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92 NO.3 FALL


WALK THIS WAY Step into the shoes of Tech engineers, designers and makers as they share how they’ve brought their brilliant ideas to life.





“I wanted to create this endowment because I felt a profound sense of gratitude to the Institute.” — Henry Michael “Mike” Hammond, BMGT 1975 From an early age, Forsyth County, Georgia native Mike Hammond knew he wanted to attend Georgia Tech. It is a decision he has treasured all his life. “Whatever success I’ve enjoyed is due largely to the life and work lessons I learned at Tech,” he explained. “Notably, a strong work ethic and effective problem-solving skills.” After graduating, Hammond spent almost three decades with General Motors Corporation at three different vehicle assembly locations and at the GM Technical Center in Warren, Michigan. As he rose through the corporate ranks, his areas of expertise and leadership included finance, accounting, internal controls, and government and community relations. In 2012, Mike Hammond made an estate gift to establish the Henry Michael Hammond Scholarship Endowment Fund, which will one day provide support for qualified undergraduate students who lack the financial resources to attain a Georgia Tech degree. He later made a subsequent commitment in the form of a life-income gift to enhance the endowment and to support current students. “I wanted to create this endowment because I felt a profound sense of gratitude to the Institute,” Hammond said. “No business

issue I ever encountered was as daunting as finals week at Tech!” He has also provided vital philanthropic support for the Dean’s Innovation Fund within the Ernest Scheller Jr. College of Business, and he is a longtime supporter of Alumni Roll Call. Retired since 2006, Hammond has returned to his roots in Forsyth County. He is an avid collector of books and good wines, and an aficionado of high-end audio equipment. At Tech, Hammond serves as a volunteer interviewer of candidates for the prestigious Dean’s Scholarships in the Scheller College and on the Dean’s Advisory Board. He is a member of both the Founders’ Council and The Hill Society. Georgia Tech has been close to Hammond’s heart for decades. And he has found a way, through his personalized gift planning, to say thank you while also fulfilling his philanthropic aspirations and making a difference in the lives of extraordinary Tech undergraduates. “There is a real sense of personal satisfaction that comes from helping and interacting with the fine young people at Georgia Tech. I’m very happy to be able to give something back to my school.”

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

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Meet ‘n Geek

at the Georgia Tech Global Learning Center

<< Located in the heart of Tech Square >>

<< Equipped with the latest in built-in technology >>

No wonder it’s the official meeting facility of the Georgia Tech Alumni Association! From small meeting rooms to large-scale conference facilities, the Georgia Tech Global Learning Center offers purpose-built space to suit your company’s needs. Featuring flexible room arrangements, a continuous refreshment service, dedicated event and technical support from start to finish, and more – the GLC is ideal for your next business event. Schedule your personal tour today!

Visit us for a site tour.

PUBLISHER’S LETTER Making (Not Breaking) the Mold THERE’S AN OLD SAYING at Tech: “We didn’t break the mold, we made it.” Time and time again, our students, faculty and alumni continue to prove this axiom true as they set the mold for new innovations in their work as inventors, designers, builders and creators. In this special issue of the Georgia Tech Alumni Magazine, we’re looking at how Yellow Jacket students, faculty and alumni are playing vital roles in making new, impressive things, from medical tools designed to save more lives to arguably the world’s most cutting-edge sports venue. You’ll see and read how Tommy Holder, IM 79, is helping lead the construction of the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium here in Atlanta—alongside dozens of other alumni managing different aspects of this massive project (see page 48). Set to open in the summer of 2017, the facility will be the new home for the Atlanta Falcons and the new Major League Soccer team, the Atlanta United Football Club. Our Tech makers also include alumni like Jorge Cham, ME 97, who turned an engineering degree into a career as a nationally syndicated webcomic author and illustrator (see page 54), as well as students and faculty who are designing and building the first real-world-rideable 3-D-printed bicycle (see page 58). Please join us for an in-depth look at how all of these items and much more are being made by some of the Institute’s top minds. Meanwhile, the 2016-17 academic year has started and the brightest class that has ever attended Georgia Tech is now on campus. The growth in applications over the past five years has been tremendous. For Fall 2016, we had almost 31,000 applications for 2,800 spots. Yes, our acceptance levels have now dropped to around 26 percent. But the academic credentials of today’s Yellow Jackets are unprecedented—incoming freshmen have average SAT scores over

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1400 and 10 high school AP courses under their belts— and they’re bringing tremendous talents and leadership skills to Tech. (Read more on page 12.) Our student body has grown to over 23,000 on campus and 3,000 participating in our Online MS in Computer Science program. As the demand for STEM education continues to grow, Tech keeps rising to the challenge of providing curricula and instruction that ranks among the best in the world. So we draw a diverse mix of brilliant students who are training to be problem solvers and leaders across a range of fields. Want to see them in action? Come back to your alma mater for Homecoming (see page 78) the last weekend of October. And don’t forget our alumni play a key role in giving back—in time, money and expertise—to assure the current generation of Yellow Jackets have everything they need to succeed. As we begin the new Roll Call year, we want to say thank you to all of our Roll Call donors for last year. And we hope we can count on you again this year. As President G.P. “Bud” Peterson has said, Roll Call is one of the things that makes Georgia Tech excellent. Go Jackets!

Georgia Tech Alumni Magazine Vol. 92, No. 3 PUBLISHER Joseph P. Irwin, IM 80 VP MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS Dawn Churi EDITOR Roger Slavens ASSISTANT EDITOR Melissa Fralick DESIGNER Joshua Baker | COPY EDITOR Rebecca Bowen STUDENT ASSISTANT Matthew Pelfrey EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE Andrea L. Laliberte, IE 82, MS IE 84, Chair Benton J. Mathis Jr., IM 81, Past Chair David Bottoms, Mgt 01, Chair-Elect/Vice Chair of Roll Call Bird Blitch, IE 97, Vice Chair of Finance Jeni Bogdan, Mgt 89, MS MOT 96, Member at Large Elizabeth Bulat Turner, IAML 04, Member at Large James L. Mitchell, CE 05, Member at Large Tyler Townsend, IE 98, Member at Large Joseph P. Irwin, IM 80, President & CEO BOARD OF TRUSTEES Stanley E. Anderson, IM 75; Dorothy B. Autin, ChE 80; Lee A. Baker, IE 90; Julian A. Brown III, Mgt 97; Frank T. Campos, EE 80, MS MoT 96; Catherine C. Davidson, Mgt 89; Richard DeAugustinis, IE 92; W. Keith Edwards, ICS 89, MS ICS 91, PhD ICS 96; D. Shawn Fowler, Mgt 88; Jeffrey V. Giglio, EE 77; Samuel L. Gude III, MBA 08; Julie E. Hall, Phys 99; Cathy P. Hill, EE 84; Lara O’Connor Hodgson, AE 93; Ronald L. Johnson, MS OR 85; Plez A. Joyner, EE 89; Garrett S. Langley, EE 09; Mark E. Ligler, ME 76; Wonya Y. Lucas, IE 83; Robert D. Martin, IE 69; George R. Mason, IE 92; Valerie Montgomery Rice, Chem 83; Thomas J. O’Brien, IE 81; Shantan R. Pesaru CmpE 05; Amy H. Phuong, IA 05, MBA 14; Vicky S. Polashock, ChE 90, Phd ChE 95; William J. Ready, MatE 94, MS MetE 97, PhD MSE 00; John L. Reese III, BC 80; Kary E. Saleeby, NE 77, MS ME 78; Ricardo Salgado, IE 00; John W. Simmons Jr., EE 88; Mayson T. Spellman, Mgt 05; Jocelyn M. Stargel, IE 82, MS IE 86; James F. Stovall IV, CS 01; Kristen M. Thorvig, STC 98; David P. Touwsma, IE 97 ADVERTISING Holly Green (404) 894-0765

Joe Irwin, IM 80 President & CEO Georgia Tech Alumni Association P.S. You may have noticed that we’ve just updated our magazine design with more visuals than ever and a crisper, cleaner look. Let us know how you like it!

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. © 2016 Georgia Tech Alumni Association POSTMASTER Send address changes to: Georgia Tech Alumni Magazine, 190 North Ave. N.W., Atlanta, GA 30313. TELEPHONE Georgia Tech Alumni Association (404) 894-2391



DURUS gets put through its paces in the AMBER Lab.


Features 44




Find out how Georgia Tech alumni, faculty and students are bringing brilliant ideas to life, ranging from a robot that walks like a human to one of Atlanta’s new, state-of-the-art sports stadiums to a handheld device designed to fight deadly infections.

The Atlanta Maker Faire—the largest annual event of its kind in the Southeast—got started right on Tech’s campus. Take a look at this crazy mashup of science-fair-meets-arts-and-crafts-show, and find out why it’s playing a pivotal role in empowering creative thinking.

Cover Photo: Josh Meister

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Annika (left) and Teegan Van Gunst star on the volleyball court for Tech.

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Josh Meister


10 Around Campus

32 In the World

12 The Smartest Class Ever? Tech’s incoming freshmen set new records. 14 Talk of Tech Take a glimpse at some of the most compelling faculty and student stories. 18 Appetite for Destruction GTRI researcher battles bots on national TV. 20 10 Questions Joyce Medina discusses the zeitgeist of design.

34 Rarified Air Michael Grigsby, IE 93, joins a small club of climbers who have scaled the Seven Summits. 38 Dollars and Sense Standing at the height of fashion, Bianca Stewart, BA 14, designs chic clothes for tall women like herself. 40 Jacket Copy Rhett Grametbauer, MBA 04, writes about his tour of all 31 NFL stadiums in 16 weeks in a VW bus.

The latest news and views from Georgia Tech

24 On the Field

Ramblin’ Wrecks generating buzz beyond the Institute

68 Alumni House

The scoop on Tech’s studentathletes and alumni

All about what’s going on at 190 North Avenue

26 Double Trouble Standouts Annika and Teegan Van Gunst set up for a twin killing in Tech volleyball. 28 Medal Winner Pro golfer Matt Kuchar, Mgt 00, scores bronze at the Rio Olympics. 30 New “Voice of the Jackets” SEC broadcasting veteran Andy Demetra will call Tech’s football and men’s basketball games.

70 Welcome New Trustees Meet your Association’s new leaders and board members. 74 Wander Over Yonder Alumni Travel has set its schedule of tours for 2017. 78 Homecoming 2016 Find out what events are in store for Oct. 27-29, our biggest weekend of the year

104 Tech History

Memories and artifacts of Tech’s storied past


104 A Maker’s Tools 105 Time Machine 106 Back Page

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I got my most recent copy of the Georgia Tech Alumni Magazine yesterday—the Big Data issue (Summer 2016, Vol. 92 No. 2). I always learn something new from the magazine. Thanks for putting out such a great publication and keeping us informed on what’s happening with Georgia Tech and all its people—alumni, students, faculty, staff and friends alike. DAN BISHOP, IE 80 CENTERVILLE, GA.


I read with great interest the article in the last issue about Leo Benatar, IE 51, MS IE 16, finally claiming his degree that he’d earned 59 years ago (“Never Too Late,” Georgia Tech Alumni Magazine, Summer 2016, Vol. 92 No. 2). Quite an accomplishment by Leo to say the least! Before entering Tech, Leo graduated from Boys’ High School in Atlanta in 1947. I, too, am a Boys’ High alum so the article was doubly interesting to me. Even though our high school ceased to exist almost 70 years ago, we still have a strong alumni organization and our newsletter, Boys’ Highlights, is published and sent to almost 450 guys who are still alive and kicking. Our youngest alum is 84. I’m sharing Leo’s story in the next issue of our newsletter, because it’s always great to see one of our own accomplish such an amazing goal. Keep up the good work with the magazine—I always enjoy reading it. TOMMY TILLMAN, IM 52 ATLANTA


Unfortunately, we couldn’t time it with the publication of the Alumni Magazine’s Big Data issue, but shortly after it came out, Georgia Tech announced the creation of the Institute for Data Engineering and Science (IDEaS). This

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new Interdisciplinary Research Institute will unite researchers across Georgia Tech, foster important partnerships with industry, and play a key role in building the community of the recently announced Coda building in Technology Square. IDEaS is jointly led by Co-Executive Directors Srinivas Aluru and Dana Randall, both professors in the College of Computing, and includes researchers and faculty that span all six colleges, creating critical interdisciplinary research opportunities, and positioning Tech at the forefront of Big Data solutions. Data-driven research is becoming commonplace in many fields of science and engineering, with devices, sensors, and scientific instruments collecting enormous amounts of data that must be analyzed with both discipline-specific knowledge and data science skills. The need to forge partnerships and unify resources in this area is widely recognized, as the National Science Foundation recently established four Regional Innovation Hubs. Aluru coleads one of these, the South Big Data Hub, that unites partners across 16 Southern states and Washington, D.C.

IDEaS will facilitate new ventures and industrial collaboration between Technology Square’s recently announced Coda building research neighborhoods, providing a unique opportunity for academia to rub shoulders with industry, and be an asset to other premier education, research and public-serving institutions in Georgia, particularly Emory University and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It will also collaborate with several stakeholders in the state of Georgia, including the Technology Association of Georgia and the Georgia Manufacturing Extension Partnership, and serve as an incubator for economic development opportunities. JENNIFER SALAZAR THE INSTITUTE FOR DATA ENGINEERING AND SCIENCE GEORGIA TECH


The Alumni Magazine received a number of calls and emails about our story on the one-year-old Excel program, which gives students with a documented intellectual or development disability an opportunity for a four-year college experience at Tech. Through the annual Gift to Tech, Student Alumni Association members voted to award Excel $40,000 to support the program’s continued development. Excel provides a custom curriculum for accepted students based on their needs and skills, ranging from math and writing coursework to financial literacy to interpersonal communication to independent living. Students also can enjoy campus life, such as joining clubs and taking advantage of recreational facilities. The application deadline for the 2017-18 academic year is Oct. 31, 2016. You can learn more about Excel and apply at:

Want to get in touch? Send letters to: Editor, Georgia Tech Alumni Magazine, 190 North Ave. N.W., Atlanta, GA 30313, or Share your personal news, birth and wedding announcements (with photos!), out-and-about snapshots and in memoriam notices at

Around Campus

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THE NEW ‘RAT’ PACK Incoming freshmen recently kicked off their college careers at convocation by being indoctrinated into some age-old Tech traditions, most notably how to properly decorate and wear their RAT caps. This year marks the 101st time RAT caps have been worn by “Recruits at Tech” or “Recently Acquired Techies”—the acronym changes depending on whom you ask.

Camille Pendley

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The Smartest Class Ever?


Tech’s incoming freshmen are a diverse and record-setting bunch. THIS FALL, another impressive group of students began their careers as Yellow Jackets. A record number of students applied for acceptance to Georgia Tech this year, with applications exceeding 30,500 for the first time. Of those who were accepted, approximately 2,860 make up the new freshman class. And, as has been the trend, their academic credentials set new highs. These students have taken an average of 10 Advanced Placement courses while in high school, and 95 percent have take college-level calculus or the equivalent. The students represent 69 countries, 43 states, 89 Georgia counties, and 1,429 high schools (307 in Georgia). The class is 41 percent female—an Institute record for the second

THE FUTURE OF ADMISSIONS BY RICK CLARK WHILE THERE’S NEVER A SLOW TIME for college admissions, the cycle is about to pick up as a new crop of high school seniors work on their applications and think about where they’ll be next fall. There are several changes that will affect the Freshman Class of 2017 and beyond. Here are a few trends I’m keeping a close eye on.



PRIOR-PRIOR YEAR FAFSA: Starting this fall, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) will be available earlier, now in October as opposed to January. And the forms will now use tax information from two years ago, known as Prior-Prior Year, as opposed to just the previous year. Why does this matter? The change will enable students and families to file FAFSA earlier and receive federal aid eligibility information sooner in the college application process. While the schedule


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year in a row—and 59 percent male. “Our nation needs more women in STEM and at the table when it comes to policy and product creation in the workforce, and we look at ourselves as part of that future

Tech’s ranking on Forbes’ America’s Best Value Colleges list.

for Georgia Tech’s financial packages will not alter this year, the new rules will allow families applying to many schools nationally to receive their financial aid information earlier in the process. I think that for the majority of people this is a very good thing. You will have more complete information on the table earlier and be able to rule in and rule out some places. I support anything that helps eliminate some of the stress and anxiety over deciding where to go to college.


Number of miles travelled by Tech President G.P “Bud” Peterson on his eighth annual Georgia Tour. Camille Pendley

solution,” says Rick Clark, Tech’s director of undergraduate admission. Still, it’s not just the stats that make Clark proud. “The fact that we continue to become more academically talented with each class, and more diverse on almost every metric

of what you would call diversity, is really an anomaly,” he says. “Colleges often have to give up one or the other. Coupling those two things is an indicator that our national prominence continues to grow, which is something our alumni should be proud of.”



ACADEMIC PROFILE (Mid-50-percent ranges)


1330-1490 6 ↑13% 36 60 52 30-34 A 7-13 $12,212 $27,420 43% $32,404 43 1,429 $47,612 COLLEGES:











(Tuition and Fees)


59% Male

41% Female


(Total with Housing, Meals, etc.)



(Tuition and Fees)


(Total with Housing, Meals, etc.)

TURNING THE TIDE: This report released by Harvard University calls on colleges to attempt to reduce application angst by not putting as much emphasis on test scores, redefining achievement and promoting meaningful contributions to the public good. It is forcing people in admission to think differently and strongly consider what’s on their applications and how they are training their staff to review applications. The report’s idea is to communicate to students that impact is not only achieved through


Age of Georgia Tech’s oldest living alumnus, Sam Ledbetter.

playing sports or involvement in clubs. We care about your relationships, character, and who you are in your family. These are indicators of your fit for Georgia Tech. CHANGES TO THE ACT AND SAT: The two major college entrance exams—the ACT and SAT—have both gone through major changes, and students who are the first to take the revamped exams are stressed over how these new tests will impact admission decisions. Students and their families need


INSTRUCTOR: Craig Forest (along with dozens of faculty mentors) OBJECTIVE: Develop students’ entrepreneurial confidence by working in teams to research, analyze, test and ultimately build a working prototype of their own invention ideas. PREREQUISITES: None, but acceptance to the course is by application only. PROBLEM QUESTION: Each team of students will solve a real-world, openended problem by developing their invention prototype. COURSE PROJECT: Under the guidance of a faculty mentor, student teams will set a timeline for the semester with the final goal of creating a physical prototype of their invention or idea. Much like undergraduate research, students are provided with resources, faculty support and course credit.

to remember that colleges aren’t changing how they use these scores. The scores are just one of many factors considered during the holistic review of applications. I know people don’t like change, and being the first to do something is scary. But I’m looking forward to getting an admission cycle under our belt with these changes, so students will see they are being admitted and that this is not something they have to be worried about. -Clark is Tech’s director of undergraduate admission.

Number of torches designed, engineered and produced by mechanical engineering professor Sam Shelton for the 1996 Olympic torch relay. Volume 92 No. 3 2016 | GTALUMNIMAG.COM | 13


Juno Mission Reaches Jupiter IN EARLY JULY, 520 million miles from Atlanta, a spacecraft the size of a basketball court entered the orbit of Jupiter. Juno has now settled into a 20-month orbit of the largest planet in the solar system. The mission will tell us what Jupiter is made of and also reveal clues about the birth of the solar system. Paul Steffes, a professor in Tech’s School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, is a member of the Juno Science Team. He and his students have “cooked up” more than 6,000 recipes on the roof of the Van Leer Building to simulate conditions on Jupiter. Now all they need is data from Juno. Juno arrived in Jupiter’s orbit five years after it was launched by NASA and the Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL), and 11 years after Juno was created with Steffes as an original member of the team. Officially, the spacecraft is the Jupiter Near-polar Orbiter. It’s called Juno because of the tales of Roman mythology. Juno was the wife of Jupiter, the king of the gods who visited other worlds and used clouds to hide his mischief. But Juno was able to look through them to see what Jupiter was up to. That’s what the spacecraft will do as it orbits the giant planet from as low as 3,000 miles above the clouds. “When you see a picture of Jupiter, you’re seeing cloud tops that form the outer reaches of the atmosphere,” Steffes says. “It’s like seeing a veneer. You’re



not seeing deep down.” To sense what’s below those clouds, Steffes and his peers are utilizing Juno’s microwave radiometer (MWR) instrument. It will measure radio waves from Jupiter’s deep atmosphere, providing a first-ever glimpse of what the planet is made of. Steffes says microwave radio waves are similar to cellphone signals, which are constantly modified by clouds, rain, and gases. “If you look at the bars on your phone as you walk next to a fish tank, you’ll notice you’ll have fewer bars. The water absorbs the radio energy from the cell tower to your phone,” he says. “Just like the cellphone idea, we’re going to measure the microwave radiation—the signals coming out of the atmosphere.


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RANKING OF TECH’S mechanical engineering program among public universities by U.S. News and World Report.

Based on how they’re affected by the clouds and gases, we’ll know what’s down there.” While revealing levels of hydrogen, ammonia, and other atmospheric components, Juno will discover the depths of Jupiter’s bands and clouds that are scattered high in the atmosphere. This includes the famous Great Red Spot, which has swirled on the planet for more than 300 years and is two to three times as large as Earth. Jupiter contains more material than every other planet, comet and asteroid in the solar system, combined. It was the first planet to form, and scientists believe it can unlock countless mysteries of the solar system’s formation. - JASON MADERER, INSTITUTE COMMUNICATIONS


SIZE OF THE TENNIS SHOES worn by the Tech-designed DURUS robot that walks heel-to-toe like a human.



GEORGIA TECH PRESIDENT G.P. “Bud” Peterson has been elected as chair of the NCAA’s Board of Governors, the highest governing body of the NCAA. The group oversees Association-wide issues and is tasked with ensuring that each division operates consistently with the policies and principles of the NCAA. The board includes 16 presidents and chancellors from Division I, II and III universities. NCAA President Mark Emmert and the chairs of the Division I Council and Divisions II and III Management Councils serve as ex officio members. “The NCAA is the outstanding organization that it is today because of the engagement of leaders from more than 1,100 colleges and universities,” Peterson says. “It is my honor to serve in this leadership role, which supports more than 460,000 student-athletes on 19,000 teams throughout the U.S.” Peterson has served as a member of the board since May 2016, representing the Atlantic Coast Conference. Peterson has also served on the Division I Board of Directors since January 2015. While an undergraduate student at Kansas State, he lettered three years as a tight end/wide receiver for the Wildcats football team. - JASON MADERER, INSTITUTE COMMUNICATIONS


GEORGIA TECH’S RANKING among public universities by U.S. News & World Report.

Miss Georgia Photo: Matt Boyd

MARY ROCKETT BROCK, HON PHD 16, co-owner of the Atlanta Dream, and John F. Brock III, ChE 70, MS ChE 71, Hon PhD 16, chief executive officer of Coca-Cola Enterprises, accepted the Ernest T. Stewart Award for Alumni Volunteer Involvement from the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE). The Stewart Award recognizes individuals for service to their alma mater and is named for the first executive director of the American Alumni Council, one of CASE’s two predecessor organizations. It is the highest honor that CASE presents to alumni volunteers. As co-chairs of Campaign Georgia Tech, the Brocks helped Georgia Tech meet and surpass a goal of raising $1.5 billon, concluding in December 2015 with $1.8 billion raised. John Brock earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in chemical engineering from Georgia Tech. Both he and Mary Rockett Brock were awarded honorary doctoral degrees at Tech’s Spring 2016 Commencement, where Mary delivered the Commencement address to master’s and PhD graduates. - KRISTEN BAILEY, INSTITUTE COMMUNICATIONS

A YELLOW JACKET CROWNED MISS GEORGIA—AGAIN FOR THE SECOND TIME in three years, a Yellow Jacket has won the title of Miss Georgia 2016. Patricia Ford, BA 15, earned the crown over 14 other semifinalists, securing a chance to compete in the 2017 Miss America Pageant in September, as well as $15,000 in scholarship awards and the keys to a new Kia. Ford works as a marketing assistant for Anisa International in Atlanta, and continues to pursue a career in social entrepreneurship. Maggie (Bridges) Kearney, BA 15, was named Miss Georgia 2014 while still a student at Tech.


NUMBER OF YELLOW JACKET veterans who have received the Medal of Honor for their service.


RATIO OF STUDENTS who will go on to study or work abroad during their time at Tech.

