot. Coleman Instrument Corp. Aerospace engineer, Honeywell. Pan American Airways. Captain, United Airlines.

Alberto Apostolico

Ellis Bateman, IM 63, of Canton, Ga., on Jan. 24. Assistant superintendent of schools, state of Georgia. Son: William Michael Bateman, IE 01. James W. Beasley, IM 64, of Marietta, Ga., on May 20.

Habersham County Medical Center.



postolico was prolific in the field of algorithmic design and application, conducting research, teaching, securing patents and writing books throughout his impressive career in computer science. Apostolico earned his first degree in electronic engineering in his native country of Italy from the University of Naples, followed by a computer science degree from the University of Salerno. He taught for eight years in Italy before coming to the United States as an associate professor at Purdue University. He joined the faculty at Georgia Tech as a professor in 2005. His wife, Concettina “Titti” Guerra, also teaches in Georgia Tech’s School of Interactive Computing. In addition to his work at Georgia Tech, Apostolico held visiting and permanent appointments at universities around the world, including Carnegie Mellon, University of Paris and Korea University. Apostolico was the co-recipient of research grants from seven nations and multi-national organizations such as Fulbright, NATO and ESPRIT. In 2006, he was one of four scientists assigned to the B. Segre Interdisciplinary Institute of Accademia dei Lincei ("Galileus' Academy") in Rome. Apostolico and Zvi Galil, the dean of Tech’s College of Computing, co-edited several seminal works in their field, including “Combinational Algorithms on Words,” and “Pattern Matching Algorithms.” Apostolico also wrote dozens of journal articles and conference papers while staying very active in international conferences. “What I will miss most about Alberto is his enthusiastic love for teaching,” says David Bader, chair of the School of Computational Science & Engineering. “He spoke with me often about his students and their future, and he truly lived each day for the gift of sharing his knowledge in the classroom.”

Larry Jerone Byars, ME 66, MS IM 68, of Duluth, Ga., on Feb. 3. Lockheed. GTALUMNIMAG.COM VOLUME 91 NO.3 2015

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memoriam Michael E. Marshall, EE 68, of Cary, N.C., on April 9. Co-owner, AlphaGraphics. Orin E. Marvel, BS EE 63, MS EE 64, of Salinas, Calif., on April 22. Congressional fellow, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc. Legislative aide, U.S. Senator Jeremiah Denton. U.S. Army. Army Commendation medal recipient. Honeywell. Chief scientist, Hughes Aircraft Company. Senior principal scientist, NATO SHAPE Technical Center.

>> Westinghouse. PQ Corp. Sound engineer, Columbia City Ballet. Second place, Allied Arts competition category, International Whistler's Convention. George B. Rast Jr., EE 63, of Mount Pleasant, S.C., on May 10. Owner, Rast Associates Inc. Consulting engineer. W. Frank Robertson, EE 61, of Decatur, Ga., on May 22. Army. Electrical engineer. AMEC.

John Robert Neely Jr., ME 60, of Stockbridge, Ga., on May 30. Georgia Tech baseball player, 1957 SEC Championship team. Army. Professional engineer. Owner, Ful-Bro Engineering Inc.

Robert Doyle Rutland, ME 67, of West Columbia, S.C., on May 24. Phi Sigma Kappa Fraternity. Kimberly-Clark. Midland Steel. Applied Engineering. Colite Industries. S.C. Energy Achievement Award, 1987. DOE 1987 National Awards Program for Energy Innovations for contributions to asphalt recycling. Daughter: Alyssa Rutland Hubbard, EE 90.

Clarence Gary Phifer Jr., ChE 63, of Columbia, S.C., on March 29. U.S. Army Chemical Corps (2nd Lt.). Engineer,

Herbert C. Skinner Jr., IM 60, of Savannah, Ga., on May 30. President and chairman of the board, Varnedoe,

Joseph D. McDonald, Chem 69, of Roswell, Ga., on March 22. Technical Division, The Coca-Cola Company.



nman came to Georgia Tech with a scholarship to play football. During his time at Tech, the Yellow Jacket football team was nearly unstoppable. Under legendary coach Bobby Dodd, Inman and the Yellow Jackets went on a 31 game-winning streak from 1951-52 and won the 1952 National Championship. After graduating from Tech, Inman served in the Army. He was stationed in Germany, where he coached the Army football team. He later returned to Georgia Tech, where he coached alongside his friend and mentor Bobby Dodd. Inman spent 11 years as Tech’s defensive coach. Inman later served as the head defensive coach at West Virginia University. After leaving coaching, Inman served as vice president of Georgia Tufters and Textiles. He then joined his brother-in-law as a partner at Butler Properties.

