Georgia Tech Alumni Magazine, Vol. 96 No. 3, Fall 2020

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FALL 2020 VOL.96 NO.3

JASMINE BURTON, ID 14, IS BRINGING INNOVATION TO SANITATION. MEET HER AND 39 OTHERS ON THE LIST.

UN

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INNOVATORS TRENDSETTERS PEOPLE TO WATCH

FUTURE

OF

SPACEFLIGHT

INSIDER’S FRIENDS

AND

GUIDE

TO

32

40

UNDER

MENTORSHIP

PSYCHOLOGICAL

40

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BACKBONE

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“Georgia Tech is a very big part of where I am today and what I have been able to do.” —Roxanne Drago Westendorf, ChE 1981 Born in a small Pennsylvania town, Roxanne Drago Westendorf first learned about Georgia Tech from her uncle. She began her “Georgia Tech journey” in the fall of 1977, graduating four years later with a degree in chemical engineering and a job offer from Procter & Gamble. “I was a principal engineer for 31 years focusing on the consumertechnology interface,” she said. Although based in Cincinnati, Westendorf was “able to work on two joint venture projects with other companies and traveled to many developing countries” as part of her work. Now retired, Westendorf has made a point to give back to Georgia Tech — both in service and philanthropy — for many years. “I have been involved with the local Cincinnati Georgia Tech network since its inception, and I served two years on the Network Leaders Roundtable,” she said. On July 1, 2020, Westendorf began serving on the Georgia Tech Advisory Board. Outside of career interests, Westendorf’s life revolves around family, hobbies, and volunteering. She met her husband of 30 years while bicycle racing. “Rob is a

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first-generation German American, and we are involved with several German cultural and social organizations,” she said. “We also support a local cat rescue and the World Wildlife Fund.” Westendorf pursues several hobbies include homebrewing, cooking, and hiking. “I’m currently on the Board of Directors for the Brewers Association, and I am past chair of the American Homebrewers Governing Committee,” she said. Westendorf’s brother, Michael A. Drago, ChE 1985, followed her to Tech and is employed by Hewlett-Packard in Michigan. In addition to annual gifts benefiting both academics and athletics, Westendorf and her husband have made a bequest and beneficiary designations to Georgia Tech as part of their estate planning. “While my mom is still alive at 88, my dad died shortly after his retirement due to cancer,” she explained. “By planning now, I know that we are in control of our estate. Plus, we wanted to give back to something that has always been important to me.”

Founders’ Council is the honorary society recognizing donors who have made estate or life-income gifts FALL 2020 | GTALUMNI.ORG/MAGAZINE of $25,000 or more for the support of Georgia Tech. For more information, please contact: 404.894.4678 • giftplanning@dev.gatech.edu • plannedgiving.gatech.edu


WE ARE SCHELLER As a Georgia Tech alum, you know that

innovation is what’s needed to solve today’s toughest challenges. At the Scheller College of Business, we are committed to developing the principled, forward-thinking leaders who make technology their vehicle for creating change. With Full-time, Evening, and Executive MBA programs that rank top 10 among public business schools, PhD programs, and Executive Education offerings, we have a learning opportunity for you. So, let your journey take you back to Georgia Tech. We are Scheller – And we think you are too.

GATECHSCHELLER.COM

Anthony D., Double Jacket Director of Strategy & Planning, The Coca-Cola Company Georgia Tech Executive MBA ’13 Georgia Tech BS Earth and Atmospheric Sciences ’01 GTALUMNI.ORG/MAGAZINE | FALL 2020 3 GTALUMNI.ORG/MAGAZINE | FALL 2020

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PUBLISHER’S LETTER

INTRODUCING GEORGIA TECH’S FIRST “40 UNDER 40” CLASS OF ALUMNI

W

WHEN I JOINED our Alumni Association as president last year, a statistic jumped out at me: More than half of our nearly 170,000 alumni have graduated since the year 2000. We started thinking about the many ways these alumni are already contributing to the world around us. And so, working with campus partners, we endeavored to select the first Georgia Tech “40 Under 40” class of alumni. This group of impressive alumni are under the age of 40 and have achieved great success in their fields. All I can say is Wow! As we introduce you to this inaugural class, I think it will remind you of the common—or perhaps uncommon— characteristics that make Georgia Tech alumni unique. One of those traits is our ability to identify problems and offer innovative solutions. We use the problem-solving skills that we learned at Tech to take on any challenge. It’s always been our way. Consider President Lyman Hall back in 1896, who realized the need for student housing and transformed Tech with the construction of Knowles Dormitory. You can see this same spirit when you read about the defining moments from our milestone reunion class chairs on

GEORGIA TECH ALUMNI MAGAZINE VOL. 96 | NO. 3 PRESIDENT & PUBLISHER Dene Sheheane, Mgt 91

VP STRATEGIC COMMUNICATIONS Lindsay Vaughn

EDITOR Jennifer Herseim

DESIGNER Karen Matthes

COPY EDITOR

page 71. Yellow Jackets have never shied away from problems, even when the solution wasn’t immediately apparent. Fast-forward to today and look at alumni on our 40 Under 40 list such as Joy Buolamwini, CS 12, who founded the Algorithmic Justice League to use art and research to raise awareness of the impacts of artificial intelligence. Another trait we recognized is the Tech entrepreneurial spirit. One example is Ryan Graciano, CS 04, who co-founded Credit Karma in 2007 with little more than faith in an idea. Although many startups fail, our alumni understand that setbacks are part of the process of learning. The phrase you’ll often hear in Tech Square is “fail fast.” Finally, the trait that stands out the most to me is our willingness to address global challenges. Moving beyond the pandemic is at the top of everyone’s to-do list. Alumni on our 40 Under 40 list and beyond continue to amaze me with their responses to this pandemic. At Georgia Tech, from the late 1800s to today, we applaud breakthrough innovation and exceptional achievement. Join me as we pause to recognize and celebrate a group of truly incredible Jackets. Go Jackets! DENE SHEHEANE, MG T 91 PRESIDENT GEORGIA TEC H ALUMNI ASSOCIATION

Barbara McIntosh Webb

STUDENT ASSISTANT Manushi Sheth

EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE Chair Jocelyn Stargel, IE 82, MS IE 86 Past Chair/Finance Brent Zelnak, Mgt 94 Chair Elect, Chair of Gold & White, Vice Chair/Roll Call Shan Pesaru, CmpE 05 Vice Chair/Engagement Magd Riad, IE 01 Member at Large Rita Breen, Psy 90, MS IE 92 Member at Large Garrett Langley, EE 09 Member at Large Cathy Hill, EE 84 Member at Large James Stovall, CS 01

BOARD OF TRUSTEES Clint Bailey, TE 97; Archel Bernard, STC 11; Amrit Bhavinani, CM 09; Jeff Bogdan, Mgt 88, MS MoT 98; Jason Byars, ME 96; Alina Capanyola, IE 10; Duane Carver, CmpE 10; Aurelien Cottet, MS AE 03; Andre Dickens, ChE 98; Lizzie Donnelly, IA 08; Jamie Hamilton, Mgt 93; John Hanson, IE 11; Joy Jordan, ChE 92; Jeanne Kerney, CE 84; Mary Beth Lake, ID 04; Juan Michelena, TE 85; Jerald C. Mitchell, MBA 11; Anu Parvatiyar, BME 08; Antai Peng, PhD EE 96; Anna Pinder, ME 03; Debra Porter, ME 86; George Ray, Mgt, PP 09; Amy Rich, MBA 12; Jean Marie Richardson, Mgt 02; Jim Sanders, IE 88; Stacey Sapp, IM 80; Paul Shailendra, CE 01; David Sotto, BME 09, PhD BioE 15; Betty Tong, ME 93, MS ME 95; Kate Tyler, MS CE 09; Jef Wallace, Mgt 94; Kristin Watkins, Mgt 13; Sam Westbrook, IE 99; Stephenie Whitfield, Bio 93; Bruce Wilson, EE 78, MS EE 80; Sheetal Wrzesien, CS 94

ADVERTISING Justin Estes (404) 683-9599 justin.estes@alumni.gatech.edu

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. © 2020 Georgia Tech Alumni Association

POSTMASTER Send address changes to: Georgia Tech Alumni Magazine, 190 North Ave. N.W., Atlanta, GA 30313 or editor@alumni.gatech.edu.

TELEPHONE

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FALL 2020 | GTALUMNI.ORG/MAGAZINE

Georgia Tech Alumni Association (404) 894-2391


BEYOND THE TOILET Georgia Tech launched Jasmine Burton’s career designing toilets such as this one to help communities that lack access to safely managed sanitation.

VOLUME 96 ISSUE 3

Through her organization, Wish for WASH, she seeks and sanitation work.

COVER & TOC PHOTOGRAPHS

BEN ROLLINS

FEATURES

to amplify diverse voices in global development

COVER ILLUSTRATION

NABIL NEZZAR

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40 UNDER 40

Georgia Tech’s impact reaches every industry, every part of the globe, and every aspect of people’s lives through the work of our esteemed alumni. Our first class of 40 Under 40 spans the far reaches of the world, representing a wide range of industries with a diversity of ideas.

GTALUMNI.ORG/MAGAZINE | FALL 2020

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VOLUME 96

DEPARTMENTS

ISSUE 3

6

RAMPED-UP TESTING Several on-campus testing sites opened this fall for students, faculty, and staff to receive free weekly surveillance testing for Covid-19. Processed in labs on campus, the testing relies on sample pooling to analyze more than 1,500 tests daily. Results are available within 48 hours.

PHOTOGRAPH

FALL 2020 | GTALUMNI.ORG/MAGAZINE

GEORGIA TECH RESEARCH INSTITUTE


CONTENTS 10

AROUND CAMPUS Protecting Jackets 12 School of Cybersecurity and Privacy 14 Talk of Tech 16 Research 18

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ON THE FIELD The Grass Looks Greener on the Flats 26 Strafaci Wins U.S. Amateur Championship 28

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IN THE WORLD On the Job 32 Jacket Copy 34

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ALUMNI HOUSE The Insider’s Guide to Mentorship 62 Spotlight: The Year of the Pivot? 68 Alumni Travel Photo Winners 70 Ramblin’ Roll 72 In Memoriam 78

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TECH HISTORY The Scholars of Dellwood Drive 86 Friends and Psychological Backbone 92 Back Page 98 GTALUMNI.ORG/MAGAZINE | FALL 2020

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FEEDBACK

EDITOR’S NOTE T H E E F F E C T S of the pandemic continue to ripple across almost every aspect of our lives. The current edition of the Alumni Magazine is not excluded. We strive to provide you with the most upto-date information in every issue, but we saw this spring that the pandemic can change anything at a moment’s notice, without even a heads-up before we go to press. As you read this issue, please keep

in mind that some details or events may change between the time we put the magazine “to bed” on Sept. 15 and when you receive it in your hands. Note also that all photographs and interviews were conducted at a distance, following social-distancing guidelines. Sincerely, JENNIFER HERSEIM EDITOR, GEORGIA TECH

ALUMNI MAGAZINE

MASKED UP “ I S AW T H I S P I C T U R E in the Summer

2]. It was taken at a Georgia Tech foot-

2020 Georgia Tech Alumni Magazine.

ball game in 1918, sometime very near

[“A Season Interrupted,” Vol. 96, No.

the end of World War I, but during the 1918 influenza pandemic. Except for the guy drinking the Coke, virtually everyone in the picture is wearing a mask. It appears that in 1918, Real Patriots did

INSPIRATIONAL JACKET BARBARA (McNEW) SCHANTZ, HTS 95,

wear masks.” HARVEY HELMAN, IE 70, OF WEST

of Owens Cross Roads, Ala., was in-

COLUMBIA, S.C.

spired by our story of alumna Chaunte Lowe, a four-time Olympian and breast cancer survivor who is training during the pandemic for her fifth Olym-

C O V I D - 19 : O N T H E F R O N T L I N E S

pics. [“The Kind of Grit That Can’t Be

O U R S U M M E R F E AT U R E ”On The Front Lines of a Pandemic,” Vol. 96, No. 2,

Stopped,” Vol. 96, No. 2]. “I have

received lots of feedback, including from alumni and friends who wanted to recog-

twin teenage daughters who I shared

nize Yellow Jackets who are working on the front lines or behind the scenes during

this with, proud of Chaunte for being a

the pandemic. Here are a few of those stories:

strong female athlete and a graduate of Georgia Tech. We’ll be watching for

MICHAEL GREENBERG, E E 0 1 , is an emergency

C R AY N O A H , B M E 1 7 , has

This spring, P A T R I C K

her at the rescheduled Tokyo Olympic

organized a project

C O S S A R T , B A 1 3 , helped

games,” Schantz writes.

medicine physician and

at Harvard University

Piedmont Healthcare

assistant medical direc-

that crowdsources na-

rapidly expand tele-

tor at the University of

tionwide data on local

medicine services so

Miami Hospital emer-

policies that have been

that patients could con-

gency room. He has

established to com-

tinue to receive services

been battling Covid-19

bat the spread of the

safely from a distance.

as a frontline physician.

coronavirus.

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FALL 2020 | GTALUMNI.ORG/MAGAZINE

KNOW OF AN ALUM WHO IS PUTTING HIS OR HER PROBLEMSOLVING SKILLS TO WORK TO ADDRESS THE PANDEMIC? Email: editor@alumni.gatech.edu


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VOLUME 96

AROUND CAMPUS

ISSUE 3

10

PHOTOGRAPH

FALL 2020 | GTALUMNI.ORG/MAGAZINE

CHRISTOPHER MOORE


WELCOME BACK The fall semester started Aug. 17 with a record number of new incoming students. Classes resumed online, in person, or in a hybrid format. Approximately 6,200 students are living on campus in residence halls that have been reconfigured to allow for social distancing.

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PROTECTING JACKETS

14

SCHOOL OF CYBERSECURITY AND PRIVACY

16

TALK OF TECH

18

TECH RESEARCH

GTALUMNI.ORG/MAGAZINE | FALL 2020

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AROUND CAMPUS

PROTECTING JACKETS

STUDENTS RETURN TO ENHANCED HEALTH MEASURES

BY JENNIFER HERSEIM

THE FIRST DAY OF CLASSES BEGAN AUG. 17 and kicked off the start of a school year that looked like no other in Tech’s history. In March, the Institute moved to suspend in-person classes and shift to distance learning to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Seemingly overnight, Georgia Tech faculty and researchers transformed in-person labs and classes to a remote learning format that continued for the remainder of the spring and summer semesters. This spring, Georgia Tech President Ángel Cabrera, MS Psy 93, PhD Psy 95, convened a task force to monitor the situation and determine a path forward for a safe return to in-person instruction.

Pres. Ángel Cabrera (top) helps students during the first weekend of move-in. Students and their families received specific timeframes for moving in to allow for social distancing.

Students, faculty, and staff returned to campus with increased health and safety measures, including

NEW MEASURES TO KEEP YELLOW JACKETS SAFE CLASS STRUCTURES This fall, classes resumed in one of three formats: in person with physical distancing measures, remote learning, or a hybrid of remote learning with some in-person activities. The fall schedule has been adjusted to allow students to finish material before Thanksgiving break and then take final assessments before commencement in early December. SOCIAL DISTANCING, HANDWASHING, AND FACE COVERINGS Residence halls, classrooms, labs, and office spaces have been reconfigured 12

FALL 2020 | GTALUMNI.ORG/MAGAZINE

to allow for more social distancing. Dining halls are providing meals to go and grab-and-go options. Face coverings are required in all classrooms. All faculty, staff, and students must wear a face covering while inside campus buildings, where keeping 6 feet of distance may not always be possible. The Institute has also made isolation housing available for any student who tests positive for Covid-19 so that they can quarantine for 14 days. TESTING AND CONTACT TRACING Georgia Tech has launched a two-part,

enhanced cleaning protocols as well as spaces reconfigured to accommodate social-distancing guidelines.

campus-based coronavirus testing program. Students who are symptomatic may receive free diagnostic testing by appointment at the Stamps Health Center. All students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to participate in free weekly surveillance testing at walk-up testing sites around campus. The sites have the capacity to test more than 1,500 people daily. In addition to testing, the Institute has encouraged all students, faculty, and staff to use NOVID, an exposure notification app that assists with contact tracing.


R E S P O N D I N G T O C O V I D - 19 MARCH 2

M A R C H 16

MARCH 30

Georgia Tech convenes a

The University System of Geor-

Georgia Tech begins distance

coronavirus task force to lead

gia moves all 26 institutions

learning for the remainder of

the preparation and coordina-

to online instruction for the re-

the spring semester. Remote

tion of the Institute’s response.

mainder of the semester.

International travel plans are

instruction continues through May and summer semesters.

cancelled.

APRIL 21

MAY 1

A U G U S T 17

Georgia Tech’s president ap-

Georgia Tech recognizes

Classes resume for the fall

points a Recovery Task Force

Spring 2020 graduates with

semester.

to guide and oversee planning

an online celebration. An

for the eventual resumption of

in-person celebration will take

in-person Institute operations.

place later.

GTALUMNI.ORG/MAGAZINE | FALL 2020

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AROUND CAMPUS

GEORGIA TECH L AUNCHES SCHOOL OF CYBERSECURITY AND PRIVACY

GEORGIA TECH, which has been named No. 1 in undergraduate cybersecurity education by U.S. News and World Report, is building upon its success by launching a new School of Cybersecurity and Privacy. The school is the first of its kind among top research universities. The school will build on Georgia Tech’s considerable investments in cybersecurity, privacy education, and research. The Institute already has three cybersecurity degree programs. The school will weave them together with other important interdisciplinary programs. “The new School of Cybersecurity and Privacy is a reflection of Georgia Tech’s strengths and commitment to serving the needs of our society and our state,” says Georgia Tech President Ángel Cabrera, MS Psy 93, PhD Psy 95. “Georgia Tech’s new School of Cybersecurity and Privacy will focus on applied research collaborations with the fast-growing cybersecurity industry in Georgia and meeting 14

FALL 2020 | GTALUMNI.ORG/MAGAZINE

BY ANN CL AYCOMBE

a critical workforce need,” Cabrera says. “It will bring together Georgia Tech’s expertise across disciplines to advance technology and find new solutions to protect our personal privacy and support our national security.” There are more than 500 cybersecurity researchers spread across Georgia Tech who bring in more than $180 million in research awards annually. The Institute’s faculty is ranked #2 in the world in publications in top security conferences. The new school will be intercollegiate and interdisciplinary because cybersecurity and privacy problems typically play out across multiple dimensions. “Cybersecurity includes not only technology but the law, business processes, and cultural considerations,” says Charles Isbell, dean and John P. Imlay, Jr. Chair of the College of Computing. “The School of Cybersecurity and Privacy will bring together thought leaders from all of those areas to push the envelope of technical innovation and produce the workforce of the future.” To that end, the school will bring in not only computer scientists and engineers, but business experts and behaviorists. “Solving tomorrow’s toughest cybersecurity problems will require not only a thorough understanding of the technologies and threats involved. It also will require deep expertise in behavioral and policy considerations that must increasingly inform the development and use of new cybersecurity approaches and technologies,” says Kaye Husbands Fealing, dean and Ivan Allen Jr. Chair of the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts. The solutions and the workforce produced by the new school will not only benefit business, but also protect every aspect of our online lives and our national infrastructure. “Cybersecurity is not just a personal issue—our credit


cards or identities quickly come to mind—but it has an even larger impact on national security, financial markets, even power grids,” Steve McLaughlin, dean of Georgia Tech’s College of Engineering says. “That is why the new School of Cybersecurity and Privacy is so important at this time. Cybersecurity, privacy, and related policies dominate the priorities of many organizations and the need for advanced research and talent is outpacing supply. Georgia Tech is already a leader in this area. The new school will take us to even greater heights and impact.” The creation of the school has been welcomed by industry leaders in

cybersecurity and privacy, both in Atlanta and nationwide. Atlanta in particular is a center of financial technology, an area that goes hand-in-hand with cybersecurity. “Financial technology companies leverage technology and data to fuel innovation, which makes cybersecurity and privacy vital to their success,” says Ryan Graciano, CS 04, co-founder and chief technology officer of Credit Karma and one of Georgia Tech’s 40 Under 40 class of alumni this year. “This means not only staying on the cutting-edge technologically, but also building systems that work with multiple sets of privacy regulations in different jurisdictions. The School of

Cybersecurity [and Privacy] will be an essential resource for fintech companies in Atlanta and worldwide,” Graciano says. The School of Cybersecurity and Privacy will be led by interim chair Rich DeMillo, PhD ICS 72, the Charlotte B. and Warren C. Chair of Computer Science and Professor of Management. DeMillo has previously served as the founder and executive director of Georgia Tech’s Center for 21st Century Universities, and as the dean of the College of Computing. The new school will launch a nationwide search this fall for multiple faculty members and for its founding chair.


TALK OF TECH

LEADING INNOVATION ACROSS GEORGIA IN FOUR NEW SMART CITIES

GEORGIA TECH’S GEORGIA SMART COMMUNITIES CHALLENGE ANNOUNCES FOUR WINNING COMMUNITIES.

THE GEORGIA SMART COMMUNITIES C H A L L E N G E (Georgia Smart) is an award-winning program that empowers local governments with the technical and financial assistance to envision a smarter future and take

steps toward building that future now. The winners of this year’s Georgia Smart challenge are Clayton County, and the cities of Sandy Springs, Savannah, and Valdosta. Each community will receive grant funding to develop pilot projects, technical assistance from a Georgia Tech research team, access to a network of peer governments to share best practices, and access to a local, national, and

international network of experts for advice on piloting a smart community. “As an institution of Georgia, Georgia Tech is foremost committed to making our state better,” said Georgia Tech President Ángel Cabrera, MS Psy 93, PhD Psy 95, in the announcement. “We’re very excited about Georgia Smart’s third class of winners, who will be able to use our pre-eminent research and technology to improve lives, livelihoods, safety, and equity—no matter their community’s size, population, demographics, or income level.”

