<![CDATA[Honoring Professor Oliver Brand: The Oliver Brand Memorial Technical Symposium at Georgia Tech]]> 35272 The Oliver Brand Memorial Technical Symposium was held on Feb. 22 at the Georgia Institute of Technology in honor of the technical achievements of Professor Oliver Brand.

The event brought together students, faculty, and professionals in the microelectromechanical systems research community to celebrate Brand’s contributions to the field and explore cutting-edge research.

“As a fellow academic, looking at his contributions, they’re remarkable,” said Mike Filler, interim executive director of the Institute for Electronics and Nanotechnology (IEN). “But then what put it over the top was his humanity. He supported every member of the community; he believed in people and had their best interests in mind.”

The seven speakers included research colleagues, graduate students and technical staff who worked closely with Brand throughout his career. They reminisced about Brand and discussed the research and technical achievements they collaborated on with him.

Brand spent more than 20 years as a member of the Georgia Tech faculty. In addition to leading IEN, he was a professor in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, director of the Coordinating Office for the NSF-funded National Nanotechnology Coordinated Infrastructure (NNCI), and director of the Southeastern Nanotechnology Infrastructure Corridor, one of the 16 NNCI sites.

Brand united researchers in the fields of electronics and nanotechnology, fostering collaboration and expanding IEN to include more than 200 faculty members. In addition to his respected work in the field of microelectromechanical systems, he is remembered for his kindness, dedication, and unwavering support toward all who knew him.

]]> aneumeister3 1 1709151598 2024-02-28 20:19:58 1709223431 2024-02-29 16:17:11 0 0 news The Oliver Brand Memorial Technical Symposium celebrated the technical achievements and humanity of Professor Oliver Brand, bringing together a community of researchers in microelectromechanical systems to commemorate his contributions and explore cutting-edge research.

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2024-02-28T00:00:00-05:00 2024-02-28T00:00:00-05:00 2024-02-28 00:00:00 Amelia Neumeister
Research Communications Program Manager

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<![CDATA[OPEN MIND Joins Georgia Tech Manufacturing 4.0 Consortium]]> 27513 OPEN MIND Technologies, developer of leading hyperMILL® CAD/CAM software solutions, announced it has joined the Georgia Tech Manufacturing 4.0 Consortium. This consortium is a membership-based organization that facilitates key collaborations between industry, academia, and government to develop and deploy advanced manufacturing technologies as well as provide workforce development. Initial members have contributed funding, technology, and skilled resources supported by the staff at the Georgia Tech AI Manufacturing Pilot Facility located in Atlanta, Georgia.

“OPEN MIND’s commitment to the Manufacturing 4.0 Consortium and support of manufacturing education enables students to leverage top-tier CAD/CAM software for collaborative development of Hybrid AM/CNC technologies. Together, we look forward to pushing the boundaries of precision manufacturing,” said Kyle Saleeby, Manufacturing 4.0 Consortium’s research program director and research engineer at Georgia Tech.

Consortium research projects cover an extensive range of topics that seek cost effectiveness, piloting new manufacturing systems, accelerating product development cycles, and adopting Industry 4.0 technologies. In addition to technology development focused on additive manufacturing, participating Georgia Tech graduate students have continued to push forth research positions within the U.S. National laboratory system, such as Sandia, NIST, Oak Ridge, and Los Alamos National Labs, or have taken industrial roles in top engineering and manufacturing companies including Lockheed-Martin, Boeing, Caterpillar, Ford, Delta TechOps, and Georgia Pacific.

Alan Levine, managing director of OPEN MIND Technologies USA, notes that, “We are very pleased to join the Georgia Tech Consortium which provides a great opportunity to participate in leading research and connect with other members focused on advancing manufacturing. The Consortium offers a unique opportunity to expand OPEN MIND’s collaboration with Georgia Tech to the full membership and their specialized projects."

 

About OPEN MIND Technologies
OPEN MIND is one of the world’s most sought-after developers of powerful and innovative CAD/CAM solutions for machine and controller-independent NC programming. The company designs technologically optimized CAD/CAM solutions that include a large number of unique features to deliver significantly higher performance in both programming and cutting machining processes. With its CAM software hyperMILL®, OPEN MIND offers a wide range of outstanding 2.5D, 3D, 5axis milling and turning strategies, as well as special applications. OPEN MIND is recognized worldwide as a pioneer in cutting-edge 5axis CAD/CAM technologies.

To learn more visit: www.openmind-tech.com

About the Georgia Institute of Technology
The Georgia Institute of Technology, or Georgia Tech, is one of the top public research universities in the U.S., developing leaders who advance technology and improve the human condition. The Institute offers business, computing, design, engineering, liberal arts, and sciences degrees. Its more than 45,000 undergraduate and graduate students, representing 50 states and more than 148 countries, study at the main campus in Atlanta, at campuses in France and China, and through distance and online learning. As a leading technological university, Georgia Tech is an engine of economic development for Georgia, the Southeast, and the nation, conducting more than $1 billion in research annually for government, industry, and society.
 

Hosted by the Georgia Tech Manufacturing Institute, the Advanced Manufacturing Pilot Facility (AMPF) is a 20,000 square foot reconfigurable research and development high bay manufacturing facility in Midtown Atlanta supporting industrial, academic, and government stakeholders that also serves as a teaching laboratory. Recently, Georgia Tech and the AMPF facility are supporting a statewide initiative that combines artificial intelligence and manufacturing innovations with transformational workforce and outreach programs. AMPF is where industry works alongside researchers and students to take early-stage concepts from idea to reality.

]]> Walter Rich 1 1709061509 2024-02-27 19:18:29 1709061508 2024-02-27 19:18:28 0 0 news OPEN MIND Technologies, developer of leading hyperMILL® CAD/CAM software solutions, announced it has joined the Georgia Tech Manufacturing 4.0 Consortium. 

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2024-02-27T00:00:00-05:00 2024-02-27T00:00:00-05:00 2024-02-27 00:00:00 Walter Rich

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673233 673234 673233 image <![CDATA[Open Mind 1]]> OPEN MIND and the Manufacturing 4.0 Consortium leadership during a visit to GT’s Advanced Manufacturing Pilot Facility.

(Left to Right) Kyle Saleeby - Manufacturing 4.0 Consortium Research Program Director, Alan Levine – OPEN MIND Managing Director for North America, Prof. Aaron Stebner – GA-AIM and Manufacturing 4.0 Consortium Executive Director.

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673234 image <![CDATA[Open Mind 2]]> Holiday Snowman built by Alan Burl, a PhD Candidate at Georgia Tech during additive training on hyperMILL®.

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<![CDATA[Carter Center and Georgia Institute of Technology Commemorate New Joint Fellowship]]> 27513 ATLANTA (Feb. 23, 2024) — The Carter Center and Georgia Institute of Technology today commemorated the new joint Governance and Technology Fellowship.

The Center’s Democracy Program and Georgia Tech’s Institute for People and Technology are supporting one fellowship during the spring 2024 academic semester for a doctoral candidate researching the intersection of technology and democratic governance.

“I am thrilled to visit Georgia Tech again and celebrate our strong partnership,” said Carter Center CEO Paige Alexander. “There is an important relationship between technology and democracy. Together, we are committed to promoting secure and transparent technologies that reinforce democratic principles.”

The fellow, Daniel Nkemelu, who is from Nigeria, is working closely with the Carter Center’s Democracy Program director, data scientist, and members of the digital threats to democracy initiative.

The fellowship builds on the institutions’ long collaboration, including with Michael Best, executive director of the Institute for People and Technology, who played an important role in establishing this fellowship.

“From social media platforms to computer-based voting machines, technologies today are profoundly impacting democracies across the globe,” said Georgia Tech President Ángel Cabrera. “This new fellowship and our ongoing partnership with The Carter Center express a shared commitment to strong democracies supported by secure technologies.”

The fellowship began in January. It aims to advance the fellow’s research agenda and give access to experts in democratic elections and participatory democracy. The fellow will also connect the Carter Center’s Democracy Program with Georgia Tech’s Institute for People and Technology research.

###

Contact: In Atlanta, Maria Cartaya, maria.cartaya@cartercenter.org

The Carter Center
Waging Peace. Fighting Disease. Building Hope.

A not-for-profit, nongovernmental organization, The Carter Center has helped to improve life for people in over 80 countries by resolving conflicts; advancing democracy, human rights, and economic opportunity; preventing diseases; and improving mental health care. The Carter Center was founded in 1982 by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, in partnership with Emory University, to advance peace and health worldwide.

Visit our website CarterCenter.org | Follow us on X @CarterCenter | Follow us on Instagram @thecartercenter | Like us on Facebook Facebook.com/CarterCenter | Watch us on YouTube YouTube.com/CarterCenter


About the Georgia Institute of Technology
The Georgia Institute of Technology, or Georgia Tech, is one of the top public research universities in the U.S., developing leaders who advance technology and improve the human condition. The Institute offers
business, computing, design, engineering, liberal arts,andsciences degrees. Its more than 47,000 undergraduate and graduate students, representing 50 states and more than 148 countries, study at the main campus in Atlanta, at campuses in Europe and Asia, and through distance and online learning.

As a leading technological university, Georgia Tech is an engine of economic development for Georgia, the Southeast, and the nation, conducting more than $1.2 billion in research annually for government, industry, and society. 

 

 

]]> Walter Rich 1 1708702160 2024-02-23 15:29:20 1708781324 2024-02-24 13:28:44 0 0 news The Carter Center and Georgia Institute of Technology today commemorated the new joint Governance and Technology Fellowship.

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2024-02-23T00:00:00-05:00 2024-02-23T00:00:00-05:00 2024-02-23 00:00:00 Walter Rich

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673195 673198 673195 image <![CDATA[Carter Center Fellow from Georgia Tech]]> Pictured left-to-right: Georgia Tech President Ángel Cabrera, Daniel Nkemelu, and Carter Center CEO Paige Alexander.

]]> image/jpeg 1708721012 2024-02-23 20:43:32 1708721012 2024-02-23 20:43:32
673198 image <![CDATA[IPaT-Carter Center-2]]> Pictured left-to-right: Daniel Nkemelu, Paige Alexander, and Michael Best, executive director of IPAT

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<![CDATA[Georgia Tech Has a New Champion for Research Faculty]]> 36410 Maribeth Gandy Coleman Serves as Inaugural Assistant Vice Provost for Research Faculty

Maribeth Gandy Coleman Serves as Inaugural Assistant Vice Provost for Research FacultyMaribeth Gandy Coleman, Regents’ Researcher in the Institute for People and Technology (IPaT), has been named interim Assistant Vice Provost for Research Faculty (AVP-RF) and will lead strategic engagement with research faculty on behalf of the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty at Georgia Tech.

In this newly formed, project-driven leadership role, Coleman will advocate for research faculty in several arenas including onboarding, mentoring, and career development.

“Coleman brings valuable experience, passion, and a deep understanding to the AVP-RF role. She is driven to ensure the best possible work experience for our research faculty. Our faculty will have a true champion in Coleman, and we’re thrilled she is the first person to carry this title,” said Chaouki Abdallah, Georgia Tech Executive Vice President for Research.

As a research faculty member for nearly 24 years at Georgia Tech, Coleman rose through the ranks and contributed to initiatives to improve the research faculty experience. She was instrumental in establishing the Research Faculty Mentoring Network in 2023 and continues to teach in the College of Computing.

“I am excited that this appointment will allow me to provide much greater support for programming for research faculty hiring, mentoring, promotion, and community building. With the creation of this new role, it is clear that campus leadership is committed to our diverse community of professionals, providing us with lengthy and fulfilling careers at Georgia Tech,” Coleman said.

The role of AVP-RF grew out of a focus by the Commission on Research Next to improve the work and well-being of Georgia Tech’s approximately 3,000 research faculty across Resident Instruction and GTRI.

In a joint statement, Vice Provost for Faculty, Michelle Rinehart, and Julia Kubanek, Vice President for Interdisciplinary Research said, “As Georgia Tech’s research footprint continues to expand, we must recognize the role and impact of research faculty on our campus. The AVP-RF represents a true partnership between the offices of the vice provost for faculty and the executive vice president for research, and we are confident that Coleman will be a powerful voice for Georgia Tech’s research faculty.”

Coleman is a Triple Jacket, who earned her bachelor’s degree in computer engineering and her master’s and doctoral degrees from the School of Computer Science at Georgia Tech.

In addition to her role as Assistant Vice Provost for Research Faculty, Coleman will continue as director of research for IPaT.

 

]]> mazriel3 1 1708539673 2024-02-21 18:21:13 1708628387 2024-02-22 18:59:47 0 0 news Maribeth Gandy Coleman, Regents’ Researcher in the Institute for People and Technology (IPaT), has been named interim Assistant Vice Provost for Research Faculty (AVP-RF) and will lead strategic engagement with research faculty on behalf of the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty at Georgia Tech.

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2024-02-21T00:00:00-05:00 2024-02-21T00:00:00-05:00 2024-02-21 00:00:00 673168 673168 image <![CDATA[Maribeth Coleman.jpeg]]> image/jpeg 1708539427 2024-02-21 18:17:07 1708539289 2024-02-21 18:14:49
<![CDATA[Atlanta Researchers Use Mellon Grant to Launch New AI Ethics Network]]> 27513 Atlanta communities most vulnerable to bias and inequity in artificial intelligence (AI) are the focus of a new Atlanta-based ethics initiative being funded by a $1.3 million Mellon Foundation grant.

The Atlanta Interdisciplinary Artificial Intelligence (AIAI) Network, which is set to formally kick off during an event at Science Gallery Atlanta from 4 to 7 p.m. Oct. 4, brings together computing, humanities, and social justice researchers from Georgia Tech, Clark Atlanta University, Emory University, and community partner DataedX.

Carl DiSalvo, Georgia Tech School of Interactive Computing professor, and faculty member of the Institute for People and Technology, is an AIAI co-principal investigator (co-PI). Andre Brock, an associate professor in the School of Literature, Media, and Communication serves on the network’s steering committee.

DiSalvo said the idea for the AIAI Network had been in the works for years. However, the researchers now have the needed funding thanks to the Mellon Foundation. The grant allows the network to hire its first graduate students for the 2023-2024 academic year.

Read more at cc.gatech.edu >>

]]> Walter Rich 1 1708440963 2024-02-20 14:56:03 1708443651 2024-02-20 15:40:51 0 0 news Atlanta communities most vulnerable to bias and inequity in artificial intelligence (AI) are the focus of a new Atlanta-based ethics initiative being funded by a $1.3 million Mellon Foundation grant.

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2024-01-05T00:00:00-05:00 2024-01-05T00:00:00-05:00 2024-01-05 00:00:00 Walter Rich

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673144 673144 image <![CDATA[Carl DiSalvo, Georgia Tech School of Interactive Computing professor]]> Carl DiSalvo, Georgia Tech School of Interactive Computing professor

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<![CDATA[Researchers Earn $1.8M to Increase Air Pollution Data Literacy]]> 27513 Georgia Tech researchers Jessica Roberts, Alex Endert, and Jayma Koval earned a $1.8 million grant from the National Science Foundation to boost their efforts in promoting air pollution data literacy among middle school students and the public. 

The grant will fund the researchers’ top two projects — designing and installing a public information kiosk and organizing a summer camp that uses environmental data to teach data literacy to middle schoolers.  

Air Quality Index (AQI) data that is readily available helps people decide whether it’s safe for a morning jog or to send their kids outside to play. However, the researchers want to help people understand the big picture.  

“The AQI is good for helping make just-in-time decisions,” said Roberts, an assistant professor in the School of Interactive Computing who researches how technology influences social learning experiences. 

 “It doesn’t help us think about what’s causing all this. ‘How can I allocate my resources toward pollution mitigation efforts? What should I do as far as where I live and the situation around me?’”  

Data visualization provides perspective

Roberts said most people know enough about AQI that they understand safe and dangerous levels, which helps them in the present. However, environmental and air quality data that provides insight into long-term trends and solutions tends to be more complex.  

“There are a lot of questions about how to get from this AQI value — this little number on your phone — to all the complex online data repositories that are available,” she said. “Air quality sensors spit out data all the time, but people don’t know how to access them. There’s nothing that bridges this simple number with these complex numbers.”  

To solve this problem, Roberts approached Endert, an associate professor in the School of Interactive Computing and faculty member of the Institute for People and Technology, who designs interactive visualization tools that make data more understandable.  

“What excites me about this project is that it allows people to reason about their data through the visualization of air quality and places where they live and allows them to ask questions,” Endert said. “‘Why is it worse over here but not as bad where I live? What’s causing that? Why is it bad this time of the year but better at other times?”  

Read more at cc.gatech.edu >>

]]> Walter Rich 1 1708443406 2024-02-20 15:36:46 1708443580 2024-02-20 15:39:40 0 0 news Atlanta residents will soon have easy access to air pollution data that enables them to make data-driven decisions that positively impact their local environment. 

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2024-01-09T00:00:00-05:00 2024-01-09T00:00:00-05:00 2024-01-09 00:00:00 673145 673145 image <![CDATA[Air Quality Index (AQI) data]]> Air Quality Index (AQI) data

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<![CDATA[The Next Challenge For Manufacturers: Get smart! ]]> 27513 Integrating artificial intelligence in a manufacturing process requires planning and small steps, say experts with Georgia AIM

 

The flat, wheeled robot gingerly moved across the floor, aiming for a taped square in the far corner.

Suddenly, someone stepped into its path. The robot stopped, blinked its lights, then carefully turned to a slightly different path. Its goal remained the same, but it adjusted the route on the fly.

“This is an autonomous mobile robot,” explained Sean Madhavaraman, project manager specializing in industry 4.0 strategy and leadership development for the Georgia Manufacturing Extension Partnership (GaMEP) at the Georgia Institute of Technology’s Enterprise Innovation Institute (EI2). “No programming experience is necessary, and it can map a room by itself. It’s also very safe — you can step in front of it, and it will reroute.”

That demonstration was one of several on display at a recent event hosted by EI2’s Georgia Artificial Intelligence in Manufacturing (Georgia AIM) and the Georgia MBDA Business Center. The program of speakers, a tour and a panel discussion took place at Georgia Tech’s Advanced Manufacturing Pilot Facility and served as an introduction into the world of artificial intelligence.

With about 50 manufacturers and engineers in attendance, the goal of the event was twofold, said Donna Ennis, Georgia AIM co-director. First, it served as an introduction to the Advanced Manufacturing Pilot Facility, which conducts research on new manufacturing technologies through its public-private partnerships. But also, it was an opportunity for manufacturers of all sizes to learn about the roles AI can play in their processes.

“Artificial intelligence has the power to bring transformative change to our manufacturers and our workforce, but it can seem overwhelming — where do you start?” Ennis said. “We wanted to create an opportunity to show manufacturers that you don’t need a large investment or a large time commitment to begin to implement AI. Think about your process, explore your options, and use the resources we have available to you.”

A Statewide Initiative

Georgia AIM was created through a $65 million Build Back Better Regional Challenge grant awarded through the U.S. Economic Development Administration. The grant funds 17 projects/ subprojects throughout the state that work in education, manufacturing, workforce development and new technologies. At its core, Ennis said, Georgia AIM is working to reach all Georgia residents — specifically residents in communities underrepresented in manufacturing spaces, including veterans; women; Black, indigenous and people of color; rural residents; and older workers — and empower them to fully participate in a diverse AI manufacturing workforce.

In the area of workforce development, the grant supports programs that upskill adults in the workforce, as well as programs that reach K-12 students, technical college students and those attending four-year universities. For example, Georgia AIM is supporting the construction of a new lab at South Georgia Regional Technical College that will train students and area residents on new technologies in food processing—a key industry in that region.

Another project partner, Georgia Tech’s Center for Education Integrating Science, Mathematics and Computing (CEISMC) is developing curricula and educational materials for K-12 students and hosts regional STEM-based competitions to promote science and technology.

Other projects are connecting with communities to help train the workforce on AI technologies. A partnership between the University of Georgia and the Russell Innovation Center for Entrepreneurs is developing a mobile lab stocked with technology “vignettes” — self-contained examples of real-world AI applications.

This mobile lab, as well as two others developed by Middle Georgia’s 21st Century Partnership, will travel across the state to work with schools and community organizations. The goal is to introduce underserved communities to AI technologies and open new doors to employees—and employers.

“We recognize that not every community across the state has had equal access to these new technologies. We want to break down those barriers,” added Ennis. “By taking these smart technologies to traditionally underserved communities, we aim to inspire and encourage Georgia’s workforce. This technology has the power to be transformative for our manufacturing community.”

Other programs offered by Georgia AIM focus on manufacturers and adoption of new technologies. And that was part of the presentation offered by Ennis and project co-director Aaron Stebner, associate professor of mechanical engineering and materials science engineering at Georgia Tech. In addition to workforce development and deployment, Georgia AIM also offers cybersecurity assessments and assistance with technology development and deployment for manufacturers.

For example, the GaMEP project provides a range of assistance, including cyber assessments, gap assessments and automation training. Another partner, EI2’s Advanced Technology Development Center, assists new tech startups and can help connect them with manufacturers that could use the technology. And Georgia Tech’s Advanced Manufacturing Pilot Facility provides a space for companies to try new technologies without losing time on their own manufacturing line.

“We’re really a proving ground for new technology adoption,” Stebner said. The Georgia AIM grant is funding an expansion of the facility, which will allow for more smart technologies in the space.

“Our plan is to integrate autonomous robots and build out the manufacturing units to provide even more examples of manufacturing integrating with smart technologies.”

The facility’s new Georgia Tech Manufacturing 4.0 Consortium is a member-based group that connects industry with academic and government research resources. Consortium members gain access to facility equipment, workforce training programs, new manufacturing systems and networking opportunities with other members. (For details, visit ampf.research.gatech. edu/how-engage.)

AI: More than ‘the spice’

But first, Ennis and Stebner told the manufacturers and business owners gathered at the manufacturing pilot facility, it was important to take stock of their current processes and think of where automation might occur. Start small and identify repetitive motions or places where human-machine collaborations might occur. Perhaps adding some sensors could help predict a mechanical failure, or a small automation might make a process more streamlined.

During a tour of the Advanced Manufacturing Pilot Facility, attendees met graduate students who specialize in metals, 3-D printing technologies and other areas and got first-hand looks at new innovations in action. Some stations at the facility represented old practices merged with updated technology — such as a welder merged with a computer numerical control (CNC) device to automate its movements. In other places, entirely new technologies, such as large-format 3-D scanners, helped attendees think about new production methods that might incorporate smart technology.

Madhavaraman and other GaMEP representatives demonstrated the use of sensors, collaborative robots and autonomous mobile robots in the manufacturing process. Attendees were intrigued, especially as Madhavaraman explained how the robots could be integrated into a manufacturing process to work alongside a person.

“That’s why we call them ‘co-bots,’ not robots,” he said. “Collaborative robots are great for packaging and palleting products. No programming experience is necessary — you can use a tablet to tell the robot what to do or point the robot in the direction you want it to go.”

Before the event closed, a panel of three experts fielded questions from Madhavaraman on AI adoption and making the leap into smart technologies. The panel included Mitchell Tartar, project engineer with CJB Industries; Sentil Ramamurthy, senior engineer with Novelis; and Subbu Vishnubhatia, director of project management for Hexagon Management Intelligence.

In addition to addressing workforce needs, the panel stressed that manufacturers walk — not run — toward embracing smart technologies. Find the pinch points, start collecting data and think about small, holistic changes, they said.

“AI is not the spice in the dish that makes it very tasty,” said Vishnubhatia. He and the other panel members agreed it is best to start small. Incorporating smart technologies doesn’t need to be overly expensive or time-consuming — but it does require managers and employees to think outside the box.

And, getting buy-in from those who work with manufacturing. Not only is training imperative, added Tartar, but it’s important to have everyone on board with adopting new technology. Change is hard, but it doesn’t have to be difficult.

“Involve your people—they are going to know when the data is wrong,” she said. “You don’t need to do it all at once; if you want to get involved with AI, you can really break those costs down and do it a little piece at a time.”

For more information on Georgia AIM and the opportunities provided through its partner projects, visit: georgiaaim.org
 

This article was originally published by Georgia Pathways Magazine, Feb. 2024, a publication of the Technology Association of Georgia.

]]> Walter Rich 1 1708114550 2024-02-16 20:15:50 1708114844 2024-02-16 20:20:44 0 0 news Integrating artificial intelligence in a manufacturing process requires planning and small steps, say experts with Georgia AIM

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2024-02-16T00:00:00-05:00 2024-02-16T00:00:00-05:00 2024-02-16 00:00:00 673129 673129 image <![CDATA[AMPF Tour - Feb, 2024]]> Manufacturers and other business owners tour the Advanced Manufacturing Pilot Facility at Georgia Tech, which serves as a proving ground for new technologies in the manufacturing process. The facility is a partner on the Georgia AIM project. (Photo courtesy Georgia AIM)

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<![CDATA[The Heart of the Matter]]> 27469 It doesn’t have to be Valentine’s Day for Flavio Fenton to have the heart on his mind. Fenton has been fascinated by the human heart for 30 years. The professor in the School of Physics explores the physics and mathematics behind the heart — specifically, arrythmias, or abnormal heart rhythms.

“When you think about the physics of a heart, the first thing that comes to mind is the pumping action and the forcing of fluids,” he said. “But the reason it contracts is an electrical signal. There’s a lot of physiology and biology behind the function of the heart, but underneath it all, there’s so many areas of physics you can apply to it to understand how it works — and how it fails to work, like in the case of arrhythmias.”

There’s a lot to love about Fenton’s work:

His current projects involve possible advances in the amount of voltage used to treat fibrillations, and new knowledge about where in the heart to apply that voltage. He maintains collaborations with agencies like the Food and Drug Administration and a wide array of researchers and clinicians, with hopes that hospitals will eventually be able to apply what he has studied over the years to assist in better patient care and health outcomes.

“The heart has been a really fun system to study, and there’s so much that we still don’t know,” he said. “On top of that, it has a main application of directly saving lives if we can find better and safer ways to prevent and terminate arrhythmias.”

]]> Kristen Bailey 1 1707841801 2024-02-13 16:30:01 1708013971 2024-02-15 16:19:31 0 0 news It doesn’t have to be Valentine’s Day for Flavio Fenton to have the heart on his mind. Fenton has been fascinated by the human heart for 30 years.

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2024-02-13T00:00:00-05:00 2024-02-13T00:00:00-05:00 2024-02-13 00:00:00 Jess Hunt-Ralston

College of Sciences

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673063 673063 image <![CDATA[Abouzar Kaboudian and Flavio Fenton]]> Abouzar Kaboudian and Flavio Fenton work on data they gathered about heart arrhythmias by studying rabbit hearts.

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<![CDATA[LISTEN: Can Math and Physics Save an Arrhythmic Heart?]]> <![CDATA[ Georgia Tech and Emory Researchers Win Award for Arrhythmia Research]]> <![CDATA[ We Heart Physics: Flavio Fenton on Cardiac Rhythms, Chaos, and a Mission to End Arrhythmias]]> <![CDATA[ Using Smartphones and Laptops to Simulate Deadly Heart Arrhythmias ]]> <![CDATA[ Maelstroms in the Heart Confirmed ]]>
<![CDATA[Research Test news item ]]> 28778 This text is added in Mercury. This is to see what happens to the text I added in Drupal. Changed the alt text as well. MARCH 23, 2023.

This is a bunch of greek text to have something here...

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In ut diam sit amet enim cursus posuere. Curabitur at lorem magna. Nam vestibulum finibus ex ac ultricies. Phasellus est sem, facilisis at rhoncus in, pretium porttitor libero. Integer luctus est nec posuere bibendum. Phasellus iaculis finibus porta. Fusce iaculis placerat sagittis. Proin sed facilisis justo. Etiam et metus facilisis, commodo nunc ut, egestas arcu. Nunc commodo, tortor vel mollis blandit, libero dui aliquet tellus, eu interdum leo mi at lectus. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit.

Nullam in ornare quam. Quisque blandit nunc lacinia elit ornare fringilla. Praesent molestie justo nec neque venenatis, id dictum dolor convallis. Phasellus eu orci vitae mauris blandit lacinia sed sit amet arcu. Vestibulum porta vitae diam finibus porta. Nam vitae risus quis libero bibendum facilisis. Mauris auctor mi id lectus sodales, ut molestie massa convallis. Sed elit ipsum, ullamcorper at ornare sit amet, ultrices quis nisl. Nulla facilisi. Quisque dignissim tincidunt ligula, eu tristique magna sollicitudin eu.

Nunc varius massa tortor, sit amet mattis orci condimentum sit amet. Proin et mattis tortor, ut malesuada ex. Aliquam erat volutpat. Mauris ac gravida diam, ac mattis risus. Nullam accumsan efficitur aliquet. Maecenas mauris diam, consequat eget turpis eu, facilisis semper lacus. Suspendisse ut metus sit amet nulla lacinia facilisis.

]]> Timothy Whelan 1 1639072034 2021-12-09 17:47:14 1708010221 2024-02-15 15:17:01 0 0 news Research Test news item for feed creation

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2024-02-16T00:00:00-05:00 2024-02-16T00:00:00-05:00 2024-02-16 00:00:00 This is the side bar area. Not sure we are using but testing anyways.

There are three images, two I uploaded. A video and two files/pdfs.

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Tim Whelan website

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671188 653589 653587 671188 image <![CDATA[Tim Test image for news items]]> Frankie is on my computer goofing off while Boris tries to get close a snuggle.

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653589 image <![CDATA[Research Test Image 002]]> image/png 1639148311 2021-12-10 14:58:31 1671559267 2022-12-20 18:01:07 653587 image <![CDATA[Research Test Image .001]]> image/png 1639147499 2021-12-10 14:44:59 1670346293 2022-12-06 17:04:53
<![CDATA[Old Site]]> <![CDATA[My computer]]>
<![CDATA[Georgia Tech and Micron Collaborate to Expand Access to Engineering Education]]> 35272 The Georgia Institute of Technology today announced the signing of a master research agreement with Micron Technology, a global leader in memory and storage solutions. Under the new agreement, the two organizations will expand their collaborative efforts in providing students with experiential research opportunities and expanding access to engineering education.

“We are proud to join forces with Georgia Tech, home to some of the nation’s top programs, to expand students’ opportunities in STEM education,” said Scott DeBoer, executive vice president of Technology and Products at Micron. “This collaboration will help push the boundaries in memory technology innovation and ensure we prepare the workforce of the future.”

“We believe that when academia and industry converge, the best ideas flourish into game-changing innovations,” said Chaouki T. Abdallah, executive vice president for Research at Georgia Tech. “The synergy between Micron and Georgia Tech has already been tremendously fruitful, and we are so excited for the boundless opportunities on our shared horizon.”

“The signing of the master research agreement represents a significant step towards increasing additional collaboration pathways between Micron and GT including the joint pursuit of major federal funding activities, technology transfer, student internships and technology transfer,” said George White, senior director of Strategic Partnerships at Georgia Tech.

The first project under the agreement is already underway. Saibal Mukhopadhyay, professor in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, is leading the research efforts titled “Configurable Processing-In-Memory.” This cutting-edge research will enable memory devices to work faster and more efficiently.

]]> aneumeister3 1 1707999163 2024-02-15 12:12:43 1707999770 2024-02-15 12:22:50 0 0 news The Georgia Institute of Technology announced the signing of a master research agreement with Micron Technology

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2024-02-15T00:00:00-05:00 2024-02-15T00:00:00-05:00 2024-02-15 00:00:00 Amelia Neumeister

Research Communications Program Manager

amelia.neumeister@research.gatech.edu

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673091 673091 image <![CDATA[Micron_GT.jpg]]> From Left: George White, Julia Kubanek, Chaouki T. Abdallah, Scott DeBoer, Steve McLaughlin

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<![CDATA[Community Spotlight - Emma Blandford]]> 27338 Written by Benjamin Wright

Emma Blandford is the Program & Portfolio Manager for Sustainability Next, an initiative outlined in Georgia Tech’s strategic plan which seeks to establish the Institute as a leader in inclusive, economic, and environmental sustainability in Institute operations; sustainable development education; sustainability leadership and transdisciplinary research; culture and organization; climate solutions; and in using the campus as a living learning laboratory. Emma's role is supported by both the Office of Sustainability, where she reports to Associate Vice President of Sustainability Jennifer Chirico, and the Brook Byers Institute for Sustainable Systems (BBISS) where she reports to Interim Executive Director Beril Toktay. She regularly collaborates with members of both organizations and serves as a bridge between them.

As the portfolio manager for Sustainability Next, Emma serves as a facilitator, connecting like-minded people from across campus so they can collaborate while also helping them access available resources. With sustainability being a broad inter and multi-disciplinary field, the opportunities for collaboration are endless, but bringing people from diverse fields can also be a challenge. That is where Emma’s background in team-building and project management comes in.

“It’s my job to make sure that people have what they need to do their jobs,” she says. “They're passionate and they’re incredibly intelligent. In sustainability, it's hard to find people who aren't deeply personally attached to their roles. So my goal is to empower them and help them succeed.”

Emma oversees and supports a variety of teams and projects that are working towards established sustainability goals on campus, tracking their progress, providing access to resources, and removing obstacles when necessary.

On any given day Emma could be talking to researchers, campus communicators, facilities staff, students, or organizational leadership. If their roles touch on sustainability, she wants to hear from them and find ways to help them achieve success while bringing them under the Sustainability Next umbrella. If you are already working in sustainability at Georgia Tech or would like to be, feel free to reach out through the Sustainability Next webpage or to Emma directly.

When she isn’t at work Emma enjoys spending time with her wife, two kids, three dogs, and cat- outdoors when possible. She is originally from Connecticut and holds degrees from UConn and Western New England University.

]]> Brent Verrill 1 1707948520 2024-02-14 22:08:40 1707948519 2024-02-14 22:08:39 0 0 news As the portfolio manager for Sustainability Next, Emma serves as a facilitator, connecting like-minded people from across campus so they can collaborate while also helping them access available resources.

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2024-02-14T00:00:00-05:00 2024-02-14T00:00:00-05:00 2024-02-14 00:00:00 Brent Verrill, Research Communications Program Manager, BBISS

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673085 673085 image <![CDATA[Emma_Blandford_Portrait.jpg]]> image/jpeg 1707948032 2024-02-14 22:00:32 1707947997 2024-02-14 21:59:57 <![CDATA[Sustainability Next Webpage]]>
<![CDATA[Interactivity@GT Offers Networking Opportunities for MS-HCI/IPaT Students]]> 27513 Through the Master’s Program in Human-Computer Interaction (MS-HCI) at Georgia Tech, students like Rajath Pai don’t have to wait long to gain first-hand industry experience.

Pai, a first-year student in the two-year MS-HCI program, has already helped Starbucks design its app to entice customers to try new menu items.

Pai and fellow MS-HCI students had more opportunities on Feb. 6 to meet industry representatives during Interactivity@GT.

Organized by MS-HCI at Georgia Tech and the Institute for People and Technology (IPaT), Interactivity@GT replaces the former GVU Spring Showcase. The event provides Ph.D. and master’s students with the chance to promote their research and design work.

A keynote speech by Karen Holtzblatt, co-founder of InContext Enterprises and co-creator of contextual inquiry, kicked off the half-day event. Contextual inquiry is considered industry standard practice for gathering field data to understand how technology impacts the way people work.

After the keynote, MS-HCI students made one-minute pitches about their work to industry representatives for potential employment opportunities. Along with Ph.D. students representing IPaT, the MS-HCI students then showcased their research through a two-hour poster and networking session.

“I think this event is unique,” said Dick Henneman, director of the MS-HCI program at Georgia Tech. “Other programs might have a job fair, but our students are making connections with alumni and other company-sponsored projects.