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Chisholm and Skinner. President, chairman of the board, Investment Performance Services. Robinson Humphrey. Past member, executive committee of the Southern Group of Investment Bankers Association of America. Member, Midwest Stock Exchange, Philadelphia Stock Exchange. Member, Port Royal Plantation Group. Chairman of the Board, St. Andrews School. Edward Marcus Smith, ChE 60, of Baton Rouge, La., on May 9. Georgia Tech football. Engineer, Georgia Pacific. Entrepreneur. Monso "Monty" Pittman Tatum Jr., MS Chem 63, of Deland, Fla., on May 31. Barberville Pioneer Arts Settlement. Black Bear Foundation. Roy V. White, IE 63, of Winter Haven, Fla., on March 1. Navy. Korean War. Engineer.

1970s Ernest “Carl” Baxter, IM 74, of Temple, Ga., on March 29. Chief, Georgia Tech Police Department. William Frederick Byrne, MS IE 72, of Athens, Ala., on Feb. 17. Army (Lt. Col.). Patriot Missile Defense System. Glenn Albert Clonts, Cls 79, of Decatur, Ga., on April 26. Wesley Leroy Hamm, MS OR 74, of Burke, Va., on March 31. Air defense artillery officer. Army (Lt. Col.). Richard Chapman Hays, IM 70, of Norcross, Ga., on May 21. Phi Kappa Theta Fraternity. Owner and operator, Spalding Software. Sons: Rob Hays, CMPE 98, John Hays, Mgt 02. George Edward Johnson Jr., CE 72, of Newnan, Ga., on March 27. Civil engineer, Federal Aviation Association.

Nick Lance, ME 73, of Houston, on May 24. NASA. Ham radio teacher, Clear Creek Independent School District. CCISD Secondary Volunteer of the Year Award, 2011. Member of ARISS team, which organizes ham radio contacts with astronauts aboard the International Space Station. Amateur Radio Relay League’s 2003 Professional Educator of the Year. Winner, New Jersey State Jr. Championship in horseshoe pitching. Gold medals in horseshoe pitching in the 2009, 2011, and 2013 Senior Olympic Games. Texas State Horseshoe Championship in 2013. Wife: Renee Lance, ME 74. Daughter: Erica Lance White, ID 08, IE 10, Son: Nick D. Lance, EE 12.

(Capt.). Civil and environmental engineer, CH2M Hill. Belvia Patrice Brown Payne, AP 85, of Knoxville, Tenn., on Feb. 9. Francis Berchmans Quinn Jr., MS ICS 80, of Galveston, Texas, on May 10. Professor emeritus, Department of Otolaryngology, University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. Air Force flight surgeon. Adjunct professor, information and computer science, Georgia Tech. UTMB Department of Otolaryngology. Chief of the Otolaryngology Service for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice Hospital at Galveston.

J.G. Seinsheimer Jr. and Jessie Lee Seinsheimer Professorship in Otolaryngology. Osler Scholar. Founding member of the UTMB Oslerian Academy. Creator, Dr. Quinn's Online Textbook of Otolaryngology. Licensed professional engineer. Lieutenant, Galveston Sheriff's Department. Advanced peace officer, State of Texas. Extra class amateur radio operator. FCC General radiotelephone operator. FAA certificates and ratings include: Commercial pilot, multi-engine land, flight instructor, flight instructor instrument and senior aviation medical examiner. Member, American Mensa.

T. Michael Lynberg, IE 74, of Flowery Branch, Ga., on May 18. Air Force. Vietnam. Technology sector, Cisco. Cheri Suzon Lightsey Parrott, Chem 76, of Surrency, Ga., on May 19. Husband: Steve Parrott, Chem 72, MS Chem 73, PhD Chem 77.


Ronald David “Ronnie” Wallace, IM 71, of Marietta, Ga., on April 24. Georgia Tech football and baseball. Commercial bank officer. Entrepreneur.