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TALK OF TECH HOPE SCHOLARSHIP CHANGES TO BENEFIT TECH STUDENTS THERE’S NEW HOPE for Yellow Jackets who’ve lost HOPE. This year, Georgia lawmakers unanimously approved a measure introduced by State Representative and Speaker Pro-Tem Jan Jones (R-Milton), which will help students taking rigorous STEM courses maintain the HOPE Scholarship. That’s welcome news for Tech students who have struggled to maintain the 3.0 GPA required to earn Georgia’s merit-based scholarship, which covers certain tuition expenses at in-state colleges and universities. “This initiative will encourage our young people to develop the 21st century skills demanded in STEM fields and make Georgia even more competitive in attracting high-tech companies to locate and expand in our state,” says

Jones, who is also the parent of a Georgia Tech student. The legislation directs the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia to identify a group of undergraduate science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) courses to receive extra weight for the purposes of calculating the HOPE scholarship GPA. This group of core and major courses will be considered academically rigorous and required for jobs in high-demand STEM fields.

An extra half point will be added to the grades of students who make a B, C, or D in the selected STEM courses. It will not be added if a student receives an F or A. So for example, if a student earns a C, or 2.0, in a qualifying course, his grade would be 2.5 for the purposes of HOPE financial aid. Casey Aultman, IA 13, manager of legislative advocacy in Georgia Tech’s Office of Government & Community Relations, says the changes are expected to go into effect for the fall 2017 semester. “The underlying principal of the bill is to not only reward but also to incentivize Georgia students to pursue harder STEM courses and ultimately earn degrees leading to high-demand careers,” Aultman says. - MELISSA FRALICK

NEW SCHOOL CONSOLIDATES TECH’S STRENGTH IN LIFE SCIENCES THIS SUMMER, the College of Sciences launched a new school—the School of Biological Sciences—to reinforce and refocus its expertise in life sciences. The School of Biological Sciences emerged from a reorganization of the former School of Applied Physiology and School of Biology. The reorganization was motivated by the College of Sciences’ strategic goals to enhance the research ecosystem for the basic sciences and mathematics, enrich and diversify educational opportunities



for science and mathematics majors, and strengthen the opportunities for creativity and innovation. J. Todd Streelman took the helm of the new school on Aug. 15, 2016. Terry W. Snell served as chair during the transition. “The life sciences are an exciting and fast-moving field, and the


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NUMBER OF NEW JOBS expected from Keysight Technologies’ expansion into Technology Square.

issues it addresses are varied but interconnected,” says Rafael L. Bras, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs. It is about the systems that make life possible. The new School of Biological Sciences brings together individuals that span the various aspects of living systems and their study. It will add synergies and create a resilient, flexible, and fast-responding academic unit in a fast-moving field.” - MAUREEN ROUHI, COLLEGE OF SCIENCES


RATIO OF STUDENT ATHLETES with a GPA of 3.0 or higher in spring 2016.


SMART DEVICES that wake up with voice commands have gained popularity in recent years, and now researchers at Georgia Tech have taken it one step further: an alwayson camera. Designed with a combination of low-power hardware and energy-efficient image processing software, the always-on camera is capable of watching for specific types of movement without draining batteries or running up electricity bills. “Right now cameras are very hard to run on passive power just because they burn so much power themselves,” says Justin Romberg, a professor in Tech’s School of Electrical and Computer Engineering. “This combination of efficient signal processing and a novel hardware design lowers the power requirement and means that some of these other options to power it might be open.” The research, which was highlighted this August at the International Symposium on Low Power Electronics and Design, was sponsored by Intel Corp. and the National Science Foundation. T h e a lway s - o n ca m e ra wa s



primarily designed as a way to wake up devices. But its ability to recognize specif ic gestures expands the possibilities—such as a camera that wakes up with a specific pattern or movement, almost like a secret handshake. “We wanted to devise a camera that was capturing images all of the time, and then once you have a particular gesture—like you write a ‘Z’ in the air—it’s going to wake up,” says Arijit Raychowdhury, an associate professor in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering. “To make that work without affecting the battery life, we wanted it to be so low power that you can power it with harvested ambient energy, such as with a photovoltaic cell. ”Such a low-power camera could be useful in a range of applications, especially for camera systems in remote locations where efficiency is crucial. Uses could include specialized surveillance, robotics and consumer electronics with handsfree operation, and Tech researchers are already working on adding wireless functionality to transmit images and data with an antenna.

RIA BANERJEE, BA 16, was named the top college student leader in the nation by CASE ASAP, continuing a tradition of excellence at Tech by becoming the fifth Yellow Jacket to win this prestigious award in the last seven years. Banerjee won the award for her work as president of the Student Alumni Association (SAA)—the Institute’s largest and most lauded student organization. She was a leader in SAA throughout her college career. As a freshman, she was selected to serve as the chair of SAA’s “Get Ready For the Real World” programs. For the next two years, she served as vice president of operations, and led SAA as president her senior year. “I absolutely loved serving this incredible organization and am so excited to continue my involvement as an alum,” Banerjee says. The Council for Advancement and Support of Education Affiliated Student Advancement Programs—known as CASE ASAP—represents student organizations at more than 300 member institutions. To win the National Student Leader of the Year Award, Banerjee bested seven other outstanding student leaders from around the country. Catie Miller, the alumni association’s director of student outreach, says it’s no surprise that Banerjee was recognized for her stellar leadership. “Ria is a natural leader and has incredible instincts about building and leading effective teams,” Miller says. “She is the most professional and accomplished student I know, and has been since I met her four years ago. She impresses her advisors, peers, and everyone she interacts with.”



NUMBER OF FORMER Georgia Tech athletes elected to the 2016 Georgia Tech Sports Hall of Fame this summer.


NUMBER OF GEORGIA TECH student athletes named to the ACC honor roll during the 2015-16 academic year. Volume 92 No. 3 2016 | GTALUMNIMAG.COM | 17


A BattleBot with an Appetite for Destruction MICHAEL JEFFRIES, a research technologist with the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI), has recently turned his hobby of robot building and battling into a turn on ABC’s BattleBots. Jeffries and his team, Chaos Corps, entered the robots Bombshell and Short-Fuse into the nationally televised competition this summer and fall. Jeffries serves as the team captain and is the lead designer of the group’s prize fighter, Bombshell. He also controls the robots during actual fights. “We designed Bombshell to have a modular weapons system,” Jeffries says. “We can attach four different weapons, usually right before the fight. It keeps our opponents guessing, because they never know what weapon Bombshell will have.” The robot’s drive system and armor weighs 136 pounds, and the various weapons can weigh anywhere from 80 to 113 pounds. These range from an electric axe to a 42-inch horizontal spinning bar, that can raise and lower during a fight. The team also operates a companion robot, Short-Fuse, which is basically a quad-copter strapped to a flame-thrower. This is the first time, Jeffries said, that they’ve used flying robots in the competition. Bombshell has fought valiantly through the televised competition, earning a wild card position after losing to Complete Control, but then defeating Cobalt its first battle in the round of 32. The team continued on in the brackets, scheduled to fight the robot Poison Arrow on Sept. 1. “I became interested in robot battles during the original airing of BattleBots on Comedy Central, back when I

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GTRI researcher Michael Jeffries and his wife Julie Simancek pose with their robot, Bombshell.

was in middle school,” Jeffries says. He built and fielded his first combatant in 2006. It was a 60-pound robot for RoboGames in California. Prior to BattleBots, Jeffries competed against teams that duke it out regularly in the Atlanta area. (Chaos Corps is made up of members from these teams.) Jeffries, his wife Julie and a group of friends attend roughly six events a year. “Called Robot Battles, it’s the second-longest running robot combat event in the world since 1991,” Jeffries says. “We’ve battled at Dragon*Con, conventions and other events in the Southeast.” When ABC opened up the second season of the show to auditions, Jeffries pitched the other teams facing

off in Robot Battles that they should pool their resources to create a new robot specifically for the show. More than 1,000 hours of fabrication work and assembly were required to create Bombshell and Short-Fuse over a twomonth period. “It’s been very much a team effort,” Jeffries says. For Jeffries, pugilistic automatons are also a family affair. “I made a really smart decision: I got Julie—my then-girlfriend, now wife—fighting robots early in the relationship,” he says. “She has her own bots and competes alongside and against me. Her favorite line when we compete is ‘You know whoever wins, you still lose, right?’” - ROBERT NESMITH, GTRI

NEW LEADERS IN INNOVATION AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP GEORGIA TECH HAS NAMED Chris Downing vice president of the Enterprise Innovation Institute (EI2) and Jennifer Bonnett general manager of the Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC), solidifying the leadership of Tech’s two most influential efforts in innovation and entrepreneurship. As the Institute’s chief business outreach organization, EI 2 is the nation’s largest and most comprehensive university-based program of business and industry assistance, technology Chris Downing commercialization and economic development. Downing had served as EI2’s associate vice president since 2012 and as interim vice president since October 2015. He has held various leadership roles related to economic development at Georgia Tech since 1988. “I am thankful for this opportunity and I remain focused on our core mission at EI2 to fulfill Georgia Tech’s commitment to economic development,” Downing says. “Working with the dedicated professionals at EI2, we will enhance Georgia Tech’s work in designing the future through our service to entrepreneurs, business, researchers, innovators, and the people of Georgia.” A key unit of the within EI 2 , ATDC serves as Tech’s chief outJennifer Bonnett reach and economic development arm, working with more than 800 technology startup entrepreneurs each year across Georgia. Founded in 1981, ATDC has grown to become one of the most successful, longest-running, and largest university-based startup incubators in the country. Bonnett had been serving as ATDC’s acting general manager since October 2015. In taking the permanent appointment, Bonnett leads a team of 22 full- and part-time employees who run the program’s initiatives, as well as coach entrepreneurs across the state. A technology entrepreneur with more than 25 years experience in web and mobile technologies, she has served as founder or chief technology officer of several venture- and angel-backed firms. “Jen has been a tireless champion of technology startup development in Georgia and an important voice and advocate for the community,” Downing says. “Under her steady and smart leadership, ATDC continues to grow and expand as Georgia’s technology incubator dedicated to serving the state and its economy by helping entrepreneurs learn, launch, scale and succeed in their technology startup efforts.” - PÉRALTE C. PAUL, EI2 COMMUNICATIONS

arts@tech Enjoy the Arts on Campus this Fall! Arts@Tech Season:

The Wholehearted by Stein/Holum Projects September 15-17 Poetry@Tech Presents:

The Bourne Poetry Reading featuring Mark Doty & Ginger Murchison September 29 DramaTech Presents:

The Taming

by Lauren Gunderson September 30 to October 8 Arts@Tech Season:

DJ Spooky Peace Symphony and The Hidden Code September 30 and October 1 Georgia Tech Concert Band, Choirs, and Orchestras

Brahms Festival I: Johannes, Felix and Richard October 2

Georgia Tech Symphony Orchestra

Brahms Festival II: Johannes, Felix and Richard October 4

Georgia Tech Jazz Band and Symphonic Band October 6

Arts@Tech Season:

The Second City:

Free Speech (While Supplies Last) October 22

Arts@Tech Season:

Pilobolus: Shadowland October 27

Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket Marching Band: Surround Sound   October  28

Poetry@Tech Presents:

The McEver Poetry Reading featuring James May, Anya Silver, & Bruce McEver November 3 DramaTech Presents:

Man of LaMancha by Dale Wasserman November 4-19

details and more events at 404-894-2787


Searching for the Zeitgeist



Tech faculty member Joyce Medina discusses the power of design. PART ART HISTORIAN, part prognosticator and part teacher, Joyce Medina holds a unique position at Georgia Tech. For the past 18 years, she has taught both Art History and the History of Industrial Design—humanities electives that provide students a change of pace from the Institute’s largely technical curriculum. Her influence is enormous: Each year, Medina teaches approximately 1,200 students, 600 in the popular History of Industrial Design course alone. Chances are high that if you’ve graduated from Tech in the past couple of decades, you’ve probably had Medina as a teacher. “She’s done a fantastic job of teaching students across the Institute about the importance of art and design,” says Steven P. French, dean and John Portman Chair in the newly named College of Design. “The large numbers of students that take her classes are a testament to the quality of her teaching as well our students’ desire to marry creativity with their knowledge of science and technology.” With a new school year underway, we caught up with Medina for a crash course in design. WHAT KIND OF MATERIAL DO YOU TEACH IN THE HISTORY OF INDUSTRIAL DESIGN? We follow a “material culture” approach in which we look at everything designed as being motived by culture. Whether it is through designed objects or art, we as humans develop ways to problem solve within cultural constructs and culture finds a way to express itself through us as design. How we live, how we communicate, what we do for

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Not all of what Joyce Medina discusses in her History of Industrial Design class is located far away or relegated to the history books. Some things featured in the curriculum can be found right here on Georgia Tech’s campus:


In 1930, the Daniel Guggenheim Fund for the Promotion of Aeronautics Inc. gave Georgia Tech a $300,000 grant to establish a school of aeronautical engineering. Guggenheim’s grant to Georgia Tech was the third largest of the seven grants made to establish centers for aeronautical research at institutions across the country. Included with the grant was funding for research equipment such as wind tunnels, which were used for testing automobiles and airplanes during the Streamline Modern design movement. The wind tunnels at Georgia Tech were also used to test and design helicopter propellers during the Vietnam War years.

fun, all of that. As culture moves forward, new problems emerge, and new solutions need to be sought. For instance, the internet had a really interesting influence. Suddenly we’re getting information invisibly. There are no telephone lines or wires. And this invisibility translated itself through all layers of culture as transparency. So we started sitting in chairs that were transparent. Even one of the original personal computers, the iMac G3, was designed so that you could see into the interior and view the mechanism. Transparency of the internet got translated into a lot of areas of design. It’s called looking at the “zeitgeist.” It’s a German word that means the “spirit of the an age.” You can look at any historical period and identify what the prevailing trends are, the zeitgeist, and see how it distributes itself through all layers of culture.

“You can look at any time period and identify what the zeitgeist is and see how it distributes itself through all layers of culture,” Medina says.

WHAT IS THE ZEITGEIST WE’RE IN NOW? Right now we’re moving into a zeitgeist about robotics: self-driving cars, houses that schedule themselves, all that is starting to happen and it’s just a continuation of ubiquitous computing. With the internet available everywhere, how do you make use of that? We’re not going to be carrying around clunky cellphones. We’re going to be wearing them or have them tattooed on our bodies. And with robotics and wearable computing already in the curriculum here at Georgia Tech, we’re going to be right at in the center of this trend. DESIGN IS SO FLUID AND MEANS SO MANY THINGS TO MANY DIFFERENT PEOPLE. HOW DO YOU MAKE IT APPLICABLE TO DIFFERENT KINDS OF STUDENTS? If you’re an engineer, design is still connected to your field. This class focuses on looking at influences from history and philosophy as a broader way of thinking about connections, as opposed to viewing everything as autonomous and separate. WHY DO YOU THINK IT’S IMPORTANT FOR STUDENTS TO UNDERSTAND THE HISTORY OF DESIGN? The idea of studying the history of design is to collect together as a platform what’s been done in the past and then use that platform to stand on the shoulders of all those designers who came before you to push forward. You gather together all their solutions and what they’ve offered and you push it forward to what’s necessary now in the zeitgeist in which you find yourself One of the reasons for studying history is to avoid reinventing the same stuff over and over again. We don’t need to invent the wheel again. We need to invent what we do with the concept of the wheel. That’s what designers are doing.

Josh Meister

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Model A, in 1927, it was said that Henry Ford had “made a lady out of Lizzie.” With its sleek, sporty body available in a variety of colors, The Model A was a hit with the public. Though it was only produced until 1931, about 5 million of the vehicles were made and many still live on thanks to the care and devotion of car collectors and enthusiasts who appreciate its design. Yellow Jackets, of course, can instantly identify a special version of the Model A—dressed up in White & Gold—as the Ramblin’ Wreck.


The Campanile is an 80-foot obelisk made of steel plates stacked in a spiraling pattern. Designed by artist Richard Hill, the sculpture is topped with three sharp points—an abstract interpretation of Tech Tower. Abstract art, which fully or partially distorts reality, began to gain popularity in the late 19th century. The Campanile’s abstract crown has become a symbol for Georgia Tech, incorporated into branding and signage across campus.

In 1960, Georgia Tech Dean of Students James Dull began searching for a classic car to serve as a mascot for Georgia Tech. After struggling to find the right vehicle for the job, Dull saw a refurbished Ford Model A parked on campus and was instantly smitten. Nicknamed the “Tin Lizzie,” the Ford Model T was extremely popular but also rather utilitarian. When Ford debuted its successor, the

As Georgia Tech prepared to play host to the 1996 Olympic Village, alumni worked together to create a new gathering spot in the center of campus. Richard Kessler, IE 68, MS IE 70, donated funds for a sculpture known as the Campanile, which is surrounded by a fountain and amphitheater plaza donated by the classes of 1943 and 1953.

When you survey the history of design, basically what you’re looking at are the connections, the influences and the innovations. You just keep pushing it forward.

consider themselves to be designers. But as problem solvers, they are designing solutions. The way that a solution is configured and how we interface with it is a design decision.

WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT TEACHING THIS COURSE? One of the exciting parts about this for me is keeping up with it all. I can’t stop at the 1950s or even 2010s and what ended there. I have to keep my eye on tracking the current zeitgeist. And often you don’t know what it is until you see the material objects and how they display trends. You start to decipher them. It’s really exciting to keep your hand on the pulse of culture and to see what is emerging, disappearing, changing.

TALK ABOUT THE SCOPE OF YOUR HISTORY OF DESIGN COURSE. I start with the year 1850 during the Industrial Revolution and, over a full semester, I examine the history of design to our contemporary time. I survey the material by decade: how history impacts design, how politics impacts design. Even though many students may not know the history or politics of the middle ages, they know more recent history as it is familiar to them. With that familiarity, they already have a viewpoint and I think it’s really important to have a viewpoint. A viewpoint is not just what you like or don’t like. It’s how you see something as a good solution or how you see something as moving us to a good solution.

HOW DO YOU DEFINE DESIGN? Art, design, any invented object is a way for humans to communicate about being human. So a painting is an artist saying something about being human. Or, a car design is a car designer coming up with a solution to some human interface problem. HOW IMPORTANT DO YOU THINK DESIGN IS IN THE WORLD OF STEM? Georgia Tech engineering students may not

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DO YOU EVER THINK ABOUT INFLUENCING GENERATIONS OF DESIGNERS AND ENGINEERS I’m not influencing them, but I know that the course materials are. I can tell that they are thinking differently based on their exposure to the material. They are going to get out there and start to look differently at

“That’s what’s so great about design. When you appreciate good design, you’re participating.” Medina says. everything around them—and I don’t mean just what kind of refrigerator am I going to buy or what chair am I going to buy— but to look very differently at all the possibilities out there. I know that happens because it already happens during the course when they start to form opinions or preferences; and then of course, I often will get emails from students a couple years down the road, saying ‘I finally saw that building you showed in class and I remembered it.’ HOW DO STUDENTS USE WHAT THEY LEARN IN THE REAL WORLD? In focusing on a category, like transparency and the internet, they practice looking for that language elsewhere and they start to see it in a lot of different forms. They can then take the categories into the “real world” and continue to let the history of design unfold outside of the course. One almost needs categories first to make connections. Otherwise, you are just sort of walking through the world observing. But once you have categories, then it’s a way of looking at the world and analyzing the world. Then the world is yours. You’re not a bystander.

Josh Meister

You’re playing an active role. That’s what’s so great about design. When you appreciate good design, you’re participating. Your appreciation means you’ve interacted, you’ve participated.

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On the Field

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HUDDLE UP The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets conclude a summer football practice with a moment of unity as they start their ninth season under head coach Paul Johnson. The team hopes to rebound from a disappointing year and return to bowl-game glory, as senior quarterback Justin Thomasâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;once again on the Maxwell Award watch listâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;looks to lead them there.

Andy Karnik

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Identical twins and Tech volleyball standouts (both 6 feet tall!) Annika and Teegan Van Gunst share their thoughts on the upcoming season— their last for the Yellow Jackets—while setting the record straight about the benefits of having a carbon-copy sibling.

W WHICH ONE OF YOU WAS BORN FIRST AND TECHNICALLY RANKS AS THE BIG SISTER? ANNIKA: I am older and, of course, I remind her of it every chance I get. What’s the fun in being older if you don’t use it to your advantage? TEEGAN: Yeah, I guess there’s not much I can do about that.

HOW AND WHEN DID YOU GET INVOLVED IN SPORTS GROWING UP? WAS VOLLEYBALL ALWAYS YOUR SPORT OF CHOICE? A: We’ve been playing sports since as early as we can remember. Growing up with two brothers, we were always out in the backyard together throwing the baseball or kicking the soccer ball. We were a very active family.

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T: We started playing soccer competitively when we were 7 years old. Our dad was our coach and we loved it. Volleyball didn’t come into the picture until seventh grade when our PE teacher suggested we give it a try since we were tall and athletic. A: I had offers to play both sports at the collegiate level and I was very close to choosing soccer over volleyball. I didn’t make up my mind until the summer before my senior year of high school and it was probably the toughest decision I’ve had to make.

T: Can’t argue with that. But she’s definitely the weirder one. WHEN DID YOU GET SERIOUS ABOUT PLAYING VOLLEYBALL? A: Maybe our junior to senior year of high school. We started playing in club leagues, which is kind of the sign of “getting serious” in the sport, when we were 16. Until then, we had no aspirations of playing volleyball in college. T: I committed to play volleyball at Tech a couple months before Annika did. She was still pretty torn over whether she wanted to play soccer. For a while there I wasn’t sure if we would end up splitting ways and going to different schools, but I guess at the end of the day she knew she couldn’t live without me. A: Oh yeah, that’s it: One day I just realized my life would be a wreck without her—not.

WHAT ARE YOUR SPECIAL TWIN POWERS? T: We often say the exact same things at the exact same time. A: Sometimes we have to plan out who is going to respond first or else we’ll probably end up saying the same thing. Also, since we’re talking about twin powers, I have some myth-busting confessions for you. No, we do not have a telepathic connection. No, we do not feel each other’s pain. And no, we don’t use each other as a mirror.

WHY DID YOU BOTH CHOOSE TECH? A: I think I can speak for both of us in saying that Tech offers the best allaround student-athlete experience you can ask for. Tech has such prestige as a premier academic institute but it also has incredible athletics. It’s also super nice that our family is close—we’re from Fayetteville, Ga., just 45 minutes south of Atlanta—so we’ve had tons of support from immediate family but also our church family and friends as well. T: Took the words right out of my mouth.

IN WHAT WAYS ARE YOU DEFINITELY NOT IDENTICAL TO YOUR SISTER? A: One, I got the better looks. Two, I’m not deaf. And three, Teegan’s smarter.

WHAT ARE YOU STUDYING? WHAT DO YOU HOPE TO DO AFTER YOU GRADUATE? T: We’re both studying mechanical engineering, but I have no idea where

Annika (left) and Teegan Van Gunst stand tall on the court.

that will take me in the workforce. I’m honestly looking forward to playing volleyball as long as my body holds up. I’d love to get involved in the beach tour here in the U.S. or possibly play professionally overseas. A: I’m in the same boat. I absolutely love competing and playing. WHAT ARE YOUR PERSONAL GOALS FOR THE UPCOMING SEASON?

Josh Meister

A: I want to be the best teammate I can be. Whatever my role happens to be and wherever I’m needed throughout the season, I hope I can show up big and be there for my teammates. I want to bring a positive mindset and high energy to the gym every day to make myself and my teammates better and enjoy the once-in-a-lifetime experience of college volleyball. T: I’d say that as a senior, my goal is

to continue the process of building a winning culture for the program. I want to walk out of the gym at the end of the season knowing I gave my all in every situation and for every one of my teammates. I want the legacy that our senior class leaves to be one of commitment and excellence—doing things the right way and realizing that it’s a journey you get to share with a special group of people.

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Kuchar Scores Bronze in Rio Olympics MATT KUCHAR, MGT 00, shot a flawless final-round 63—tying an Olympic record—to win the bronze medal in the men’s golf competition at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio. Representing the United States, Kuchar carded rounds of 69, 70, 69 and 63 to finish 13-under-par for the 72-hole tournament, just two strokes behind gold medalist Justin Rose of Great Britain and one shot behind silver medalist Henrik Stenson of Sweden. Kuchar began Sunday’s final round tied for seventh overall at 5-under-par, four strokes out of medal contention. He recorded six birdies, an eagle and no bogeys en route to his eight-under-par 63. The 63 not only tied the Olympic Matt Kuchar, right, wins the bronze medal in men’s golf at the Summer Olympics in Rio. record, but was also the best finalround score of Kuchar’s professional career. He nearly of the Year at Georgia Tech from 1997-2000, Kuchar is the shot a 62 but his birdie putt on No. 18 came up just inchfirst former Yellow Jacket to win an Olympic medal since es short of the hole. Chris Bosh won gold as a member of the 2008 USA men’s A three-time All-American and two-time National Player basketball team in Beijing.