“Right now, there’s a bit of a slump in the tech market. Our students have something unique that sets them apart, and that’s being from our MS-HCI program, which distinguishes them from the person who went to a 12-week UX bootcamp.”

Companies participating in Interactivity@GT included Starbucks, Cox Enterprises, Delta Air Lines, FanDuel, HSBC, NCR, State Farm, Infoblox Home Depot, and Verizon.

Carrie Bruce, the assistant director of the MS-HCI program, said the program has built a strong network of connections since it started almost 30 years ago. MS-HCI alumni have provided a stable core for that network.

“We’ve pushed out a lot of fabulous students who’ve been in industry for 10 years or more, and now they’re in leadership positions,” she said. “We’ve got people who know our program from varied perspectives at companies around the world.”

Pai said he connected with an MS-HCI alumni working at Starbucks who was happy to advise him on his first-year research project.

“She gave us some much-needed industry feedback and guided us on how we’re supposed to do something or what we could have done better,” he said.

Working with the alumna, Pai gained insight into how Starbucks customers think about their environment when they’re using the app. Pai found that many customers use the app to order items they are already familiar with, and they are unlikely to deviate from their routine.

Pai suggested the idea of drink maps, which tell customers which menu items are trending at nearby stores. Seeing a drink they haven’t tried trending at other stores might persuade customers to try something new.

“The experience gives us immediate insight into what is expected of us in industry,” Pai said. “We’re learning the methods in class but also learning how they are applied in industry, which helps us to build things and processes that would work in industry.”

The MS-HCI program at Georgia Tech is a four-semester interdisciplinary program and a collaborative effort among four Georgia Tech schools — the School of Interactive Computing, the School of Industrial Design, the School of Literature, Media, and Communication, and the School of Psychology.

For more information about the program and the admission process, visit the MS-HCI website.
 

Visit the original story posted by the College of Computing to see more pictures.

]]> Walter Rich 1 1707859532 2024-02-13 21:25:32 1707859817 2024-02-13 21:30:17 0 0 news Through the Master’s Program in Human-Computer Interaction (MS-HCI) at Georgia Tech, students like Rajath Pai don’t have to wait long to gain first-hand industry experience.

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2024-02-13T00:00:00-05:00 2024-02-13T00:00:00-05:00 2024-02-13 00:00:00 Walter Rich

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673071 673071 image <![CDATA[Rajath Pai]]> Pai, a first-year student in the two-year MS-HCI program, has already helped Starbucks design its app to entice customers to try new menu items.

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<![CDATA[GTRI Develops Machine Learning Operations Platform to Streamline Data Management for the DoD ]]> 35832 Machine learning (ML) has transformed the digital landscape with its unprecedented ability to automate complex tasks and improve decision-making processes. However, many organizations, including the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), still rely on time-consuming methods for developing and testing machine learning models, which can create strategic vulnerabilities in today’s fast-changing environment. 

The Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) is addressing this challenge by developing a Machine Learning Operations (MLOps) platform that standardizes the development and testing of artificial intelligence (AI) and ML models to enhance the speed and efficiency with which these models are utilized during real-time decision-making situations.   

“It’s been difficult for organizations to transition these models from a research environment and turn them into fully-functional products that can be used in real-time,” said Austin Ruth, a GTRI research engineer who is leading this project. “Our goal is to bring AI/ML to the tactical edge where it could be used during active threat situations to heighten the survivability of our warfighters.” 

Rather than treating ML development in isolation, GTRI’s MLOps platform would bridge the gap between data scientists and field operations so that organizations can oversee the entire lifecycle of ML projects from development to deployment at the tactical edge. 

The tactical edge refers to the immediate operational space where decisions are made and actions take place. Bringing AI and ML capabilities closer to the point of action would enhance the speed, efficiency and effectiveness of decision-making processes and contribute to more agile and adaptive responses to threats. 

“We want to develop a system where fighter jets or warships don’t have to do any data transfers but could train and label the data right where they are and have the AI/ML models improve in real-time as they’re actively going up against threats,” said Ruth.   

For example, a model could monitor a plane’s altitude and speed, immediately spot potential wing drag issues and alert the pilot about it. In an electronic warfare (EW) situation when facing enemy aircraft or missiles, the models could process vast amounts of incoming data to more quickly identify threats and recommend effective countermeasures in real time. 

AI/ML models need to be trained and tested to ensure their effectiveness in adapting to new, unseen data. However, without having a standardized process in place, training and testing is done in a fragmented manner, which poses several risks, such as overfitting, where the model performs well on the training data but fails to generalize unseen data and makes inaccurate predictions or decisions in real-world situations, security vulnerabilities where bad actors exploit weaknesses in the models, and a general lack of robustness and inefficient resource utilization.

“Throughout this project, we noticed that training and testing are often done in a piecemeal fashion and thus aren’t repeatable,” said Jovan Munroe, a GTRI senior research engineer who is also leading this project. “Our MLOps platform makes the training and testing process more consistent and well-defined so that these models are better equipped to identify and address unknown variables in the battle space.” 

This project has been supported by GTRI’s Independent Research and Development (IRAD) Program, winning an IRAD of the Year award in fiscal year 2023. In fiscal year 2024, the project received funding from a U.S. government sponsor. 

 

Writer: Anna Akins 
Photos: Sean McNeil 
GTRI Communications
Georgia Tech Research Institute
Atlanta, Georgia

The Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) is the nonprofit, applied research division of the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech). Founded in 1934 as the Engineering Experiment Station, GTRI has grown to more than 2,900 employees, supporting eight laboratories in over 20 locations around the country and performing more than $940 million of problem-solving research annually for government and industry. GTRI's renowned researchers combine science, engineering, economics, policy, and technical expertise to solve complex problems for the U.S. federal government, state, and industry.

]]> Michelle Gowdy 1 1705418010 2024-01-16 15:13:30 1707496664 2024-02-09 16:37:44 0 0 news The Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) is developing a Machine Learning Operations (MLOps) platform that standardizes the development and testing of artificial intelligence (AI) and ML models to enhance the speed and efficiency with which these models are utilized during real-time active threat situations to heighten the survivability of our warfighters.

]]>
2024-01-16T00:00:00-05:00 2024-01-16T00:00:00-05:00 2024-01-16 00:00:00 (Interim) Director of Communications

Michelle Gowdy

Michelle.Gowdy@gtri.gatech.edu

404-407-8060

]]>
672753 672752 672753 image <![CDATA[GTRI Machine Learning Project Leads]]> GTRI has developed a dashboard that aids in the DoD's development and testing of AI and ML models that would be utilized during real-time decision-making situations. Pictured from L to R are the two project leads, GTRI Research Engineer Austin Ruth and GTRI Senior Research Engineer Jovan Munroe (Photo Credit: Sean McNeil, GTRI).

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672752 image <![CDATA[GTRI MLOps team ]]> The MLOps team poses with GTRI Chief Technology Officer Mark Whorton (far left) and GTRI Director Jim Hudgens (second from left) after winning an IRAD of the Year award for their work on this project at GTRI's FY23 IRAD Extravaganza event (Photo Credit: Sean McNeil, GTRI).

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<![CDATA[From Seafloor to Space: New Bacterial Proteins Shine Light on Climate and Astrobiology]]> 36123 Gigatons of greenhouse gas are trapped under the seafloor, and that’s a good thing. Around the coasts of the continents, where slopes sink down into the sea, tiny cages of ice trap methane gas, preventing it from escaping and bubbling up into the atmosphere.

While rarely in the news, these ice cage formations, known as methane clathrates, have garnered attention because of their potential to affect climate change. During offshore drilling, methane ice can get stuck in pipes, causing them to freeze and burst. The 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill is thought to have been caused by a buildup of methane clathrates.

But until now, the biological process behind how methane gas remains stable under the sea has been almost completely unknown. In a breakthrough study, a cross-disciplinary team of Georgia Tech researchers discovered a previously unknown class of bacterial proteins that play a crucial role in the formation and stability of methane clathrates.

A team led by Jennifer Glass, associate professor in the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, and Raquel Lieberman, professor and Sepcic-Pfeil Chair in the School of Chemistry and Biochemistry, showed that these novel bacterial proteins suppress the growth of methane clathrates as effectively as commercial chemicals currently used in drilling, but are non-toxic, eco-friendly, and scalable. Their study, funded by NASA, informs the search for life in the solar system, and could also increase the safety of transporting natural gas.

The research, published in the journal PNAS Nexus, underscores the importance of fundamental science in studying Earth’s natural biological systems and highlights the benefits of collaboration across disciplines.

“We wanted to understand how these formations were staying stable under the seafloor, and precisely what mechanisms were contributing to their stability,” Glass said. “This is something no one has done before.”

Sifting Through Sediment

The effort started with the team examining a sample of clay-like sediment that Glass acquired from the seafloor off the coast of Oregon.

Glass hypothesized that the sediment would contain proteins that influence the growth of methane clathrate, and that those proteins would resemble well-known antifreeze proteins in fish, which help them survive in cold environments.

But to confirm her hypothesis, Glass and her research team would first have to identify protein candidates out of millions of potential targets contained in the sediment. They would then need to make the proteins in the lab, though there was no understanding of how these proteins might behave. Also, no one had worked with these proteins before.

Glass approached Lieberman, whose lab studies the structure of proteins. The first step was to use DNA sequencing paired with bioinformatics to identify the genes of the proteins contained in the sediment. Dustin Huard, a researcher in Lieberman’s lab and first author of the paper, then prepared candidate proteins that could potentially bind to the methane clathrates. Huard used X-ray crystallography to determine the structure of the proteins.

Creating Seafloor Conditions in the Lab

Huard passed off the protein candidates to Abigail Johnson, a former Ph.D. student in Glass’ lab and co-first author on the paper, who is now a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Georgia. To test the proteins, Johnson formed methane clathrates herself by recreating the high pressure and low temperature of the seafloor in the lab. Johnson worked with Sheng Dai, an associate professor in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, to build a unique pressure chamber from scratch.

Johnson placed the proteins in the pressure vessel and adjusted the system to mimic the pressure and temperature conditions required for clathrate formation. By pressurizing the vessel with methane, Johnson forced methane into the droplet, which caused a methane clathrate structure to form.

She then measured the amount of gas that was consumed by the clathrate — an indicator of how quickly and how much clathrate formed — and did so in the presence of the proteins versus no proteins. Johnson found that with the clathrate-binding proteins, less gas was consumed, and the clathrates melted at higher temperatures.

Once the team validated that the proteins affect the formation and stability of methane clathrates, they used Huard's protein crystal structure to carry out molecular dynamics simulations with the help of James (JC) Gumbart, professor in the School of Physics. The simulations allowed the team to identify the specific site where the protein binds to the methane clathrate.

A Surprisingly Novel System

The study unveiled unexpected insights into the structure and function of the proteins. The researchers initially thought the part of the protein that was similar to fish antifreeze proteins would play a role in clathrate binding. Surprisingly, that part of the protein did not play a role, and a wholly different mechanism directed the interactions.

They found that the proteins do not bind to ice, but rather interact with the clathrate structure itself, directing its growth. Specifically, the part of the protein that had similar characteristics to antifreeze proteins was buried in the protein structure, and instead played a role in stabilizing the protein.

The researchers found that the proteins performed better at modifying methane clathrate than any of the antifreeze proteins that had been tested in the past. They also performed just as well as, if not better than, the toxic commercial clathrate inhibitors currently used in drilling that pose serious environmental threats.

Preventing clathrate formation in natural gas pipelines is a billion-dollar industry. If these biodegradable proteins could be used to prevent disastrous natural gas leaks, it would greatly reduce the risk of environmental damage.

“We were so lucky that this actually worked, because even though we chose these proteins based on their similarity to antifreeze proteins, they are completely different,” Johnson said. “They have a similar function in nature, but do so through a completely different biological system, and I think that really excites people.”

Methane clathrates likely exist throughout the solar system — on the subsurface of Mars, for example, and on icy moons in the outer solar system, such as Europa. The team’s findings indicate that if microbes exist on other planetary bodies, they might produce similar biomolecules to retain liquid water in channels in the clathrate that could sustain life.

“We’re still learning so much about the basic systems on our planet,” Huard said. “That’s one of the great things about Georgia Tech — different communities can come together to do really cool, unexpected science. I never thought I would be working on an astrobiology project, but here we are, and we’ve been very successful.”

Citation: Dustin J E Huard, et al. Molecular basis for inhibition of methane clathrate growth by a deep subsurface bacterial proteinPNAS Nexus, Volume 2, Issue 8, August 2023.

DOIhttps://doi.org/10.1093/pnasnexus/pgad268

Funding: National Aeronautics & Space Administration, National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, American Chemical Society Petroleum Research Fund

Georgia Tech co-authors included Zixing Fan, Ph.D. student, and two undergraduates, Lydia Kenney (now a Ph.D. student at Northwestern University) and Manlin Xu (now a Ph.D. student in the MIT-Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Joint Program). Ran Drori, associate professor of chemistry at Yeshiva University, also contributed.

]]> Catherine Barzler 1 1695738617 2023-09-26 14:30:17 1707144244 2024-02-05 14:44:04 0 0 news In a groundbreaking study, a team of Georgia Tech researchers has unveiled a remarkable discovery: the identification of novel bacterial proteins that play a vital role in the formation and stability of methane clathrates, which trap methane gas beneath the seafloor. These newfound proteins not only suppress methane clathrate growth as effectively as toxic chemicals used in drilling but also prove to be eco-friendly and scalable. This innovative breakthrough not only promises to enhance environmental safety in natural gas transportation but also sheds light on the potential for similar biomolecules to support life beyond Earth.

]]>
2023-09-26T00:00:00-04:00 2023-09-26T00:00:00-04:00 2023-09-26 00:00:00 Catherine Barzler, Senior Research Writer/Editor

Institute Communications

catherine.barzler@gatech.edu

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671833 671834 671835 671836 671837 671833 image <![CDATA[clathrate.jpg]]> Methane clathrate (white, ice-like material) under a rock from the seafloor of the northern Gulf of Mexico. Deposits such as these demonstrate that methane and other gases cross the seafloor and enter the ocean. Photo credit: NOAA

]]> image/jpeg 1695740419 2023-09-26 15:00:19 1695740419 2023-09-26 15:00:19
671834 image <![CDATA[Jennifer Glass.jpg]]> Jennifer Glass, associate professor in the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences

]]> image/jpeg 1695740976 2023-09-26 15:09:36 1695740976 2023-09-26 15:09:36
671835 image <![CDATA[Raquel_Lieberman.jpg]]> Raquel Lieberman, professor and Sepcic-Pfeil Chair in the School of Chemistry and Biochemistry

]]> image/jpeg 1695741060 2023-09-26 15:11:00 1695741060 2023-09-26 15:11:00
671836 image <![CDATA[Screen Shot 2023-09-26 at 11.17.25 AM.png]]> Dustin Huard, research scientist II in the School of Chemistry and Biochemistry

]]> image/png 1695741532 2023-09-26 15:18:52 1695741532 2023-09-26 15:18:52
671837 image <![CDATA[Screen Shot 2023-09-26 at 11.18.13 AM.png]]> Abigail Johnson, postdoctoral research at the University of Georgia and former Georgia Tech Ph.D. student

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<![CDATA[Museum Receives Award]]> 30829 Over 200 museum professionals recently descended upon Athens, Georgia, for the annual meeting of the Georgia Association of Museums (GAM).   They arrived from all regions of the state, from Rome to Thomasville to Savannah.  The theme of the 2024 conference was “Finding the Right Frequency: Museums and Communities in Harmony.”  Attendees participated in a variety of sessions and workshops ranging from developing education programs to designing  eye-catching exhibits and visiting with vendors whose products and services target the field.   Many Athens-Clarke County museums and cultural institutions opened their doors to attendees for tours and events. The highlight of the week was the annual GAM Awards Luncheon.

This year the Robert C. Williams Museum of Papermaking was presented the Special Project (under $1,000) award by GAM President Marcy Breffle and Award Committee Co-Chairs Melissa Swindell and Karin Dalton for the project “Big Paper.”   “We are very pleased to present this award to a very deserving recipient,” said GAM President Breffle.  “Our members represent a good cross section of museums and cultural organizations in Georgia’s communities, large and small,” she added.  “We are happy to honor institutions, staff members, volunteers, patrons, exhibits, and special projects that have excelled in providing inspiring programs and leadership,” she concluded. 

Under the guidance of museum staff Jerushia Graham and Anna Doll, “Big Paper” is a project in which groups from nearby colleges and universities experience making large sheets of paper – 4’ x 6’—in a communal setting. From preparing fiber by hand beating plant material to working together to fill a papermaking mold, students worked together to create something huge! The inaugural event was in April, 2023, and had participants from the University of Georgia, Spelman College, Kennesaw State University, and the Georgia State University Art Club. The event returns in 2024 with noted papermaker Tom Balbo, founding director of the Morgan Conservatory, leading the communal event.

Museum Director Virginia Howell says, “The Paper Museum is honored to receive this award. It is a testament to the hard work of the museum team, and the project has allowed us to build on relationships with so many people who are interested in learning more about the papermaking process and how it can be an incredibly fun yet challenging experience.”

Big Paper returns on April 13, 2024.

]]> Virginia Howell 1 1706892300 2024-02-02 16:45:00 1706892467 2024-02-02 16:47:47 0 0 news The Robert C. Williams Museum of Papermaking received the award for Special Project (under $1,000) from the Georgia Association of Museums. 

]]>
2024-02-02T00:00:00-05:00 2024-02-02T00:00:00-05:00 2024-02-02 00:00:00 The Robert C. Williams Museum of Papermaking is open Monday – Friday, 9-5. Admission is free, but groups of 10 or more must book a fee-based program in advance. The museum is closed all Georgia Tech holidays.

The museum is located at 500 10th St NW, Atlanta, GA.

]]>
Virginia Howell

virginia.howell@rbi.gatech.edu

404-894-5726

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672942 672942 image <![CDATA[RCW Big Paper Award]]> Museum staff Anna Doll, Jerushia Graham, and Virginia Howell pose with a large sheet of paper and an award from the Georgia Association of Museums for the project "Big Paper."

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<![CDATA[Museum website]]>
<![CDATA[Eleven Appointed as BBISS Faculty Fellows]]> 27338 Eleven new Faculty Fellows were appointed to the Brook Byers Institute for Sustainable Systems (BBISS). In addition to their own work, BBISS Fellows serve as a board of advisors to the BBISS; foster the culture and community of sustainability researchers, educators, and students at Georgia Tech; and communicate broadly the vision, mission, values, and objectives of the BBISS. Fellows will work with the BBISS for three years, with the potential for a renewed term.

The BBISS Faculty Fellows program has been in place since 2014. Fellows are drawn from across all 6 colleges and GTRI at Georgia Tech. BBISS Interim Executive Director Beril Toktay says, "I’m delighted with the diversity of backgrounds and disciplines among the fellows and look forward to seeing the strengthening ties and growing collaborations in the sustainability community."

The new BBISS Faculty Fellows are:

These faculty members will join the current roster of Faculty Fellows:

More information can be found on the BBISS website.

]]> Brent Verrill 1 1698779573 2023-10-31 19:12:53 1706799818 2024-02-01 15:03:38 0 0 news Eleven new Faculty Fellows were appointed to the Brook Byers Institute for Sustainable Systems (BBISS).

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2023-10-31T00:00:00-04:00 2023-10-31T00:00:00-04:00 2023-10-31 00:00:00 Brent Verrill, Research Communications Program Manager, BBISS

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672231 672231 image <![CDATA[2023_BBISS_Fellows_Collage.png]]> L to R: Omar Asensio; Christos Athanasiou; Fani Boukouvala; Peng Chen; Kelly Comfort; Constance Crozier; Ashutosh Dhekne; Jennifer Kaiser; Neha Kumar; Jian Luo; Akanksha Menon

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<![CDATA[Craig Arndt Achieves INCOSE 'Expert' Certification]]> 35875 GTRI researcher Dr. Craig Arndt was recently awarded the “Expert Systems Engineering Professional” (ESEP) certification by the International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE). This is one of systems engineering’s most respected and rare honors.

The INCOSE certification program distinguishes systems engineers for their skills and professionalism. There are three level of certification in the program, the ESEP being the highest level of certification. According to INCOSE, the Expert Systems Engineering Professional certification is only available to "a systems engineering leader with recognized systems accomplishments and have many years of systems engineering professional work experience."

“The ICOSE certification program is an important program to help evaluate and grow members of the systems engineering community,” said Dr. Arndt.

Craig Arndt, P.E., Ph.D., is a Principal Research Engineer in the Electronic Systems Laboratory (ELSYS) of GTRI. He also served as the Division Chief for the Human Centered Engineering Division. Dr. Arndt has had a nearly 20-year career in the private sector following a long, distinguished military career in both the U.S. Navy and the Air Force Civilian Service.

Applicants for the Expert Systems Engineering certification must pass an oral interview with a small panel of INCOSE "certification application reviewers" on the applicants’ accomplishments and expertise. Applicants must also submit at least three references, who must attest to the applicants' qualifications.

 

A Career Leading the Cutting Edge of Systems Engineering

Dr. Arndt’s accomplishments are varied and impressive:

Dr. Arndt has authored and coauthored more than 100 papers and eight U.S. patents on topics including:

Dr. Arndt’s extensive experience includes developing and leading major defense technology programs and pioneering Model-Based Systems Engineering (MBSE) applications in defense acquisition.

When asked to identify a highlight from his career, he could narrow it down to just one:

“I have led many critical defense programs across my career -- including the development of the MRAP vehicle for the Iraq conflict, and a wide range of biometrics technologies currently in use by the U.S. Army, Department of Homeland Security, and intelligence communities.”

In addition to his achievements since joining GTRI in the spring of 2021, Dr. Arndt has been an influential figure in both academia and industry. His leadership roles, notably as the Director of Homeland Security programs at the MITRE Corp., and his position as a Senior Fellow at the Defense Acquisition University, underline his comprehensive expertise in the field. Recognized internationally as an expert in biometrics technologies, Dr. Arndt has played a pivotal role in shaping technology policy and cybersecurity. Dr. Arndt's career as a senior executive in technology and defense highlights his commitment to advancing these sectors.

A master’s graduate of the U.S. Naval War College, Dr. Arndt has maintained both direct and indirect ties to the U.S. military. Dr. Arndt has previously held key positions at the Air Force Research Lab (AFRL) and as an Engineering Duty Officer in the U.S. Navy.

Dr. Arndt is currently working with the leadership of the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Operational Test and Evaluation (OSD DOT&E) to implement Model-Based Systems Engineering and new knowledge management technology in the DoD test community.

Dr. Arndt’s career, which has had a profound impact on national security and technology development, is a shining example of the innovation and impact that system engineers can bring to bear and a testament to the quality of the researchers at GTRI, who “advance technology and provide innovative solutions” and “are the foremost innovators creating a secure nation, a prosperous Georgia, and a sustainable world.”

 

Writer: Christopher Weems

Georgia Tech research Institute

]]> cweems8 1 1706796420 2024-02-01 14:07:00 1706796832 2024-02-01 14:13:52 0 0 news Dr. Craig Arndt, Principal Research Engineer in ELSYS and Division Chief of the Human Centered Engineering Branch, was recently awarded the “Expert Systems Engineering Professional” certification by the International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE). This is one of systems engineering’s most respected and rare honors.

]]>
2024-02-01T00:00:00-05:00 2024-02-01T00:00:00-05:00 2024-02-01 00:00:00 672928 672928 image <![CDATA[Dr. Craig Arndt.jpg]]> Craig Arndt, P.E., Ph.D., is a Principal Research Engineer in the Electronic Systems Laboratory (ELSYS) of GTRI. He also served as the Division Chief for the Human Centered Engineering Division.

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<![CDATA[Re-Wind USA Wins First Phase of DOE Prize]]> 27338 Pioneering a new recycling approach led to a big win for Re-Wind USA, a Georgia Tech research team led by Russell Gentry. The team has won the first phase of the Department of Energy's Wind Turbine Materials Recycling Prize, receiving $75,000 and an invitation to compete in the final phase.

"Our innovation for end-of-service wind turbine blades is both simple and elegant – at its core, our technology captures all the embodied energy in the composite materials in the blade," said Gentry, professor in the School of Architecture.

"The Re-Wind Network has pioneered structural recycling, the only of a number of competing technologies that upcycles the material of the blade and preserves the embodied energy from manufacturing," Gentry said.

"Little additional energy is used to remanufacture the blade and the life of the blade, typically 20 years, is extended at least 50 years. This is a win-win solution from an environmental and economic perspective."

Other methods for dealing with decommissioned wind blades involve mechanical grinding and landfilling of subsequent waste, an expensive and energy-intensive process, he said.

Team members include Gentry, Sakshi Kakkad, Cayleigh Nicholson, Mehmet Bermek, and Larry Bank, from the School of Architecture; Gabriel Ackall, Yulizza Henao, and Aeva Silverman, from the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering;  and Eric Johansen, a business consultant from Fiberglass Trusses Inc.

The team is part of the Re-Wind Network, a multinational research and development network which develops large-scale infrastructure projects from decommissioned wind turbine blades. 

Re-Wind's pedestrian bridges, known as BladeBridges, have already captured media attention. Two more BladeBridges are expected in Atlanta in 2024, Gentry said. Re-Wind has also developed, prototyped, and tested transmission poles made from blade segments. The team's other proposals include culverts, barriers, and floats.

]]> Brent Verrill 1 1706719994 2024-01-31 16:53:14 1706721636 2024-01-31 17:20:36 0 0 news A pioneering a new recycling approach led to a big win for Re-Wind USA in the first phase of the Department of Energy's Wind Turbine Materials Recycling Prize, receiving $75,000 and an invitation to compete in the final phase.

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2024-01-26T00:00:00-05:00 2024-01-26T00:00:00-05:00 2024-01-26 00:00:00 Ann Hoevel, Director of Communications, College of Design

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672913 672913 image <![CDATA[top.re-wind.bladebridge_0.png]]> Overhead view of the Re-Wind crew doing structural testing on a decommissioned wind turbine blade bridge on an industrial lot.

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<![CDATA[Original article on Georgia Tech School of Architecture website]]> <![CDATA[Re-Wind Network Website]]>
<![CDATA[Paper Museum Employee Shares Talents With Atlanta ]]> 27713 Georgia Tech employees, like Jerushia Graham, often contribute their time and talents to the greater Atlanta community. Graham, museum coordinator for the Robert C. Williams Museum of Papermaking, recently created a digital billboard as part of Local Stories, an initiative that presents lesser-known facts about downtown Atlanta’s rich history.

Graham’s work honors the leadership and legacy of John Wesley Dobbs, a political activist and the unofficial “mayor” of Atlanta’s Auburn Avenue during the first half of the 20th century, through papercutting and animation.

“The graphic quality of papercuts requires a whittling down of visual information to the essential details,” she said. “After careful consideration, I settled on directing the viewer’s attention to Dobbs’ role in mobilizing the Black vote because his voter registration efforts made concrete and lasting changes.”

Graham’s digital billboard, entitled LEGACY: John Wesley Dobbs, is reminiscent of vintage postcards and posters. The design choice is an intentional nod by Graham to Dobbs’ many years of service as a postal officer. The U.S. Postal Service, one of the few institutions in the U.S. with an integrated workforce at the time, was arguably one of the largest employers of African Americans. Dobbs would ultimately be promoted to a supervisory role over both Black and white employees.

“Although LEGACY is technically a digital billboard, I personally think of it as a postcard from me to each and every viewer reminding them and myself that our lives leave an impact,” Graham said. “I ask that we invest in one another, engage with the history of Atlanta, and participate in the decisions that govern our lives by voting.”

Local Stories are displayed monthly on the digital sign at Margaret Mitchell Square (140 Peachtree St. NW).

 

]]> Victor Rogers 1 1706643430 2024-01-30 19:37:10 1706714952 2024-01-31 15:29:12 0 0 news Jerushia Graham honors Auburn Avenue pioneer with a digital billboard.

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2024-01-30T00:00:00-05:00 2024-01-30T00:00:00-05:00 2024-01-30 00:00:00 Victor Rogers

Institute Communications

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672905 672905 image <![CDATA[Jerushia Graham]]> Jerushia Graham, museum coordinator for the Robert C. Williams Museum of Papermaking, in front of her digital billboard honoring the unofficial "mayor" of Auburn Avenue John Wesley Dobbs. (Photo by Allison Carter)

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<![CDATA[Robert C. Williams Museum of Papermaking ]]> <![CDATA[More on John Wesley Dobbs ]]>
<![CDATA[Craft Lab Installs New Ultra-High-Definition 3D Printer ]]> 27513 The Craft Lab has a new industrial 3D printer, a 3D Systems Projet 2500 Plus. This machine, purchased in collaboration with College of Computing through tech fees, is the first of its kind on campus, replacing an older Projet previously run in the Institute for People and Technology (IPaT)/GVU labs.

This new printer is capable of rapid production of high-quality plastic parts with a suite of materials ranging from high-performance engineering materials, USP-VI (bio-compatible) certified materials, and flexible elastomers. Additionally, it allows for rapid fabrication of watertight, high-resolution parts (up to 1600 x 900 DPI with 32 micron layers) while yielding fully cured parts direct from the machine.

“I think it's a really exciting addition to the suite of additive manufacturing capabilities on campus,” said Tim Trent, manager of the Craft Lab and faculty member of IPaT. “These are industry-standard machines that provide us the opportunity to experiment with some different capabilities that complement the capabilities of other equipment on campus. In particular, the bio-compatible materials is a super exciting feature as it means we can do proof-of-concept prototypes in materials that would be acceptable for medical devices.”

Previous projects leveraging the technology of Craft Lab 3D printers include:

* The Wild Dolphin Project from the Contextual Computing Group. Compared to traditional fused deposition modeling machines, the resin-based multi-jet process allowed the team to fabricate fully waterproof cases to house their custom electronics for deployment in the Atlantic Ocean.

* A. Fatih Sarioglu's work in cancer research building 3D-printed traps lined with antigens to capture the white blood cells in a sample. The fine resolution needed for the microfluidics work combined with the need for a bio-compatible material made the previous generation Projet an ideal choice. Sarioglu is an assistant professor in Georgia Tech’s School of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

The Craft Lab’s newest ultra-high-definition 3D printer will continue to support work like the projects mentioned above while advancing material options, reducing manufacturing time, and providing support for new features previously unavailable in the older model.

About the Craft Lab:
​​​​​​​The Craft Lab is a unique makerspace sponsored by the Institute for People and Technology which is designed to promote craft and algorithmic making. The equipment in the lab is particularly well-suited for wearable/flexible electronic systems and is available to anyone interested in making soft objects. The lab includes equipment like sewing machines, CNC knitting and embroidery machines, soldering irons, and 3D printers. Lab users must complete a lab training session before being allowed to access the lab. It is located in the Technology Square Research Building (TSRB), Room 225B. Questions about the lab should be directed to Tim Trent, lab manager, at tim.trent@gatech.edu.

]]> Walter Rich 1 1706626231 2024-01-30 14:50:31 1706626297 2024-01-30 14:51:37 0 0 news The Craft Lab has a new industrial 3D printer, a 3D Systems Projet 2500 Plus.

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2024-01-30T00:00:00-05:00 2024-01-30T00:00:00-05:00 2024-01-30 00:00:00 Walter Rich

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672898 672899 672898 image <![CDATA[Tim Trent with 3D Systems Projet 2500 Plus]]> Tim Trent with the new 3D Systems Projet 2500 Plus

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672899 image <![CDATA[3D printed Tech Tower sitting on a coin]]> 3D printed Tech Tower sitting on a coin

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<![CDATA[Marta Hatzell Wins ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering Lectureship Award]]> 27338 Associate Professor Marta Hatzell has won a 2024 ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering Lectureship Award, which recognizes leading contributions of scientists and engineers active in the general fields of green chemistry, green engineering, and sustainability in the broadest sense of the chemical enterprise.

Hatzell, who holds joint appointments in Georgia Tech's School of Mechanical Engineering and School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, was honored for her multiple contributions that drive the application of electrochemistry to enable critical systems with enhanced circularity.

The ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering Lectureship awards were created to celebrate early to midcareer investigators who completed academic training no more than 10 years prior to nomination. In support of their commitment to nurture and stimulate a global community of outstanding practice. ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering and the ACS Green Chemistry Institute gave three Lectureship Awards to recognize outstanding levels of contribution from The Americas, Europe/Middle East/Africa, and Asia/Pacific.

The award recipients will be honored at a joint plenary session of the 28th Annual Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference in their honor (June 3–5, 2024; https://www.gcande.org/).

]]> Brent Verrill 1 1706296973 2024-01-26 19:22:53 1706298682 2024-01-26 19:51:22 0 0 news The award recognizes leading contributions of scientists and engineers active in the general fields of green chemistry, green engineering, and sustainability in the broadest sense of the chemical enterprise.

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2024-01-19T00:00:00-05:00 2024-01-19T00:00:00-05:00 2024-01-19 00:00:00 Brad Dixon, Communications Manager, School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

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672885 672885 image <![CDATA[Marta_Hatzell_Portrait.jpg]]> Portrait of Marta Hatzell

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<![CDATA[Georgia Tech’s $26 Million Partnership with National Science Foundation to Transform Fertilizer Production]]> <![CDATA[IMat Initiative Lead Q&A: Marta Hatzell]]> <![CDATA[Circular Electro-Chemistry Lab]]>
<![CDATA[Digital Inspection Portal Uses AI and Machine Vision to Examine Moving Trains]]> 35832

Collaboration between Norfolk Southern Corporation and the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) has led to the development of digital train inspection portals that use advanced machine vision and artificial intelligence to examine trains moving at speeds of up to 60 miles per hour to identify mechanical defects that may exist.

Machine vision technology in the portals produces images of key components located on the front and back, top, bottom, and sides of train cars, providing a 360-degree view of the complete train. Images produced by the portal are analyzed within minutes of a train’s passage, allowing any issues identified to be reported immediately.

Two train portals are currently in operation on adjacent tracks in Leetonia, Ohio, and the company plans to have as many as a dozen in service by the end of 2024. Among them will be a train portal already under construction near Jackson, Georgia, which is located south of Atlanta. 

“Norfolk Southern is deploying Digital Train Inspection Portals to enhance rail safety across the company’s 22-state network,” said Mabby Amouie, chief data scientist for the company. “The portals feature cutting-edge machine vision inspection technology developed in partnership with GTRI, which engineered the hardware, and Norfolk Southern’s Data Science/Artificial Intelligence and Mechanical teams, which built the brains behind the program.”

The machine vision portion uses 38 high-resolution cameras consisting of a mix of area and line scan cameras to photograph critical components of each rail car moving through the portals. Powerful lights comparable to those used in sports stadiums allow the cameras to take approximately a thousand photographs of each moving rail car. 

“Being able to look at the train while it’s moving at 60 miles per hour provides visibility into defects that would be difficult to see otherwise,” said Gary McMurray, division chief of GTRI’s Intelligent Sustainable Technologies Division. “You want to be able to look at a train while it’s in motion because that’s when components are stressed, and you can see other dynamic faults.”

To reduce the amount of data that must be analyzed, each camera is aimed at a specific area of the train and takes photographs only when components of interest are visible. “The high-speed cameras are strategically placed at angles to capture things that are difficult to detect with the human eye during stationary inspections,” said Amouie.

Sensors at each portal determine the speed of each train passing through and use that information to precisely control when the photographs are taken. 

“Even with a train traveling 60 miles per hour, we are able to calculate in real time when to tell each camera to take a picture,” said Colin Usher, a GTRI senior research scientist who led development of the machine vision system. “Only images of critical components are taken and the other areas of the train that are inconsequential to identifying defects are not captured. That optimizes the image capture and saves space in the computer system.” 

