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2017 - 2018

Year in Review

Dear Friends of the College,

It’s been just over a year since I was named Dean of the College of Engineering here at Georgia Tech, and I remain proud and honored to serve as the leader of our College — and am having tons of fun in the role! We’ve welcomed four new School Chairs in the past year, and I’m looking forward to working with these fantastic individuals. I’m also very proud of a record-breaking scholarship endowment we received this year — $15 million from the Clark Foundation to establish the Georgia Tech Clark Scholars Program, a financial need-based scholarship to support incoming engineers with an emphasis on service, leadership and entrepreneurship.

While it’s been a phenomenal year, I am also thinking about what’s to come in the years ahead. My vision for the College revolves around four pillars, which are highlighted throughout this annual report. First, The Fearless Engineer speaks to our students. In this age of acceleration, our students must be fearless not only in the face of complex challenges but also in the face of failure and embrace a global perspective and an entrepreneurial spirit. They are the future, and we must remain focused on how we educate and prepare them for our complex world.

Second, Research Preeminence is about being the very best at our research mission — and thinking even bigger. We are leading the fields of cell manufacturing, cyber security, autonomy and machine learning, to name a few. We excel at pushing the boundaries of innovation in engineering through interdisciplinary collaboration. And our best-in-class faculty with their many awards and grants is proof of our preeminence.

Third, Everyone is Welcome at Georgia Tech. Our people make us who we are, and we welcome folks from all different cultures, creeds and genders with a policy of absolute inclusion. Ours is the most diverse college of engineering in the U.S., known for graduating the most women and underrepresented minority engineers. We can’t be as good as we want to be without being the most inclusive we can possibly be.  

And fourth, we strive to be Even Better Partners. Georgia Tech is the centerpiece of the economic development ecosystem here in Atlanta, giving students access to innovative companies right on campus. Our partnerships with Emory University for biomedical engineering and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta offer the opportunity to make an impact on health and medicine. And I know more partnerships are in our future.

I look forward to seeing our College evolve, guided by these pillars to create a lasting impact on our community and world.

At the College of Engineering, our mission is to think big and act bold. Join me on this journey.

Steve McLaughlin
Dean and Southern Company Chair
Georgia Tech College of Engineering

The fearless engineer.

The Fearless Engineer is the 21st century engineering student who’s not afraid to tackle complex challenges — technical and otherwise. They are fearless in the face of possible failure and willing to take risks in a world that’s quickly changing. This means embracing new experiences and cultural differences. In fact, 54 percent of Tech students study abroad, becoming more prepared to address global challenges.

The Fearless Engineer is also innovative and unafraid to push their best ideas to have even greater impact, including towards the creation of a new or sustainable enterprise. CREATE-X, a Georgia Tech initiative to instill entrepreneurial confidence in students and empower them to launch real startups, had a record number of 115 student participants this year in Startup Launch, who started 40 new companies. CREATE-X also opened a brand-new makerspace at the Woodruff building, offering students a dedicated space to develop their startups. The Invention Studio underwent a renovation and build out, providing more space for students to create prototypes. And now, electrical and computer engineering students have a makerspace of their own called The Hive in the newly-renovated Van Leer auditorium.

2017-2018 student innovation

The InVenture Prize winner

  • Ultraview – An aiming device for competitive archery
  • Kolby Hanley, MSE

Capstone Design Best Overall winner

  • Kit Cath – A novel base catheter that can change tip shape properties to adapt to physical changes in vasculature in real-time
  • BME students Kathleen Jordan, Lemou Tieyam, Diana Yunda and Alexa Schlein

CREATE-X 2017 Startup Highlights

Research preeminence.

High-impact research that improves the lives of others drives the College of Engineering. Accomplished faculty from across eight Schools in the College of Engineering are the best at what they do, moving the needle in areas like bioengineering, cybersecurity, space exploration, advanced materials and additive manufacturing.

Medical innovation continues to thrive at the College, with a new National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded $20 million engineering research center to study cell manufacturing, set to open soon. Cancer research is also a focus, with faculty from multiple schools developing tools like a microchip that catches cancer cells, antibody protein therapies and cancer vaccines. Additionally, Michael Davis’ lab (BME) is 3D printing heart valves to help children born with congenital heart defects.

The College boasts top talent in cybersecurity research as well. Brendan Saltaformaggio (ECE) has developed cyber forensic tools to help fight cybercrime. Rachel Cummings in ISyE is developing algorithms to provide better privacy to individuals during their online experience.  And Manos Antonakakis’ (ECE) work in identifying cyber attacks has gained national attention, helping security administrators attribute the source of cyberattacks.  

The aerospace engineering program is number one in the world, producing more than 10 percent of U.S aerospace engineers. Brian Gunter (AE) is currently working with Space-X to release his small satellites into orbit so they can collect important data to help advance space technology. Combustion, aircraft design, satellite research and countless space flight missions are all areas in which the aerospace program excels.