2020 SMART COMMUNIT Y PROJECTS

S M A R T P E D E S T R I A N P L A N N I N G , C L AY T O N CO U N T Y This project will promote mobility and equity, and identify smart technologies to support walkability throughout the community. The plan calls for engagement with high school students for data collection tasks and use of Georgia Tech’s semi-automated Geographic Information System collection process to gather sidewalk data. Georgia Tech researchers involved in this project include Randall Guensler of the College of Engineering, and Arthi Rao and Catherine Ross of the College of Design. Partner organizations include the cities of Lake City and Morrow, as well as the Rotary Club of Lake Spivey/Clayton County.

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STREAMLINING SUBURBAN T R A N S I T, S A N DY S P R I N G S THIS PROJECT WILL DEVELOP a pilot transit signal priority system for the MARTA bus service through the use of an application programming interface, with the goal of reducing transit time for riders. Georgia Tech researchers Michael Hunter and Kari Watkins of the College of Engineering will partner with this project team.

CIVIC DATA SCIENCE FOR E Q U I TA B L E D E V E L O P M E N T, SAVANNAH

The transit signal priority system will be tested along a MARTA route in congested areas in Sandy Springs and the City of Dunwoody.

TRAFFIC MONITORING AND COMMUNIC ATION SYSTEM, VALDOSTA

Savannah plans to build new decision-making

This project includes

tools using a city data hub and analytics plat-

development of a smart

form for programmatic outcomes for vacant and

traffic management sys-

blighted properties. The project will build on work

tem that will connect

started through the 2018 Georgia Smart Albany

all 128 traffic signals in

project. Georgia Tech researchers Clio Andris of

Valdosta for increased

the College of Design and Omar Isaac Asensio

safety and efficiency.

of the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts will as-

Georgia Tech research-

sist with the project. Approximately 4,286 vacant

er Baabak Ashuri of the

dwellings exist in Savannah. These abandoned

College of Engineer-

buildings cost taxpayers millions of dollars an-

ing will lead the research activities. Part of the

nually as a result of the city

implementation of the project includes installing

incurring costs to address

emergency vehicle signal pre-emption, which will

issues such as overgrown

allow fire trucks and other emergency vehicles to

grass, illegal dumping, and

receive green lights upon approaching an inter-

securing open structures.

section, thereby reducing response times.

GEORGIA TECH TO LEAD STATE COALITION TO ADVANCE INCLUSIVE INNOVATION AS ANNOUNCED BY LT. GOV. GEOFF DUN-

evolution across Georgia.

continue as board chair.

CAN ON AUG. 17, Georgia Tech will take a

The organization follows the founda-

Debra Lam, current managing director

lead role in the Partnership for Inclusive In-

tional work of the Georgia Innovates Task

of Smart Cities and Inclusive Innovation at

novation, a first of its kind public-private

Force led by G.P. “Bud” Peterson, presi-

Georgia Tech, has been named executive

partnership created to foster technology

dent emeritus of Georgia Tech, and former

director of the Partnership for Inclusive In-

access, growth, entrepreneurship, and

U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson. Peterson will

novation.—SUSIE IVY

GTALUMNI.ORG/MAGAZINE | FALL 2020

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TECH RESEARCH ROBOTICS

THE CURIOUS CASE OF THE SLINGSHOT SPIDER

HOW DOES A SPIDER WITHSTAND 130 G s TO LAUNCH ITSELF AND ITS WEB AT ITS PREY? THE ANSWER COULD GIVE THE DESIGN OF TINY ROBOTS A MAJOR BOOST. BY JOHN TOON

Slingshot spiders build three-dimensional conical webs with a tension line attached to the center. The Peruvian slingshot spider, which is about 1 millimeter in length, pulls the tension line with its front legs to stretch the structure while holding onto the web with its rear legs. When it senses a meal within range, the spider launches the web and itself toward a fly or mosquito.

BASELINE 18

95%

FALL 2020 | GTALUMNI.ORG/MAGAZINE

PPE REQUIRED ON GT CAMPUS, INCLUDING LABS, THAT WILL BE SUPPLIED BY A NEW AUTOMATED CENTRALIZED SYSTEM DEVELOPED BY GT RESEARCHERS.

20

LAWRENCE E. REEVES

the

“Unlike frogs, crickets, or grasshoppers, the slingshot spider is not relying on its muscles to jump really quickly,” says Saad Bhamla, an assistant professor in Georgia Tech’s School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering who studies ultrafast organisms. “When it weaves a new web every night, the spider creates a complex, three-dimensional spring. If you compare this natural silk spring to carbon nanotubes or other human-made materials in terms of power density or energy density, it is orders of magnitude more powerful.” The study, supported by the National Science Foundation and National Geographic Society Foundation, was published Aug. 17 in the

PHOTOGRAPH

RUNNING INTO AN UNSEEN SPIDERWEB in the woods can be scary enough, but what if you had to worry about a spiderweb—and the spider—being catapulted at you? That’s what happens to insects in the Amazon rainforests of Peru, where a tiny slingshot spider launches itself and its web to catch unsuspecting flies and mosquitoes. Researchers at Georgia Tech have produced what may be the first kinematic study of how this amazing

arachnid stores enough energy to produce acceleration of 1,300 meters/ second2—100 times the acceleration of a cheetah. That acceleration produces velocities of 4 meters per second and subjects the spider to forces of approximately 130 Gs, more than 10 times what fighter pilots can withstand without blacking out. The Peruvian spider and its cousins stand out among arachnids for their ability to make external tools— in this case, their webs—and use them as springs to create ultrafast motion. Their ability to hold a ready-to-launch spring for hours while waiting for an approaching mosquito suggests yet another amazing tool: a latch mechanism to release the spring.

YELLOW JACKETS WHO HAVE SCORED 1,000 POINTS IN THEIR BASKETBALL CAREERS.


ROBOTICS

B O TA N I C A L GARDEN WELCOMES TECH’S SLOTHBOT

PHOTOGRAPH

GEOFF GALLICE

Assistant Professor Saad Bhamla, postdoctoral researcher Symone Alexander, and Jaime Navarro, a Peruvian field guide, adjust an ultrafast camera in preparation for studying slingshot spiders.

journal Current Biology. Understanding how web silk stores energy could potentially provide new sources of power for tiny robots and other devices, and lead to new applications for the robust material, the researchers say. Bhamla has an interest in fastmoving but small organisms, so he and Symone Alexander, a postdoctoral researcher in his lab, arranged a trip to the Tambopata Research Center to study the catapulting creature using ultrafast cameras to measure and record the movement. “We wanted to understand these ultrafast movements because they can force our perspective to change from thinking about cheetahs and falcons as the only fast animals,” Bhamla says. “There are many very small invertebrates that can achieve fast movement through unusual structures. We really wanted to understand how these spiders achieve that amazing acceleration.” The researchers wondered how the spider patiently holds the web while waiting for food to fly by. They

3rd

estimated that stretching the web requires at least 200 dynes, a tremendous amount of energy for a tiny spider to generate. “We think the spider must be using some kind of trick to lock its muscles like a latch, so it doesn’t need to consume energy while waiting for hours,” Bhamla says. Beyond curiosity, why travel to Peru to study the creature? “The slingshot spider offers an example of active hunting instead of the passive, ‘wait for an insect to collide into the web’ strategy, revealing a further new functionality of spider silk,” Bhamla said. “Before this, we hadn’t thought about using silk as a really powerful spring.”

VISITORS TO THE ATLANTA BOTANIC A L G A R D E N will be able to observe a new high-tech tool in the battle to save some of the world’s most endangered species. SlothBot, a slow-moving and energy-efficient robot that can linger in the trees to monitor animals, plants, and the environment, will be tested near the Garden’s popular Canopy Walk. Built by robotics engineers at Georgia Tech to take advantage of the low-energy lifestyle of real sloths, SlothBot demonstrates how being slow can be ideal for certain applications. “SlothBot embraces slowness as a design principle,” says Magnus

This research was supported by the Na-

Egerstedt, professor and Steve W.

tional Science Foundation (NSF) through

Chaddick School Chair in the Georgia

award 1817334 and CAREER 1941933,

Tech School of Electrical and Comput-

by the National Geographic Foundation

er Engineering. “That’s not how robots

through NGS-57996R-19, and by the Eck-

are typically designed today, but be-

ert Postdoctoral Research Fellowship from

ing slow and hyper-energy-efficient

the Georgia Tech School of Chemical and

will allow SlothBot to linger in the envi-

Biomolecular Engineering. Any opinions,

ronment to observe things we can only

findings, and conclusions or recommenda-

see by being present continuously for

tions expressed in this material are those of

months, or even years.” The robot is programmed to move

the authors and do not necessarily reflect the

only when necessary.—JOHN TOON

views of the funding organizations.

THE SCHELLER COLLEGE OF BUSINESS FULL-TIME MBA PROGRAM RANKING AMONG PUBLIC INSTITUTIONS IN A LIST OF THE TOP SCHOOLS FOR PERCENTAGE OF CONSULTING INDUSTRY HIRES.

4x6

FEET: SIZE OF THE LAB MACHINE “SUPERNOVA” DEVELOPED BY RESEARCHERS AT TECH TO MIMIC THE SPLENDID AFTERMATH OF A COSMIC BLAST.

GTALUMNI.ORG/MAGAZINE | FALL 2020

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TECH RESEARCH ROBOTICS

IT’S A GOOD THING ROBOTS DON’T HAVE FEELINGS TWO GEORGIA TECH STUDIES DISCOVER THAT PEOPLE THINK ROBOTS ARE INCOMPETENT AND NOT FUNNY.

BY BEN BRUMFIELD

BASELINE 20

7,000

FALL 2020 | GTALUMNI.ORG/MAGAZINE

GALLONS OF HAND SANITIZER DEVELOPED BY TECH PROFESSORS AND DONATED TO MEDICAL FACILITIES ACROSS THE COUNTRY.

2

ROB FELT

the

principal investigator in both studies. Howard is a professor in and the chair of Georgia Tech’s School of Interactive Computing. Although robots are not sentient, as people increasingly interface with them, we begin to humanize the machines. Howard studies what goes right as we integrate robots into society and what goes wrong, and much of both has to do with how the humans feel around robots. Humanoid robots introduced themselves via video to randomly

PHOTOGRAPH

DANG ROBOTS are crummy at so many jobs, and they tell lousy jokes to boot. In two new studies, these were common biases human participants held toward robots. The studies were originally intended to test for gender bias—that is, if people thought a robot believed to be female may be less competent at some jobs than a robot believed to be male and vice versa. Researchers at Georgia Tech discovered no significant sexism against the machines, which surprised Ayanna Howard, the

recruited online survey respondents. In questionnaires, the humans ranked robots’ career competencies compared to human abilities, only trusting the machines to competently perform a handful of simple jobs. “The results baffled us because the things that people thought robots were less able to do were things that they do well. One was the profession of surgeon. There are Da Vinci robots that are pervasive in surgical suites, but respondents didn’t think robots were competent enough,” Howard says. “Security guard—people didn’t think robots were competent at that, and there are companies that specialize in great robot security.” Cumulatively, the participants across the two studies thought robots would also fail as nannies, therapists, nurses, and firefighters, and totally bomb as comedians. But they felt confident that bots would make fantastic package deliverers and receptionists, pretty good servers, and solid tour guides.

NEW LANGUAGES, HEBREW AND SWAHILI, OFFERED AT TECH’S SCHOOL OF MODERN LANGUAGES.


C O V I D - 19 R E S E A R C H

RESEARCH

W H A T C H A N C E D O YO U H A V E O F E N C O U N T E R I N G C O V I D - 19 ? Georgia Tech graduate research assistants Kirstie Thompson and Ronita Mathias with a sample of the new membrane material. ENERGY

MEMBRANE T E C H N O L O GY C O U L D CUT EMISSIONS AND E N E R GY U S E N E W M E M B R A N E T E C H N O L O G Y developed by a team of researchers from

A NEW TOOL developed by research-

of encountering at least one person

Georgia Tech, Imperial College Lon-

ers at Georgia Tech can estimate

infected with the coronavirus at a

don, and ExxonMobil could help

the likelihood of being exposed to a

50-person event in Fulton County, Ga.,

reduce carbon emissions and energy

Covid-19 positive individual at differ-

was 84%.

intensity associated with refining crude

ent size events and locations. The tool,

The portal is a collaborative project

oil. Laboratory testing suggests that this

named the “COVID-19 Event Risk As-

led by Tech professors Joshua Weitz

polymer membrane technology could

sessment Planning Tool,” estimates the

and Clio Andris, along with researchers

replace some conventional heat-based

risk level of encountering at least one

at the Applied Bioinformatics Labora-

distillation processes in the future.

positive person at an event, given the

tory and Stanford University. The tool

event size and location.

is available at https://covid19risk.

Fractionation of crude oil mixtures using heat-based distillation is a large-

For instance, on Aug. 18, the chance

biosci.gatech.edu/.

scale, energy-intensive process that accounts for nearly 1% of the world’s energy use, which is equivalent to the total energy consumed by the state of New York in a year. By substituting

PHOTOGRAPH

CHRISTOPHER MOORE

the low-energy membranes for cer-

RESEARCH

I M PA C T O N C H I L D W E L FA R E , DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

tain steps in the distillation process, the

T H E P A N D E M I C forced schools and

new technology might one day allow

businesses to shut down, left millions

Assistant Professor Lindsey Bullinger.

implementation of a hybrid refining

out of work, and cooped up many

Understanding t he still-unclear

system that could help reduce carbon

families inside for months on end. It

linkages between stay-at-home orders

emissions and energy consumption

is a combination that has led to an in-

and violence and abuse in the home is

significantly, compared to traditional

crease in child abuse and neglect

crucially important to give policymak-

refining processes. Additional research

and domestic violence—often in fami-

ers better tools to navigate the coming

will be needed to advance this technol-

lies with no history of such problems,

months of the pandemic, Bullinger says.

ogy to industrial scale.—JOHN TOON

according to School of Public Policy

—MICHAEL PEARSON

60%

INCREASE IN RECYCLING RATES PROJECTED AT TECH DUE TO THE AWARE PROGRAM (ACTIVELY WORKING TO ACHIEVE RESOURCE EFFICIENCY).

128

TRAFFIC SIGNALS IN VALDOSTA, GA., TO BE EQUIPPED WITH SMART TECHNOLOGY THROUGH GEORGIA TECH’S GEORGIA SMART COMMUNITIES CHALLENGE.

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C O V I D - 19 R E S E A R C H DATA

M A K I N G S E N S E O F C O V I D - 19 DA TA MEDICAL

P O R TA B L E U V DISINFECTION CHAMBERS COULD HELP ADDRESS PPE S H O R TA G E PORTABLE DISINFECTION CHAMBERS that use ultraviolet (UV) light to inactivate virus particles could allow emergency medical technicians, police officers, healthcare workers, pharmacy

E V E N T H E C E N T E R S F O R D I S E AS E C O N TROL AND PREVENTION can get bogged

While most of the dashboards are

technicians, and others to quickly disin-

used internally by the agency, one

fect their personal protective equipment

down in all the coronavirus-related

public-facing dashboard provides

(PPE) as they need it.

data generated during the pandemic.

information visually to the public about

Researchers at the Georgia Tech Re-

human mobility and Covid-19 transmis-

search Institute (GTRI) have built two

sion in a local area.

prototype chambers to evaluate PPE

Researchers from the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) have developed new internal and pub-

GTRI is continuing to provide data

disinfection using different sources of

lic dashboards to help the CDC sort

dashboards for the CDC based on the

UV-C light: mercury vapor lamps and

through the mound of Covid-19 data.

agency’s needs.

light-emitting diodes (LEDs). They used the prototypes to evaluate different power levels and disinfection times with a variety of face shields and face masks

BUSINESS

used to protect workers.

SCHELLER COLLEGE STUDENTS HELP TECH C O M PA N I E S F I G H T C O V I D - 19

“There are tradeoffs in terms of cost, lifetime, and potential heat generated,” says T. Robert Harris, a GTRI research engineer. “We wanted to evaluate these issues so that when others use

T H I S S U M M E R , the Georgia Tech

UV-C for disinfecting PPE, they will have

Scheller College of Business and TI:GER

information to make good choices.”

(Technology Innovation: Generating

in the Scheller College, which helped

The goal was to provide disinfection

Economic Results) program offered a

organize the practicum and coach and

chambers as small as possible to allow

first-of-its-kind practicum where students

mentor TI:GER students.

portability. The chambers were built

had the opportunity to work direct-

Students worked with companies de-

to accommodate face masks and at

ly with tech companies offering public

veloping tools to fight the coronavirus,

least one face shield. This method also

health and economic recovery solutions

such as a five-minute Covid-19 test ex-

doesn’t require drying time or risk of

in response to the Covid-19 pandem-

pected to enter the market between

chemical absorption. Disinfection takes

ic. The Global Technology Innovation

late 2020 and early 2021 and a trans-

about eight minutes, depending on the

Practicum partnered with the Creative

dermal patch that could help deliver a

intensity of UV emissions, which vary by

Destruction Lab-Atlanta (CDL), situated

potential vaccine through the skin.

the lighting source.—JOHN TOON

22

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AROUND CAMPUS

GEORGIA TECH RANKS TOP 10 AMONG PUBLIC UNIVERSITIES

THE LATEST RANKINGS SHOW GEORGIA TECH CONTINUES TO HOLD STRONG AS ONE OF THE NATION’S BEST UNIVERSITIES. BY JENNIFER HERSEIM G E O R G I A T E C H continues to be one of the best public universities in the country. Rankings released Sept. 14 from the annual U.S. News & World Report list Georgia Tech at No. 8 among public universities, tied with the University of California-Irvine and the University of California-San Diego. The Institute ranks No. 35 among all national universities, holding that spot with three other schools. Undergraduate computer science is a new category that was added to the national rankings this year. Tech’s computer science program ranks No. 5, tied with five other schools. Georgia Tech’s Scheller College of Business undergraduate program climbed three spots this year to No. 19, with Quantitative Analysis and Business Analytics clinching the No. 1 spot for business specialties among public universities, and the No. 4 and No. 3 spots, respectively, among national universities. All of Georgia Tech’s engineering programs continue to be among the best in the country, consistently ranking in the top 10. The Institute led the engineering specialty rankings with six specialties at No. 1 among public universities: mechanical, industrial/ manufacturing, civil, chemical, biomedical/biomedical engineering, and

GEORGIA TECH EXPERIENCES RECORD ENROLLMENT FOR INCOMING CLASS Georgia Tech enrolled a record number of first-year, transfer, and dual–enrollment students this summer and fall, even as universities across the country saw enrollment drop as a result of the pandemic.

aerospace. Georgia Tech maintained a No. 2 spot among public universities and No. 5 among all national universities for computer engineering. In the cybersecurity category, Georgia Tech ranks No. 1 among public universities and national universities. In software engineering, the Institute ranks No. 1 among public universities and No. 2 among national. In other categories, Georgia Tech maintained high standings including ranking No. 4 again this year in the category of Most Innovative among national universities. In other categories, Tech ranks No. 115 for the Best Value and No. 15 for the Best Colleges for Veterans.

TOTAL INCOMING STUDENTS:

4,150 FIRST-YEAR STUDENTS:

3,250 TRANSFER STUDENTS:

900 DUAL–ENROLLMENT STUDENTS:

600 RANK IN HIGH SCHOOL CLASS:

30% valedictorians or salutatorians 88% top 10% of graduating class 96% top 20% of graduating class NUMBER OF STATES REPRESENTED IN I N C O M I N G C L A S S : 49 (Alaska, we’re looking at you.)

GTALUMNI.ORG/MAGAZINE | FALL 2020

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VOLUME 96

ON THE FIELD

ISSUE 3

BACK AT IT Junior Breland Morrissette, a middle blocker on the Georgia Tech Women’s Volleyball team, times a jump during drills this summer. Athletic training has resumed in stages after sporting events were cancelled this spring due to the pandemic. Student-athletes and coaches are following guidance from local and federal health agencies.

PHOTOGRAPH

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ANTHONY McCLELLAN, CLASS OF 2021


26

THE GRASS LOOKS GREENER ON THE FLATS

28

STRAFACI WINS U.S. AMATEUR

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ON THE FIELD

THE GRASS LOOKS GREENER ON THE FL ATS GEORGIA TECH ATHLETICS COMPLETED INSTALLATION OF ARTIFICIAL TURF ON HISTORIC GRANT FIELD.

W 26

BY JENNIFER HERSEIM W H E T H E R it w a s t h e b r u nt o f a 2 3 0 - l b. football player slamming into the ground during a tackle or the thousands of steps from new graduates during Ramblin’ On— the natural grass on historic Grant Field weathered it all. But even so, a natural

FALL 2020 | GTALUMNI.ORG/MAGAZINE

surface requires time to rest and recuperate. This summer, Georgia Tech Athletics replaced the natural surface on Grant Field with an artificial one. The new surface is a state-of-the-art Legion NXT turf system with Geofill infill, manufactured by Shaw Sports Turf out of Calhoun, Ga. Installation began in late May and was completed by late July. The new surface will allow Grant

Field to be used 365 days a year, not only for sports events but for a wider range of campus activities. Georgia Tech Athletics also anticipates a reduction in costs for maintaining an artificial field compared with the costs of maintaining the previous natural grass surface. “While our outstanding grounds crew has consistently produced the nation’s best natural grass football field, Shaw Sports Turf ’s Legion NXT turf


This is not the first time that Grant Field has had an artificial surface. The field used an artificial surface for 24 seasons from 1971 to 1994, which included a fourth national championship in 1990.