The images produced by the system are analyzed by artificial intelligence algorithms developed by Norfolk Southern. The algorithms were designed to provide a combination of high accuracy and very low rates of false positives. If defects are spotted, the AI systems reports them immediately.

“The computer transmits the information to Norfolk Southern’s Network Operations Center, where the data is reviewed by subject-matter experts to identify and address issues to proactively ensure the safety of rail operations,” Amouie said. “Critical defects are flagged for immediate handling.” 

The machine vision system uses image compression techniques to reduce the size of the photographs processed by computer servers located in the portals. For a single train, the data analyzed can amount to as much as 500 gigabytes. Because the inspection needs to be done quickly, the image processing is done on-site. 

The inspection portals must operate year-round in all kinds of weather conditions and in geographic locations that range from extreme heat to cold. The machine vision system therefore has to operate despite heavy vibration levels, temperature extremes, rain and snow – and to remain clean as trains pass over.

To protect the cameras, air blown over the camera lenses shields them, while air-conditioned enclosures prevent overheating of the equipment. The system operates in a tunnel structure that helps protect the equipment and control lighting, which must be consistent across the train being inspected. 

The project, which began in 2021, involved approximately a dozen researchers in four GTRI laboratories. The research built on imaging work done earlier for a variety of applications, including the food processing industry, which needed to monitor poultry on moving processing lines. 

“By partnering with GTRI, Norfolk Southern is tapping into the best in machine vision technology in any market,” Amouie said. “We chose GTRI to be a partner because they develop advanced technology solutions and large-scale system prototypes to address the most difficult problems in national security, economic development and the overall human condition.”

 

Writer: John Toon (john.toon@gtri.gatech.edu)
GTRI Communications
Georgia Tech Research Institute
Atlanta, Georgia USA

The Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) is the nonprofit, applied research division of the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech). Founded in 1934 as the Engineering Experiment Station, GTRI has grown to more than 2,900 employees, supporting eight laboratories in over 20 locations around the country and performing more than $940 million of problem-solving research annually for government and industry. GTRI's renowned researchers combine science, engineering, economics, policy, and technical expertise to solve complex problems for the U.S. federal government, state, and industry.  

]]> Michelle Gowdy 1 1705677285 2024-01-19 15:14:45 1706276972 2024-01-26 13:49:32 0 0 news Collaboration between Norfolk Southern Corporation and the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) has led to the development of digital train inspection portals that use advanced machine vision and artificial intelligence to examine trains moving at speeds of up to 60 miles per hour to identify mechanical defects that may exist.

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2024-01-19T00:00:00-05:00 2024-01-19T00:00:00-05:00 2024-01-19 00:00:00 (Interim) Director of Communications

Michelle Gowdy

Michelle.Gowdy@gtri.gatech.edu

404-407-8060

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672809 672808 672810 672809 image <![CDATA[Researchers install a high-speed camera ]]> Researchers install a high-speed camera that is part of the portal’s machine vision system. (Credit: John Toon, GTRI)

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672808 image <![CDATA[A Norfolk Southern locomotive ]]> A Norfolk Southern locomotive moves through a train portal operating near Leetonia, Ohio. (Credit: Norfolk Southern)

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672810 video <![CDATA[Digital Inspection Portal Uses AI and Machine Vision to Examine Moving Trains]]> Collaboration between Norfolk Southern Corporation and the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) has led to the development of digital train inspection portals that use advanced machine vision and artificial intelligence to examine trains moving at speeds of up to 60 miles per hour to identify mechanical defects that may exist.

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<![CDATA[IMat Initiative Lead Q&A: Valeria Milam]]> 35272 Valeria Tohver Milam leads the Macromolecular Materials at Biotic and Abiotic Interfaces research initiative for the Institute for Materials (IMat) and the Parker H. Petit Institute for Bioengineering and Biosciences at Georgia Tech. In this role, she is working to build an inclusive and active community across and beyond Georgia Tech to identify emerging research directions in macromolecular materials for biological and nonbiological applications. Milam is an associate professor in Materials Science and Engineering and a program faculty member of the Bioengineering graduate program at Georgia Tech.

In this brief Q&A, Milam discusses her research focus, how it relates to materials research, and the impact of this initiative.

What is your field of expertise and at what point in your life did you first become interested in this area?

My field of expertise lies in bio-inspired materials science and engineering. Natural macromolecular components of biological systems such as cell receptors or antibodies rely on recognition-based binding events to, for example, allow a cell to take up particular nutrients or to neutralize a specific pathogen threat. Inspired by nature’s capabilities, my group’s research strives to identify and study synthetic macromolecular materials with bio-inspired compositions and self-folded structures. I first became interested in using DNA for its recognition capabilities during my postdoc at the University of Pennsylvania. For the first several years as an assistant professor at Georgia Tech, my group used DNA duplexes as a temporary glue between particle surfaces. Our more recent efforts focus on finding oligonucleotides to function as ligands or capture agents for a specific biological or nonbiological target.

What questions or challenges sparked your current materials research?

Polymers or macromolecules hold a lot of promise as a class of materials for various applications. Synthetic macromolecules, however, pose a lot of synthesis and post-use challenges that can hinder the discovery and practical use of novel macromolecular chemistries. Natural polymers such as oligonucleotides and proteins, on the other hand, have their own elegant synthesis and degradation pathways. To promote discovery of novel macromolecular materials, my group uses nature’s reagents and building blocks to synthesize numerous artificial biopolymer candidates. Since we do not start with any sequence design rules, we rely on maximizing the composition diversity of these artificial biopolymers. We then test all candidates collectively to efficiently choose ones with the desired functionality.

Why is your initiative important to the development of Georgia Tech’s Materials research strategy?

One of the challenges to discovering macromolecular systems that are both novel and practical is the lack of design rules. For example, how does one choose the right number and composition of repeat units for a macromolecule that binds to a particular material surface or to a particular biological target. If you can take advantage of nature’s building blocks and enzymes, then you can explore a wide chemical combinatorial space without having to follow any prerequisite design rules. Better yet, you can then use your initial findings to come up with design rules to explore additional, possibly better macromolecular candidates. This approach to macromolecule discovery is inherently interdisciplinary since one must combine or adapt techniques and approaches developed by biologists, polymer scientists, and materials engineers. Thus, Georgia Tech is a great place to foster this interdisciplinary strategy to research.

What are the broader global and social benefits of the research you and your team conduct?

In addition to training members of our future workforce with interdisciplinary skill sets, we want to carve out a pathway to designing, synthesizing and using environmentally friendly, multiuse macromolecules with commercial promise.

What are your plans for engaging a wider GT faculty pool with IMat research?

Currently, we are primarily in the brainstorming stage. To this end, I am engaging with science and engineering faculty at GT as well as Emory. As cross-disciplinary ideas start to brew, we will work towards multi-PI funding opportunities that engage the broader GT faculty and community.

]]> aneumeister3 1 1706046889 2024-01-23 21:54:49 1706191943 2024-01-25 14:12:23 0 0 news Milam leads the Macromolecular Materials at Biotic and Abiotic Interfaces research initiative for the Institute for Materials (IMat) and Parker H. Petit Institute for Bioengineering and Biosciences at Georgia Tech.

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2024-01-23T00:00:00-05:00 2024-01-23T00:00:00-05:00 2024-01-23 00:00:00 Amelia Neumeister
Research Communications

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672848 672848 image <![CDATA[Valeria_GT_lab.JPG]]> image/jpeg 1706110277 2024-01-24 15:31:17 1706110277 2024-01-24 15:31:17
<![CDATA[IMat Initiative Lead Q&A: Juan-Pablo Correa-Baena]]> 34760 Juan-Pablo Correa-Baena leads the Materials for Solar Energy Harvesting and Conversion research initiative for the Institute for Materials (IMat) and Strategic Energy Institute at Georgia Tech. In this role, he is working to create a community around solar energy harvesting and conversion at Georgia Tech. He aims to integrate photovoltaic, photodetectors, and related devices into IMaT-related research; energize research in these areas at Georgia Tech at large; and consolidate the expertise of the many research groups working on or around photovoltaics/photodetectors that will allow researchers to target interdisciplinary research funding opportunities. He is also an assistant professor and the Goizueta Junior Faculty Rotating Chair in the School of Materials Science and Engineering.

In this brief Q&A, Correa-Baena discusses his research focus, how it relates to materials research, and the impact of this initiative.

What is your field of expertise and at what point in your life did you first become interested in this area?

I am an expert in materials for energy harvesting and conversion. I first became interested in this topic when I was an undergraduate student and started thinking about the future of energy production. 

What questions or challenges sparked your current materials research?

I was born and raised in a country where fossil fuels dominate the energy production landscape, yet where renewables are readily available. Colombia is a large producer of oil but also boasts a huge potential for solar energy production. This juxtaposition always puzzled me growing up. As a researcher in this field, I want to ensure that all countries around the world have access to solar energy, by helping lower deployment cost. 

Why is your initiative important to the development of Georgia Tech’s Materials research strategy?

There is a growing need to expand our research footprint at Georgia Tech with regard to photovoltaics. This is especially important with the impact of the photovoltaic industry presence in Georgia. My initiative is focusing on galvanizing activities around photovoltaic research at Georgia Tech that can benefit our footprint globally as well as locally with industry partners.

What are the broader global and social benefits of the research you and your team conduct?

The main benefit of the research we do is to the photovoltaic industry, which we hope to engage through cutting-edge research at Georgia Tech.

What are your plans for engaging a wider Georgia Tech faculty pool with IMat research?

I am planning to organize an internal workshop, as well as a session on photovoltaics in the Next Generation of Energy Materials Symposium to be held in March 2024 at Georgia Tech. In addition, as part of my efforts to engage the Georgia Tech community at large, I am working to create a website that will connect the Georgia Tech community working towards advancing photovoltaic capabilities for future manufacturing advancements. 

]]> Laurie Haigh 1 1699040085 2023-11-03 19:34:45 1706109229 2024-01-24 15:13:49 0 0 news Correa-Baena leads the Materials for Solar Energy Harvesting and Conversion research initiative for the Institute for Materials (IMat) and Strategic Energy Institute at Georgia Tech.

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2023-11-03T00:00:00-04:00 2023-11-03T00:00:00-04:00 2023-11-03 00:00:00 Amelia Neumeister

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672263 672263 image <![CDATA[Juan-Pablo Correa-Baena]]> image/png 1699039995 2023-11-03 19:33:15 1699040057 2023-11-03 19:34:17
<![CDATA[New Robot Musician]]> 27513 The robot medusai knows where you are. It must—because it plays music with you.

Made from beautifully fabricated steel and eight mobile arms, medusai can play percussion and strings with human musicians, dance with human dancers, and move in time to multiple human observers.

It uses AI-driven computer vision to know what human observers are doing and responds accordingly through snake gestures, music, and light. Gil Weinberg, the director of Georgia Tech’s Center for Music Technology, knows it’s unsettling. Wienberg is also a faculty member of the Institute for People and Technology.

Read the full story at Georgia Tech's Center for Music Technology.

]]> Walter Rich 1 1706021533 2024-01-23 14:52:13 1706022561 2024-01-23 15:09:21 0 0 news Made from beautifully fabricated steel and eight mobile arms, medusai can play percussion and strings with human musicians.

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2024-01-22T00:00:00-05:00 2024-01-22T00:00:00-05:00 2024-01-22 00:00:00 672840 672840 image <![CDATA[Robot Musician-3]]> Made from beautifully fabricated steel and eight mobile arms, medusai can play percussion and strings with human musicians.

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<![CDATA[How the Pandemic is Shaping U.S. Security Policy]]> 28153 The Covid-19 pandemic was one of the most serious crises since the end of World War II, taking a staggering human and economic toll across the planet. As the world gets up again, groggily, like a punch-drunk fighter, it’s become increasingly clear that this coronavirus changed everything in our society. And it’s forcing leadership to consider new and evolving paths forward.

In the U.S., one of the more challenging and complicated post-pandemic deliberations is around national security and how to respond to the next infectious disease run amok. Georgia Institute of Technology researcher Margaret Kosal addresses the issue in her study, “How Covid-19 is Reshaping U.S. National Security Policy,” published recently in the journal Politics and the Life Sciences.

The study was inspired, in part, by Kosal’s participation in National Academy of Sciences (NAS) committees focused on reducing bioterrorism and chemical terrorism.

“My work with NAS prompted me to think about how we are designing our strategies and what is driving these choices,” said Kosal, associate professor in the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs within the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts.

In the wake of the pandemic, the U.S. is actively changing part of its national security enterprise. Kosal researched Department of Defense documents, among other sources, and noted that recent trends are moving policy in a different direction. Directing the national response to infectious disease is a task that has moved from public health into the domain of national security.

It’s a process called securitization. And based on Kosal’s findings, the current trend, “turns the securitization debate on its head.” That is, instead of treating an emerging infectious disease, like Covid-19, as a national security problem, there has been a noticeable shift to treat biological weapons and bioterrorism as a public health problem.

It’s not quite the “public healthization” of biodefense programs, according to Kosal, “but rather, it is an intermingling of the two, especially in the context of critical aspects of politics and warfare.”

And that presents a potentially confusing problem for national defense and security where clarity and specificity are most important. The use of biological weapons, or an act of bioterrorism, “are fundamentally political decisions, choices of warfare,” Kosal said. “But a disease is not something that depends on political will, and it isn’t influenced by power.”

An emerging infectious disease like Covid-19 is clearly a public health issue and should be treated as such, falling under the purview of the National Institutes of Health or Centers for Disease Control, she added, then emphasized, “but biological weapons and bioterrorism should not be treated like infectious diseases. They are different in very important ways.”

The Danger of Bad Information

Complicating any national security discussion, according to Kosal, are misinformation and disinformation, and the resultant erosion of confidence in institutions, “including but not limited to governments,” she wrote. “This is a missing aspect of the current discussions about

U.S. policies to reduce biological threats, whether from states or terrorists, in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.”

The pandemic revealed a significant weakness in governments’ ability to adequately address the problem of misinformation and disinformation, a failure that manifested in conspiracy theories and the flouting of public health recommendations.

Kosal cited numerous articles and studies that demonstrate how a global crisis opened the door to distortion of the facts, as extremist groups worked to leverage fears and anxieties, usually to broaden the appeal of their own narratives. Some of the more radical included: an al-Qaeda faction that claimed Covid, “is a hidden soldier sent by God to fight his enemies; a leader of Boko Haram faction who told followers the pandemic was, “divine punishment for the world.”

Kosal observed, too, that economic hardships and other impacts of the pandemic have made it easier for extremist groups to exploit the fragility of weak governments, while gaining followers and resources, and putting a halt to peace-building efforts in some regions. Technology, like the content-generating algorithms used in social media, has helped spread wrong information, too.

“The misinformation and disinformation problem is serious because it leads to this loss of confidence in government,” Kosal said. “That confidence is crucial in the context of disease and in responding to bioterrorism.”

Ultimately, she hopes her study will have an impact on defense policymakers who are helping to form and clarify our nation’s security plans.

“I’d really like to see more recognition of the political piece,” she said. “It’s critically important for our counter proliferation efforts and for our efforts to reduce the threat of these weapons more broadly.”

Placing extremist ideologies and manufactured weapons in a public health context, she argued, lessens the emphasis on the political will and the importance of the relevant strategic choices necessary to address a potential conflict.

And the nature of conflict, she said, “is all about people and power. Diseases don’t care really care about those things.”

]]> Jerry Grillo 1 1699364120 2023-11-07 13:35:20 1704377958 2024-01-04 14:19:18 0 0 news In the wake of the pandemic, the U.S. is changing its national security policy.

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2023-11-07T00:00:00-05:00 2023-11-07T00:00:00-05:00 2023-11-07 00:00:00 Writer: Jerry Grillo

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672285 672285 image <![CDATA[Kosal]]> image/jpeg 1699363947 2023-11-07 13:32:27 1699363987 2023-11-07 13:33:07
<![CDATA[Hollister Lab Develops 3D Printing for Soft Tissue Engineering]]> 28153 There are young children celebrating the holidays this year with their families, thanks to the 3D-printed medical devices created in the lab of Georgia Tech researcher Scott Hollister. For more than 10 years, Hollister and his collaborators have developed lifesaving, patient-specific airway splints for babies with rare birth defects. 

These personalized Airway Support Devices are made of a biocompatible polyester called polycaprolactone (PCL), which has the advantage of being approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Researchers use selective laser sintering to heat the powdered polyester, which binds together as a solid structure. Devices made of PCL have a great safety record when implanted into patients.

Unfortunately, PCL has the disadvantage of having relatively stiff and linear mechanical properties, which means this promising biomaterial has yet to be applied functionally to some other critical biomedical needs, such as soft tissue engineering. How do you make a firm thermoplastic into something flexible, and possibly capable of growing with the patient? Hollister’s lab has figured out how.

“3D auxetic design,” said Jeong Hun Park, a research scientist in Hollister’s lab who led the team’s recent study demonstrating the successful 3D printing of PCL for soft tissue engineering. An auxetic material, unlike typical common elastics, has a negative Poisson’s ratio. That means if you stretch an auxetic material longitudinally it will also expand in the lateral direction, whereas most materials will get thinner laterally (because they have a positive Poisson’s ratio).

So, an auxetic structure can expand in both directions, which is useful when considering biomedical applications for humans, whose bodies and parts can change in size and shape over time and comprise many different textures and densities. Hollister’s team set out to give usually firm PCL some new auxetic properties.

“Although the mechanical properties and behavior of the 3D structure depend on the inherent properties of the base material — in this case, PCL — it can also be significantly tuned through internal architecture design,” explained Park.

Park guided the design of 3D-printed structures made up of tiny struts, arranged at right angles — imagine the bones of very tiny skyscrapers. The team began by creating cube-shaped structures first, to test the auxetic design’s flexibility, strength, and permeability.

Flexible Behavior

Basically, an auxetic material is a network structure designed by assembling unit cells. These unit cells consist of struts and their intersecting joints, which are an important aspect of an auxetic device’s behavior. The rotation of those intersecting joints within the network, under compression or extension, causes negative Poisson’s behavior. It also enables advanced performance for a printed device, including impact energy absorption, indentation resistance, and high flexibility. 

“When you look at the numbers, based on Jeong Hun’s work, the new structure is about 300 times more flexible than the typical solid structure we make out of PCL in our lab,” said Hollister, professor in the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech and Emory University, where he also holds the Patsy and Alan Dorris Chair in Pediatric Technology and serves as the department’s associate chair for translational research.

The combination of flexibility and strength in a device is particularly important here, Park said, because the ultimate goal of the research is to “apply this structure to develop a breast reconstruction implant that has comparable biomechanical properties to native breast tissue. Currently, we don’t have a biodegradable breast implantation option in the clinical setting.”

He explained that these biodegradable breast reconstruction implants serve as a kind of scaffold. The idea is, the biocompatible material (PCL) eventually degrades and is absorbed into the body, while maintaining similar mechanical properties to native breast tissue.

“We expect that native tissue will be first infiltrated into the pores of the biodegradable implant,” Park said. “Tissue volume will then increase within the implant as it degrades and eventually the device itself is replaced with the tissue after complete degradation of the implant.”

Expanding the Cellular Network

Essentially, the 3D-printed breast implant is designed to provide reconstructive support while also facilitating the growth of new tissue.

The space between those tiny struts makes all the difference for the larger device, giving it a softness and pliability that would have been impossible otherwise. Those spaces eventually can be filled with hydrogel that will help foster cell and tissue growth. 

The team’s architected auxetics also include the design of inner voids and spaces inside the struts, creating a kind of microporosity that enables the mass transport of oxygen, nutrients, and metabolites to nurture the expansion and growth of a cellular network.

Park is working with Emory surgeon Angela Cheng in submitting a grant for further research and testing of the breast implant. And the team already is adapting the technology for other applications. One of the collaborators in this research, for example, is Mike Davis, whose lab at Emory is focused on cardiac regeneration.

“Because of the great flexibility, they’re using it to reconstruct infarcted or necrotic myocardial tissue,” Hollister said.

And Park has developed an auxetic version of the pediatric tracheal splint. “The advantage there is, with this design, it can expand in two directions,” he said. “So, as young patients grow, the new device will grow with them.”

 

Video Demonstration of Auxetic Compression

]]> Jerry Grillo 1 1701349302 2023-11-30 13:01:42 1704377666 2024-01-04 14:14:26 0 0 news Researchers use architected auxetics to achieve 300 times more flexibility in new 3D printing design

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2023-11-30T00:00:00-05:00 2023-11-30T00:00:00-05:00 2023-11-30 00:00:00 Writer: Jerry Grillo

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672478 672478 image <![CDATA[JeongHun Park]]> Research scientist JeongHun Park

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<![CDATA[Coskun Lab Pioneering New Field of Research: Single Cell Spatial Metabolomics]]> 28153 Ahmet Coskun and his collaborators plan to create a chemical atlas of all the immune cells in the human body, a 3D micromap to help clinicians navigate the complex role of the entire immune system in the presence of different diseases. 

It’s the kind of massive undertaking that would result in vastly improved precision therapies for patients. And it’s the kind of journey that starts with a single cell. Coskun and team are off to a fast start with the introduction of a new integrative technique for profiling human tissue that enables researchers to capture the geography, structure, movement, and function of molecules in a 3D picture. 

The researchers described their new approach, the Single Cell Spatially resolved Metabolic (scSpaMet) framework, in the journal Nature Communications on Dec. 13. The study builds on a technique Coskun’s team developed and described in a 2021 article, “3D Spatially resolved Metabolomic profiling Framework,” published in Science Advances. In that work, the team introduced a technique that measures the activity of metabolites and proteins as part of a comprehensive profile of human tissue samples. 

“Earlier we couldn’t achieve single-cell resolution, but with this new approach, we can,” said Coskun, Bernie Marcus Early Career Professor in the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech and Emory University. “With this new approach, we can get spatial details of proteins and metabolites in single cells– no one else has yet reached this level of high subcellular resolution.”

He added, “We’re pioneering a new field of research with this work, single cell spatial metabolomics.”

A Bigger, Better Molecular Picture

Human tissue is spatially crowded with all kinds of stuff, so investigators need tools that can see clearly into, through, and around that multilayered biological traffic – everything, all at once, in high-definition 3D. With scSpaMet, Coskun’s team can capture single cell details such as the naturally occurring lipids, proteins, as well as metabolites (with their multiple functions, including energy conversion and cell signaling). And other details, like those provided by researchers: Intracellular and surface markers are used to label and track cell activity and behavior. 

The team broadened the scope of this study, extending its investigation beyond human tonsil tissue. 

“We showed the crucial role of immune cells in lung cancer for the study of lung cancer for the study of immunometabolism of T cells and macrophages as they interact with tumors,” Coskun said. “Then we created dynamic immune metabolic changes in tonsils as they go through germinal center reactions to give rise to the antibody-producing cells. Finally, we demonstrated the role of immune cells in the endometrium, a membrane in the uterus that might lead to conditions impacting a woman’s health.”

The wide-angled study required plenty of cross-country collaboration with other institutions, although Coskun’s lab guided the wide-angled study, integrating its expertise in bioimaging, chemistry, tissue biology, and artificial intelligence. 

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (New York) provided access to its endometrium tissue bank. Oak Ridge National Laboratory (Tennessee) provided data from its complex metabolic imaging instrumentation, to further demonstrate how single cell spatial metabolomics imaging can generate rich data. 

The University of California-Davis provided kidney biospecimens as both fixed tissue and frozen embedded tissue, in two halves of the same sample, “so we could demonstrate the effect of tissue preparation on the sensitivity of our single cell spatial metabolomics pipeline,” Coskun said.

The team also included Thomas Hu and Mayar Allam, graduate researchers in Coskun’s lab, who guided the research as lead authors, and Walter Henderson, a research scientist who manages the IEN/IMat Materials Characterization Facility at Georgia Tech.

Considering the Whole Person's Biochemistry

The ability to generate single cell spatial metabolic profiling of individual patients can reveal a world of possibility and potential for clinicians who need to fully understand a patient’s biophysical makeup to contrive the best treatment options.

“For example, it can provide mechanisms of how immune responses can be boosted by adding dietary molecules along with immunotherapies,” Coskun said. “It can also help adjust the dose of cell-based treatments, based on the body mass index of individual patients, whether they are obese or not.”

Coskun believes this new arena of single cell metabolomics research his lab is developing will complement the field of single cell genomics, which has led to genomic medicine. His team’s comprehensive exploration and imaging of the geography of normal and unhealthy human tissues – of every single cell – can further explain cellular regulation in ways that were previously overlooked, due to the lack of technology.

He envisions a future in which a patient’s BMI, dietary habits, and exercise commitments, along with their single cell spatial metabolomic atlas of disease progression, will be analyzed all together to find optimum therapies that can work with biologics and metabolic boosting regimens, potentially increasing the survival of cancers, women’s diseases, and metabolic disorders.

“We will have opportunities to talk about spatial single cell metabolomic medicine, to stratify patients and design next-generation combination therapies with an integrated view of genes and chemical activity roadmaps, for more efficient management of cancer and other diseases,” Coskun said.

In creating their scSpaMet framework, the researchers must integrate expensive machines that live in the worlds of nanotechnology and chemistry right now. The system will require clinical-friendly optimizations to be able to run single cell metabolic imaging measurements in healthcare settings. Coskun expects the cost and user-friendliness will be improved in the near future to reach the bedside.

“When researchers achieved single cell sequencing, it was a revolutionary moment in medicine,” Coskun said. “Now, we believe single cell spatial metabolic profiling will push the medical practice into new heights.” 

This research was supported by the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, and the Bernie Marcus Early Career Professorship, as well as the National Science Foundation (Grant ECCS-1542174), (Grant ECCS-2-25462), American Cancer Society, and National Institutes of Health grants (R21AG081715, R21AI173900, and R35GM151028)

Citation: Thomas Hu, Mayar Allam, Shuangyi Cai, Walter Henderson, Brian Yueh, Aybuke Garipcan, Anton V. Ievlev, Maryam Afkarian, Semir Beyaz, and Ahmet F. Coskun. “Single-cell spatial metabolomics with cell-type specific protein profiling for tissue systems biology,” Nature Communications (Dec. 13, 2023)

]]> Jerry Grillo 1 1703084826 2023-12-20 15:07:06 1704377606 2024-01-04 14:13:26 0 0 news Coskun lab developed scSpaMet framework, to capture 3D images of single cell details such as the naturally occurring lipids, proteins, as well as metabolites (with their multiple functions, including energy conversion and cell signaling), in hopes of creating 3D map of all human tissues. 

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2023-12-20T00:00:00-05:00 2023-12-20T00:00:00-05:00 2023-12-20 00:00:00 Jerry Grillo

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672621 672622 672623 672621 image <![CDATA[spatial meta]]> Images of time in space: The top panel image shows pseudo-time single cell metabolic trajectories across distinct biogeographical regions. The dark purple represents early metabolic changes, while the bright yellow represents later metabolic activities. The bottom panel is a spatial projection of single cells’ metabolic trajectories (denoted by arrows in the dark zone and light zone regions) in tonsil tissue. Photo provided by Coskun Lab

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672622 image <![CDATA[lead authors]]> Lead authors Mayar Allam and Thomas Hu

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672623 image <![CDATA[Coskun photo]]> Ahmet Coskun

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<![CDATA[GTRI to Join Forces with 3ID for Third Annual Marne Innovation Workshop]]> 35875 The Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) marches into 2024 smartly with the Third Annual Marne Innovation Workshop, a collaborative event co-hosted with the 3rd Infantry Division (3ID) and the Georgia Tech Army ROTC. Set for Jan. 4 -7, this workshop has rapidly become a cornerstone event, fostering innovation and problem-solving at the intersection of military needs and technological advancements.

The Marne Innovation Workshop, now in its third year, is a “meeting of minds” where real-world challenges faced by the 3ID are met with the ingenuity and technical prowess of GTRI's researchers, with assistance from the Army ROTC cadets. Over an intensive 36-hour period, mixed teams of researchers, soldiers, and students will dive deep into selected problems, aiming to emerge with viable, implementable solutions that can be integrated into 3ID's regular operations.

The inaugural event in 2022 laid the foundation, with participants tackling diverse challenges ranging from data analytics for combat vehicle crew selection to inventive solutions for mounting equipment on combat vehicles. The ingenuity and collaborative spirit showcased during the workshop led to practical solutions that have since been integrated into 3ID's work.

In 2023, the workshop continued to build on this foundation of innovation. Soldiers, students, and researchers congregated to brainstorm and create solutions targeting the enemy's capabilities, using locally sourced materials and minimal building experience. This approach not only fostered a hands-on problem-solving environment but also underscored the importance of resourcefulness and adaptability in modern military operations. The upcoming 2024 workshop promises to further this trajectory of innovation and practical problem-solving.

After the 2023 event, Maj. Patrick Kerins, the 3ID innovation officer, noted the workshop's role in fostering a culture of innovation within the Army. "Exposing soldiers to different methodologies, design thinking, and diverse levels of experience is crucial in building a force that is not only innovative in garrison but also dynamic and adaptable in combat scenarios.”GTRI's role in this partnership extends beyond mere co-hosting. It provides a unique environment where military personnel can access resources and expertise otherwise unavailable, bridging the gap between academic research and military application.

Andy Chang, a GTRI Senior Research Engineer in the Advanced Warfighting Technologies Division of ACL, described this synergy: "At GTRI, we're not just assisting in problem-solving; we're actively engaging in a knowledge exchange that benefits both the military and academic communities."

The Marne Innovations Workshop is more than a yearly event; it showcases the power of collaboration between the military and GTRI. It positions GTRI at the forefront of innovation, showcasing how today's technology can address the pressing needs of the military, all while preparing soldiers for the challenges of tomorrow.

In 2024, according to Chang, the Marne Innovation Workshop is expanding further. This year's event will have students from the University of North Georgia participating in the workshop. GTRI is also expanding collaboration with partners on campus.

"We’ll be partnering with Dr. Amit Jariwala in the Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering to get workshop participants access to the Flowers Invention Studio and other ME school facilities, which will help improve what our workshop participants will be able to do this year," said Chang.

As GTRI and 3ID gear up for another successful workshop, the spirit of innovation and collaboration continues to thrive, poised to yield results that will resonate far beyond Fort Stewart and the Institute.

 

Writer: Christopher Weems
Photos: Sean McNeil
GTRI Communications
Georgia Tech Research Institute
Atlanta, Georgia

Gold Square Divider

The Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) is the nonprofit, applied research division of the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech). Founded in 1934 as the Engineering Experiment Station, GTRI has grown to more than 2,900 employees, supporting eight laboratories in over 20 locations around the country and performing more than $940 million of problem-solving research annually for government and industry. GTRI's renowned researchers combine science, engineering, economics, policy, and technical expertise to solve complex problems for the U.S. federal government, state, and industry.

]]> cweems8 1 1704301869 2024-01-03 17:11:09 1704302309 2024-01-03 17:18:29 0 0 news GTRI marches into 2024 smartly with the Third Annual Marne Innovation Workshop, a collaborative event co-hosted with the 3rd Infantry Division (3ID) and the Georgia Tech Army ROTC. Set for Jan. 4 -7, this workshop has rapidly become a cornerstone event, fostering innovation and problem-solving at the intersection of military needs and technological advancements.

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2024-01-03T00:00:00-05:00 2024-01-03T00:00:00-05:00 2024-01-03 00:00:00 Michelle Gowdy (michelle.gowdy@gtri.gatech.edu)

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672658 672658 image <![CDATA[2024_0103_image_Marne Innovation Workshop 2022.jpg]]> image/jpeg 1704302216 2024-01-03 17:16:56 1704302216 2024-01-03 17:16:56
<![CDATA[CIPHER Researchers Take Second Place in Southeastern Cyber Cup]]> 35832 Three GTRI researchers made it to the finals and came home with second place in the "Southeastern Cyber Cup" competition, a multi-day, national-level, higher education competition and cyber hacking event held last month. The three researchers are Justin Hsu, Garrett Brown, and Drew Petry. Their team, named the "Clockcycles," was one of the 15 finalists in the event. Georgia Tech made an impressive mark, with eight teams among the final 15.

The Southeastern Cyber Cup is hosted by Georgia Tech’s Office of Information Technology in partnership with Deloitte. The virtual hacking event is open to cybersecurity and IT students and professionals and is held to generate enthusiasm and excitement around cybersecurity careers. 

As part of the annual competitors are challenged to find a "flag": a string of text. The flags for each challenge are submitted online to receive points. Challenge categories include network, web, crypto, miscellaneous, forensics, and reverse engineering.

Why Is the Southeastern Cyber Cup Important for GT/GTRI?

The Southeastern Cup and similar competitions are among the many ways that Georgia Tech and GTRI can showcase the skills of its researchers and aid in their professional development. The team’s Southeastern Cyber Cup win also indicates GTRI's role as a leader in the field of cybersecurity. 

“Historically, CTF (Capture the Flag) competitions are a practical way to sharpen the skills that any cybersecurity researcher/enthusiast may utilize during their career. If you’re interested in cybersecurity, CTFs are a great way to add new tools to your toolbox, as I often find myself picking up new skills during the course of such competitions,” Brown shared.

The Clockcycles team undoubtedly got the opportunity to sharpen their skills during the competition. Hsu shared that he and his team “stayed up for at least 20+ hours straight," participating in each event round. The time commitment and dedication certainly paid off in the end!

GT/GTRI's Impact on CTF Competitions

GTRI routinely has a group of researchers that participate in CTF competitions. In 2021, Petry and his team had an impressive win at the Hack-a-Sat 2 competition. In 2022, Petry and Hsu traveled to an east coast naval facility as part of a GTRI team that competed in person at an invitation-only event held by the US Navy, "Maritime Militia CTF." Their team was awarded a physical flag to bring back to GTRI, which they hung up as a trophy.

GTRI's dedication to these competitions hasn't gone unnoticed. At a CTF in 2022, GTRI received a letter of appreciation from the Naval Surface Warfare Center commending their performance. The Clockcyles' win at the Southeastern Cup is just one example of GTRI's impact as a research organization.

Meet the dedicated team members who brought home second place!

Justin Hsu

Justin Hsu is a Research Scientist in GTRI’S CIPHER (Cybersecurity, Information Protection, and Hardware Evaluation Research) Lab, Software Assurance Branch. Hsu's work includes looking at and working towards developing tools for software security testing and vulnerability analysis/assessments. He received a B.S. in Computer Information Systems from Shorter University, and an M.S. in Computer Science from Georgia Tech. Hsu has spent the majority of his professional career in software development. He previously worked at the ELSYS (Electronic Systems Laboratory) and shared that he moved to CIPHER after attending a seminar that rekindled his interest in cybersecurity. 

"I’ve been interested in cybersecurity since I was young, probably watching the movie ‘Hackers’ one too many times, and spent the majority of my career doing software development. But after hearing someone talk at a Friday Morning Seminar about their research work on malware, I was reminded of my interest in cybersecurity and wound up making the move from ELSYS to CIPHER," Hsu shared. 

This was the first year Hsu participated in the Southeastern Cyber Cup, but he has participated in CTFs with fellow CIPHER colleagues since 2021. To date, he's competed in about six different events, including ones sponsored by the U.S. Navy (HACKtheMACHINE, HACKtheMACHINE Unmanned) and the U.S. Air Force/Space Force (Hack-a-Sat, Hack-a-Sat 2, and Hack-a-Sat 3). 

Drew Petry

Drew Petry works as a Research Engineer in the Embedded System Vulnerability Division (ESVD) of CIPHER. Petry’s work focuses on the reverse engineering and security assessment of embedded systems and cyber EW (Electronic Warfare) techniques. He received a B.S. in Computer Engineering from Georgia Tech in 2010. In 2014, he also received his M.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Georgia Tech.

