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Aramco Names ECE Student Best-in-Class Young Researcher

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Abdallah Al-Shehri, a Ph.D. student in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, has been chosen as the Best-in-Class Young Researcher by Saudi Aramco Oil Company.

He was chosen for his outstanding research work from 170 Ph.D. students worldwide who are sponsored by Aramco.

Through much of his educational career, Al-Shehri’s research has focused on developing new understanding and technologies in the fields of nonrenewable resources, especially the technologies involved in oil reservoirs.

He currently works with Georgia Tech’s Broadband Wireless Networking Lab under the advisement of Professor Ian Akyildiz.

Al-Shehri’s research topic is “OilMoles: Design of Wireless Underground Self-Contained Sensor Networks for Oil Reservoir Monitoring,” and he intends to design magnetic induction-based networks to enable hydraulic fracture mapping, in-situ monitoring, and data collection from underground oil reservoirs in real time.

Al-Shehri will be honored at the Aramco EXPEC Advanced Research Center Advisory Committee Meeting this July in Houston, Texas.

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Abdallah Al-Shehri was chosen from 170 Aramco students from around the world

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AE Alumnus Nominated for Army Vice Chief of Staff

Monday, May 15, 2017
Portrait of James C McConville

There is a myriad of ways to apply a degree from Georgia Tech; Lieutenant General James McConville put his Master’s of Science in Aerospace Engineering to good use in the United States Army.

In his most recent accomplishment, LtGen McConville was recently nominated to the post of Army Vice Chief of Staff. This nomination was received by the Senate and referred to the Armed Services Committee. If it is confirmed, he will rise to the rank of four-star general.

The Vice Chief of Staff position comes with responsibility for the day-to-day operations of the army and a designation as the senior Army aviator. McConville is the current Deputy Chief of Staff for personnel at the U.S. Army, where he has made numerous changes to Army personnel management, and previously served as commanding general of the 101st Airborne Division and Fort Campbell in Kentucky.

LtGen McConville began his career in the military as an infantry officer after graduating from the United States Military Academy (West Point). He attended Georgia Tech for graduate school and was a 2002 National Security Fellow at Harvard University.

During his time at Georgia Tech, LtGen McConville was part of a team of students that won the 1989 American Helicopter Society/McDonnell Douglas Helicopter Student Design Competition by designing a low-cost light utility helicopter, according to Flying Magazine.

LtGen McConville has already served in many staff assignments and is the recipient of various awards such as the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit, and the Defense Meritorious Service Medal. He is a veteran of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Gen McConville is also the brother-in-law of Professor Dimitri Mavris.

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Five Associate Professors Named Woodruff Faculty Fellows

Monday, May 15, 2017

Five associate professors in the Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering have been selected as Woodruff Faculty Fellows in recognition of their exceptional research initiatives.  

Nazanin Bassiri-Gharb, Alper Erturk, Satish Kumar, Michael Leamy, and Yan Wang will hold the position of Woodruff Faculty Fellows from July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2022. The award is accompanied by discretionary funds that amount to $12,000 a year, meant for the recipients to continue to grow their research programs.

Bassiri-Gharb’s research is focused on the applications of ferroelectric and multiferroic materials to nano-and micro-electromechanical systems like sensors and actuators.

Erturk’s theoretical and experimental research is centered on the intersection of smart structures and dynamical systems with applications to novel multiphysics problems.

Kumar and his student researchers have been developing an analytical and numerical framework which helps to understand, control, and design nanowire and nanotube composites suitable for thin film transistors for various macro-electronic applications.

Leamy’s multidisciplinary research puts an emphasis on developing analytical and computational models capable of capturing linear and nonlinear response in systems ranging in scale from the macro- to the nano-scale.

Wang is interested in geometric modeling and visualization, multiscale approaches to simulate behaviors of nanomaterials, design information infrastructure and product lifecycle management, and uncertainty quantifications.

The process of choosing the Fellows was based on initial data provided by each faculty member, which reflected their publications, sponsored expenditures, and graduate student advising.

The selections for the Woodruff Faculty Fellow Awards are made each spring, and the number of Fellows named varies each year.

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The individuals will hold their fellowship until the summer of 2022

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A Life in Sports: Q & A with ISyE Alumnus Drew Klaer

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

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Making the Leap from Professor to Dean

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

As seen in the Spring 2017 issue of the Georgia Tech Engineers Magazine.

 

Supportive colleagues. Interdisciplinary research. Valuable mentorship opportunities.

These are just a few of the reasons listed by former College of Engineering professors about what makes CoE a great place to work. Over the past few years, those former faculty members have all accepted dean roles at other universities, demonstrating that the College also offers an excellent foundation for leadership. 

“I truly appreciate the commitment that Georgia Tech has to undergraduate learning and to innovation in engineering education,” says Steve DeWeerth, now dean of the P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science at Lehigh University. While at Georgia Tech, he held posts including associate chair for graduate studies in the Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering and associate dean for research and innovation.

Tech’s focus on interdisciplinary research and innovation shaped DeWeerth’s vision for Lehigh. One of his first orders of business there was to initiate an “envisioning process” for his college. This faculty-led advancement of Lehigh engineering focuses on enhancing research impact and interdisciplinary endeavors.

DeWeerth says what when the Lehigh job opened, he knew it was the right time to move. But there are still things he misses about Georgia Tech.

“People are really committed to the university,” he says. “Georgia Tech is such a wonderful place that way.”

The Institute is committed to them in turn. Faculty members have plenty of chances to tackle new challenges, which Ravi Bellamkonda (now dean of engineering at Duke University) named as key to his career growth.