With the return of an artificial surface to Grant Field, Bobby Dodd Stadium can accommodate sporting events and other campus functions 365 days a year.

system will provide our student-athletes with the safest, most consistent playing surface available today,” says Athletic Director Todd Stansbury, IM 84. “The switch to an artificial field will allow Bobby Dodd Stadium to continue as one of college football’s best stadiums, as well as become a space that the entire campus community can enjoy more often and evolve into one of the Southeastern United States’ premier entertainment venues.”

The Legion NXT turf system is built for strength and endurance.

The Geofill infill is 100-percent natural, made of coconut husks and fibers, which is a rapidly renewable resource. The system also requires much less water than a natural surface.

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ATHLETIC SHORTS S T R A FA C I W I N S U . S . A M A T E U R C H A M P I O N S H I P E I G H T Y - F I V E Y E A R S after Frank Stra-

Southern Methodist University rising ju-

faci Sr. won the 1935 U.S. Amateur

nior Charles “Ollie” Osborne, 20, of

Public Links, his grandson, Tyler Stra-

Reno, Nev., 1 up, in the 36-hole cham-

faci, 22, of Davie, Fla., captured the

pionship match.

U.S. Amateur Championship in dra-

It was Strafaci’s fourth consecu-

matic fashion at Bandon Dunes Golf

tive match to be decided on the final

Resort. The Georgia Tech senior rallied

hole. This time, he laced a 4-iron from

from an early 5-down deficit to defeat

245 yards to 25 feet to set up a twoputt birdie, the 25th of the match

BACK-TO-BACK CHAMPIONS Georgia Tech became the first school to have teammates win the U.S. Amateur Championship in back-to-back years. Strafaci’s roommate, Andy Ogletree, won the championship in 2019. The two teammates join Matt Kuchar, Mgt 00, and Bobby Jones, ME 1922, for a total of four Yellow Jackets in Tech’s history to claim the title.

between the two finalists. When Osborne, who pushed his 5-iron second from 212 yards to the right of the green, failed to convert his birdie from 18 feet, the match was over. —GEORGIA TECH ATHLETICS

FAN SAFETY MEASURES A S O F P R E S S T I M E , G E O R G I A T E C H F O O T B A L L I S E X P E C T E D T O P L AY 10 C O N F E R E N C E G A M E S A N D ONE NON-CONFERENCE CONTES T, WITH SIX HOME GAMES. GEORGIA TECH ATHLETICS RELEASED S AFET Y PROTOCOLS TO PROTECT FANS DURING FOOTBALL GAMES AT BOBBY DODD STADIUM THIS SEASON, INCLUDING: Attendance will be limited to 20% of the stadium’s full capacity, or approximately 11,000 fans, to allow for social distancing. Individuals are required to wear a face covering while within the stadium perimeter. Face coverings may be removed when an individual is eating or drinking in their assigned seat or club area. All ticketing and parking will be contactless. Tickets and parking passes will be delivered electronically to the ticket holder’s mobile device. Ticket priority will be distributed based on 2020 season ticket members, then Stinger Mobile Pass holders, and if tickets remain, single-game tickets will be made available to the general public. All tickets will have a designated entrance gate to allow for social distancing. To allow for contactless entry, the venue’s bag policy has been amended to allow each fan to bring in one 1-gallon clear “Ziploc”-style bag only. Additionally, each fan may bring in one sealed bottle of water and a travel-sized bottle of hand sanitizer. All individuals will be required to walk through a metal detector upon entry. All in-stadium concession stands and booths will include social-distancing signage and plastic shields to separate fans from stadium staff. Additional stands will be added throughout the stadium, including grab-and-go stations. All restrooms have been reconfigured to include a designated entrance and exit as well as sanitizing stations. Water fountains and water-bottle-refilling stations will continue to be available and will be routinely sanitized by stadium staff throughout the game.

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As we begin the 2020-21 academic year, the health and safety of Georgia Tech students, staff, and community are a top priority for everyone on campus. While the world around us has presented unprecedented challenges in 2020, the spirit of Georgia Tech has never been stronger. We’ve seen our Yellow Jacket community swarm together to find innovative solutions to new problems. To provide our outstanding alumni and fans with a way to help our student-athletes thrive despite challenges in the short-term and come out even stronger on the other side, we have established the Support The Swarm Fund. Help us: • maintain the momentum in all of our programs, • allow our student-athletes and coaches to thrive, and • ensure that this is a 12-18 month challenge, not a 4-5 year setback, with a contribution to the Support The Swarm Fund.

Donors to the Support the Swarm Fund of $100 or more will receive 2 exclusive masks per household as well as an upgraded 3 priority points per $100 given. Make your gift today at:

atfund.org/swarm

ATHLETICS UNITES ALL YELLOW JACKETS Athletics at Georgia Tech allows student-athletes, students, coaches, and our community to all do life TOGETHER. We experience incredible thrills of victory, as well as defeats, together as Yellow Jackets. Georgia Tech Sports is a CONNECTOR among all of us. We fight together with a shared common goal of excellence, though in the true spirit of Georgia Tech we know the bar is always set higher as we better ourselves and those around us in the process. Athletics allow for our passions for this Institute to converge and create unforgettable moments and bonds for a lifetime. Kenny Thorne, IE 89 Head Coach, GT Men’s Tennis

Tyler Strafaci’s win at the 2020 U.S. Amateur continued a streak of momentum that spread across Yellow Jacket athletic programs. When the sports world halted in March, our: • football team had just landed a top-25 recruiting class for only the second time in program history; • men’s basketball team had just concluded its best ACC season in 24 years; • women’s basketball team was on the NCAA Tournament bubble; • swimming and diving teams had five national qualifiers; • track and field team had two national qualifiers; • golf and women’s tennis teams were ranked in the top 10 nationally; • baseball team was nationally ranked; • volleyball team was beginning its spring season after winning the 2019 NIVC championship.

SUPPORT AI 2020 Athletics Initiative 2020 will draw to a close on December 31, 2020. Help us reach all of our goals. Commitments may be made over time (up to 5 years), and can be completed in installments. To act now, visit atfund.org/commit.

LEARN MORE TODAY AT ATFUND.ORG/2020


VOLUME 96

IN THE WORLD

ISSUE 3

30

MISSION CONTROL Alumnus Gabriel Morocoima monitors the SpaceX-NASA Crew Dragon Demo-2 mission, which sent astronauts into space from a private spacecraft for the first time this May.

ILLUSTRATION

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NEIL JAMIESON


32

ON THE JOB

34

JACKET COPY

GTALUMNI.ORG/MAGAZINE | FALL 2020

31


ON THE JOB

THE FUTURE OF SPACEFLIGHT

GEORGIA TECH ALUMNI ARE WORKING TO SEND HUMANS FARTHER INTO THE COSMOS THAN EVER BEFORE. BY JENNIFER HERSEIM

P I L O T I N G A S PA C E S TA T I O N G A B R I E L M O R O C O I M A , A E 10 ACCORDING TO GABRIEL MORO– COIMA’S HEART-RATE MONITOR, his pulse was skyrocketing. He was watching a spacecraft (which was also skyrocketing) as it broke through the atmosphere and barreled toward the International Space Station. Minutes earlier, Morocoima, AE 10, gave a “GO for launch” in a series of checks that sent SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft on a historic mission. It marked the first time that a private spacecraft carried humans into space and the first time in almost 10 years that American astronauts returned to space from American soil. Nich Picon, AE 14, was on the other end of the partnership as In-Flight Abort Mission Manager at SpaceX. At his console that afternoon, Morocoima was reminded of his first time Gabriel Morocoima, AE 10, served as ADCO lead for the SpaceX-NASA mission this May.

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in mission control. He was an aerospace engineering student shadowing flight controllers through Tech’s co-op program. “You walk in and instantly get this deep sense of understanding that, ‘hey, we’re flying things in space’,” he says. “It’s humbling to know that your decisions directly affect a spaceship and the lives of those onboard.” After graduating in 2010, Morocoima

joined NASA in time to catch the launch of the last NASA shuttles before the program was retired in 2011. For the SpaceX-NASA launch, he was lead Attitude Determination and Control Officer flight controller, which meant he and his ADCO team were piloting the space station. The real work for Morocoima and his team began the day after the


IN SPACE NEWS Astronaut SHANE KIMBROUGH, OR 98, was named spacecraft commander for the SpaceX Crew-2 mission, which is expected to launch in 2021.

launch. A lot was riding on them to maneuver the station for the Dragon to safely dock and deliver astronauts Bob Behnken and Douglas Hurley onboard. As Dragon fired its jets, moving meter by meter toward the ISS, the station seemed to be at a standstill. In reality, it was traveling at 17,500 miles per hour. To control the ISS, which weighs about 925,000 lb. on Earth, Morocoima and his team use a slew of navigation sources, including GPS, to determine its attitude, or orientation, and thrusters and control moment gyroscopes (CMGs) to maneuver and control the station. “The fact that we can rotate some wheels and move a space station the size of a football field still blows my mind,” Morocoima says. ADCO moved the ISS into just the right spot for docking. As it did, the Dragon spacecraft was officially christened Endeavor by its crew.

-----

Morocoima remembers the exact moment when he realized he wanted to work for NASA. He was 5 years old on a tour at the Kennedy Space Center. “I got a glimpse of my first shuttle out on the pad, and I remember the name was Endeavor,” he says. Twenty-eight years later, he would guide the ISS to welcome a spacecraft with the same name as the first one he’d laid eyes on. “The fact that the spacecraft was named Endeavor was personally very humbling,” he says.

SCIENCE FICTION REALITY

LUKE ROBERSON, CHEM 99, MS CHEM 02, P H D C H E M 0 5 // DA N I E L Y E H , P H D E N V E 0 0 SOMETIMES, reality doesn’t just mirror science fiction, it surpasses what’s been imagined in books and movies. That’s the case with the work being done by two Georgia Tech alumni, one a professor at the University of South Florida and the other a senior principal investigator at NASA. Daniel Yeh, PhD EnvE 00, at USF, Alumni Luke Roberson (left) and Daniel Yeh (right) with the OPA. and Luke Roberson, Chem hydroponic system,” Roberson says. 99, MS Chem 02, PhD Chem 05, of NASA, are working to create the next TO THE MOON AND MARS generation of water recycling and reAround 2013, Roberson, who was source recovery systems to support working on ISS’s water-recovery and missions to the Moon and to Mars. purification system, started looking In the science fiction book and for a way to support future missions. movie The Martian, fictional astronaut The ISS uses chemicals shipped Mark Watney survives alone on Mars from Earth. “There’s no way we can do by growing potatoes, using his own that on the Moon or on Mars,” because waste as fertilizer. It’s a labor-intensive of the travel time to each, Roberprocess. Yeh and Roberson are workson says. So he began searching for a ing on a system that takes the same closed-loop system and found Yeh’s idea but improves on the concept. work. For Yeh, who has spent decades “Our system does it all for you,” says researching wastewater treatment on Yeh. “The astronauts can just flush Earth, designing a system for space and forget.” The prototype, the Organentails a unique set of challenges. For ic Processor Assembly (OPA), uses one, Yeh and his team had to cram the an anaerobic membrane bioreactor, a functionality of a treatment facility hybrid technology that combines aninto a space the size of a small refrigeraerobic digestion with membrane ator. The system also needed to work filtration. The closed-loop system rein zero gravity. “On Earth, wastewater cycles 100% of the waste it receives, treatment relies on gravity to remove cleaning and sanitizing the materiwastes and bacteria, but we utilize al and extracting carbon, nitrogen, membrane filtration,” Yeh says. phosphorous, water, and other trace This August, the OPA arrived at elements to support food production. Roberson’s lab to begin testing. In a “The nitrogen and phosphorous year, NASA will decide whether it waste that we generate as fecal and might be suited to support the Artemis urine material gets broken down into program, which would return astrothe elemental pieces, and then the nauts to the Moon. plants absorb those pieces through a GTALUMNI.ORG/MAGAZINE | FALL 2020

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JACKET COPY

Today Lake Burton is a picturesque destination for outdoor enthusiasts. The lake was formed in the early 1900s as a result of a series of dam-building projects that helped electrify Atlanta.

OUR SOUTHERN EDEN, EDEN , AN EXCERPT

OUR SOUTHERN EDEN: A CENTENNIAL HISTORY OF LAKE BURTON AND THE UPPER TALLULAH BASIN BY DR. MICHAEL E. MAFFETT, BIO 68

N O W A H U B of outdoor recreation and a popular vacation spot, Lake Burton was formed 100 years ago when engineers —many of whom were Tech alumni—built a dam during the great dam-building frenzy in North Georgia to electrify Atlanta. In Our Southern Eden, Dr. Michael E. Maffett, Bio 68, unearths the deep history of Lake Burton and the 34

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Upper Tallulah Basin, including the story of the lost town of Burton, where citizens lived for 100 years before the town was bought, demolished, and submerged. The following are edited excerpts from the book, which was commissioned by the Lake Burton Civic Association to celebrate Lake Burton’s centennial. The book is for sale online.


THE LOST COMMUNITY OF BURTON If you delve into the obscure history of Georgia, you come across the names Midway, Sunbury, Abercorn, Skull Shoals, Burton, Blalock, and Quartz. Should you look more closely, you might even notice Auraria, the “City of Gold.” What all of these places have in common is that they are forgotten, even lost, towns. When a settlement is lost, it not only fades from memory, but it is also consumed by the forces of time, overrun by trees, bushes, vines, and critters until its history returns to the soil. After a few generations, a place becomes merely a myth, an afterthought—an archeological site. The people who made homes there become vacant stones or ghosts; their life stories, less than memories. However, there is one lost community that is a bit different. Never really lost, it was created out of wilderness. For a time, it was marked the American frontier, stood for a century, and then was bought, demolished, submerged, and renamed—all in the name of progress. ILLUMINATING GEORGIA Following the introduction of Edison’s first incandescent lightbulb in 1880, the Georgia Electric Light Company was formed in 1883 to provide the first 45 electric lights for Atlanta. By 1889, the company was supplying 800 customers with electricity produced by a single steam-generated plant, but the advent of electric streetcars dramatically increased demand for electric power. The Morgan Falls Dam, just south of Roswell on the Chattahoochee, built in 1904, was the first large

hydroelectric project in the state. The construction of the electrical grid, which we take for granted today, had begun. In 1902, the Georgia Railway and Electric Company (later Georgia Power Company) was founded. The expansion of the grid was relentless, and a new source of generating power began: the building of hydroelectric dams. In 1910, the Georgia Power Company began an ambitious project, the North Georgia Hydro Group, a series of six dams constructed over a 38-mile section of the Tallulah River. With a vertical descent of 1,200 feet over this short distance, it remains the most intensely developed hydroelectric project in the country. The entire system was an engineering marvel in its time. The first plant, the Terrora Plant at the top of the Tallulah Gorge, opened in 1913. Until the beginning of this vast project, what little electricity was to be found in Rabun was produced by small, privately owned hydroelectric plants. John LaPrade’s Camp had such a plant on Wildcat Creek. J.E. Hardy of Tallulah Falls, the purchasing agent for the Georgia Railroad and Power Company, approached 65 landowners in the Burton community in 1910 about the purchase of their land. By all accounts, Hardy was a large man, weighing more than 300 pounds, who favored a black coat and black trousers, a blue shirt, and

a black ten-gallon hat. He was an entrepreneur, a buyer and seller of land, a sawmill owner, and the like, and he drove a buggy pulled by two horses. He was soft-spoken but persuasive. He also helped process the timber cut from the lake site and used it to build commissaries for the workers, another business he operated. Although John LaPrade is often mentioned as purchasing agent, no mention of this is in the records. In the book Sound Wormy, Andrew Gennett, a successful lumberman whose company logged tens of thousands of acres in Rabun County, tells of selling the thousand clear-cut acres surrounding the Burton Dam. As the Tallulah Falls Dam was being constructed, another lumberman wanting to buy this depleted land approached Gennett. It was worth very little. Gennett thought the man too eager, and having heard of the Tallulah Falls project, he caught a train to Atlanta to meet with Henry Atkinson, the CEO of the soon-to-be Georgia Power Company. Over a round of golf at East Lake, Gennett sought to engage Atkinson in a discussion of a possible sale, but Atkinson seemed uninterested. Gennett returned to Rabun and a week later was approached by a representative of the power company. “I offered $50,000 and took $40,000. I was very naïve. If I had known anything of hydroelectric power, I could have gotten $150,000.” And thus, the seemingly valueless gap between two mountain ridges, lightly discussed during a round of golf, became the site for the construction of the Burton Dam, and all that has followed.

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georgia tech a l u m n i’s

+

assembled by jennifer herseim

forty under forty innovators // trendsetters // people to watch


innov a t o r

Jasmine Burton ID 14 // CEO, Executive Director & Founder: Wish for WASH

W H AT R O L E D O E S D E S I G N P L AY I N FIGHTING INEQUALIT Y? “Hey mom and dad, I’m going to design toilets.” Just a year before her declaration, Jasmine Burton had enrolled at Georgia Tech with an entirely different plan for her career—or at least one that did not involve bathrooms. Things changed for Burton at a Georgia Tech Women’s Leadership Conference, where she learned that half the world, or 4 billion people, lacked access to safely managed sanitation, according to the World Health Organization. The problem also disproportionately affects women and girls. “Girls drop out of school when they reach puberty because their schools don’t have toilets,” Burton says. “I was shocked. We have all these wonderful technologies today, and yet, girls are dropping out of school because of this?” At the time, Burton was searching for ways to utilize design for sustainable social impact. Toilet design became her gateway into that world. In 2014, Burton was part of the first all-female team to win the InVenture Prize for the design of the SafiChoo toilet, a modular, low-cost toilet. After winning, her team had four weeks to transform their foam model into a working prototype before heading to Kenya to pilot the product at a refugee camp. “It was all-hands-on deck,” Burton says. “So many of my classmates were in the studio helping us create a model that we could bring with us.” They pulled it off and her team brought 10 toilets on that initial trip. They

worked closely with Sanivation, an organization co-founded by fellow Tech alumna and 40 Under 40 recipient Emily Woods. Burton and her team continued refining the SafiChoo design. Before graduating, she founded Wish for WASH, an organization that seeks to amplify diverse voices and bring innovation to the WASH (Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene) sector. The team has since conducted iterative toilet research pilots in Sub-Saharan Africa and Atlanta-based resettled refugee communities. She and her team are trying to change the taboo in sanitation and turn it into a call for action using empathy and dignity. “We say, ‘Everybody poops,’ because this is a universal experience,” Burton says. “No matter who you are, you likely know what it feels like to need a toilet and not know where one is.” One of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals is universal access to clean water and sanitation by the year 2030, but the world is far from achieving that goal. Burton believes the change will come from changing who is part of the conversation. “It’s beyond the toilet, it’s about whose voices are heard in the process,” she says. That starts with a diverse, interdisciplinary team and continues with empathic design, or acknowledging that the person who is using the product should be driving the decisions. “When the end-users are not included in the creation of new sanitation systems, there are case studies where ceramic toilets are used like flower pots because the purpose and supply chain of the toilet were not based on local needs,” Burton says. “Empathic design is rooted in people understanding the end user’s values and aspirations and co-creating with them rather than for them.” –JENNIFER HERSEIM

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The journey in becoming an industry disruptor and establishing a successful business has come with gaining the courage to break down barriers and overcome obstacles.”

Candace Mitchell Harris

CS 11 // Co-Founder & CEO: MYAVANA BRAIDING science with technology, Mitchell Harris created a system that uses artificial intelligence to analyze hair type and texture. She uses this technology to provide personalized haircare recommendations through her company MYAVANA.

Shawna Khouri

BME 12, MBID 14 // Managing Director, Biolocity: Emory University & Georgia Institute of Technology AT BIOLOCITY, Khouri has screened more than 250 technologies in devices, diagnostics, therapeutics, cell manufacturing, and health IT. She also coaches national clients in commercialization, including the National Institutes of Health.

Roll With the Punches On her way back from a GT lab, Khouri fell off a skateboard outside the Klaus building and ended up needing several dental implants. “This is unofficially a world record for the nerdiest skateboarding injury,” she says.

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Ryan Graciano CS 04 // Co-Founder & CTO of Credit Karma

W H E N D I D Y O U K N O W T H AT Y O U H A D A G O O D I D E A T O S TA R T Y O U R C O M PA N Y ?