SEARCH FOR NEW ATHLETIC DIRECTOR BEGINS GEORGIA TECH PRESIDENT G.P. “BUD” PETERSON HAS NAMED an eight-person search committee to recommend candidates for the vacant position of director of athletics. The panel will advise Peterson on a successor for Mike Bobinski, who was named athletics director at Purdue University this August.




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The committee is made up of Georgia Tech alumni, current faculty and staff, two students and community leaders, including retiring New York Yankee first baseman and Tech standout Mark Teixeira, Cls 02. The search will be chaired by Al Trujillo, AE 81, president and chief operating officer of the

TOTAL NUMBER OF GEORGIA TECH ALUMNI and staff who competed in the 2016 Olympic Games and 2016 Paralympic Games.

Georgia Tech Foundation. Peterson has selected former Senior Associate Director of Athletics Paul Griffin to serve as interim director of athletics. Tech’s new athletic director will oversee a department that includes 15 athletic teams competing in 17 NCAA Division I varsity sports.


NUMBER OF OLYMPIC GAMES in which Tech alumna Chaunte Howard Lowe has competed. Ross Kinnaird / Getty Images


Demetra Named New ‘Voice of the Yellow Jackets’ ANDY DEMETRA, a 13-year broadcasting veteran who has been the voice of the University of South Carolina men’s basketball and baseball since 2009, has been hired as Georgia Tech’s new play-by-play announcer. Demetra, 35, will serve as the “Voice of the Yellow Jackets” for football and men’s basketball radio broadcasts on the Georgia Tech IMG Sports Network, beginning with Tech’s Sept. 3 football opener versus Boston College in Dublin, Ireland. Demetra will also host the Yellow Jackets’ football and men’s basketball coach’s shows on both radio and television, emcee Athletic Association events and have a role in other Georgia Tech broadcasting and publicity initiatives. At South Carolina, Demetra was the play-by-play voice of men’s basketball and baseball for seven seasons on the 28-station Gamecock IMG Sports Network. “I’m thrilled to be joining the Georgia Tech family,” Demetra said. “Whether it was Brandon Gaudin, Wes Durham, Brad Nessler, Al Ciraldo or a man I’m familiar with at South Carolina, Bob Fulton, Georgia Tech is the home of gold-standard radio broadcasters. I’m honored to be trusted with that tradition and I look forward to sharing my passion for play-by-play with Yellow Jacket fans. I can’t wait for all the great moments we’ll get to experience together.”

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165 YELLOW JACKETS MAKE THE ACC HONOR ROLL GEORGIA TECH HAD 165 student-athletes named to the 60th-annual Atlantic Coast Conference Honor Roll, recognizing academic excellence during the 2015-16 academic year. The ACC Honor Roll is comprised of studentathletes who participated in a varsity-level sport and registered a grade point average of 3.0 or better for the full academic year. Notably recognized for her strong performances in the classroom and on the track was Georgia Tech’s Bria Matthews. The 2016 ACC Indoor Track and Field Freshman of the Year participated in the U.S. Track and Field Olympic Trials this July. The ACC recognized a record number of 4,378 student-athletes for their hard work and dedication in the classroom this academic year. This number tops last year’s record of 4,147 student-athletes. NOTICE OF NCAA INFRACTIONS In July of 2011, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I Committee on Infractions found the Georgia Institute of Technology men’s basketball and football programs responsible for committing violations of NCAA legislation. The Institute was cited for a lack of cooperation during the investigation, a failure to meet the conditions and obligations of membership, and preferential treatment violations. Also cited were additional violations in the men’s basketball program related to the conduct of a nonscholastic men’s basketball tournament on campus. The NCAA public report further details all of the findings. Penalties Included: • Public reprimand and censure. • Four years of probation from July 14, 2011 through July 13, 2015. • A $100,000 financial penalty. • A reduction of two men’s basketball recruiting days during the 2011 summer evaluation period (self-imposed by the Institute). • A limit of 10 official visits for the men’s basketball program for the 2011-12 and 2012-13 academic years, respectively. • Vacation of contests won by the football team during the 2009 season after November 24, which is when the university was alerted to potential eligibility issues.

Additionally, in September of 2014 the NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions cited the Institute for a failure to monitor recruiting activities, and the football, men’s basketball, and women’s basketball programs were cited for recruiting violations surrounding impermissible telephone calls and text messages sent to prospective student-athletes. The NCAA accepted the Institute’s self-imposed penalties. The NCAA public report further details all of the findings. Penalties Included: • Public reprimand and censure. • Two additional years of probation, extending through July 13, 2017. • Recruiting restrictions during the 2012-13 academic year, including telephone call restrictions and a reduction in offcampus recruiting opportunities (self-imposed by the Institute). As a result of the exhaustive investigation and review process and because of Georgia Tech’s steadfast commitment to compliance, the Institute completely revamped and enhanced its athletics compliance operation and staffing. A robust monitoring system was implemented and a more frequent and meaningful rules education program was established across all sports. The Institute remains committed to operating all of its athletics programs within the letter and spirit of NCAA, ACC, and Institute rules and regulations.




Workforce Development

Online & On-site

ANARGYROS ANTONOPOULOS • GEORGIA TECH ALUMNUS • M.S. IN CIVIL ENGINEERING, 2012 Certificate in Advanced Problem Solving • Lean Six Sigma Black Belt • 2 Promotions in 18 Months Find out what coming back can do for you! Visit


In the World

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SUCH GREAT HEIGHTS It took Tech alumnus and multi-sport adventurer Michael Grigsby, IE 93, two months to scale the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s tallest mountain, Mt. Everest, during a multiyear quest to climb all of the continentsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; highest peaks. It took a great deal of training, physical fitness, courage and money to make these summits, but Grigsby says the effort was well worth being able to enjoy such spectacular views firsthand.

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Rarified Air



How Michael Grigsby, IE 93, joined an elite group of climbers who have scaled the fabled Seven Summits.

IN JUNE, MICHAEL GRIGSBY, IE 93, summited Denali, the last mountain left on his sixyear quest to climb the highest peak on all seven continents—from Alaska to Antarctica. In doing so, he became one of only a few hundred climbers ever to pass this extreme gauntlet of skill, physical fitness and mental sharpness. Just don’t expect an in-depth answer on why he did it. In fact, Grigsby, the president of a Georgia-based packaging company, acted surprisingly stumped when asked what drove him on his pursuit of some of the earth’s biggest pinnacles. Why did he take the mortal risk, endure deprivation and suffer severe weather, while spending thousands of dollars on guides, training programs and supplies—and leaving behind his family and a thriving business—to stand atop a mountain for a few minutes? “I guess,” he answers, with some hesitation, “because I can.” FROM OPEN SEAS TO MOUNTAINTOPS Mountain climbing wasn’t Grigsby’s first obsession with outdoor adventuring. Before seeking great heights, he sought the thrill of the open sea. While a student at Georgia Tech, Grigsby taught sailing at Lake Lanier, and then learned to race sailboats on Lake Michigan after moving nearby after college. Eventually, he worked himself up to the demanding, but adrenaline-fueled world of ocean racing, venturing around the globe to venues like the Andaman Sea off the coast of Thailand. But something unexpected and violent happened that took the wind out of his sails for the sport. In February 2011 off the coast of Oman in the Arabian Sea, Somali pirates attacked the Quest, one of the yachts in the fleet that Grigsby had sailed with during his Thailand voyage, and took the four Americans onboard hostage. The U.S. Navy tried to negotiate a surrender of the hostages, but for reasons that still remain

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unclear to investigators, all four were killed by the pirates. Following that horrific incident, Grigsby says, “My wife didn’t like me being on the water in that part of the world.” But the idea of sailboat racing closer to home didn’t feel right, either. It simply wasn’t enough of a challenge for Grigsby. Luckily, he had just discovered a new passion. A month prior to the Quest tragedy, Grigsby celebrated his 40th birthday by traveling to Tanzania to summit Kilimanjaro, inspired by the short stories of Ernest Hemingway and a lifelong yearning to visit Africa. Kilimanjaro is more of an arduous hike up its 19,341-foot






1. Aconcagua in Argentina, South America 2. Denali in Alaska, North America 3. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Africa 4. Elbrus in Russia, Europe 5. Vinson in Antarctica 6. Pancak Jaya in Indonesia, Oceania Previous Spread: Everest in Nepal, Asia

peak, than a dramatic climb, making it more accessible to inexperienced climbers. He reached out to Thomson Treks, a popular safari company known for its high rate of successful guided Kilimanjaro summits. To prepare himself for the climb, Grigsby trained by focusing on cardio and endurance. But he says the most important preparation was mental. “The first step toward climbing a mountain is setting your mind that you’re going to do it,” Grigsby says. He made the one-week trek by relying on Tanzanian porters to assist with gear as he and his group headed for high altitude. They trekked through the savannah that anchored

“The challenges of weather and the experience of throwing yourself in with perfect strangers to do ocean crossing is very similar to being in the remote outback,” Grigsby says. Volume 92 No. 3 2016 | GTALUMNIMAG.COM | 35

IN THE WORLD the mountain and through the rainforest climate, all the way to the alpine environment at the top. “There’s a solid climbing infrastructure at Kilimanjaro that’s very supportive,” Grigsby says. Satisfied with his ability to complete the summit, and with his sailboat racing dreams clipped, he yearned to dig into more difficult mountain ascents. “The sports are fairly similar,” he says of sailboat racing and mountaineering. “The challenges of weather and the experience of throwing yourself in with perfect strangers to do ocean crossing is very similar to being in the remote outback.” Not to mention, he’d already invested in a fair amount of gear. During the Kilimanjaro trek, Grigsby met a guide from Alpine Ascents, a Seattle-based mountaineering school with a storied reputation for teaching, training and guiding climbers on peaks throughout the world. All it took was a little encouragement for Grigsby to go from being a onetime climber to committing to take on the Seven Summits. Grigsby decided to take on the Seven Summits: Puncak Jaya (also known as Carstenz Pyramid) in Papua, Indonesia, Oceania; Elbrus in Europe; Aconcagua in South America; Vinson in Antarctica; Denali in North America and, of course, Everest in Asia. Not only was this an ambitious test of his physical fitness and nascent skills, he quickly discovered he’d have to plan his trips with exacting detail in order to anticipate weather and climbing conditions. But all that would come a bit later. The first step was choosing which mountain was next.

perfecting the use of an ice axe, ascenders and crampons (those metallic spikes that attach to snow boots); and learning rescue techniques that could save his life or the lives of other climbers. He traveled to Nepal and, with a guide, hiked to Mt. Everest’s base camp, just for a taste of the hardest summit to come. At 17,590 feet, Everest base camp is higher than the peaks of Puncak Jaya and Vinson. In February 2012, one year after Grigsby gave up his ocean racing hobby, he spent three weeks climbing Aconcagua. His summit on South America’s highest peak was complete. But his new passion also included climbing mountains not on the big seven list. Come fall, he was in Ecuador scaling glaciated volcanoes and by early 2013, he’d climbed Mexican volcanoes, too. THE HIGH COSTS OF CLIMBING Given Grigsby was almost always completing or preparing for a mountain trip—as well as racking up considerable costs to complete his quest—it seems he might have considered quitting his business to seek sponsorship and become a fulltime mountaineer. But he never did, partly because he loved his work and partly because he had so much support. His business partner is his brother, John, EE 90, who made sure nothing fell through the cracks while Grigsby was away. During his quest, Grigsby has shelled out approximately $155,000 for his training, expert guidance on the summits, and the infrastructure that Alpine Ascents provides on certain climbs. Less expensive summits start around $4,000

“Each climb, you’re living day-today in a situation that easily kill you alongside these other people,” Grigsby says. “So of course you become great friends.”

OUT OF ORDER The accepted logic by Seven Summit wannabes was that climbers follow an order of difficulty, beginning on the lowest elevated mountain and culminating with Mount Everest’s 29,029 feet. Had Grigsby followed this tradition, his first climb would have been Puncak Jaya at 16,024 feet. Since he’d already started smack dab in the middle of elevation with Kilimanjaro, he figured, why not go up, and then come down? That meant Aconcagua in the Argentine Andes was next. Grigsby certainly wasn’t a complete newbie anymore, but he was still considered a beginner. And while he was strong, he needed to get even more fit. “The only way to get mountain-fit is to climb mountains,” Grigsby says. That, and spend four-hour sessions on the StairMaster at full incline. Alpine Ascents laid out a training course for Grigsby on snowy Mount Rainier in Washington state, where he could experience the elements, test gear (his backpack topped out at 70 pounds) and gain confidence. The guides taught him technical skills: how to ascend using vertically fixed rope;

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but get steep quickly, accounting for remote locations. A nine-week expedition to Mount Everest costs $65,000, and the Vinson summit in Antarctica sets climbers back $41,000. And those fees don’t include airfare, climbing permits, the cost of porters when needed, and personal gear, to say nothing of medical and insurance fees. Grigsby says he can’t estimate the full expense of his climbing adventures and the vacations that accompany them. His wife supports his climbing as long as she, too, gets to visit the exotic destinations on his list. Before Puncak Jaya, the couple spent a week in Bali, Indonesia, and when Grigsby headed to the mountain for his climb, she returned home—she has a limit on what she considers fun.


EVEREST 29,029 ft Asia

30,000 ft

25,000 ft

20,000 ft

15,000 ft

PUNCAK JAYA 16,024 ft Oceania

DENALI 20,322 ft North America

ACONCAGUA 22,838 ft South America ELBRUS 18,510 ft Europe

KILIMANJARO 19,341 ft Africa

VINSON 16,050 ft Antarctica

10,000 ft

5,000 ft

“In the mountain climbing world, we call summits Type II fun,” he says, describing the spectrum of outdoor activities where Type I is fun in the moment but largely unmemorable, and Type III is an experience you want to forget. “Type II is awful while you’re doing it—it is grueling, physically difficult, almost battlefield-like. But it’s awesome when it’s over.” VICTORY Four months after climbing volcanoes in Mexico, Grigsby summited Everest in May 2013. The two-month trip included 10 days at base camp, where Grigsby had visited two years prior. This time, his group included 100 Sherpa guides and multiple teams of yaks, each team boasting 15 of the Tibetan oxen. The climb required great patience, often trekking in the late night hours before sunrise. Climbers waited for weather windows to avoid icy waterfalls where frozen blocks the size of buildings topple down. For much of the climb, Grigsby moved 300 feet per hour, or with the high altitude, 10 breaths per step. To climb the last part of the south-facing side he had to cross the Cornice Traverse, a 100-foot-long, knifed-edged ridge to the Hillary Step, a 35-foot rock wall named after Everest’s first conqueror. As the sun rose, a dip in the snow dropped out while he crossed, and the bright sunlight directly hit his vision. His retina was scorched, making him snow-blind in one eye. After somehow managing the crossing in this condition, Grigsby gave himself a prescribed steroid injection for this exact occurrence, which helped

mitigate the damage to his eye and ultimately restored his sight. Believe it or not, he says, it was his one close call in all of his mountain escapades. Grigsby made it to the summit. He still has only had one word to describe how he felt that day: “Amazing.” He was so high on life after the climb, that upon returning to high camp, he convinced his guide to turn back and climb Lhotse, a sister mountain to Everest that peaks at 27,940 feet—the fourth highest mountain on earth. By doing so, he became the fourth climber ever to have summited two 8,000-meter peaks within 24 hours. Grigsby continued his march through the remaining Seven Summits, completing Elbrus, Vinson and Puncak Jaya in 2014 and 2015 over a period of less than 15 months. He reached his goal in Alaska this past summer, taking three weeks to summit Denali, which he says was just as hard as Everest. “I had a 50-pound backpack and a 50-pound sled— on Everest at least we had a huge team of people,” he says. That teamwork is what he’ll miss about each mountain trip, the people he befriended along the way. “Each climb, you’re living day-to-day in a situation that could easily kill you alongside these other people,” Grigsby says. “So of course you become great friends.” He says he is still close with people in Nepal and Argentina, places he’ll likely revisit as he moves toward his next adventure, which he assures will not a typical vacation destination. “It’s easy to fly to Paris,” he says. “I haven’t been to the North Pole yet. And honestly, I’d probably like to get back out on the sea.”

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Dollars and Sense: Bianca Stewart, BA 14, Fashion Designer BY BRIAN HUDGINS

Finding stylish, comfortable clothes has always been something of a tall order for Bianca Stewart, a former Tech student-athlete who stands at 6 feet without heels and towers over the average-to-petite women for whom most ready-to-wear clothes are designed. THOUGH HER HEIGHT has always been a boon for her as a track-andfield star—Bianca Stewart has been a standout in the high jump since age 9—she’s faced nothing but hurdles to find wardrobe options for her soaring stature. So Stewart turned this lifelong fashion struggle into an opportunity, launching a career as a niche designer for tall women (and men) soon after she got out of Tech. Her new line for the lengthy, called Jesse Queen, has garnered attention and praise worldwide, and she even got to show off her clothes at New York Fashion Week this past spring. She recently shared her story with the Alumni Magazine. CONSIDERING YOUR SHOPPING EXPERIENCES GROWING UP TALLER THAN MOST EVERYONE ELSE, DID YOU START TO THINK TO YOURSELF: I WANT TO HELP OTHER WOMEN WHO FACE THE SAME ISSUE? Yes, definitely. I was a lot thinner in my teenage years so finding clothing was near impossible. A pair of pants, size zero with a 36-inch inseam was unheard of. It wasn’t until I started doing research that I realized that there are so many tall women who aren’t comfortable with themselves and don’t like being tall because of the constant inconveniences that come from it. However, I’ve always felt like being tall defined me. It made me who I am, I could never imagine not loving my height.

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HOW DID YOU GO THROUGH THOSE BASIC STEPS OF TURNING AN INTEREST IN FASHION INTO A CAREER PATH? Jesse Queen is actually my second line. My first was a collaboration on a unisex line, titled Unbothered, that I co-designed with recording artist Teyana Taylor after I graduated from Tech in 2014. After I was injured during the indoor season of my junior year and could no longer compete, I started designing in my spare time. She also had ideas already in the works, so collaborating worked out perfectly. Because unisex clothing is such a limiting genre, it made me start to think, what if I made my own clothes? Then I thought, wait, no, what if I created clothing for tall women, period? HOW DIFFICULT WAS IT TO CARVE OUT A NICHE IN THE FASHION INDUSTRY? Once I decided to take this step in designing my personal line I knew that I wanted to specifically cater to tall fashion. The best part is I identify directly with the struggle of finding clothing. I hope that with social media democratizing retail, smaller startups such as myself can take up where so many established retailers have failed. I would love to trigger a shift in the industry where in the next five years companies won’t be able to afford to avoid producing for our specific market. WAS IT HARD TO GET NOTICED INITIALLY AS A DESIGNER? There are thousands of designers on the internet today and they all have something different to offer. The best way to be recognized is to be unique and to stand out, so what helped me the most was catering to an underserved market. Within the first few months, I had a small following which

Bianca Stewart models an outfit from her Jesse Queen line.

“As a fashion designer, there is no feeling comparable to creating, but it requires so much more to market yourself and manage day-to-day operations,” Stewart says. “At Tech, I learned what it takes to prevail.” mainly consisted of friends and family or other tall women whom I met along the way and kept informed about the progress of Jesse Queen. One day, I took the initiative to contact Claire Sulmers, editor-in-chief of one of the most influential style sites in the world, Fashion Bomb Daily, to advertise my line on her platform. Within hours, my ad gained more traffic than anything else ever promoted on the site. I found myself with an exponential increase in followers and sales, so I purchased another ad within a few weeks with an even greater reception. Claire then contacted me about participating in the launch of “Claire Cares,” an editorial initiative she created to provide emerging designers with a larger platform to showcase their work. With her consistent efforts in social media to promote Jesse Queen, as well as the uniqueness of my designs, I have continued to build high visibility and a global reputation for satisfying this void in the fashion industry. AFTER YOU GET NOTICED, ARE THERE A LOT OF SECONDARY CHALLENGES DURING PRODUCTION? Being noticed may have actually been one of my biggest challenges. I wasn’t aware of

how unprepared I was in producing mass orders until I was faced with the reality of receiving more orders than I was able to handle. I went from less than 10 orders in a month’s time, to having to produce more than 50 orders in two weeks.

HOW DID YOUR INTERACTION WITH PEOPLE AT TECH AND YOUR CLASSES HELP PREPARE YOU TO HANDLE SOME OF THOSE CHALLENGES? Our marketing and business administration programs taught me all the practical skills that I needed for a prosperous business career. The biggest problem that most independent designers have is that they weren’t taught the basics of running a business in school. As a fashion designer, there is no feeling comparable to creating, but it requires so much more to market yourself and manage day-to-day operations. At Tech, I learned what it takes to prevail in the most difficult aspect of starting up a fashion business: consistency of sales and strong demand forecasts. HOW DOES YOUR JOURNEY SO FAR PLAY INTO YOUR UPCOMING PLANS FOR JESSE QUEEN AND OTHER LINES? I strive for my collection to provide wardrobe essentials for whatever the occasion calls for. From business suits to sweat suits, this collection is based on flattering fits that I hope will transcend trends. I want it to boast beautiful and simple yet atypical design elements that are cross-generational. I’m exploring the concept of feminine identity—vulnerable, yet strong. You can expect floaty fabrics contrasted with daring design and detail. And while I have been mainly focusing on women’s wear, I plan to launch my men’s line for men 6-foot3 and taller, within the next few months!

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The Ultimate Football Road Trip


For Rhett Grametbauer, MBA 04, throwing a “Hail Mary” wasn’t a wish for a last-second touchdown pass, but a dream to drive his temperamental 1967 Volkswagen bus to every NFL stadium in America—not over a lifetime, but in the mere weeks that constituted the 2014-2015 football season. RHETT GRAMETBAUER WANTED TO shake himself out of a rut, so he dropped everything to head out on the open road and connect with people all across the country who shared his devout passion for the gridiron. He chronicled his pilgrimage to the nation’s 31 pro football cathedrals in a recently published memoir titled 25,000 Miles to Glory, as well as in a documentary film co-produced by NFL Films that premiered at the Pro Football Hall of Fame weekend in Canton, Ohio, this August. The Alumni Magazine selected a few key excerpts from the book to give you a glimpse of his journey and to get you ready for some football. HAIL MARY AND A DREAM There are few things that set my mind at ease and force me to live in the moment more than driving my 1967 VW bus. I affectionately named her “Hail Mary,” and since the first time I ever laid eyes on her she has woven herself into the very fabric of my soul. Far from my home in Texas, I found myself driving through rural, western New York after catching a Buffalo Bills game. I could not help but let a slight grin invade both my face and spirit as I drove through the rolling hills, which were spotted by livestock that reminded me of the Texas that I missed so much while traveling the country. Driving into a sunset on a simple, two-lane road with a few fellow travelers was the canvas that life had painted for me, and I was more content than I had been in a very long time—maybe ever. Going down a hill, the cars in front of Hail Mary were quickly approaching so I applied the brakes. My idea was to slow

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down, but she had other plans. The brake pedal got stuck and needed to be pried off the floorboard, but I pressed down on the pedal again hoping to awaken from the nightmare that was quickly becoming my reality. Again, the pedal stuck to the floor. The emergency brake was useless. I scanned the scenic landscape I had enjoyed just moments before, looking for a place to safely crash her. What kind of life experience brings someone to the point of driving a nearly 50-year-old vehicle into a cornfield and hoping for the best crash possible, and how did that someone become me? I had just turned 40 and my life had reached a fork in the road. As the great New York Yankee Yogi Berra advised: “When you reach a fork in the road, take it.” So I did, little knowing that the fork would lead me to my current predicament of racing down a two-lane road in western New York in a 1967 VW bus without any brakes. My misery had company in the form of two other football fans, Grayson and Eric, who the month before joined me as we set out to conquer the NFL— one stadium at a time for 16 consecutive weeks—while filming a documentary about the experience. I had even managed to convince NFL Films to work with us on the project. But now, not even halfway into the adventure, we found ourselves challenging our own mortality, thanks in no small part to Hail Mary.

The 1967 Volkswagen Bus known as Hail Mary hits the road.