Petry has spent the past fourteen years as a professional research engineer at GTRI, working in the embedded system security and vulnerability field. He shared that he’s always been drawn to embedded systems because he "enjoys interacting with low-level hardware and ‘bare-metal’ code.” Bare metal programming is the process of programming directly on the hardware without using an operating system or middleware.

Outside of the inaugural Southeastern Cyber Cup competition, Petry competes in capture-the-flag competitions yearly. The events he’s competed in while representing GTRI include the annual U.S. Air/Space Force Hack-a-sat CTFs and the U.S. Navy Hack the Machine cybersecurity competitions.

Garrett Brown

Garrett Brown is a Research Scientist in the Embedded Cyber Techniques (ECT) branch of the ESVD at CIPHER. He primarily works on vulnerability discovery and analysis of embedded systems. Brown received his B.S. in Computer Science from Georgia Tech. 

Brown shared that he found his passion in this field after participating in the VIP (Vertically Integrated Project) program while at Georgia Tech as an undergraduate student. During this program, he was a part of the Embedded Systems Cyber Security (ESCS) team, which gave him his "first taste of the work [he] would soon come to love."

"I believe cybersecurity practitioners can improve the lives of many around the world, and I'd like to be a part of whatever positive impact we can make," shared Brown when asked why he was passionate about his work.

While this was Brown's first time competing in the Southeastern Cyber Cup, he is not a stranger to competitions. He's previously competed in other CTFs as part of the CIPHER team for competitions such as the Hack-a-Sat and HACKtheMACHINE events.

When asked how he felt about their team's award, he shared, "I felt both relief and disappointment--relief that I could finally go to sleep and disappointment that we got second place instead of first!”

Congratulations Clockcycles team!

 

Writer: Madison McNair (madison.mcnair@gtri.gatech.edu)  
Photographer: Christopher Moore 
GTRI Communications  
Georgia Tech Research Institute  
Atlanta, Georgia

The Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) is the nonprofit, applied research division of the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech). Founded in 1934 as the Engineering Experiment Station, GTRI has grown to more than 2,900 employees, supporting eight laboratories in over 20 locations around the country and performing more than $940 million of problem-solving research annually for government and industry. GTRI's renowned researchers combine science, engineering, economics, policy, and technical expertise to solve complex problems for the U.S. federal government, state, and industry.

]]> Michelle Gowdy 1 1704294493 2024-01-03 15:08:13 1704294975 2024-01-03 15:16:15 0 0 news Three GTRI researchers made it to the finals and came home with second place in the "Southeastern Cyber Cup" competition, a multi-day, national-level, higher education competition and cyber hacking event held last month. The three researchers are Justin Hsu, Garrett Brown, and Drew Petry. The Southeastern Cyber Cup is hosted by Georgia Tech’s Office of Information Technology in partnership with Deloitte. The virtual hacking event is open to cybersecurity and IT students and professionals and is held to generate enthusiasm and excitement around cybersecurity careers. 

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2024-01-03T00:00:00-05:00 2024-01-03T00:00:00-05:00 2024-01-03 00:00:00 (Interim) Director of Communications

Michelle Gowdy

Michelle.Gowdy@gtri.gatech.edu

404-407-8060

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672652 672652 image <![CDATA[GTRI-CIPHER researchers]]> A photo of GTRI-CIPHER researchers. (Photo Credit: Christopher Moore).

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<![CDATA[GTRI, Georgia Tech Use Quantum Computing to Optimize CFD Applications ]]> 35832 While quantum computing is still in its early stages, it has the power to unlock unprecedented speed and efficiency in solving complex computational fluid dynamics (CFD) problems that could revolutionize several industries, including the defense space. 

The Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) and Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) are exploring how the powerful processing capabilities of quantum computers can expedite CFD’s resource-intensive simulations used in aircraft design, weather prediction, nuclear weapons testing and more.  

“Through a collaboration between GTRI and Georgia Tech, we are developing an application of quantum computing to solve proof-of-principle problems in computational fluid dynamics that could streamline efficiencies and reduce costs across numerous industries,” said Bryan Gard, a GTRI senior research scientist who is leading this project.

Quantum computing offers a new way of doing computations using the principles of quantum mechanics, a science that explores the behavior of tiny particles such as atoms and photons. Computers and software that are built on the theories of quantum mechanics can process a large amount of information simultaneously and much faster than classical computers. That is because unlike classical computers, which use bits that are either 0 or 1, quantum computers use quantum bits or qubits. 

Classical bits are similar to regular on/off switches, which can only exist in one state at a time. Qubits, meanwhile, can exist in multiple states at once thanks to a property in quantum mechanics known as superposition.  

Because CFD involves complex simulations of how fluids, such as air or water, move and interact with different surfaces, classical computers often struggle with the immense number of calculations needed for such detailed simulations. The ability for quantum computers to process information in parallel could significantly speed up these simulations and produce more accurate results. 

“Say you are examining how air flows over a plane wing and you want to identify the large- and small-scale dynamics of that interaction,” explained Gard. “This type of problem would be very hard for a classical computer to handle because it wouldn’t be able to examine those large- and small-scale aspects simultaneously.” 

The team has split its research into two parts. The parts that involve linear differential equations are solved on a quantum computer and the other, non-linear parts are handled conventionally on a classical machine. 

The reason for this division is that as the problem scales up on classical supercomputers, the communication between nodes becomes inefficient, creating a bottleneck. Even though quantum computers are not yet large-scale, they can handle certain parts of the problem without facing the same communication challenges, Gard explained. 

These principles could help organizations strategically allocate resources and avoid costs associated with manufacturing and testing potentially flawed designs. In the defense realm, an example of this can be seen with designing aircraft. 

Instead of the conventional methods of building and testing structures in a wind tunnel, quantum-enhanced CFD would allow engineers to analyze stresses, assess designs and predict performance more efficiently and cost effectively. This becomes particularly relevant at high speeds, where factors such as air flows and turbulence pose additional challenges for running accurate simulations. 

“It all comes down to money, as with everything else,” said Gard. “If you could save yourself a lot of time and money by running this simulation, which you couldn't do before, then it would allow you to allocate your resources more effectively.” 

For this project, GTRI is collaborating with Spencer Bryngelson, an assistant professor in the School of Computational Science and Engineering who has expertise in computational physics, numerical methods, fluid dynamics and high-performance computing. Zhixin Song, a graduate student at Georgia Tech who is researching quantum algorithms for CFD, has also contributed.   

“This project is particularly interesting because although it is challenging, it could have outsize performance gains if one can find the right tools for the job, meaning the right quantum algorithm to solve the right fluid dynamics problem,” Bryngelson said. “GTRI and Georgia Tech have already made progress in this area, and also work well together, so it has been a good experience.” 

The project has been supported by GTRI’s Independent Research and Development (IRAD) Program, winning an IRAD of the Year award in fiscal year 2023, and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). 

 

Writer: Anna Akins 
Photos: Christopher Moore 
Art Credit: Img2Go.com, Adobe 
GTRI Communications
Georgia Tech Research Institute
Atlanta, Georgia

The Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) is the nonprofit, applied research division of the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech). Founded in 1934 as the Engineering Experiment Station, GTRI has grown to more than 2,900 employees, supporting eight laboratories in over 20 locations around the country and performing more than $940 million of problem-solving research annually for government and industry. GTRI's renowned researchers combine science, engineering, economics, policy, and technical expertise to solve complex problems for the U.S. federal government, state, and industry.

]]> Michelle Gowdy 1 1704293756 2024-01-03 14:55:56 1704294145 2024-01-03 15:02:25 0 0 news The Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) and Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) are exploring how the powerful processing capabilities of quantum computers can expedite CFD’s resource-intensive simulations used in aircraft design, weather prediction, nuclear weapons testing and more.  

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2024-01-03T00:00:00-05:00 2024-01-03T00:00:00-05:00 2024-01-03 00:00:00 (Interim) Director of Communications

Michelle Gowdy

Michelle.Gowdy@gtri.gatech.edu

404-407-8060

]]>
672651 672650 672651 image <![CDATA[AI-generated graphic of complex CFD simulations]]> The ability for quantum computers to process a large amount of information simultaneously could significantly speed up complex CFD simulations and produce more accurate results (Credit: AI art generator Img2Go.com).

]]> image/jpeg 1704293609 2024-01-03 14:53:29 1704293733 2024-01-03 14:55:33
672650 image <![CDATA[GT's Quantum Computing Research Team]]> The team leading this project includes, from left to right: Bryan Gard, a GTRI senior research scientist; Spencer Bryngelson, an assistant professor in Georgia Tech's School of Computational Science and Engineering; and Zhixin "Jack" Song, a Georgia Tech graduate student who is researching quantum algorithms for CFD (Photo Credit: Christopher Moore, GTRI).

]]> image/jpeg 1704293415 2024-01-03 14:50:15 1704293588 2024-01-03 14:53:08
<![CDATA[Mo Li receives Humboldt Research Award]]> 35272 Mo Li, professor in the School of Materials Science and Engineering at Georgia Tech, has received the Humboldt Research Award from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. The award honors internationally leading researchers in recognition of their entire academic record to date.

The Humboldt recipients are academics whose fundamental discoveries, theories, or insights have had a significant impact on their own disciplines and who are expected to continue producing cutting-edge achievements in the future.

Li’s research focuses on theory and computation of disordered materials — such as glass and liquid — with an emphasis on understanding the underlying atomic structures and their relations to properties. These materials are known for the lack of long-range order, making it extremely difficult, if not possible, to determine the exact atomic structures experimentally. The missing connection between the structure and property has challenged scientists for decades.

Using computational and theoretical approaches, Li’s research is directed towards the fundamental understanding of the mechanisms, process, and structures of the materials. He has made many contributions in the topics of glass transitions, deformation localization in glassy materials, thermodynamic and statistical physics models for metastable systems and their phase transitions, and algorithm development for computations.

“Besides the honor and recognition, for which I am very grateful, the Humboldt Research Award brings a tremendous opportunity for international collaboration of basic research through the financial support and also the Humboldt network.” Li said. "The fundamental understanding enables us to carry out new experiment and computation that could lead to development of new materials that have not been possible for disordered or amorphous materials.”

In addition to the honor, the Foundation also provides financial support for Li to foster and carry out creative collaborative research in Germany. Li will work closely with colleagues in two world-class institutions in Germany: Prof. Robert Maaß at Bundesanstalt fuer Materialforschung und -pruefung (BAM) in Berlin and Prof. Jörg Weissmüller at Hamburg University of Technology in Hamburg.

They will work on how new design of microstructures in disordered materials could bring revolutionary changes to the physical and mechanical properties and how length scale and geometric and topological shapes influence the surface and interface properties of this class of materials.

]]> aneumeister3 1 1703271633 2023-12-22 19:00:33 1703271761 2023-12-22 19:02:41 0 0 news Li honored for a lifetime of research in theory and computation of disordered materials

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2023-12-07T00:00:00-05:00 2023-12-07T00:00:00-05:00 2023-12-07 00:00:00 Passion Thomas

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<![CDATA[GTRI Summer Internship Program Applications Open Through January 29]]> 35875 The Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) Research Internship Program (GRIP) is accepting student applications for the Summer 2024 session!

Graduate and undergraduate students may apply by visiting  https://grip.gtri.gatech.edu/ and following the posted instructions before the application period closes on January 29.

What’s GRIP?

GTRI is the nonprofit, applied research organization of the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech). GTRI's renowned researchers combine science, engineering, economics, policy and technical expertise to solve complex problems for the U.S. federal government, state and industry. Founded in 1934 as the Engineering Experiment Station, GTRI has grown to more than 2,900 employees supporting eight laboratories in over 20 locations around the country.

GRIP is GTRI’s summer internship program for undergraduate and graduate students. Students work full-time for ten weeks from May 28 – August 2. Over the summer, GTRI hosts over 50 undergraduate and graduate students to work on projects hosted by GTRI’s eight research laboratories.

Students from all accredited U.S. colleges and universities can apply by visiting  https://grip.gtri.gatech.edu/ and following the posted instructions before the application period closes on January 29.

All GRIP projects are posted to the website. Students are invited to review, rank, and select their top three projects. After the application period closes on January 29, GRIP project mentors will conduct phone interviews during the month of February. Once feedback is collected from GRIP project mentors, an algorithm will be used to match students and project mentors to their top choices.

Formal job offers will then be made to selected students at the beginning of March. Selected students will then have 5 business days to accept or reject the formal offer letter. Additional offers may be extended to students at the end of March based on the initial acceptance or refusal from the first group of students. These students will also have 5 business days to either accept or reject. We plan for all final hiring decisions and notifications to students to be completed by the beginning of April.

]]> cweems8 1 1702934520 2023-12-18 21:22:00 1702934520 2023-12-18 21:22:00 0 0 news The GTRI Research Internship Program (GRIP) is accepting student applications for the Summer 2024 session! Graduate and undergraduate students are encouraged to apply! Graduate and undergraduate students may apply by visiting  https://grip.gtri.gatech.edu/ and following the posted instructions before the application period closes on January 29.

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2023-12-18T00:00:00-05:00 2023-12-18T00:00:00-05:00 2023-12-18 00:00:00 <![CDATA[]]>
<![CDATA[ARCM Facilitates Update of Radio Control System for Army’s UH-60M]]> 35832 Using a model-based systems engineering (MBSE) approach, researchers from the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) are developing the software necessary to integrate new control, radio, and cryptographic capabilities into UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters, which are mainstays of the U.S. Army’s helicopter fleet.

The Aviation Radio Control Manager (ARCM) software will enable the sustainment of enduring fleet aircraft by employing a Modular Open Systems Approach (MOSA) to replace obsolete, out-of-production radio equipment and set the stage for future communications suite enhancements. The reusable and adaptable ARCM software is projected to be employed on additional Army aircraft in the future, providing benefits of software reuse, potentially leveraged for future efforts.

Now in its third round of software development, ARCM is due to be flight-tested next summer and installed on the first group of UH-60M aircraft in 2025. The project, supported by the U.S. Army’s PEO Aviation in Huntsville, Alabama, will comply with the service’s Future Airborne Capability Environment (FACE™) Technical Standard, Edition 3.1.

Model-based approaches are being used across the Department of Defense (DoD) to accelerate the development of new platforms and updates to existing ones. Beyond reducing costs and getting new capabilities to warfighters more quickly, the process can streamline procurement by clearly spelling out system specifications and key interfaces.

“Model-based approaches have been a very central part of how we’ve approached ARCM, and the return on investment for ARCM generally and for the MBSEs specifically, is based largely on a business case in which you spend a little more to get the models in place and design the system to interface with multiple components,” said Scott Tompkins, a GTRI senior research engineer who leads the project. “Investments in MBSE can provide huge savings when you reuse the work for other systems and shorten the cycle times to bring new capabilities to aircraft platforms.”

In this first application, the ARCM software will facilitate three major improvements for the UH-60M: (1) replacement of the control head unit (CHU) that aircrews use to operate radio equipment, (2) replacement of an obsolete tactical communications radio, and (3) upgrade of cryptographic systems used for secure communications. The replacement radio hardware, which is being built by multiple vendors, interfaces with the aircraft’s unmodified flight management system (FMS) via the ARCM.

“The aircraft needed a new radio, but the Army doesn’t necessarily desire to change the approved and fielded Black Hawk FMS Operational Flight Program (OFP) to integrate that radio,” Tompkins said. “In this project, we are translating the radio’s interface, so they don’t have to change the main aircraft software. This will address three issues at once through software.”

Two different radios with comparable functionality will be available as options for replacing the existing ARC-201D unit. The ARCM software will make the difference between those two alternatives invisible to aircrews and other systems in the aircraft. The software will also allow transparent substitution of radio equipment on Black Hawks used by foreign nations, and it is designed for future support of alternate radio equipment used by National Guard Black Hawks for collaboration with civil defense and domestic first responder agencies.

“From the models, we generated the vast majority of the code used in the ARCM, and that code meets the FACE Edition 3.1 standard for MOSA software,” Tompkins said. “We have also deployed a development, security, and operations (DevSecOps) pipeline to support our software repository and perform automated testing of the products as part of best practices in software development and acquisition. We are also doing full end-to-end information assurance accreditation.”

Though only the UH-60M work has been performed so far, the work done on ARCM could also be used with CH-47F Chinook and AH-64 Apache helicopters, as well as the Gray Eagle uncrewed aircraft system (UAS). The Army’s Future Vertical Lift (FVL) platforms could also take advantage of the modeling done for ARCM.

“The FACE model provides the ability to unambiguously communicate about interfaces,” Tompkins said. “We have all the contextual meaning for the data so that when we hand this over, there’s no question about what the data is and how to interpret the messages. We have captured all of that in the model.”

Beyond ensuring compatibility with existing Black Hawk systems, GTRI is also making sure the replacement interface – graphics and buttons that control the radio equipment – makes sense to the aircrews that will use it. “We recently completed another round of crew station working group meetings where we had pilots review our graphical user interface (GUI) and the functionality,” said Tompkins. “It was very encouraging, and we continue to get positive user feedback.”

GTRI is scheduled to deliver its full technical data package (TDP) to the Army in January 2024. The ARCM program will submit the software and its associated development artifacts to the Army for an airworthiness qualification to a DO-178C Design Assurance Level ‘C’ level of rigor in Q3 of fiscal year 2024. It will then be reviewed for a first test flight in early summer of that year. Once flight testing is over, ARCM and the new hardware can begin rolling out to Army units in 2025.

GTRI expects to be part of the test flights and then move on to support the development of additional capabilities, including new waveforms being developed by the radio vendors. Discussions are also underway regarding potential applications to other Army rotorcraft.

“Our goal is to have an ARCM release annually that brings new capabilities,” Tompkins said. “With software-defined radios, the vendors are constantly innovating and improving waveforms. We want to get those enhancements out to aircrews as soon as possible.”

The ARCM program has involved multiple labs within GTRI, as well as Tucson Embedded Systems, which is a FACE Verification Authority.

“We have put together a great multidisciplinary team of modelers, software developers, information assurance experts, human factors specialists, and human systems engineers,” Tompkins said. “It’s been a spectacular project – working with a wonderful team – and I’m really excited to see the first test flight.”

DISCLAIMER: This article contains views and opinions that are not official U.S. Army positions.
 

Writer: John Toon (john.toon@gtri.gatech.edu)  
GTRI Communications  
Georgia Tech Research Institute  
Atlanta, Georgia

The Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) is the nonprofit, applied research division of the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech). Founded in 1934 as the Engineering Experiment Station, GTRI has grown to more than 2,900 employees, supporting eight laboratories in over 20 locations around the country and performing more than $940 million of problem-solving research annually for government and industry. GTRI's renowned researchers combine science, engineering, economics, policy, and technical expertise to solve complex problems for the U.S. federal government, state, and industry.

 

 

]]> Michelle Gowdy 1 1702648802 2023-12-15 14:00:02 1702649324 2023-12-15 14:08:44 0 0 news Using a model-based systems engineering (MBSE) approach, researchers from the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) are developing the software necessary to integrate new control, radio, and cryptographic capabilities into UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters, which are mainstays of the U.S. Army’s helicopter fleet.

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2023-12-15T00:00:00-05:00 2023-12-15T00:00:00-05:00 2023-12-15 00:00:00 (Interim) Director of Communications

Michelle Gowdy

Michelle.Gowdy@gtri.gatech.edu

404-407-8060

]]>
672602 672603 672602 image <![CDATA[GTRI Senior Research Engineer Scott Tompkins is shown reconfiguring an Air Ground Networking Radio (AGNR) for testing]]> GTRI Senior Research Engineer Scott Tompkins is shown reconfiguring an Air Ground Networking Radio (AGNR) for testing at a lab bench. (Credit: Sean McNeil)

]]> image/jpeg 1702648118 2023-12-15 13:48:38 1702648516 2023-12-15 13:55:16
672603 image <![CDATA[AGNR control head unit (CHU)]]> AGNR control head unit (CHU) showing the pilot vehicle interface (PVI) for the GTRI-developed Aviation Radio Control (ARCM) software. (Credit: Sean McNeil)

]]> image/jpeg 1702648544 2023-12-15 13:55:44 1702648618 2023-12-15 13:56:58
<![CDATA[GTRI, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and Emory Use Wearable Sensors to Address Healthcare Worker Burnout ]]> 35832 Healthcare worker burnout, a topic that received significant attention during COVID-19, continues to pose risks for the nation’s health and economic wellbeing. 

In 2022, nearly half of healthcare workers reported feeling burned out, up from 32% in 2018, and the number of healthcare workers who intended to look for a new job increased by 33% over that same time period, according to a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Annual burnout-related turnover costs are estimated to be $9 billion for nurses and $2.6 billion to $6.3 billion for physicians, per the U.S. Surgeon General. 

To address this challenge,­ the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI), Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and Emory University’s Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing have conducted a study using wearable sensors to better understand how the interplay of workload, stress, and sleep contribute­­ to an elevated risk of burnout among healthcare workers and how to mitigate those risks going forward. 

The group recently measured real-time movement patterns of physicians and nurses in the cardiac intensive care unit (CICU) at Children’s and collected data on their stress levels, work and sleep cycles, healthcare delivery and perceived workloads. The goal of the study is to develop a methodology that can be used by other healthcare systems across the state to minimize turnover costs by better predicting and addressing factors that trigger burnout. 

“Our ultimate goal with this project is to be able to offer our methodology framework to other healthcare systems throughout Georgia so that they can identify and address the specific challenges they are facing on a more granular level,” said Khatereh Hadi, a senior research scientist at GTRI who is leading this project. 

To measure stress, workload and sleep among the study participants, the team used actigraphy sensors developed by Empatica, a spin-off of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) that designs and develops artificial intelligence (AI) systems to monitor human health through wearable sensors. 

“These sensors are among the few on the market that let you directly download the data you collect,” explained GTR Senior Research Scientist Matthew Swarts who led the sensor development aspects of this project. 

The participants also wore tags that were connected to ultra-wideband (UWB) sensor systems installed in the ceiling of the CICU to track their movements throughout their shifts. 

“Because UWB takes up more radio frequency space, it avoids interference issues that affect other technologies such as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. This allowed us to have more penetration and better accuracy,” Swarts said. 

The study collected data on 40 total participants, who were evaluated over a four-week time period. The team also used the NASA Task Load Index (NASA-TLX), a widely used assessment tool that rates perceived workload, to gather data on the participants’ workload perceptions. 

Paula Gomez, a GTRI senior research engineer who led the development of the project’s research methodology, said it was rewarding bringing the theoretical aspects of this project into practical application.

“Since GTRI is the applied research arm of Georgia Tech, it is really important for us to have access to a real-world environment to test and validate the theoretical research,” Gomez said. 

GTRI conducted this study with Dr. Michael Fundora, a pediatric cardiologist at Children’s who specializes in congenital heart disease and clinical research, and Christina Calamaro, the Director of Nursing & Allied Health Research and Evidence Based Practice at Children’s and an associate professor at Emory’s Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing. 

Fundora and Calamaro noted that current data collection methods that examine healthcare worker burnout are done retroactively and may miss certain nuances that are crucial for developing a comprehensive understanding of the issue. 

“A lot of the literature that's been done in this area looks at big data sets that, for the most part, aren’t in real time” said Calamaro. “This is one study that’s able to quantify what are the factors that may impact care at the current time and can set the stage, with the use of technology, for giving us a better measurement of what issues nurses and physicians are facing, versus going back and doing a secondary analysis of big data.” 

While burnout is commonly perceived as just affecting those experiencing it, if left unchecked, it could also lead to diminished patient care and higher mortality rates, said Fundora. 

“People talk about burnout in the sense that it's about the individual, and that's certainly important,” Fundora said. “But we conducted this study to understand how burnout also affects our patients because that's the only way I believe that we're going to get to the root of the problem.” 

Now that the data has been the collected, it will be analyzed and interpreted before potential solutions are evaluated. The team agreed that the interdisciplinary nature of the study will help them generate more impactful solutions. 

“As a physician, working on this study opened my eyes to everything I didn’t know about nurses – they are operating very sophisticated, complex equipment and nearly everything they do in the ICU has a life-or-death impact,” said Fundora. “The solution-oriented approach of GTRI also gave me a fresh perspective.” 

Calamaro added: “I think every healthcare study should have an engineer involved in some way because they see things that we as healthcare professionals don’t. It's like, I never thought of that.” 

 

Writer: Anna Akins 
Photos: Sean McNeil 
GTRI Communications
Georgia Tech Research Institute
Atlanta, Georgia

The Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) is the nonprofit, applied research division of the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech). Founded in 1934 as the Engineering Experiment Station, GTRI has grown to more than 2,900 employees, supporting eight laboratories in over 20 locations around the country and performing more than $940 million of problem-solving research annually for government and industry. GTRI's renowned researchers combine science, engineering, economics, policy, and technical expertise to solve complex problems for the U.S. federal government, state, and industry.

]]> Michelle Gowdy 1 1702646878 2023-12-15 13:27:58 1702647977 2023-12-15 13:46:17 0 0 news Healthcare professionals and researchers from Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI), Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and Emory University’s Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing have conducted a study using wearable sensors to better understand how the interplay of workload, stress, and sleep contribute­­ to an elevated risk of burnout among healthcare workers and how to mitigate those risks going forward. 

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2023-12-15T00:00:00-05:00 2023-12-15T00:00:00-05:00 2023-12-15 00:00:00 (Interim) Director of Communications

Michelle Gowdy

Michelle.Gowdy@gtri.gatech.edu

404-407-8060

]]>
672600 672601 672600 image <![CDATA[GTRI and CHOA Research Team]]> The team leading this project includes, from left to right: GTRI Senior Research Scientist Khatereh Hadi, Children's pediatric cardiologist Dr. Michael Fundora, GTRI Senior Research Engineer Paula Gomez, GTRI Senior Research Scientist Matthew Swarts, and Children's Director of Nursing & Allied Health Research and Evidence Based Practice Christina Calamaro, who is also an associate professor at Emory’s Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing (Photo Credit: Sean McNeil, GTRI).

]]> image/jpeg 1702646323 2023-12-15 13:18:43 1702646538 2023-12-15 13:22:18
672601 image <![CDATA[Wearable Healthcare Sensor]]> A close-up of the tags and sensors that were used to measure stress, workload and sleep among the study participants (Photo Credit: Sean McNeil, GTRI).

]]> image/jpeg 1702646632 2023-12-15 13:23:52 1702646771 2023-12-15 13:26:11
<![CDATA[SEI Initiative Lead Profile: Matthew Realff]]> 36413 Matthew Realff, professor and David Wang Sr. Fellow in the School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, leads the Circular Carbon Economy Research Initiative in the Strategic Energy Institute and the Next Generation Refineries Research Initiative in the Renewable Bioproducts Institute at Georgia Tech. Realff co-directs the Direct Air Capture Center (DirACC), which coordinates research across the Institute aimed at the removal of carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere. Realff’s broad research interests are in the areas of process design, simulation, and scheduling. His current research is focused on the design and operation of processes that minimize waste production by recovery of useful products from waste streams, and the design of processes based on biomass inputs. In particular, he is interested in carbon capture processes both from flue gas and dilute capture from air as well as the analysis and design of processes that use biomass.

• What is your field of expertise and at what point in your life did you first become interested in this area?

My background is in chemical engineering with a focus on process design and simulation, which is part of the field of process systems engineering. I have been interested in this general topic since first setting foot on the campus of Imperial College London in 1982, and subsequently pursued it as my Ph.D. topic. I first started thinking about direct air capture of CO2 in 2011 and about circular carbon from CO2 in 2016.

• What questions or challenges sparked your current energy research? What are the big issues facing your research area right now?

I believe that managing CO2 emissions will be the biggest challenge of the next 50 to 100 years. We will need to have negative emissions, as we are emitting too much, and pulling CO2 directly out of the atmosphere will be required because we are going to continue to emit. Creating technological solutions to provide negative emissions is one of the biggest challenges, as they need to be cost-effective and environmentally and socially less damaging than the emissions they capture. The biggest issue facing my research is understanding the phenomena that are involved in direct air capture and translating that understanding into engineered systems that are low-cost, have low environmental impact, and are socially beneficial.

• What interests you the most leading the research initiative on circular carbon economy? Why is your initiative important to the development of Georgia Tech’s energy research strategy?

The circular carbon economy is a systems problem in the broadest sense. This means that we must embrace a multidisciplinary approach to synthesize effective solutions. I want to emphasize the word “effective” here — we must embrace a wide range of measures of performance from energy efficiency to social justice because without improving along many dimensions we will be unlikely to be successful. It is this multidimensional, multidisciplinary research effort that interests me, as I love to find ways to bring people together to synthesize different knowledge into effective solutions. Georgia Tech is a world leader in direct air capture technology — as demonstrated by our new Direct Air Capture Center (DirACC). Our advances in this topic area can provide a base from which to develop approaches to carbon utilization, and other research efforts in electro, bio, and thermo chemical technologies can enable closed pathways using carbon as an energy carrier.

• What are the broader global and social benefits of the research you and your team conduct on circular carbon economy?

One vision for our energy and material systems is to have a much greater local production and consumption of energy using renewable resources. A circular carbon economy based on CO2 from the air; water from local sources including the air; and solar, wind, or biomass-based energy could be local and would have many transactions between local parties. This could serve to not only reduce global emissions but also to provide more opportunities for communities to benefit from the production of energy as opposed to having many transactions that transfer money outside of the community.

• What are your plans for engaging a wider Georgia Tech faculty pool with the broader energy community?

DirACC is one way we hope to connect faculty to the ecosystem of companies that are developing and deploying DAC technology. We hope that the challenges that these companies are articulating can be translated into research topics for the faculty affiliated with the center. The Department of Energy’s efforts to establish the DAC Hubs provides us with other opportunities to engage faculty around social and environmental justice issues associated with deploying energy technologies such as direct air capture. I hope that faculty will see themselves participating in these efforts and reach out to be included in the network of researchers on these topics.

• What are your hobbies?

My main hobby is playing a card game called Magic: The Gathering. I have played this since 1994 and have enjoyed many friendships formed as a dueling wizard. I also enjoy reading, particularly science fiction and steampunk literature, as well as history.

• Who has influenced you the most?

Professor Roger Sargent at Imperial College was one of the founders of the field of process systems engineering. His speech on elevation to the position of professor at Imperial in 1963 has had a profound impact on the direction of my research and educational activities.

]]> pdevarajan3 1 1702488975 2023-12-13 17:36:15 1702494221 2023-12-13 19:03:41 0 0 news This is a profile on Matthew Realff, Professor in the School of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering. Realff leads the Circular Carbon Economy research initiative for the Strategic Energy Institute & the Renewable Bioproducts Institute at Georgia Tech.

]]>
2023-12-13T00:00:00-05:00 2023-12-13T00:00:00-05:00 2023-12-13 00:00:00 Priya Devarajan || Research Communications Program Manager SEI || RBI

]]>
672571 672571 image <![CDATA[Realff M 2022-LR.jpg]]> Portrait of Matthew Realff

]]> image/jpeg 1702489035 2023-12-13 17:37:15 1702489035 2023-12-13 17:37:15
<![CDATA[Three Faculty Members Appointed Carter N. Paden, Jr. Distinguished Chair]]> 35272 Three faculty members in the George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering have been appointed Carter N. Paden, Jr. Distinguished Chair for innovation in Material Science and Metals Processing, effective January 1, 2024.

Associate Professor Matthew McDowell, Professor Min Zhou, and Woodruff Professor Ting Zhu will hold the position for a five-year term and receive discretionary funding to support their educational and research activities.

These appointments recognize each of the three recipients for their intellectual leadership and broader impact in the field of material processing, and the ability to help the Woodruff School grow in emerging areas of importance.

“Throughout their careers, Matt, Min, and Ting have been leaders in their fields and made significant contributions to research,” said Devesh Ranjan, Eugene C. Gwaltney, Jr. School Chair. “They are highly deserving of this endowed chair position, and I know David McDowell, who held the Paden Chair until his retirement earlier this year, is proud to pass it on to his son and former long-term collaborators and mentees.”

McDowell’s research focuses on developing materials for next-generation battery systems, as well as understanding dynamic materials transformations in electrochemical energy devices. He leads the newly established Georgia Tech Advanced Battery Center (GTABC) with co-director Gleb Yushin, a professor in the School of Materials Science and Engineering. The new center will build community at the Institute, work to enhance research and educational relationships with industry partners, and create a new battery manufacturing facility on Georgia Tech’s campus.

Zhou's research interests concern material behavior over a wide range of length scales. His research emphasizes finite element and molecular dynamics simulations as well as experimental characterization with digital diagnostics.

Zhu's research focuses on the mechanical behavior of advanced engineering materials at the nano to macro-scale. He conducts modeling and simulations using the atomistic, continuum, and multiscale methods.

The endowed chair was made possible by Georgia Tech alumnus Carter N. Paden, Jr., IM 1951, who had a lifelong career in metals processing.

]]> aneumeister3 1 1701959812 2023-12-07 14:36:52 1702393090 2023-12-12 14:58:10 0 0 news Matthew McDowell, Min Zhou, and Ting Zhu will hold the position for a five-year term.

]]>
2023-11-29T00:00:00-05:00 2023-11-29T00:00:00-05:00 2023-11-29 00:00:00 Ashley Ritchie (ashley.ritchie@me.gatech.edu)

]]>
672529 672529 image <![CDATA[Paden Chair.jpg]]> Pictured left to right: Matthew McDowell, Min Zhou, and Ting Zhu.

]]> image/jpeg 1701959819 2023-12-07 14:36:59 1701959819 2023-12-07 14:36:59
<![CDATA[Slieper and Williams Named Faculty Co-Directors of Quality Enhancement Plan]]> 27998 Faculty members Chad F. Slieper and Kate Williams, have been named co-directors of Georgia Tech’s next Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP).

As co-directors, both Slieper and Williams will report to Roberta Berry, associate vice provost for Undergraduate Education in the Office of Undergraduate Education and will contribute to the development and planning for Georgia Tech’s next QEP, Leadership in Progress and Service: Creating Intentional and Transformative Learning Experiences. The topic was chosen in the spring by a provost-appointed committee to advance the Transformative Teaching and Learning Initiative of the Institute strategic plan. As co-directors, Slieper and Williams will contribute significantly to writing Georgia Tech’s QEP for submission to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) in Fall 2024. SACSCOC approval of the QEP is an essential component of the Institute’s reaffirmation of accreditation.

“At the heart of the new QEP is the creation and implementation of transformative learning experiences that prepare Georgia Tech students for leadership roles,” said Laurence Jacobs, senior vice provost for Education and Learning and search committee co-chair. “During our search, we found that Kate and Chad possess complementary knowledge and experiences for an exciting co-directorship. We thank our search committee for their efforts and believe Chad and Kate’s combined talents, working closely with our QEP Development and Planning Committee and other campus stakeholders, will bring our next QEP successfully to life.”

Slieper brings years of experience and Since 2019, he’s served as director of the Law, Science, and Technology program in the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts and is an academic professional in Georgia Tech’s School of Public Policy. He has won several teaching awards at Georgia Tech. He also serves as the School of Public Policy's faculty liaison to Georgia Tech's LGBTQIA Resource Center. He previously held faculty leadership positions at The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. Slieper holds a J.D. from Emory University School of Law, and a bachelor’s degree in public policy, with highest honors, from Georgia Tech.

“I genuinely believe in what we can accomplish with this Quality Enhancement Plan,” said Slieper. “As an alumnus of Georgia Tech, I have always found our motto of Progress and Service to perfectly encapsulate the spirit of what we do at Georgia Tech. I am also eager to put my own background and experience to use in service of this process.”

A member of the Center for Teaching and Learning faculty since 2015, Williams has more than 25 years of higher education experience in both faculty and leadership roles. As the current interim director of Transformative Teaching and Learning Faculty Initiatives, Williams designed a faculty cohort model to award teaching innovation grants to help faculty integrate experiential learning into their courses. In addition to prior experience as a psychology instructor and department chair, Williams brings expertise in experiential learning, career services, and program assessment. She earned a Ph.D. in industrial-organizational psychology from Clemson University and an M.Ed. in student affairs from the University of South Carolina.