The year was 2007. The dot-com bubble had long since burst, all of the press was still about companies sending tech off-shore, and an even bigger financial crisis was just over the horizon. Ryan Graciano was starting a tech company in finance, a field in which he had no experience and little interest. And he and his partners had less than a million dollars in funding. What could possibly go wrong? “As a technologist, you won’t necessarily have expertise in your specific field—more often you’re all kind of learning on the job,” says Graciano. Besides, he says, they had faith in their idea. “Ours is a truly useful system,” he says. The system was Credit Karma, a website that offers free credit reports and other personal finance management resources, and today it has more than 100 million members. But at the time of its inception, it was just a leap of faith that made sense to Graciano. After graduating, he had gone to work for a small specialized software company. When that firm was bought by IBM, Graciano suddenly found himself among 330,000 employees programming banking

software that would only be used by a few people. He wanted to flip that scenario and be part of a smaller operation that provided products for the masses. Through a friend, he met Kenneth Lin, who ran a search engine marketing service and was looking for a head of technology. Graciano turned down that position, and Lin came back at him with a better idea. It was the mid-2000s, and at the time, the financial industry lacked transparency. There were three credit bureaus, but the only way to get a credit score or report was to pay for it. There were plenty of companies with catchy jingles that advertised free access to credit scores, but they’d actually end up charging. Lin had the notion to buy the credit data from the bureaus and give it away, collecting ad revenue and affiliate fees from banks. “Luckily, there were some visionary people who understood that the current model wasn’t going to last forever,” says Graciano. “The more consumer-friendly model made more sense.” People responded immediately. Credit Karma gained so much instant traction that the fledgling company was able to weather the Great Recession and eventually expand. Now the site also offers loans, tax filing, credit cards, ID theft protection, and other credit tools in the U.S., Canada, and the U.K. Credit Karma employs 1,300 people, including 800 in Graciano’s engineering, design, and security department. While Credit Karma was born of Lin and Graciano’s imaginations, it takes more than just an idea to create a successful company. “My biggest contribution was to build the organization,” says Graciano. “You can’t be a one-man band. You have to build the company. And that was harder than any tech I built.”–TONY REHAGEN

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pe o ple t o wa t ch

Kathryn Lanier

PhD Chem 17 // Director of STEM Education Outreach, Southern Research

W H AT R O L E D O E S S C I E N C E A N D T E C H N O L O G Y P L AY IN FIGHTING SOCIAL INJUSTICE? As the director of STEM education outreach at Southern Research, a nonprofit headquartered in Birmingham, Ala., Kathryn Lanier has her dream job. When she’s not traveling the state blowing up pumpkins at STEM pep rallies for middle schoolers, she’s hosting students at Southern Research, where she leads hands-on learning experiences focusing on science, technology, engineering, and math. Since the outreach program is statewide, Lanier is often a witness to a disparity in schools’ access to technology and exposure to STEM fields. One day her team might work with a school from Huntsville, home to a NASA facility and a city known to be a leader in aerospace and biotech, and then the next day host a class from Wilcox County, where the median household income is less than $24,000 a year. “You can drive from Huntsville to Wilcox, stopping at every Chick-fil-A on the way, order a

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No. 1, and get a delicious sandwich no matter where you are,” she says. “But the same can’t be said of the quality of the classrooms and resources schools have.” The pandemic has shined a light on these inequities, as low-income districts struggle to figure out how to provide computers or even the internet to families. Some cities in the state are expanding broadband to rural areas by turning unused school buses into WiFi hotspots. But what happens when the buses are back in action? Lanier says schools’ lack of resources, including in STEM, is doing a disservice to the state’s economy. “Long-term economic growth is tied to scientific advancement,” she says. “Scientific advancement relies on having a capable workforce. A continued underrepresentation of minorities and low-income students presents us with a real challenge when it comes to cultivating a strong future labor pool.” In 2018, 49% of Alabama’s graduating high schoolers were interested in pursuing careers in STEM, but only 11% met the ACT STEM readiness standards. Lanier finds that statistic heartbreaking. Especially when data shows that more than 850,000 STEM-related occupations will be needed in Alabama by 2026. In order to create a talented pool to fill those jobs, the governor pulled together 78 leaders in STEM fields, including Lanier, and tasked them with developing a roadmap for improving STEM education in Alabama. Their recommendations included the implementation of an app to highlight the state’s STEM careers and programming, and increasing industry partnerships to expand learning opportunities for students. Lanier hopes more of her ideas will one day benefit her new home state, as she plans to run for public office. “I envision a day in the near future when Alabama’s students, who have been consistently overlooked and who once ranked at the bottom, will be tomorrow’s innovators and leaders,” she says. “I work each and every day to make this happen.”–KELLEY FREUND


Robert “Bobby” Henebry ME 03, MBA 06 // Partner: DM Capital Management, LLC

AS AN EARLY ADOPTER IN CRYPTOCURRENCIES, Henebry started his own mining operation in 2016. He has become an internationally recognized speaker on blockchain and cryptocurrencies. He volunteers extensively–including with The Global Good Fund and Girl Power Talk, a women’s empowerment organization working in India and Nigeria.

What He’s Listening to Now During the pandemic, Henebry’s been playing along to Metallica songs from the Master of Puppets album. “I have a goal to play the entire album cover-to-cover on rhythm guitar,” he says.

Evren Ozkaya PhD IE 08 // Founder & CEO, Supply Chain Wizard, LLC

AS THE FOUNDER AND CEO of Supply Chain Wizard, Ozkaya is making pharmaceutical supply chains more secure, and ultimately safer for patients by reducing the risk of counterfeit drugs with track and trace technologies.

Emily Woods ME 10 // COO & Co-Founder: Sanivation

Did You Know? Woods started playing rugby at

WOODS AND HER CO-FOUNDER had a bold idea for global sanitation. “If we could treat feces more efficiently than traditional means—turn the treated waste into a product we could sell—we could make a profit from poop,” Woods says. She co-founded Sanivation to do just that. The social enterprise tackles the sanitation crisis in Kenya by partnering with municipalities to turn feces into a sustainable fuel.

Georgia Tech in 2006 and has since played competitively in nine different countries, including on the National Kenya Women’s Rugby union team.

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My whole life, I had wanted to be a cardiovascular surgeon, but after going through GT’s biomedical engineering, I ultimately made a tough decision to switch career paths because I realized how

Arnab Chakraborty

fun and impactful it can be to develop new medical devices.”

BME 13 // Chief Technology Officer, Co-Founder, Flow MedTech International Corp. CHAKRABORTY co-founded Flow MedTech, which led to the development of a heart implant that reduces the risk of stroke in atrial fibrillation patients.

Matthew McDowell

MSE 08 // Assistant Professor in the G. W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering and the School of Materials Science and Engineering McDOWELL’S RESEARCH focuses on next-generation battery technologies used for electric vehicles and electrified aircraft. With his team at Georgia Tech, he specializes in developing innovative experimental techniques that provide a window into the world of how batteries transform and degrade during charge and discharge.

There and Back Again McDowell once hiked across the Sierra Nevada mountain range in California and then hiked back because he only had one car (this was before Uber).

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Maria Soto-Giron PhD BI 18 // Translational Bioinformatics Lead, Solarea Bio

AT SOLAREA BIO, Soto-Giron’s searching for a preventative treatment to reduce chronic inflammation, using probiotics and plant fibers from fruits and vegetables, without the negative side effects from drugs currently on the market. In her role, she created a computational platform to analyze hundreds of microbial genomic components to identify microbial candidates that could result in human health applications. As a female Colombian scientist, she’s passionate about increasing access and building STEM opportunities for young girls in Colombia.

Deep Dive Soto-Giron used to

Joy Buolamwini CS 12 // Founder, Algorithmic Justice League COMPUTER SCIENTIST and poet of code Buolamwini founded the Algorithmic Justice League to raise awareness of the impacts of bias in artificial intelligence. Her work seeks to equip advocates with empirical research, empower the most impacted communities, and galvanize researchers, policymakers, and industry practitioners to mitigate the biases in AI and the resulting harm.

play underwater hockey (yes, you can play hockey underwater) in Colombia.

Yellow Jacket Advice When you think something is important because of how it resonates with you, don’t be discouraged if others don’t see it. Not everyone will see what you see and how you see it. Sometimes you have to take the headwinds when others don’t yet see your vision.

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Dhaval Bhandari

PhD ChE 10 // Planning Advisor, ExxonMobil BHANDARI’S RESEARCH on the dual energy challenge has led to more than 20 U.S. patents and applications. At age 26, he became one of the youngest principal investigators of a federal grant, leading a 15-member team with a $3 million grant from the Department of Energy.

Finding Inspiration Bhandari’s PhD advisor, Prof. Bill Koros, taught him a lesson that still inspires him today. “I learned from him that often scientific pursuits are a lonely journey and it takes time for the people to understand and appreciate your contributions. It is in tough times like these that one should keep faith in their work, choose happiness, and treat every day as a learning opportunity,” he says.

Jennifer McKeehan

IE 05 // Founder, Smith and James LLC & Former Vice President Supply Chain, The Home Depot McKEEHAN’S TRAILBLAZING CAREER at The Home Depot over the last 15 years has been nothing short of extraordinary. She recently founded Smith and James LLC, a retail consulting firm. She’s also a member of Children’s Hospital of Atlanta’s Emerging Leaders for Children’s Committee, which recently raised $639,000 for pediatric cardiology research.

Christopher Hermann

BME 06, MS ME 11, PhD BioE 12 // Founder & CEO, Clean Hands – Safe Hands HERMANN started and led a multi-institutional research consortium that developed the core technology used in Clean Hands – Safe Hands. Using sensors in badges and on sanitizers and soap dispensers, the technology gathers data to help improve hand hygiene in healthcare facilities.

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innov a t o r

Kathy Pham

CS 07, MS CS 09 // Fellow and Faculty at Harvard, Lead of Mozilla Responsible Computer Science

W H AT R E S E A R C H I N Y O U R F I E L D W I L L CHANGE THE WORLD? Kathy Pham has spent a decade building technologies at organizations such as Google and IBM, as well as a startup at the White House. With all that experience, she has seen how critical technology is to so many aspects of our lives. But she has also seen the building of that technology create unintended outcomes. As more research is being done about the best way to train future computer scientists, Pham wanted to explore if she could help them build better. The course she teaches at Harvard, Product Management and Society, does just that. The curriculum covers how to build technologies, product management, and user-experience research. But in every class, Pham asks her students broader questions: “If you’re doing user experience research, are you going out into the community? Which parts? Are you thinking about broader implications on society? Will your tool propagate issues? We weave gender, race, justice, and equality into basic concepts of how to build technology.” Pham is taking this concept even further with her work leading Mozilla’s Responsible Computer Science Challenge, a $3.5 million initiative that helps integrate ethics and responsibility into the core curriculum of computer science programs across the country. It’s a project that Pham says will completely

change the field, as it will reimagine how computer scientists are trained. “Let’s say you’re building a car,” Pham says. “Every little decision you make pushes that product in a certain direction, and you can’t just wait until you’re done to ask, ‘OK, what’s wrong with it?’ It’s the same with the ethics. When we’re building any piece of technology, we have to ask ourselves questions about how our society works in terms of issues such as socioeconomic status, privacy, and security, and then weave that information into the build process.” And many times, computer scientists can’t answer those questions alone. Pham says a key part of training the next generation is to teach them to recognize which people they need to have broader conversations with. “We can’t just put all the computer science people into a room together and tell us to think harder and more deeply, and magically we’ll come up with solutions,” Pham says. “We don’t have that training. We need more voices. We need to bring in people from the social sciences, political philosophy, law, and history.” Pham says the current switch to online learning provides a great example of the need for these conversations. Engineering teams who set out to build the technology to support remote learning don’t always know enough about complex social issues, such as which students have access to the internet and which do not. “The technology we build is so deep-rooted in society, and in many ways computer scientists are social scientists, whether we want to be or not,” Pham says. “My hope is that the field evolves very quickly to recognize that, and to know that when we build technology, we have to ask questions about how people will be affected.” –KELLEY FREUND

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Marcus Cappelli

AE 03, MS AE 04, PhD AE 07 // Chief Engineer, Black Hawk Modernization, Lockheed Martin CAPPELLI is the chief engineer responsible for modernizing the nation’s fleet of Black Hawk helicopters, which includes everything from ultramodern upgrades like making the aircraft autonomous to adding battery chargers so that soldiers can keep their devices charged longer in the field.

Favorite Dish to Make at Home Cappelli loves spending weeknights in the kitchen with his two children inventing new recipes. Their latest creation is a Pork Weaselton. “It’s like a beef Wellington, but with a reference to Frozen. The dish is a pork tenderloin stuffed with figs and goat cheese, wrapped in prosciutto and herbs in puff pastry,” he says.

Chaunte Lowe

ECON 08 // 4-Time Olympian and American Record Holder, U.S. Olympic Team LOWE IS A WORLD CHAMPION and has broken the American Record three times and is the current American Record holder in indoor and outdoor high jump. She also uses her personal experience as a breast cancer survivor to raise awareness of breast cancer research, early detection, and eradication.

Yellow Jacket Family Lowe’s husband proposed to her 15 years ago on the Georgia Tech track. “I went into labor with our first child during a finals review session for computer science!” she says.

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Braxton Davis EE 06 // Patent Attorney, Amin, Turocy & Watson

HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH ADVERSIT Y?

Career paths are rarely linear and without obstacle. But Braxton Davis can fairly say that nearly his entire professional life has been shaped and defined by adversity. Growing up on a farm in rural South Carolina, Davis’s first choice for college was to study engineering at Georgia Tech. But when the acceptance letters started coming in from universities, Tech was the only one that sent a rejection. Davis was heartbroken, but his mother convinced him to go to Morehouse, where he got his degree in physics and a minor in math before matriculating through a Dual Degree Engineering Program with Tech. There, he finally got his coveted engineering degree. “There was a chip on my shoulder, and it made the degree that much sweeter,” he says. “But Morehouse gave me the foundation I needed as an African American man. If I had gone straight to Georgia Tech, I’d be a completely different person.” Another turn in Davis’s life came while he was a student. He was out in Buckhead with some friends on a Friday night. He was standing on a sidewalk, talking to a woman in a car, when a police officer called him over, flipped him

around, and bent him over the trunk of the car to cuff him. The cop told Davis he had been impeding traffic. Only when the officer went through Davis’s wallet and found his Tech student ID did he let Davis off with a warning. Davis was humiliated and angry, but he was also resolved to never be in a position like that again. He was going to know his rights and advocate for himself. That’s when he decided to go to law school. Finally, after graduating from Tech, still considering his future in law, Davis had an opportunity to work for General Electric. There were four job rotations located all over the country, one near his home in Greenville, S.C. But instead, GE sent him off to Schenectady in upstate New York. He was not happy about the placement. But while there, he met a man who was a patent attorney. It was an area that Davis had never seriously considered, but the man said that there were very few patent attorneys because it was the only sector that required a specific background in science or engineering. Today, not only is Davis a successful patent attorney, but he has also started The Patent Institute of Training for engineers who aspire to make the jump to patent law, established the National Council on Patent Practicum, and founded his own startup, Metric Mate, which makes hardware/software that helps weightlifters keep track of their workouts. Whatever the future holds, Davis knows that an initial failure is no reason to give up. “Just because something doesn’t happen on my timeline doesn’t mean it isn’t going to happen,” he says. “For me, everything has been on God’s time.”–TONY REHAGEN

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inno v at or

Maithili Appalwar IE 18 // CEO of Avana farming technologies WHEN DID YOU KNOW T H AT Y O U H A D A G O O D I D E A T O S TA R T Y O U R C O M PA N Y ? Maithili Appalwar says she feels like she was born to start a business. She grew up in what she calls a “startup family,” with parents who grew a packaging and plastics manufacturing company in Mumbai from a two-person mom-and-pop operation to a corporation that now employs 2,000. “After school when my parents were working, I’d go to their office and help them do tiny things,” says Appalwar. “I was not an actual help, but I always felt like part of a growing business. And that’s a feeling I’ve always wanted to have for myself.” But while the entrepreneurial spirit came easy to Appalwar, the idea for how to apply it was a bit more elusive. In fact, it wasn’t until 2016, the summer before her third year at Georgia Tech, that inspiration struck. She was spending the break at home in India doing research for a second degree in psychology. She journeyed out into the impoverished rural parts of the country, where the suicide rate was particularly high. In

trying to assess root causes of anxiety among these farmers, Appalwar realized that they had limited access to water. Irrigation systems were too expensive, as were tanks for storing extra water for when the rains didn’t come. Without water, the crops suffered, and so did the farmers, who had no money or food to provide for their families. Talking with these farmers and recalling her classwork in industrial engineering, Appalwar helped them devise a solution. The farmers could use what little they had—land—and simply dig a large pit to collect rainwater. They could line and cover the artificial reservoir with a special polymer that would prevent percolation. “The idea was the farmers’,” says Appalwar, modestly. “They know what they need. They just needed someone to provide the bare minimum of what they need with creative design.” Appalwar was only 19 years old. With two years of good grades at Tech behind her, she was on a path to a successful career with a cushy six-figure job in industrial engineering. But her trepidation in venturing out on her own was exceeded only by her fear of complacency. Besides, she had her family to back her up. Later in 2016, Appalwar started Avana, a firm under the umbrella of her parents’ Emmbi Industries. As CEO, she launched her water conservation solution under the name Jalasanchay. Avana now pulls in more than $10 million annually. But more importantly, the company has helped develop more than 8,000 ponds throughout India, helping save more than 322 billion liters of water, and watching farmers’ incomes go up by 98.7 percent. “A lot of billion-dollar companies pay little attention to the consumers,” says Appalwar. “We started a quality assurance team. I used to man the hotline myself. We’d get a lot of farmers calling to thank us. But the need is still massive.” –TONY REHAGEN

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Energy efficiency is still one of the most untapped opportunities for significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions and has quick financial paybacks for companies. ”

Graham Thorsteinson

ChBE 06, MS ChE 07 // Chief Technology Officer, Energy One Consulting AFTER LEADING GENERAL MILLS’ ENERGY PROGRAM for nearly 10 years, Thorsteinson co-founded Energy One Consulting. In 2018, the company won a National Project of the Year award for improving energy efficiency at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. The project has resulted in $11 million in energy cost savings for the airport.

PHOTOGRAPH

NATE HOVEE / SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

Samirkumar Patel

PhD ChE 11 // President & CEO, Moonlight Therapeutics

Growing a Passion

WHILE EARNING HIS PHD, Patel made a discovery in a GT lab that led him to invent a new way to deliver drug treatment into the eye to treat eye diseases. With this technology, he started Clearside Biomedical in 2011. Two years ago, he started his second venture, Moonlight Therapeutics, to treat food allergies using a dermal stamp.

family of farmers.

I come from a I feel like my early joy in farming is linked to my later joy in being an entrepreneur/ creator/builder.

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Nashlie Sephus

MS ECE 10, PhD ECE 14 // Applied Science Manager, Amazon AI SEPHUS FOCUSES on fairness and identifying biases in artificial intelligence for Amazon’s AI initiative. She is also the CEO and founder of Jackson, Miss.–based nonprofit The Bean Path, which aims to bridge the technology gap by offering free tech office hours at local libraries, scholarships and grants, and youth workshops.

Yellow Jacket Advice Invest the time and effort in finding a good support system. Consider entrepreneurship, even if it’s just a side hustle or a way to generate passive income. Establish a well-balanced team for whatever endeavor you tackle. It can be difficult to see all the blind spots on your own. —Nashlie Sephus

Kamil Makhnejia

MBID 15 // Co-Founder & COO, Jackson Medical IN 2016, Makhnejia helped start Jackson Medical, which grew out of the startup ecosystem at Georgia Tech. Their flagship product, GloShield, has made operating rooms safer for more than 15,000 surgeries and is expected to be involved in 30,000 more this year. With their offices located in Tech Square, Makhnejia has maintained close connections to campus as a mentor for other Tech startups.

What Kamil Is Reading I’m a bookstore person. Perusing the aisles becomes an Easter egg hunt for new and interesting books. I recommend reading Thinking, Fast and Slow, by Daniel Kahneman. The book highlights the intriguing balance (and sometimes imbalance) between your autopilot and conscious mind. It gets you thinking about thinking!

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Gregory Kolovich EE 04 // Co-Founder & Chief Medical Officer, OXOS Medical

KOLOVICH LAUNCHED HIMSELF into the burgeoning mobile telemedicine field in 2016 with the invention of the world’s first handheld X-ray device. He and fellow alumnus Evan Ruff, CmpE 03, MBA 07, founded OXOS Medical to bring digital radiography to the world. Kolovich is also an active orthopedic hand and microsurgeon in Savannah, Ga., and currently serves as the elected president of the Georgia Society for Surgery of the Hand.

Instrumental Success Kolovich taught himself how to play guitar and piano and has been playing regularly for 20 years. He’s recently started teaching his 7-year-old son to play piano, too.

Kabir Barday CS 09 // CEO, OneTrust

BARDAY is the founder and CEO of the largest and most widely used privacy, security, and trust technology company in the world. After graduating, he became an early employee at AirWatch, a mobile security software company that was founded by fellow alum John Marshall, IE 96. “I am not sure there could be a greater impact on my success than Georgia Tech,” Barday says.

[Tech] is the reason I got my first job at AirWatch and learned what I needed to know to build OneTrust. Georgia Tech is the talent pool we hire from. It’s my network of friends. My investors are involved in Georgia Tech. And even my fiancée is an alum.” GTALUMNI.ORG/MAGAZINE | FALL 2020

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Lauren Troxler

BME 12 // Staff R&D Clinical Engineer, Abbott TROXLER’S WORK focuses on developing non-surgical treatment options for patients with leaky heart valves. She’s brought four life-saving products to the market that have led to treatments for more than 100,000 patients worldwide.

True Crime & a Confession A true-crime podcast junkie, Troxler has a chilling confession: She once kept a cooler full of pig hearts in her apartment ahead of a conference presentation.

Idicula Mathew BME 17 // CEO & Founder, Hera Health Solutions

AS CEO OF HERA HEALTH SOLUTIONS, Mathew is bringing a first-of-its-kind biodegradable implant for long-acting drug treatments to market. The implant does not need to be removed, thereby eliminating the expense and complications from removal procedures. The technology could prove useful for contraception, cancer treatments, and veterinary care.

George P. Burdell HANDS DOWN, the most accomplished alum on our list is Burdell, our mischievous but beloved Yellow Jacket. Although he’s older than the rest of the class, he somehow snuck his way into the competition like he’s been doing at other award ceremonies and events for nearly 100 years.

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people t o w at ch

Arush Lal

BA 17 // PAHO/World Health Organization W H AT R E S E A R C H I S H A P P E N I N G I N Y O U R F I E L D T H AT W I L L C H A N G E T H E W O R L D ?