“While I remember almost everything about our trip—the places we went, the people we met, the motel in Fresno’s red light district— I have an extremely vivid recollection of Buffalo.” FOOTBALL AS RELIGION Tom Landry, legendary coach of the Dallas Cowboys, said football is as important to Texas as religion is to a priest. Respectfully, I think he underestimated the importance of football. I grew up in Texas and more than willingly embraced most every aspect of being a Texan, including, and perhaps most of all, being a die-hard football fan. Texans are indoctrinated to football early and often—it has become almost a parental obligation or a birthright in the Lone Star state, where learning to throw a spiral goes hand-in-hand with learning how to walk. My first recollection and most vivid memory of my room growing up is of the small pennants adorning the walls. Not those of just my team, the Dallas Cowboys, but of every team in the National Football League. I burned up most of my days as a child dreaming of those teams and stadiums, pretending to be a professional football player myself. The family couch was the offensive line and my living room was the stadium that came alive every Sunday

in the fall. The cities and arenas were distant, almost mythological places that filled an imagination fertile for everything football. My friends and I emulated those gridiron battles on my street and in our backyards. I learned to add, subtract, multiply, and divide using the number 7 first because touchdowns were easy for me to calculate. I gambled on my first football game in sixth grade, picking the Dolphins to beat the Bears because I could not bring myself to bet against Dan Marino on Monday Night Football. It was the only game the Bears lost that year. Somewhere along the way my life subconsciously became more about football than anything else. My inability—or unwillingness—to conform to what society expected from me as an adult, my delusional sense of self-importance within the world of football, and that youth who grew up wanting to see football games in far-away places got me dreaming. Not just dreaming, but believing that I could drop everything in my life and set out to travel to every NFL stadium. While sanity would dictate I needed to spread out the 31 stadiums over years and travel largely by air, dreams are not usually sane. If you have a dream, why not go big?

TAILGATING IN BUFFALO While I remember almost everything about our trip—the places we went, the people we met, the motel in Fresno’s red light district—I have an extremely vivid recollection of Buffalo. I was not looking forward to Buffalo. Like Cleveland, people rarely say nice things about the city, but treasures are sometimes hidden in the most unassuming places. Although I was not a big fan of the Bills—always considered the other team in New York—that mindset changed when we pulled into Hammer’s Lot the night before the game. An open grassy field, the parking lot and tailgate destination was across the street and down a long block from Ralph Wilson Stadium. Since it was the night before the game, a few people were already there and it was obvious everyone knew each other. These people were more than friends; they had become family because of the Buffalo Bills.

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Left: Rhett Grametbauer, middle, traveled across the country with his friends, Grayson and Eric. Upper Right: Hanging out with a Bengals fan. Lower Right: Buffalo’s infamous Ketchup Kenny.

We had spoken to Hammer, the gentleman who owns the grassy field, and as we entered the lot, a bearded man wearing a Bills jersey and cap approached Hail Mary as if we were expected. Our new friend introduced himself as both Pinto Ron and Ketchup Kenny. He showed us where to park, told us to make ourselves at home and let us know that Hammer would be there shortly. Behind him was an old red Ford Pinto station wagon, which, judging from the way it looked, I had no confidence in it making a trip around Ralph Wilson Stadium much less outside of Buffalo. Pinto Ron began his story with his Pinto, of course, but also told us how he had not missed a Bills game, home or away, for the last 25 years. I started to call up the limited knowledge I had of the Bills history and imagined how awesome it was that he was there for it all. The upside was that he had been to four Super Bowls. The downside was that he had witnessed four straight Super Bowl losses. Pinto Ron described what a Bills tailgate looks like at Hammer’s Lot, a majestic tale of devotion to a football team and tailgate glory. He talked about the Pinto, showed us the legendary jug of milk from the first Bills Super Bowl and told us how he cooks on top of the vehicle. I wanted to ask how, over the 25 years since the Bills’ first Super Bowl, he had managed to keep the milk from curdling and the rationale behind keeping it. Clearly, I was better off not knowing certain things, so I did not ask. He said he cooks bacon on top of a saw, uses an Army helmet for stir-fry and takes shots out of a bowling ball. How many people had put their fingers in that bowling ball during

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its playing days and how many had put their mouths on it to drink a shot are questions best left unanswered for me. Pinto Ron then confirmed the legend of Ketchup Kenny: During a memorable tailgate with friends, he had a hamburger with nothing on it and asked them if they had any ketchup. His friends began to douse him with ketchup, getting some on his barren hamburger, but the majority of the bottle ended up on Pinto Ron himself. This has become a ritual for Bills fans to witness as Pinto Ron transforms into Ketchup Kenny at every Bills home game. While his stories were bizarre, on a trip like this it’s better to accept things for what they are and not think about them for too long. Hammer later told us that at any given tailgate there could be a manager of a local strip club cooking on one side of the Pinto’s hood, while the person cooking on the other side could be a professor at the local university. Somehow this all made sense to everyone in Hammer’s Lot: These people were not managers of strip clubs or professors—they were Bills fans. THE END OF THE ROAD There are times in life that you convince yourself that after you reach your goal, everything will be drastically different. It’s supposed to transform you into a different person, providing a line of demarcation of before and after in your life. For me, going to all 31 stadiums in 16 weeks in Hail Mary was supposed to be that event. But instead it was something of a letdown. The journey was over. We had seen everything there was to see, attended 32 games and driven over 25,000 miles and for what?

The mile-high view at Sports Authority Stadium at Mile High, home of the Denver Broncos.

I was dejected, but maybe this was not the pivotal, lifechanging moment I had been waiting for. Maybe that would come when I could sit with family and friends and watch what NFL Films produced about our journey. That seemed logical to me. After all, what football fan who grew up watching Steve Sabol and the great NFL Films productions would not want to be featured on a show? The more I thought about it, the more I rationalized it: That would, indeed, be the seminal moment of my life. It wasn’t. When it aired during dinner, my family was rather hohum about the show. There were not any “atta boy”s, “I am proud of you”s, or “that was awesome”s. While everyone returned to eating their meal, I monitored Facebook to see if anyone else had seen the show and posted a positive reaction to it. And then I got this message: Just watched the segment on NFL Network, and was completely amazed by you guys. The license plate for the van was great. I live here in Texas also, near San Antonio, my license plate is a Purple Heart plate that says ‘LWAY’, I am a life-long Broncos fan and lost both lower legs in Iraq in 2009. If someone said to me you can have your feet back...or you could go on a trip with two guys of your choice and visit all 32 stadiums...I would choose what you guys did in a heartbeat (that is not an exaggeration).

Thank you for sharing it and letting those of us who cannot live that dream live vicariously through you guys, my jealousy cannot be measured. People tell me often that I am a hero or an inspiration, it always makes me uncomfortable. So I hope this doesn’t make you too uncomfortable, but to me you guys are an inspiration and are my football heroes. I was so moved by these words that I read then aloud to my family, almost as a vindication of what I had accomplished. While it was not the defining moment I was looking for, it was confirmation that my journey was special. I did not feel different or changed, just more motivated to produce our own documentary, write this book, and maybe help others to either vicariously live our journey or have the courage to pursue their own glory. Maybe it is not one fleeting moment that changes us forever, maybe it is a series of moments, a journey of moments that gradually transforms us into who we are destined to become. Maybe I had looked at life all wrong—it was not a change like a light that you can turn on or off—maybe it was like a sunrise that gets more intense over time. Are you an author? Send details about your book and a book cover image to Editor, Georgia Tech Alumni Magazine, 190 North Ave. NW., Atlanta, GA 30313 or

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WORK Great ideas only get you so far. Find out how Georgia Tech alumni, faculty and students have taken nine very different, very brilliant notionsâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; from a robot that walks like a human to a comic strip that pokes fun at grad school lifeâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; and are making them a reality.

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P UNTIL NOW, if you’ve seen

a humanoid robot walking, it probably wasn’t moving much like a human. Odds are it planted its feet flat on the ground and plodded forward with every step. However, Georgia Tech’s AMBER Lab— a team led by engineering professor Aaron Ames—has built with the help of SRI International a humanoid robot dubbed DURUS which walks on its feet very similar to how we do: heel to toe. It’s an important engineering breakthrough with a wide number of implications for future robotic development. Most humanoid robots are hunched over and walk in a flat-footed manner primarily because it’s the mathematically simplest way for the robot to avoid falling, says Christian Hubicki, a post-doctorate fellow in robotics. “If the robot’s foot doesn’t lean or roll, it

The more DURUS practices walking heel-to-toe, the better it gets at it.

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won’t tip over,” he says. “And the bigger the foot, the safer it is.” However, since we humans do walk heel-to-toe, we rarely have our feet completely flat on the ground. Try it and you can only march or shuffle. You can’t run or skip or jump. “Moving in this manner makes for an exhausting experience— it feels unnatural and gets tiring fast,” Hubicki says. “As it turns out, robots get tired, too.” Legged robots notoriously have been power hogs, draining their battery packs far too rapidly for researchers’ tastes. A typical humanoid robot with flat feet uses more than 15 times the energy to walk than a person does, Hubicki adds. DURUS also moves more fluidly than its flat-footed counterparts. “Our robot is able to take much longer, faster steps because it’s replicating human locomotion,” says Ames, who in addition to being the director of the AMBER Lab,

STYLISH SNEAKS DURUS wears men’s size 13 Adidas tennis shoes not just for fashion, but also to help cushion its feet from impact as it walks and to reduce the robot’s wear and tear.

teaches in both the George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering and School of Electrical and Computer Engineering. But how does DURUS do this? The humanoid robot—built in collaboration between the AMBER Lab and the robotics division of SRI International— is built tall and upright, and is configured with efficient drive transmissions and spring-loaded mechanisms in its feet, similar to tendons in humans, which absorb and recycle energy with each step. The original version of DU-

HEEL-TO-TOE Tech grad student Eric Ambrose designed and machined custom feet for DURUS with a heel and a ball to roll on so it could walk like a human.

RUS had big flat feet like other robots, but the AMBER Lab had control algorithms designed to stabilize it through human-like walking, Hubicki says. All it needed was some human-like feet. The lab’s mechanical design expert and PhD student, Eric Ambrose, designed and machined smaller tootsies, men’s size 13, that included a heel and ball to roll on, as well as arched soles. To emphasize how human-like the feet were, the team laced them up in a pair of classic Adidas tennis shoes and not just for style. “The shoes also served

to cushion the foot’s impact with the ground, reducing wear and tear on the machine,” Hubicki says. After a few days of adjustments, and a series of falls and failures, Ames and his students finally got the result they wanted: a robot stably walking from heel to toe, rolling through the step and pushing off to take the next one. This more natural gait enabled DURUS to walk more than twice as fast and 40-percent more efficiently than it previously did with flat feet, Hubicki says.

“Multi-contact foot behavior also allows it to be more dynamic, pushing us closer to our goal of allowing the robot to walk outside in the real world,” Ames adds. In time, that could mean the AMBER Lab will eventually have DURUS running, skipping and jumping just like a human, too, going up hills, down curbs and across potholes in the wild. For now, however, it’s still walking like a toddler. But like a toddler, it’s rapidly learning and teaching itself how to walk more confidently. Volume 92 No. 3 2016 | GTALUMNIMAG.COM | 47

THIN SKIN The stadium’s exterior is wrapped with translucent, high-performance plastic film that allows those on the outside to see in, and vice versa.




IGHT NEXT TO the Geor-

gia Dome in downtown Atlanta, a massive construction site quakes under seven towering cranes and bustles with activity as up to 2,000 workers of all types—steel, concrete, mechanical, plumbing, telecommunications, technology and more—strive hard to keep the project on schedule. There’s a lot on the line: Millions of local sports fans are counting on them to finish this first-of-its-kind, cutting-edge facility by summer 2017 in time for football season. It really is taking a village to build Mercedes-Benz Stadium, future home of not one, but two pro

sports franchises, the new Atlanta United Football Club (football may be in the team’s name but it’s still soccer to most Americans) and the Atlanta Falcons (American football). Helping to govern this public-private cooperative of contractors, city officials, utilities and owners are two companies with strong Georgia Tech ties: Holder Construction Co. and Darden & Company, the stadium’s overall project management firm. “Building a state-of-the-art, multipurpose stadium—especially one big enough to accommodate NFL fans—is unlike any other project we’ve worked on in terms of complexity,” says Tommy Holder, IM



Mercedes-Benz Stadium’s retractable roof features eight petals that can open in less than nine minutes. And when they close, they form the carmaker’s iconic logo.

79, chairman-CEO of his Atlanta-based namesake company, which serves as the managing partner for the Holder Hunt Russell Moody (HHRM) joint venture in charge of the venue’s construction. “And we’ve had to fit the iconic Mercedes-Benz Stadium into a pre-existing infrastructure while building just a stone’s throw away from another huge facility, the Georgia Dome, which is still open and active.” Many other Yellow Jackets play key roles on the HHRM team overseeing the myriad aspects of building the stadium. They include Sam Westbrook, IE 99, vice president of mechanical, electrical and plumbing services, and Amanda Atkinson, BC 02, senior manager of sustainable services, as well as Barry Compton, BC 76, division vice president for HJ Russell Construction. And that’s not to mention the dozens of other Tech alumni working for other companies involved with the stadium project. Holder’s company was selected three years ago because of its strong reputation as a general contractor for major projects. “But it isn’t just about us,” Holder says. “We also count on a number of top partners, such as Hunt Construction, which has experience building NFL stadiums with retractable roofs, and HJ Russell and CD Moody, with whom we have extensive experience in delivering major projects in Atlanta, as well as hundreds of specialty trade contractors.

About that special retractable roof: Holder says it’s a very complex undertaking since it’s cantilevered and has to bear the weight of the record-breaking “halo” videoboard that measures 58-feet high and 1,100-linear-feet wide and does a 360-degree full circle of the roof interior. (Stand the scoreboard on end and stretch it out, and it would be the tallest building in Atlanta. It will be the largest scoreboard in the world.) The roof will open and close like a camera aperture, with eight roof “petals” able to open in less than nine minutes. And when these petals close, they form the unmistakable Mercedes-Benz logo visible from above. “Seeing the roof come together is incredible,” Holder says. “I don’t think CONSTRUCTION BY THE NUMBERS anything like it exists on planet earth, and it’s been a true challenge of engineering.” BROKE GROUND: Another impressive feature of the stadium’s design will be its exterior skin, which is made of a combination SCHEDULED OPEN DATE: of metal panels and a translucent, high-performance plastic film (called ETFE, for ethylene tetrafluoroethylene) that allows those on the outside to look into the stadium, and vice-versa. COST TO BUILD: Tasked with the comprehensive project management responsibilities for Mercedes-Benz Stadium is the Georgia Tech-infused team at Darden CONSTRUCTION TIME: & Company, whose organization serves as the representatives for the venue’s developer—the Atlanta FalTOTAL STADIUM SIZE: cons Stadium Company. That team includes President Bill Darden, who taught at Tech for a period of time; Senior Directors Kyle Taylor, BC 04, and Chris Holdsworth, CE 05; and Project Manager Whitney Williams, Mgt 15. TOTAL CONCRETE:

MAY 2014 SUMMER 2017







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HALO THERE One of the most impressive features of the stadium will be its record-setting 360-degree “halo” videoboard that circles the inside of the roof and measures 58-feet high and 1,100-linear-feet wide.

Cranes dominate the Mercedes-Benz Stadium’s interior during construction.




63,800 SQ. FEET






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“Our team’s primary role as the developer’s representative is to manage the activities of HHRM, the joint venture contractor, and HOK, the architect of record, to make sure they’re delivering per our client’s expectations,” Holdsworth says. “Ultimately, we’re the ones responsible for keeping the project on track and ensuring that the vision of [Falcons and Atlanta United Owner] Arthur Blank is actualized.” Holdsworth says one of the most important aspects of the new stadium is the emphasis on delivering the best in-game fan experience possible. “One of the challenges for many sports venues is the lack of fan-centric technology and how disconnected attendees sometimes feel during events,” he says. “We’re committed to exceeding the tech expectations of the 75,000 strong that will fill Mercedes-Benz Stadium on a regular basis and ensuring that they maintain the utmost sense of connectivity. Nearly 1,800 wireless access points, over 800 antennas for the distribution of cellphone service, 2,000 digital TV displays, and more than 82,500 square feet of LED video displays throughout the facility are some of the features that will

help us deliver on that commitment.” The game-changing halo videoboard, in the process of being designed and built by display experts Daktronics, will be viewable by everyone in the seats, Holdsworth says, which presents an unprecedented creative challenge. “It’s not just the scale and structure of the board that’s incredibly complex, but how you program and present information and video content upon it because of its unique shape,” he says. “We’re working with highly-specialized firms on how to design this custom content, balancing the need for immersive ‘wow’ moments with expected gameday stats. It’s a true paradigm shift in


WIRED FOR WI-FI To make sure fans have the most connected in-stadium experience possible, 4,000 of fiber optic cables have been placed, as well as more than 1,700 wireless access points.

fan engagement and entertainment.” The technology teams, partnering with IBM, have had to be careful to create a future-flexible environment for Mercedes-Benz Stadium’s innovations. “Because of the length of this project, you run the risk of adopting certain technologies during development that could prove antiquated by opening day,” Taylor says. That’s one of the reasons there’s been 4,000 miles (yes, miles) of fiber-optic cables run throughout the facility. For comparison’s sake, that’s 10-times more cabling than the San Francisco 49ers’ newly opened Levi’s Stadium. “We’re using a careful sense of foresight and

planning to build in a high level of adaptation for this venue down the road,” Taylor says. Sustainability has also been a core tenet in the design and construction of the stadium, says Holdsworth. The development team is seeking LEED Platinum status—the highest level of sustainability that can be achieved through the accreditation program. One thing that’s being done to help achieve that rating is the generation of renewable energy at levels near 10 percent of the facility’s total projected energy consumption. Nearly 4,000 solar panels placed on a variety of surfaces across the stadi-

um’s campus will be used to generate some of this renewable energy, with one example being raised parking canopies. Traditional canopy structures begin to quickly occupy parking-lot footprints and limit capacity, which defeats the core purpose of the space. Holdsworth says. Atlanta-based Quest Renewables’ QuadPod Canopy, which was developed at the Georgia Tech Research Institute, was used for a portion of the stadium project because of its less obtrusive vertical supports. This translates into a more optimized parking layout and efficiencies in material and installation costs, he says. Volume 92 No. 3 2016 | GTALUMNIMAG.COM | 51


SMOOTH RIDE The Camaro 1LE features high tech, electronically controlled magnetic-ride (MR) dampers that read real-time road conditions to optimize ride performance.



HE SIXTH-GENERATION of one of the most iconic

American muscle cars has already won numerous design and performance awards. But we haven’t seen everything yet from the Chevrolet Camaro. Two highly tuned variations of the vehicle, the 2017 Camaro 1LE and ZL1, are still set to hit the streets later this fall, and Tech alumnus Drew Cattell, ME 08, helped engineer both of them. (But since the ZL1 is still mostly under wraps, he could only discuss the 1LE.) As a GM vehicle performance engineer, Cattell spends much of his time behind the wheel, putting cars through their paces at the carmaker’s proving grounds in Michigan and on roads across the country. Know those car advertisements with the disclaimer: Professional driver on closed course—do not attempt? That’s basically Drew’s everyday job. “Some people may be surprised that we’ve put two years and 25,000 miles into the Camaro to help develop the 1LE performance package,” Cattell says. “There’s been plenty of

PREMIUM PACKAGE The Camaro 1LE features several system upgrades—assisted power steering, traction management control and much more—that are meant for the track but also make the car more fun to drive on the streets.

GM Performance Engineer Drew Cattell, ME 08, has logged a lot of miles in the 2017 Chevrolet Camaro 1LE.

blood, sweat and tears along the way that have gone into every little detail to make it the most perfect car it can be.” Cattell is just one of 10 integration engineers working on the 1LE, and just one of about 100 total people on the Camaro’s development team. Each member has a specialized role, and Cattell’s involves optimizing vehicle dynamics and ride handling. “Power steering, electronically controlled limited slip differential, MR dampers, tire tuning and suspension bushings: These are what I’m focused on,” he says. Now, the vehicle integration team isn’t the team that designs the car up front. It’s the team that perfects it. And in the case of the 1LE, Cattell and

his colleagues are tasked with delivering a high-performance upgrade that’s track capable but also fun to drive on the street. This upgrade is priced at a premium: a $4,500-$6,500 option, depending on if you buy a V-6 or V-8 model. “Our goal is to make the 1LE agile and nimble enough for a serious driver to take it to the track on the weekends, but still a road car you can live with for everyday driving,” Cattell says. “It’s truly a driver’s car both on the track and streets.” His team laid out the performance goals for the car, and then set about meeting or exceeding them. Cattell led the integration of several leading-edge, electronically controlled automotive technologies, including magnetic-fluidfilled dampers (MR dampers for short), continuously varying assisted steering and the electronically controlled limited slip differential. The Camaro SS 1LE’s advanced MR dampers—high-tech shock absorbers—receive information from sensors throughout the 1LE and then optimize the ride and handling to smoothly execute whatever exact move the driver wants to make, Cattell says. “Electrical current is sent through magnetic fluid, changing the viscosity of the fluid, which changes the damping force,” he says. “How soft or firm each damper needs to be is based on real-time road conditions and driving situations, with the sensors reading 1,000 times per second and transmitting the vehicle speed,

steering angle and wheel positions. We like to think the car anticipates what the driver is going to do next.” Meanwhile, the electronically controlled slip differential uses both rear tires to optimize traction by reading similar data from the ILE’s sensors. “It gives you an advantage in how you break and turn into corners, for instance,” he says. Cattell says the car’s performance traction management system is a technology that gives the Camaro 1LE a huge advantage over competitors, providing the driver with five different traction modes for getting better performance, especially on the track. “It delivers the optimal amount of rear tire slip to get the highest performance possible on the track,” he says. Working for GM as a performance engineer has been a dream come true for Cattell. While a student at Tech, he participated in GT Motorsports, which was co-sponsored by GM, and he got a job for the carmaker straight out of college. “It’s unusual that I got hired in directly without interning,” he says. He started out working on trucks such as the 2014 Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra, as well as the 2016 Cadillac CTS-V. “Though the performance goals of trucks and sports cars are very different, they still have to obey the same laws of physics,” Cattell says. “And they still are government-regulated vehicles that have to be drivable on public roads.” Volume 92 No. 3 2016 | GTALUMNIMAG.COM | 53

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at Georgia Tech—Jorge Cham, ME 97, found himself faced with an obstacle most students know all too well: procrastination. But instead of completely wasting his time while he put off his studies and class projects, Cham often found himself doodling and making cartoons. And then during his first term at Stanford, where he pursued his doctorate in robotics, it all clicked. “Grad school was basically kicking my butt every day,” Cham says. “While hanging out with friends and procrastinating about doing my coursework, I had an idea to turn my grad school experiences into a comic strip.” (Cham created a custom comic for us, on the facing page, that tells this story in much greater detail.) Cham created his first strip in October 1997, and quickly his irreverent and insightful takes on academic life were picked up by the school paper, The Stanford Daily. Cham continued to draw and write comics while earning his PhD, and eventually named the strip PHD: Piled Higher and Deeper to reflect its unique focus. After graduating, he landed a job at Caltech, where he worked as a robotics instructor and researcher for a few years. However, Piled Higher and Deeper continued to build in popularity— with many college newspapers across the country, including The Technique, picking it up in syndication—and Cham decided to focus on the comic strip full time in 2005. Unlike old-school comic artists, Cham does all his work electronically. “I create the comics on my computer,” he says. “They don’t actually see paper until they are published by print publications.” Today, he runs his own website,, and travels to campuses worldwide to give lectures about “The Power of Procrastination” and other topics. He’s even made two PHD movies which you can stream online (for the price of a movie rental). If that weren’t already enough, he’s working on a new book to be published next spring. His strips have appeared in publications such as Nature, Science, The Chronicle of Higher Education and more, and have been referenced by the likes of USA Today, The New York Times and The Washington Post. Cham publishes on average one to two comics a week on his site, and has archived more than a thousand of them, all of which you can read for free. It’s a perfect place to visit when you want to be distracted from your work. Volume 92 No. 3 2016 | GTALUMNIMAG.COM | 55





Sputnik in 1957, mankind has been sending up satellites of all types and sizes into space. Some of the satellites are bigger than a school bus and weigh several tons. But others are relatively tiny, the smallest measured in centimeters and tipping the scales at less than 10 kilograms. These mini satellites cost far less to build and launch than their traditional counterparts. This lowered cost of entry affords more researchers and scientists—including those at universities across the globe—to get involved in the process, while also encouraging greater experimentation and risk taking. Of course, Georgia Tech aerospace engineering faculty and students have fully embraced these micro machines. In fact, they’re getting close to completing the Institute’s first-ever student designed,

fabricated and tested spacecraft, dubbed Prox-1, that’s set to launch next year on a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket. And once launched, Tech students will be the ones operating the mission, says David Spencer, PhD AE 15, adjunct faculty member in the Daniel Guggenheim School of Aerospace Engineering and Prox-1’s principal investigator. “We’ve had more than 200 students involved in Prox-1 since the project began four years ago,” Spencer says. “It’s valuable handson experience that they wouldn’t get out of a normal curriculum and it makes them sought after by the likes of NASA and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.” Prox-1 is a rectangular-shaped satellite that measures roughly 60 centimeters (23.4 inches) by 30 centimeters (11.7 inches) by 30 centimeters (11.7 inches), weighs about 70 kilograms (154 pounds) and comes packed with

COME SAIL AWAY Prox-1 will carry and deploy the smaller LightSail 2 CubeSat, which in space will unfurl to form a 32-squaremeter solar sail.