“My vision is to integrate experiential learning within our traditional undergraduate classroom experience for all students to have access to transformative learning experiences,” said Williams. “I am really excited about the opportunity to collaborate on leading the Institute’s efforts to positively impact the undergraduate experience.”

Slieper and Williams will assume the co-director roles, which are year-round 75% appointments, effective Jan. 1. They will also retain their respective appointments within the School of Public Policy and the Center for Teaching and Learning. Planning for the new QEP will take place over the next year. 

“We are creating an initiative that will focus on high-impact practices that enhance student success as well as the development of future leaders,” said Steven P. Girardot, vice provost for Undergraduate Education and search committee co-chair. “Successful development and planning of the QEP will require faculty directors who can reach a broad network of students, faculty, and staff across campus. We feel Chad and Kate have the knowledge and experience to accomplish that, and I am excited to work with them in their new roles.”

Find more information on the QEP website

Writer: Julian Hills, Senior Writer / Editor - Organizational, Academic, and Research Communications

]]> Brittany Aiello 1 1702322100 2023-12-11 19:15:00 1702389668 2023-12-12 14:01:08 0 0 news As co-directors, Slieper and Williams will contribute significantly to writing Georgia Tech’s QEP for submission to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) in Fall 2024.

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2023-12-12T00:00:00-05:00 2023-12-12T00:00:00-05:00 2023-12-12 00:00:00 Office of Undergraduate Education

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672549 672549 image <![CDATA[Chad-Kate.jpeg]]> image/jpeg 1702322174 2023-12-11 19:16:14 1702322174 2023-12-11 19:16:14 <![CDATA[Georgia Tech's Quality Enhancement Plan]]>
<![CDATA[New Partnership Connects Technical College Students with New Manufacturing Skills]]> 27513 To gain an edge in manufacturing, it helps to have experience with new and emerging technologies.

That’s why faculty at Georgia Institute of Technology are partnering with the Technical College System of Georgia to provide TCSG students with experience and training in cutting-edge manufacturing technologies. The collaboration between the institutions will bring students to Georgia Tech’s Advanced Manufacturing Pilot Facility for internships and apprenticeships that prepare them for careers using advanced manufacturing technologies such as robotics, AI and metals 3-D printers.

With this experience, students will help pave the way for advancing Georgia’s manufacturing economy.

“We are establishing workforce training programs that are at the frontier of technology. Students will train on the latest equipment and software and then be ready to enter companies as these new technologies are adopted instead of the traditional mode of waiting for the technology to arrive, and then training the workforce,” said Aaron Stebner, the Eugene C. Gwaltney Jr. Chair in Manufacturing.

Stebner initiated the workforce program through the Georgia Artificial Intelligence in Manufacturing (Georgia-AIM) project, a collection of $65 million in federal grants aimed at enhancing Georgia’s AI manufacturing technology and workforce. “These jobs are coming, and we want the workforce to be ready at the same time the need arises.”

Faculty and students from Georgia Tech and TCSG recently met to discuss details and next steps for the program. This included discussing formats that would work for students, and how the opportunities at the Advanced Manufacturing Pilot Facility dovetailed with training students receive from their technical college programs.

The larger goal, said Stebner, is to leverage the developing technologies at the manufacturing facility to give TCSG students in-depth experience with a new technology before starting their own careers. For example, technical college students often have access to tooling and cutting machines as part of their training. But at Georgia Tech’s manufacturing facility, these machines are augmented with robotics or “digital twins”—advanced computer models that can be used to increase performance efficiencies and maintenance schedules of the machines.

By gaining experience with these new technologies, students can enter the workforce better prepared to take on advanced manufacturing solutions. This also translates to a higher-skilled workforce and better-paying jobs, added Stebner.

To drive this message home, the meeting also included several representatives from manufacturers who expressed a need for this kind of training. “We’re always looking for people who are willing to work with their hands,” said Chuck Boyles, president of Factory Automation Systems, a Georgia-based robotics company. “We’re always looking for good technical talent.”

The program can help bridge a “middle ground” between technical college training and the research and development taking place at Georgia Tech, said Steven Sheffield, senior assistant director of research at the Advanced Manufacturing Pilot Facility.

“We have a lot of applications for these skills, like machine operators. But we want to advance that to, for example, robotic operators,” said Sheffield, who spoke with the 25 students in attendance about what they would like to get out of the program. “So, they would be more qualified to do other things as well and have a deeper understanding. And when we have employers who say they are interested in a latest technology, we can partner with them to provide that training.”

The students were receptive, noticing the robotics and artificial intelligence-infused technology during a tour of the facility. “I’ve seen a lot of equipment out there that I’ve never seen before,” said Javaski Dewberry, a Georgia Northwest Technical College student studying machining who also works at a manufacturing facility. “It would be a real good experience for me to see how it works.”

Other students were studying mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, robotics and industrial systems. These programs and more could find a place in the program, said Scott McWhorter, interim executive director of the Georgia Tech Manufacturing 4.0 Consortium. The consortium, which is based at the manufacturing facility, works to connect industry, academia and government to advance manufacturing technologies.

The next steps, he added, include ironing out opportunities that work with students’ schedules and training for TCSG faculty on the emerging technologies.

“We’re spending the next few months getting the program outlined, getting things formalized and working with instructors,” he said. “So, we’re working right now to collect a little more feedback to right-size the program and move forward from there.”

 

Story by: Kristen Morales, Georgia Tech

]]> Walter Rich 1 1702070673 2023-12-08 21:24:33 1702307864 2023-12-11 15:17:44 0 0 news To gain an edge in manufacturing, it helps to have experience with new and emerging technologies.

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2023-11-17T00:00:00-05:00 2023-11-17T00:00:00-05:00 2023-11-17 00:00:00 Walter Rich

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672535 672535 image <![CDATA[Technical College System of Georgia Day]]> A TCSG group viewed the making of metal powder alloys.

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<![CDATA[Micro Research Grants Awarded]]> 27338 The Kendeda Building Advisory Board has awarded 12 micro research grants ($50 – $500) for sustainability-related, small-scale, short-term studies to be conducted by members of the Georgia Tech community. The request for proposals encouraged researchers to explore ways the Georgia Tech campus can continue to innovate, demonstrate, prove, and promote the adoption of best and next practices in regenerative design and operations. Researchers were also encouraged to use the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals as a framework for research design. All members of the Georgia Tech community were encouraged to apply. The program especially sought proposals from students and staff who had little or no prior research experience. Awardees will present their work at the 2024 Micro Research Grants Symposium, to be held in April 2024.

The program has four objectives:

  1. To expand scientific thinking and the understanding of the research process among those not directly involved in scientific research.
  2. To bolster the use of the campus as a living laboratory.
  3. To give voice to people and communities outside of research that have culturally novel perspectives on problems and their possible solutions, and to create new pathways for partnering with them.
  4. To seed novel ideas and nurture nascent investigators.

The awardees are:

]]> Brent Verrill 1 1701882226 2023-12-06 17:03:46 1701884216 2023-12-06 17:36:56 0 0 news The Kendeda Building Advisory Board has awarded 12 micro research grants ($50 – $500) for sustainability-related, small-scale, short-term studies to be conducted by members of the Georgia Tech community.

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2023-12-06T00:00:00-05:00 2023-12-06T00:00:00-05:00 2023-12-06 00:00:00 Brent Verrill, Research Communications Program Manager, BBISS

]]>
665822 665822 image <![CDATA[EAS graduate students sample water during a November trip to Puerto Rico: (From L to R) Sharissa Thompson, Tatiana Gibson, Dru Ann Harris. (Photo Frances Rivera-Hernández.)]]> image/jpeg 1676474851 2023-02-15 15:27:31 1676474851 2023-02-15 15:27:31 <![CDATA[Micro Research Grants Webpage]]>
<![CDATA[GTRI Joins Acoustics Journal in Celebrating Krish Ahuja’s Groundbreaking Career]]> 35875 The International Journal of Aeroacoustics has recently published a special issue dedicated to Dr. Krishan "Krish" Ahuja, marking 50 years of his groundbreaking research in the field of acoustics.

This recognition from this prestigious journal is a testament to Dr. Ahuja's significant contributions and the global impact of his work, which has largely been conducted at the world-class aeroacoustics facilities of Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI).

Dr. Ahuja, a regents Professor in the School of Aerospace Engineering is also a Regents Researcher and is head of the Aerospace and Acoustics Technologies Division within ATAS at GTRI.

Dr. Ahuja's journey in the realm of acoustics began over five decades ago with his early involvement in jet noise research at Rolls Royce’s aero-engine division in Derby, UK. This period coincided with the expansion of air travel, highlighting the importance of reducing jet noise, a major source of noise pollution and hearing loss. Dr. Ahuja's work has played a crucial role in significantly reducing human exposure to jet noise, a remarkable feat given the increase in air travel and jet engine power over the years.

At GTRI, Dr. Ahuja has spearheaded numerous projects, including innovative research in the Anechoic Flight Simulation facility,  an industry-scale anechoic chamber, and a number of unique state-of-the-art acoustic testing facilities developed by his research group. These state-of-the-art facilities, some designed to absorb sound waves completely, have been instrumental in studying jet engine noise and its impacts, especially in challenging environments like aircraft carriers.

Dr. Ahuja has authored/co-authored over 200 technical articles and reports. As a result of these contributions, he received the most prestigious award in Aeroacoustics in 1993: The AIAA Aeroacoustics Award. In 1995, he was listed in Industry Week Magazine as "One of 50 Technology Leaders in the US." 

Modern techniques, such as beamforming, have enabled Dr. Ahuja  to make precise identification of noise sources and frequencies in jet engine plumes, contributing to a better understanding and subsequent reduction of jet noise.

Dr. Ahuja’s esteemed career is not only defined by his exceptional research contributions but also by his collaborative spirit and dedication. He credits his success to the supportive and resource-rich environment at GTRI and the Aerospace Engineering School, which have fostered his innovative work.

“As a professor in the School of Aerospace Engineering, I have been very fortunate to have a joint appointment with GTRI,” said Dr. Ahuja. “ It allows me to select some of the best students to work on my projects at some of the best research facilities at GTRI, while the students often find interesting fundamental angles to expand that work for their Masters and Ph.D. projects, which we publish. This arrangement also enables GTRI to hire a well-trained workforce.”

The special issue of the International Journal of Aeroacoustics dedicated to Dr. Ahuja is a recognition of his profound influence on the field of acoustics. It serves as an exposition and celebration of his extensive research achievements. We take immense pride in Dr. Ahuja’s accomplishments and are thrilled to share this commendation with the entire GTRI Community. Krish’s work advances scientific understanding and has tangible avails on GTRI’s Mission's aim of improving the quality of life for people worldwide.

 

The International Journal of Aeroacoustics' special issue provides a comprehensive overview of Dr. Ahuja's contributions and the full extent of his research impact. Copyright prevents copying or linking directly to full Journal papers here. However, Editor-in-Chief Dr. Ganesh Raman graciously granted permission to access the issue's online table of contents, from which individual papers can be obtained. It is linked here. Via this link, readers can access the titles of papers, names of contributing authors, and the abstracts of each paper.

 

Writer: Christopher Weems 

Georgia Tech Research Institute

Atlanta, GA

]]> cweems8 1 1701871318 2023-12-06 14:01:58 1701871496 2023-12-06 14:04:56 0 0 news The International Journal of Aeroacoustics has recently published a special issue dedicated to Dr. Krishan "Krish" Ahuja, marking 50 years of his groundbreaking research in the field of acoustics. This recognition from this prestigious journal is a testament to Dr. Ahuja's significant contributions and the global impact of his work, which has largely been conducted at the world-class aeroacoustics facilities of Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI).

]]>
2023-12-06T00:00:00-05:00 2023-12-06T00:00:00-05:00 2023-12-06 00:00:00 672511 672512 672511 image <![CDATA[Krishan-Ahuja.jpg]]> image/jpeg 1701871328 2023-12-06 14:02:08 1701871328 2023-12-06 14:02:08 672512 image <![CDATA[2023_1204_image_Krish Ahuja--finger on lips.png]]> Dr. Krishan Ahuja "shushes" jet engine noise.

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<![CDATA[CEAR Hub Hosts International Seminar on Community Resilience]]> 27513 The Coastal Equity and Resilience (CEAR) Hub recently partnered with the U.S. Forest Service to host a two-week international seminar on community resilience. The seminar provided training to 11 community leaders from Honduras, Bangladesh, Samoa, Mozambique, Solomon Islands, Fiji, Tanzania, Nepal, Belize, and Brazil. The participants spent one week in Atlanta and one week in Savannah, learning strategies for building social, environmental, and economic resilience. Numerous CEAR Hub projects were featured as case studies in the seminar, including the Hub’s smart sea-level sensor network in coastal Georgia; emergency management support in Chatham County, GA; resilience planning work in the Gullah Geechee community of Pin Point (Savannah, GA); community garden development and youth engagement in Hudson Hill (Savannah, GA); K-12 education programs at Savannah State University; and environmental health research in Brunswick, GA. Through these examples, participants gained a deeper understanding of climate adaptation options, nature-based solutions, equitable community engagement, and the importance of collaboration in achieving community resilience.

The CEAR Hub lead principal investigator is Russell Clark, senior research scientist at the Georgia Institute of Technology and faculty member of the Institute for People and Technology (IPaT). Several members of the CEAR Hub team are affiliated with IPaT.


About the CEAR Hub
Coastal flooding, extreme heat, and other climate hazards are growing threats to communities throughout Georgia’s coast. These threats are especially critical for historically marginalized groups, who often face the most severe impacts and have the least ability to cope.

CEAR Hub is a project that joins community organizations, local governments, and educational institutions together to develop the knowledge, tools, and strategies that make our communities more resilient. CEAR Hub partners work alongside members of vulnerable communities to create fair and just solutions to the climate challenges through community-led research, training, and outreach.

]]> Walter Rich 1 1701808663 2023-12-05 20:37:43 1701808684 2023-12-05 20:38:04 0 0 news The Coastal Equity and Resilience (CEAR) Hub recently partnered with the U.S. Forest Service to host a two-week international seminar on community resilience.

]]>
2023-12-05T00:00:00-05:00 2023-12-05T00:00:00-05:00 2023-12-05 00:00:00 672509 672509 image <![CDATA[CEAR Hub Group Photo-Dec-2023]]> CEAR Hub Group Photo with International Visitors: Dec-2023

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<![CDATA[New IEN Center to Research Wearable Technologies]]> 35272 A new research center in the Institute for Electronics and Nanotechnology (IEN) will help bring together human-centered bioelectronics technology research to improve human healthcare and expand human-machine interface technologies.

The Wearable Intelligent Systems and Healthcare (WISH) Center will work to push innovation in wearable sensors and electronics technologies. Focus areas of the center will include electronics, artificial intelligence, biological science, material sciences, manufacturing, system design, and medical engineering.

“We are excited by the promise of bioelectronics improving human health and all the exciting science engineering that is required to make it a reality,” said Michael Filler, interim executive director of IEN.

WISH is directed by W. Hong Yeo, associate professor in Georgia Tech’s George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering and the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech and Emory, and Yuhang Hu, associate professor in the School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Georgia Tech.

“I founded WISH to bring together Georgia Tech’s expertise in various disciplines and to create opportunities for developing wearable bioelectronics and human-machine technologies leading to better lives and communities,” said Yeo.

Yeo’s research focuses on developing soft sensors, electronics and robotics for health monitoring and disease diagnosis at the intersection of human and machine interaction. Other researchers in the center represent disciplines from across Georgia Tech’s Colleges of Engineering, Computing, Sciences, Design, and Liberal Arts; Emory University; and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.

WISH will be one of IEN’s 10 strategic research centers, along with the 3D Systems Packaging Research Center, a graduated NSF Engineering Research Center focusing on advanced packaging using 2.5D and 3D heterogeneous integration technologies, and the Georgia Electronic Design Center, one of the world’s largest university-based semiconductor research centers. WISH is an evolution of the Center for Human-Centric Interfaces and Engineering, which received seed funding from IEN to focus on collaborative research for human-centered design, biofeedback control, and integrated nanosystems to advance human-machine interaction in the scope of healthcare.

IEN supports early-stage research in underfunded research areas that span all disciplines in science and engineering through its seed grant programs, which focus on research in biomedicine, electronics, optoelectronics and photonics, and energy applications.

]]> aneumeister3 1 1701795465 2023-12-05 16:57:45 1701800399 2023-12-05 18:19:59 0 0 news The Wearable Intelligent Systems and Healthcare (WISH) Center will work to push innovation in wearable sensors and electronics technologies.

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2023-12-05T00:00:00-05:00 2023-12-05T00:00:00-05:00 2023-12-05 00:00:00 Amelia Neumeister, Research Communications 

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672505 637803 672505 image <![CDATA[flexible-health-monitor-georgia-tech_4-1024x576.jpeg]]> image/jpeg 1701795589 2023-12-05 16:59:49 1701795589 2023-12-05 16:59:49 637803 image <![CDATA[W. Hong Yeo, assistant professor, George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering ]]> image/png 1597255420 2020-08-12 18:03:40 1597255420 2020-08-12 18:03:40
<![CDATA[Andreas Heirlemann Gives Inaugural Oliver Brand Memorial Lecture on Electronics and Nanotechnology]]> 35272 The inaugural Oliver Brand Memorial Lectureship on Electronics and Nanotechnology was held on Nov. 13 at Georgia Tech. The lecture was presented by Andreas Heirlemann, professor of biosystems science and engineering at ETH Zürich, on microphysicological systems and highly integrated microelectrode arrays.

His talk marks the beginning of an annual lecture series established in memory of Professor Oliver Brand, who passed away in April. Brand had served as the executive director of the Georgia Tech Institute for Electronics and Nanotechnology (IEN) since 2014.

“Oliver’s work, especially in microelectromechanical systems and CMOS-based microsystems, is widely respected in the community, with more than 190 publications to his name,” said Mike Filler, IEN’s interim executive director. “Andreas Heirlemann’s scientific contributions embody the innovative spirit and excellence that Oliver championed throughout his life.”

In addition to their research connection, Heirlemann also had a personal connection with Brand. They worked closely together in the same research lab at ETH Zürich for three years before Brand moved to Georgia Tech.

“What impressed me most about Oliver was his innate friendliness,” said Hierlemann. “He was always supportive. He was always motivating students. I never heard a harsh word come out of him. He had an extremely positive outlook on life that I learned to admire. That is what I take as his legacy.”

Hierlemann’s lecture was presented in two parts. The first focused on microfluidics, hanging drop networks, and microphysiological systems. Microphysicological systems are 3D cell assemblies, or membrane structures like organs, that occur naturally in the body or are grown with stem cells. These systems allow for comprehensive testing and studying tissue interactions. 

The second part of his talk focused on high-density microelectrode array systems, including neuronal systems characterization and the handling and use of neurons.

Brand spent more than 20 years as a member of the Georgia Tech faculty. In addition to leading IEN, he was a professor in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, director of the Coordinating Office for the NSF-funded National Nanotechnology Coordinated Infrastructure (NNCI), and director of the Southeastern Nanotechnology Infrastructure Corridor, one of the 16 NNCI sites.

Brand united researchers in the fields of electronics and nanotechnology, fostering collaboration and expanding IEN to include more than 200 faculty members. In addition to his respected work in the field of microelectromechanical systems, he is remembered for his kindness, dedication, and unwavering support toward all who knew him.

]]> aneumeister3 1 1701723733 2023-12-04 21:02:13 1701726304 2023-12-04 21:45:04 0 0 news The inaugural Oliver Brand Memorial Lectureship on Electronics and Nanotechnology was held on Nov. 13 at Georgia Tech.

]]>
2023-12-04T00:00:00-05:00 2023-12-04T00:00:00-05:00 2023-12-04 00:00:00 Amelia Neumeister
amelia.neumeister@research.gatech.edu

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672499 672499 image <![CDATA[filler,hierlemann.jpg]]> image/jpeg 1701725821 2023-12-04 21:37:01 1701725821 2023-12-04 21:37:01
<![CDATA[Sensor Fabric, Big Data Could Help End Pressure Injuries for Wheelchair Users]]> 27446 At least half of veterans with spinal cord injuries will develop sores on their skin from the unrelieved pressure of sitting for long periods of time in a wheelchair. It’s a constant worry, because these skin ulcers can greatly limit patients’ mobility.

“Pressure injuries directly impact the veteran’s quality of life, because the medical provider will order the veteran to bed rest for weeks and potentially months,” said Kim House, a physician and medical director of the Spinal Cord Injury Clinic at the Atlanta Veterans Administration Healthcare System. “At every clinic visit, I provide education for pressure injury prevention.”

House could one day have a new tool to offer her patients, thanks to researchers in the Georgia Tech College of Engineering, and wheelchair-bound veterans are just the beginning.

Materials engineers are developing new fabric sensors and a customized wheelchair system that assesses and automatically eases pressure at contact points to prevent injuries from developing in the first place.

“We have three key issues happening: First, continuous pressure. Second, moisture, because when you're sitting in the same spot, you tend to sweat and generate moisture. And third is shear. When you try to move somebody, the skin shears. That perfect combination is what causes pressure injuries,” said Sundaresan Jayaraman, professor in the School of Materials Science and Engineering (MSE). “We believe we have a solution to the perfect storm of pressure, moisture and shear, which means the user’s quality of life is going to get better.”

Get the full story on the College of Engineering website.

]]> Joshua Stewart 1 1701269594 2023-11-29 14:53:14 1701723010 2023-12-04 20:50:10 0 0 news MSE researchers are using a Catalyst Award from the National Academy of Medicine to develop a pressure-relieving sensor system that could also be used in hospital beds.

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2023-11-29T00:00:00-05:00 2023-11-29T00:00:00-05:00 2023-11-29 00:00:00 Joshua Stewart
College of Engineering

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672467 672467 image <![CDATA[Wheelchair Pressure Injuries - Sundaresan Jayaraman & Sungmee Park]]> Sundaresan Jayaraman (left) looks at pressure data from fabric sensors he developed with Sungmee Park, who is seated in their prototype wheelchair system. (Photo: Candler Hobbs)

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<![CDATA[BBISS Graduate Fellows Publish Article on Educating for Academic Leadership in Sustainability]]> 27338 The first cohort of the Brook Byers Institute for Sustainable Systems (BBISS) Graduate Fellows published an article in the open-access, peer-reviewed journal, Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene. The seven Ph.D. students reflected on their two years of working, studying, and training together as an interdisciplinary sustainability research team. In the article, they give their insights into how they benefited from this approach and what steps might be taken to improve graduate level, sustainability-related programs. Further, their paper offers researchers and educators a rare perspective into interdisciplinary research and education from the standpoint of students who are still pursuing their degrees and actively engaged in research for their chosen disciplines.

Citation: McSorley, M, Arkhurst, BK, Hall, M, Zha, Y, Spyrou, IM, Duchesneau, K, Ringania, U, Chang, M. 2023. For graduate students to become leaders in sustainability, we must transcend disciplinary boundaries. Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene 11(1). DOI: https://doi.org/10.1525/elementa.2023.00012

For more information about the Brook Byers Institute for Sustainable Systems Graduate Fellows program, please visit this webpage.

]]> Brent Verrill 1 1701722208 2023-12-04 20:36:48 1701722583 2023-12-04 20:43:03 0 0 news The first cohort of the Brook Byers Institute for Sustainable Systems (BBISS) Graduate Fellows published an article in the open-access, peer-reviewed journal, Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene.

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2023-12-04T00:00:00-05:00 2023-12-04T00:00:00-05:00 2023-12-04 00:00:00 Brent Verrill, Research Communications Program Manager, BBISS

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648086 648086 image <![CDATA[BBISS Graduate Fellows Montage 1]]> image/jpeg 1623428138 2021-06-11 16:15:38 1701724126 2023-12-04 21:08:46
<![CDATA[Convergence Innovation Competition Names Two Winners]]> 27513 Both fadpad and NaloPack won this year’s Georgia Tech Convergence Innovation Competition (CIC) for fall 2023. The CIC judges felt both teams deserved to be named winners based on their innovative ideas. Sponsored twice every year by Georgia Tech’s Institute for People and Technology (IPaT), the Convergence Innovation Competition is dedicated to helping students create and showcase innovative, viable products and experiences with the support of campus and industry resources along with guidance.

Fadpad is a multilayered add-on that goes directly on top of a menstrual pad to collect a blood sample. The blood sample is then shipped to a lab for testing. The fadpad team has shown that their approach can effectively detect biomarkers present in diseases like HPV, HIV, and other sexually transmitted infections. They recently earned one of the top prizes at the 2023 Collegiate Inventors Competition at the National Inventors Hall of Fame.

The fapad team includes Rhea Prem, who graduated with a bachelor of science in computer engineering; Netra Gandhi, who graduated with a bachelor of science in biomedical engineering; Ethan Damiani, who will graduate with a bachelor of science in biochemistry this fall; and Girish Hari, who will be completing a master of science in computer science this fall.

NaloPak is a design-driven carry sling bag allowing a wearer to quickly access two Naloxone nasal sprays to quickly reverse an opioid overdose. The specially designed bag system also advertisers that the wearer is carrying this lifesaving medicine. Instructions to use Naloxone are also highly visible if the medicine needs to be rapidly deployed to save a life.

NaloPak was envisioned by Rae Bloom who is an industrial design student graduating next spring 2024.

This year’s sole finalist was a product application named “becalming.” The future vision of her app is to combat bad mental health practices. It’s a product that is still in the early stages of design and development. Becalming is spearheaded by Sai Sanjana Prakash, who is pursuing a bachelor of science in both biomedical engineering and computer science.
 

This year’s fall 2023 competition judges were:

 

]]> Walter Rich 1 1701382853 2023-11-30 22:20:53 1701382912 2023-11-30 22:21:52 0 0 news Both fadpad and NaloPack won this year’s Georgia Tech Convergence Innovation Competition (CIC) for fall 2023.

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2023-11-30T00:00:00-05:00 2023-11-30T00:00:00-05:00 2023-11-30 00:00:00 Walter Rich

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672484 672484 image <![CDATA[CIC winners and finalist fall 2023]]> (left-to-right) Ethan Damiani, Rae Bloom (CIC fall 2023 winners) and Sai Sanjana Prakash (finalist).

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<![CDATA[Fall 2023 IEN Seed Grant Winners Announced]]> 35272 The Institute for Electronics and Nanotechnology (IEN) at Georgia Tech has announced the Fall 2023 Core Facility Seed Grant winners. The primary purpose of this program is to give early-stage graduate students in diverse disciplines working on original and unfunded research in micro- and nanoscale projects the opportunity to access the most advanced academic cleanroom space in the Southeast. In addition to accessing the labs' high-level fabrication, lithography, and characterization tools, the awardees will have the opportunity to gain proficiency in cleanroom and tool methodology and access the consultation services provided by research staff members in IEN. Seed Grant awardees are also provided travel support to present their research at a scientific conference.

In addition to student research skill development, this biannual grant program gives faculty with novel research topics the ability to develop preliminary data to pursue follow-up funding sources. The Core Facility Seed Grant program is supported by the Southeastern Nanotechnology Infrastructure Corridor (SENIC), a member of the National Science Foundation’s National Nanotechnology Coordinated Infrastructure (NNCI).

Since the start of the grant program in 2014, 90 projects from ten different schools in Georgia Tech’s Colleges of Engineering and Science, as well as the Georgia Tech Research Institute and three other universities, have been seeded.

The four winning projects in this round were awarded IEN cleanroom and lab access time to be used over the next year. In keeping with the interdisciplinary mission of IEN, the projects that will be enabled by the grants include research in electronic devices, geochemistry, bio-inspired design, and solid state physics.

The Fall 2023 IEN Core Facility Seed Grant Award winners are:

 

Using Zircon (U-Th)/Pb Geochronology to Trace the Source of Himalayan Megafloods
PI: Karl Lang
Student: Srinanda Nath
School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences

Material Characterization of Keratin-based Barbules with Hygroscopic Coiling-uncoiling Behaviors and Biomimetic Fabrication of Artificial Hygromorphic Barbules
PI: Saad Bhamla
Student: Nami Ha (ME/BioE)
School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Ultra-high Mobility Semiconducting Graphene Device Fabrication
PI: Claire Berger and Walt de Heer
Student: Will Griffin
School of Physics

Extracting the Effect of Electrode-Ferroelectric Interface on Photovoltaic Efficiency
PI: Lauren Garten
Student: Marshall Frye
School of Materials Science and Engineering

The Southeastern Nanotechnology Infrastructure Corridor, a member of the National Nanotechnology Coordinated Infrastructure, is funded by NSF Grant ECCS-2025462.

]]> aneumeister3 1 1701381398 2023-11-30 21:56:38 1701381398 2023-11-30 21:56:38 0 0 news Four Interdisciplinary Projects to Receive IEN Technical Support and Facility Access

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2023-11-30T00:00:00-05:00 2023-11-30T00:00:00-05:00 2023-11-30 00:00:00 Amelia Neumeister

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<![CDATA[Gosden Named Executive Chief of Staff for the Office of the Executive Vice President for Research]]> 27165 Kathleen T. Gosden, Georgia Tech’s chief counsel for Student Life and Academic Affairs, has been named the executive chief of staff for the Office of the Executive Vice President for Research (EVPR), effective Dec. 1.

Gosden joined Georgia Tech in 2011 and has served in varying roles, including as interim general counsel and vice president for Ethics and Compliance and acting deputy general counsel, roles she held concurrently during 2022. Prior to that, she served as assistant chief counsel and senior attorney in employment and litigation for 10 years. She has practiced law in both private practice and public service roles. Notably, before joining Tech, she served for 12 years at the State of Georgia Attorney General’s Office, where she represented and advised state agencies, including the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia.

In the new role, Gosden will advise Chaouki Abdallah, EVPR and the overall EVPR office on administrative and institutional matters and develop actions plans on policies and procedures, operational effectiveness, and communications on issues that advance the Institute’s priorities, goals, and outcomes set forth in the Institute strategic plan. She will serve as a key campus collaborator on executive initiatives, promote research-related matters and objectives, serve as a liaison and representative on campus committees, and provide strategic oversight to administrative staff within the Office of the EVPR.  

“Kathleen’s time at Tech and her mix of private and public experience position her well to serve in this new capacity,” said Abdallah. “She has been a great partner, collaborator, and trusted expert to the Georgia Tech research enterprise, and I look forward to working with her in her new role as we continue to safely grow our research and improve our services to our research personnel.”

During her tenure at Georgia Tech, Gosden has counseled on a range of institutional issues, including Free Speech and the First Amendment, Title IX, research administration and security, compliance, and scholarly misconduct. She has also served on various committees and negotiations and provided advising and training on issues related to Human Resources, Athletics, and Faculty Affairs, among others. 

“In my time at Georgia Tech, I have been extremely impressed by the research enterprise, its leadership, and the tremendous growth and innovation,” said Gosden. “I am thrilled to be joining the EVPR’s Office and to be serving in this new role.”    

Gosden holds a Bachelor’s of Arts in English and a Juris Doctor from the University of Georgia.

]]> Susie Ivy 1 1701268970 2023-11-29 14:42:50 1701271639 2023-11-29 15:27:19 0 0 news Kathleen T. Gosden, Georgia Tech’s chief counsel for Student Life and Academic Affairs, has been named the executive chief of staff for the Office of the Executive Vice President for Research, effective Dec. 1.

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2023-11-29T00:00:00-05:00 2023-11-29T00:00:00-05:00 2023-11-29 00:00:00 Office of the Executive Vice President for Research

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672466 672466 image <![CDATA[Kathleen T. Gosden]]> Kathleen T. Gosden

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<![CDATA[ GTRI’s Stefan Abi-Karam Receives Esteemed FPL Community Award ]]> 35832 Stefan Abi-Karam, a member of the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) and a Ph.D student in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Georgia Tech, has been honored with the prestigious FPL Community Award at the 33rd International Conference on Field-Programmable Logic and Applications (FPL 2023) in Gothenburg, Sweden.

Abi-Karam, a Research Engineer I in GTRI's Cybersecurity, Information Protection, and Hardware Evaluation Research (CIPHER) Laboratory, was recognized for his paper titled "GNNBuilder: An Automated Framework for Generic Graph Neural Network Accelerator Generation, Simulation, and Optimization." The paper explores the intersection of hardware acceleration and applied deep learning, and delves into areas such as electronic design automation (EDA), FPGA architecture, and VLSI algorithms.

The FPL Community Award recognizes significant research contributions within the field-programmable logic community. It is awarded based on the impact and potential long-term benefits of open-source research, as assessed by peer reviewers during the conference.

Said Stefan, "I am really happy that there is community recognition for open-source academic hardware research, as this is still not the norm, or the open-source aspect is not seen as valuable in many academic research projects."

Abi-Karam's work, conducted in collaboration with Prof. Cong Hao of Georgia Tech's School of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE), stands out for its focus on the pragmatic aspects of engineering, automation, and co-design of high-level-synthesis-based hardware accelerators for computing graph neural networks. Stefan also received his bachelor's degree from Georgia Tech.

Stefan’s research has potential applications in various fields, including high-energy physics, where the deployment of graph neural networks in hardware.

Abi-Karam's dedication to his research and his success in blending his Ph.D. studies with his work at GTRI exemplify GTRI’s Mission's aims of Educating Future Technology Leaders and being a “People-First” environment.

This award not only recognizes Abi-Karam's individual excellence but also underscores GTRI’s and Georgia Tech's role as leaders in the field of cybersecurity and electrical and computer engineering research.

"The award itself was very unexpected since this was my first time at the FPL conference!" said Stefan excitedly and humbly. "It was also the first time I got to meet and talk to many of the other professors and students for the first time who also work in my research area as well as other areas that overlap with my work at GTRI." 

Congratulations, Stefan!

]]> Michelle Gowdy 1 1701106034 2023-11-27 17:27:14 1701106393 2023-11-27 17:33:13 0 0 news Stefan Abi-Karam, a member of the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) and a Ph.D student in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Georgia Tech, has been honored with the prestigious FPL Community Award at the 33rd International Conference on Field-Programmable Logic and Applications (FPL 2023) in Gothenburg, Sweden.

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2023-11-27T00:00:00-05:00 2023-11-27T00:00:00-05:00 2023-11-27 00:00:00 (Interim) Director of Communications

Michelle Gowdy

Michelle.Gowdy@gtri.gatech.edu

404-407-8060

]]>
672451 672451 image <![CDATA[Stefan Abi-Karam receives the FPL Community Award]]> Stefan Abi-Karam (left) receives the FPL Community Award.

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<![CDATA[STEM@GTRI Celebrates 25 Years of Promoting Science, Technology Education]]> 35832 Recently, GTRI leadership and research faculty were joined by State of Georgia leaders, corporate representatives, and educators to celebrate a notable milestone for an important GTRI program.

STEM@GTRI celebrated its 25th anniversary recently. STEM @GTRI is the Georgia Tech Research Institute's K-12 outreach program. STEM @GTRI strives to inspire, engage, and impact Georgia's students and educators through hands-on experiences, outreach, and professional learning.

STEM@GTRI customizes professional development experiences for educators, connects students and classrooms to Georgia Tech labs and researchers, and brings hands-on, fun, and relevant programming to STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) educational outreach events across Georgia. STEM@GTRI leverages State of Georgia funding through grants and partnerships to bring additional STEM programming to K-12 students in Georgia. The program first received State of Georgia funding in 1998.

To commemorate this auspicious occasion, STEM@GTRI hosted a luncheon celebrating 25 years of K-12 STEM outreach at GTRI. During the program, an array of speakers reflected on the STEM @GTRI program over the past 25 years and its impact in Georgia and on the future of students.