From a young age, Arush Lal learned a tough lesson: Illness is universal, but healthcare resources and support are not. During a trip to India when he was 12, he saw a poor man pulling himself along on a makeshift wheelchair. At 18, when he was working at a Dominican hospital, he saw a man die because of an ineffective response. And while setting up mobile clinics in Panama, he met a boy who had walked for miles to find diabetes medication for his grandmother. It was this group of people that inspired Lal to enter the global health field. Today, he works with the World Health Organization’s Americas Office, where he helps member states purchase essential supplies, such as HIV and cancer medications. And while he has helped procure 15 million Covid-19 test kits, Lal knew from his professional experiences during Ebola and Zika outbreaks the importance of ensuring access to those other medications and supplies. “I knew that this pandemic could make policymakers prioritize Covid-19 response over routine health service,” he says. “During the Ebola outbreak, more women died from a reduction in services for maternal health and more children died from a reduction in measles vaccinations than died from Ebola. Our team has to be proactive, or we will run into the same issue of people dying from preventable diseases.”

It’s this intersection of policy, universal health coverage, and pandemic preparedness that really interests Lal, and he is currently completing a PhD program in the London School of Economics on the topic. “There are so many drivers of health: your economic status, your ZIP code, race,” Lal says. “For too long, we’ve been addressing the symptoms of health rather than the roots of it. What if people had access to health facilities where they live, instead of having to drive 60 miles to the nearest one? Or what if healthcare wasn’t tied to a job, so that if the world is facing a pandemic and you lose your job, you won’t lose your insurance?” Lal says those in the field are thinking more critically about this than ever before, and more and more people are now understanding that universal health coverage can be a foundation in building strong health security systems. Lal believes STEM schools can also be key players in building strong systems by offering more health programs that train students in the interdisciplinary aspects of global health and innovation. Lal, who has been pushing for Tech to start a global health systems and technology (GHST) major ever since he was a student, says most health programs at STEM schools do not provide a platform to learn about public policy, international affairs, healthcare, cultural and behavioral training, or many of the other hats that public health professionals wear in a single day. “Virtually no program worldwide provides this holistic foundation for global health students to meet today’s healthcare challenges,” he says. “But that can change. By offering a degree at the bachelor’s level in GHST, STEM schools can create a paradigm shift and truly make an impact by addressing key gaps.”–KELLEY FREUND

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Nseabasi Ufot,

Psy 02 // CEO, New Georgia Project AT NEW GEORGIA PROJECT, Ufot leads a team of more than 125 to build campaigns and technology to register, educate, and mobilize citizens from underserved and underrepresented communities. The organization has helped nearly 450,000 Georgians register to vote through face-to-face conversations, mobile apps, and video games.

Finding Inspiration I am inspired by my 5-year-old nephew, Micah. His curiosity about the world seems endless and he truly believes that there is nothing that he cannot do. I am also inspired by the late John Lewis. In the face of bloody violence, political attacks, and health challenges, he maintained a steadfast commitment to fighting for the voting, civil, and human rights of all Americans.

Jordan Rackie Mgt 08 // CEO, Keyfactor

IN 2019, Rackie became the youngest CEO appointed by Insight Partners when he was named to lead Keyfactor, a cybersecurity company with global reach, at 33 years old. He’s also heavily involved in Atlanta’s tech community as a volunteer mentor for Techstars, a startup accelerator program.

CTRL+ After accidentally spilling liquid on his laptop during the last three weeks of a study-abroad experience, Rackie now knows how to completely navigate his computer using just keyboard shortcuts.

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t rends e t t e r

Banafsheh Azizi IA 04, MS IA 08 // COO Bayt Abdullah Children’s Hospice and Kuwait Association for the Care of Children in Hospital

W H AT D O E S I T M E A N T O B E A N EFFECTIVE LEADER? Through her work, Banafsheh Azizi provides a sense of normalcy to children with terminal illnesses so that kids can be kids no matter the health challenges they’re facing. She is COO of Bayt Abdullah Children’s Hospice, the only hospice in the Middle East that provides pediatric palliative and psychosocial care for children with life-threatening and life-limiting conditions. She also leads The Kuwait Association for the Care of Children in Hospital, which serves more than 60,000 children, siblings, and parents in hospitals across Kuwait through psychosocial services. From Azizi’s start as a journalist to consulting, and to eventually returning to the Middle East to help lead three nonprofits, one of her core values has always been giving back to society in whatever capacity she could. Azizi, who is Iranian-American, was born in the United Kingdom and raised in Kuwait. When she was 18, she left Kuwait to continue her education in the U.S. at Georgia Tech. After earning her bachelor’s and master’s in

International Affairs in 2004 and 2008, respectively, she began a career in journalism at CNN International, CBS 46 Atlanta, and CBS News. From there, she joined Booz Allen Hamilton in Washington, D.C., to provide consulting in the areas of strategy, policy, and strategic communication. In 2012, she made a personal decision to return to the Middle East. “It was time to go back and apply what I’d learned in the community I was raised in,” says Azizi. She joined the Kuwait Association for the Care of Children in Hospital in 2015 and was promoted this year to her current position. She is most proud of building a volunteer program with the U.S. military in Kuwait. Through the program, thousands of U.S. servicemen and servicewomen provide play for hospitalized children and their families in Kuwait. “The program puts aside the differences in politics, religion, culture, and joins people together based on their profound desire to make a difference,” Azizi says. Azizi draws upon her values as guiding principles in her leadership. She is currently pursuing a doctorate in Leadership and Learning in Organizations at Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College. “My commitment to public service is based on my core belief of giving back to my society, and all the professional decisions I made, throughout my professional career, can be traced back to my values,” Azizi says. “With my success came a lot of failures. But you just have to find your voice and know your values,” she says.-TONY REHAGEN AND JENNIFER HERSEIM

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Allen Chang

BME 08 // Project Engineer, NuVasive CHANG co-founded Vertera Spine, the first company to develop a patented process for creating a porous biomaterial similar to bone. In 2017, Vertera Spine was acquired by NuVasive. To date, three spinal fusion product families have launched featuring the synthetic bone that he created.

Progress and Service Chang served in AmeriCorps NCCC, primarily in the post-Katrina region of the Gulf Coast.

Yellow Jacket Advice If you have known exactly what field or career you are passionate about since you first learned the alphabet, that’s great! If you are less certain, even as a new graduate, that’s okay. Invest in yourself by spending some time and energy to explore options to find something that motivates you.

Jacob Tzegaegbe

CE 11, MS CE 13 // Senior Transportation Policy Advisor, City of Atlanta TZEGAEGBE is working to address Atlanta’s infrastructure needs and streamlining the city’s transportation divisions as senior transportation policy advisor.

Top 10 Tzegaegbe once hosted an MTV countdown show at Tech called Dean’s List where he counted down 10 music videos.

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Sheereen Brown

IE 13, MS HS 14 // Senior Business Analyst, The Task Force for Global Health BROWN TRAVELS THE WORLD from Johannesburg to Geneva to fulfill The Task Force for Global Health’s mission to eliminate disease and protect populations. Working in partnership with WHO and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, she helps bring innovative solutions to global health challenges.

Advice for Tech Students It is the sum of your experiences in life that propels you to the next phase of your journey. Embrace where you are in life and continue to strive for progress. And understand that every person you’ve encountered along the way has helped you get to where you are today.

David Sotto

PHOTOGRAPH

THEPHOTOFAB / SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

BME 09, PhD BioE 15 // Senior Strategy Officer, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Yellow Jacket Advice Learning for the sake of learning or doing for the sake of doing can only take you so far. I often struggle with striking a healthy balance between seeking knowledge and taking action. However, my proudest moments in life have been when I’ve learned just enough to be dangerous and done something about it.

AT THE GATES FOUNDATION, Sotto has helped shape the design of new and existing strategies across $6 billion in annual investments in service of the world’s most vulnerable populations. His focus has been on shaping the design of global health systems in areas of the world with the greatest need and advocating for policies and practices in the U.S. that create upward mobility and economic opportunities for the working class.

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inno v at or

Xiaohang PhD ECE 15 // Li, Assistant Professor, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology

W H AT R E S E A R C H I N YOUR FIELD WILL CHANGE THE WORLD? When Xiaohang Li won the Edison Prize as a student at Georgia Tech, the school’s top honor, it was like a childhood dream come true. Li has been a fan of Thomas Edison since he was a kid, when he recognized that without the inventor’s creation of the lightbulb, we would spend onethird of our time in the dark. Edison’s work inspired Li to grow up to address engineering challenges that would help mankind, and today he not only inspires his students at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology to do the same, but he’s making breakthroughs with his research leading to ultraviolet (UV) LEDs and lasers. Li’s work focuses on tiny semiconductor chips that can improve the performance of UV light, making it more efficient, as well as cheaper on a larger scale. Among his contributions to the field, Li developed the first machine learning software for compound semiconductor devices. The software is being used by

more than 60 universities, research institutes, and companies. Li’s research is especially important now, as UV light has become a critical technology for killing pathogens amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Subways and buses are currently being sanitized using UV light, and Boeing recently designed a self-cleaning bathroom implementing the technology. “You’re going to see more application of this technology in other buildings, such as hospitals and commercial centers, in the future,” Li says. “But not just for surfaces. This type of technology can also be used for water and air.” Many buildings currently use UV light to disinfect air before it goes through an air conditioning system. And wastewater in Georgia is treated by UV light before going back to natural water sources. The technology can also help preserve food. Li points to a study where researchers placed strawberries in two refrigerators: one with UV light, the other without. The refrigerator with UV light kept the strawberries fresh, even after nine days. UV technology also has implications for the future of cars. “Hydrogen cars are an emerging concept for future car technologies,” Li says. “By splitting water with UV light, you create hydrogen, a carbon-neutral fuel source.” There’s still some more work to be done. Li says many UV light sources today are based on mercury lamps, and conventional UV lights use a small amount of mercury. When a light is thrown away, that mercury does not decompose, but instead leaches into the soil and then into the ocean. But Li has hope, pointing to his childhood hero’s invention as an example. “If you went into Wal-Mart 10 years ago to buy a lightbulb, you would find Edison’s incandescent bulb. Today, if you go to walmart.com to search for one, the top results are LED-based. LED has good characteristics: They are efficient, have a low voltage, and aren’t toxic. You’ll see more UV LED technologies as well.” –KELLEY FREUND

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Chris Lee

PhD BME 12 // Founder, Woodbridge Foundation & Chairman & CEO, Huxley Medical, Inc. BEYOND co-founding several successful startups of his own—Vertera Spine and Huxley Medical—Lee serves as an advisor and seed investor for seven healthcare technology startups, four of which were founded by fellow Tech alumni. After the acquisition of his first company, he founded Woodbridge Foundation to support students and researchers in starting their own healthcare companies.

Yellow Jacket Advice Study what interests you. My success started when I ignored the expectations for me and focused only on the opportunities that excited me. It has made all the difference in the world.

Ignacio Montoya MBID 18 // Executive Director: HINRI Labs SEVEN YEARS AGO, Montoya was in a car accident that left him physically paralyzed. He woke up three months after the accident determined to walk again. Now, he’s leading HINRI Labs in the research of spinal cord injuries and testing, experimenting, and developing biomedical devices using his own body as a test subject. He recently became the first person to walk 650 miles in an exoskeleton-orthosis device suspended over a treadmill.

A First-of-Its-Kind Road Trip This year, Montoya drove the first-ever wheelchair-adapted Ford Explorer with a one-handed double piston joystick from Atlanta to L.A.

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VOLUME 96

ALUMNI HOUSE

ISSUE 3

DRESSED FOR THE SEASON It’s something of a Tech tradition to keep the statue of beloved Dean George C. Griffin dressed for the times. So it wasn’t out of place to see him sporting the latest fashions of this unusual season—a face mask—in his new location outside the Smithgall Student Services (Flag) building.


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THE INSIDER’S GUIDE TO MENTORSHIP

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THE YEAR OF THE PIVOT?

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RAMBLIN’ ROLL

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TECH HISTORY

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THE INSIDER’S GUIDE TO MENTORSHIP

WE ASKED PAIRS OF MENTORS AND MENTEES TO PROVIDE A BEHIND-THE-SCENES LOOK AT THE PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL SIDES OF EXCEPTIONAL MENTORSHIP. BY ERIN PETERSON

ILLUSTRATIONS DELPHINE LEE

CALL IT A SECRET SUPERPOWER. Georgia Tech students know from the start that they’ll take great courses taught by top-notch professors, which will give them the skills they need to excel beyond graduation. But what students might not realize when they enroll is that they also get access to a vast network of alumni who can help propel them to that next step. By providing introductions, access to internships, and real-world advice, alumni play a critical role in helping the next generation of Yellow Jackets succeed. One of the most powerful ways that these alumni-student connections play out is through formal and informal mentorships. For example, the Mentor Jackets program, which is run through the Georgia Tech Alumni Association, has helped match up students and alumni for short “Minute Mentoring” and longer-term one-toone mentorship. In the pages that follow, we asked two pairs of mentors and mentees to give us a deeper look at their relationships to find out what made them tick—along with some of the good advice that has helped them succeed in their roles.


“HE KNOWS WHAT IT’S LIKE.” Since 2017, Apex Financial Services founder Lee Baker, IE 90, has mentored Auston Kennedy, IE 19. Kennedy is an Aladdin Client Services Analyst for the asset management service BlackRock. L E E B A K E R : I didn’t have any mentors connected to Tech when I was a student, but I always listened to folk. [Later on, I wanted to mentor others, but] there weren’t a lot of opportunities [in my field]. The percentage of African Americans and Latinos with a Certified Financial Planner certification is minuscule: less than 3.5 percent. But I was president of the Georgia Tech Black Alumni Organization. When I got a call to be involved with Mentor Jackets, that was an easy fit for me. A U S T O N K E N N E D Y : I was a pretty involved Black student leader on campus, and because of that, Lee and I crossed paths periodically. We struck up a conversation at a Student Alumni Association event. I was trying to figure out how to use my industrial engineering degree to take a different path. I didn’t want to do something conventional like manufacturing or logistics. He said we should formalize [the relationship] through Mentor Jackets, and that’s how we got started. BAKER: For me, that formalization was about being more intentional and going deeper. It’s one thing for me to tell people about my work experience; it’s another to dig in, get to know a person, and talk about how you view the world. K E N N E D Y : Having a Black alum as a mentor definitely provided a valuable

perspective. He knows what it’s like to be Black at Georgia Tech, he understands the challenges that Black professionals run into, and he cares a lot about seeing Black students—particularly Black folks from Georgia Tech—succeed, because that’s the position he was in. B A K E R : For example, how are we viewed when we walk into a room and it’s nothing but white guys? Based

on [a person’s] previous experiences, there’s a movie that starts playing in your head. If you’re African American and folk don’t know you, they may not talk to you. It might simply be because they don’t know you! But if you’re Black, you at least wonder. So how do you overcome that? If Auston and I are going to any kind of association meeting in a corporate environment, there are things like this that can be a heavier burden. There aren’t a lot of people like GTALUMNI.ORG/MAGAZINE | FALL 2020

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ALUMNI HOUSE us, so it’s important to learn to navigate those situations. K E N N E D Y : I’ll also always remember the advice Lee gave me about being civically involved as a professional. I remember we were at the Burger Bytes in Tech Square. I was really involved as a student in extracurriculars and leadership. And he said, “Make sure you don’t let that fall by the wayside.” He explained that it would benefit me as a professional and grow my network. But more important, as someone with a Georgia Tech degree, he said I’d have the opportunity to keep having an

impact on my community. Communities always need folks who are invested and engaged. Once you’re on the other side of your degree, you’ve got to keep doing the same things you’ve been doing. It matters a lot. BAKER: I really believe that. My father was a minister, and he believed that the best sermon he could ever preach was the life that he lived. You can graduate from Georgia Tech, work in industry, and make an impact on social things. KENNEDY: I have done that. I applied to be on the board for the Georgia Tech

Black Alumni Organization, and I’m getting involved with the Black Professionals Network for the Atlanta office of BlackRock. BAKER: Working with Auston—someone who isn’t just going to get a good job, but who’s motivated to go beyond that and give back? It’s refreshing, it’s heartening, it’s a [hit] of adrenaline. I don’t ever want to be one of those people who gets calcified. Auston gave me the opportunity to see through the eyes of someone younger and to relate to the next generation.

HOW TO BE A GOOD MENTEE: BE INTENTIONAL. “Mentors are busy, highly engaged professionals. They’re willing to invest in you! But you have to ask for what you need. They’re not going to chase you down, so you’ve got to take the initiative to maintain that relationship. I’ve heard lots of stories from people who admit they fell off with their mentor, and it’s just because they haven’t made a call or sent an email. It’s simple, but that can make or break that relationship.”

—AUSTON KENNEDY

HOW TO BE A GOOD MENT0R: TRULY GET TO KNOW YOUR MENTEE. “Today’s students are so bright, but they really do benefit from our experience and connections. Remember that you’re not a professor who’s giving a lecture. You’ve got to develop a real relationship.”

—LEE BAKER

“ I T H O U G H T , ‘ W E ’ R E G O I N G T O D O R E A L LY COOL THINGS TOGETHER.’ ” Malory Atkinson, BC 08, mentored Mahwesh Hansraj, ID 12. Both spent years at the Foresite Group, an engineering, planning, and design firm. Atkinson is now founder and managing partner of the structural engineering firm Shear Structural. Hansraj is a design program manager at Facebook.

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M A H W E S H H A N S R A J : Malory had advertised an internship position [at Foresite] through someone in our sorority list. When I interviewed, we were such a good match. M A L O R Y AT K I N S O N : Our personalities meshed well—we were passionate about design and marketing and working for an engineering company. That’s not typically something you find. But I

could tell she was passionate and had a great attitude. I thought, “We’re going to do really cool things together.” HANSRAJ: Almost immediately, Malory set up great two-way communication. She was always comfortable sharing quick feedback. So if I was coming out of a meeting and I was nervous or had a twitch that was distracting from my presentation, she would tell me that.


And she was always looking for feedback on how to be a better manager. AT K I N S O N : So much of those conversations come with respect. We had different perspectives on things, and when we worked together, the two of us were better than individually. I’d give her responsibility for something, she’d excel, and then I could give her more responsibility.

H A N S R A J : At one point, I was clear about my passions for working on design-led projects, so Malory helped me build out a business case to take to our execs advocating that I start my own division of the business.

and I helped her flesh out the [case]. By the time she presented, she had all the details worked out. And the executive team saw how [the idea] made sense. She was so prepared, and she was successful.

ATKINSON: I knew she’d have to get buyin from the executive team, so I walked Mahwesh through the pros and cons, we did a [strategic planning] analysis,

H A N S R A J : Over the course of the following years, I built out a full practice at the firm. I consulted on branding and design projects for external GTALUMNI.ORG/MAGAZINE | FALL 2020

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HOW TO BE A GOOD MENTOR: PROVIDE ROOM FOR GROWTH. “When you mentor someone, you don’t tamp them down. You must give them the resources and tools to be amazing at their work while giving them a safe space to fail and, ultimately, excel and grow.”

—MALORY ATKINSON

HOW TO BE A GOOD MENTEE:

MIX IT UP. “I like to set up quarterly or even monthly conversations. Sometimes, we talk about how we’re doing personally, sometimes I’ll have specific questions about dealing with a difficult personality on my team, sometimes I’m trying to think strategically about my five-year plan. But it’s your job, as the mentee, to initiate and maintain the relationship.”

—MAHWESH HANSRAJ

companies in our niche industry. I had to create and fulfill my own revenue goals and profitability margins, hire my own staff, acquire new business, and manage my own client relationships. It was a steep professional development path that was only possible through the relationship we

had built. H A N S R A J : Today, so much of the way I think about myself as a manager is based on how Malory was with me. She fostered two-way feedback, something I do now. And not just with my direct reports, but with all of my partners.

She encouraged me to build a network across and outside of a company. She got me hooked on the idea of having conversations with rock stars around an industry, just to reach out for a coffee or a video call. It was such a good relationship, and I’m always trying to build that with others.

NEW WAYS TO CONNECT Every year, an average 900 students and 700 mentors participate in the Georgia Tech Alumni Association’s Mentor Jackets program. The program is expected to grow this year as more mentees look for ways to prepare themselves for an uncertain job market and as the program offers more ways to connect remotely. “With Covid-19, all our programs are offered online so no matter where an alum is in the world, they can participate,” says Emily Laurence, Mentor Jackets Advisor. “This year, we want to encourage alumni in all stages of life to participate—including our young alumni who are one to five years out,” she says. While older alumni can provide valuable advice for students, young alumni mentors are uniquely positioned to help current students navigate class selection and provide tips for taking those first steps after graduation, Laurence says. “They just went through it themselves, and that perspective is so valuable for mentees,” she says.

MENTOR JAC KETS COMMUNITIES Mentor Jackets pairs current students with alumni from all backgrounds. For some students, being paired with a mentor from a similar background can make the relationship even more worthwhile. In partnership with the Georgia Tech Black Alumni Organization and the Chinese Affinity Network, Mentor Jackets launched a new feature this year that facilitates pairings between Black students and Black alumni and between Chinese students and Chinese alumni. “We heard from students that they wanted this because they were looking for a mentor with a similar life experience,” says Laurence. Seeing yourself represented in the GT alumni community can be meaningful for current students, she says. Mentors and mentees may opt-in to the program during Mentor Jackets registration. Register for Mentor Jackets at gtmentorjackets.com.

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CONNECT WITH YOUR COMMUNITY Introducing Georgia Tech Connect, an all-inclusive online platform connecting you with Georgia Tech alumni.