Notable grants

  • $27 million grant from the U.S. Army Research Laboratory to develop autonomous teams of robots
  • $20 million NSF grant for a new engineering research center to study cell-based manufacturing, building on the $16 million Marcus Grant
  • $12.8 million grant from DARPA to develop techniques designed to dramatically accelerate the detection and remediation of infections in local and remote networks
  • $2.6 million National Institutes for Health (NIH) grant for Parkinson’s research
  • $1.6 million Department of Energy grant for testing material used in producing nuclear energy

Faculty research spotlights

  • Timothy Lieuwen (AE), Jianjun Shi (ISyE) and former Dean Gary May were inducted into the National Academy of Engineering
  • Eva Dyer (BME) was named a Next Generation Leader for the Allen Institute for Brain Science 
  • Fatih Sarioglu (ECE), Woo Lee (ME), Sam Coogan (ECE) and Andy Sun (ISyE) were awarded National Science Foundation CAREER awards
  • Maryam Saeedifard (ECE), Joseph Hughes (ECE), Muhannad Bakir (ECE), Robert Butera (ECE), Jaydev Desai (BME), Saibal Mukhopadhyay (ECE) and Justin Romberg (ECE) all received distinctions from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
  • Rampi Ramprasad (MSE) and Shuichi Takayama (BME) were both named Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholars in energy sustainability and regenerative medicine, respectively

Everyone is welcome.

The College of Engineering cannot achieve its goals without being the most Inclusive and diverse College possible. It’s already the largest and most diverse college of its kind in the U.S., graduating more women and underrepresented minorities than anywhere else. The College community is welcome to everyone.

As part of the College’s efforts to attract the best and brightest students and faculty from all over the world and provide them with an environment to thrive, a Diversity and Inclusion Council was formed this year. Led by Pinar Keskinocak (ISyE), the council supports diversity and inclusion initiatives, such as transfer student support, hiring and promotion of diverse faculty, and examining the socioeconomic barriers that many students face.

The College hosted a workshop earlier this year, sponsored by the NSF, in an effort to understand how and why the engineering field attracts LGBTQ+ individuals. Faculty from universities across the nation gathered to discuss how to make engineering a more inclusive field of study.

For staff, inclusivity and safe space training has been provided to make everyone more aware and sensitive to the needs of LGBTQ+ students. As the College develops a culture of inclusivity, a workshop took place to engage staff and faculty in discussions about unconscious bias and share strategies for identifying and managing it.

The Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech and Emory was awarded a $2 million grant from the NSF to prepare students to shape and lead teams of people who have different backgrounds and perspectives. The School of Materials Science and Engineering published a paper looking into how women collaborate — the results stressed the need for increased international collaboration among women engineers.

Even better partners.

Partnerships are key to the growth of the College, both local and national. Partnering with peer institutions, corporations and government entities is critical to the success of the College. Georgia Tech and Emory have a very close relationship, pushing the boundaries of biomedical engineering in healthcare. The College also partners with many national laboratories, where students go on to work after graduation. And collaboration between Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and the College enables cutting-edge stem cell research to be applied to congenital heart defects.

In partnership with the Clark Foundation, the College started the Clark Scholars Program at Tech. A $15 million endowment will allow 10 students per year to be admitted based on their financial need, academic accomplishments, engagement in engineering and leadership skills. This partnership allows students access to a Georgia Tech education, who wouldn’t have otherwise been able to attend.  

Notable grant partnerships

  • Katherine Davis (Texas A&M University) and Marcus Holzinger (AE, Georgia Tech) have received a Grainger Grant to develop an online resilience support system for cyber-physical situational awareness
  • Georgia Tech mechanical engineering researchers, along with MIT peers, received the Department of Defense MURI award totaling $15 million to enhance thermal transport at material interfaces
  • The Southeast Center for Mathematics and Biology was funded this year by the NSF and Simons Foundation for $10 million to bring together researchers in the Southeast to promote bio-math synergy   
  • The Georgia Clinical & Translational Science Alliance, which partners with Georgia Tech, received a $51 million NIH grant to transform the quality and value of clinical research and translate research results into better outcomes for patients

Engineering cybersecurity.

Cybersecurity is an important area where the College needs to be fearless. Just launched this year, the Online Master of Science in Cybersecurity, in partnership with the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, is now available to students everywhere at an affordable price. The new degree program will address the nation’s severe shortage in cyber security experts. Also new this year, ROTC students can choose to take part in the Cyber Spectrum Collaborative Research Environment (C-SCoRE) program. Through C-SCoRE, students gain the operational skills and perspective on how to defend against cyberattacks. With the threat of cybersecurity and cybercrime so prevalent today, these educational programs are more critical than ever.

Engineering Stats & Rankings

No. 4 undergraduate program ranking

U.S. News and World Report

No. 8 graduate program ranking

U.S. News and World Report

493 engineering faculty members

leading the way at Georgia Tech

28 National Academy of Engineering members

promoting engineering across campus

100% of College of Engineering undergraduate degree programs in top 5

U.S. News and World Report

2 million square feet

of space used by the College of Engineering

13,299 students enrolled

30% women

54% engineering undergrads

who had an international experience before graduation

43 startups

licensed to College of Engineering researchers

200+ invention disclosures

across the College

61% of undergraduate students receive an engineering degree from Georgia Tech

30+ issued patents

creating the next at Georgia Tech

$207 million in new research 

from 1,249 research awards

Leadership in the College

Steven W. McLaughlin

Dean, College of Engineering

Southern Company Chair

Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering

Douglas B. Williams

Associate Dean for Administration and Finance

Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering

Kimberly Kurtis

Associate Dean for Faculty Development and Scholarship

Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering

Laurence J. Jacobs

Associate Dean for Academic Affairs

Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering

Robert J. Butera

Associate Dean for Research & Innovation

Professor, Biomedical Engineering and Electrical and Computer Engineering