STEM @GTRI’s First Champion: Claudia Huff

Claudia Huff, the retired GTRI Principal Research Associate who was the first Director of STEM @GTRI, spoke on its inspirational and aspirational early days. She noted that, in 1998, the U.S. was experiencing a rapid permeation of emphasis on STEM education, fueled by legislation such as the Telecommunications Act of 1996. However, while there was a desire to increase technology education, the actual means lagged.

“Computers were coming to the schools, but they weren't ready. There were computer-using educators that are scattered across the state of the country, but they were really organized together, and they hadn't seen some of the things that we could see coming down the road,” she said. That was, in large part, the impetus for the program, which was then called Foundations for the Future (F3).

She embraced and pioneered the partnership-seeking approach that is now a hallmark of the renamed STEM@GTRI.

Huff started with a small amount of seed funding from GTRI. However, her dogged determination led her to secure $2 million in funding from AT&T to really get the ball rolling. The AT&T funds were leveraged into that all-important funding from the State of Georgia, which continues to the present.

“I think the biggest impact was getting everybody aware, or getting people who needed the resources aware that we have resources, letting them know,” Claudia said.

The principles and practices that she put into place out of necessity became the foundation for what STEM@GTRI is 25 years later.

To honor and thank Claudia Huff, she was presented with STEM @GTRI’s inaugural STEM Champion Award.

Educating Future Technology Leaders

GTRI Director Jim Hudgens said that when he first arrived at GTRI four years ago, STEM @GTRI was one of the first programs he heard about: “I was just blown away by the program,” he said during his opening remarks.

“Educating future technology leaders is one of our core mission areas,” said Hudgens. “A big part of what we do in educating technology leaders is that we take it very seriously. Our people are extremely passionate about this--about their many volunteer hours going out to science fairs, going to high schools across the state, teaching classes in high schools--doing as much as they can.

“It's an amazing community at GTRI that makes this happen.”

That passion and spirit of commitment was noted often during the 25th Anniversary luncheon.

The anniversary event was hosted by Leigh McCook, Director of STEM @GTRI, which she calls “a fun role.” Her passion and commitment to STEM@GTRI was noted by speakers throughout the luncheon program.

“One of the greatest impacts I get to experience is working with our K-12 future STEM workforce. When I see a Georgia Tech/GTRI researcher explain and demonstrate their work to a classroom of elementary, middle, or high school students or experience students of all ages interact with our researchers through questions and discovery — I am thrilled to witness students have that ‘ah ha!’ moment and think ‘This is cool stuff! I want to study to learn to be a (fill in the STEM field here),’ or even ‘Oh, now I know why I’m having to learn this topic in my class — someone really does use this stuff in the real world!’

“When we get to bring diversity to Georgia’s classrooms across the state through our outreach, we open worlds of awareness of possibilities and opportunities for our K-12 students.”

Bringing ‘What If’ to the Real World Through Partnerships

“Real-world” impact, and opening students’ (and teachers’) eyes and minds to possibilities were common themes reiterated by the luncheon speakers.

District 25 State Rep. Todd Jones spoke of several of his “dreams” for the State of Georgia: advancements in daily life, from improved transportation to medical advances—all “dreams” that are dependent on significant advances in technology, which Jones said he believes is incumbent on advancing technology education throughout Georgia, including in rural areas without extensive technology resources or even a large quantity of technology educators. That, he said, is where STEM @GTRI’s outreach is invaluable.

Jones said that his office’s ongoing partnership with GTRI is key to improving the “access and rigor” of STEM education in Georgia.

“I'm going to give all the credit to GTRI. There might have been passion coming out of my office and willingness to find a partner to make this happen, but between Bert (Reeves, Vice President, Institute Relations) and the GTRI team, that is what kind of made this a success.

“We did know that GTRI had the resources to be able to make this work. What they had to deal with for a couple of decades around STEM, around the work, shows a passion and an application. That was what we were looking for.”

McCook noted that Jones’ initiative to improve access and rigor of computer science education across Georgia, as part of the newly funded Rural Computer Science Education Program, shows how committed STEM @GTRI is about fostering and furthering partners. She noted that,  in partnership with Georgia Tech’s Center for Education Integrating Science, Mathematics, and Computing (CEISMC), the project is “in 16 (Georgia school) districts right now” and includes contributions from the Institute for People and Technology (IPaT), the Institute for Robotics and Intelligent Machines (IRIM), and others.

“You can't dream it if you've never been exposed to it,” Jones said enthusiastically “Dreams come from ‘what if,’ but ‘what if’ can't be had unless you know what's possible and maybe what could be next.”

Such a commitment to fostering a sense of making “what if” possible was reiterated by Karen Faircloth, Director of School Improvement & Professional Learning for the Northwest Georgia Regional Education Service Agency (RESA), which encompasses school districts in smaller communities such as Cartersville, Dallas, Rome, and Tallapoosa.

STEM@GTRI High School Internship Program

STEM@GTRI thrives today largely because of the indefatigable efforts of High School Summer Internship Program co-directors Therese Boston, a Senior Research Associate in ICL, and ATAS Principal Research Engineer Erick Maxwell. STEM@GTRI’s High School Internship Program is one of its premier initiatives. In the internship program, Georgia high school students who are at least 16 years old may apply for five-week paid summer internships hosted in GTRI labs. Interns work on projects in GTRI laboratories and the GTRI Warner Robins field office with the goal of providing students with real-world experiences in science and engineering research. GTRI researchers mentor students by working with them on projects to engage them in first-hand STEM experiences.

As an example of the first-hand nature of the internship, Maxwell cited a project done by an intern team in conjunction with the 3rd Infantry Division (3ID) at Fort Stewart, Georgia. The high schoolers developed a means to streamline the arduous task of counting ammunition rounds via the use of “smart” gloves. To further emphasize the tangible benefits of the students’ experience, Maxwell noted that the students are included on the project’s application for a full patent on the gloves.

The High School Internship Program and other programs of STEM@GTRI make use of partnerships with GTRI’s laboratories, Georgia Tech, the U.S. military, and businesses in technology-related industries.

Among the industry representatives in attendance was Patrick Govan, Higher Education Account Manager at Cisco. He explained how his company, a leader in digital communications technologies, works in outreach along with STEM@GTRI. “We are starting to work with the STEM outreach program, bringing some of the students and internships into our office--we just built a new office in the Coda building (at Tech Square). So, we're show showcasing how technology is used in everyday life and in office space to inspire the younger kids. [We show them] a day in the life of what a career would look like in the tech space.

“Leigh (McCook) and I are trying to get the [STEM@GTRI] summer internship program incorporated into office visits and things like that.”

Looking ahead to future goals and activities was very much a part of the 25th-anniversary celebration. Here’s to the next 25 years of STEM@GTRI!

 

Writer: Christopher Weems 
Photos: Christopher J. Moore
GTRI Communications
Georgia Tech Research Institute
Atlanta, Georgia

The Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) is the nonprofit, applied research division of the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech). Founded in 1934 as the Engineering Experiment Station, GTRI has grown to more than 2,900 employees, supporting eight laboratories in over 20 locations around the country and performing more than $940 million of problem-solving research annually for government and industry. GTRI's renowned researchers combine science, engineering, economics, policy, and technical expertise to solve complex problems for the U.S. federal government, state, and industry.

]]> Michelle Gowdy 1 1701105483 2023-11-27 17:18:03 1701105780 2023-11-27 17:23:00 0 0 news GTRI leadership and research faculty were joined by State of Georgia leaders, corporate representatives, and educators to celebrate 25 years of K-12 STEM outreach at GTRI. During the program, an array of speakers reflected on the STEM @GTRI program over the past 25 years and its impact in Georgia and on the future of students.

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2023-11-27T00:00:00-05:00 2023-11-27T00:00:00-05:00 2023-11-27 00:00:00 (Interim) Director of Communications

Michelle Gowdy

Michelle.Gowdy@gtri.gatech.edu

404-407-8060

]]>
672449 672450 672449 image <![CDATA[Claudia Huff, Receipent of the Inaugural STEM@GTRI Champion Award]]> Claudia Huff (left) receives the inaugural STEM Champion Award from STEM@GTRI Director Leigh F. McCook. (photo credit: Christopher J. Moore)

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672450 image <![CDATA[GTRI's High School Internship Program Co-Directors]]> High School Internship Program Co-Directors Erick Maxwell (far left) and Therese Boston (far right) pose with Georgia education partners Leon Grant III, founder and Director, The Engineering Pipeline at Marietta City Schools, and John Pierson, President of the Georgia Section of ASCE. (photo credit: Christopher J. Moore)

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<![CDATA[Claims Database Will Provide Clearer Picture of Health in Georgia]]> 35832 State policymakers, health care researchers, and others will have a clearer picture of the health of Georgia citizens thanks to a new database of medical, dental, and pharmacy claims for public and private insurance plans in the state. The Georgia All-Payer Claims Database (APCD), supported by researchers at the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI), will begin reporting and releasing data in early 2024.

The APCD was established by the Georgia General Assembly (O.C.G.A. 31-53-40) by Senate Bill 482 in 2020 to address growing concerns over the cost, quality, and access to healthcare across the state. The Office of Health Strategy and Coordination (OHSC) is responsible for creating and implementing the APCD, and the APCD's administrator is GTRI’s Center for Health Analytics and Informatics (CHAI).

When in full operation, the APCD will provide regular reports on Georgia health care issues and accept requests from stakeholders for other customized data. Beyond benefits to researchers and policymakers, the data will help support price transparency and drive consumer-focused tools reporting on such issues as quality, cost, and patient outcomes. The APCD’s information will not include any personally identifiable information about patients.

“The APCD will serve as a platform to help us really understand and improve the quality of health care in Georgia,” said Megan Denham, a GTRI senior research associate who serves as Implementation Project Director for the system. “It will help the citizens of Georgia understand more about their care and know what to expect so they can make informed decisions. Policymakers will use the data to drive funding allocations and make interventions. For our large community of researchers, it will allow them to leverage a really broad view of health data.”

Development of the system will put Georgia among the more than two dozen U.S. states that are able to make critical health care decisions based on data about the specific needs of their citizens, said Jon Duke, director of GTRI’s Health Emerging and Advanced Technologies (HEAT) Division.

“The Georgia APCD will move Georgia into the ranks of states that have a deeper understanding of their population’s health, health care costs and utilization, and opportunities for improvement,” Duke said. “We’ve seen report after report of how all-payer claims databases have led to concrete reductions in cost, improvements in care, and more informed policy-making across a wide range of topics. It will be a huge win for Georgia.”

The system will initially include information for about 5.4 million Georgia citizens – more than half of the state’s population – and is expected to be the largest aggregator of the state’s health data. The information will include data from Medicare, Medicaid, and the state health benefit plan, along with commercial claims payers. 

Data will be provided in aggregate, and maintained without personally identifiable information. “Privacy and security are paramount,” said Duke. “There’s a huge focus on privacy protection, and we have an incredible team of collaborators across the state working to help ensure that we provide only the minimum data necessary for key use cases. The APCD will not analyze or share patient identifiers such as medical record numbers, names, or addresses.”

Beyond data on specific treatment protocols, the system will also provide information on their context. For instance, data on a knee replacement surgery could include information on imaging done, diagnostic testing, and presurgical activities leading up to the procedure, as well as physical therapy afterward – and both cost and outcome measures. 

“It’s much more than just the surgery,” said Denham. “We want to look at it as a whole, and also consider the components. That gives more information about the care that people are receiving and what they can expect.”

Beyond the care itself, the system will provide generalized information about patients receiving it – demographics, the symptoms that led to the diagnosis, relevant medical conditions such as arthritis and diabetes, and other claims made by the patient. 

“All of these things can be brought together to help understand the equation,” said Duke. “People who have had knee replacement surgery can be looked at in the aggregate so we can assess potential risk factors for poor outcomes, or conversely, factors that may support patients recovering more quickly.”

Certain claims-paying entities are required by law to provide data to the APCD, while others are invited to submit information voluntarily. Beyond the value to policymakers and researchers, information about Georgia-based costs will also be helpful in understanding what consumers pay as their share of health care service costs. 

“Price transparency is a key goal for the APCD. While there are many factors affecting what data can be shared, in other APCD states, there are excellent tools designed to support consumer knowledge about the cost of different procedures at different locations where someone might go for a specific procedure,” Duke said. “Some tools provide data on health care quality from Medicare and Medicaid which allows for some integrated perspective on cost and quality measures.”

The APCD plans to regularly provide reports on specific Georgia health care issues, such as the incidence and context of chronic diseases that affect large populations in Georgia. These will include diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, and heart failure. The system will also provide data on cancer, as well as maternal and child health, and the median rate for “surprise billing.”

Beyond reports on broad issues important to providing a big picture of health in Georgia, aggregated data on these five million patients can also be made available to state agencies, policymakers, researchers, health care organizations, and others. Requests for standard and customized data sets and reports will be reviewed by a data release and review committee, based on alignment with the APCD objectives, the qualifications of the requesters, and other factors.

Development of the Georgia APCD benefits from the lessons learned from similar projects established in other states, as well as guidance and input from a broad range of industry and academic stakeholders. “We’re taking the best of what other states have learned and put them together to meet the specific needs of our state,” Duke said. “The legislation creating our APCD was well thought-out and reflects the best ideas from APCDs nationally.”

 

Writer: John Toon (john.toon@gtri.gatech.edu)  
GTRI Communications  
Georgia Tech Research Institute  
Atlanta, Georgia

The Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) is the nonprofit, applied research division of the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech). Founded in 1934 as the Engineering Experiment Station, GTRI has grown to more than 2,900 employees, supporting eight laboratories in over 20 locations around the country and performing more than $800 million of problem-solving research annually for government and industry. GTRI's renowned researchers combine science, engineering, economics, policy, and technical expertise to solve complex problems for the U.S. federal government, state, and industry.

]]> Michelle Gowdy 1 1701104770 2023-11-27 17:06:10 1701105127 2023-11-27 17:12:07 0 0 news State policymakers, health care researchers, and others will have a clearer picture of the health of Georgia citizens thanks to a new database of medical, dental, and pharmacy claims for public and private insurance plans in the state. The Georgia All-Payer Claims Database (APCD), supported by researchers at the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI), will begin reporting and releasing data in early 2024.

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2023-11-27T00:00:00-05:00 2023-11-27T00:00:00-05:00 2023-11-27 00:00:00 (Interim) Director of Communications

Michelle Gowdy

Michelle.Gowdy@gtri.gatech.edu

404-407-8060

]]>
672448 672448 image <![CDATA[Georgia Heat Map]]> Heat maps like this one are used to show the prevalence or clustering of a disease or condition by county. The Georgia All-Payer Claims Database will provide interactive visualizations as part of its use cases. (Credit: Georgia APCD)

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<![CDATA[RBI Releases 2024-25 Fellowship Request for Proposals]]> 36413 The Renewable Bioproducts Institute (RBI) at Georgia Tech benefits from a substantial endowment that is invested to advance the evolving science and technology needs of the bioproducts industry and emerging bioeconomy through graduate research. The endowment over the years has supported more than 1,500 engineers and scientists and a leading body of scientific research. RBI has released the Request For Proposals (RFP) for the annual year 2024-25 fellowships. Proposals are due on Feb. 1, 2024. The RFP document describing the application process and several important changes for this year can be found at 2024-25 RFP Proposals.

The principal mission of RBI is to incubate and develop interdisciplinary teams of researchers that can establish thought leadership through new bioproduct research directions. Our focus is on pre-competitive, use-inspired research with a technical, economic, or policy focus. All supported work needs to address an aspect of bioproducts and the developing bioeconomy. The RBI Fellowship supports this mission by promoting two objectives:  

(1)  Helping teams of faculty to establish new concepts, publish early results, and develop competitive federal, industry, or foundation proposals in the future.  

(2) Training a diverse group of graduate-level professionals who can support the evolving bioproducts R&D workforce. 

                       ***NEW PROGRAM CHANGES*** 

 

]]> pdevarajan3 1 1701089402 2023-11-27 12:50:02 1701089402 2023-11-27 12:50:02 0 0 news RBI has released the Request For Proposals (RFP) for the annual year 2024-25 fellowships. Proposals are due on Feb. 1, 2024. The RFP document describing the application process and several important changes for this year can be found at 2024-25 RFP Proposals.

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2023-11-27T00:00:00-05:00 2023-11-27T00:00:00-05:00 2023-11-27 00:00:00 Priya Devarajan || RBI Communications Program Manager

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<![CDATA[New Interdisciplinary Research Institute to Launch This Summer]]> 34760 The Institute for Electronics and Nanotechnology (IEN) and the Institute for Materials (IMat) have announced they will combine to form a new Interdisciplinary Research Institute (IRI) set to begin operations on July 1, 2024.

The new IRI, which has yet to be named, will explore the vast scientific, technological, societal, and economic impacts of innovative materials and devices, as well as foster their incorporation into systems that improve the human condition in areas such as information and communication technologies, the built environment, and human well-being and performance.

“The new IRI will not only combine the strengths of IEN and IMat, but will also allow us to further expand faculty representation from across the Institute,” said Julia Kubanek, vice president of Interdisciplinary Research at Georgia Tech. “As we look at the future of research in these areas, expanding inclusivity of researchers from the liberal arts, design, business, and basic sciences will allow us to better meet the education, workforce development, and innovation needs of Georgia, the U.S., and the world.”

The new IRI will strengthen Georgia Tech’s role in national focus areas such as the National Nanotechnology Initiative, the Materials Genome Initiative, and the CHIPS and Science Act, as well as identify and shape future priorities.

Core competencies of the new IRI will include:

“IEN and IMat have worked closely together for years, and there is overlap in the research areas we cover,” said Eric Vogel, IMat’s executive director. “This is an opportunity for us to build on IEN and IMat’s individual successes and our strong record of collaboration to create something even more exceptional.”

The new IRI will strengthen the state-of-the-art core cleanroom and characterization facilities, providing researchers with the tools and resources necessary for cutting-edge interdisciplinary research. These facilities will continue to serve both Georgia Tech and, through its leadership within the NSF National Nanotechnology Coordinated Infrastructure, the nation. Recognizing the importance of nurturing talent, it will champion education and outreach programs to inspire the next generation and equip the workforce with the skills necessary to collaborate and communicate across multiple disciplines.

“This is an exciting time to look to the future,” said Michael Filler, interim executive director of IEN. “We highly value the dedication and hard work of our staff and research faculty, who have been crucial to the success of IEN and IMat and will be the backbone of this new organization. We look forward to creating something exceptional in the coming months.”

]]> Laurie Haigh 1 1700233577 2023-11-17 15:06:17 1701048536 2023-11-27 01:28:56 0 0 news The Institute for Electronics and Nanotechnology and the Institute for Materials have announced they will combine to form a new Interdisciplinary Research Institute set to begin operations on July 1, 2024.

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2023-11-17T00:00:00-05:00 2023-11-17T00:00:00-05:00 2023-11-17 00:00:00 Laurie Haigh
laurie.haigh@research.gatech.edu

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670830 670830 image <![CDATA[Marcus Nanotechnology Building]]> image/jpeg 1684353022 2023-05-17 19:50:22 1684353077 2023-05-17 19:51:17
<![CDATA[Stefan Abi-Karam Receives Esteemed FPL Community Award]]> 35875 Stefan Abi-Karam, a member of the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) and a Ph.D student in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Georgia Tech, has been honored with the prestigious FPL Community Award at the 33rd International Conference on Field-Programmable Logic and Applications (FPL 2023) in Gothenburg, Sweden.

Abi-Karam, a Research Engineer I in CIPHER, was recognized for his paper titled "GNNBuilder: An Automated Framework for Generic Graph Neural Network Accelerator Generation, Simulation, and Optimization." The paper explores the intersection of hardware acceleration and applied deep learning, and delves into areas such as electronic design automation (EDA), FPGA architecture, and VLSI algorithms.

The FPL Community Award recognizes significant research contributions within the field-programmable logic community. It is awarded based on the impact and potential long-term benefits of open-source research, as assessed by peer reviewers during the conference.

Said Stefan, "I am really happy that there is community recognition for open-source academic hardware research, as this is still not the norm, or the open-source aspect is not seen as valuable in many academic research projects."

Abi-Karam's work, conducted in collaboration with Prof. Cong Hao of Georgia Tech's School of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE), stands out for its focus on the pragmatic aspects of engineering, automation, and co-design of high-level-synthesis-based hardware accelerators for computing graph neural networks. Stefan also received his bachelor's degree from Georgia Tech.

Stefan’s research has potential applications in various fields, including high-energy physics, where the deployment of graph neural networks in hardware.

Abi-Karam's dedication to his research and his success in blending his Ph.D. studies with his work at GTRI exemplify GTRI’s Mission's aims of Educating Future Technology Leaders and being a “People-First” environment.

This award not only recognizes Abi-Karam's individual excellence but also underscores GTRI’s and Georgia Tech's role as leaders in the field of cybersecurity and electrical and computer engineering research.

"The award itself was very unexpected since this was my first time at the FPL conference!" said Stefan excitedly and humbly. "It was also the first time I got to meet and talk to many of the other professors and students for the first time who also work in my research area as well as other areas that overlap with my work at GTRI." 

Congratulations, Stefan!

]]> cweems8 1 1700226083 2023-11-17 13:01:23 1700226333 2023-11-17 13:05:33 0 0 news Stefan Abi-Karam, a member of the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) and a Ph.D student in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Georgia Tech, has been honored with the prestigious FPL Community Award at the 33rd International Conference on Field-Programmable Logic and Applications (FPL 2023) in Gothenburg, Sweden. Abi-Karam, a Research Engineer I in CIPHER, was recognized for his paper titled "GNNBuilder: An Automated Framework for Generic Graph Neural Network Accelerator Generation, Simulation, and Optimization."

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2023-11-17T00:00:00-05:00 2023-11-17T00:00:00-05:00 2023-11-17 00:00:00 Christopher Weems

Georgia Tech Research Institute

Atlanta, Georgia

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672405 672405 image <![CDATA[2023_1114_image_Stefan Abi-Karam receives FPL Community Award.jpg]]> Stefan Abi-Karam (left) receives the FPL Community Award.

]]> image/jpeg 1700226109 2023-11-17 13:01:49 1700226109 2023-11-17 13:01:49
<![CDATA[Craft Lab Hosts Student Community-building Event]]> 27513 Mid-November’s autumn transition foreshadows the stress of preparations for the Thanksgiving holiday, the imminent wrap up of final projects, and the near-term arrival of final exams as the end of the semester approaches. To alleviate some of the forthcoming stress, Hannah Hendricks, a master’s student in digital media (DM), and Allie Teixeira Riggs, a doctoral student in DM, hosted a fun community event for DM students using the Institute for People and Technology’s (IPaT) Craft Lab resources.

The purpose of the event was to let students relax, decompress, bond, and gain new insight into the capabilities of the Craft Lab which provides equipment such as industrial sewing machines, knitting and embroidery machines, 3D printers, and a number of other tools. Tim Trent, manager of the Craft Lab, and Arianna Mastali, a graduate research assistant in the lab, hosted 12 DM students at this community event.

Student feedback from the event included:

“It is incredibly rewarding to see student-led events like this happen,” said Trent. “When I first envisioned the Craft Lab, I was excited by the potential to take equipment that was already being used for research and open its accessibility and use to create a community space for folks to explore and learn new things. The feedback and energy over the past year, as seen in events like this DM student night, have re-affirmed the importance of the lab spaces IPaT provides, and I'm excited to see where we can progress forward.”
 

About the Craft Lab:
The Craft Lab is a unique makerspace sponsored by IPaT which is designed to promote craft and algorithmic making. The equipment in the lab is particularly well-suited for wearable/flexible electronic systems and is available to anyone interested in making soft objects. The lab includes equipment like sewing machines, CNC knitting and embroidery machines, soldering irons, and 3D printers. Lab users must complete a lab training session before being allowed to access the lab.

]]> Walter Rich 1 1700075658 2023-11-15 19:14:18 1700075712 2023-11-15 19:15:12 0 0 news Hannah Hendricks, a master’s student in digital media (DM), and Allie Teixeira Riggs, a doctoral student in DM, hosted a fun community event for DM students using the Institute for People and Technology’s (IPaT) Craft Lab resources.

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2023-11-15T00:00:00-05:00 2023-11-15T00:00:00-05:00 2023-11-15 00:00:00 Walter Rich

]]>
672392 672393 672392 image <![CDATA[Arianna Mastali (MS-HCI) demonstrates the use of the Craft Lab knitting machine. ]]> Foley Scholar MS student Arianna Mastali (MS-HCI) demonstrates the use of the Craft Lab knitting machine.

]]> image/jpeg 1700074629 2023-11-15 18:57:09 1700075594 2023-11-15 19:13:14
672393 image <![CDATA[Allie Riggs (PhD DM) demonstrates the use of an industrial sewing machine.]]> Foley Scholar finalist Allie Riggs (PhD DM) demonstrates the use of an industrial sewing machine.

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<![CDATA[$3M NSF Investment Will Create New Semiconductor, 3D Printing Materials]]> 27446 Researchers at Georgia Tech will work to develop new controllable materials for 3D printing, electronics made from plastics, and semiconductors that convert infrared light into electrical signals as part of the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) efforts to create advanced materials.

Altogether, the agency is investing $3 million in the three projects led by faculty members in the George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering (ME) and the School of Materials Science and Engineering (MSE). Georgia Tech is a contributing partner on a fourth project led by Notre Dame researchers to explore materials that can be switched from an insulator to a metal with an external trigger.

The new awards are part of NSF’s Designing Materials to Revolutionize and Engineer our Future (DMREF) program, which is intended to discover and create advanced materials twice as fast and at a fraction of the cost of traditional research methods.

Read more about the researchers' plans on the College of Engineering website.

]]> Joshua Stewart 1 1697807492 2023-10-20 13:11:32 1700059554 2023-11-15 14:45:54 0 0 news ME, MSE researchers lead 3 projects in agency’s new round of advanced materials grants.

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2023-10-19T00:00:00-04:00 2023-10-19T00:00:00-04:00 2023-10-19 00:00:00 Joshua Stewart
College of Engineering

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672110 672110 image <![CDATA[NSF Materials Grants - Azoulay, Stingelin, Qi composite]]> From left, researchers Jason Azoulay, Natalie Stingelin, and H. Jerry Qi have received grants from the National Science Foundation to create advanced materials for semiconductors and 3D printing.

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<![CDATA[Internet of Things for Manufacturing Symposium 2023]]> 27513 The Georgia Tech Manufacturing Institute (GTMI) recently hosted its ninth Internet of Things for Manufacturing (IoTfM) Symposium (November 8, 2023) focused on emerging IoT technologies in the manufacturing sector.

The yearly event is led by Andrew Dugenske, director of the Factory Information Systems (FIS) Center and principal research engineer at Georgia Tech. Dugenske’s FIS Center focuses on advances in factory architectures, machine communication, cloud computing, edge devices, machine learning, artificial intelligence, overall equipment effectiveness, and cybersecurity. Over the past 25 years, the FIS Center has undertaken projects with dozens of companies on a wide array of technological topics.

This year, the symposium event featured 17 industry leaders as presenters. Presenters included: GTMI, Renishaw, AT&T, Siemens, Stephanini Group, Cirrus Link Solutions, Teradyne, Hive MQ and Mr. IIOT. Expert industry consultants also made presentations such as from Russ Waddell, who gave an entertaining, educational, and eye-opening presentation titled “The Six-figure Work from Home Machinist.”

Comments from 2023 IoTfM symposium attendees:

“This has been a fantastic event,” said Chris Bentivegna, principal architect (advanced wireless) with AT&T. “I really appreciate the opportunity to come in, talk about 5G with Georgia Tech, and look forward to AT&T and Georgia Tech partnering on some new technologies and advancing manufacturing. It’s been a joy to be here.”

“We are an MQTT platform. What that means is that we help provide the platform on which machines can talk to each other, and also plug into enterprise IT systems on a global level,” said Gaurav Suman, director of product marketing for HiveMQ. “Here at the symposium, I'm finding it great that I'm getting an understanding of where challenges and solutions to those challenges are born. I can see us and many other technology providers coming together to talk about those issues, how they're adopted across industries. It's quite fantastic to be here.”

“It's been great to present my research and show industry attendees some of our capabilities and some of the machines we have and what they can do,” said Robert Caraway, doctoral student in the Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering. “What I'm doing is making metal powders out of nickel titanium alloys, trying to do some recycling and other things. I'm currently working with my lab team members on creating new metal alloys.”

“It's great to be at Georgia Tech sharing insights into manufacturing with a lot of industry professionals and some really great graduate students,” said Dan Skulan, general manager of industrial metrology for Renishaw Inc. “We're talking about creating good, traceable processes and using the power of the internet and computing to make really good advancements in the efficiency of manufacturing, reduction in manpower, and sustainable practices.”

It's very exciting to be here today with the amazing audience that we have here,” said Dago Mata, head of business development Americas for the Stefanini Group.  “It's my fourth time participating, and we have great ideas to share for the manufacturing industry.”

“I think this is one of the best events at Georgia Tech connecting academia and industry,” said Kaveh Berenji, a postdoctoral fellow at GTMI. “This event fills the gap between what academia needs in terms of support from industry, and what industry needs in terms of scientific support from academia.”

Missed the symposium? You can download and view all presentations by visiting the 2023 IoTfM symposium webpage.

The event was sponsored by the state of Georgia’s innovation and manufacturing group, the Georgia Tech Manufacturing Institute, the Georgia Tech Factory Information Systems Center, and America Makes.

To learn more or to join next year’s invitation list, contact Andrew Dugenske at dugenske@gatech.edu.

]]> Walter Rich 1 1699646914 2023-11-10 20:08:34 1699647283 2023-11-10 20:14:43 0 0 news The Georgia Tech Manufacturing Institute (GTMI) recently hosted its ninth Internet of Things for Manufacturing (IoTfM) Symposium focused on emerging IoT technologies in the manufacturing sector.

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2023-11-10T00:00:00-05:00 2023-11-10T00:00:00-05:00 2023-11-10 00:00:00 Walter Rich

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672353 672354 672353 image <![CDATA[Dan Skulan, general manager of industrial metrology for Renishaw Inc.]]> Dan Skulan, general manager of industrial metrology for Renishaw Inc.

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672354 image <![CDATA[IoTfM participants enjoy lunch in the GTMI/Callaway Research building atrium.]]> IoTfM participants enjoy lunch in the GTMI/Callaway Research building atrium.

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<![CDATA[Zeagler Selected for Emerging Leaders Program]]> 27513 Clint Zeagler, principal research scientist in the Institute for People and Technology (IPaT), was selected to join Georgia Tech’s Emerging Leaders Program for 2023-2024. Zeagler is also serving as the interim co-director of strategic partnerships for IPaT.

The Emerging Leaders Program is a collaboration between the Office of the Provost, the Office of the Executive Vice President for Research, the Institute for Leadership and Social Impact, and the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty. Over the course of six months, participants take part in several activities—workshops, small-group work, and coaching—to contribute to leadership development. Zeagler is joining the eighth cohort of Georgia Tech’s Emerging Leaders Program. This is the first year the program has been open to senior and principal non-tenure track faculty and research faculty.

Zeagler’s research background encompasses industrial design, fashion design, and human centered computing. During his time at Georgia Tech, he has taught and created new and interdisciplinary coursework for the College of Computing, Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts, and the College of Design. Zeagler became part of the IPaT team in 2013 helping create the Wearable Computing Center and acted as its program manager. As IPaT’s co-director of strategic partnerships for IPaT, he is engaging with both external and internal partners to develop rewarding research and scholarly endeavors.

His interest in fashion (Master of Arts in fashion, Domus Academy, Milan), industrial design, textiles (Bachelor of Science, industrial design, Georgia Tech, minor in textile manufacturing) and computing (Ph.D. in human centered computing, Georgia Tech) drives his research on electronic textiles and on-body interfaces at the Georgia Institute of Technology. He is a member of the NASA Wearable Technology Cluster and interacts with the NASA Georgia Space Grant Consortium

Georgia Tech’s eighth cohort of faculty members selected for the Emerging Leaders Program can be found here.

]]> Walter Rich 1 1699634019 2023-11-10 16:33:39 1699634066 2023-11-10 16:34:26 0 0 news Clint Zeagler, principal research scientist in the Institute for People and Technology (IPaT), was selected to join Georgia Tech’s Emerging Leaders Program for 2023-2024.

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2023-11-10T00:00:00-05:00 2023-11-10T00:00:00-05:00 2023-11-10 00:00:00 Walter Rich

]]>
672350 672350 image <![CDATA[Clint Zeagler]]> Clint Zeagler

]]> image/png 1699633910 2023-11-10 16:31:50 1699633939 2023-11-10 16:32:19
<![CDATA[A Day’s Work at the RBI Chemical Analysis Lab]]> 36413 Providing research testing services to both internal and external stakeholders is an integral function of the Renewable Bioproducts Institute (RBI). These services include chemical analysis; corrosion; paper, board and box testing; pulp analysis; and pulp recovery analysis. Established over 25 years ago, RBI’s testing services are well-known in the industry for their quality and customer service. RBI is one of the ten interdisciplinary research institutes at Georgia Tech that champions innovation in converting biomass into value-added products, developing advanced chemical and bio-based refining technologies, and advancing excellence in manufacturing processes.

The RBI research testing services is a team of professional scientists and engineers who work together to provide information and offer solutions required by a manufacturers and users of biomass products, as well as Georgia Tech faculty and students engaged in research on campus. The multidisciplinary capabilities of the team make them uniquely qualified to address customers' technical needs in the areas of process and product development, and quality control. Where appropriate, the team involves RBI faculty and other staff experts to arrive at the best possible solution for their customers and users.

In this article, we will focus on a day’s work with the chemical analysis team.Headed by Rallming Yang, senior research scientist in RBI, the team is equipped to follow the Technical Association of the Paper and Pulp industry (TAPPI) standard of testing, which only a small number of labs in the country can do, and has also developed some of its own internal protocols. Yang leads two specific characterization programs within RBI: (1) the pulping and bleaching analysis, paper recycling, and recovery lab, and (2) the chemical analysis lab.

The chemical analysis team is busy year-round with research projects and testing services. In addition, during the Spring semester, the team also provides support to a paper science laboratory course for undergraduate and graduate students. In the recent times, chemical analysis of black liquor from pulp mills has kept the team busy with more than 30 projects completed by the team over three months for various industry customers. Currently, black liquor analysis continues to account for over 50% of the workload of the lab.

Black liquor (BL) is a byproduct of a wood pulping and is released when cellulose fibers are separated from wood chips. BL contains lignin, which is used as a biofuel within the mill, and several other chemicals that are recovered and reused. In most pulp mills, nearly 50-70% of BL is converted into a convenient source of fuel or energy. Due to the important role played by black liquor in a paper mill, it needs to be tested regularly to ensure consistency in composition. The RBI chemical analysis lab gets BL samples from a pulp mill, who contact the lab by email to get their testing request into the queue. The process involved in the testing is very intense and has multiple steps that need to be carefully administered.

In the first step, inorganic elements in BL are identified by digesting it in a precise mixture of acids and filtering the mixture. The filtrate is introduced into an Inductively Coupled Plasma (ICP) Emission Spectrometer that can identify more than 70 different inorganic elements and compounds like sulfur, potassium, sodium, iron, calcium, etc. The next step involves identifying the proportion of anions like sulfate, chloride, thiosulfate. In this step, BL is diluted to a specific level and analyzed using a method called Capillary Ion Electrophoresis (CIE).

The next step involves analyzing BL for organic substances using two methods – gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC/MS) and Fourier Transform Infrared Spectrometry (FTIR). For organic substances with a lower molecular weight of less than 600 Daltons (Da), GC/MS is employed where the gas chromatography separates the chemical mixture, and the mass spectrometry identifies each of the components.