Find your old roommate with the Alumni Directory. Connect and then chat with fellow alumni in your industry. Discover your next opportunity with professional development webinars. Develop a mutually beneficial mentor opportunity.

Register today at connect.gtalumni.org

GTALUMNI.ORG/MAGAZINE | FALL 2020

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STAFF SPOTLIGHT

THE YEAR OF THE PIVOT?

NOW COULD BE THE BEST TIME TO TAKE STOCK OF WHERE YOU’RE AT AND MAKE A PROFESSIONAL LEAP.

BY JENNIFER HERSEIM

W H I L E T H E P A N D E M I C has caused record unemployment rates, for many, 2020 might be the best time to re-evaluate career goals, grow skills, and even make the jump to a new field. 2020 is being called “The Year of the Pivot” as businesses pivot to

remote operations and as more individuals take stock of their skills and re-assess their goals in the short- and long-term. Charlotte Anders and Len Contardo, Georgia Tech Alumni Association’s professional development and career services team, are no strangers

to pivoting, having shifted career and professional development programming over the years to make it the most relevant to Georgia Tech alumni. Below, Anders and Contardo spoke with the Alumni Magazine about growing professionally during a pandemic.

CHARLOTTE ANDERS DIRECTOR OF ALUMNI CAREER & PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT DEGREE: MASTER’S IN HUMAN RESOURCES YEARS AT THE ASSOCIATION: 4.

Always make it a goal to learn something new, says Charolotte Anders.

Q: WHAT DOES “THE YEAR OF THE PIVOT” MEAN? C O N TA R D O : People are taking this opportunity to do a skills inventory of their backgrounds, assess what motivates them, and maybe make a change to go in different career directions. Maybe that requires more education or a leap of faith into entrepreneurship, but we’re seeing people use the 68

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pandemic as a time to look at what their calling is, and in some cases, make changes.

Q:

H O W C A N I N D I V I D U A L S G R O W P R OFESSIONALLY DURING A PANDEMIC? CONTARDO: Flexibility is key. If you really want to differentiate yourself in an organization, this is the time to help out, and to help in an area that you’re

interested in. It may redefine you in a positive way as a problem-solver and someone who wants to go in a different direction. ANDERS: Be very open and adaptive to change. We are in a brave new world and we may be in this world for quite some time. Also, always make it a goal to learn something new, whether that’s new software or a new language.


LEN CONTARDO SENIOR DIRECTOR OF HUMAN RESOURCES & PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT DEGREE: MASTER’S IN HUMAN RESOURCES YEARS AT THE ASSOCIATION: 22.

C O N T A R D O : Now is a great time to take advantage of the online learning available, especially since work is so flexible. Focus on areas that make you more marketable in your current role, and try to develop skills in areas where you have aspirations.

Q : T H E A L U M N I A S S O C I AT I O N B E G A N EXPANDING PROFESSIONAL AND CAREER SERVICES IN ADDITION TO JOB SEARCH TOOLS ABOUT 5 YEARS AGO. WHY THE SHIFT? C O N TA R D O : Georgia Tech grads have some of the highest job placement rates in the country. (In 2019–2020, 90% of Yellow Jackets with a bachelor’s received job offers.) So, we saw that a small number of our alumni needed job search tools, and a huge number needed more professional development offerings on topics such as entrepreneurship, expanding clientele, and developing a business.

EXPLORE AND REGISTER

An alumni network is even more critical during uncertain times, says Len Contardo.

We recruited Charlotte, who has the career services experience to create that type of programming.

Q : SINCE THEN, THE ASSOCIATION’S PROFESSIONAL AND CAREER SERVICES PROGRAMMING HAS BEEN AHEAD OF TRENDS IN THE FIELD. ANDERS: Yes, we’ve received a lot of interest from other Associations about what we’re doing here. Len and I are truly a great team. CONTARDO: We are both committed to maintaining the fine tradition of serving alumni with their career needs. Our program was started in 1923 by Bobby Jones, the golfer. He wanted a networking resource for alumni to help other alumni find jobs. We take that spirit very seriously and want to make it as easy as possible for alumni to leverage the resources that we have.

for upcoming career and professional development

webinars at www.gtalumni.org. Have an idea for a future webinar? Email charlotte.anders@alumni.gatech.edu.

So we do our best to find Georgia Tech alumni speakers and vet them before we share them with our alumni community.

Q : W H E R E ’ S P R O F E S S I O N A L D E V E L O PMENT GOING IN THE NEXT 5 YEARS? ANDERS: Virtual learning opens up so many opportunities. Virtual happy hours are even a thing! But this flexible format is an opportunity where we can give people different ways to learn new things. The stars who take advantage of it are going to shine. C O N TA R D O : One of the things that will not change and may be even more pronounced, is the value of the alumni network. Leveraging that network will become even more important to growing your career in addition to the skill development. Because skill development is great, but it doesn’t give you the market intelligence and insight about corporate culture that comes from talking with other people. Reaching out to other Georgia Tech alumni can provide that insight. GTALUMNI.ORG/MAGAZINE | FALL 2020

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ALUMNI HOUSE

ALUMNI TRAVEL PHOTO CONTEST WINNERS

CONGRATULATIONS TO THIS YEAR’S WINNERS. THE PHOTOS submitted for this year’s Georgia Tech Alumni Travel Photo Contest remind us of the adventures that await, as soon as it’s safe to travel together again. The photo contest is open to any Georgia Tech alumni, spouses, and friends who participated in a Georgia Tech Alumni Travel sponsored tour in the given year.

C A T E G O RY:

PLACES

CASA DE MATEUS, MANOR AND WINERY — PORTUGAL Sharlene Smith

C A T E G O RY: A N I M A L S

PEACE AT THE PYRAMIDS — EGYPT Marci Kawalek

C A T E G O RY: P E O P L E

BRIDE – MOSQUE AT SALADIN CITADEL — EGYPT H. George Menhorn III, IE 68

C A T E G O RY: C U LT U R E

LEARNING AN ANCIENT TRADE — EGYPT David Amoni 70

FALL 2020 | GTALUMNI.ORG/MAGAZINE


THE EVENTS THAT SHAPED US

ALUMNI HOUSE

THE CLASSES OF 1970, 1980, AND 1995 ARE CELEBRATING MILESTONE REUNIONS. SEE THE EVENTS AND MEMORIES THAT DEFINED THEIR YEARS AT TECH. C L A S S O F 197 0 : 5 0 T H R E U N I O N T U M U LT U O U S T I M E S

Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in 1968 in Memphis, Tenn. In 1969, students burned the Blueprint at Peters Park in protest of a perceived editorial slant. Graduation was under the starlight ceiling at the Fox Theatre. And, “getting out” carried with it the possibility of being drafted to the military. “We graduated at a very uncertain time,” says Jim Harris, ChE 70. “In 1970, when you graduated, you either knew you were going to the military because of your draft number or something different.” The tumultuous period of the late ‘60s shaped the tenor

“NERD HUMOR WAS ALIVE A N D W E L L”

of the Class of 1970. “Our class was forged by challenges and severe outside pressures, but we persevered,” says Ron Nash, IE 70. “When you look back, having to work through those tough times may have been what created the loyalty, the steadfast support, and the gratitude to Tech that we have expressed every year since getting out.”

“In 1968, Georgia Tech’s Young Republicans brought a live elephant to a mock presidential debate on campus. The elephant was even interviewed by WREK radio,” says Ron Nash, IE 70, who was president of the Young Republicans at the time. “Nerd humor was alive and well at Tech,” he says.

C L A S S O F 19 8 0 : 4 0 T H R E U N I O N

C L A S S O F 19 9 5 : 2 5 T H R E U N I O N

A PRESIDENTIAL VISIT

S U M M E R O LY M P I C S I N A T L A N TA

In 1979, President Jimmy Carter addressed students at McCamish Pavilion. President Carter attended Tech in 1946 and was awarded an honorary degree in 1979. “He made a joke about having to become President to get a degree from Ga. Tech,” says Carlos Barroso, ChE 80.

D R . S H E R RY ’ S DA I LY R I T U A L

Chemistry students fondly remember chemistry with Dr. Peter Sherry, Chem 49, MS Chem 50, and his unique way of starting class. He would meticulously erase the board and bang the erasers, says Carlos Barroso, ChE 80. One day, students came in to thoroughly clean the board and erasers. “Dr. Sherry comes in, looks at the board, which is spotless, then looks at the class with a slight smile. He proceeds to perform the same ritual, erasing the board and banging the erasers.”

The class of 1995 witnessed the transformation of Atlanta in the years leading up to the 1996 Summer Olympic Games. “Georgia Tech was perfectly geographically situated and heavily woven into the plans for the Olympic Village,” remembers Stewart Cink, Mgt 95. “In light of this milestone, I remember feeling like it was our class’s responsibility to represent Tech well both during and after our days as students, as we would always be tied to this historic event.”

THE CONCEPT OF “WORD”

As a transfer student, Lisa Cink, Bio 95, was bewildered when she received a C on her first test after feeling like she had aced it. “I marched directly into my virology professor’s office demanding to know why my correct answers had resulted in a low grade,” she says. “He patiently sat me down and enlightened me on the concept of ‘Word,’ the utilization of old tests to prepare for current ones.” He said a correct answer was the minimum at Tech. “I can’t say that was the last C I made, but I did eventually make it to the finish line of graduating.”

GTALUMNI.ORG/MAGAZINE | FALL 2020

71


RAMBLIN’ ROLL

CL ASS NOTES & ALUMNI UPDATES

ACTING DIRECTOR OF THE SPACE STATION Robyn Gatens, ChE 84, has been named acting director of the International Space Station. Gatens has more than 35 years of experience in the space station program and with the development of life support systems for human spaceflight missions. She will provide technical advice for the program, as well as overseeing program execution and managing risks. 72

FALL 2020 | GTALUMNI.ORG/MAGAZINE


G E O R G I A T O W N D E C L A R E S “ C A M I L L E B E R RY DA Y ” I N H O N O R O F T E C H N I G H T S C H O O L A L U M N A OFFICIALS IN CAMILLE BERRY’S HOMETOWN of Griffin, Ga., declared Aug. 24 “Camille Berry Day” in honor of the Georgia Tech Evening School alumna turning 100 years old. Berry, wearing a 100 birthday crown, watched as parishioners from First Presbyterian Church held a “drive-by” parade to celebrate her big day. Berry earned her certificate in safety engineering from Tech’s Evening School of Applied Science in 1943. From 1942 to 1945, she was a WWII safety director at the J.A. Jones Construction Compa-

Camille Berry attended Tech Night School during WWII.

ny Ship Yard in Brunswick, Ga., which

recognized for her service

produced Liberty Ships for the war ef-

to Griffin as a Woman of

fort. She also became an accomplished

Distinction. She was also

singer and served as president of the

recognized by her church in 1999 as an

IM 69, and Proctor Berry, IM 73) and

Music Club of Griffin. She volunteered

Outstanding Senior.

one grandson (Alex Berry, CE 07) are

for many years with the Headstart

Berry has three sons, five grandchil-

Program in Griffin. In 1998, she was

dren, and four great-grandchildren. Two

of her sons (Tom Berry,

also Tech alumni, as well as her late husband, Jake Berry, IM 39.

HOLDER ELECTED GEORGIA H I S T O R I C A L S O C I E T Y B OA R D C H A I R M A N chairman of the Georgia Historical So-

an honest understanding of our past

ciety (GHS). GHS is a 181-year-old

and I am excited about the role GHS will

statewide institution responsible for

play in building a better future,” he says.

collecting, examining, and teaching

Over the years, Holder held var-

Georgia history. “I am honored to as-

ious operations and management

sume this role at the Georgia Historical

positions within the Holder Construc-

Society and proud of all GHS has done

tion Company before being promoted

and continues to do for our state,” says

to President and CEO in 1989. In addi-

T H O M AS M . H O L D E R , I M 7 9 , chairman

Holder. “We are at a critical moment in

tion to the Georgia Historical Society, he

and CEO of the Holder Construction

our country’s development. Resolving

also serves on the board of the Georgia

Company, has been named board

the challenges confronting us requires

Tech Foundation.

WANT TO SHARE YOUR NEWS? Send your Ramblin’ Roll submissions to: Editor, Georgia Tech Alumni Magazine, 190 North Ave. N.W., Atlanta, GA 30313, or editor@alumni.gatech.edu. You can also submit your personal news, birth and wedding announcements (with photos!), out-and-about snapshots, and in memoriam notices online at gtalumni.org/magazine.

GTALUMNI.ORG/MAGAZINE | FALL 2020

73


RAMBLIN� ROLL LUCAS NAMED CEO OF HALLMARK CHANNEL movies that were as enriching as they were entertaining,” Lucas says. “I am honored to link arms with the multi-talented leaders and their teams at Crown to build toward an exciting future.” Crown Media Family Networks is a subsidiary company of Hallmark

W O N YA L U C A S , I E 8 3 , was named president and CEO of Crown Media

Cards, Inc., headed by CEO Mike Perry, to whom Lucas will report.

Family Networks, the parent com-

“She has a track record of success

pany of cable channels Hallmark

in driving business results and evolving

Channel, Hallmark Movies and Mys-

the positioning and programming of a

teries, and Hallmark Drama.

brand” says Perry.

Lucas’ attention will be focused

Most recently the president and

on expanding Crown Media’s televi-

CEO of Public Broadcasting Atlan-

sion presence by leading the strategic

ta, Lucas has served as president and

direction, daily management, and

CEO of TV One and also worked

growth of all three linear networks as

with Discovery, TNT, NPR, and the

well as the subscription streaming ser-

Weather Channel, among others.

vice Hallmark Movies Now.

She currently serves on the Peabody

“Hallmark has been central to

Awards Board of Jurors and is the for-

my life since I can remember, start-

mer vice chair of the national NPR

ing with those Hallmark Hall of Fame

board.

SCOTT HEEFNER, CE 79, was appointed president of Allegheny Science & Technology Corp. (AST). He assumed the role on July 1.

NOELLE CURREY, MS ME 92, PHD ME 96, was recognized as the 2020 Ike Zerinque Engineer of the Year by the Tennessee Valley Authority. The award is the utility’s highest engineering honor. She received the award for a programming solution that led to an estimated cost savings for TVA of several million dollars. BARRY FLINK, BM 73, executive vice president and partner of Flex HR, Inc., has been named to the advisory board of Departures magazine. Flink has 40 years of management experience in multiple industries. He is an executive in residence at Kennesaw State University and has served on the board of directors of both Georgia Tech’s College of Management and KSU’s Coles College of Business. He’s also been a visiting lecturer at several universities including Georgia Tech.

KURT LUTHER, PHD HCC 12, was promoted to associate professor

AST is an energy solutions firm with expertise in applied science and technology, mission assurance

He has served as a chief growth of-

and support, and data and decision

ficer and vice president for multiple

analytics.

companies. In addition to serving as

Heefner is a licensed professional

the firm’s president, Heefner will fo-

engineer and has more than 35 years

cus on driving AST’s growth strategy,

of diverse engineering and manage-

with heavy emphasis on Fossil & Sus-

ment consulting experience in federal,

tainable Energy and Environmental

commercial, and global markets.

markets.

FALL 2020 | GTALUMNI.ORG/MAGAZINE

KRISTIN CORNISH, MGT 04, was named one of the “Top 100 Women in Cybersecurity for 2020” by Cyber Defense Magazine. Cornish is director of information security, North American region, for The Coca-Cola Company.

B.C. KILLOUGH, IE 74, a business and patent attorney, has been named to two of the newly created South Carolina Research Authority Business and Science Advisory Boards— Biomedical Sciences, and Industry 4.0. He will serve as chair of the latter.

HEEFNER APPOINTED PRESIDENT OF AST

74

CLASS NOTES

with tenure in the Department of Computer Science at Virginia Tech. KEN NAGEL, CE 91, has been named as the 2020–21 President of the American Public Works Association South Carolina Chapter’s Executive Committee.


CLASS NOTES 27 others and has begun his

ALBERT POREE, MGT 03, has been named head football coach at John F. Kennedy High School in New Orleans, La.

program at West Chester University of Pennsylvania. The Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship is a

BRIAN POST, MS ME 10, PHD ME 13, has been selected as a 2020 Ronald P. Harrelson Outstanding Young Manufacturing Engineer by SME. C HARLOTTE J. REDO, PSY 95, has been selected to the 2020 Georgia Super Lawyers, a list of top attorneys that only 5% of Georgia’s best make it to. She has also been selected as the Chair of the Labor & Employment Section of the Georgia Association of Black Women Attorneys (GABWA) for the fifth consecutive year. WILLIAM H. ROBINSON , MS EE 98, PHD ECE 03, has been appointed vice provost for academic advancement and executive director of the Provost’s Office for Inclusive Excellence at Vanderbilt University. KEN SALTZMAN , CMPE 01, was named principal of information technology for MBAF Certified Public Accountants and Advisors, in addition to serving as the acting chief technology officer of the firm. He is responsible for ensuring workflow across MBAF’s 13 offices with more than 650 employees under his command.

highly competitive program that recruits people with strong backgrounds in the science, technology, engi-

ALUMNUS AWARDED WOODROW WILSON TEACHING FELLOWSHIP

neering, and math fields and prepares them specifically to teach in high-need secondary schools in Pennsylvania. “I look forward to blending the content knowledge that I acquired at

NICHOL AS PINTO, ECON 19, MATH 19,

Georgia Tech with the pedagogy I

has been recruited for the 2020 class

will develop at West Chester in order

of Woodrow Wilson

to deliver exceptional experiences to

Pennsylvania Teach-

secondary students in Philadelphia,”

ing Fellows along with

says Pinto.

OUT & ABOUT

JOE SC HNEIDER, C HE 86, was elected as a Fellow of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), the highest grade of membership based on professional achievements and accomplishments. He works for Mosaic Fertilizer as Strategic Initiatives Director. DAVID ZISKIND, EE 05, joined Black & Veatch as director of engineering in January 2020.

In Northern California, YORKMAN LOWE, ME 73, does not often see reminders of Tech. But on Aug. 1, very near his home in Emeryville, Calif, he was stopped in traffic behind a car that bore a Georgia Tech license plate frame. “Sorry to say that I couldn’t get a photo or get out to say hello,” Lowe says. Was this you?

GTALUMNI.ORG/MAGAZINE | FALL 2020

75


RAMBLIN� ROLL

BIRTHS 1.

BRITTON ALEXANDER, ME 05, and Katie Alexander welcomed their first son, Samuel James, on March 15.

2.

MATT BUNN, MGT 13, and QUINN BUNN, MGT 14, welcomed their daughter Blair Suzanne on Jan. 15.

3. VICTOR JAWORSKI, ME 07, and wife, Casenya, welcomed the birth of their second child, Vivian Harper Reznor Jaworski, on Oct. 9, 2019.

4.

ERIC JOHNSTON, BA 16, and his wife, Bree, welcomed their daughter, Charlotte Marie Johnston, on Aug. 31. Proud grandparents, Stephanie Johnston and Wade Johnston, both work at Georgia Tech.

1

2

3

4

6

7

5.

MORGAN PAINTER RYBKA, ARCH 15, and CONRAD RYBKA, IE 15, welcomed future Yellow Jacket John Conrad “Jace” Rybka on May 7.

6.

HAYES TODD, MGT 05, and Kelley Todd welcomed their son Jackson Robert Todd on July 9. He is the third generation of a Yellow Jacket in the family.

7.

ZACH TRIBBLE, IE 08, and Christie Tribble welcomed their daughter Madeline in Atlanta on April 4.

5

76

FALL 2020 | GTALUMNI.ORG/MAGAZINE


Your unrestricted gift to Roll Call helps make the Tech experience possible. Your investment in Roll Call enables Georgia Tech students to fulfill their dreams and ensures a world-class experience for all Yellow Jackets. The impact you make through your unrestricted gift to Roll Call each year remains a constant in the lives of our students. Your generosity can help shape the entrepreneurs, engineers, and leaders of tomorrow!

gtalumni.org/givetoday


PHOTOGRAPH NICOLE CAPPELLO/GEORGIA TECH

IN MEMORIAM 78

FALL 2020 | GTALUMNI.ORG/MAGAZINE

WE REMEMBER & HONOR THE FOLLOWING


JAMES D. “JIM” MEINDL: PROFESSOR & GIANT IN SEMICONDUCTOR WORLD JAMES D. “JIM” MEINDL, OF GREENSB O R O , G A . , O N J U N E 7 . Meindl was a

Stanford University, Meindl

leader in the world of semiconductors

served as founding direc-

and a gentleman of the highest magni-

tor of the Integrated Circuits

tude. He came to Georgia Tech in 1993,

Laboratory, director of the

where he joined Electrical and Com-

Stanford Electronics Labo-

puter Engineering as the Joseph M.

ratories, associate dean for

Pettit Chair Professor in Microsystems

research in the School of

and served as the director of the Micro-

Engineering, and founding

electronics Research Center (MiRC) until

co-director of the Center for

his retirement in 2013.