“Georgia Tech is a dynamic, can-do place and is very permissive to those who want to engage and lead,” says Bellamkonda, who left Tech when he was chair of the Coulter Department. “As a result, I had many experiences at Georgia Tech that allowed me to discover and develop my ability to have impact beyond my department. GT/Emory BME and IBB faculty, staff and students are very special.”

Perhaps it might seem natural, then, that mentorship is also important at Georgia Tech. Bellamkonda can name plenty of fellow faculty members and administrators who influenced his career, including Bob Nerem of the Petit Institute for Bioengineering and Bioscience, Georgia Tech Executive Vice President for Research Steve Cross, and Bill Todd of the Scheller College of Business.

“It is also special and unusual to have Provost Rafael Bras and President Bud Peterson be so accessible and willing to give their time freely,” Bellamkonda says.

As Gary May, the outgoing dean of the College of Engineering, prepares for a new role himself as chancellor of the University of California, Davis, several former CoE faculty members also cite the value of his leadership in inspiring their own paths to dean roles.

Barbara Boyan, dean of engineering at VCU“I have been lucky to have been able to assemble an outstanding leadership team,” says Barbara Boyan, who became dean of engineering at Virginia Commonwealth University in 2013. “Watching [former CoE Dean] Don Giddens and Gary May as role models, I learned to trust my team.”

Boyan (left) spent over a decade at CoE, and she ended her tenure there as associate dean for research and innovation. While at Georgia Tech, she helped spearhead the Institute’s relationship with Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, and she directed the Translational Research Institute for Bioengineering and Science (which led to the creation of the master’s program in biomedical innovation and development).

“The leadership team empowers faculty and staff at all levels to be the best that they can be,” she says.

That fact might make it difficult to leave Georgia Tech at all, but new opportunities always beckon. Bobby Braun, who was a professor in the School of Aerospace Engineering until 2016 (and spent a year as NASA’s chief technologist), saw a dean role at the University of Colorado Boulder as a chance to “integrate the leadership and management skills I developed at NASA with the academic and scholarship experiences I had matured at Tech.”

Like other faculty members, Braun highlights the influence his colleagues had on his career. He names Ben Zinn, David S. Lewis Jr. Chair in Aerospace Engineering, and AE Chair Vigor Yang as two of his foremost mentors.

“I certainly learned the significance of interdisciplinary research at Georgia Tech,” Braun says. “Just as significant, I learned the importance of true scholarship, collegiality, personal respect, and the need for open and consistent communication.”

Sometimes, taking a position as dean can give a faculty member the chance to build on an emerging legacy. Gilda Barabino served as Georgia Tech’s first vice provost for academic diversity (in addition to the Coulter Department’s associate chair for graduate studies). Now that she is a dean, Barabino says, she continues her work opening doors to more diverse students.

“My position as dean of The Grove School of Engineering at The City College of New York affords me the opportunity to lead one of the most diverse engineering schools in the nation,” she says. “CCNY’s historic mission of access to excellence appealed to me and my desire to ensure that the talent pool for engineering is fully tapped and that a diverse cadre of engineers are trained to creatively solve societal problems.”

Her interdisciplinary collaborations at Tech, as well as the administrative posts she held, help guide her as dean.

“Opportunities for leadership and professional development are critical to the advancement of faculty and to the advancement of the institution,” she notes.

Joseph Hughes, who spent nine years at CoE, can speak with a unique authority about how the lessons of Georgia Tech translate to dean roles. He recently stepped down as Drexel University’s dean of engineering.

“My job as dean at Drexel was a dream come true,” he says. “Challenging. Rewarding. Frustrating. Exciting. New, every day.”

While at Georgia Tech, he served as Karen and John Huff Chair of the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, (and briefly the Tellepsen Family Chair of Engineering). He appreciated the respect and freedom granted to Tech faculty members – as well as the sense of accountability.

Those qualities extended beyond faculty members, he notes. At Drexel, he thought back on two particular Georgia Tech mentors who embraced some of the Institute’s best qualities.

“Whenever I questioned my compass as dean, I said to myself, ‘What would Don Giddens do?’ He was a remarkable dean and is a great human being,” Hughes says. “Second, I would recall something that Wayne Clough instilled in me:  I had just given a great talk to the Georgia Tech board (or so I thought), and Wayne pulled me aside and said to me, ‘You never said the word student. Never do that again.’ He was not happy with me. I have never forgotten the lesson.” 

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Barbara Boyan, dean of engineering at VCU

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Former CoE faculty members who took dean roles elsewhere reflect on Georgia Tech.

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Gary May Surprised with Administrator of the Year Award

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

During this year’s Student Government Association leadership banquet, Dean Gary May was surprised with the James E. Dull Administrator of the Year Award.

May was selected for this award by the Undergraduate House of Representatives, which represents the official student opinion as every member of the body speaks for a class or degree program at Georgia Tech.

“The Administrator of the Year award goes to an outstanding member of the Georgia Tech Administration.  The body voted and believed that Dean May was the most deserving person of this award for this school year due to his work and his love for students,” says Richard Wang, Speaker of the Undergraduate House of Representatives.

The banquet, which caters to around 100 students and faculty involved with the Undergraduate Student Government Association, was held on April 25. The annual event is themed “Celebrate, Reflect, and Inspire”; that is, to laud accomplishments from the previous year, contemplate the impacts made on campus, and motivate the newest members of SGA.

The namesake of the award, James E. Dull, was Georgia Tech’s former Dean of Students and served the school for decades. He was known for his successful peaceful integration of the Institute, and the award is a testament to May’s hard work to increase diversity on campus.

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SGA presented the James E. Dull Administrator of the Year Award for the departing dean’s hard work and legacy

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