Georgia Tech Celebrates 248th Commencement

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Georgia Tech celebrates its 248th commencement with approximately 1,800 undergraduate and graduate students participating in ceremonies Friday, December 12, and Saturday, December 13 in McCamish Pavilion.

E. Roe Stamps, a private investor and co-founder of the Boston-based private investment company Summit Partners, will address the undergraduate ceremony at 9 a.m. Zhong Lin (Z.L.) Wang, A Regents Professor at Georgia Tech and the Hightower Chair in Materials Science and Engineering, will address the Ph.D. and master’s ceremony on Friday, December 12 at 7 p.m.

Stamps a former lieutenant in the United States Navy Reserve, will also be awarded an honorary degree during the Saturday morning ceremony.  His company, Summit Partners has grown to be one of the largest and most successful investment firms in the country.

Born in Waycross and raised in Macon, Stamps earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in industrial engineering from Georgia Tech in 1967 and 1972, respectively. He went on to earn an MBA from Harvard Business School. Stamps and his wife, Penny, are members of The Hill Society, Georgia Tech’s most prestigious donor recognition society that honors principal benefactors. 

Through the Stamps Family Charitable Foundation, the Stamps have invested in Georgia Tech’s most promising undergraduate students for more than 14 years, beginning with gifts in support of the President’s Scholarship Program in 2000. The Stamps expanded their support of Georgia Tech’s leading undergraduate students through the launch of the merit-based Stamps Leadership Scholars Program in 2006. This visionary initiative became a prototype for the program that has expanded on a national basis to include scholars from more than three dozen universities from coast to coast. Of the 583 current scholars nationwide, 51 are from Georgia Tech.

Prior to the advent of the Stamps Leadership Scholars Program, the Stamps’ philanthropy at Tech had positively affected thousands of students through their support of Stamps Field, the Edward R. Stamps III Student Health Services, and Stamps Student Center Commons. 

In addition to his philanthropy, Stamps has provided extensive volunteer leadership to his alma mater. He served as vice chairman for Campaign Georgia Tech during the quiet phase, and along with his wife, Penny, serves as an honorary chair of the Campaign. He also was a member of the Campaign for Georgia Tech National Steering Committee.

An emeritus member of the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering Advisory Board and the Georgia Tech Foundation Board of Trustees, Stamps has received the Distinguished Alumni Award from both the Stewart School and the College of Engineering. He was inducted into the College of Engineering’s Hall of Fame in 2001. Stamps also received the Joseph Mayo Pettit Alumni Distinguished Service Award, the highest award conferred by the Georgia Tech Alumni Association, recognizing lifetime leadership, achievement and service to the Institute and to the community. In 2012, he received Harvard Business School’s Alumni Achievement Award, the school’s top honor.  

Professor Wang has made original and innovative contributions to the synthesis, discovery, characterization and understanding of fundamental physical properties of oxide nanobelts and nanowires, as well as applications of nanowires in energy sciences, electronics, optoelectronics and biological science.

One of the world’s leading figures in ZnO nanostructure research, Wang has pursued work in developing nanogenerators that has established the principle and technological road map for harvesting mechanical energy from the environment and biological systems for powering personal electronics. His research on self-powered nanosystems has inspired a worldwide effort in academia and industry for studying energy for micro-nano-systems, which is now a distinct discipline in energy research and future sensor networks. Wang coined and pioneered the field of piezotronics and piezo-phototronics by introducing the piezoelectric potential gated charge transport process in fabricating new electronic and optoelectronic devices. This historical breakthrough has important applications in smart MEMS/NEMS, nanorobotics, human-electronics interface and sensors.

Wang also invented and pioneered the in-situ technique for measuring the mechanical and electrical properties of a single nanotube/nanowire inside a transmission electron microscope (TEM).

A highly regarded educator, Wang has advised and graduated 38 doctoral students and two master’s students, and is currently advising 10 doctoral students. He has also hosted and supervised 105 postdoctoral fellows and visiting scientists. His students have received more than 30 awards from Georgia Tech and various professional societies for best paper/poster presentation and other academic achievements.

Wang is recognized as a pioneer and world leader in nanoscience and nanotechnology. He has authored and co-authored six scientific reference and textbooks and more than 950 peer-reviewed journal articles, edited and co-edited 14 volumes of books on nanotechnology and held more than 100 U.S. and foreign patents. He is one of the world’s top five most cited authors in nanotechnology.

The recipient of numerous honors and awards, Wang was named the 2014 Georgia Tech Distinguished Professor. He also received the 2014 NANOSMAT Prize (United Kingdom), the China International Science and Technology Collaboration Award and the 2014 James C. McGroddy Prize in New Materials from the American Physical Society. Other honors include the ACS Nano Lectureship (2013); the Edward Orton Memorial Lecture Award, American Ceramic Society (2012); the Materials Research Society Medal (2011); the Purdy Award, American Ceramic Society (2009); the John M. Cowley Distinguished Lecture, Arizona State University (2012); NanoTech Briefs, Top 50 Award (2005); Georgia Tech Faculty Outstanding Research Author (2004, 2000); the S.T. Li Prize for Distinguished Achievement in Science and Technology (2001); the Burton Medal, Microscopy Society of America (1999); Outstanding Overseas Young Scientist Award; and the NSF China (1998) and NSF CAREER (1998) awards.

Wang holds a doctorate in physics from Arizona State University.



  • Workflow Status:Published
  • Created By:Matthew Nagel
  • Created:12/12/2014
  • Modified By:Fletcher Moore
  • Modified:10/07/2016