The final step is to identify organic substances and polymers with higher molecular weights. For example, lignin is one of the main polymers in BL with a molecular weight higher than 600 Da. FTIR is used for testing during this step. Based on vibrations within each molecule, an FTIR spectrum allows identification of molecular groups within lignin. The equipment then uses a computer to identify the substances by comparing the sample spectrum with a built-in library. The RBI team provides detailed lab reports that is used by the pulp mill to adjust their operating parameters for trouble-free operations.

In addition to the chemical analysis of byproducts like black liquor and other chemical compounds, Rallming Yang’s team also conducts studies on pulping and bleaching, repulping, and fiber characterizations.

]]> pdevarajan3 1 1699545587 2023-11-09 15:59:47 1699545911 2023-11-09 16:05:11 0 0 news Providing research testing services to both internal and external stakeholders is an integral function of the Renewable Bioproducts Institute (RBI). These services include chemical analysis; corrosion; paper, board and box testing; pulp analysis; and pulp recovery analysis. Established over 25 years ago, RBI’s testing services are well-known in the industry for their quality and customer service. In this article, we will focus on a day’s work with the chemical analysis team.

]]>
2023-11-09T00:00:00-05:00 2023-11-09T00:00:00-05:00 2023-11-09 00:00:00 Priya Devarajan || Research Communications Program Manager, RBI

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672328 672327 672326 672325 672328 image <![CDATA[Rallming Yang, Senior Research Scientist and head of the Chemical Analysis Lab explains how FTIR Spectrometer works at the RBI Chemical Analysis Lab]]> Rallming Yang, Senior Research Scientist and head of the Chemical Analysis Lab explains how FTIR Spectrometer works at the RBI Chemical Analysis Lab

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672327 image <![CDATA[Xiaoyan Zeng, an RBI Research Scientist preparing black liquor for identifying anions.]]> Xiaoyan Zeng, Research Scientist at RBI preparing black liquor for identifying anions

]]> image/jpeg 1699545058 2023-11-09 15:50:58 1699545162 2023-11-09 15:52:42
672326 image <![CDATA[Diluted black liquor ready for testing]]> Diluted black liquor ready for testing

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672325 image <![CDATA[Tabassum Shah, Research Coordinator at RBI, testing black liquor using ICP]]> Tabassum Shah, Research Coordinator at RBI, testing black liquor using ICP Emission Spectrometer

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<![CDATA[Coskun Receives $1.86 Million NIH MIRA Award to Map Spatial Molecular Neighborhoods]]> 28153 Ahmet Coskun has a saying on the homepage of his lab’s website: “Seeing is believing. Quantifying is proving.” So, with that in mind, Coskun and his team have developed multiplex imaging tools and combined them with machine learning techniques – for believing and quantifying.  

Now, to support Coskun’s research, the National Institutes of Health has granted him the prestigious Maximizing Investigator’s Research Award (MIRA) from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences. Coskun and his team will use the five-year, $1.86 million award for a project entitled, “Dissecting subcellular and cellular organization by spatial molecular neighborhood networks.” 

They plan to probe subcellular and cellular organization, counting molecular neighborhoods and building maps to help researchers better understand the spatial organization of cells and molecules, insights that can open the door to game-changing personalized treatments for multiple diseases. 

“The spatial organization of these neighborhoods, of RNA and protein molecules, is important for cellular function,” said Coskun, a Bernie Marcus Early Career Professor in the Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech and Emory University. “So, we’re basically making maps of molecules within the cell.” 

The maps can ultimately help researchers identify cell types that would best treat various diseases, while also explaining why some patients will respond to a particular treatment, and others won’t. 

The NIH’s MIRA program provides researchers with greater stability and flexibility in funding while enhancing their ability to creatively tackle ambitious scientific problems. And part of the aim, said Coskun, “is to address basic biology questions that have implications on multiple diseases in the future. This single cell work has that kind of potential.” 

For Coskun, the MIRA is the next phase of support in a flurry of awards that have come his way recently: it’s the fifth NIH grant his lab has received this year, with a total value of $3.6 million. 

“This year has been a great year for us,” said Coskun. “It’s encouraging to receive this kind of recognition and support for research and technology that we believe will play an important role in the lives of patients.”  

]]> Jerry Grillo 1 1699464038 2023-11-08 17:20:38 1699470238 2023-11-08 19:03:58 0 0 news Georgia Tech researcher probing subcellular and cellular organization, counting molecular neighborhoods and building maps to better understand the spatial organization of cells and molecules, opening the door to game-changing personalized treatments for multiple diseases. 

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2023-11-08T00:00:00-05:00 2023-11-08T00:00:00-05:00 2023-11-08 00:00:00 Writer: Jerry Grillo

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672304 672304 image <![CDATA[Ahmet Coşkun]]> Ahmet Coşkun

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<![CDATA[Leda Sox Honored by SPIE as a Leading ‘Woman in Optics’]]> 35875 SPIE is the international society for optics and photonics. SPIE partners with researchers, educators, and industry to advance light-based research and technologies for the betterment of the human condition. The Bellingham, Washington-based organization serves a global constituency of more than 258,000 people from 184 countries. As such, SPIE could be considered one of—if not THE—foremost authority on “vision.” Aside from its industry leadership in optics, SPIE strives to be a leader in another type of “vision”: emphasize the role we all play in furthering diversity, equity, and inclusion in STEM.

A visionary GTRI researcher is among the select few chosen by SPIE to exemplify this message. Leda Sox, Ph.D., is one of a select few researchers from around the world selected by SPIE for inclusion in its “2024 Women in Optics Notebook.”

Now in its 20th year of publication, the SPIE Women in Optics Notebook is meant to serve as an inspiration and resource for those considering careers in optics, photonics, and other STEM fields. It does so by, as stated in its introduction, having “engineers, researchers, and industry leaders share personal tales of finding joy and success in their work, addressing self-doubt, requesting assistance when needed, and learning from failure along the way.”

Leda is a Senior Research Scientist and interim Associate Chief of the Opto-Electrical Branch in the Electro-Optical Systems Laboratory (EOSL). Leda is a leading expert in atmospheric phenomenology and remote sensing. Her primary expertise is various types of LIDAR (e.g., Rayleigh scatter, elastic backscatter, sodium). However, Leda constantly “looks ahead” to emerging technologies in the field. Leda has frequently served as principal investigator on sponsored projects in the Electro-Optical Systems Innovation Division.

“In my applied-research role, I not only study the atmosphere to better our understanding of this complex system, but also to use that knowledge to address challenges in national security and to better the human condition.”

Leda’s indefatigable drive to succeed in this highly technical field—despite academic (“I was terrified to take my first physics class in high school.”) and professional challenges and setbacks—can serve as an example to women students and young professionals in optics or any technical field.

“While a career in physics is challenging on many levels, the biggest obstacle in my career has been myself, from my teenage self deciding I had to be Einstein to succeed at physics, to my current self, still questioning whether I’m the right person for the job,” Leda says in the Women in Optics Notebook profile. “Despite the support of family and many colleagues, gaps in my coursework or the fact that I am often the only woman in the meeting room lead me to a lot of self-doubt [but]Your differences make it all the more important for you to be in that meeting room.”

Leda’s drive and determination have led her to not only be in meeting rooms; often, she is the person leading the meeting.

Says Leda, “What I am realizing now, and hope I can pass on to young women starting their own STEM careers, is that you can always learn what you don’t know, and your differences are valuable strengths that you bring to the table.”

Congratulations to Leda for being included in the SPIE 2024 Women in Optics Notebook, and thanks to Leda for being a visionary leader for GTRI—and women in STEM fields everywhere--who is not afraid to be different and strong.

]]> cweems8 1 1699459443 2023-11-08 16:04:03 1699459631 2023-11-08 16:07:11 0 0 news SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, has produced a document, the “2024 Women in Optics Notebook," which is meant to serve as an inspiration and resource for those considering careers in optics, photonics, and other STEM fields. GTRI researcher Leda Sox, Ph.D., is among the select few chosen by SPIE to be highlighted in the Notebook.

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2023-10-03T00:00:00-04:00 2023-10-03T00:00:00-04:00 2023-10-03 00:00:00 Christopher Weems

Writer/Editor
Georgia Tech Research Institute
Atlanta, GA 30318

 

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672301 672301 image <![CDATA[leda_sox.png]]> image/png 1699459481 2023-11-08 16:04:41 1699459481 2023-11-08 16:04:41
<![CDATA[STEM@GTRI Celebrates 25 Years of Promoting Science, Technology Education]]> 35875 Recently, GTRI leadership and research faculty were joined by State of Georgia leaders, corporate representatives, and educators to celebrate a notable milestone for an important GTRI program.

STEM@GTRI celebrated its 25th anniversary recently. STEM @GTRI is the Georgia Tech Research Institute's K-12 outreach program. STEM @GTRI strives to inspire, engage, and impact Georgia's students and educators through hands-on experiences, outreach, and professional learning.

STEM@GTRI customizes professional development experiences for educators, connects students and classrooms to Georgia Tech labs and researchers, and brings hands-on, fun, and relevant programming to STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) educational outreach events across Georgia. STEM@GTRI leverages State of Georgia funding through grants and partnerships to bring additional STEM programming to K-12 students in Georgia. The program first received State of Georgia funding in 1998.

To commemorate this auspicious occasion, STEM@GTRI hosted a luncheon celebrating 25 years of K-12 STEM outreach at GTRI. During the program, an array of speakers reflected on the STEM @GTRI program over the past 25 years and its impact in Georgia and on the future of students.

STEM @GTRI’s First Champion: Claudia Huff

Claudia Huff, the retired GTRI Principal Research Associate who was the first Director of STEM @GTRI, spoke on its inspirational and aspirational early days. She noted that, in 1998, the U.S. was experiencing a rapid permeation of emphasis on STEM education, fueled by legislation such as the Telecommunications Act of 1996. However, while there was a desire to increase technology education, the actual means lagged.

“Computers were coming to the schools, but they weren't ready. There were computer-using educators that are scattered across the state of the country, but they were really organized together, and they hadn't seen some of the things that we could see coming down the road,” she said. That was, in large part, the impetus for the program, which was then called Foundations for the Future (F3).

She embraced and pioneered the partnership-seeking approach that is now a hallmark of the renamed STEM@GTRI.

Huff started with a small amount of seed funding from GTRI. However, her dogged determination led her to secure $2 million in funding from AT&T to really get the ball rolling. The AT&T funds were leveraged into that all-important funding from the State of Georgia, which continues to the present.

“I think the biggest impact was getting everybody aware, or getting people who needed the resources aware that we have resources, letting them know,” Claudia said.

The principles and practices that she put into place out of necessity became the foundation for what STEM@GTRI is 25 years later.

To honor and thank Claudia Huff, she was presented with STEM @GTRI’s inaugural STEM Champion Award.

Educating Future Technology Leaders

GTRI Director Jim Hudgens said that when he first arrived at GTRI four years ago, STEM @GTRI was one of the first programs he heard about: “I was just blown away by the program,” he said during his opening remarks.

“Educating future technology leaders is one of our core mission areas,” said Hudgens. “A big part of what we do in educating technology leaders is that we take it very seriously. Our people are extremely passionate about this--about their many volunteer hours going out to science fairs, going to high schools across the state, teaching classes in high schools--doing as much as they can.

“It's an amazing community at GTRI that makes this happen.”

That passion and spirit of commitment was noted often during the 25th Anniversary luncheon.

The anniversary event was hosted by Leigh McCook, Director of STEM @GTRI, which she calls “a fun role.” Her passion and commitment to STEM@GTRI was noted by speakers throughout the luncheon program.

“One of the greatest impacts I get to experience is working with our K-12 future STEM workforce. When I see a Georgia Tech/GTRI researcher explain and demonstrate their work to a classroom of elementary, middle, or high school students or experience students of all ages interact with our researchers through questions and discovery — I am thrilled to witness students have that ‘ah ha!’ moment and think ‘This is cool stuff! I want to study to learn to be a (fill in the STEM field here),’ or even ‘Oh, now I know why I’m having to learn this topic in my class — someone really does use this stuff in the real world!’

“When we get to bring diversity to Georgia’s classrooms across the state through our outreach, we open worlds of awareness of possibilities and opportunities for our K-12 students.”

Bringing ‘What If’ to the Real World Through Partnerships

“Real-world” impact, and opening students’ (and teachers’) eyes and minds to possibilities were common themes reiterated by the luncheon speakers.

District 25 State Rep. Todd Jones spoke of several of his “dreams” for the State of Georgia: advancements in daily life, from improved transportation to medical advances—all “dreams” that are dependent on significant advances in technology, which Jones said he believes is incumbent on advancing technology education throughout Georgia, including in rural areas without extensive technology resources or even a large quantity of technology educators. That, he said, is where STEM @GTRI’s outreach is invaluable.

Jones said that his office’s ongoing partnership with GTRI is key to improving the “access and rigor” of STEM education in Georgia.

“I'm going to give all the credit to GTRI. There might have been passion coming out of my office and willingness to find a partner to make this happen, but between Bert (Reeves, Vice President, Institute Relations) and the GTRI team, that is what kind of made this a success.

“We did know that GTRI had the resources to be able to make this work. What they had to deal with for a couple of decades around STEM, around the work, shows a passion and an application. That was what we were looking for.”

McCook noted that Jones’ initiative to improve access and rigor of computer science education across Georgia, as part of the newly funded Rural Computer Science Education Program, shows how committed STEM @GTRI is about fostering and furthering partners. She noted that,  in partnership with Georgia Tech’s Center for Education Integrating Science, Mathematics, and Computing (CEISMC), the project is “in 16 (Georgia school) districts right now” and includes contributions from the Institute for People and Technology (IPaT), the Institute for Robotics and Intelligent Machines (IRIM), and others.

“You can't dream it if you've never been exposed to it,” Jones said enthusiastically “Dreams come from ‘what if,’ but ‘what if’ can't be had unless you know what's possible and maybe what could be next.”

Such a commitment to fostering a sense of making “what if” possible was reiterated by Karen Faircloth, Director of School Improvement & Professional Learning for the Northwest Georgia Regional Education Service Agency (RESA), which encompasses school districts in smaller communities such as Cartersville, Dallas, Rome, and Tallapoosa.

STEM@GTRI High School Internship Program

High School Internship Program Co-Directors Erick Maxwell (far left) and Therese Boston (far right) pose with Georgia education partners Leon Grant III, founder and Director, The Engineering Pipeline at Marietta City Schools, and John Pierson, President of the Georgia Section of ASCE. (photo credit: Christopher J. Moore)

STEM@GTRI thrives today largely because of the indefatigable efforts of High School Summer Internship Program co-directors Therese Boston, a Senior Research Associate in ICL, and ATAS Principal Research Engineer Erick Maxwell. STEM@GTRI’s High School Internship Program is one of its premier initiatives. In the internship program, Georgia high school students who are at least 16 years old may apply for five-week paid summer internships hosted in GTRI labs. Interns work on projects in GTRI laboratories and the GTRI Warner Robins field office with the goal of providing students with real-world experiences in science and engineering research. GTRI researchers mentor students by working with them on projects to engage them in first-hand STEM experiences.

As an example of the first-hand nature of the internship, Maxwell cited a project done by an intern team in conjunction with the 3rd Infantry Division (3ID) at Fort Stewart, Georgia. The high schoolers developed a means to streamline the arduous task of counting ammunition rounds via the use of “smart” gloves. To further emphasize the tangible benefits of the students’ experience, Maxwell noted that the students are included on the project’s application for a full patent on the gloves.

The High School Internship Program and other programs of STEM@GTRI make use of partnerships with GTRI’s laboratories, Georgia Tech, the U.S. military, and businesses in technology-related industries.

Among the industry representatives in attendance was Patrick Govan, Higher Education Account Manager at Cisco. He explained how his company, a leader in digital communications technologies, works in outreach along with STEM@GTRI. “We are starting to work with the STEM outreach program, bringing some of the students and internships into our office--we just built a new office in the Coda building (at Tech Square). So, we're show showcasing how technology is used in everyday life and in office space to inspire the younger kids. [We show them] a day in the life of what a career would look like in the tech space.

“Leigh (McCook) and I are trying to get the [STEM@GTRI] summer internship program incorporated into office visits and things like that.”

Looking ahead to future goals and activities was very much a part of the 25th-anniversary celebration. Here’s to the next 25 years of STEM@GTRI!

 

]]> cweems8 1 1699458430 2023-11-08 15:47:10 1699458651 2023-11-08 15:50:51 0 0 news STEM@GTRI recently celebrated its 25th anniversary. STEM@GTRI is the Georgia Tech Research Institute's K-12 outreach program. STEM@GTRI strives to inspire, engage, and impact Georgia's students and educators through hands-on experiences, outreach, and professional learning.

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2023-10-19T00:00:00-04:00 2023-10-19T00:00:00-04:00 2023-10-19 00:00:00 Writer: Christopher Weems 
Photos: Christopher J. Moore
GTRI Communications
Georgia Tech Research Institute
Atlanta, Georgia

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<![CDATA[AMPF Hosts CAMX Expo Attendees]]> 27513 The CAMX expo is the largest, most comprehensive composites and advanced materials event in North America. This year, the event was held in Atlanta at the Georgia World Congress Center. A record number (500+) of exhibitors displayed their material, processing equipment and latest innovations at the annual industry event.

Several thousand engineers, technical professionals, sales, marketing and business development experts from all corners of the world took advantage of the CAMX expo and conference programming to increase their manufacturing and process knowledge, meet their supply chain, build new networks and collaborate on sustainable industry solutions in the aerospace, automotive, wind power and other markets.

As part of the event, the Georgia Tech Manufacturing Institute (GTMI) hosted an onsite tour of its Advanced Manufacturing Pilot Facility (AMPF) to a select group of industry expo attendees.

AMPF is a 20,000 square foot research and development high bay manufacturing facility located on the Georgia Tech campus supporting industrial, academic, and government stakeholders related to manufacturing research and also serves as a teaching laboratory to train the next generation of engineers, scientists and manufacturing experts. Made possible by a $3 million gift from the Delta Air Lines Foundation, this facility enables manufacturing innovation projects of almost all shapes from additive/hybrid manufacturing to composites, digital manufacturing, Industry 4.0, industrial robotics, and artificial intelligence.

Recently, Georgia Tech and the AMPF facility are supporting a statewide initiative that combines artificial intelligence and manufacturing innovations with transformational workforce and outreach programs.

The AMPF tour was led by Kyle Saleeby, research engineer in GTMI, who tailored the tour to feature manufacturing technologies related to metal composites and advanced manufacturing capabilities for 3D printed metals. This included additive, subtractive, and hybrid manufacturing technologies along with metal powder/alloy making capabilities that AMPF utilizes.

“CAMX is grateful to Kyle for presenting an informative tour of the impressive AMPF facility, said Raj Manchanda, chief technology officer of the Society for the Advancement of Material and Process Engineering (SAMPE®). “Nearly 25 CAMX attendees who participated in the tour provided positive feedback not only on the state-of-the-art hybrid manufacturing equipment that AMPF houses from leading OEMs, but also the capability of the Georgia Tech AMPF faculty and brilliant graduate students who are developing adaptable manufacturing solutions integrating proven machining technologies with advances in robotics, artificial intelligence, machine learning, additive manufacturing, and more.”

At the expo, GTMI was invited to host and lead a panel discussion of current digital manufacturing trends on day two of the CAMX show. Three industry experts from GTMI’s partner network participated in a discussion moderated by Kyle Saleeby. The panelists were Elaine Winchester from Plyable, Andre Wegner from Authentise and Rodney Elmore from Microsoft.

“At the advanced manufacturing pilot facility, we are always proud host so many great organizations, institutions and industry colleagues to share our advanced manufacturing research,” said Saleeby.

]]> Walter Rich 1 1699365330 2023-11-07 13:55:30 1699367515 2023-11-07 14:31:55 0 0 news The Georgia Tech Manufacturing Institute (GTMI) hosted an onsite tour of its Advanced Manufacturing Pilot Facility (AMPF) to a select group of industry expo attendees.

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2023-11-07T00:00:00-05:00 2023-11-07T00:00:00-05:00 2023-11-07 00:00:00 Walter Rich

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672286 672286 image <![CDATA[CAMX Tour of AMPF-Nov-2023]]> CAMX industry tour of AMPF (Nov-2023)

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<![CDATA[Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Aging With Disability Renews Grant]]> 27513 In the United States, 46% of Americans 75 and older and 24% of those 65 to 74 report having a disability, according to estimates from the Census Bureau’s 2021 American Community Survey.

Projects associated with the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center (RERC) on Technologies to Support Aging Among People With Long-Term Disabilities, also known as “TechSAge,” are exploring the potential of technology to support people aging with disabilities.

TechSAge recently received a $4.6 million grant from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research to support another five years of work — the project’s third five-year grant.

“We aren’t starting from scratch,” said Elena Remillard, TechSAge project coordinator who also serves as the site principal investigator for Georgia Tech. “Our team has spent years establishing an infrastructure of research resources, like our participant registry, building technology prototypes, and contributing to the limited knowledge base on aging with disability. We’re ready to dive into the research.”

TechSAge projects include a Smart Bathroom developed to optimize the environment for safe transfers by individuals with limited mobility, a Zoom-based tai chi exercise program, fall detection devices for wheelchair users, robotic showers, wayfinding robots, and rehabilitation training programs.

The goal of TechSAge is to meet the needs of people aging with long-term disabilities where they live, work, and play by conducting advanced engineering research and developing innovative technologies. “It’s about more than meeting basic needs at home,” Remillard said. “People with disabilities are living longer, working longer, and should be able to continue engaging in all the activities they need and want to do. We’re developing user-centered tech solutions to support a wide range of everyday activities, from self-care to exercise.”

TechSAge started at Georgia Tech 10 years ago, first led by Tech faculty members Jon Sanford, Wendy Rogers, and Tracy Mitzner as co-directors. Today, the RERC is a multi-site center including faculty from Georgia Tech, the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and Georgia State University.

The current project director is Laura Rice, associate professor of kinesiology and community health at Illinois. The leadership team includes Sanford, now research professor of occupational therapy at Georgia State; Rogers, now professor of kinesiology and community health at Illinois; Mitzner, principal research scientist at Person in Design; and Remillard, senior research scientist at the Center for Inclusive Design and Innovation in the College of Design at Georgia Tech.

The research projects engage students at all levels, including undergraduates, graduates, and postdocs, and emphasize training in universal design and accessibility.

Over the last five years, the team has focused on ramping up their interventions and technology solutions to assist older adults with long-term disabilities. Sanford and Georgia Tech researcher Brian Jones have spearheaded the smart bathroom utilizing Georgia Tech’s Aware Home, directed by Jones and supported by Georgia Tech’s Institute for People and Technology. It is a three-story, 5,000-square-foot facility designed to facilitate research and develop innovations in a controlled home environment.

“We developed the smart bathroom to explore how the bathroom environment should automatically adjust to the changing needs of older adults with disabilities over the course of a day or the long term. That goal requires real-time measurement as a user approaches the bathroom and as they interact with the bathroom environment and fixtures during the process of transferring on and off the toilet, or into and out of the bathtub, or shower,” said Jones.

“We have instrumented the space with sensors in the floor, the toilet seat, and the grab bars used for toilet transfer or bathing. We have designed everything to allow for lots of flexibility in the environment, which allows users to adjust the fixtures to their preferences. The Aware Home at Georgia Tech is a valuable resource for this research. During this next phase of funding, we will advance our bathroom transfer studies while further automating the smart bathroom environment and repackage some of the components to move into real homes with a long-term goal of reducing falls.”

]]> Walter Rich 1 1698083426 2023-10-23 17:50:26 1699365081 2023-11-07 13:51:21 0 0 news In the United States, 46% of Americans 75 and older and 24% of those 65 to 74 report having a disability, according to estimates from the Census Bureau’s 2021 American Community Survey. Projects associated with the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center (RERC) on Technologies to Support Aging Among People With Long-Term Disabilities, also known as “TechSAge,” are exploring the potential of technology to support people aging with disabilities. TechSAge recently received a $4.6 million grant from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research to support another five years of work — the project’s third five-year grant.

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2023-10-23T00:00:00-04:00 2023-10-23T00:00:00-04:00 2023-10-23 00:00:00 Walter Rich

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672137 672138 672137 image <![CDATA[Smart Bathroom]]> Smart Bathroom

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672138 image <![CDATA[TechSAge Team Members]]> TechSAge Team Members

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<![CDATA[Georgia Tech Hosts Nanowire Week 2023]]> 34760 This year, Nanowire Week 2023 took place at Georgia Tech’s Global Learning Center from October 9-13, 2023. The event, which kicked off on National Nanotechnology Day, brought together attendees and speakers for four and a half days of talks, poster sessions, and panel discussions covering all aspects of nanowire research and development – from fabrication and fundamental properties to applications.

“Hosting Nanowire Week 2023 at Georgia Tech’s Global Learning Center has been an extraordinary experience,” said Michael Filler, interim executive director for the Institute of Electronics and Nanotechnology. “This conference has highlighted the interdisciplinary nature of nanowire research, bringing together scientists and engineers from around the globe. Their shared insights and discoveries are not just academic achievements; they are the building blocks for technological innovations that could transform industries and improve everyday life." Filler served as conference chair and worked with an international steering committee to plan the event.

With more than 115 speakers and poster presenters representing more than 20 countries, the agenda reflected the diverse and evolving landscape of nanowire research. Topics included nanowire growth and manufacturing, electron transport and doping in nanowires, quantum behavior and devices, energy conversion and storage, and more.

Nanowires are 1D nanostructures with a wide range of potential uses. The ability of bottom-up growth methods to ‘program’ nanowire structure and composition with nanoscale precision opens the door to novel materials properties and functionality.

Nanowire Week takes place every 18 months and brings together leading experts in the world of nanowires. Past locations include Lund, Sweden; Hamilton, Canada; Pisa, Italy; and Chamonix, France.

]]> Laurie Haigh 1 1699015491 2023-11-03 12:44:51 1699039929 2023-11-03 19:32:09 0 0 news The event, which kicked off on National Nanotechnology Day, brought together attendees and speakers for four and a half days of talks, poster sessions, and panel discussions.

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2023-11-03T00:00:00-04:00 2023-11-03T00:00:00-04:00 2023-11-03 00:00:00 Amelia Neumeister

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672262 672262 image <![CDATA[Nanowire]]> image/png 1699039808 2023-11-03 19:30:08 1699039850 2023-11-03 19:30:50
<![CDATA[Ranges of the Future Will Enhance Joint Warfighter Training and Readiness]]> 35832 Training ranges across the United States and around the world help pilots and aircrew members stay at the top of their game, all while adopting the new tactics and equipment necessary to address the changing threat environment. A training solution known as WarRoom is helping fulfill the program’s tagline, “Better Training. Faster.” by integrating disparate training applications and systems at the ranges.

WarRoom, part of the U.S. Air Force’s Live Mission Operations Capability (LMOC) program, has now been installed at over 20 different training ranges around the world. It brings together as many as a dozen programs that provide information on potential threats, handle radio communications, analyze aircraft engagements, support mission planning, and display a fused combat operating picture. WarRoom operates on non-proprietary commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) computer systems. 

What WarRoom does is comparable to how modern smartphones brought together separate pagers, cameras, mobile phones, electronic calendars, and other devices, explained Joel Rasmussen, a research engineer at the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI), which developed WarRoom and an allied display application known as Angel for the U.S. Air Force.

“The whole concept of LMOC is to get more competency into the brains of our warfighters in less time,” he said. “More efficient training helps warfighters improve more quickly, allowing the collective capabilities of our Air Force to elevate. We can also replicate and adapt to changing enemy capabilities because this system is designed to be agile.”

Training ranges provide valuable assistance to pilots and aircrews, allowing them to battle “red team” opponents and learn new tactics and techniques in a controlled environment. WarRoom increases the training value of each training mission to help prepare warfighters for combat.

By providing a common hardware/software operating platform for combat training ranges, WarRoom also allows new applications to be quickly installed and updated. Previously, new applications had to be installed individually at the ranges, a time-consuming process. 

“We can host these applications on a single server cluster and give them to everybody who needs them,” Rasmussen said. “The main thing is that every range, no matter the size, can have the best tools available. There are many advantages to having a common platform for the ranges.”

In developing the WarRoom, a team headed by GTRI Systems Research Manager Ed Loeffler virtualized legacy range systems so they could operate on a common architecture. That allows all the applications to run on virtual machines, which reduces maintenance and hardware upgrade costs – and facilitates data sharing. Loeffler’s team is experienced in scalable and interconnected live-synthetic, hybrid, and digital architectures and environments with redundant, fail-safe capabilities that can be rapidly reconfigured between unit-level or large-force test and training events and wargaming exercises.

For ranges that don’t yet have WarRoom, GTRI has developed a scripted deployment process that reduces the overall installation time. “This has turned a months-long integration effort into a couple of days with a pre-approved Authority to Operate (ATO). That really helps with getting a new installation approved and accredited, and also ensures that we have good repeatability at each of the ranges,” Loeffler said.

WarRoom can easily accommodate new applications thanks to the Test and Training Enabling Architecture (TENA). Additionally, several ranges using WarRoom are now connected using the Live Mission Operations Network (LMON).

“Beyond the existing WarRoom systems, GTRI has several additional installations scheduled, along with multiple updates. A typical new WarRoom install requires the team to be on-site for less than a month for installation, integration, and user training,” Rasmussen said. 

A key component of WarRoom is a new display system known as Angel that supports blended training for the combat air force. Angel is a versatile visualization tool not limited to legacy data formats or architectures, does not use any proprietary data models, and is not tied to any specific ground system.

WarRoom also supports Live Virtual Constructive (LVC), which will allow a live person in a real aircraft to interact with a live person in a simulator – or an artificial intelligence or “constructive” entity on a computer. While this training component hasn’t yet been fully implemented, WarRoom is designed to enable LVC by integrating all the data necessary for it in a single platform.

Based on input from warfighters, WarRoom has been in development since 2019 and has been implemented incrementally over time. This has allowed the research team to respond to the changing needs identified by users – and new threats that have arisen.

Jared Lyon, a GTRI Senior Research Engineer in the Phoenix Field Office, has been involved with the project since its inception. “We frequently solicit and receive feedback from the people using the system so we can make sure it does exactly what they need,” Lyon said. “We recently hosted more than a dozen system users in our Phoenix field office to get input. We were making changes to the product in real-time, trying to understand challenges from the warfighters’ perspective.”

Though developed for the Air Force, WarRoom may expand to other Department of Defense branches that also could benefit by integrating their training range software. Using a common platform could facilitate more interaction between the services, Rasmussen said.

WarRoom is a major project for GTRI involving more than 40 researchers altogether. The work is principally being done in three field offices – Utah, Phoenix, and Orlando – as well as GTRI headquarters in Atlanta. More than a dozen subcontractors have been involved, including Space Dynamics Lab and Raytheon Solipsys.

In addition to the GTRI researchers already mentioned, the project has included Principal Research Engineer Mike “Scratch” Fitzpatrick and Principal Research Associate Mike Naes.

 

Writer: John Toon (john.toon@gtri.gatech.edu)  
GTRI Communications  
Georgia Tech Research Institute  
Atlanta, Georgia

The Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) is the nonprofit, applied research division of the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech). Founded in 1934 as the Engineering Experiment Station, GTRI has grown to more than 2,900 employees, supporting eight laboratories in over 20 locations around the country and performing more than $800 million of problem-solving research annually for government and industry. GTRI's renowned researchers combine science, engineering, economics, policy, and technical expertise to solve complex problems for the U.S. federal government, state, and industry.

]]> Michelle Gowdy 1 1698856037 2023-11-01 16:27:17 1698858676 2023-11-01 17:11:16 0 0 news A training solution known as WarRoom is helping fulfill the U.S. Air Force's program’s tagline, “Better Training. Faster.” by integrating disparate training applications and systems at the ranges.

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2023-11-01T00:00:00-04:00 2023-11-01T00:00:00-04:00 2023-11-01 00:00:00 (Interim) Director of Communications

Michelle Gowdy

Michelle.Gowdy@gtri.gatech.edu

404-407-8060

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672239 672239 image <![CDATA[Angel Common Operational Picture (COP) Display]]> Image shows the Angel Common Operational Picture (COP) Display.

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<![CDATA[Foley Scholars 2023 Winners and Finalists ]]> 27513 The Foley Scholar Awards recognize the achievements of top graduate students whose vision and research are shaping the future of how people interact with and value technology. Winners and finalists for the 2023 Foley Scholar Award were celebrated at Georgia Tech’s hotel and convention center on October 30, 2023. The event was hosted by the Institute for People and Technology with its executive director, Michael Best, serving as the master of ceremonies as each finalist was recognized for their innovative research. James Foley, professor emeritus and for whom the awards are named for, joined in the evening’s festivities to celebrate the achievements of all finalists.

“Congratulations to the two awardees and all the finalists who represent the best that Georgia Tech has to offer,” said Michael Best. “Departing from previous years, this year we only awarded two prizes making them even more precious. Next year we will return to awarding multiple prizes among the finalist,” said Best.

Congratulations to the newly named Foley Scholars for 2023-2024 who are:
 

The finalists in the Ph.D. category were Karthik Seetharama Bhat, Arpit Narechania, Sachin Pendse, and Alexandra Teixeira Riggs.

The finalists in the master’s category were Arianna Mastali and Josey Benandi.

A short description of each finalists’ unique research along with their Georgia Tech faculty advisor is listed below:

Karthik Seetharama Bhat is a Ph.D. student in Human-Centered Computing and is advised by Neha Kumar. Bhat’s research explores the future of carework by studying how emerging technologies can support and augment caregiving interactions and relationships. His research examines telehealth efforts in India to understand technology adoption for formal and informal caregiving across socioeconomic, geographic, and cultural boundaries. He is designing new technologies and technology-aided workflows as probes into the potential futures of telehealth. He is also examining the role that emerging AI and data-driven technologies (like conversational agents) could play in informal care environments. He has partnered with ARMMAN—a Mumbai-based NGO that is employing mHealth technologies towards improving maternal and child health outcomes through information provision and care delivery to pregnant women and new mothers. He is also working on the design and deployment of a chatbot that can perform automated tasks that reduce burdens on community health workers who moderate a chat-based online health community for maternal and child health. This is a collaborative study with researchers at IIIT Delhi, India, and SWACH Foundation—an NGO in Haryana, India, that runs multiple WhatsApp-based online health communities for maternal and child health, serving thousands of pregnant women and new mothers from rural and urban regions of north India.

Arpit Narechania is a Ph.D. student in Computer Science, advised by Alex Endert. Narechania designs mixed-initiative, guidance-enriched interfaces that facilitate visual communication of appropriate and timely guidance between users and systems, and promotes the design of new visualization tools for enhanced human-data experiences from data preparation through analysis. He also develop tools that augment visualization interfaces with the querying power of natural language. A recent team research project of his examined how misrepresentation using fertility maps could change how funds are distributed to different locales and how people perceive the state of fertility in India. This project involved 16 cartographers and GIS experts from 13 global organizations such as the World Bank, UN, NASA, CDC. His team findings revealed that even the most expert map-makers find choosing appropriate binning methods challenging; this is due to limited knowledge, lack of awareness of harmful implications of using arbitrary binning methods, and organizational protocols conflicting with cartographic principles and map-maker’s preferences. His research team invented “Resiliency”, a new “goto” binning method. As a result of this research, the World Bank invited him, Dr. Clio Andris, and Dr. Alex Endert [fellow team members] to give a talk, and the United Nations offered to integrate this new map-making method into their website.

