Spotlight on Endowed Chairs, Professorships

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One of the most significant goals in Georgia Tech’s long-term strategic plan is to sustain and enhance excellence in scholarship and research, which means that Tech has to have the resources to attract and retain the very best faculty, at all levels, from around the nation and the world — not only for a fleeting moment, but also for the foreseeable future. In many ways, the faculty are the Institute.

That’s why increasing the number of endowed chairs and professorships across the Institute is a priority for Campaign Georgia Tech. When the campaign wraps up at the end of December 2015, the goal is to have endowed 100 new faculty positions. With just under 26 months remaining, that number stands at 78.

Here’s a look at just a handful of the men and women who have been named to endowed positions funded during the campaign:

  • Henrik Christensen, Distinguished Professor of Computing, was appointed to the KUKA Chair in Robotics in 2006. The chair was endowed by a $1.5 million grant from KUKA Robotics, a global leader in robot manufacturing. Christensen, who came to Tech from the Swedish Royal Institute of Technology, later became the director of the Institute’s Center for Robotics and Intelligent Machines.
  • Pinar Keskinocak, the Joseph C. Mello Professor in the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE), serves as co-director of the Health and Humanitarian Logistics Center along with Özlem Ergun, recently named Coca-Cola Associate Professor, and Julie Swann, the Harold R. and Mary Anne Nash Associate Professor — both also in ISyE. Keskinocak’s research focuses on supply chain management, with an emphasis on resource allocation, and she is actively engaged in health care and humanitarian logistics. She earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in industrial engineering from Bilkent University in Ankara, Turkey, and a Ph.D. in operations research from Carnegie Mellon University. Joseph C. Mello, HS 1980, established the professorship within the Stewart School to support faculty in the field of health care delivery operations. Mello is the CEO of Davita Inc., the largest independent provider of kidney dialysis services in the United States.
  • John Krige, the Melvin Kranzberg Professor in the History of Technology in the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts, has published widely on science, technology, and the post-World War II reconstruction of Europe. Krige was originally trained in his native South Africa as a physical chemist and went on to earn a second Ph.D. at the University of Sussex, specializing in the history and philosophy of science. He became the Kranzberg Professor in 2000. In 1958, Melvin Kranzberg was a groundbreaking scholar who cofounded the Society for the History of Technology. He earned a Ph.D. in history from Harvard University, was awarded a Bronze Star for his service during World War II, and joined Tech in 1972 as the Callaway Professor of the History of Technology. The Institute created the chair in his honor after he retired in 1988, and it became fully endowed during Campaign Georgia Tech.
  • Younan Xia was appointed the first Brock Family Chair and GRA Eminent Scholar in Nanomedicine in the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering in 2011. Mary R. and John F. Brock III, ChE 1970, MS ChE 1971, established the chair with additional support from the Georgia Cancer Coalition and the Georgia Research Alliance. Xia came to Georgia Tech from Washington University in St. Louis where he was the James M. McKelvey Professor of Biomedical Engineering. His research focus areas include nanomedicine, analytical chemistry, drug delivery, imaging, and tissue engineering. A fellow of the Materials Research Society, Xia received the Director’s Pioneer Award from the National Institutes of Health.

For more information about Campaign Georgia Tech, click here.



  • Workflow Status:Published
  • Created By:Amelia Pavlik
  • Created:11/11/2013
  • Modified By:Fletcher Moore
  • Modified:10/07/2016