1980s Kyle Blaine Ahlfinger, EE 81, of Irving, Texas, on Jan. 27. David Bruce Bridges, IM 82, of Marietta Ga., on March 25. Alpha Kappa Psi. Contract analyst, GTRI. Grants manager, Cobb County Schools. Owner, DB Business Solutions. Wife: Terry Grumley Bridges, ethics and compliance director, GTRI. Christopher K. Davis, EE 82, MS EE 83, of Malabar, Fla., on April 24. Intersil. Janet Harvey, CE 84, of San Pedro, Calif., on Feb. 10. Transportation engineer. Robert Anthony Killett, ME 84, of Apache Junction, Ariz., on April 19.



ange had a successful career as a consultant at Alvarez and Marsal and in the human resources practice of Dr. Pepper Snapple Group. In 2013, Range earned a master’s degree in systems engineering and an MBA from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she was the recipient of the prestigious Miriam Sherburne award. Loyal to her Georgia Tech roots, Range was a past president of the North Texas Alumni Network. Range ultimately succumbed to a rare and aggressive form of cancer known as Inflammatory Breast Cancer. After her diagnosis, Range became an advocate for IBC research and raised money to find a cure. She chronicled her fight with the disease in a well-read blog,, that also provided support and information to others. At Georgia Tech, Range was a student ambassador and graduated with highest honors. Range was the 2003 valedictorian of Satellite High School in Melbourne, Fla., and voted “Best All Around.” Range was an avid runner and participated in marathons and triathlons. She was known for hosting parties and had a passion for singing. She was an active member of First Baptist Church in Allen, and a previous member of First Baptist Churches in Carrollton and Dallas. She was a caring mother to her sons Noah, 2 ½, and David, 1, and a loving wife to her husband and Georgia Tech classmate Brad Range, ME 07, MS ME 11.

Robert Scott Newman, MS CE 86, of Mount Pleasant, S.C., on April 2. Navy GTALUMNIMAG.COM VOLUME 91 NO.3 2015

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memoriam Richard Victor Zollinger, EE 85, of Spartanburg, S.C., on May 6. President, Otto Zollinger Inc.

Friends Joyce Bennett Caldwell of Columbia, S.C., on May 12. Administrative assistant for Georgia Tech’s Engineering Experiment Station and Dean of the Graduate School. A. James “Jim” Clark, of Vero Beach, Fla., on March 20. President, George Hyman Construction Co. Clark Construction Group.

>> Richard Alter Duke, of Atlanta, on Feb. 19. Assistant director, School of Mathematics, Georgia Tech. Founder, Georgia Tech interdisciplinary doctoral program in algorithms, combinatorics, and optimization (ACO). Historian of mathematics at Georgia Tech. Founder, Richard A. Duke Faculty Endowment. Thelma Gersch, of Atlanta, on Feb. 3. Bureau of Standards. Georgia Tech faculty women's club. Son: Robert Gersch, CE 82. Ray Graves, of Clearwater, Fla., on April 10. Georgia Tech Football, assistant head coach. Jerry T. Herringdine, of Milledgeville, Ga., on April 21. Army.



andon loved children and gave generously to schools, youth centers and colleges to support education and the arts. Landon was the former chairman of American Bankers Insurance Group and sold the business to Fortis Group in 1999. As CEO of American Bankers, Landon created a preschool for employees' children, and the company opened a public school at its corporate campus. Landon provided the same opportunity for quality childcare at his alma mater. A generous donation allowed for the construction of the R. Kirk Landon Learning Center, an early education center for Georgia Tech faculty, staff and students. Landon’s support of higher education was not limited to Georgia Tech. In 2004, Landon donated $5 million to Florida International University, the single-largest individual donation in the school’s history, to create the R. Kirk Landon Undergraduate School of Business. Landon also gave $5 million to the student union at Barry University, where he was a board member, and a $1 million gift to the University of Miami's School of Nursing. In 2011, the Miami Transplant Institute honored him with its Humanitarian Award. The Landon Foundation contributed millions to various organizations in need, and Landon is remembered as a pillar of his south Florida community. In 2011, the Association of Fundraising Professionals awarded him its Lifetime Achievement award. He also served on the board of the Zoological Society of Florida, the Miami City Ballet, Arts for Learning and Chapman Partnership.