Prox-1 Lead Systems Engineer Swapnil Pujari shows what the microsat looks like on the inside.

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microcomputers, sensors and actuators. Following launch, Prox-1 will perform a series of self-checks, including the flight certification of a series of new technologies—namely a microsatellite control moment gyroscope unit, a lightweight thermal imager and a 3-D-printed propulsion system designed by Aerospace Engineering Professor Glenn Lightsey. Following this checkout phase, Prox-1 will deploy The Planetary Society’s

MICRO MACHINE The Prox-1 microsatellite, which measures 60 centimeters by 30 centimeters by 30 centimeters and weighs 70 kilograms, is the first spacecraft designed and constructed by Georgia Tech students.

LightSail 2 nanosatellite, and demonstrate automated trajectory control relative to the CubeSat. Prox-1 will provide on-orbit inspection of LightSail 2 as it unfurls a 32-square-meter (105-squarefoot) solar sail. “On-orbit inspection of one spacecraft by another is a challenging application, on any scale,” Spencer

says. “Image acquisition of a spacecraftcritical event using an ultra-low cost microsatellite has not been done before.” Prox-1 was competitively awarded $220,000 in funding from the University Nanosatellite Program through the Air Force Office of Scientific Research. Tech students will control Prox-1 from a tracking center at the Montgomery Knight Building on campus, keeping the satellite some 50 meters from LightSail 2 to continuously monitor its performance, Spencer says. “This on-orbit inspection capability, if successful, could be applied to future manned space missions,” he says. “It could allow astronauts to deploy

robotic service vehicles to check spacecraft exteriors—say, to see if there was damage from micrometeorites—rather than the crew having to take the risk of going outside the craft.” Researchers are getting ready to deliver Prox-1 to the Air Force Research Lab in Albuquerque, NM. LightSail 2 and its deployment module will then be integrated into Prox-1, and the combined spacecraft will undergo a series of environmental tests, including vibration and thermal cycle testing. The payload will be installed on the Falcon Heavy rocket for the Space Test Program-2 launch in the third quarter of 2017. Volume 92 No. 3 2016 | GTALUMNIMAG.COM | 57




a new idea—several designers have made them before, primarily as proof of concept. But Kevin Shankwiler, ID 96, MS ID 06, a senior lecturer in the School of Industrial Design, and a team of students are working toward building a model that’s truly ready to ride. “It’s uncharted territory to 3-D print a bike frame and then have it survive on real trails and roads,” says Shankwiler, whose students have been working on the project since the fall of 2015. “When we’re done, our ultimate goal is take the bike to the Silver Comet Trail (which runs from Atlanta to Alabama) and see how far we can ride it,” he says. Having to bear the weight of a rider, the bumps of the trail and all the physical forces at play during a bike ride—such as tension, compression and speed—are particularly tough tests for a 3-D printed frame. Special materials were required, and one

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DESKTOP DRIVEN Students wanted to be able to print the bike frame on a small desktop 3-D printer, which meant smaller parts and a more complex assembly, but also gave bicyclists a chance to make their own bikes at home.

of the project sponsors, the Eastman Innovation Lab, gave the students a high-performance, carbon-fiber-impregnated co-polyester called XT-CF 20 that fit the bill. But the materials science and construction alone weren’t enough of a challenge for Shankwiler’s design students. They also wanted the bike frame to be able to be created by a small desktop 3-D printer that any consumer could

MAKE IT WORK purchase, download the design files and then build at home. Or, at least, it should use parts they could purchase online and then pick up at a local bike shop equipped to print them. “The students also intended the frame to be customizable for different uses or have different looks,” Shankwiler says. “In their research, they found that serious riders and tinkerers like to take basic bike designs and adapt them to their own tastes.” Printing the bike has proven a difficult task. “Using a desktop 3-D printer to produce pieces strong enough and thick enough for a bike frame turned out to be very time consuming,” he says. “Sometimes it takes as much as 12 hours to print one small component. And then when it doesn’t always print correctly—which is too often—you have to do it all over again. You have to have great patience and be willing to learn from your mistakes when you’re doing something like this the very first time.” The students—both undergraduates and graduates—have learned along the way that the different frame parts need to be printed in a certain direction to maximize its strength and durability.

Senior Lecturer Kevin Shankwiler, ID 96, MS ID 96, holds part of a 3-D-printed bike frame.

“It all depends on whether the part will be a point of either tension or compression,” Shankwiler says. Shankwiler has been teaching design classes at Tech since 2006, and for the past five years he’s focused his ID 3041 undergraduate course, “Product Development Studio I,” on designing a variety of different bikes for different purposes. Part of it is because Shankwiler is an avid cyclist. But another part is that bikes are simple machines at their core that are ripe for design adaptation. “In that undergraduate design course, we usually don’t get past doing a rough prototype made from wood,” he says. “But in this case, the project lived on and my graduate students took it on because they wanted to see if they could make the first real-world rideable 3-D printed bike.” They’ll find out this fall, when the bike is finally completed and the Silver Comet Trail beckons for a test run.

CUSTOM RIDE Part of the appeal of 3-D printing a bike is that riders could download designs and then modify them to fit their personal style and riding preferences. By swapping parts, the bike could go from the roads to the mountains in just a few snaps.

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Concentrated solar plants feature hundreds of mirrors, dubbed heliostats, in an array that track the sun and bounce intensified sunlight to a central tower receiver.




generated from photovoltaic (PV) solar panels—converts sunlight directly into electricity. However, unfortunately, it’s not the most cost-effective way to collect and store energy from the sun. “One of the biggest shortcomings of PV solar power is that it has to be stored as electricity in batteries,” says Asegun Henry, professor of mechanical engineering at Tech. “It’s 10 times cheaper to store heat than it is to store electricity. More than 90 percent of all electricity comes directly from heat.” Concentrated solar power collects the light from the sun and intensifies it by focusing an array of hundreds of mirrors (not solar panels) on a central point—usually a tower “receiver” positioned above the mirrors—where the light is absorbed and converted to heat, which is then collected and stored in tanks of molten salt. “It works like a magnifying glass,” Henry says. “And unlike electrical batteries that run down quickly, these salt tanks or thermal batteries can absorb and hold the heat efficiently for long periods of time. Where PV solar power has to be used while the sun is out, concentrated solar can instead be used whenever it’s needed—day or night.” As a cold salt fluid is heated by the sun and stored, the thermal battery is charged, and whenever electricity is wanted, the fluid from the hot tank is pumped through a heat exchanger, Henry explains. The energy from the molten salt is then transferred to water, which produces high-temperature and high-pressure

Solar thermal power systems can be tested in the lab using solar simulators like this.

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steam to drive a turbine, which in turn drives an electrical generator that supplies electricity to the power grid. However, there’s one catch: Concentrated solar power plants are currently expensive to build. That’s why there are only a handful of them throughout the world, most notably the Ivanpah Solar Facility located in the California Mojave Desert just southwest of Las Vegas. The biggest expense of these plants is construction cost associated with the field of mirrors, called heliostats, which track the sun as it moves across the sky and focus the sun’s light. “They comprise up to 50 percent of the capital costs of building

SOLAR CENTRAL Concentrated sunlight is transformed into heat within the central receiver and then stored in thermal batteries, from which heat can be released at will to generate electricity.

a concentrated solar plant,” Henry says. “But once built, the operating and maintenance costs are low.” Another limitation of concentrated solar is that plants require lots of land in dry, sunny locations. “You can’t just put one down anywhere you want,” he says. As the director of Georgia Tech’s Atomistic Simulation and

Energy (ASE) Research Group, Henry is researching and testing ways to reduce concentrated solar’s capital costs. ASE’s research involves the design, optimization, prototyping and testing of high-temperature receivers to maximize the efficient conversion of sunlight to heat, as well as to find thermal storage materials that minimize costs, he says. Volume 92 No. 3 2016 | GTALUMNIMAG.COM | 61


SYRINGE STOPS HERE The top of the LifeFlow device opens to load-and-lock a syringe which is connected to tubing spiked into an IV fluid bag and, on the other end, connected to a patient’s catheter.




amounts of intravenous fluids into a patient can mean the difference between life and death. But it’s not easy to do, and sometimes the right tools to do the procedure can be hard to find. Case in point: Pediatric intensive care specialist Dr. Mark Piehl found himself in a situation where he needed to pump a lot of fluid very quickly into a patient with sepsis, but couldn’t quickly locate one of his hospital’s precious IV fluid pumps—which cost upward of $30,000 a piece. He eventually found a pump and saved the child from crashing, but he wasted precious time while his patient’s clock was ticking. That’s when Piehl’s idea for a small, handheld, far less expensive device for pumping fluids crystallized. One that could be stocked and used everywhere: emergency rooms, intensive care units and ambulances. He knew the need for such a tool was dire: Sepsis is a dangerous complication from infection that

Paramedics could benefit from LifeFlow’s relatively low cost and portability.

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affects more than 1 million adults and children in the U.S. annually, and it’s the most frequent cause of death in hospitalized patients. One of the key ways to fight sepsis is the early, rapid delivery of IV fluids. So Piehl created a startup, dubbed 410 Medical, and brought in Galen Robertson, ME 02, MS ME 04, to serve as his COO. The two had worked together previously, and Piehl needed Robertson’s expertise in developing medical devices. “Dr. Piehl started the company in April 2013 and got funded in September 2014, when I quit my day job and started running 410 Medical full time,” Robertson says. Early on, Robertson worked with Piehl to put together the core requirements for the new device—which they eventually dubbed LifeFlow. “LifeFlow had to be handheld and able to be operated by only one hand,” Robertson says. “The device had to pull fluids quickly from an IV bag and flow easily, delivering an average of one liter every five minutes. It had to be driv-

en by a syringe and tubing system that connected easily to a patient’s catheter. And it had to have a strong spring mechanism for automatically refilling the syringe with fluid.” That’s a demanding list, but Piehl and Robertson had planned out a simple tool to do the job—a pistol that could be loaded with a syringe and a trigger to control the flow of fluid. They then turned to another Tech alumnus, Ty Hagler, ID 03, president of Trig Innovation, to perfect the design of the device. Not only did LifeFlow have to fulfill these technical requirements, but also it had to be intuitive for nurses, doctors and EMTs to operate. “It was an easy call to make,” Robertson says. “Ty and I were friends at Georgia Tech, and I knew he had the expertise to come up with a design that would work and medical professionals naturally would want to pick up and use.” Hagler closely collaborated with Robertson to optimize the design and engineer all the details, such as how to translate the squeezing motion of the hand on the trigger to the depressing of the syringe. “We figured the basics out quickly to


meet the core criteria and built a rapid prototype, but it was pretty rough, looking more like a Star Trek assault rifle than a handheld phaser,” Hagler says. “But the most important thing was that it didn’t break in the investor’s hand. Still, we went back to the drawing board and kept slimming it down. We also beefed up the driving mechanism from plastic to steel, and altered designs so the syringe would drop into the device easily.” Here’s how Robertson describes how LifeFlow’s final design works: “It consists of a pistol with a handle, matched with a sterile tubing set, all stored in a small box. You open the lid on the device, click the syringe into the handle and the lid captures the syringe and pulls it into place. You put the tubing spike into an IV bag of fluid and prime the device, then you connect to the patient’s catheter and begin delivering fluid.” 401 Medical is working with the FDA for approval on LifeFlow, and hopes to have the device in hospitals treating patients this fall.

TRIGGER FINGER One of the design challenges was how to match the squeezing motion of the hand on the trigger to the depressing of the syringe to deliver fluids in exact levels.

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SIMPLE DESIGN Sometimes the best design is the simplest design, and the Yummy Spoon riffs on the basic idea of a squeezable toothpaste tube but uses high-tech, flexible, BPA-free liquid silicone that’s FDA-approved.



OW DO YOU REINVENT SOMETHING as simple and basic

as the spoon? All it takes is a specialized need that’s not being met by traditional eating tools. In the case of Yummy Spoon, that need came from moms wanting to easily feed their infants healthy, whole, mashable foods such as bananas, avocados and sweet potatoes while on the go. Gina Cormier had the idea and a crude, functional vision for such a tool—a toothpaste-like tube with a spoon on the end of it that squished foods and squeezed them out so a baby could easily eat them. She and her brother Paul Martello decided to see if they could make a more refined and practical version that would appeal to busy moms. They turned to industrial designer Ben Denzinger, ID 08, to find a solution. “Soon after Paul reached out to me with this idea, I started sketching up as many different designs as I could,” Denzinger says. The device needed to be wide enough to accommodate a variety of foods, but at the same time portable. Additionally, it needed a good seal to keep the food locked in so that it wouldn’t make a mess, especially when thrown in a purse. It also needed to be fairly flexible and made from BPA-free materials. Denzinger came up with an asymmetrical design that seemed like it would function well and looked appealing. “That toothpaste-tube spirit is still there,” he says. He printed out 1:1 drawings of it to make sure the scale was right, then 64 | GTALUMNIMAG.COM | Volume 92 No. 3 2016


moved to a 3D-printed hard-plastic prototype for proof of concept. The team then sampled out 20 different versions to test a variety of materials and hardnesses for the product’s different components—the squeeze tube, spoon, cap, safety seal and clip—while making sure it would be economical to manufacture and sell. “We tested it with moms, and they gave us a lot of great feedback,” Denzinger says. “They helped us make sure it was made from an FDA-approved material (silicone), easy to clean and water-tight. And they also even suggested foods that could be used with it, including oatmeal.” At the end of the months-long design and testing process, the Yummy Spoon was ready for molding and production. It’s been available since this spring and retails online for $12.90 at, Groupon and Amazon. The next step is getting into brick-and-mortar stores. “We’ve gotten a lot of interest and

Prototype testing showed that moms wanted a secure front-end cap and a watertight back-end clasp so they could load the spoon with food and keep it in their bags without making a mess.

have signed up with brokers for massmarket retailers,” Martello says. It doesn’t hurt that Yummy Spoon won the 2016 Best New Product award by ECRM/Drug Store News. “We were one of the newest, smallest companies at ECRM’s Baby & Infant Show,” he says. “We were competing against several industry giants and won.”

Georgia Tech Alumni Association Presents


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

• Medicare • Investment Strategies • Retirement Goals • Estate Planning • Retirement Plans

Dates, Time and Location September 13, 20, 27 & October 4 6:30 - 9 p.m. Georgia Tech Alumni Association Alumni/Faculty House 190 North Avenue NW Atlanta, GA 30313 To register call: 404.894.0751 or email

For more information visit:

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Though Maker Faire Atlanta will be held this year in nearby Decatur, the event got its start on Tech’s campus five years ago. The Yellow Jacket influence on this crazy mashup of science-fair-meets-arts-andcrafts-show is unmistakable.


Stewart and a pinch of the Mythbusters guys. And whatever you do, don’t forget a dash of Norm Abram from This Old House. Then throw mix them all together. That’s how Tanya Hyman, Mgt 92, MS HTS 14, describes the Maker Faire Atlanta. It’s also the largest annual gathering of makers, DIY enthusiasts and their fans in the Southeast. Last year, some 200 makers showcased their creations, and more than 35,000 people attended the event. “You’ll see everything from battling robots—much more amazing in real life than on TV—and drone racing to DIY furniture made from strange materials to hands-on demos where you can learn to make a variety of things yourself,” Hyman says. “It all ranges from super-high tech to no tech at all, and there’s a lot of activities geared for kids.” Atlanta’s first Maker Faire was organized in 2011 and held on Tech’s campus. It was a one-day event that drew 2,500 attendees.

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“There was a captive audience of students and faculty at Tech, but it still only qualified Dates: Oct. 1-2 as a mini faire,” Hyman says. Location: “The Faire doubled in attenDowntown Decatur dance every year after that to Times: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on the point where Tech couldn’t Saturday, noon-5 p.m. on accommodate it anymore, so we Sunday Parking: Limited to a few moved it in 2014 to downtown lots and streets; MARTA is Decatur. That’s when it was recommended recognized as a full, Featured Cost: Free Faire—there’s only a handful Recommended Ages: 1-101 of them in the world officially licensed by Maker Media.” Tech maintains a huge influence on the Faire, with dozens of alumni, faculty and students serving as volunteers, and others participating as makers. “The Innovation Studio MAKER FAIRE ATLANTA 2016

Katie Sluder

Maker Faire Atlanta got its start on Tech campus (right) in 2011, and grew to be the largest Faire in the Southeast. Exhibits and demonstrations range from glass blowing (above) to woodmaking (left) to how to build your own easy chair-mobile (below).

takes part in the Faire, as does Tech’s Urban Honeybee Project, which teaches people how to build their own hives for sustainable farming efforts,” Hyman says. “And one of my favorite booths is run by alum Colleen Jordan [ID 10], who makes 3D-printed necklaces you can buy that are designed to hold tiny plants. Tech’s Institute of Paper Science and Technology also typically has an exhibit where you can make your own paper.”

Though Hyman serves as president of the all-volunteer organization that runs Maker Faire Atlanta, she’s a relative newbie to the whole Maker Movement. A local middle-school science teacher, a few years ago some students came to her wanting to create a maker space at the school. “I realized it was a fantastic way for teachers to show applicability of concepts,” she says. “Our principal helped us find space, but lots of schools face challenges in how to provide this

type of experience to their students.” Hyman wanted to help. She entered a Startup Weekend competition—held by Tech’s Advanced Technology Development Center—with the idea for a company that could help schools create and maintain maker spaces. “Our team won, and as a result I met a bunch of people involved in the Maker Movement in Atlanta and went to my first Faire in 2014,” she says. “I was hooked.”

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Alumni House

PAINT HER IN GOLD & WHITE Keeping the Alumni Association’s Ramblin’ Wreck (there are three different Wrecks on campus) in top shape requires a lot of TLC— and sometimes even a complete dismantling so the old Model A Ford can get a fresh paint job. Matt Harless, a friend of Tech, has been painstakingly paying attention to every detail to make sure it meets Tech standards and is ready for tailgates and other alumni events this fall.

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Roger Slavens


Welcome Aboard, New Trustees On July 1, the Alumni Association welcomed 12 members to its Board of Trustees, along with new leaders to the board’s executive committee. The 45-member Board of Trustees meets quarterly and actively works to further the mission of the Association. Three cheers for these helluva engineers for their dedication and service to their alma mater. MEET THE CHAIRWOMAN ANDREA LALIBERTE, IE 82, MS IE 84, is the new chairwoman of the Georgia Tech Alumni Association. Laliberte previously served the association as vice chair for Roll Call and vice chair for finance. Laliberte served for three years on the Board of Trustees before joining the Executive Committee three years ago. Laliberte is a retired senior vice president of distribution for Coach Inc., where she was responsible for global distribution, customer service, transportation and trade compliance.

EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEMBERS AT LARGE Members at large are former trustees selected to serve the Alumni Association for two more years as a member of the Executive Committee.

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Previously, Laliberte worked in retail management consulting for Coopers & Lybrand (PWC), with clients including L.L. Bean, Metropolitan Museum of Art and Bass Pro Shops. Since 2013, Laliberte has served as the Edenfield Executive in Residence at Georgia Tech’s Stewart School of Industrial & Systems Engineering. With her extensive industry experience, Laliberte offers students real-world learning opportunities and leadership skills through class projects. She also advises students on potential career paths. Laliberte also serves as a trustee of

JENI BOGDAN, MGT 89, MS MOT 96, is executive vice president of Primoris Energy Services. She's joined the Georgia Tech Alumni Association's Executive Committee for a twoyear term as an at-large member. Bogdan lives in Suwanee, Ga.

Andrea Laliberte, IE 82, MS IE 84,

the Georgia Tech Foundation Board and as an emeritus member of the ISyE Advisory Board. She was named a Distinguished Alumna by the College of Engineering in 2008. “It’s very exciting to have Andrea coming in to chair our efforts this year,” says Alumni Association President and CEO Joe Irwin. “She is the third female to have served in this capacity and has a unique understanding of our mission.”

BETSY BULAT TURNER, IAML 04, is an attorney at Martenson, Hasbrouck & Simon LLP in Atlanta. While a student at Tech, Turner was a President’s Scholar, a member of Zeta Tau Alpha Sorority, and part of the cross country and track teams. This is the second year of her twoyear term as an at-large member.


The Executive Committee exercises the authority of the Board of Trustees by managing the affairs of the Alumni Association. Members are chosen by a nominating committee each year during the selection of new trustees. DAVID BOTTOMS, MGT 01, is this year’s vice chair, Roll Call. He previously served as the Association’s vice chair, finance. Bottoms is senior vice president of benefits at The Bottoms Group LLC. He lives in Atl a n t a . B o tt o m s w a s a President’s Scholar while at Tech and received the Outstanding Young Alumni Award at the 2014 Gold & White Honors Gala. Bottoms is also a member of the Scheller College of Business Advisory Board. BIRD BLITCH, IE 97, has become vice chair, finance. Blitch is CEO of PatientCo i n At l a n ta . B l i tc h wa s named Outstanding Young Alumni at the Gold & White

David Bottoms, MGT 01

Bird Blitch, IE 97

Ben Mathis, IM 81,

Honors Gala in 2010 and was part of the Council of Outstanding Young Engin e e r s i n 2 0 05. W h i l e a student at Georgia Tech, Blitch was president of the Student Foundation and

Phi Delta Theta Fraternity.

He is an accomplished lawyer who is also a leader in civic organizations, including the Cobb County Chamber of Commerce, the Georgia Chamber of Commerce and the United Way of Cobb.

JIMMY MITCHELL, CE 05, is the business development manager for Skanska USA Building Inc. in Atlanta. He is a member of the Civil Engineering Advisory Board. As a student, he was a member of the Ramblin’ Reck Club and Sigma Chi Fraternity. He was also the recipient of the 2012 Outstanding Young Alumni Award at the Gold & White Honors Gala. This is the second year of his two-year term as an at-large member.

BEN MATHIS, IM 81, is past chairman of the Alumni Association. Mathis, of Marietta, is managing partner of Freeman, Mathis and Gary LLP.

TYLER TOWNSEND, IE 98, is vice president of investments for Townsend Wealth Management. Townsend is active in the Georgia Tech Alumni Association’s Columbus Network and was named Outstanding Young Alumni at the Gold & White Honors Gala in 2012. He was a co-op student and a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity. Townsend lives in Columbus, Ga. He joined the Executive Committee for a two-year term as an at-large member.

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ALUMNI HOUSE NEW ASSOCIATION TRUSTEES (CONTINUED) LEE BAKER, IE 90, is president of Apex Financial Services in Atlanta. Baker is also the state president of AARP Georgia. He is a former president and member of the Georgia Tech Black Alumni Organization and the Roll Call Steering Committee. KATIE DAVIDSON, MGT 89, is a part of the JacketNet Alumni Networking Affinity Group and was a member of her 25th Reunion Committee. As a student, Davidson was a Georgia Tech cheerleader and a member of Alpha Delta Pi Sorority. She lives in Atlanta. SAM GUDE, MBA 08, is CEO of Gude Management Group in Atlanta. Gude was a co-op student at Tech and is now a part of the Georgia Tech Black Alumni Organization. JULIE HALL, PHYS 99, is U.S. Science Department Chair and an upperschool teacher at Pace Academy in Atlanta. While a student, Hall was a member of the Georgia Tech Band and the Student Government Association. She now serves on the Georgia Tech Band Alumni Affinity Group. CATHY HILL, EE 84, is vice president at Georgia Power Co. in Savannah, Ga. While a student, Hill participated in the Georgia Tech Band, the Ramblin’ Reck Club and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. She is now a member of the Georgia Tech Savannah Advisory Board and the G e o r g i a Te c h B l a c k A l u m n i Organization. PLEZ JOYNER, EE 89, is vice president of global operations for American

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International Group in Atlanta. Joyner is active with JacketNet Alumni Networking and the Greek Alumni Council, and was a member of his 25th Reunion Committee. Joyner was a co-op student and a m e m b e r o f K a p p a A l p h a Ps i Fraternity. ROSS MASON, IE 92, is founder of HINRI in Atlanta. While at Georgia Tech, Mason was a co-op student as well as a member of Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity and Student Government Association. AMY PHUONG, IA 05, is chief service officer for the city of Atlanta. At Tech, Phuong was part of the ANAK Society. She now participates in the Asian Heritage Alumni Affinity Group, the International Affairs Alumni Affinity Group, the Georgia Tech Advisory Board and the Athletic Association Board of Trustees. JOHN SIMMONS, EE 88, is a partner at Ovation Partners and lives in Denver, Colo. As a student, he was a member of the Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity and he now serves on the Georgia Tech Advisory Board.

