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11 Things You Didn’t Know About Georgia Tech’s College of Engineering

Oct 17, 2016

1) Herbert Saffir (B.S. CE ’40) helped develop the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale that measures the intensity of hurricanes. 

2) The first two engineers received their degrees in 1890. A coin toss decided which man had the honor of receiving the first degree.

3) Grunt, a fictional character from the G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero toy line, comic books and cartoon series, got his engineering degree at Georgia Tech. 

4) Tech has produced 14 astronauts. John Young (B.S.  AE ’52) had the longest career of any astronaut, becoming the first person to make six space flights over the course of 42 years of active NASA service. Sandra Magnus, (Ph.D. MS ’96), not only flew on the Space Shuttle Atlantis but also served as the commander of NASA's NEEMO 11 mission, an undersea expedition at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Aquarius laboratory.

5) An engine from a Concorde supersonic jet is displayed in the Guggenheim School of Aerospace Engineering. 

6) The oldest living College of Engineering alumnus is 104 and received his mechanical engineering degree in 1934. The youngest alumnus of the College of Engineering was only 17 when they graduated with a bachelor’s degree in materials science and engineering in 2016. They are now pursuing a Ph.D. at the ripe old age of 18.

7) The first Cooperative Education Department at Tech was established with 12 engineering students working alternate weeks for the Central of Georgia Railway. 

8) Bobby Jones, regarded as the greatest golfer in history, was a mechanical engineering graduate in 1922.

9) George C. Griffin (B.S. CE ’22) created the Tech placement center to help unemployed alumni weather the Depression.

10) The first on-campus housing facilities for engineering students, in 1896, were called “The Shacks.” The buildings did not have running water, electricity or kitchens.

11) ISyE alumnus Guy Primus was chief operating officer of actor Will Smith’s entertainment company, Overbrook Entertainment.