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Frank Clinton Murray, of Marietta, Ga., on March 24. Associate director, Institute for Paper Science and Technology. Barbara Wilbur Owens, of Pittsboro, N.C., on Jan. 31. Husband: Jack G. Owens, IE 51. Son: Barry L. Owens, ChE 74. Norman W. "Zeke" Paschall, of Atlanta, on March 3. Railway Supply and Manufacturing Inc. Army Air Corp. Norman W. Paschall Co. Inc. President, Textile Fiber and By-Products Association. President, National Cotton Batting Institute. Joel S. Spira, of Coopersburg, Pa., on April 8. Navy. Inventor of first solid state electronic dimmer. Founder, Lutron Electronics Co. Inc. Ruth and Joel Spira Excellence in Teaching Awards, Georgia Tech. Fellow, Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers. Holder of more than 300 U.S. patents. Founder, Subarashii Kudamono. Kenneth Gordon Taylor, of Savannah, Ga., on May 19. Army Corps of Engineers (Capt.). WWII. J.E. Sirrine Co. Executive vice president, Eastern Engineering Company. President, Simons-Eastern Consultants, Inc. Chairman, Georgia Tech Pulp & Paper Industry Advisory Committee. Chairman, Georgia Tech Foundation Board of Directors. Chairman, Georgia Tech Research Corporation Board of Directors. Kenneth G. Taylor P.E. Scholarship, Georgia Engineering Foundation. Founding secretary, president, DeKalb Chapter of the Georgia Society of Professional Engineers. President, Georgia Society of Professional Engineers. Director, National Society of Professional Engineers. 1988 Georgia Engineering Foundation Medal of Honor for Exemplary Service. Engineer of the Year of Metropolitan Atlanta, Private Practice, Georgia. GSPE Engineer of the Year, Georgia. Son: K. Gordon Taylor Jr., Cls 74. Grandchildren: Emily Taylor Bever, INTA 05, Kenneth G. Taylor III, Mgt 08. Rebekah Candler Ward, of Atlanta, on Feb. 12. Sons: Henderson Crawford Ward Jr., ChE 69, Charles Scott Ward, Arch 78. Grandaughter: Elizabeth Marshall Ward, Arch 09, M Arch 13.



30 West AviAtion, L.L.C. Certified Quality Auditors Business Jet and Airline Safety Audits Conformance, Compliance, Gap Analyses International Standard for Business Aircraft Operations


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The Baldwin Group offers a full range of construction management and scheduling services – from project conception and design through substantial completion and the grand opening. We also provide litigation support and construction claim services.

Plumbing, sewer and drain cleaning service. Repiping and trenchless pipe replacement. Water heater service and leak detection. Available 24/7

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TECHNOLOGY THAT DRIVES BUSINESS You need a technology partner you can trust. Since 1989, Emerald Data Networks has served as that trusted technology partner to businesses throughout the Southeast.

Providing integrated development, manufacturing, on-site sterilization and support services to the healthcare and industrial markets. GRI offers class 100K cleanroom services. GRI is ISO and EN certified, and FDA registered.

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Crisp Manufacturing is a leading producer of replacement parts for machinery used in various areas such as the coal industry. Products include Assemblies, Bushings, Couplings, Gears, Housings, Hubs, Pins, Seals, Sections, Shafts, Sprockets, Units & more.

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Quality Gentlemen’s Clothing. Official Georgia Tech Alumni Association Partner.

A work of art and a legacy that will be used and enjoyed by generations to come.

Software for better hiring Improve hiring efficiency and effectiveness with HireIQ’s multi-media digital interviewing and job fit solutions. Nearly half of HireIQ’s employees are GT alumni. Go Jackets!

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JP Crickets are officially licensed men’s and women’s Italian Suede Georgia Tech Loafers that are perfect for gameday, reunions, alumni events, weddings, tailgates and more!

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Ride Safely with youR dog(S)! Thanks to GA Tech physics, you can bike safely with your dog(s)! The Bike Tow Leash prevents tipping and tangling, making rides enjoyably stress free. No matter your abilities, the dog needs a walk. APA approved safe for bikes, trikes, wheel chairs and mobility scooters. 857-245-3364

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>> Tech Artifact



ď °

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Plans and patents for Professor Carstens' Tubexpress led to a full-scale, working prototype.