JAMES STOVALL, CS 01, is a vice president at Randstad in Atlanta. At Tech, he was a co- op student, served as a student ambassador, and was a member of Delta Chi Fraternity, the Omicron Delta Kappa Honor Society and the ANAK Socie ty. H e i s i nv o l v e d w i t h t h e Computing Alumni Group and is past president of the Georgia Tech Alumni Geographic Club. KRISTEN THORVIG, STC 98, is a senior manager at Accenture in Atlanta. Thorvig is part of the Roll Call Steering Committee, the Co-op Affinity Group and the Band Affinity Group. While at Tech, Thorvig was a President’s Scholar, a student ambassador, a co-op student, and a member of the Georgia Tech Band, the ANAK Society and the Omicron Delta Kappa Honor Society. DAVID TOUWSMA, IE 97, is a partner at MosquitoNix in Atlanta. He is part of the Council of Outstanding Young Engineers and the Alumni Association’s Mentor Jackets program. At Tech, Touwsma was a co-op student and a member of the Student Foundation Board and Sigma Chi Fraternity.


Entrepreneurs share innovation ups and downs. THIS SUMMER, the Association’s Young Alumni Council and Atlanta Intown Network teamed up to organize a night to celebrate Tech’s entrepreneurial spirit. The second annual Georgia Tech Young Alumni Entrepreneurs' Night, held on campus featured an interactive panel discussion that featured Tech startup founders who know what it takes to turn an idea into a growing business. Clockwise from left: Archel Bernard, STC 11; Dorrier Coleman, CmpE 15; Randy Etheredge, CS 08; T h e e v e n t w a s Garrett Landgley, EE 09; Kevin Mann, IE 08; Candace Mitchell, CS 11. moderated by Sanjay Parekh, EE 96, a serial entrepreneur and ideas into viable businesses. The panel associate director of CREATE-X, Georgia featured some of the brightest Yellow Tech’s new program dedicated to help Jacket entrepreneurs: Archel Bernard, undergraduates turn their innovative STC 11, founder of women’s African

NETWORK SHOUTOUTS! The Alumni Association’s Networks and Affinity Groups depend on volunteer leadership to organize gatherings, fundraisers and community service projects. Here are a few leaders who deserve thanks for all of their hard work: JIM GRIFFO, ARCH 77, PRESIDENT OF THE GT BIRMINGHAM NETWORK When Jim Griffo became president of the network about a year ago, his goal was to plan an event that would draw alumni of all ages. With the 2016 Annual Banquet, he brought in new faces who had never attended a GT Birmingham event, as well as those who hadn’t been active with the network in years. Griffo hopes to build on that success with student events, game watching parties, community service events and after-work socials. Griffo retired from his 37-year architecture career in 2014,

but has since been recruited by Southern Co. to work on a major corporate renovation project in Birmingham. Griffo and his wife, Laura, enjoy traveling, working on their home, and participating in community activities. SARTHAK JAISWAL, CMPE 14, VICE PRESIDENT, GT ATLANTA INTOWN NETWORK Sarthak Jaiswal is a young alumnus who embodies the meaning of “giving back.” Jaiswal volunteers much of his time with Tech, serving as a leader for his thriving network and helping Tech students through the Mentor Jackets program. He’s also the social media manager for the Young Alumni Council. Jaiswal began giving back to Tech right after graduation. As a software developer for Airwatch by VMware, he has a busy professional life, but still makes time to volunteer for his alma mater and other Atlanta-area organizations including the Atlanta Community Food Bank, Books for Africa,

lifestyle and clothing brand It’s Archel; Dorrier Coleman, CmpE 15, co-founder of electric vehicle charging company TEQCharging; Randy Etheredge, CS 08, co-founder of restaurant bill splitting app Split; Garrett Langley, EE 09, president of gifting app Moment; Kevin Mann, IE 08, co-founder of call tracking company CallRail; and Candace Mitchell, CS 11, co-founder of beauty technology company Myavana. More than 100 attendees got to hear firsthand what it’s like to start a business from the ground up. The panelists shared their stories and discussed some of the specific challenges they faced, from legal obstacles to the effects of the Ebola crisis in West Africa. All of these young entrepreneurs agreed that the hard work and determination needed to "get out" of Georgia Tech prepared them for what it takes to start their own companies. Guests had the chance to ask questions and start conversations that continued after the conclusion of the event. “I learned that flexibility and the ability to adapt to change, as well as a strong support system, can be the differentiator between an unsuccessful and successful start-up,” says Melanie Green, BA 14.

Trees Atlanta and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. In his free time, he enjoys traveling, cooking, reading and photography. ROXANNE WESTENDORF, CHE 81, PRESIDENT, GT GREATER CINCINNATI NETWORK Talk about commitment, Roxanne Westendorf has been with the GT Greater Cincinnati Network for more than 25 years! As president, she leads the local network scholarship process and conducts President's Scholar interviews. The network has found its sweet spot in Cincinnati by offering great game watching parties, as well as student events and an annual scholarship drive. After retiring from Procter & Gamble, Westendorf found her passion in brewing beer and mead. She currently serves as chair of the American Homebrewers Association and works part-time at Rivertown Brewing Company. She also enjoys hiking, knitting and cooking.

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Wander Over Yonder



The 2017 Alumni Travel tour schedule packs up adventure with luxury. THE GEORGIA TECH ALUMNI ASSOCIATION has partnered with some of the top tour operators in the travel industry to offer more than 40 trips next year—from leisurely European river sailings to exciting expeditions of more exotic lands—specifically designed for Yellow Jacket travelers. The lineup of tours includes many new destinations and itineraries, as well as the well-loved favorites alumni ask us to bring back time and again. Take a look at what’s on deck—it’s filled with bucket list trips and offerings you might never have considered before—but act soon before your tour is sold out.

Baja & the Riviera (Oceania Regatta) Jan. 7–17, Go Next

Bangkok to Bali: Eastern & Oriental Express Feb. 19–March 3, AHI Travel

Alumni Campus Abroad in Italy: Tuscany May 23–31, AHI Travel

Outrageous Outback (Oceania Sirena) April 7–23, Go Next 74 | GTALUMNIMAG.COM | Volume 92 No. 3 2016

Eastern Caribbean Family Cruise (NCL Escape) June 17–24, Go Next

Tanzania Migration Safari Jan. 25–Feb. 5, Orbridge

Expedition to Antarctica (M.S. Le Lyrial) Feb. 19–March 5, Gohagan

Enchanting Ireland July 2–14, Odysseys Unlimited

The Wolves of Yellowstone Feb. 20–26, Orbridge

Ancient Legends (Oceania Regatta) March 28–April 14, Go Next

Southern Grandeur (American Queen) April 30–May 8, Go Next

Treasures of Peru: with Machu Picchu & Lake Titicaca May 15–25, Odysseys Unlimited

Exploring Iceland July 20–30, Odysseys Unlimited

Glacial Adventures of Alaska (Oceania Regatta) July 28–Aug. 7, Go Next Volume 92 No. 3 2016 | GTALUMNIMAG.COM | 75

Alumni Campus Abroad in Scotland: Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo Aug. 20–28 , AHI Travel

Baltic & Scandinavian Treasures (Oceania Marina) Aug. 22–Sept. 2 Go Next

Treasures of Southern Africa Sep. 17–Oct. 2, AHI Travel

MORE TECH TOURS FOR 2017 Portrait of Chile and Argentina Jan. 28–Feb. 9, AHI Travel Pure Polynesia (Oceania Sirena) February 4–16, Go Next

ACA Swiss Alps and the Italian Lakes Sept. 22–Oct. 1, AHI Travel

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta Oct. 6–9 Sports & Entertainment Travel

Great Trains & Grand Canyons Oct. 8–13, Premier World Discovery

Southwest National Parks May 20–29, Orbridge Great Journey Through Europe (M.S. Amadeus Silver III) June 14–24, Gohagan

Waterways of Russia California Rail Discovery (M.S. Volga Dream) March 22–28, Premier World June 28–July 9, Gohagan Discovery Canadian Rockies Parks and Dutch Waterways Resorts Aug. 10–16, Orbridge (M.S. Amadeus Silver) April 24–May 2, AHI Travel Regal Routes of Northern Europe (Oceania Marina) ACA France: Normandy Aug. 12–23, Go Next May 1–9, AHI Travel Pearls of Italy Kentucky Derby May 3–7, SET Sept. 16–27, AHI Travel Adriatic Charms (Oceania Riviera) May 5–16, Go Next

Coastlines of Canada & New England (Oceania Insignia) Sept. 20–30, Go Next

Passage of Lewis and Clark (American Empress) May 6–14, Go Next

Mediterranean Radiance (Oceania Riviera) Oct. 7–17 , Go Next

Celtic Lands (M.S. Le Boreal) May 16–25, Gohagan

Trade Routes of Coastal Iberia (M.S. Le Lyrial) Oct. 23–31, Gohagan

Grand Danube Passage (M.S. Amadeus Silver) May 16–30, AHI Travel

Egypt & the Eternal Nile Oct. 30–Nov.13, Odysseys Unlimited

Ready to Travel? Call Director of Travel Martin Ludwig at (404) 894-0758 or (800) GT-ALUMS. You can also email him at travel@gtalumni. org or check out the “Events & Travel” section of the Georgia Tech Alumni Association web site at throughout the year. The tours and dates listed above are subject to change and revision. Alternate dates may be available on some programs and additional tours may be added. If you do not see the tour of your choice on the list, contact us.

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Continue the tradition and make a difference for outstanding students, world-class programs, and the value of your Georgia Tech degree.




2016 Homecoming & Reunion Weekend: Oct. 27-29 Homecoming is about so much more than a return visit to campus. IT’S ABOUT TRADITION and legacy and pride. It’s about reconnecting with friends from college and meeting new people who share the Georgia Tech bond. It’s a reminder that time marches on as you witness the many exciting changes that have taken place on the campus you’ve walked thousands of times. It’s the beauty of Atlanta in autumn and the joy of being surrounded by so many others proudly wearing the White and Gold as they cheer for our beloved Yellow Jackets. This year’s Homecoming and Reunion Weekend, held Oct. 2729, boasts a full roster of events with something for everyone: Class reunions, informative presentations and campus tours, the Ramblin’ Reck Parade, tailgating and of course, Yellow Jacket football. Check out the full schedule below to plan your weekend and go to to register. EDUCATIONAL EVENTS 2016 Homecoming Keynote Presentation: Rebuilding Georgia Tech Men's Basketball Program with Head Basketball Coach Josh Pastner. Oct. 27 at 6 p.m. GT Global Learning Center, Room 236.

Celebrating the Olympic Village of 20 Years Ago. Oct. 28 at 11:30 a.m. GT Global Learning Center, Room 236.

GT Stories Presentation with Marilyn Somers, Hon 08:

Navigating the College Admission Process:

President’s Update from Georgia Tech President G.P. “Bud” Peterson: Oct. 28 at 1 p.m. GT Global Learning Center, Room 236.

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Learn about college admission and financial aid from Georgia Tech’s Office of Undergraduate Admission. Oct. 28 at 2:15 p.m. GT Global Learning Center, Room 222. Campus Walking and Bus Tours: Oct.28 at 3:30 p.m. GT Global Learning Center Atrium (walking), GT Hotel Lobby (bus).

CLASS REUNIONS Class of 1991 25th Reunion: Happy Hour: Oct. 28 at 7 p.m. The Barrelhouse, Tech Square. 25th Reunion Party: Oct. 29, 2.5 hours before game time, Georgia Tech Alumni Association Basil Garden. Class of 1976 40th Reunion: Oct. 28 at 7 p.m., GT Hotel and Conference Center Ballroom.

Performance by Chuck Leavell, formerly of the Allman Brothers Band. Class of 1966 50th Reunion: Party Oct. 28, 6:30 p.m. at McCamish Pavillion, Callaway Club. Class of 1966 Ramblin’ Reck Parade and Breakfast with Einstein: Oct. 29 at 8:30 a.m., Location TBD

Old Gold Reunion (Class of 1966 and prior): Oct. 29 immediately post game, Alumni House. Class of 1956 Reunion Party: Oct. 28 at 6 p.m., Capital City Club, Atlanta. HOMECOMING GAMEDAY EVENTS: Ramblin’ Reck Parade:

Oct. 29 at 9 a.m. Fowler Street. Ramblin’ Wreck Rally Tailgate: Oct. 29, 2.5 hours prior to kickoff, Tech Tower Lawn. Georgia Tech vs. Duke Homecoming Football Game: Oct. 29 at Bobby Dodd Stadium. Time TBD.

OTHER UPCOMING EVENTS Mentor Jackets Kickoff Oct. 3, GT Global Learning Center. SAA Speed Networking Nov. 14, GT Global Learning Center. Gold & White Honors Gala Jan. 26, 2017, Ritz-Carlton Buckhead 45th Annual Pi Mile Race Spring 2017, Tech Campus (Date TBD)

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Shields Named VP and Provost at Furman University George C. Shields, Chem 81, MS Chem 83, PhD Chem 86, is now the vice president for academic affairs and provost at Furman University. AS FURMAN’S chief academic officer, Shields will be responsible for the faculty and related administrative departments that support all undergraduate, graduate and continuing education programs. He began his new duties at Furman on July 1. He previously served as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Bucknell University, where he also oversaw the university’s School of Management and served as a professor in the Department of Chemistry. Before coming to Bucknell, Shields served as the founding dean of the College of Science and Technology at Armstrong Atlantic State University in Savannah, Ga., where he was also a professor of chemistry. Shields has been the Winslow Professor of Chemistry and chair of the department at Hamilton College. Before that, he held various faculty and administrative posts at Lake Forest College. He is founder and director of the Molecular Education and Research Consortium in Undergraduate Computational Chemistry (MERCURY), a collaboration of 27 undergraduate research teams at 24 different institutions. Shields has a national reputation in the field of undergraduate research, having collaborated with more than 100 undergraduate students in the fields of computational chemistry, structural biochemistry and

science education. He has received approximately $6 million in research grants from numerous foundations and funding agencies, including the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health and Research Corporation. Shields received the 2015 American Chemical Society Award for Research at an Undergraduate Institution, and he currently serves on the executive board of the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR). He has also been elected three times as a CUR Councilor, is a Research Corporation Cottrell Scholar, and serves on the ACS Journal of Physical Chemistry editorial advisory board.



Daniel C. Paschal, Chem 69, PhD Chem 74, was awarded tenure and promoted to associate professor of chemistry at the Perimeter College of Georgia State University. Prior to teaching, Paschal worked for 30 years with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Roy Crawford, ME 74, was elected to the Ethics Committee of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences.


B. C. “Billy” Killough, IE 74, was named to the South Carolina Super Lawyers list. Killough is an attorney atBarnwell,Whaley,Patterson&HelmsLLC.

Rod Westmoreland, IM 74, was recognized by Barron in its annual America’s Top 1,200 Financial Advisors: 2016 List. Westmoreland is a private wealth advisor at Merrill Lynch.

1980s Donald “Don” Bach, CE 81, was named engineer of record for Garrett ECI.IV LLC, a

STANTON LANIER RELEASES 10TH ALBUM WITH CAMPUS CONCERT STANTON LANIER, CHEM 86, has completed his 10th piano album, “Climb to the Sky.” Lanier will perform an album release concert on Oct. 13 at Georgia Tech’s Ferst Center for the Arts. Lanier is a multi-award-winning pianist who aims to touch lives through his instrumental music. His albums, including six made with Grammy-winning producer Will Ackerman, convey a unique sense of peace, rest, hope and healing. He is also the founder of Music to Light the World, a nonprofit organization that has donated more than 65,000 CDs to cancer patients and families. His music, which has reached five million listeners in 140 countries, can be heard on iTunes, Pandora, Spotify, Sirius-XM Spa, Music Choice Soundscapes and more.

minority- and woman-owned firm specializing in civil and environmental engineering and project management. Bach was also recently registered as a professional engineer in Georgia, in addition to being registered in Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama. Jill Furstenau, IE 82, was selected as a Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellow for 2016. The Woodrow Wilson Fellowship seeks to promote STEM learning in high-need secondary schools throughout Georgia, Indiana and New Jersey. The fellowship includes admission to a master’s degree program, preparation for teaching at a high-need secondary school and a tuition stipend.

Gregory R. Johnson, ME 88, has been named a partner of Newcomb & Boyd, a consulting engineering firm. Blake Moret, ME 85, was elected the new president and CEO of Rockwell Automation. Previously, Moret spent five years as senior vice president of control, products and solutions. Moret also serves on the advisory board of Georgia Tech’s Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering. Ben Owens, ME 87, received the 2016 Outstanding Educator Award from the North Carolina Science, Mathematics and Technology Education Center. Owens is a teacher at Early College in Murphy, N.C.

William “Bill” Grip, CE 82, MS CE 91, became the chief facilities officer at the Institute of Advanced Study, a private, independent academic institution located in Princeton, N.J.

Alice Wheatley Padgett, IM 87, was sworn in as president of the Council of Probate Court Judges of Georgia. Padgett has served as the Probate Judge of Columbia County, Ga., for five years.

Lynda B. Herrig, ME 84, MS ME 85, was named director of business development of Newcomb & Boyd, a consulting engineering firm.

1990s Jorge Alba, MS CE 93, PhD CE 93, joined the

Storm Water Department at RPS Klotz Associates, an engineering firm. Alba also belongs to the Texas Floodplain Management Association and the Project Management Institute. H. David Chandler EE 93, has been named a partner of Newcomb & Boyd, a consulting engineering firm. Vallee Donovan, Mgt 93, has been promoted to vice president of events at the Georgia Tech Alumni Association. Wanda Harding, MS EE 93, was selected as a Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellow for 2016. The Woodrow Wilson Fellowship seeks to promote STEM learning in high-need secondary schools throughout Georgia, Indiana and New Jersey. The fellowship includes admission to a master’s degree program, preparation for teaching at a high-need secondary school and a tuition stipend. Scott Machovec, ME 97, is now a principal engineer for southern company services at the National Carbon Capture Center in Wilsonville, Ala.

Volume 92 No. 3 2016 | GTALUMNIMAG.COM | 81



Jessica S. Clements, AP 01, was named a senior associate of Newcomb & Boyd, a consulting engineering firm.

SEAN WILSON, IA 08, was selected for the year-long Mike Mansfield Fellowship Program in Japan. Wilson is a foreign affairs officer at the U.S. Department of State. Wilson is among 140 Fellows— representing 27 U.S. government agencies, commissions and the U.S. Congress—to enter the Mike Mansfield Fellowship Program since it was established in 1994. The fellowship program was created to build a corps of U.S. government officials with substantial Japan expertise. Mansfield Fellows have unprecedented access, working side-by-side with their Japanese counterparts before returning to U.S. federal government service for a minimum of two years. Wilson began his fellowship in Japan this summer with a seven-week homestay and language training in Ishikawa Prefecture. This will be followed by 10 months of practical experience in a Japanese government agency or ministry in Tokyo. During his placements he will seek to strengthen U.S.-Japan cooperation on the emerging security challenges of ballistic missile defense, space security and cyber security. He also hopes to deepen his understanding of the Japanese perspective on these challenges.

Daniel R. Crook, PP 03 was named real estate practice group leader at HunterMaclean, a leading business law firm in Savannah and Brunswick, Ga. Crook is also the past president and current vice president of the board of Quantum Inc., a firm that works to create sustainable jobs for people with disabilities.

Meredith Moore, IE 97, was selected to be a part of the Leadership Atlanta Class of 2017. These leaders represent an array of diverse industries and share a common desire to move Atlanta forward by delving deeply into the city’s issues. Moore is the CEO of Moore and Associates Wealth Management. Theodore Mowinski II, ME 97, has been named a partner of Newcomb & Boyd, a consulting engineering firm. Deidre Paris, MS EE 94, MS PP 96, PhD CE 02, was selected as a Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellow for 2016. The Woodrow Wilson Fellowship seeks to promote STEM learning in high-need secondary schools throughout Georgia, Indiana and New Jersey. The fellowship includes admission to a master’s degree program, preparation for teaching at a high-need secondary school and a tuition.

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James Tefend, Arch 92, was promoted to principal at Form4 Architecture in San Francisco. Adam Wade, EE 94, was recently promoted to senior director of global environmental, health and safety for Fruit of the Loom Inc. Wade has been with the company for 22 years. Donald L. Walker Jr., EE 98, has been named a partner of Newcomb & Boyd, a consulting engineering firm.

Matthew J. DiPiro, EE 05, was named an associate partner of Newcomb & Boyd, a consulting engineering firm. Richard O. Dozier III, EE 06, was named an associate partner of Newcomb & Boyd, a consulting engineering firm. Matthew B. Eason, EE 02, was named an associate partner of Newcomb & Boyd, a consulting engineering firm. Michael Fusia, Phys 06, was selected as a Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellow for 2016. The Woodrow Wilson Fellowship seeks to promote STEM learning in high-need secondary schools throughout Georgia, Indiana and New Jersey. The fellowship includes admission to a master’s degree program, preparation for teaching at a high-need secondary school and a tuition stipend. George Brendan Gardes, ME 02, was named senior associate and director of energy and sustainability for Newcomb & Boyd, a consulting engineering firm.


Brett M. Gilbert, ME 03, was named an associate of Newcomb & Boyd, a consulting engineering firm.

Matt Bain, Mgt 01, MBA 10, was promoted to vice president of information and technology services at the Georgia Tech Alumni Association. He has been with the association for nearly 15 years.

Gayle Hagler, CE 02, MS CE 04, PhD EnvE 07, received the 2016 Arthur S. Flemming Award. The award honors men and women who have offered exceptional service to the government for 3-15 years.

Blount Named President of SAME Capt. Michael L. Blount, MS EnvE 90, was sworn in as the national president of the Society of American Military Engineers. AS SAME PRESIDENT, Blount will lead a 47-member National Board of Direction and a global organization of 105 Posts, as well as more than 30,000 members from across the military, public, private and academic sectors. “We are an organization of vibrant posts comprised of architects, engineers, constructors, scientists, marketers and leaders who volunteer precious time to serve our great country,” Blount said. “I look forward to helping drive our efforts toward SAME’s centennial in 2020 and beyond, as we work to develop solutions for America’s infrastructure-related national security challenges.” SAME was created in 1920 to harness the technical engineering lessons and camaraderie shared on the battlefield during World War I. Today, the organization provides opportunities for training, education and professional development. Blount is vice president of Navy Programs at AECOM. He earned a bachelor’s degree in environmental engineering from the University of Florida in 1982 and a

JASMINE BURTON SELECTED FOR ROTARY INTERNATIONAL GLOBAL GRANT SCHOLARSHIP JASMINE BURTON, ID 14, has been named a 2016 Rotary Scholar, the most prestigious competitive scholarship available to international graduate students. She will receive $30,000 or more to pursue a master’s in public health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in one of Rotary International’s six major areas of focus: water and sanitation; peace and conflict resolution/prevention; disease prevention/treatment; maternal and child health; basic education and literacy; and economic and community development.

master’s degree in environmental engineering from Georgia Tech in 1990. He was commissioned to the U.S. Navy Civil Engineer Corps and served 26 years in uniform, ending his Navy career as commanding officer of Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southeast in Jacksonville, Fla. In 2008, Blount joined Balfour Beatty Construction, where he most recently was vice president of the Federal Center of Excellence until joining AECOM in 2016. Since 2009, he has served as an instructor at Norwich University and teaches construction contracting and wastewater design in its civil engineering program. Blount, who first joined SAME in 1984, also is a member of the Design-Build Institute of America, the U.S. Green Building Council, Kappa Sigma fraternity and Chi Epsilon, the National Civil Engineering Honor Society.

Jasmine was chosen on the basis of her exemplary record of academic achievement and honors at Tech. She was a Georgia Tech Presidential Scholar and Honors Program participant. After creating the College of Architecture's ambassador program and amassing many honors with international reach, she graduated from Tech with a bachelor’s degree in architecture and industrial design. Prior to graduation, she founded Wish for WASH LLC, a social impact startup designed to bring innovation to third world sanitation. Her senior design team was the first all-female team to win the Georgia Tech InVenture Prize Competition in 2014 for their invention of the SafiChoo toilet. Jasmine plans to use her skill set in design and master’s education to advocate for and promote universal health through social innovation.

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1. Adam Kassim, CmpE 10, and wife Stephanie welcomed Natalie Olive on March 4. Adam is a systems engineer for Lockheed Martin. The family lives in East Windsor, N.J.