Integrated Systems, which

From 1967 to 1986, at

Meindl served as the founding direc-

was a model for universi-

tor of the Nanotechnology Research

ty and industry cooperative

Center, which eventually became what

research in microelectronics.

is now known as the Institute for Electron-

At Georgia Tech, Meindl was the

corporate CEOs, university presidents,

ics and Nanotechnology. His arrival at

MiRC director for 20 years, where he

and deans. Among those PhD grad-

Georgia Tech brought instant visibility

pursued work on different solutions for

uates are three current Georgia Tech

to the Institute, and his leadership was

fixing interconnectivity problems that

ECE faculty members: Muhannad Ba-

immediately and positively felt in the de-

arise from trying to interconnect billions

kir, Jeff Davis, and Azad Naeemi. Even

velopment of microelectronics research

of transistors within a tiny chip. Meindl

after graduation, alumni of his research

and education.

was also the founding director of the

groups considered Meindl as a person

Meindl was born in Pittsburgh, Pa.,

SIA/DOD Interconnect Focus Center,

they turned to when trying to make ca-

and received his PhD, master’s, and

leading a national team of more than

reer and life decisions. He was also

bachelor’s degrees in 1958, 1956,

60 faculty members from MIT, Stanford,

determined to pass on to his students

and 1955, respectively, in electrical

RPI, Cornell University, SUNY-Albany,

his ability to see industry needs far into

engineering at Carnegie Institute of

and Georgia Tech.

the future.

Technology (now Carnegie-Mellon Uni-

In 2009, he became founding direc-

Meindl’s leadership and technical

versity). He was an outstanding leader

tor of the Nanotechnology Research

awards are many, but a short list in-

in four distinct venues for 50-plus years.

Center, the largest dual-facility clean-

cludes the 2006 IEEE Medal of Honor,

From 1959 to 1967, at the U.S. Army

room in the southeastern United States,

2004 SRC Aristotle Award, 2001 Geor-

Electronics Laboratories, Meindl worked

bringing together physical sciences

gia Tech Class of 1934 Distinguished

with integrated circuits (ICs)—a field then

and engineering and biological and

Professor Award, 2000 IEEE Third Mil-

barely six months old—and served con-

biomedical nanotechnology research

lennium Medal, 1999 SIA University

secutively as section leader, branch

capabilities. His record of leadership in

Research Award, 1991 ASEE Benjamin

chief, and founding director of the Inte-

microelectronics and nanotechnology is

Garver Lamme Medal, and 1990 IEEE

grated Electronics Division, made up of

unmatched.

Education Medal.

Meindl published over 600 articles

He was a member of the National

and four books, and he was issued 23

Academy of Engineering, a Life Fel-

Meindl worked with early industry pi-

patents. From 1966 to 1971, he served

low of IEEE, Fellow of the American

oneers, who taught him about ICs, and

as the founding editor of the IEEE Jour-

Association for the Advancement of

he then began his own research, trying

nal of Solid-State Circuits. Meindl’s 90

Science, Eminent Member of Eta Kap-

to figure out how to make an IC oper-

PhD graduates from Stanford, RPI, and

pa Nu, and a Life Member of Sigma Xi.

ate at a power level so low that it could

Georgia Tech have had a profound im-

—GEORGIA TECH SCHOOL OF

be used inside a helmet as part of a ra-

pact on the semiconductor industry and

ELECTRIC AL AND COMPUTER

dio receiver.

on academia in many roles, including as

EN GINEERIN G

80 people with responsibility for all USAEL R&D efforts in microelectronics.

GTALUMNI.ORG/MAGAZINE | FALL 2020

79


IN MEMORIAM

19 4 0S

GEORGE L. BUC HANAN , CE 49, of Knoxville, Tenn., on May 22. EUGENE R. CL ARK JR., IM 49,

of Albany, Ga., on May 30. EDWARD S. EVERETT, IE 48, of

Pooler, Ga., on June 12. L AUGHLIN C. “ YANK” MCLEAN JR., ME 49, of Birmingham,

Ala., on May 20. CONNOR F. NELSON JR., IM 49, of Atlanta, on June 20. JOHN C. OGILVIE, C HE 48, of

Fort Myers, Fla., on May 9. FRANCIS A . PRIESTER, EE 49,

of Panama City, Fla., on July 19. MARION A . SAMS, CLS 45, of

Roswell, Ga., on July 4. RUDOLPH C. SC HULZ, ME 47,

of Germantown, Tenn., on July 15. ANDREW C. WATSON JR., ME 48, of Loganville, Ga., on May 21.

19 5 0S

ARTHUR H. BUC KLEY, IE 57,

of Fayetteville, Ga., on May 1.

JERROLD A . MOORE, M CRP 58, of Corpus Christi, Texas, on July 25.

YUAN C. “GENE” C HANG, TEXT 52, MS TEXT 53, of Bar-

JOHN L. PARKER JR., AE 58, of

rington, Ill., on May 29.

Mechanicsville, Va., on March 20.

GLENN G. COBB, ME 55, of Bra-

CL ARENCE W. PHILLIPS, ME

denton, Fla., on July 8.

55, of Ormond Beach, Fla., on April 14.

NATHANIEL J. “JAC K”

WILLIAM S. PORTER JR., AE

COUC H, ARC H 50, of Macon, Ga.,

57, of Huntsville, Ala., on July 11.

on July 22. CEDRIC G. ROBERTS, TEXT 54, DONALD R. DUGGER, CE 55, of

of Greenville, N.C., on June 7.

DeLand, Fla., on July 12. L AMAR H. ROBERTS, ARC H 51, HARRY W. DUKES, IM 55, of Du-

of Atlanta, on June 6.

luth, Ga., on May 10. CARL J. SC HAFER, C HE 54, of HENRY S. “SPEER” EZZARD,

Pensacola, Fla., on May 27.

ME 50, of Columbus, N.C., on

April 15.

GEORGE SINKEZ, CE 52, of Vir-

ginia Beach, Va., on July 10. ROBERT W. GLENN , C HE 59, of

Sunbury, Ga., on May 29.

FREDERIC K E. SMITH JR., IE 58, of Midlothian, Va., on June 22.

GEORGE W. HENDRIX JR., EE 50, of Atlanta, on April 2.

LESTER J. “JAC K” STANBERY JR., IM 59, of Mobile, Ala., on

EMMETTE G. JAC KSON JR., ME

July 28.

52, of Hingham, Mass., on May 22. DONALD L. TEDDER, CLS 57, WILLIAM P. KILLIAN , C HE 57,

of Cumming, Ga., on May 26.

of Sarasota, Fla., on July 6. C HARLES T. “ TOMMY” ALVIN A . KURZER, TEXT 54, of

TILLMAN II, CLS 52, of Atlanta,

Atlanta, on June 8.

Cranston, R.I., on July 2.

on June 17.

BENJAMIN H. BRINKLEY JR.,

WILLIAM A . MARTIN , IM 54, of

EDMUND A . WALLER,

Atlanta, on May 16.

IM 53, of Gainesville, Ga.,

JAMES C. BAILEY, CE 51, of

TEXT 50, MS TEXT 52, of Birming-

on July 1.

ham, Ala., on July 17. ALBERT W. “MAC” MCCLESJERRY C. BROOKS, IE 58, of

Columbus, N.C., on June 5.

KEY, CLS 53, of Fort Walton Beach,

STERLING J. WEEMS, ME 52,

Fla., on June 4.

of St. Petersburg, Fla., on May 20.

EDITOR’S NOTE We have changed the format for the In Memoriam section of the Georgia Tech Alumni Magazine. We will include an abbreviated version of each obituary in print, while publishing the full obituaries on our website. To read these full obituaries, please visit gtalumni.org/magazine.

80

FALL 2020 | GTALUMNI.ORG/MAGAZINE


JOHN M. MILLS, IM 67, of CARL L. WILLIAMS JR., TEXT

Alpharetta, Ga., on June 25.

54, of Columbus, Ga., on March 19. LOUIS E. “ED” MOODY, EE 6 4,

19 6 0S

MARION J. “M.J.” ALDRIDGE JR., PHYS 68, of McDonough, Ga.,

on May 26. DOUGL AS M. ALLEN , IM 65, of

Suffolk, Va., on July 3. DAVID C. BARBER, IM 68, of

Albuquerque, N.M., on May 2. EDWARD M. BEC KHAM II, IM 61, of Perry, Ga., on July 12. EDGAR B. “ED” BENNETT JR., ME 69, of Signal Mountain, Tenn., on

May 16. C HARLES F. CARSON , ME 60,

of High Point, N.C., on May 1. CRAIG S. C HANDLER, CLS 63,

of Bartlesville, Okla., on July 1. RAEBURN V. “RIP” COALSON , EE 62, of Rio Verde, Ariz., on April 20. DAVID A . CRAWFORD, IE 60, of

Saint Simons Island, Ga., on July 12. COLBERT L. DILDAY, AE 6 4, of

Fayetteville, N.C., on June 13. ROSWELL F. “FRED” DOT Y SR., CLS 62, of Alpharetta, Ga., on July

25. CONRAD W. KNIGHT, MS ME 67, of Palmyra, Pa., on July 6. JOSEPH M. LEE III, IE 60, of

Covington, Ga., on July 17.

of Clarks Summit, Pa., on July 25. KENNETH S. MULHOLL AND, IE 61, of Tampa, Fla., on May 16. YUSUF G. MUSSALLI, MS CE 67, PHD CE 70, of Pawtucket, R.I.,

on July 7. FRANKLIN R. NIX, IM 68, of

Atlanta, on May 11. EDISON A . PIC KLESIMER, ME 65, MS ME 67, of Greenville, S.C.,

on July 11.

Johnny Gresham with his wife, Lynda, in 2012.

WILLIAM “JOHNNY” J. GRESHAM JR: CIVIL S E R VA N T, T E C H S P O R T S H A L L O F FA M E R WILLIAM “JOHNNY” J. GRESHAM JR., IM 65, OF MARIETTA, GA., ON JULY 16. Georgia Tech Sports Hall of Fame inductee Johnny Gresham, who went on to a successful career as a real estate developer and civil servant following

WILLIAM S. POOLE, CLS 62, of

his standout career as a running back

Boynton Beach, Fla., on June 5.

at Tech, has died at age 77. Gresham

JOSEPH W. “J.W.” PORTER JR., EE 6 4, of Blue Ridge, Ga., on

July 19. WILLIAM C. “BILL” ROGERS,

played running back at Georgia Tech from 1962–64 and helped lead the Yellow Jackets to seven wins in each of his three seasons on The Flats. After graduating from Tech, Gresham

CE 65, of Kennesaw, Ga., on May 8.

went on to a successful career in com-

JOHN H. ROWLEY, IE 68, of

founded Gresham Realty Company in

Franklin, N.C., on March 3.

1969 and Gresham Real Estate Advisors

ALDEN A . “SAM” SCOTT, MS CE 60, of Charleston, S.C., on July 3. WILLIAM M. “BILL” SNEDDEN , IE 62, of DeLand, Fla., on July 14.

mercial real estate development. He

in 1998, and also served as managing partner of the Atlanta office for Lincoln Property Company and president/CEO of City Group, Inc. He was a member of the Georgia House of Representatives from

ARNOLD F. STALDER, C HE 63,

1987–90 and the board of the Geor-

PhD Chem 67, of Pleasant Prairie, Wis., on July 30.

gia Department of Transportation from

WALTER O. WHELC HEL, MS IM 62, of Atlanta, on June 25.

19 7 0S

1990–2007. He also served on more than 50 different boards of directors, including the Georgia Tech Advisory Board and the Georgia Tech Industrial Management Board. The 5t h S treet bridge over t he I-75/I-85 Connector in Midtown Atlanta,

RIC HARD R. LILLIE, M CRP 6 4,

PAMEL A H. BARGER, IM 75, of

of Austin, Texas, on June 22.

St. Petersburg, Fla., on June 25.

RIC HARD A . MANTON , IM

MATTHEW P. BRENNAN , IM

Gresham Plaza Bridge in his honor in

62, of Ave Maria, Fla., on July 21.

74, of Coal Township, Pa., on July 3.

2008. —GEORGIA TECH ATHLETICS

which links Georgia Tech’s main campus to Tech Square, was named the Johnny

GTALUMNI.ORG/MAGAZINE | FALL 2020

81


IN MEMORIAM HAROLD W. “SLUG”

VINCENT W. SEGARS: DECORATED U.S. N A V Y C A P TA I N

CLEMMONS JR., AM 79, of

Indianapolis, Ind., on June 27. ANDREW M. “ANDY” CULBERTSON , IM 70, of Silver

Lake, Ind., on June 26. RIC HARD L. DRY, MGT 73, of

Milner, Ga., on June 21. GEORGE L. FRIC KS, IM 77, of

VINCENT W. SEGARS, IE 90, OF PENSACOL A, FL A., ON JUNE 10. Capt. Segars was born in Valdosta, Ga. Upon graduating from Tech in 1990, he was

Rome, Ga., on June 19.

ROBERT D. WILROY, MS CE 54, OF COL U M B I A , S . C . , O N J U LY 3 1 . Wilroy was

L AURENCE C. “L ARRY” HAN-

born in Dallas, Texas, in 1926. He joined

SON , MS AE 72, of Savannah, Ga.,

the U.S. Navy V-5 program in July

on June 12. MORRIS H. JOHNSON , IE 70,

of St. Gabriel, La., on June 15.

commissioned via the NROTC at Geor-

MATTHEW A . LINSKEY SR., IM

gia Tech. Segars was top midshipman

77, of Marietta, Ga., on June 29.

Schools Command at NAS Pensacola, Fla. He had over 4,300 flight hours and was awarded the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit (two awards), Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal (three awards), Air Medal (Individual action and 4 Strike Flight), the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (three awards), the Navy

1943. Upon obtaining his Naval Aviator Wings, he joined the fleet as a fighter pilot. He accumulated over 6,000 hours of flight time and served in the North Pacific during World War II. On return to civilian life, he completed his bachelor’s in civil engineering at

in his class. His last position was commanding officer of Naval Aviation

R O B E R T D . W I L R OY: PILOT & PROFESSOR

WILLIAM A . “BILL” MILLER JR., PHD CE 72, of Knoxville, Tenn.,

on May 10. DONALD V. SHILLINGTON , CE 72, of Duluth, Ga., on July 10.

19 8 0S

JAMES E. ADCOC K, IE 85, of

Conyers, Ga., on May 17.

Southern Methodist University and his master’s at Georgia Tech. He completed three additional years in Advanced Environmental Engineering studies at Georgia Tech. He taught hydraulic engineering at the University of Tennessee and Georgia Tech. He was senior engineer in charge of design, supervision of construction, and training of operators for 26 municipal water treatment plants, 31 municipal wastewater treatment

and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (three awards), and various other ser-

ROGER J. “JOHN” HOLDEN ,

plants, and over 200 industrial waste-

vice decorations.

EE 83, of Hanover, Pa., on June 19.

water treatment plants. He received the

He is preceded in death by his grandparents, Norma S. Vincent of Columbia, S.C., and James D. and Marjorie Rogers of Myrtle Beach, S.C.; uncles, Buddy Rogers, Myrtle Beach, S.C., Bill Rogers, Myrtle Beach, S.C., and his aunt, JoAnne West, Myrtle Beach, S.C. He is survived by his loving wife Alisa Anne Segars (Archer) and his two daughters, Amanda Elizabeth and Kaitlyn Rose; his parents, Van and Jean Segars, Mont-

BRETT D. L APIN , MS EE 84, PHD EE 93, of Columbia, Md., on

June 3.

19 9 0S

TROY A . VAN AAC KEN , EE 97,

of Atlanta, on June 22.

2000S

“Engineer of the Year Award” from the S.C. Chapter of Water Environment Federation in 2003 and the S.C. Chapter of American Society of Civil Engineers’ “Lifetime Achievement Award” in 2005. He is survived by his wife of 70 years, Marian Wilroy; his daughter, Jane Wilroy Trinkley; and many nieces and nephews and their children. He was preceded in death by his son, Robert D. Wilroy, Jr.; his sisters, Faye W. Smith,

gomery, Ala.; brother Shane Segars

BRETT A . FLURY, IE 05, CS 05,

Ida Lea Downs, and Dulcie Ann Wilroy;

and his wife, Jenelle, Millbrook, Ala.

of Marietta, Ga., on June 22.

and one brother, John Ray Wilroy.

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M I C H A E L W . M . J E N K I N S : A E R O S PA C E D E S I G N P R O F E S S O R MICHAEL W. M. JENKINS, OF MARIETTA, GA., ON JUNE 13. Jenkins was born on

May, his son, Mark Andrew, and daugh-

Sept. 30, 1931, in Gloucester, England.

ter, Sharon Ann, and many nieces and

From an early age, he was fascinated

nephews. He was preceded in death by

with airplanes. His early memories of

his parents, Arthur William Jenkins and

the Battle of Britain, fought in the skies

Elsie Leonora Jenkins (née Edney), and

above his homeland, forever shaped his

all eight of his siblings.

He is survived by his wife, Thelma

dreams. Even in his later years, seeing a Spitfire in flight still evoked powerful emotions. Pursuing his passion for

of Aeronautics & Astronautics. He led re-

aeronautics and education was a life

search resulting in three patents related

dream for Jenkins. In 1988, he began

to stability and control in airplanes. He

teaching aerospace design at Georgia

was a playful spirit who always looked

Tech, where he was voted Most Valu-

for a way to make others smile. He loved

able Professor by his students many

sharp witticisms, bad puns, and physical

MARY L. EMERSON , of Duxbury,

years running. There is a Senior Aero-

humor, and his laughter was infectious.

Mass., on April 30.

space Design trophy named in his honor.

The other way he expressed joy was

He became a Fellow of the Royal Aero-

through art.

nautical Society and the Institute of

He is best remembered for being a

Mechanical Engineers as well as an As-

loving husband and father, one who

sociate Fellow of the American Institute

wanted the very best for his family.

JOANNE D. LECRAW, HON 08,

of Atlanta, on July 18.

FRIENDS

CYNTHIA L. “CINDY” LEIGHTON , of Columbus, Ohio, on June 14. MARTHA B. MIC KEY, of Heber

City, Utah, on May 8. CELESTE “CEGGIE” (BRIC HET-

JAMES CORNACCHIA: C A M P U S P O L I C E O F F I C E R O F N E A R LY 2 0 Y E A R S was a 1996 graduate of Whitesboro High School. Cornacchia was a member of St. James Catholic Church, where he served as a Sunday school teacher. He

TO) SPROUL MILLEN , of Atlanta,

on July 23. JANET G. “JAN” MORRISON ,

of Locust Grove, Ga., on July 20. WYNDELL G. MUSE, of Albany,

Ga., on May 15.

was also a beloved Cub Scout and Boy Scout leader. He is preceded in death by his grandparents Rocca and Dorothy Cornacchia and grandfather Dale Stovall. He is survived by his loving wife, Christal Cor-

JEFFERSON B. NAUGLE, of Atlan-

ta, on July 2. SHEIL A A . NORTH, of Sandy

Springs, Ga., on May 11.

JAMES CORNACCHIA, OF MCDONOUGH, G A . , O N J U N E 1 . Cornacchia, aged 42,

nacchia; sons: Salvatore, Giovanni,

of McDonough, Ga., died on June 1

Donough, Ga.; parents Chester and

from Covid-19. He served the Tech com-

Dyana Cornacchia of Remsen, N.Y.;

munity as an officer with the Georgia

brothers: Anthony Cornacchia of Locust

Tech Police Department for nearly 20

Grove, Ga., Brian (Emily) Cornacchia

years, recently being promoted to de-

of N.Y., Joseph (Leah) Cornacchia of

tective. Cornacchia was born Sept. 9,

McDonough, Ga.; nieces and neph-

1977, in Utica, N.Y., to Chester Antho-

ews; grandmother Amelia Stoval-Durant

BENJAMIN J. TARBUTTON JR.,

ny and Dyana Stovall Cornacchia. He

(Grandma Sito); and in-laws.

of Sandersville, Ga., on June 9.

and Vincenzo Cornacchia, all of Mc-

ANN J. PITTARD, of Auburn, Ala.,

on June 10. LINDA T. SELLERS, of Palm Beach

Gardens, Fla., on June 4. BILLY J. SMITH, of Atlanta, on

July 8.

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IN MEMORIAM

S I M O N D . “ DA V I D ” F R E E M A N : C L E A N - E N E R GY A DVO C A T E SIMON D. “DAVID” FREEMAN, CE 4 8, OF RESTON, VA., ON MAY 12. Freeman was a renewable-energy champion who led the Tennessee Valley Authority and advised presidents on green power. He died of a heart attack at the age of 94. Freeman spent his career in the energy business, but his focus was less on making money and more on promoting efficiency. Known for his signature cowboy hat and his unrelenting drive toward more widespread renewable energy, Freeman was appointed chairman of the Tennessee Valley Authority, the largest public utility in the U.S., in 1978. There, he worked to suppress the development of new nuclear power plants in favor of bringing new solar and wind power to the region. Freeman later led the Lower Colorado River Authority, the Sacramento Municipal Utility District, the New York Power Authority, and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, bringing new clean-energy initiatives wherever he went. He served as an advisor to presidents Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon, and Jimmy Carter. “I’ve been called a lot of bad things. I was called a socialist in the Nixon administration for pushing energy efficiency. I don’t feel like I’m making my case if I don’t have somebody pissed of f at me,” Freeman said in a 2018 interview with E&E News. 84

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TECH HISTORY

THE SCHOL ARS OF DELLWOOD DRIVE FROM ONE BRIGHT STUDENT TO ANOTHER, A SHARED ADDRESS DISCOVERED BY CHANCE SHOWS A GEORGIA TECH LEGACY COME FULL CIRCLE. STORY BY C ARSON VAUGHAN

PHOTOGRAPHS BY SCOTT DINERMAN, STC 03 86

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Designed by a Tech student in 1936, it’s no wonder that the home at 2540 Dellwood Drive has serious Yellow Jacket buzz.