Before the Hyperloop Roger Slavens Decades before tech magnate Elon Musk unveiled his idea for the Hyperloop—a high-speed, tubularshaped transportation system driven by air compressors and linear induction motors—Tech civil engineering professor Marion Robert Carstens devised a similar (albeit stunningly more simple) system with the help of his students back in the late 1960s and early 1970s. D u b b e d t h e “ Tu b e x p r e s s ,” Carstens and future engineers enrolled in his CE-320 Fluid Mechanics lab class worked together to design a pipeline that could transport mail, freight and even human beings. Their goal was to build a system that would be safe for travel and secure from theft, moved independently of automotive traffic and was impervious to weather, accommodated most any kind of cargo, had low power requirements, and required minimal maintenance and operating personnel. Here’s how they envisioned Tubexpress working: A column of air would flow through the tube at atmospheric pressure, and rolling cars fitted to the shape of the pipes would be blown forward. With the help of Homer Bates, the school’s mechanical technician, the team built models of the system in the “cavernous bay” of the civil engineering building. Meanwhile, each class would work on solving different aspects of the project.

Time Machine 5 years ago, in 2010, the School of Polymer, Textile and Fiber Engineering merges with the School of Materials Science Engineering. •

Professor Marion Robert Carstens

The Trans-Southern Pipeline Corp. became interested in the Tubexpress and supported the building of a full-scale, experimental installation on empty land in Stockbridge, Ga. This prototype was designed to move 6-foot-long, cargo-carrying gondolas across a few hundred yards of 36-inch steel pipe that wound over hills and back again along the same route. With much testing, Carstens and his students got the Tubexpress prototype working quite well. It took only 12 horsepower to get the gondolas traveling at 15 miles an hour, and the system reportedly could move 540 tons of cargo in 24 hours. Carstens personally tested it out a few times by stuffing himself into a gondola armed with nothing but a flashlight and a hammer in case he got stuck. Carstens and Georgia Tech filed a few U.S. patents on the Tubexpress, but the project didn’t progress much further. Once again, it appears this was another Tech idea that was well ahead of its time.

Have a Tech memory to share? Send mail to Editor, Georgia Tech Alumni Magazine, 190 North Ave. N.W., Atlanta, GA 30313, or contact us by email at

10 years ago, in 2005, the College of Management joins business schools in France and Argentina to offer a Global Executive MBA degree. • 25 years ago, in 1990, beloved Dean of Students George Griffin died at age 93. He earned the nickname "Mr. Georgia Tech" after nearly 70 years with the Institute. • 50 years ago, in 1965, John Gill is elected as the editor of The Technique, becoming the first black student in the newspaper’s history to hold the position. • 100 years ago, in 1915, the Georgia Tech football team has an undefeated season— with the exception of a tie against archrival University of Georgia, in which neither team scores a single point. • 125 years ago, in 1890, students are required to wear a coat and tie between 7 a.m. and 1 p.m. GTALUMNIMAG.COM VOLUME 91 NO.3 2015

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Sci-fi is partly responsible for robotics, the submarine, debit cards and more.

The Importance of Science Fiction

Jason Ellis, STC 06

One of the most profound lessons I

learned at Georgia Tech is how science fiction influences nearly everything we do. When Irving Flint “Bud” Foote introduced the first sci-fi course at Tech in 1971, he did so in part because he recognized it as more than mere entertainment. He saw science fiction as a way of guiding future engineers to find innovative technological solutions and discover new scientific knowledge by relying on their humanity to distinguish themselves and their work. At that time, sci-fi was relegated to a cultural ghetto. However, Professor Foote and his students knew that it was far too important—especially in regard to the work that we do at Georgia Tech— to ignore. They knew that science fiction’s power derived from its ability to inspire wonder, excite the imagination, and illustrate possibilities through stories built 1 0 6


around extrapolated science, technology and future history. Listening to his students and the accounts of scientists and engineers, he knew that sci-fi launched many of their technical pursuits. Observing the world around him, he also knew it had influenced the imaginations of those responsible for modern inventions, including the submarine (Jules Verne), debit cards (Edward Bellamy), nuclear energy (H.G. Wells), robotics (Isaac Asimov) and interplanetary travel (Arthur C. Clarke). In effect, science fiction was a prime catalyst for scientific and technical innovation, because it inspired many to create reality from fiction. If it could do all of this and potentially more, it could enrich the