ChE 00, welcomed son Copper Blake Stone on March 31. Copper joins big sister Ruby. The family lives in Missoula, Mont.

2. Elizabeth Lavery, Bio 05, and husband Ethan Lavery welcomed son Calvin Anderson Lavery on May 27. The family lives in Chantilly, Va.

4. Catie Miller, STC 07, and husband Matt Miller, CS 07, welcomed daughter Dottie on June 5. Catie is director of student programs at the Georgia Tech Alumni Association. The family lives in Atlanta.

3. Melissa Matassa-Stone, CE 02, and husband Coby Stone,

5. Amanda Sahlstrom, EE 06, MS ECE 07, MBA 12, and

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husband Peter Sahlstrom, CmpE 05, MBA 13, welcomed daughter Daisy May Sahlstrom on March 31. Amanda is a generator interconnection engineer at Georgia Power, and Peter is senior director of product management at Damballa. The family lives in Decatur, Ga. 6. Rachel Thienprayoon, Chem 03, and husband Paul Thienprayoon, Mgt 03, welcomed daughter Maisie Eleanor Umpan Thienprayoon on May 18. Paul is in

the Junior Officer Leadership Program with GE Aviation and Rachel is an assistant professor of anesthesia and pediatrics at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center. The family lives in Cincinnati. 7. Erin Wojtaszek, CE 04, and Michael Wojtaszek, Mgt 03, welcomed son Dominik Michael Wojtaszek on May 7. Dominik joins big sister Brianna, 2. The family lives in Clearwater, Fla. Dominik Michael's grandfather is Roger Lawson, ME 73.

“I have a deep sense of pride in Georgia Tech’s mission. Those who supported Roll Call shaped this school so that I benefitted from a full and rich experience. It is now my honor and duty to do the same for the next generation of students. Just as my father did with us, I look forward to my family continuing the tradition of pride for our beloved Georgia Tech.”

“Most all I have in this world comes as a result of my Georgia Tech experience … the education I received and the friends I made at Tech and have kept close through the years. I give because of the love I have for this institution and the gratitude I feel for all I have received from my Georgia Tech experience.”







The Leadership Circle is the cornerstone of Roll Call - Georgia Tech’s annual fund. BURDELL SOCIETY

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We hope you’ll join us and enjoy benefits such as a limited edition tie or scarf and an invitation to the annual President’s Dinner.

Please send your gift or pledge to: ROLL CALL, GEORGIA TECH ALUMNI ASSOCIATION

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190 North Avenue | Atlanta, Georgia 30313-9806 o r c a l l (4 0 4) 8 9 4 - 075 6









1. Barrett Ahlers, CE 14, and Lauren Kley, ISyE 13, on Jan. 16 in Atlanta. Lauren is an inventory solutions analyst for The Home Depot, and Barrett is a property risk engineer for Liberty Mutual Insurance. The couple lives in Atlanta. 2. Garrett Bain, AE 11, and Laura Ramirez, IA 11, on May 15, 2015 in Acworth, Ga. Laura is a registered nurse and Garrett is a F-16 pilot. Both are officers in the United States Air Force.

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3. Matt Bunn, BA 13, and Quinn Evans, BA 14, on April 16 in Atlanta. Matt is an operations manager for Amazon, and Quinn is a logistics manager for Target. The couple lives in Saint Louis, Mo. 4. Joseph W. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Joeâ&#x20AC;? Cremin, AE 57, MS AE 59, and Liz Cremin on Aug. 21, 2015 in Madison, Ala. Liz is a retired Realtor/ appraiser. Joe is retired from NASA and CSC. The couple lives in Huntsville, Ala.

5. Jenna Hollenkamp Gaeta, HTS 14, and Anthony Gaeta, Bio 13, on March 12 in Powder Springs, Ga. Jenna is a Data Analyst for ACA Track, and Anthony is a cell and molecular biology PhD candidate at the University of Alabama. The couple lives in Tuscaloosa, Ala. 6. David Larrimore, ChE 75, and Mark Mighetto on July 2 in Birmingham, Ala. The couple lives in northern California and Tuscany, Italy.




Silas Khor, EE 06, was named an associate partner of Newcomb & Boyd, a consulting engineering firm.

manufacturer, and the South Carolina plant will be Mogul’s first U.S. plant.

Paul J. Kitchens, ME 06, was named an associate partner of Newcomb & Boyd, a consulting engineering firm.

Nicholas A. Mazzolini, EE 03, was named an associate partner of Newcomb & Boyd, a consulting engineering firm.

Cheryl LaFoy, IE 02, was named the vice president for business and event operations for the WNBA's Atlanta Dream.

Sachin Shailendra, CE 01, was selected to be the 2016 Keynote Speaker at the Atlanta Metropolitan State College commencement ceremonies. As chair of the University System of Georgia Foundation, Shailendra raised $1.3 million at the foundation’s annual fundraiser Gala.

Jonathan Layer, Mgt 06, recently joined Mogul South Carolina Nonwovens in Greenville, S.C. Mogul Nonwovens is a Turkish-based

Stay with the Tech Tradition 7. Faith McCombs, BA 14, and Ricky McCombs, ME 15, on Dec. 19 in Statesboro, Ga. Faith is an applications developer for Georgia Pacific, and Ricky is a manufacturing engineer for Great Dane Trailers. The couple lives in Richmond Hill, Ga.

 Located in the heart of Tech Square  252 newly renovated guest accommodations  Club Room bar and lounge  21,000 sq. feet of conference/event space

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8. Davina Petersen, ChBE 13, and Karl M. Petersen, AE 12, on July 11, 2015 in Saint Augustine, Fla. Davina is a process engineer at BP, and Karl is a subsea engineer at ExxonMobil. The couple lives in Houston, Texas. 9. Michael Richard Van Epp, CE 03, and Michelle Patrice Miller on July 9 in Kansas City, Mo. Michael works in real estate development and finance. The couple lives in Kansas City, Mo. 10. Chris Voelker, ME 12, and Hannah Skibiel, BioChem 14, on June 18 in Atlanta. Chris works for Eaton, and Hannah is working toward a master’s degree at Georgia State University.

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RAMBLIN' ROLL YORK INDUCTED INTO AIA COLLEGE OF FELLOWS The American Institute of Architects has named Liz Harriss York, Arch 90, M Arch 95, to its College of Fellows. The AIA extends this honor to members who have made significant contributions to the profession. YORK EARNED THE DESIGNATION for her work exploring the “connection between the built environment and its influence on our ecosystem and the subsequent effects on personal and public health.” York works for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, where she brings together experts like microbiologists, behavioral scientists and health educators to improve facility design and efficiency. She convened a team of behavioral scientists and designers to rethink the way people use stairwells, creating prompts and events to motivate stair use across the nation. York also led a team that reduced CDC water use by more than 60 million gallons a year, resulting in utility cost savings of more than $2 million since 2013. York is a motivational leader who empowers people to examine the way architecture affects people and inspires them to improve communities and health. To help remove physical barriers to equality, York developed an AIA Best Practice Guide for the design of lactation rooms, which is widely recognized as the seminal document on the subject. She also worked with a cross-governmental team that developed Fitwel (Facility Innovations Toward

R. Max Shirley, EE 02, was named an associate partner of Newcomb & Boyd, a consulting engineering firm. Jennifer Stephens, CE 05, was honored for 10 years of service with JE Dunn Construction, where she works as a project manager. JE Dunn is one of the largest general building contractors in the U.S. Khamisi N. Walters, ME 07, was named an associate of Newcomb & Boyd, a consulting engineering firm.

2010s Matthew Corey Campbell, EE 11, was named an associate of Newcomb & Boyd, a consulting engineering firm. Javad Khazaii, PhD Arch 12, was named a senior associate of Newcomb & Boyd, a consulting engineering firm. Halley Profita, ID 11, is working on a PhD in Computer Science at the University of Colorado

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Wellness Environmental Leadership), a nationwide system for evaluating the health-promoting aspects of a building’s architecture. In addition, York facilitated the development of Health and Sustainability Guidelines for Federal Foodservice, a document that guides food service operators, facility managers, architects and designers across the nation to rethink the design of food service facilities and maximize healthy choices. Since joining the CDC in 1999, York has worked with a team of designers and engineers to develop the CDC’s design and construction guidelines, which the agency uses as a guide for the CDC’s nationwide portfolio of facilities. Other internal programs of note include the sustainability star recognition program and the Go Green Get Healthy initiative. York, a registered architect and LEED Accredited Professional, also served on the steering committee for the International Biosafety Symposium focused on sustainability in laboratories. She published a paper in the proceedings outlining the importance of sustainability in all aspects of laboratory operations.

Boulder. Profita’s research focuses on wearable technology and she interned at Google during the summer of 2016. Profita also recently participated in a NYC Design Panel for Microsoft’s release of the new Surface Pro 4 Alcantara Signature Type Cover. Caroline Rhoad, IE 11, was promoted to director of private fleet and transportation of the Tri-State Metro Operating Unit at Coca-Cola Refreshments. Sara Turmel, MSE 16, was

selected as a Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellow for 2016. The Woodrow Wilson Fellowship seeks to promote STEM learning in high-need secondary schools throughout Georgia, Indiana and New Jersey. The fellowship includes admission to a master’s degree program, preparation for teaching at a high-need secondary school and a tuition stipend. Jonathan J. Willig, ME 12, was named an associate of Newcomb & Boyd, a consulting engineering firm.

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Richard N. Bolling Recycling Pioneer

Richard Norman Bolling, IE 50, of Richmond, Va., on May 21. Bolling helped to make aluminum recycling a reality as part of his successful engineering career. AFTER GRADUATING FROM HIGH SCHOOL, he enlisted in the Army Specialized Training Program and was assigned to study engineering at Ohio State University. As the U.S. Offensive in the Pacific reached full steam, the Army needed more riflemen than engineer trainees, so he was called to active service on his 18th birthday. After training for Infantry Replacement Duty in the South Pacific, Bolling served with the 169th Infantry, 43rd Division in: New Guinea, Leyte, the invasion of Luzon and the initial occupation of Japan. He was awarded the Asiatic Pacific Theater Ribbon with two Bronze Battle Stars, the Philippines Liberation Ribbon with one Bronze Battle Star, and the Army of Occupation Japan Ribbon. Bolling returned to civilian life in 1946 and soon after married the love of his life, the former Juanita Baisden. He resumed his engineering education as a co-op student at Georgia Tech and graduated in 1950 with a degree in industrial engineering. He went to work for the American Sugar Refining Company and was assigned as the plant Industrial Engineer for their Baltimore Refinery. He returned to his hometown of Huntington, W. Va., where he worked for 10 years in the Alloy Products Division of the International Nickel Company. In 1960, he joined Reynolds Metals Company as a staff industrial engineer. He rose quickly from corporate engineer to chief industrial engineer and was later named

1940s James C. “Buck” Alban Jr., Cls 40, of Palm Beach, Fla., on March 13. President and chairman of the board, Alban Tractor Co. and Alban Engine Co. Chairman, National Conference for Christians and Jews. Trustee, Goucher College. Vice president, the Everglades Club. Director, Royal Poinciana Chapel.


director of new products and technology for Reynolds Packaging Division and worked on special projects directed by David Reynolds. One of these special projects in the 1960s explored the possibility of consumer aluminum recycling—which had never been done before. The task force report led to the formation of what later became Reynolds Aluminum Recycling Company. Reynolds opened the nation’s first recycling center in Los Angeles in 1968, according to the Washington Post. Before retiring in 1991, Bolling served as a corporate vice president of Reynolds Metals, Recycling and Reclamation Division; president of Reynolds Aluminum Recycling Company; and a member of the Board of Directors of Alreco Metals Inc. and Southern Reclamation Company, subsidiaries of Reynolds Metals. He also served on the Board of Directors of Keep America Beautiful Inc. and was chairman of the Aluminum Association's Recycling Division. In retirement, he received letters from Sen. John Warner and former First Lady Lady Bird Johnson saluting his leadership in aluminum recycling and environmental awareness. However, he called himself "the national garbageman.” Bolling was an avid golfer and a deacon in the Presbyterian Church. His greatest achievements were as devoted husband and loving father and grandfather.

Reuben M. Berry Jr., IM 43, of Atlanta, on May 25. Army (2nd Lt.). WWII. Senior vice president, McJunkin Red Man Corp. Wayne M. Blancett, IE 49, of Wilmington, Del., on March 26. Air Force. WWII. Manager of personnel, DuPont. Vice president of deacons, Concordia Lutheran Church. Treasurer, Delaware Interfaith Coalition for the Aged.

John Porter Bunn, ME 43, of Marietta, Ga., on May 15. Army (Staff Sgt.). WWII. Asiatic Pacific Service Medal with three Bronze Stars. Philippine Liberation Medal. Purple Heart. Structural engineer, Calvert Iron Works Inc. Lockheed Corp. James Montgomery Burgess, IM 47, of Atlanta, on May 3. Army. WWII. Korean War.

Bronze Star. Silver Star. Purple Heart. CEO, Crump-Loveless Insurance. Wylie W. Gross Jr., Cls 49, of Chattanooga, Tenn., on March 18. Navy. WWII. Air National Guard (Col.). Campbell & Associates Inc. Philip W. “Phil” Harper, IE 48, of Greendale, Wis., on March 23. Army (Lt. Col.). WWII. Allis Chalmers. Nordberg Manufacturing Company. Rexnord LLC. Holton Edwin Harris, Cls 44, of Westport, Conn., on April 4. Army (1st Lt.). WWII. General Electric. The R.W. Cramer Co. Inc. Eastern Air Devices Inc. Reeves Instrument Corp. Founder, Robert Harrel Inc. Chairman, Westport Republican Town Committee. George B. Hills Jr., ME 46, of Savannah, Ga., on March 18. Navy V-12 Program. Georgia Tech football player, Sugar Bowl and Orange Bowl. President, Phi Delta Theta Fraternity. Navy. WWII. MacMillan Bloedell. Continental Can Co. Smurfit-Stone Container. Georgia Tech Board of Trustees. Manager, Winnipeg Blue Bombers. Son: George B. Hills III, MS IM 83. Granddaughter: Sarah Anne McLaughlin, Mgt 12. Alexander Scott Kelso, ME 46, of Richmond, Va., on March 29. Navy (Lt.j.g.). WWII. Gulf Oil. IBM. Founder, Computer Labs Inc. Founder, Seismic Computing Corp. Chair, Board of Visitors and Governors of St. John’s College. Stuart F. “Stu” Kutsche Sr., ME 43, of Grand Rapids, Mich., on March 2. Douglas Aircraft Co. Assistant chief engineer, General Motors. Order of the Arrow, Boy Scouts of America. James Eugene Lauen, ME 43, of Bonifay, Fla., on March 24. Army. United States Space Program. Henry “Hank” Levy, Arch 49, of Tybee Island, Ga., on May 2. Navy. WWII. Partner, Levy & Kiley Architects, P.C. Jaycees Outstanding Man of the Year, Savannah, 1962. City of


INNOVATIVE GARDENER AND ENGINEER MEL BARTHOLOMEW, CE 53, of San Diego, Calif., on April 28. Bartholomew used his engineering expertise to create a popular grid-based gardening system that reached people around the world through a bestselling book and TV show. Earlier in his career, Bartholomew served as a first lieutenant in the Army and founded an engineering construction firm in Maplewood, N.J. Bartholomew retired from his engineering career at age 42 and took up gardening as a hobby after moving with his family to Long Island, N.Y. Frustrated by the inefficiency of weeding and watering vegetables in rows, he devised a more a densely packed, subdivided plot to grow his crops instead. His idea evolved into a raised, open-bottom bed with a lumber frame. The garden was made up of nine 4-by-4-foot squares, each subdivided into 16 separate square-foot plots and planted with a different crop. In two months, it could produce 32 carrots, 12 bunches of leaf lettuce, 18 bunches of spinach, 16 radishes,

Savannah Distinguished Service Award-Outstanding Citizen in Commerce, 1962. William Washington Gordon Award-Outstanding Citizen in Commerce, 1968. Co-winner, Oglethorpe Trophy-Outstanding Citizen in Savannah, 1968. Chairman, Metropolitan Planning Commission. Chairman, Special Advisory Committee on Oceanography. Trustee and treasurer, Skidaway Marine Science Foundation. Instructor, U.S. Power Squadron.

16 scallions, nine Japanese turnips, five pounds of peas, four heads of romaine lettuce, one head of cauliflower and one head of broccoli. “ No o n e eve r developed a method to adapt commercial gardening technique to the backyard,” Bartholomew once said of his philosophy. “I garden with a salad bowl in mind, not a wheelbarrow.” Bartholomew explained his concept in a public television series, “Square Foot Gardening,” which began in 1982 and ran for six years, and in a book by the same title, originally published in 1981 by Rodale Press, which sold an estimated 2.5 million copies. He and his sister, Althea Mott, also established the Square Foot Gardening Foundation, which started planting programs at nursing homes and schools, as well as community gardens and nutrition education classes in the United States and abroad.

John Laurence Markwalter Jr., MS EE 48, of Canonsville, Md., on April 23. Navy. WWII. Life Senior Member, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. Professor, Anne Arundel Community College. Joseph Elliot “Joe” Phillips Jr., Arch 48, of Gainesville, Fla., on April 13. Architect. Son: Joseph Elliot Phillips III, ME 75.

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Charles Gates Shepherd Jr., Cls 45, of Atlanta, on May 19. Army (1st Lt.). Two Purple Hearts. Two Bronze Stars. Silver Star. Expert Infantryman’s Badge. Combat Infantryman’s Badge. French Croix de Guerre. Infantry OCS Hall of Fame. Chevalier, French Legion of Honor. Georgia Military Hall of Fame. Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. Wage and Price Stabilization Board. Underwriter, Piedmont Life Insurance. Chartered life underwriter and fellow, Life Office Management Association. Hixson fellow, Kiwanis International Foundation Heritage Society. Board of the Historical Society, Georgia National Guard. Edwin Manning Stephenson, ME 47, of Wilmington, Del., on May 8. Navy V12 Program. Navy (Lt.j.g.), USS Clinton. Textile fibers engineer, DuPont. Brother: Robert J. Stephenson, CE 54. Joseph Oscar “Pat” Stonecipher, EE 47, of Jackson, Ga., on April 29. WWII. Western Union. Georgia Department of Transportation.

Leonard Gerald “Jerry” Wright, Cls 46, of St. Simons Island, Ga., on June 5. Georgia Tech football and basketball player. Navy (Ensign). WWII. Navigator, USS Bootes. President and CEO; director, Florida National Bank. Partner, Standard Welding. President, WBSG of Brunswick. Board of Trustees, University of Miami. Director, University of Miami Sports Foundation Board. Director, Whitfield School.

John Harrison Beach, IM 51, of Atlanta, on May 17. Saturday Evening Post. Credit Suisse AG. Salomon Smith Barney. Morgan Stanley. Arbitrator, Securities and Exchange Commission. National Board member, The Salvation Army. Son: John H. Beach Jr., MC BC 13.

Jack Zeigler, ME 48, of Charlotte, N.C., on May 28. Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity. Army (1st Lt.). WWII. J.E. Sirrine Co. Bryan Associates. Vice president; director of the fabrication division, Industrial Supply Co. Founder, Fabrication Engineering Service Co. President, Charlotte Georgia Tech Alumni Network. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering Alumnus of the Year. Georgia Tech Academy of Distinguished Engineers. Georgia Tech College of Engineering Hall of Fame. Brother: George Edward Zeigler Jr., ME 41.

Thomas “Tom” Elliott Bell Jr., ME 55, of Atlanta, on June 6. Phi Gamma Delta Fraternity. Marines. Korean War. President and owner, Automatic Controls Co. Brother: James E. Bell, ME 53. Children: Joseph N. Bell, IM 78. Deborah Bell Cruickshank, Mgt 87.

Thomas D. Beaver, CerE 57, of Newberry, Fla., on May 13. Navy.

David John Berggren Sr., ME 53, of Vero Beach, Fla., on April 21. Army Corps of Engineers. Founder, Berggren Equipment Co. Manager, Berggren Hobbies.


Charles Rudolph Boyett, Text 54, of Athens, Ga., on May 22. Army. Superintendent, Bibb Manufacturing Co. Wellington Puritan.

John B. “Jack” Trenholm, GE 42, of Edgewood, Ky., on March 30. Air Force. WWII. Korean War. Senior manager of aeronautical programs, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

Gordon Millard Albury Jr., Arch 55, of Santa Fe, N.M., on March 31. Army (Sgt.). Korean War. Staff architect, Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Joseph I. Brown Sr., ME 59, of Newport News, Va., on May 25. Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co. Naval Mine Engineering Facility. Naval Weapons Station Yorktown.

James Montgomery Walker, IM 49, of Savannah, Ga., on March 14. Army. WWII. Service Medal with Bronze Star.

Jack E. Andrews Jr., IM 51, of Escondido, Calif., on March 5. Navy. Founder, Athena Investment Management. Brother: Thomas C. Andrews, IM 54.

William Park Callahan, Arch 59, of Savannah, Ga., on March 30. Army. Korean War.

James Lawrence Waugh Jr., IM 49, of West Palm Beach, Fla., on March 14. Navy. WWII. President, Halsey and Griffith Office Supplies & Furniture. Frank O. Weaver, IM 45, of Cincinnati on June 9. Navy. WWII. Korean War. Joslyn Manufacturing and Supply Co.

James Frank Bagwell, IM 58, of Gainesville, Ga., on March 28. Army. Georgia Chair Company. Will Watt Fellow. Paul Harris Fellow. Hue Thomas Fellow. Board member: Southern Seminary, Truett-McConnell College and Shorter College. Son: Harry F. Bagwell II, IM 84.

Dee Jasper “Dick” Wilson, IM 49, of Canton, N.C., on May 5. Army Air Corps (2nd Lt.). WWII. Air Force (Capt.). Flight instructor. Engineer, American Enka Co. Plant engineer, Square D Co.

Donald “Bussy” Barnes, IE 52, of Jacksonville, Fla., on June 3. Kappa Sigma Fraternity. Naval ROTC. Navy. Chief engineering officer, USS Gearing. Industrial salesman, Westinghouse Electric Company.

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John Berry Chapman, IM 51, of Atlanta, on March 8. Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity. Georgia Tech swimming and diving. Georgia Tech Athletic Hall of Fame. Naval ROTC. Navy. Korean War. Chapman Realty Co. Atlanta Realtors Association Realtor of the Year, 1972. Treasurer; vice president; and president, the Atlanta Board of Realtors. Chairman, Taxation & Legislation Committee of the Atlanta Real Estate Board. Chairman of the board, Chapman Realty Co. Trustee, Georgia Tech Alumni Association. Henry “Hank” Choate, Text 50, of St. Petersburg, Fla., on April 8. Navy. WWII. Owner, Insurance Engineering Services.

James P. Chambers Beloved Engineering Professor

James P. Chambers, ME 90, PhD ME 94, of Oxford, Miss. on March 13. Chambers was a researcher, professor and administrator at the University of Mississippi, as well as an active member of his community. HE DIED AT AGE 47 after his house caught fire in the middle of the night. His wife and sons were away at Boy Scout Camp at the time. Chambers earned both his bachelor’s degree and PhD in mechanical engineering at Georgia Tech. As an undergraduate, he was a member of Phi Kappa Tau fraternity. During his graduate studies, Chambers was a Hertz Foundation Fellow and an E.I. DuPont Fellow. In 1994, he began his academic career as a postdoctoral research associate at the National Center for Physical Acoustics at the University of Mississippi. He went on to serve as the center’s interim director from 2010-12. At the time of his death, Chambers was the associate dean for research and graduate programs in the University of Mississippi School of Engineering and an associate professor of mechanical engineering. In addition to his research and administrative duties, Chambers also enjoyed teaching. He was named Teacher of the Year in Mechanical Engineering in 2013. He was an accomplished researcher, assisting the U.S. Department of Agriculture with research on acoustics for many applications. Among those research projects

was the use of acoustics to estimate the catfish population in a pond and predict grain size of suspended sediment. Chambers often helped nonprofit and community groups with acoustics and sound. He provided free consultations for organizations including the Delta Blues Museum in Clarksdale, the Prentiss County Courthouse, College Hill Heights Baptist Church in Oxford and the United Methodist Church in Charleston. He was also very involved with the Boy Scouts, serving as a volunteer leader with Boy Scout Troop 146. He volunteered as committee member, crew adviser and STEM merit badge counselor for Boy Scout troops and Venturing Crews in Oxford. He also served as an instructor at Camp Yocona and provided computer support to area Cub Scout packs for their Pinewood Derby races. His memorial service March 22 was capped off by his fraternity brothers from Phi Kappa Tau singing the “Ramblin’ Wreck from Georgia Tech.”

