Year in Review














More than a few words come to mind when considering the Georgia Tech College of Engineering (CoE). Leader. Legacy. Possibilities. Innovation. Excellence. Prestigious. Diversity. Creative. Inventors. Global. Entrepreneurship. Impact. But one of the most important, by far, is People. Without our students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends, we couldn’t have achieved what we’ve achieved. It’s each and every member of our community that makes CoE the extraordinary place that it is today.

Georgia Tech engineers are inventors, solving today’s problems and preparing for the future. Our students are innovators, competing in design challenges from Capstone to the InVenture Prize to CREATE-X, and winning awards and recognition along the way. We are turning out tomorrow’s leaders who are well-prepared to solve any problem. They are poised and ready to change the world.

It is these 13,000 students who make up the largest engineering program in the nation, with more than 450 faculty members providing academic instruction and guidance. Last year, the undergraduate College of Engineering program climbed to fourth, according the U.S. News and World Report. And with the graduate program close behind at seventh, the rankings speak for themselves. The Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering retained its number one national ranking for undergraduate and graduate programs, and the Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering earned, and has retained, its top spot for undergraduate programs. World-renowned research from best-in-class faculty drive these programs forward every day – faculty who win awards, secure grants and are named top researchers in their fields.

Within this report, you will find just a few highlights from the past year and the people that make it all possible. 

Strength in our students.

Leading the way

Across CoE, students are honored with awards for their exemplary work in academics and research. The coveted Tau Beta Pi Cup was taken home by Hannah Greenwald (CEE). Emily Reinhard (ME) was awarded the Helen E. Grenga Outstanding Woman Engineer Award. BME students Julie Leonard-Duke, Monali Shah, Fang Shi, and Jason Weis were named University Innovation Fellows to bring entrepreneurship to campus.

In a time when taking care of our planet is more important than ever, many students have earned recognition for their focus on preserving natural resources. Abdallah Al-Shehri (ECE) was chosen as the Best-in-Class Young Researcher by Saudi Aramco Oil Company for his work in nonrenewable resources. Aaron Bivins (CEE) won an EPA fellowship to study water quality in rural Alabama. And Courtney Di Vittorio (CEE) won a 2017 NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship for her work in water resources management.

Supporting our community

Our students shine in everything they do, with accolades, awards and recognition from organizations across the globe. But what truly sets them apart is when they give back to the community. Ryan Pickren (ECE) participated in a cybersecurity program for United Airlines earning 15 million air miles for his work. He then made the largest in-kind donation ever given by an undergraduate student, presenting the miles to charity organizations across Georgia Tech. Tony Chirumble, Rohan Iyer, Gunner Robinson (ME, IE and ME, respectively) traveled 11,000 miles on a charity rally to Mongolia for the organization Go Help to improve health outreach and educational opportunities in Central Asia and Central America. And Nigerian-born Olatide Omojaro (ECE) received the U.S. President’s Volunteer Service Award.

Excellence in academics.

Academic excellence is synonymous with Georgia Tech. CoE is on the leading edge of educational programs, research and study abroad opportunities, creating well-rounded students who are ready to change the world and make a difference. 

CoE is committed to providing Massive Online Open Courses (MOOCs) to reach people around the world, enabling them to learn from professors at Tech without the traditional classroom setting. In response to industry needs, CoE launched its online Masters of Science in Analytics, making a top-ranked program available to even more people. Another MOOC, Applications to Engineering Mechanics, was ranked the most popular course in the engineering category based on user reviews by Class Central. In fact, Georgia Tech’s classes currently occupy the top four spots within the engineering category, as well as spots six, nine and 10.

Interdisciplinary studies and global learning opportunities set CoE apart from other engineering schools. A new interdisciplinary program in ocean science and engineering had students participating in research at the intersection of the physical, biological, chemical and human dimensions of ocean systems. Along with nearly 150 study abroad programs offered by Georgia Tech, CoE has engaged with Tianjin University in Shenzhen, China to expand global opportunities in science, technology and engineering education.

Leading the way through research.

As a premier research university, CoE remains focused on driving research initiatives in many fields, including energy, biotechnology, sustainability and nanotechnology, to name a few. We are dedicated to advancing engineering through research to create a positive impact on our world. Undergraduate, graduate and doctorate students are led by best-in-class faculty, inventing and discovering every day.