experiences of future Tech engineers and scientists in significant ways. Sci-fi bridges the invisible gap between science and technology, and the individual and society. The thought experiment at the heart of all science fiction simultaneously asks readers to imagine as yet unknown science or undeveloped technology, and conceptualize how those new sciences and technologies will affect human beings and their social relationships. Sci-fi challenges its readers to rethink the boundaries between disciplines of knowledge and the boundaries between scientific and social domains. Its power to bring together these seemingly separate domains into an entertaining narrative for an audience’s enjoyment and contemplation fulfills an increasingly important aspect of any scientist or engineer’s work—the effect of their work on their fellow human beings. Put another way, science fiction is always—explicitly or implicitly—a commentary on the here-and-now, because it extrapolates an imagined future (or alternate present) from what is currently known. In doing so, sci-fi safely reflects the world’s social triumphs and failures through a veiled narrative. Thus, sci-fi is as much about the people and their social relationships as it is science and technology. Thus, sci-fi encourages its audience to understand their relationship to others, build connections with people unlike themselves and respect the diversity of human experience. Works that exemplify this include James Cameron’s Na’vi-human hybrids in Avatar, William Gibson’s unevenly distributed future in Neuromancer, Ursula K. Le Guin’s diversely peopled worlds in the Hainish Cycle, and Gene Roddenberry’s boundary-breaking, multiethnic cast in Star Trek. It is encouraging to me that Georgia Tech has long recognized the importance of science fiction and continues a strong sci-fi teaching and research program. Science fiction helps develop future engineers’ imaginations, prepares them for recognizing our world’s complexity and expands their respect for others in an increasingly globalized world.

Jason Ellis, STC 06, is an assistant professor of English at the New York City College of Technology, CUNY. He taught composition, technical communication and science fiction as a Marion L. Brittain Postdoctoral Fellow at Georgia Tech from 2012-14.

Joe Ciardiello

BE AN ACTIVE ALUM With over 145,000 alumni, you are part of a powerful network that spans the country and the world. Stay connected to Georgia Tech and involved with your Yellow Jacket family.





Our re-engineered website GTALUMNI.ORG is a place where you can reconnect with fellow Yellow Jackets on social, professional, and intellectual levels like never before. It allows you to search old friends, manage your own information, and join groups of alumni who share your interests.


Be part of the 68-year tradition by contributing to help ensure the present and future greatness of Georgia Tech.


GET INVOLVED WITH ALUMS IN YOUR REGION With over 100 Alumni Network and Affinity Groups, you can easily connect with alumni in your local area.





Post job openings to the alumni job board or participate in our annual Career Fair where we connect 100 Georgia Tech employers with 1,000 Tech graduates.



You understand what it is like to be a Tech Student. Help them maneuver life at Tech and the transition to a career by mentoring a current student.



Did you get married or recently have a baby? Land a new job? Update us on all of the exciting happenings in your life by submitting a note to our Ramblin Roll section of the Alumni magazine.



Thousands of Georgia Tech events are happening all over the globe. From accepted student socials and game watching parties, to the President’s Tour and local network-sponsored events, we have a lot going on for you to stay connected!

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As a member of our network you have access to career services, unique travel opportunities, discounts on everything from gifts to hotel stays to moving services and much more.

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Discounts and savings are available where state laws and regulations allow, and may vary by state. To the extent permitted by law, applicants are individually underwritten; not all applicants Based on Liberty Mutual Insurance Company’s 2013 Customer Satisfaction Survey in which more than 85% of policyholders reported their interaction with Liberty Mutual service may qualify. 2 GTALUMNIMAG.COM representatives to be “among the 2015 best experiences” and “better than average.” 3 Figure reflects average national savings for customers who switched to Liberty Mutual’s group auto and VOLUME 91 NO.3 home program. Based on data collected between 9/1/12 and 8/31/13. Individual premiums and savings will vary. 4 For qualifying customers only. Accident Forgiveness is subject to terms and conditions of Liberty Mutual’s underwriting guidelines. Not available in CA and may vary by state. 5 With the purchase of optional Towing & Labor coverage. Applies to mechanical breakdowns


Georgia Tech Alumni Magazine, Vol. 91, No. 3 2015  

A publication of the Georgia Tech Alumni Association.

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