Donald Lee Cottle, EE 56, of North Myrtle Beach, S.C., on March 6. Rural Electrification Administration, U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Texas, on April 28. Navy (EN 1st Class). Korean War. NASA. Entergy. New Orleans Public Service Inc.

William Norman Cox, EE 52, of Centennial, Colo., on April 11. Army. Korean War.

Julian Lee Dunlap, EE 54, of Oak Ridge, Tenn., on April 9. Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Los Alamos National Laboratory. William Anderson “Billy” DuPre’ III, IM 55, of Rome, Ga., on May 13. Army (2nd Lt.). Board of Trustees; Board of Visitors,

Richard Urban “Dick” Deiters, ME 50, of Atlanta, on April 29. Army. WWII. Frank Moise Dulany, ME 59, of Boerne,

Darlington School. Board of Directors, Trust Company Bank. Garner & Glover Co. First Georgia franchise owner, Bojangles’ Famous Chicken ‘n Biscuits. Distributer, Puma. Harry E. Goss, IM 55, of Atlanta on May 14. Army. Southside Printing Services. James Franklin “Jim” Harvell, EE 56, of Largo, Fla., on May 13. Navy (Cmdr.). Electrical engineer, General Electric. Honeywell.

Volume 92 No. 3 2016 | GTALUMNIMAG.COM | 93


Cecil Moye Hodges Jr., IM 52, of Sandersville, Ga., on April 28. Air Force ROTC. Air Force (1st Lt.). Korean War. Children: Louise H. Hill, Mgt 92. Allen M. Hodges, IM 83.

James Nelson Montgomery Jr., MS EE 53, of Biloxi, Miss., on March 15. Engineer; manager, DuPont.

Grandchildren: Craig A. Neal, Mgt 07. Ryan Neal, IE 03. Sean Neal, IE 01. Parker Schoening, BC 12. Redd C. Schoening, CE 09.

Hubert Alois “Jan” “H.A.” Janicek, MS IM 59, of Atlanta, on March 10. Navy.

William Augustus “Bill” Nipper, IM 57, of Atlanta, on April 19. Navy. Vice president in the private banking group, Bank of America.

Rudolf Eric “Whitey” Schulz, IE 57, of Tallahessee, Fla., on April 8. Mining operations manager, Mobil Chemical Co.

Charles David Johnston, EE 52, of Bremen, Ga., on March 29. Korean War.

William Richard “Dick” Owens Sr., IM 66, of Big Canoe, Ga., on April 17.

Marshall Noah Katz, CE 52, of Hilton Head Island, S.C., on March 6. Alpha Epsilon Pi Fraternity. Korean War. President: Trojan Steel Corp., Virginia-Carolina Steel Inc.

William Leonard Paradice Jr., IM 53, of Dunwoody, Ga., on April 15. Children: Courtney S. Paradice, ME 92. William L. Paradice III, EE 90.

Wade Roberts Shanklin, IE 59, of Wilmington, N.C., on May 18. Air Force (Lt.). Burlington Industries. Founder, Loading Automation Inc.

Rudolph Joseph “Bud” Klein, EE 50, of Dayton, Ohio on April 27. Sigma Nu Fraternity. Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Argonne National Laboratory. Univac. Cogar. Product development and consultant, Monarch Marking Systems. Ray Engineering Co.

David Precht, ME 57, of Richmond, Va., on April 25. Army. Savannah Electric and Power Co.

Alexander Stephens “Steve” Kytle Jr., IM 50, of Asheville, N.C., on April 25. Navy. WWII. Engineer, Southern Bell Telephone. William Dale “Bill” Lathbury, Arch 51, of Atlanta, on March 8. National Advisory Committee to Aeronautics (NACA). Lawton Grant & Associates. Merchandising Equipment. Stafford McQuillin Sr., IE 57, of Mt. Pleasant, S.C., on Feb. 27. Navy. DuPont. Children: Elizabeth “Liz” McQuillin, ChE 79. Stafford McQuillin Jr., ChE 77. Edward Miles, IM 59, of Knoxville, Tenn., on March 21. Kappa Alpha Fraternity. Owner and operator, Ed Miles and Associates. Founding member, Volunteer Riders. Officer, Smoky Mountain Gun Collectors.

Charles Johnson Radford Sr., IE 52, of Greenwood, S.C., on March 14. Navy. Head basketball manager, Georgia Tech. Georgia Tech Athletic Hall of Fame. Chairman, Monsanto Retiree Association. Robert “Allen” Rowe, Arch 57, of Augusta, Ga., on May 1. Senior construction management engineer, US Army Corps of Engineers. Fifty-nine year Roll Call donor. James E. “Tom” Sawyer, Arch 52, of Hudson, Fla., on March 18. Army (1st Lt.). Korean War. President; COO, J.E. Greiner Co. President, National Organization of the American Society of Civil Engineers. Florida Engineering Society’s Award for Outstanding Technical Achievement.

George H. Miller, Cls 51, of Louisville, Ky., on May 11. Army. WWII. Seagrams Distillery. General Electric. Professor, University of Louisville.

Alexander Alan Scarborough, ChE 50, of LaGrange, Ga., on May 6. WWII. Kleen-Tex Industries Inc. Seven-time Georgia Golden Olympics gold medalist. Inventor, Kex Walk-Off mat. Author, “Origins of Universal Systems: A Brief History of the Right Answers…Simple and Beautiful.” Natural Philosophy Alliance Sagnac Award, 2009.

George “Lioritsis” Mitchell, IM 56, of Richmond, Va., on June 6. Counter Intelligence Corps. DuPont.

Henry W. “Red” Schoening Jr., IM 50, of Marietta, Ga., on March 28. Coast Guard. WWII. Plant manager, Atlantic Steel Co.


George F. Shanks Jr., EE 53 of Gainesville, Ga., on June 5. Army Signal Corps. Korean War. Instrumentation engineer, DuPont. George John Simitses, Cls 55, of Atlanta, on April 24. Professor, Georgia Tech. Professor; department head of aerospace engineering; department head of engineering mechanics; and interim dean of engineering, University of Cincinnati. Founding member, Ahepa Mother Lodge Chapter No.1 Educational Foundation. Sons: John Simitses, ME 83, MS ESM 84. William Simitses, Mgt 90. Herbert Oliver Smith, EE 50, of Burlington, N.C., on May 25. Marines. Western Electric. Troop leader, Boy Scouts of America. Phil Edgerton Talley Jr., ME 51, of Scottsdale, Ariz., on April 1. Tau Beta Pi Honor Society. Kappa Alpha Order. General Electric. The Aerospace Corp. Roy Rufus Turner, EE 55, of Rock Hill, S.C., on March 1. Army Air Corps. Air Force (Master Sgt.). Tennessee Valley Authority. Presidential elector, 1968. Son: Allen Turner, EE 95. John Edwin Vines, IM 53, of Bessemer, Ala., on June 10. Army (1st Lt.). Supervisor, U.S. Steel. Metro Mini Storage. President, Bessemer Board of Education. Campbell Wallace Jr., MS CE 51, of Knoxville, Tenn., on April 8. Navy. WWII. Consulting engineer, Campbell Wallace Consulting Engineers.

Roger Clark Warren, ChE 55, of Gulf Shores, Fla., on May 2. American Cyanamid. Founder, Happy Bear Cleaning Inc. Son: Alan Warren, Phys 78. Charles Henry Waters, IM 54, of Dunwoody, Ga., on March 29. Navy (Lt. Cmdr.). Korea United Nations Medal. National Defense Award. Industrial engineer, General Motors. Robert Lewis Weathers, Cls 50, of Atlanta, on March 12. Navy, USS Tarawa. President, Weathers Brothers of Georgia. President, Georgia Movers Association. Vice president, American Movers Conference. Director, National Movers Association. Chairman, Northeast Commerce Bank. President, Atlanta Business Records Center. Founding member; president, Atlanta Country Club. Samuel Marsh “Sam” Willis, MS IM 55, of Clemson, S.C., on May 31. Army. Plant manager, Milliken & Co. Professor; director for the expansion campus; and dean of university extension, Clemson University. Professor, Augusta College. Pershing Wong, Arch 52, of Laguna Woods, Calif., on May 8. Architect. Webb and Knapp. I.M. Pei & Partners. Visiting professor, Georgia Tech. College of Fellows, American Institute of Architects. Brother: Kellogg Wong, Arch 52. Edwin Marion Wood Jr., Cls 54, of Flowery Branch, Ga., on June 12. Plant manager, Johnson & Johnson’s Chicopee Corporation. Synthetic Industries. Founding member, The Sunshine Boys. Member, Buford Board of Education. Robert Ted Wright, ChE 55, of Fayetteville, Tenn., on May 2. Chemical engineer, Monsanto. Co-inventor, Astroturf.


TEXTILE AND YARN EXPERT ABRAHAM ILLGES JR., IE 58, of Columbus, Ga., on July 7. Illges was born in Columbus, Ga. to the late Virginia Howard Illges and Tech alumnus Abraham Illges, TE 1916. He graduated from Columbus High School in 1952 and began his college career at Auburn University. After two years at Auburn, he transferred to Georgia Tech, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering in 1958. Illges was commissioned as an ensign in the U.S. Naval Reserve in 1958. He went on to spend three and a half years serving on the destroyers USS O'Hare and USS Forrest Sherman. After being released to inactive duty in 1962, he began work with Swift Spinning Mills. He started in a sales capacity

member, Cobb County Bar. Member: Association of Trial Lawyers of America, U.S. Tax Court and U.S. Supreme Court. James H. Beard III, IE 60, of Dunwoody, Ga., on Feb. 21. Navy. James Litton DeJarnette, CE 65, of Dahlonega, Ga., on March 7. Beta Theta Pi Fraternity. Partner, Principle Environmental Inc. Board member, Lumpkin County Literacy Coalition.


Kermit I. Dowdy Jr., CE 66, of Statesboro, Ga., on March 16. Co-owner, INCO Inc. Consultant, Edwards Inc.

Duncan Robert “Bob” Autrey Jr., IM 69, of Marietta, Ga., on May 1. Air Force. Georgia National Guard. IBM. Attorney. Lifetime

John Edward Farmer Sr., EE 63, of Huntsville, Ala., on April 5. Electrical engineer, NASA.

and resigned from the company in 1985 after serving as the company’s president. Illges remained in the textile industry and incorporated Meritas Yarns, a manufacturer of specialty yarns with plants in Columbus, Ga. and Lafayette, Ala. During his business career, he served terms as president of the American Yarn Spinners Association and the Georgia Textile Manufacturers Association. He also served on the Columbus State University Foundation and as an Advisory Director of Columbus Bank and Trust Co. Illges served as deacon, elder and trustee of First Presbyterian Church, and at the time of his death, was a covenant partner at Grace Presbyterian Church.

Roger Hayden Fussell, Text 66, of Nashville, Tenn., on Feb. 29. Walton Davison “Dave” Gale Sr., MS CE 62, of Lubec, Maine, on April 16. The Wildwood Shop. The Home Port Inn. James Longstreet Sibley “Sibbo” Jennings Jr., Arch 64, of Macon, Ga., on March 31. US State Department. Co-author, “Massachusetts Avenue Architecture.” Thomas David “Dave” Johnston, MS EM 68, of Seattle, Wash., on May 31. Navy (Cmdr.). Gulf War. Rolf G. Kasper, MS EM 68, of Branford, Conn., on April 30. Naval Underwater Systems Center. Presidential Rank Award. Decibel Award. Robert Dexter Conrad Award.

Volume 92 No. 3 2016 | GTALUMNIMAG.COM | 95

IN MEMORIAM Antone Daniel “Tony” Lehr, MS InfoSci 76, of Atlanta, on Feb. 28. Marine Corps (Maj.). Vietnam War. Owner, Computer Showcase. Board of Directors, Heritage Bank of the South. James Ronald McCalman, IE 61, of Merritt Island, Fla., on April 8. NASA. John W. Tanner, MS CE 67, of Leesburg, Fla., on May 30. Co-founder and CEO, Hoyle, Tanner & Associates.

William Lee Thompson, IM 62, of Midway, Ga., on June 4. Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity. Owner, Thompson Automotive Co. St. Catherine’s Island Foundation.

professor, Georgia Tech. Consultant, Law Engineering and Mactec. Lifetime Achievement in Engineering Award. Brother: Billy C. Wallace, EE 46.

Charles William Walden, IE 60, of Dawsonville, Ga., on April 22. Navy. Chief of psychiatry, DeKalb General Hospital. Life fellow, American Psychiatric Association.

Howell Kenneth Wilson, AM 60, of Collinsville, Ill., on April 1. Professor and chairman of the Department of Mathematics, Southern Illinois University. Professor, Georgia Tech.

James Robert Wallace, CE 61, MS CE 63, of Tucker, Ga., on May 11. Civil engineering



BUILDER AND ARTIST DAVID M. DURST, AE, IE 48, of Rye, N. Y., on May 13. Durst was an engineer and artist who used his gifts to build skyscrapers in Manhattan as well as sculptures from found metal objects. Durst studied both aerospace and industrial engineering at Georgia Tech. After graduating, he went to work with two of his brothers at the family’s New York City real estate firm, The Durst Organization. The three Durst brothers each brought different skills to the company, according to a New York Times obituary. David was in charge of design and construction, Seymour was the deal-maker, and Royal leased and operated the buildings. Royal died in 1993 and Seymour died shortly after in 1995. In his three decades at the Durst Organization, David M. Durst oversaw the construction of eight Manhattan skyscrapers. Durst’s first building was the 30-story tower at 655 Third Avenue, which opened in 1958. His

Jerome Joseph Zovne, PhD CE 70, of Scottsdale, Ariz., on April 8. Professor, Kansas State University. Stanley Consultants. HDR Engineering Inc. Parsons Engineering Inc.

last building, completed in 1989, was the 26-story building at 114 W. 47th St. In addition to his contributions to the New York City Skyline, Durst was also one of the first developers to commission public art for an office building, now a common practice. He commissioned a sculpture called “Windward,” by Jan Peter Stern, for the sidewalk in front of the 655 Third Avenue tower. Durst also found success in the art world. His metal sculptures were regularly exhibited in galleries such as the Gallery in Hastings-on-Hudson, N.Y., and the Katonah Gallery. In 1998, Mr. Durst published “The Menemsha Mussels,” a photography book with a humorous take on the bivalve mollusks found near his summer home on Martha’s Vineyard.

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David Lester Beville, IM 71, of Gainesville, Ga., on June 5. Financial analyst, Genuine Parts Co. Jerry Wyatt Boyd, IM 74, of Montgomery, Ala., on March 2. Civil service: Robins Air Force Base, Gunter Air Force Base. Glenn A. Bunker, EES 77, of Atlanta, on March 12. Georgia Tech rugby player. Alfred Anthony Cistola, IM 77, of Portsmouth, Va., on May 20. Owner, TASC Inc. Co-owner, K&V Homes. Hal S. Gettings, Cls 46, of Brevard, N.C. on May 30. Navy (Ensign). USNAS Banana River. NROTC, Georgia Tech. Radiation Inc. Harris Corp. Electronics editor, Missiles and Rockets Magazine. Martin Marietta Corp. Johnathan Kirschner, ME 75, of Atlanta, on Dec. 22, 2015. Principal engineer, The CocaCola Co. Brother: Steven A. Kirschner, ME 85. Hunter Drewrey Lupton Sr., CE 75, of Savannah, Ga., on March 4. Chi Phi Fraternity. Army Corps of Engineers. Boy Scouts of America Silver Beaver Award. Sons: Hunter Drewrey Lupton Jr., MS Stat 13. William Morgan Lupton, IE 13.

Brett Lee Salter, ME 73, of Asheville, N.C., on March 23.

Mark H. Smith, CE 83, of Tucker, Ga., on April 12.

Jean Clary, of Atlanta, on May 10. Ken Clary & Co. Husband: Ken Clary, ME 52, MS IM 60.

Larry Sheets, EE 78, of Warner Robins, Ga., on March 15. Air Force. Senior electronic warfare engineer, Robins Air Force Base. Owner: Sheets Communications, Roberta Realty. Association of Old Crows Gold Medal.


Christine Ferranti Dreger, of Marietta, Ga., on May 25. Administrative assistant, Georgia Tech Foundation. Assistant director, Georgia Tech Office of the Arts.

Lee Staton, GM 73, of Sonoma, Calif., on Jan. 18. President, Nautilus Construction Group.

Susan Michaels, MS Mgt 90, of Atlanta, on March 12. Technical writer.

Robert “Bob” Tarwater, MS EE 77, of Huntsville, Ala., on May 4. Engineer, Missile Defense Agency. Son: Tyler Tarwater, CS 06. Glenn Erwin Taylor III, IM 70, of The Woodlands, Texas, on Feb. 18. Founder, Aztec Rig Equipment. Weatherford. Richard Le Roy Wolf, Cls 74, of Palm Beach, Fla., on March 30. Owner, Wolf Crane Service.

1980s James M. Brewer, MS CE 87, of Austin, Texas on April 8. John Patrick Burke, IM 83, of Fairhope, Ala., on April 16. Board member, DramaTech. Vice president of supply chain, Teledyne Continental Motors. Kraft-Heinz Food. Owner, Burke International Consulting. Scott Crandall Holt, InfoSci 87, MS CS 93, of Decatur, Ga., on April 7. AT&T. Douglas Edward Johnson, AE 86, of Lawreceville, Ga., on March 20. Phi Kappa Tau Fraternity. Air Force ROTC. Air Force. Paul Alan Sanders, EE 80, of Augusta, Ga., on March 8. Savannah River Site. Brother: Earl C. Sanders, EE 76. Sons: James P. Sanders, AM 06. Wesley C. Sanders, Cls 19.

David Fayette McElhannon, AE 97, MS AE 98, of Houston, Texas, on May 15. Pilot, United Airlines.

Kenneth Wade Rooks, Text 95, of Simpsonville, S.C., on April 4. Matthew C. Rupert, IA 98, of State College, Penn. Assistant director of academic advising and disability services, Penn State World Campus.

Robert V. Eberwein, of Atlanta, on March 17. Army. Department of continuing education, Georgia Tech. German department, Emory University. Mary Carmichael “Mike” Faulkner, of Atlanta, Ga., on March 7. Piedmont Hospital. Grandson: Brian Adle, CS 05. Barbara Butler Goldsmith, of Atlanta, on March 21. Husband: Jere Goldsmith IV, IM 56. Grandson: Andrew Musser, ME 11. Flora W. Bryant “Flo” Hackworth, of Decatur, Ga., on April 16. Husband: Harry Agee Hackworth, Arch 51.

2010s Jadaymah Alandreah Waller, Cls 18, of Savannah, Ga., on April 21.

Allen Eugene Hauck Jr., of Sautee, Ga., on March 20. Sports editor, Atlanta Journal -Constitution.


Roger D. Johnson Jr., of Atlanta, on April 22. Professor of advanced mathematics, Georgia Tech. Founder, Ens & Outs.


Joseph Harper “Joey” Hopkins, Cls 20, of Marietta, Ga., on May 10.



George Louis Aulbach, of Atlanta, on April 27. Navy (Ensign). President and CEO: RS Noonan Inc, Laing Properties. Partner, McCrory-Sumwalt. Advisory board, Georgia Tech Research Institute. Billie J. Brown, of Marietta, Ga., on April 16. Lockheed Corp. Welker and Associates. Gloria Ellen “GG” Carasto, of Tampa, Fla., on May 29.

Neil George Vander Linden, of Charleston, S.C., on April 3. Peace Corps. Technical manager, Mead Westvaco. President, Georgia Tech Pulp and Paper Foundation. TAPPI fellow. Patricia Fincher Pirkle, of Gainesville, Ga., on March 16. Husband: Donald S. Pirkle, IE 58. Betty Connor Senn, of Atlanta, on June 4. Head of human resources, Georgia Tech Research Institute. Loraine Plant Williams, of Atlanta, on April 26. Creator, Loraine Williams Poetry Prize.

Volume 92 No. 3 2016 | GTALUMNIMAG.COM | 97


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A Maker's Tools

LONG BEFORE there were computers and CAD drawing programs and 3-D printers, the designers and engineers of yore used comparably simple (but precise, if you knew how to use them) instruments to make the calculations and sketches needed to bring their ideas to life. The mechanical tools shown here—compass, protractor, an architect’s scale, a lead holder, various spring bows, two slide rules (one for hydraulic calculations, developed by Danny Hagler, Cls 59) and more—date back as early as 1908. In fact, you can see John H. Woodall, ME 08, scrawled his name onto the A.W. Faber’s Calculating Rule that he once used at Tech and donated to the Alumni Association. All items were gifted by alumni and friends of Tech and are on display at the Alumni House. – ROGER SLAVENS

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Time Machine 5 YEARS AGO, IN 2011, The Mary R. and John F. Brock III Indoor Football Practice Facility opens on Rose Bowl Field. •

10 YEARS AGO, IN 2006, Tech’s ISyE program is renamed the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial & Systems Engineering in recognition of the $20 million commitment made by Stewart, retired chairman and CEO of Standard Group Inc. •

25 YEARS AGO, IN 1991, Construction of the Bill Moore Student Success Center begins. •

50 YEARS AGO, IN 1966, Bobby Dodd retires after serving as Tech’s head football coach for 21 seasons with a record of 165-648 overall and 9-4 in bowl games. •

100 YEARS AGO, IN 1916, Georgia Tech’s football team rises to national prominence after beating Cumberland College 2220, the most lopsided game in college football history. 125 YEARS AGO, IN 1891, Georgia Tech matriculates its first full graduating class.

Scott Dinerman

Volume 92 No. 3 2016 | GTALUMNIMAG.COM | 105


One Helluva Couple


NAN AND BRITT PENDERGRAST have been living on this great green earth for 96 and 99 years, respectively—and they’ve been married for 76 of them. But the moment you meet them, you needn’t know these details to recognize that they are indeed special. They live atop a heavily wooded hill that boasts a lovely buttercup meadow, one they cultivated themselves and where they welcome all sorts of flora and fauna. Family roots for both Nan and Britt go back to the early days of Atlanta and Georgia Tech. There were four Pendergrast brothers and three attended the Institute: Ambrose, ChE 34; Britt, TextE 38; and Robert, ChE 43. Britt also earned a master’s degree in chemistry from Emory in 1939.

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Nan’s maiden name is Schwab and both her father and her uncle attended Tech. She grew up hearing stories about the football team and the nowlegendary Coach John Heisman. She studied botany at Vassar before marrying Britt in 1940. Longtime members of the Atlanta Friends Community, both Nan and Britt are passionate about the environment, civil rights and public education. Avid volunteers and supporters of many nonprofit organizations, they are well known and honored for their philanthropy. Nan says she recognized the inequities between races at the tender age of 5 years old when she realized that the folks who prepared her food

could not sit down and eat it with her. By the age of 25, she earned a spot on the board of the NAACP, and became a friend of the Martin Luther King Jr. family and a confidant of Coretta King, who called on her to manage the press during MLK Jr.’s funeral. Britt worked in the corporate world for 33 years, retiring in 1973. He offered his services to then Gov. Jimmy Carter, who named him the manager of the Heritage Trust. Britt spent the next 15 years purchasing properties across the state of Georgia for its state parks and Heritage preserves. Ossabaw Island, located off the southern Atlantic coast, is one of those sites. After Britt’s second retirement, the couple both volunteered as tutors in local schools, and together published a book titled Neighborhood Naturalist, with Nan as author and Britt as photographer. Described as “a keen-eyed, thoughtful, personal exploration of the cycles of wildflowers and birds in Georgia,” it's still in print and all profits go to environmental organizations. Several years ago the couple adopted a golden retriever from a rescue group, whom they call Bonnie. Bonnie, of course, is considered an important member of the family. She is at the beck and call of her people, assisting them with their regular exercise routines, keeping predators, such as Basil, a wicked rat snake, out of the meadow and providing allaround good company to them. The Pendergrast's marriage has produced seven children, 20 grandchildren and 25 great-grandchildren—so far. They are very proud that one of their great grandsons, Sam, is attending Tech this fall. Their beautiful and successful family is a living testimony to their parenting skills. Still sprightly and involved with life, they are role models to one and all—a helluva couple and Tech’s living history at its finest. Find more stories about Tech’s Living History at

Scott Dinerman







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Volume 92 No. 3 2016 | GTALUMNIMAG.COM | 107

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Georgia Tech Alumni Magazine, Vol. 92, No. 3, Fall 2016  

A publication of the Georgia Tech Alumni Association.

Georgia Tech Alumni Magazine, Vol. 92, No. 3, Fall 2016  

A publication of the Georgia Tech Alumni Association.