This past year, a number of healthcare breakthroughs came from our faculty. Kostas Konstantinidis (CEE) developed a new testing methodology to speed the diagnosis of foodborne bacterial outbreaks. Robert Butera (BME) improved a therapy that fights serious chronic inflammatory diseases. Mark Prausnitz (BME) oversaw a successful clinical trial of a microneedle patch for flu vaccination. Joe Brown’s (CEE) research took him to Bolivia, tackling public health issues that come with contaminated water.

Notable grants

  • $17.3 million cyber security research contract 
  • $600,000 NASA Early Stage Innovation grant
  • $11 million U.S. Energy Department contract
  • $1.5 million NIH Director’s New Innovator award
  • $300,000 Grainger Foundation Frontiers of Engineering grant

Faculty research spotlights

  • 17 Georgia Tech professors were granted CAREER awards in 2016
  • Ayanna Howard was named to the Invention Ambassadors Program
  • Manu Platt was selected to receive the 2017 Biomedical Engineering Society Diversity Award
  • Arkadi Nemirovski was named to National Academy of Engineering
  • Ryan Lively and Mark Losego earned 3M Non-Tenured Faculty Awards 

Solving problems with innovation.

CoE has a long tradition of creating innovative technologies. On campus, tinkering occurs in MakerSpaces, invention studios with machines and other resources that enable student creativity. A new MakerSpace opened this past year – the Materials Innovation & Learning Lab (The MILL) – for the School of Materials Science and Engineering to leverage a benchtop electron microscope with elemental analysis and mechanical testing equipment. 

As the next great frontier, space exploration undoubtedly drives innovation at CoE. A team of researchers in partnership with JetPack Aviation has started work on the Soldier Vertical Mobility System (SVMS) for personalized combat air travel. John-Paul Clarke (AE) has developed a gas-free space vehicle, already noticed by NASA. The Juno Science team in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering published its first observations of Jupiter, with a recording of Juno’s first pole-to-pole orbit. 

The field of robotics, including machine autonomy and human augmentation, demands cutting-edge, interdisciplinary innovation. At CoE, we understand that robots will play an integral role, not only in our economic markets, but on a societal level as well. Jaydev Desai (BME) has designed patient-specific, 3D-printed robots that allow physicians to do their jobs better. Ayanna Howard (ECE) led the project that created Darwin, a robot that offers encouragement for correct motions during physical therapy. Jonathon Rogers (ME) has even developed a robot to help farmers more effectively monitor their crops.

2017 student innovation

  • The InVenture Prize winner
    • CauteryGuard: A safer medical device used to remove unwanted tissue and stop bleeding
    • BME students Dev Mandavia, Jack Corelli, Hunter Hatcher and Devin Li
  • Capstone Design Best Overall winner
    • Kracken: A water sampling system to be deployed under the Antarctic ice
    • ME students Christian Hofstetter, Sam Youngdale, Manisha Khanal and Joshua Lutz

Engineers have always had an entrepreneurial spirit, and our students are no exception. Programs like CREATE-X, a faculty-led, student-focused initiative to instill entrepreneurial confidence, enable students to ideate, build and launch startup businesses. Students create their own jobs at companies that go on to receive funding and see success in the market.

2016 student startup highlights

  • TruePani aims to sustain drinking water quality at the point-of-use through the application of antimicrobial copper.
    • Co-founders include Shannon Evanchec (CEE), Samantha Becker (CEE) and Katie Utley (BME)
  • FireHUD is a wearable device for firefighters that monitors, records and displays real-time biometric information.
    • Co-founders include Tyler Sisk (ECE)
  • Meta Optics is a research equipment startup that provides small, accurate particle-sizing devices to research labs and relevant manufacturing industries.
    • Co-founders include Jinxin Fu, Xujun Zhang and Rachel Borrelli (all MSE)

Engineering Stats & Rankings

No. 4 undergraduate program ranking

U.S. News and World Report

No. 7 graduate program ranking

U.S. News and World Report

454 engineering faculty members

leading the way at Georgia Tech

21 National Academy of Engineering members

promoting engineering across campus

1.8 million square feet

of space used by the College of Engineering

13,527 students enrolled

30% women and 14% minority students

54% engineering undergrads

who had an international experience before graduation

4 startups

licensed to College of Engineering researchers

200+ invention disclosures

across the College

60+ issued patents

creating the next at Georgia Tech

$190 million in new research 

from 1,748 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

Pinar Keskinocak

Interim Associate Dean for Faculty Development and Scholarship

ADVANCE Professor, School of Industrial and Systems 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