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87


TECH HISTORY

E

EVERY FEW YEARS, humoring a little nostalgia, Randy McDow, executive director of the national Stamps S chol ars Prog ram, drives past his grandp a re nt s’ o l d h om e in Buckhead, just off Peachtree Battle, where the pine trees sway overhead and four small dormer windows study the front lawn like a textbook. Designed by an architecture student at Georgia Tech in 1936, the home once stood alone, breezy on both sides, a world apart—or so it seemed back then—from the buzz of downtown Atlanta. Over the decades, of course, the neighborhood filled in, the trees filled out, and the storybook home at 2540 Dellwood Drive underwent several renovations. And finally, in 1992, his grandparents moved out. Still, McDow, IE 95, MS PP 03, says the memories remain, dripping from the shutters and the short chimney above. It was during one of these trips down memory lane last June that McDow and his young family noticed something new. Something different. A small lawn sign— Congratulations, Sarah!—a smiling high school graduate standing beside the Ramblin’ Wreck, one hand resting on the fender, all that Tech gold shining behind her. McDow rolled down the window of his Camry and snagged a quick photo to send off to his family. His grandfather, Randolph “Randy” Whitfield, ME 32, MS ME 34, a pioneering mechanical engineer and the man McDow was named after, was a Georgia Tech man through and through, a proud alumnus, and tireless booster until the very end. Nothing, McDow was certain, would have thrilled him more. “I’m not usually much for signs,” he wrote his family a few weeks later, “but this choked me up pretty good.”

-----

ONE DAY, well into his 80s, Randolph Whitfield would look 88

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Sarah Rutledge, BME 2024

back on his years at Tech and call them “seven of the best years of my life.” He would recall campus visits from national dignitaries like FDR and Charles Lindbergh, and the time Winston Churchill filled the stands at Grant Field. He would remember the inaugural Ramblin’ Wreck parade, and the shirttail parades, too, hundreds of students snaking through the city after a football victory, dancing conga-style away from campus, across the stage at the Fox Theatre, blocking downtown traffic, attracting police and more than a few raised eyebrows. He would remember the 10 calamitous days en route to the Rose Bowl in California, all that mud in Alabama, the broken driveshafts and the burned out headlights and the stories he wired in every night to The Atlanta Journal, which agreed to buy his ticket—though he’d never written for a newspaper—if he’d chronicle the journey. But perhaps more vividly than anything else, he would remember his blind date with the editor of the yearbook at Agnes Scott, the women’s liberal arts college in Decatur; how a friend of a friend set it all up; how she wrote her


Randolph Whitfield was a Tech man through-and-through. Randy McDow says his grandfather would have been thrilled to know that incoming Stamps Scholar Sarah Rutledge lives in the house he had built.

taking apart the radio, puzzling it back together, but few other schools offered a co-op program—a way to pay for school through partRandy McDow, time work—and thanks to IE 95, MS PP 03 the success of Tech football, Whitfield had long been familiar with the school. He enrolled for mechanical engineering in 1927, when Randolph Whitfield, hotdogs cost a nickel and a ME 32, MS ME 34 student could earn a fouryear degree for $2,000. For the next five years, he rotated between the classroom and the factory floor. Somehow, amidst all that work and his engineering courses, Whitfield also managed to complete his ROTC requirements and actively name, Shirley McPhaul, on a gum wrapper and slipped it beparticipate in campus life—a living paean to extracurricneath the front gate of the college; how he pretended to be ular activity. “He embodied servant leadership way before her cousin to slip past the doorman; how “this beautiful girl it was popular,” McDow says. He served as president of the appeared and held out her arms.” Omicron Delta Kappa leadership society, the Pi Delta Kappa “She had me,” he said. journalism honor society, the Co-op Club, and the Cotillion Born Feb. 9, 1909, in Tallahassee, Fla., Whitfield was the Club—Whitfield loved to dance. He was also class president, son of James Bryan Whitfield, former Chief Justice of the and a member of about a half-dozen other campus groups. It Florida Supreme Court. The whole family was academicalhelped that student organizations often paid their officers in ly inclined. His mother was a teacher, his future wife, too. His those days, especially as the Great Depression wore on, Mctwo older sisters both earned college degrees, one at EmoDow says, but that was hardly his only motivation. ry University, another at Florida State. Whitfield would later “His family members were public servants and leaders in follow suit, earning his undergraduate and master’s degrees Florida for a long time, and I think he just saw the benefit,” at Tech, where he quickly learned to keep the academic suche says. “It wasn’t an obligation. It was an opportunity to be cess of one particular relative, Alonzo Church, to himself. helpful.” “My great-great-grandfather was the president of the Whitfield married Shirley McPhaul in 1931, and just a University of Georgia,” he revealed during a Living Histofew years later, after he finished his master’s and launched ry interview for Tech in 1995. “Everybody in the class would a career with Georgia Power, they settled in at 2540 Dellhave wanted to take a lick at me for that.” wood Drive, where they lived for the next 60 years. He’d always been “mechanically inclined,” he said, During that time, Whitfield pioneered the world’s first GTALUMNI.ORG/MAGAZINE | FALL 2020

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TECH HISTORY air-conditioned trackless trolley system, implemented briefly in Atlanta in 1945, and became a passionate advocate for nuclear power. “He saw responsible use and appreciation for the environment as a key factor in Atlanta being a great city and Georgia being a great state,” McDow says. Despite an illustrious career, a loving marriage, three kids, more grandkids, and memberships in nearly a dozen professional and environmental organizations, Randolph Whitfield never let his alma mater slide into his past. He served as president of the Greater Atlanta Georgia Tech Club, and trustee of the Tech National Alumni Association. He volunteered as an usher at Bobby Dodd Stadium for 40 years, and in 1995, he earned the Alumni Distinguished Service Award. Even at home, within the family, Whitfield refused to let up. Not long after McDow, his grandson, first started working in the President’s Scholarship office, McDow mentioned that he might forego football tickets to save a little money. “He went over, wrote a check, and said, ‘You are buying football season tickets,’” McDow says. “The idea of not supporting the football team was just not comprehensible to him.”

-----

IN 2007, Whitfield’s family—all the kids and grandkids and great-grandkids—jointly endowed a President’s Scholarship in his name. They’d long talked about honoring him this way after he passed, but it was McDow, who’d earned a President’s Scholarship himself in 1990 and now helped administer the program, who suggested they establish the fund while Whitfield was living, so he could enjoy the results. Later that year,

“I’M NOT USUALLY MUCH FOR

after Whitfield turned 98, the first Whitfield President’s Scholarship was awarded to Sarah Anderson, BME 11. “He was just so tickled,” says Croom Whitfield Coward, his daughter. “They have a little signing ceremony, and her parents were there, and Daddy got to meet her and her parents, and it was just a really wonderful experience.” Georgia Tech initiated the President’s Scholars Program in 1981 as a tool for recruiting the country’s top students. It’s supported by more than 100 endowments. As the years passed, the Stamps Family Charitable Foundation began donating more and more to the program, and eventually became such prominent benefactors that Tech rechristened it the Stamps President’s Scholars Program. The award now includes eight semesters of funding, in addition to $15,000 for international travel and more. In 2011, McDow moved from Tech to the national Stamps Scholars Program, where he now serves as executive director. When Tech sent over their roster of the 2020 recipients, the address of one particular scholar, Sarah Rutledge, stood out: 2540 Dellwood Drive. “I about fell out of my chair,” he says. “What a fascinating connection to a Georgia Tech alumnus who would be just tickled pink to have an engineer win the scholarship.” Whitfield would have been hard-pressed to find a more qualified candidate. When Rutledge was still in middle school, she found her parents watching a documentary about prostheses, how users could now feel sensation and control the newest limbs with their mind alone. “It was a very strange thing,” she says, “but it was fascinating to me.” From that point forward, still approaching her

SIGNS,” McDOW WROTE HIS FAMILY A

FEW WEEKS LATER, “BUT THIS CHOKED ME UP PRETTY GOOD.”

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teens, Rutledge was laser-focused on a career in biomedical engineering. So focused she enrolled in the Duke TIP summer camp for biomedical engineering after seventh grade. So focused she interned with Dr. Younan Xia, the Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar in Nanomedicine at Georgia Tech, after her freshman, sophomore, and junior years of high school. “When I saw this research program, it was basically exactly what I wanted to do,” she says. “I immediately had the feeling this is where I want to be.” Rutledge spent her junior and senior years at Baylor School in Chattanooga, Tenn., where she continued her biomedical studies, executing a research program she designed herself to explore a certain drug resistance in breast cancer patients. Soon enough, she was applying for college, and though she looked at several programs farther north, few shined brighter than the one she knew best. “I didn’t know that I was going to get into Georgia Tech. I screamed and jumped up and down,” she says. “And then an hour later, the semifinalists for the Stamps Scholarship

showed up [online] and I could not believe it.” After she’d finally been named a Stamps President’s Scholarship recipient, she received a strange request. Call Randy McDow, they said. He has a crazy story to share. “It was just kind of a crazy feeling,” she says when McDow told her about the connection. “Especially knowing that his grandfather went to Tech, and Randy was a [President’s] Scholar, and it was a Georgia Tech person who built my home.” Rutledge, now 18, plans to follow the pre-health track and minor in German, and though she hasn’t yet decided what extracurriculars she might pursue, she possesses a Whitfieldian ambition for the next four years. “I never would have expected to be one of the people they offered a scholarship to. The responsibility to represent Georgia Tech in a good way, and to make a difference with the resources that we’ve been given—I think that’s the most important thing for me,” she says. “To make myself worthy of receiving it.”

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TECH CAREERS AT


TECH HISTORY

CELEBRATING

30 YEARS

FRIENDS AND PSYCHOLOGICAL BACKBONE OF THE ADA

HOW TIM ANDREWS GRADUATED FROM TECH BEFORE THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT

T 92

BY ANN W. HOEVEL, STC 98 TIM ANDREWS, ARCH 74, was smart enough to get into Georgia Tech in 1969. The only real question for his parents and his doctors was, could he do it? Andrews used a wheelchair because of complications from hemophilia damage to his joints, but mostly to his left knee. Advancements

FALL 2020 | GTALUMNI.ORG/MAGAZINE

in medication and surgical options helped him walk later in life, but as a freshman, he used a wheelchair. “When I told my parents I wanted to go to Georgia Tech, their response was, understandably, ‘I don’t know if you can do that in a wheelchair and not get pressured’,” Andrews says. “So we talked to my doctors, and their response was, ‘You can’t succeed doing that, there’s no way.’” “So, I don’t know, I think that made

me more determined,” he says with a chuckle. After Andrews applied and got accepted, he went with his parents to meet Frank Roper, Georgia Tech’s registrar. “He was the one person at Georgia Tech who said, ‘Let’s let him try.’” Roper arranged for two students to help Andrews get from class to class for the first quarter of the school year. But Andrews gives credit for the next four years—and the fact that


In 1973, Tech campus lacked curb cuts and other accommodations. That began to change with the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990.

he graduated—entirely to four friends who helped him get to class, rented apartments with him, and kept him in go o d spirits when finals occasionally went bad. John White, MCP 79, ARCH 75, Robert Hauch, IE 73, Bio 77, Joe Steed, BC 74, and Ken Bryson, ARCH 75, were always there for him, Andrews says. “If it wasn’t for these guys stepping up, I might have given up,” he says. “I owe my degree to them.” Andres calls his friends’ help “heroic,” and wants to share their story with the Georgia Tech community. “John, Ken, and Joe would often help me get up and down the stairs of the architecture building,” Andrews says, by carrying his wheelchair up as he used the handrail to pull himself up, or, if they were really late, carrying him up the stairs. Hauch was not only a great friend to Andrews, they worked together in the mail room of the library and later shared an off-campus apartment. “At any time, he was willing to throw the wheelchair in the trunk of his car and we would be off.” White was one of the students Roper asked to help Andrews. “You will not find a better person on the planet than John White,” Andrews says.

“John helped me from the first day of classes to the last day that I went to a class. The whole time.” THE CAMPUS GAUNTLET During his freshman year, Andrews lived at home with his parents. They would drop him off at North Avenue and Ferst Drive, by the foreign languages building. He would wheel his chair to the library, take the elevator down to the basement, exit the building through the mail room, and then travel through the classroom building where industrial management was housed. Andrews would then take the elevator in that building to get to the level of the physics building—at least a 12-foot elevation rise from where he started on North Avenue. Bear in mind, that’s just going from point A to point B. What Tech grad can forget crosscampus dashes between classes in the heat of August and September? Or wading through rushing water when the storm drains failed during springtime downpours? The sidewalks he used didn’t have curb cuts in them until they were required by the Americans with Disabilities Act, signed in 1990. Now imagine the obstacle course Andrews and his friends had to complete, pushing or carrying a wheelchair, just to fulfill the basic firstyear course load. Once in the architecture building, things were easily manageable for his freshman studio classes. “Once I got onto the floor of the classroom, there really weren’t any barriers,” he says. “Back then you had design lab for three hours. So I slung myself out of the wheelchair and onto the drafting

stool to work at the drafting table.” Whereas the architecture building had classrooms with big drafting tables, taking a structural engineering final wasn’t as comfortable, Andrews says. “I had enough mobility to move myself out of the wheelchair and into a student desk,” he says. “It would have been nice if I didn’t have to do that because obviously it’s a risk of falling. But, you’re not going to take a three-hour final [in a wheelchair] with the paper on your knee.” Things got more challenging as Andrews progressed through the architecture program. Sophomore classes were on the second floor, and junior and senior classes on the third floor. “John, Ken, or Joe would wait for me at the bottom of the stairs. And they would carry my wheelchair up. Sometimes they walked me up the stairs using brute force.” WHEELCHAIRS ARE DIFFERENT NOW, AND TECH STUDENTS ARE MAKING THEM THAT WAY “Tim was probably going to class completely out of breath,” says Stephen Sprigle, professor in the Schools of Industrial Design, Bioengineering, and Mechanical Engineering, and director of the Rehabilitation Engineering and Applied Research Lab (REARLab). Sprigle researches accessible technologies for people living with disabilities, and specifically he works with seating, posture assistance, and wheelchairs. He often rides around campus in a wheelchair, surrounded by students, testing their latest prototypes. “I know exactly the chair he was in,” Sprigle says. “It was probably an Everest & Jennings Universal, or an Everest & Jennings Premier.” It was GTALUMNI.ORG/MAGAZINE | FALL 2020

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TECH HISTORY

an inefficient wheelchair with a vinyl sling seat, a vinyl sling back, solid tires, and a frame of chrome-plated steel. “Now, we build chairs to order,” Sprigle says. “Wheelchairs are an extension of your functional being. Some people use their wheelchair—and we measured this—10, 12, 14 hours a day. You have to get one that fits.” Modern wheelchairs incorporate several new technological enhancements as well, he says. “Power wheelchairs are essentially computers. We’ve developed both seat elevators and power standing chairs that can still drive when the user is standing or elevated, and that changes the dynamics for stability and safety.” Add-on motors are a popular

This robot, in the REARLab, measures the effort required to propel manual wheelchairs.

advancement for modern wheelchairs, allowing users to take a break from pushing wheels or move a little faster if it starts to rain. “It’s just a little wheel that sits behind your wheelchair or in front of your foot rest, and you can raise it off the ground when you don’t need it,” Sprigle says. “And it exists 94

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Liz Persaud of Tools for Life demonstrates an accessible desk at the Center for Inclusive Design and Innovation.

because we can now make really small motors that are really efficient.” Learning about the challenges wheelchair users face is a valuable skill for industrial design students entering the workforce, Sprigle says. Wheelchair projects are difficult because most of his students haven’t experienced being in one, he says. “You’re designing and building and struggling for something you really can’t test well, that you have no experiential base for, and that changes the design process, fundamentally. That’s one of the things that makes it both challenging and humbling.” Stair-climbing wheelchairs are also challenging and humbling, Sprigle says. “There have been 50 years of people trying to design stair-climbing wheelchairs, and there’s been 50 years of failure. And the reason is not because you can’t design a wheelchair to climb stairs. It’s that those wheelchairs are not good for anything else.” For the most part, people who use wheelchairs opt for machines that help them get around on flat terrain. Thanks to the ADA, elevators are a far more convenient option than

stair-climbing chairs, Sprigle says. FORTITUDE AND COMMUNITY “You know, the great thing about Georgia Tech, and I’ve never seen this at any other university, is that you get two degrees,” Andrews says. “You get one degree in your major, and you get another degree in psychological backbone.” The attitude he and his classmates shared was “Yeah, I can do that, I can turn that situation around,” he says. As a result, Andrews says Georgia Tech students didn’t hesitate to help him when he needed it. Students often opened doors for him or helped him stand up, Andrews says. One of the fraternities even volunteered to build him a ramp so he could get between buildings connected by stairs. Liz Persaud, a program and outreach manager for the Tools for Life, Georgia’s Assistive Technology Act Program (part of the Center for Inclusive Design and Innovation), also uses a wheelchair, and remembers getting help from passers-by before the ADA. “I was born in 1979, and growing up in the ’80s and early ’90s. When you went out, there would be lots of


“YOU KNOW, THE GREAT THING ABOUT GEORGIA TECH, AND I’VE NEVER SEEN THIS AT ANY OTHER UNIVERSITY, IS THAT YOU GET TWO DEGREES,” ANDREWS SAYS. “YOU GET ONE DEGREE IN YOUR MAJOR, AND YOU GET ANOTHER DEGREE IN PSYCHOLOGICAL BACKBONE.”

businesses where there was a step to get in the door, or the entrance would not be as accessible as it is today,” she says. “And I can remember strangers asking me, ‘Can I help you?’ And it would be like an everyday conversation. I would say, ‘Oh yeah, do you mind popping my front wheel over the step?’” She doesn’t often ask for help these days. In fact, she’s the one helping others. Persaud helps Georgia Tech students who live with disabilities navigate the experience of being a student. She uses a wheelchair because of a neuromuscular disability that includes spinal muscular atrophy. She shows students with similar disabilities how she uses voice-controlled apps and programs to navigate her surroundings. She also shares advice for ways to use wheelchairs in social situations.

“When I am presenting as a professional, when I’m doing trainings, I elevate my chair. I can’t tell you how things changed when I got a chair that had that elevate feature on it. The way people changed how they interacted with me in social settings was wild,” she says. “When I elevate, and I’m at eye level

with other people. I also noticed that people can hear me better, since physically it’s challenging for me to project loudly,” she says. Like Andrews, Persaud sees something very special about the Georgia Tech community. “Everyone here is unbelievably intelligent,” she says, “and it takes intelligence to see beyond some of those weeds out there and get to the heart of things pretty quickly. Our students see that a person with a disability also has a brain, a personality, and similar interests in common.” Persaud says it’s thanks to Tech grads like Andrews that the public conversation about disabilities is changing. “Now it’s like, ‘Who cares that they roll around instead of walk, who cares that it takes them an extra second to get their words out? They’re valuable and they have something to say and, you know, let’s have smart, intelligent conversations about changing the world together’,” she says.

Stephen Sprigle teaches an industrial design class about assistive technologies.

GTALUMNI.ORG/MAGAZINE | FALL 2020

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BACK PAGE

A ROAD LESS TRAVELED

ENGINEER DAVID FRAKES’ JOURNEY FROM WALL STREET TO SILICON VALLEY AND BACK TO TECH.

D

DAVID FRAKES’ brand-new biomedical engineering lab might currently be sitting empty, but he has big plans for it. Soon it will be filled with computers, flow loops, 3D printers, students, and fresh ideas. Frakes, who has four degrees from G e org i a Te ch’s C ollege of Engineering—a bachelor’s in electrical, a master’s in mechanical, another master’s in electrical, and a PhD in biomedical engineering—has returned to Tech as an associate professor. He intends to focus on medical devices and computer vision and work with other researchers at Tech to create a more interdisciplinary lab that runs like a startup. Frakes has a unique story that ultimately brought him back to Tech. He has pivoted between industry and academia for the past 25 years, with a few stops in the startup world along the way. After finishing his degree programs at Tech in 2003, he worked on Wall Street for a few years, but returning to research was always in the back of his mind. An opportunity opened up at Arizona State University (ASU), where Frakes taught and ran a research lab. Seven years into his work at ASU, he took a sabbatical to work at Google, where he stayed for five years. And now, finally, he is back in 98

FALL 2020 | GTALUMNI.ORG/MAGAZINE

BY GEORGIA PARMELEE academia at Tech. That’s Frakes’ journey in a nutshell, but what really drives him is a passion to make an impact. “I think all of these different fields that I’ve been in—academia, industry, entrepreneurship—have now led me back to Tech,” says Frakes.

then ATDC. This first foray into the startup world led Frakes to continue to pursue entrepreneurship when he got to ASU. While at ASU, he started EndoVantage, a company that focuses on neurosurgical planning using a Surgical Review platform that lets doctors see how different medical devices will fit a patient before surgery. It was acquired by Rapid AI earlier this year.

EXCELLING AT RESEARCH Most of the biomedical work Frakes has done in academia is on medical devices and computer-based simulation and planning of surgeries, which NEXT STEPS AT TECH made him a perfect candidate to come Frakes just began his career at Tech back to the Coulter Department of this fall. He plans to collaborate early Biomedical Engineering (BME) as a and often with other faculty members faculty member. who are more established as he gets his Initially, it was Frakes’ work at ASU lab off the ground. He’s also already that prompted Google to fund his teaching. work in computer vision, and when “I’m teaching an emerging techthe time came for Frakes to take a sabnology law class for engineers right batical, Google recruited him to run a now and then problem-based learnprogram within the Advanced Teching next—both great opportunities nology and Projects (ATAP) group. to plug in some of the latest advances While at Google, Frakes’ work there from industry that our students can reled to a colleague bringing him over ally learn from.” to the Camera & Photos Division at Apple, where he Alumnus David Frakes plans to run his lab like a startup. worked on the iPhone 11 series as Lead of Camera Software. AN ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT During his time as a PhD candidate at Tech, Frakes created a startup that is still in existence today, 4-D Imaging, out of VentureLab and


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