Sachin Pendse is a Ph.D. student in Human-Centered Computing and is advised by Munmun De Choudhury and Neha Kumar. Pendse is addressing mental health challenges and the positive role that technology can play. There are diverse and effective approaches to treating mental health concerns, but the process of being diagnosed and finding care can be extremely intimidating. Individuals in distress are confronted with diverse barriers, including the stigma associated with being labeled as mentally ill, the trial-and-error process of determining the medication or forms of therapy that work best for an individual, and economic or cultural factors that limit access. Navigating the pathway to care can be an ordeal as taxing as the experience of mental illness itself. He is working to better understand where technology-mediated support may be able to reduce and eliminate mental health-related barriers. He examines the role that identity and culture play in how people experience distress, and studies people from diverse backgrounds, including people in geographically sparse areas, people with limited financial means to access care, and people from minority backgrounds. He is using a mixed methods approach to understand the role that technology-mediated mental health support systems (such as helplines, online support communities, or Google search results) play in helping connect individuals in distress with effective, culturally valid support as they journey upon a pathway to care.

Alexandra Teixeira Riggs is a Ph.D. student in Digital Media, advised by Anne Sullivan. One of Riggs’s research projects, entitled “Button Portraits: Embodying Queer History with Interactive Wearable Artifacts,” is a wearable experience that explores Atlanta’s queer history using artifacts from the Gender and Sexuality Collections at Georgia State University. The project uses archival buttons from the collection to reveal oral histories of two Southern queer activists, linking the activists’ own objects to specific audio fragments. As a case study, “Button Portraits” offers insights on how wearability, embodiment, and queer archival methods can shape the design and experience of tangible historical narratives and their ability to call for reflection on our relationships to archival materials and history. By designing tangible experiences that center around queer community, history, and identity, she hopes to continue to express, loudly and proudly, that queer and trans people have always existed and will continue to exist, and that the design of technology, importantly, must center these histories, communities, and identities.

Arianna Mastali is a master’s student in Human-Computer Interaction, advised by Melody Jackson. Mastali has been working on a wearable activity and gait detection monitor for sled dogs and other canine athletes, called WAG’D. During her last undergraduate semester, she discovered the field of animal-centered computing. The WAG’D device consists of an IMU and a load cell and is focused on measuring gait anomalies

and pull force in order to minimize injuries within sled dog racing. Her research team conducted several interviews with mushers and veterinarians who have been a part of the Iditarod in order to learn about the most common injuries in sled dogs and the existing methods to detect them. This work has significance as it will not only help better detect injuries, but will help dog owners and veterinarians better monitor dogs in order to prevent injuries.

Josey Benandi is a master’s student in Human-Computer Interaction, advised by Agata Rozga. Benandi is currently working on a project called the Care Coordination Study, which is funded by the AI-CARING Institute through the National Science Foundation. This project involves conducting qualitative research in the form of semi-structured interviews with people diagnosed with Mild Cognitive Impairment and their informal caregivers, so that we may better understand how these folks manage their day-to-day activities, what challenges they face in doing so, and how they go about overcoming those challenges. The Care Coordination Study has been a joint effort between myself, Dr. Agata Rozga, Dr. Tracy Mitzner, and other students, where Josey has taken the lead role in all research activities. She is seeking to create a qualitative codebook of the findings which will serve as a guide for other researchers within AI-CARING and beyond whose work may require precedent real-world data regarding the experiences of those diagnosed with and those coordinating care for those diagnosed with Mild Cognitive Impairment.
 

About the James D. Foley Endowment

The James D. Foley Endowment, established in 2007, is named for Dr. James D. Foley, professor and founder of the GVU Center (now integrated with IPaT as of January, 2023) at Georgia Tech. The award was established by Dr. Foley's colleagues and GVU alumni to honor his significant contributions in the field of computing, his influence on the work of others, and his dedication to the development of new research directions.

Funds from the Foley Endowment are used to support the students and research activities of the Institute for People and Technology (IPaT), including the Foley Scholars Fellowships, awarded annually to two graduate students on the basis of personal vision, brilliance, and potential impact. Foley Scholars are selected by an advisory board comprised of alumni, current faculty, and industry partners during the fall semester.

]]> Walter Rich 1 1698758526 2023-10-31 13:22:06 1698758769 2023-10-31 13:26:09 0 0 news The Foley Scholar Awards recognize the achievements of top graduate students whose vision and research are shaping the future of how people interact with and value technology. Winners and finalists for the 2023 Foley Scholar Award were celebrated at Georgia Tech’s hotel and convention center on October 30, 2023. The event was hosted by the Institute for People and Technology with its executive director, Michael Best, serving as the master of ceremonies as each finalist was recognized for their innovative research.

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2023-10-31T00:00:00-04:00 2023-10-31T00:00:00-04:00 2023-10-31 00:00:00 Walter Rich

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672221 672222 672221 image <![CDATA[Foley Scholar winners 2023]]> Foley Scholar winners 2023 Arianna Mastali and Karthik Seetharama Bhat.

]]> image/png 1698758057 2023-10-31 13:14:17 1698758094 2023-10-31 13:14:54
672222 image <![CDATA[Foley Scholar 2023 Finalists]]> Foley Scholar 2023 Finalists with Michael Best, IPaT's executive director (far left). Then left-to-right are Arianna Mastali, Josey Benandi, Karthik Seetharama Bhat, Arpit Narechania, Sachin Pendse, and Alexandra Teixeira Riggs.

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<![CDATA[Georgia Tech Ph.D. Student, GEM Fellows Alum Receives Role Model Award from SHPE]]> 35832 Carolina Colón, a Ph.D. student at Georgia Tech and a member of GTRI’s GEM Fellowship cohort, has been honored with the "Role Model Award – Graduate" by the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE). This award is part of SHPE's Technical Achievement and Recognition (STAR) Awards and will be presented at the SHPE National Convention taking place in Salt Lake City, Utah, from Nov. 1-5.

Carolina Colón

Carolina is currently working toward her Ph.D. in Bioengineering, focusing on T-cell therapies, at the George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering. She earned her B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from the Florida Institute of Technology in 2022 and holds an A.A. in Engineering from Valencia College, awarded in 2019.

Originally from Puerto Rico, she moved to Florida for her last year of high school.

Research at GTRI, Georgia Tech

Carolina's research work aims to combine aerospace engineering and bioengineering to develop devices that enable the mass production of cell therapies to lower their cost and make them more accessible.

GEM Fellowship

Colón was a participant in GTRI’s GEM Fellowship program in 2022. The national GEM Consortium provides funding for graduate education through corporate sponsorships and a partnership with university partners, such as Georgia Tech. 

The National GEM Consortium is a network of leading corporations, government laboratories, elite universities, and elite research institutions that empowers qualified students from underrepresented communities to pursue a graduate degree in a STEM field. GEM’s mission is to garner a talent pool of African American, Hispanic American, and Native American advanced degree-seekers in STEM fields.

Every year, GEM identifies and recruits close to 2,000 students and working professionals from underrepresented groups to participate in its program, which consists of three graduate fellowship tracks: Master of Science in Engineering, Ph.D. in Science, and Ph.D. in Engineering.

GEM also provides financial support to aspiring graduate students from underrepresented groups, allowing them to pursue their dreams without worrying about money.

Students selected into the GEM Fellowship program must complete a corporate internship during the summer and attend graduate school during the fall and spring semesters. In exchange, students are provided funding for graduate school through an agreement with their home institutions.

In the GEM Fellowship program, one of her advisors was GTRI Principal Research Engineer Jud Ready of the Electro-Optical Systems Laboratory (EOSL).

Ready said that Carolina “increased teamwork and morale while creatively expanding knowledge of her lab mates’ different cultural backgrounds.”

Said Carolina of her GEM experience: "The experience I gained at GTRI will definitely last me a lifetime, and it’s something that has changed my life immensely. Thanks to all at EOSL and GEM."

Other Research Programs

Carolina’s research and professional trajectory has also been aided by her participation in multiple Georgia Tech summer research programs, including the Cell Therapy Manufacturing (CMaT), FOCUS, and SURE programs. Georgia Tech’s FOCUS program is one of the nation’s premier graduate recruitment programs designed to attract highly skilled students who have historically been underrepresented in higher education. The Summer Undergraduate Research in Engineering/Sciences (SURE) program is a 10-week summer research program designed to attract qualified under-represented minority and women students into graduate school in the fields of engineering and science.

Woodruff School Honors

Most recently, as a new graduate student at Georgia Tech, she has been selected as the Vice President of the Woodruff School Graduate Women (WSGW) group and has already put into motion her ideas regarding Hispanic heritage, GT PRIDE, community college information sessions, etc.

The School of Mechanical Engineering has recognized her Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) efforts. She is an active volunteer with student recruitment panels and represented the school at the Women of Technology Gala. The school also awarded her the Inaugural Women of Woodruff “Rising Star” award for her efforts. 

To cap it off, the Woodruff School also awarded Carolina the inaugural Interdisciplinary Research Fellowship (IRF). This honor recognized Carolina's vision of intertwining the fields of aerospace and bioengineering to create enhanced devices and enable cell therapies in the space environment for astronauts in long-term space missions.

Nada es imposible si lo intentas. (Nothing is impossible if you try.)
 -- Carolina Colón

Beyond Academia

In addition to her studies, Carolina has worked with Marriott Hotels for about ten years. When she is not in the lab, Carolina enjoys activities such as watching anime, learning languages, playing video games, and swimming.

About the Award and SHPE

SHPE is the largest association in the U.S. aimed at supporting Hispanics in STEM fields. The organization’s STAR Awards are annual honors given to individuals, companies, and government agencies that have demonstrated commitment and measurable impact in advancing Hispanics in STEM. The awards are a key feature of the annual SHPE National Convention.

Carolina has been a member of SHPE for three years. A key example of her contribution to SHPE is that, in 2022, she was invited to represent Georgia Tech College of Engineering at the SHPE national conference in North Carolina, and is reprising the same role this year as well.

Leading up to last year’s event, she helped students with graduate school applications, resumes, practice interviews, and pointers on how to land internships. At the event, she talked to many students and told/encouraged them to apply to the many programs that she has participated in, such as Georgia Tech’s FOCUS and SURE programs.

The award received by Carolina Colón reflects GTRI’s and Georgia Tech’s ongoing commitment to creating a diverse academic environment and advancing excellence in STEM fields.

Carolina Colón’s recent accolade serves as a testament to her dedication and contribution to the field of STEM. It also highlights the quality of research and academics within GTRI and Georgia Tech.

We are proud to celebrate her achievements.

Ready said about Carolina: “It seems apparent already that she is destined to be one of those ‘special’ students that go on to make an impact throughout their career in numerous areas.”

We agree—and expect to note many more achievements in the future.

 

 

Writer: Christopher Weems 
GTRI Communications
Georgia Tech Research Institute
Atlanta, Georgia

Photos: Candler Hobbs
Georgia Institute of Technology

The Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) is the nonprofit, applied research division of the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech). Founded in 1934 as the Engineering Experiment Station, GTRI has grown to more than 2,900 employees, supporting eight laboratories in over 20 locations around the country and performing more than $940 million of problem-solving research annually for government and industry. GTRI's renowned researchers combine science, engineering, economics, policy, and technical expertise to solve complex problems for the U.S. federal government, state, and industry.

]]> Michelle Gowdy 1 1698424161 2023-10-27 16:29:21 1698424391 2023-10-27 16:33:11 0 0 news Carolina Colón, a Ph.D. student at Georgia Tech and a member of GTRI’s GEM Fellowship cohort, has been honored with the "Role Model Award – Graduate" by the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE). This award is part of SHPE's Technical Achievement and Recognition (STAR) Awards and will be presented at the SHPE National Convention taking place in Salt Lake City, Utah, from Nov. 1-5.

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2023-10-27T00:00:00-04:00 2023-10-27T00:00:00-04:00 2023-10-27 00:00:00 (Interim) Director of Communications

Michelle Gowdy

Michelle.Gowdy@gtri.gatech.edu

404-407-8060

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672199 672200 672199 image <![CDATA[Georgia Tech Ph.D. Student, Carolina Colón]]> Carolina (third from right) with members of her GEM Fellowship cohort and members of GTRI leadership.

]]> image/jpeg 1698423726 2023-10-27 16:22:06 1698423841 2023-10-27 16:24:01
672200 image <![CDATA[Carolina Colón]]> Georgia Tech Ph.D. Student, Carolina Colón]]> image/jpeg 1698423850 2023-10-27 16:24:10 1698424061 2023-10-27 16:27:41
<![CDATA[GTRI Names Terence Haran Director of Electro-Optical Systems Lab]]> 35832 The Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) has named Terence Haran as the new Director for the Electro-Optical Systems Laboratory (EOSL), effective Oct. 1. Haran will be responsible for bringing strategic leadership and vision to the lab, which is a leader in optics and microelectronics.

Haran has been part of EOSL for over 24 years. In 1999, he joined GTRI as a student. He became a full-time research faculty member in 2002 after completing his bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering at Georgia Tech. In 2008, Haran was named a Branch Head and went on to become Associate Division Chief in 2015. He has also served as the Interim Division Chief for the Electro-Optical Systems Innovation Division and, most recently, as Associate Lab Director.

Haran’s research experience includes analyzing, prototyping, and testing integrated optical systems for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) and threat warning applications. He has led program development and sponsor engagement in those areas within EOSL and across GTRI. 

His experience also spans into being an advisor for government programs. He served as a trusted technical advisor for several DoD program offices, which provided regular opportunities to represent GTRI in front of senior DoD officials. He also oversaw two major GTRI-wide contract vehicles sponsored by the Army and the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD).

Don Davis, Deputy Director for Research in Electronics, Optics, and Systems at GTRI, described Haran’s contributions to GTRI. 

“Terence has fostered key collaborations across GTRI, greatly enhancing our mission impact,” Davis said. “He has distinguished himself as a leader in all aspects of the lab’s business, including technical contributions, sponsor engagement, and program development and management. I have confidence that following his vision, EOSL will achieve our goal of being a nationally recognized and preeminent research organization in the fields of optics and microelectronics.”

EOSL is a leader in Electro-Optic (EO) and radio frequency (RF) signal and information processing, with expertise covering materials and devices, system design, algorithm development, and modeling and simulation for signals across the electromagnetic spectrum from RF through UV. Major research areas include optical and photonic systems for ISR, EW, and related applications; optical and electronic materials and devices; aircraft survivability equipment system analysis and optimization; and AI/ML applied to these activities.

Haran said he is looking forward to contributing to the expansion of EOSL’s national impact.

“I am very excited about the opportunity to lead a great team of very talented researchers as we tackle some of the hardest problems in optics and microelectronics,” he said.  “EOSL has incredible potential in an area with significant demand from our research sponsors and I look forward to increasing our impact on the nation.”

GTRI conducts research through eight laboratories located on Georgia Tech’s midtown Atlanta campus, in a research facility near Dobbins Air Reserve Base in Smyrna, Georgia, and in Huntsville, Alabama. GTRI also has more than 20 locations around the nation where it serves the needs of its research sponsors. GTRI’s research spans a variety of disciplines, including autonomous systems, cybersecurity, electromagnetics, electronic warfare, modeling and simulation, sensors, systems engineering, test and evaluation, and threat systems.

 

Writer: Madison McNair (madison.mcnair@gtri.gatech.edu)
GTRI Communications  
Georgia Tech Research Institute  
Atlanta, Georgia

The Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) is the nonprofit, applied research division of the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech). Founded in 1934 as the Engineering Experiment Station, GTRI has grown to more than 2,900 employees, supporting eight laboratories in over 20 locations around the country and performing more than $940 million of problem-solving research annually for government and industry. GTRI's renowned researchers combine science, engineering, economics, policy, and technical expertise to solve complex problems for the U.S. federal government, state, and industry.

]]> Michelle Gowdy 1 1698423633 2023-10-27 16:20:33 1698423677 2023-10-27 16:21:17 0 0 news The Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) has named Terence Haran as the new Director for the Electro-Optical Systems Laboratory (EOSL), effective Oct. 1. Haran will be responsible for bringing strategic leadership and vision to the lab, which is a leader in optics and microelectronics.

]]>
2023-10-27T00:00:00-04:00 2023-10-27T00:00:00-04:00 2023-10-27 00:00:00 (Interim) Director of Communications

Michelle Gowdy

Michelle.Gowdy@gtri.gatech.edu

404-407-8060

]]>
672198 672198 image <![CDATA[Terence Haran, Director of EOSL]]> Terence Haran, Director of EOSL

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<![CDATA[Emory, Georgia Tech receives $7 million NIH grant to advance health technologies]]> 34760 The National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering of the National Institutes of Health has awarded $7.8 million over the next five years to the Atlanta Center for Microsystems Engineered Point-of-Care Technologies (ACME POCT) to support inventors across the country in developing, translating and testing microsystems-based point-of-care technologies to help improve patient care.

Point-of-care technologies are medical diagnostic tests performed outside the laboratory in close proximity to where a patient is receiving care. This allows health care providers to make clinical decisions more rapidly, conveniently and efficiently.

AMCE POCT, which is one of six sites in the U.S. selected by NIH as part of the NIH Point-of-Care Technologies Research Network, was originally established in 2018 to foster the development and commercialization of microsystems (microchip-enabled, biosensor-based, microfluidic) diagnostic tests that can be used in places such as the home, community or doctor’s office. The center played a pivotal role during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic as the national test verification center to rapidly evaluate COVID-19 tests and help make them widely available.

Read the full announcement

]]> Laurie Haigh 1 1698179445 2023-10-24 20:30:45 1698180095 2023-10-24 20:41:35 0 0 news The National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering of the National Institutes of Health has awarded $7.8 million over the next five years to the Atlanta Center for Microsystems Engineered Point-of-Care Technologies to support inventors across the country in developing, translating and testing microsystems-based point-of-care technologies.

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2023-10-18T00:00:00-04:00 2023-10-18T00:00:00-04:00 2023-10-18 00:00:00 672165 672165 image <![CDATA[ACME POCT NIH Grant]]> image/png 1698179773 2023-10-24 20:36:13 1698179995 2023-10-24 20:39:55
<![CDATA[IPaT Awards Seed Funding to Five Research Projects]]> 27513 The Institute of People and Technology at Georgia Tech (IPaT) co-sponsored more than $70,000 in grant awards to five research projects. The other research co-sponsors were the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) and the Institute for Data Engineering and Science (IDEaS). The IDEaS grant also involved other interdisciplinary research co-sponsors at Georgia Tech. A complete list of IDEaS awardees are listed here.

“Congratulations to this year’s grant awardees, which bring together a diverse set of scholars advancing important new lines of interdisciplinary inquiry,” said Michael Best, executive director of IPaT. “The funded projects in the arts, assistive healthcare, AI, and beyond will further Georgia Tech’s impact at the intersections of people and technology.”

The goal of the IPaT/GTRI co-sponsored research and engagement grants for 2023-2024 is to promote research activities involving faculty and students from many disciplines represented in IPaT. Four winning projects were selected based on their early-stage research which have a high probability of leading to extramural funding and include a strong interdisciplinary component. Engagement grants are also designed to foster new engagements and collaborations, whether internal or external to Georgia Tech.

The goal of the IPaT/IDEaS co-sponsored research include identifying prominent emerging research directions on the topics of artificial intelligence (AI), shaping IDEaS future strategy in this initiative area, and building an inclusive and active community of Georgia Tech researchers. Proposals could include external collaborators, identifying and preparing groundwork for competing in large-scale grant opportunities in AI, and AI use in other research fields.

Congratulations to the winning project teams listed below:

Proposal title: Artificial Intelligence Based Abstract Review Assistant (AIARA)
Team members: Michael Cross, research scientist, GTRI; Paula Gomez, senior research engineer, GTRI; Mark Riedl, professor, associate director of the Georgia Tech Machine Learning Center, School of Interactive Computing
Award and sponsors: $20,000 (IPaT/GTRI)

Overview: Scientific committee members are promoting the use of artificial intelligence tools such as Google’s BARD and OpenAI’s Chat GPT to help with the blind review process to support the peer review process such as articles submitted for annual science-related conferences. Considering that the peer review process is made up of well-structured tasks that include analysis of a set number of abstract components (title, keywords, structure, outcomes, references) or paper components (the introduction, methods, results, discussion, length, clarity and structure), peer review is an excellent candidate for trained AI to address topics such as duplicate submissions, self-plagiarism, incomplete reviews, comment quality assessment, and the overall standardization of scores for the final selection of articles.

Proposal title: Toward Fairer Diagnosis and Care of Type 2 Diabetes: A Long-Term and Pipeline-Level View
Team members: Gabriel Garcia, assistant professor in the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering; Juba Ziani, assistant professor in the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering; Jovan Julien, postdoctoral fellow, Harvard Medical School
Award and sponsors: $16,034 (IPaT)
Overview: Type-2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM) is one of the most common chronic diseases in the United States, affecting about 10% of Americans. While T2DM is irreversible, its early disease stages – i.e., pre-diabetes – are reversible. Accordingly, early screening, detection, and treatment are critical to reducing the rates of progression to T2DM and mitigating the adverse effects of T2DM among those who already have it. Yet, in the United States, T2DM can often go undetected until its later stages with each missed detection stage leading to worsening health
outcomes and increasing financial burden. Further, people from disadvantaged and underserved groups often face lower access to care, leading to more missed detection and greater downstream disease burden. In this research, our goal is to build a mathematical model to optimize investments across screening and treatment resources while reducing disparities across disadvantaged populations.

Proposal title: ASTRO! - Manysourcing the Design and Behavior of Future Robotic Guide Dogs
Team members: Bruce Walker, professor, School of Psychology and School of Interactive Computing

Award and sponsors: $15,375 (IPaT)
Overview: ASTRO! is an interdisciplinary collaborative project to engage many people in the ideation and creative design of future robotic guide dogs. As the technology and engineering advance towards a robotic assistant, we also must consider design and human-robot interaction issues. We will ask many people--through interviews, focus groups, and surveys--what capabilities a robotic guide should have. We will also ask how they should look and feel. We will consider how they will behave. And finally, we will investigate how humans and robotic assistants will communicate. Students in many classes at Georgia Tech and beyond will study various aspects of this research and design challenge. We will also host a weekend “design-a-thon” for ideating and brainstorming robot designs and interaction patterns, and crafting up all kinds of prototypes and mockups. The outcomes of this project will influence the design of robotic assistants, and more broadly will help us design advanced technology so it is accepted into society.

Proposal title: Data-Driven Platform for Transforming Subjective Assessment into Objective Processes for Artistic Human Performance and Wellness
Team members: Milka Trajkova, research scientist, School of Literature, Media, and Communication; Brian Magerko, professor, School of Literature, Media, and Communication

Award and sponsors: $15,000 (IPaT/IDEaS)
Overview: Artistic human movement at large, stands at the precipice of a data-driven renaissance. By leveraging novel tools, we can usher in a transparent, data-driven, and accessible training environment. The potential ramifications extend beyond dance. As sports analytics have reshaped our understanding of athletic prowess, a similar approach to dance could redefine our comprehension of human movement, with implications spanning healthcare, construction, rehabilitation, and active aging. Georgia Tech, with its prowess in AI, HCI, and biomechanics is primed to lead this exploration. To actualize this vision, we propose the following research questions with ballet as a prime example of one of the most complex types of artistic movements: 1) What kinds of data - real-time kinematic, kinetic, biomechanical, etc. captured through accessible off-the-shelf technologies, are essential for effective AI assessment in ballet education for young adults?; 2) How can we design and develop an end-to-end ML architecture that assesses artistic and technical performance?; 3) What feedback elements (combination of timing, communication mode, feedback nature, polarity, visualization) are most effective for AI- based dance assessment?; and 4) How does AI-assisted feedback enhance physical wellness, artistic performance, and the learning process in young athletes compared to traditional methods?

Proposal title: Voice+: Locating the Human Voice in a Technology-Driven World
Team members: Andrea Jonsson, assistant professor, School of Modern Languages; Stuart Goldberg, associate professor, School of Modern Languages

Award and sponsors: $3,800 (IPaT)
Overview: The Voice + Research Lab is an Interdisciplinary Voice Studies Lab that explores the human voice from a variety of perspectives and integrates knowledge and methodologies from different disciplines. It encompasses a wide range of topics related to the voice, including vocal production, vocal health, cultural and historical aspects of vocal expression, and the artistic and expressive use of the voice. Interdisciplinary voice studies aim to provide a holistic understanding of the voice and its multifaceted aspects, fostering collaboration among experts in various fields to explore sound and structures of the human voice.

]]> Walter Rich 1 1698161074 2023-10-24 15:24:34 1698161122 2023-10-24 15:25:22 0 0 news The Institute of People and Technology at Georgia Tech (IPaT) co-sponsored more than $70,000 in grant awards to five research projects. The other research co-sponsors were the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) and the Institute for Data Engineering and Science (IDEaS).

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2023-10-24T00:00:00-04:00 2023-10-24T00:00:00-04:00 2023-10-24 00:00:00 Walter Rich

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672156 672156 image <![CDATA[IPaT Seed Grant Winners 2023]]> IPaT Seed Grant Winners 2023

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<![CDATA[Georgia Tech Hosts 2023 RCE Americas Meeting]]> 27338 The Georgia Tech campus recently served as host to the 2023 RCE Americas Regional Meeting. From September 26 – 29, students, academics, and working professionals from around the Americas gathered to share their diverse perspectives and experiences, and delved into the discourse of sustainability. Participants attended panel sessions, presentations, site visits, and workshops (one of which was student led) over the three-day meeting, offering their unique viewpoints on how sustainability plays a role in their work and academic careers.

RCE Greater Atlanta was acknowledged by the United Nations University (UNU) on December 18, 2017, as a Regional Centre of Expertise on Education for Sustainable Development. RCE Greater Atlanta is one of over 190 RCEs recognized worldwide as part of the UNU RCE network. RCEs support multi-stakeholder implementation of the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the regional level, through education and training.

RCE Greater Atlanta is committed to leveraging educational resources for regional implementation of the SDGs, with a focus on equity and justice, building on Atlanta’s history as the home of the Civil Rights Movement. RCE Greater Atlanta members, representing all sectors of community, business, government, and civil society, contribute to the creation of an inclusive and collaborative community that advances SDG knowledge and action, and nurtures strong youth leadership by harnessing higher education capacity and knowledge for regional benefit.

Among the speakers were Keisuke Midori, section chief from the Ministry of the Environment of Japan; Jenny Hirsch, senior director of the Georgia Tech Center for Sustainable Communities Research and Education, representing RCE Greater Atlanta; and Georgia Tech President Ángel Cabrera. Several of the speakers traveled or participated virtually from around the United States, as well as from places as far-flung as Mexico, Puerto Rico, Canada, Peru, and Columbia. Atlanta was also well represented with participants and speakers from many area colleges and universities including Morehouse School of Medicine, Kennesaw State University, and Georgia Gwinnett College. A wide range of topics were presented such as “Youth Initiatives at Assateague Island,” “Energy Equity: Advancing SDG 7 Affordable and Clean Energy Through Community-University Partnerships,” and “Young Leaders of the Earth Charter at RCE Bogota.”

Several Georgia Tech students were in attendance and have offered their perspectives on the event. Lakshya Sharma, a master’s student in Human Computer Interaction and the student coordination manager for RCE Greater Atlanta, says, “The conference provided people coming from a wide variety of backgrounds an opportunity to present views, opinions, and talk about differences. I was given the responsibility to lead one of these sessions, where we discussed how important local community action is and how these actions can be made more efficient, inclusive, and effective. Participating in these discussions gave me a fresh perspective on things and made me explore new ways to solve problems, which I can now implement as a professional.”

Perrin Brady, who is studying History, Technology, and Society at Georgia Tech and serving as a student engagement coordinator for RCE Greater Atlanta, said, “I was able to raise questions to the room that I struggle with as a young person, like how to navigate possible conflict between requiring fast climate solutions and needing equitable/sustainable solutions that take time and consideration. People's answers gave me hope for future impacts I could make.”

Julie Chen, another student engagement coordinator, who is studying architecture at Georgia Tech, said, “The range of presentations remains an inspiration, as I was able to witness different RCEs actively involved in unique projects to further the UN SDGs. It was especially heartening to see young students taking the initiative. The RCE Americas Network is a great platform to share these efforts.”

The event was sponsored by Oak Ridge Associated Universities; Kennesaw State University’s Global Education Community Engagement and Outreach; Goethe Zentrum; and several Georgia Tech organizations, namely the Brook Byers Institute for Sustainable Systems, the Renewable Bioproducts Institute, the Strategic Energy Institute, the Atlanta Global Studies Center, and the Ray C. Anderson Center for Sustainable Business with the Drawdown Georgia Business Compact.

The RCE Americas Meeting is an annual event.  For more information, see the following links:

Meeting Resources: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1K8XeWuCEXq66TEVZuQQm3X3EzfXQ3zVB?usp=sharing

Presentation Recordings: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpof6N7frRLybc0UW8dhX4A
 

]]> Brent Verrill 1 1697820492 2023-10-20 16:48:12 1697820607 2023-10-20 16:50:07 0 0 news The Georgia Tech campus recently served as host to the 2023 RCE Americas Regional Meeting. From September 26 – 29, students, academics, and working professionals from around the Americas gathered to share their diverse perspectives and experiences, and delved into the discourse of sustainability.

]]>
2023-10-20T00:00:00-04:00 2023-10-20T00:00:00-04:00 2023-10-20 00:00:00 Kristina Chatfield, Program and Portfolio Manager, Center for Sustainable Communities Research and Education

]]>
672116 672116 image <![CDATA[Georgia_Tech_RCE_Americas_Group_Photo.jpg]]> A group of attendees to the RCE Americas meeting in Atlanta pose for a group photo outside a red brick Georgia Tech building.

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<![CDATA[IDEaS Awards 2023 Seed Grants to Seven Interdisciplinary Research Teams]]> 27863 The Institute for Data Engineering and Science, in conjunction with several Interdisciplinary Research Institutes (IRIs) at Georgia Tech, have awarded seven teams of researchers from across the Institute a total of $105,000 in seed funding geared to better position Georgia Tech to perform world-class interdisciplinary research in data science and artificial intelligence development and deployment. 

The goals of the funded proposals include identifying prominent emerging research directions on the topic of AI, shaping IDEaS future strategy in the initiative area, building an inclusive and active community of Georgia Tech researchers in the field that potentially include external collaborators, and identifying and preparing groundwork for competing in large-scale grant opportunities in AI and its use in other research fields.

Below are the 2023 recipients and the co-sponsoring IRIs:

 

Proposal Title: "AI for Chemical and Materials Discovery" + “AI in Microscopy Thrust”
PI: Victor Fung, CSE | Vida Jamali, ChBE| Pan Li, ECE | Amirali Aghazadeh Mohandesi, ECE
Award: $20k (co-sponsored by IMat)

Overview: The goal of this initiative is to bring together expertise in machine learning/AI, high-throughput computing, computational chemistry, and experimental materials synthesis and characterization to accelerate material discovery. Computational chemistry and materials simulations are critical for developing new materials and understanding their behavior and performance, as well as aiding in experimental synthesis and characterization. Machine learning and AI play a pivotal role in accelerating material discovery through data-driven surrogate models, as well as high-throughput and automated synthesis and characterization.

Proposal Title: " AI + Quantum Materials
PI: Zhigang JIang, Physics | Martin Mourigal, Physics
Award: $20k (Co-Sponsored by IMat)

Overview: Zhigang Jiang is currently leading an initiative within IMAT entitled “Quantum responses of topological and magnetic matter” to nurture multi-PI projects. By crosscutting the IMAT initiative with this IDEAS call, we propose to support and feature the applications of AI on predictive and inverse problems in quantum materials. Understanding the limit and capabilities of AI methodologies is a huge barrier of entry for Physics students, because researchers in that field already need heavy training in quantum mechanics, low-temperature physics and chemical synthesis. Our most pressing need is for our AI inclined quantum materials students to find a broader community to engage with and learn. This is the primary problem we aim to solve with this initiative.

PI: Jeffrey Skolnick, Bio Sci | Chao Zhang, CSE
Proposal Title: Harnessing Large Language Models for Targeted and Effective Small Molecule 4 Library Design in Challenging Disease Treatment

Award: $15k (co-sponsored by IBB)

Overview: Our objective is to use large language models (LLMs) in conjunction with AI algorithms to identify effective driver proteins, develop screening algorithms that target appropriate binding sites while avoiding deleterious ones, and consider bioavailability and drug resistance factors. LLMs can rapidly analyze vast amounts of information from literature and bioinformatics tools, generating hypotheses and suggesting molecular modifications. By bridging multiple disciplines such as biology, chemistry, and pharmacology, LLMs can provide valuable insights from diverse sources, assisting researchers in making informed decisions. Our aim is to establish a first-in-class, LLM driven research initiative at Georgia Tech that focuses on designing highly effective small molecule libraries to treat challenging diseases. This initiative will go beyond existing AI approaches to molecule generation, which often only consider simple properties like hydrogen bonding or rely on a limited set of proteins to train the LLM and therefore lack generalizability. As a result, this initiative is expected to consistently produce safe and effective disease-specific molecules.

PI: Yiyi He, School of City & Regional Plan | Jun Rentschler, World Bank
Proposal Title: “AI for Climate Resilient Energy Systems”
Award: $15k (co-sponsored by SEI)

Overview: We are committed to building a team of interdisciplinary & transdisciplinary researchers and practitioners with a shared goal: developing a new framework which model future climatic variations and the interconnected and interdependent energy infrastructure network as complex systems. To achieve this, we will harness the power of cutting-edge climate model outputs, sourced from the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP), and integrate approaches from Machine Learning and Deep Learning models. This strategic amalgamation of data and techniques will enable us to gain profound insights into the intricate web of future climate-change-induced extreme weather conditions and their immediate and long-term ramifications on energy infrastructure networks. The seed grant from IDEaS stands as the crucial catalyst for kick-starting this ambitious endeavor. It will empower us to form a collaborative and inclusive community of GT researchers hailing from various domains, including City and Regional Planning, Earth and Atmospheric Science, Computer Science and Electrical Engineering, Civil and Environmental Engineering etc. By drawing upon the wealth of expertise and perspectives from these diverse fields, we aim to foster an environment where innovative ideas and solutions can flourish. In addition to our internal team, we also have plans to collaborate with external partners, including the World Bank, the Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability, and the Berkeley AI Research Initiative, who share our vision of addressing the complex challenges at the intersection of climate and energy infrastructure.

PI: Jian Luo, Civil & Environmental Eng | Yi Deng, EAS
Proposal Title: “Physics-informed Deep Learning for Real-time Forecasting of Urban Flooding”

Award: $15k (co-sponsored by BBISS)

Overview: Our research team envisions a significant trend in the exploration of AI applications for urban flooding hazard forecasting. Georgia Tech possesses a wealth of interdisciplinary expertise, positioning us to make a pioneering contribution to this burgeoning field. We aim to harness the combined strengths of Georgia Tech's experts in civil and environmental engineering, atmospheric and climate science, and data science to chart new territory in this emerging trend. Furthermore, we envision the potential extension of our research efforts towards the development of a real-time hazard forecasting application. This application would incorporate adaptation and mitigation strategies in collaboration with local government agencies, emergency management departments, and researchers in computer engineering and social science studies. Such a holistic approach would address the multifaceted challenges posed by urban flooding. To the best of our knowledge, Georgia Tech currently lacks a dedicated team focused on the fusion of AI and climate/flood research, making this initiative even more pioneering and impactful.

Proposal Title: “AI for Recycling and Circular Economy
PI: Valerie Thomas, ISyE and PubPoly | Steven Balakirsky, GTRI
Award: $15k (co-sponsored by BBISS)

Overview: Most asset management and recycling use technology that has not changed for decades. The use of bar codes and RFID has provided some benefits, such as for retail returns management. Automated sorting of recyclables using magnets, eddy currents, and laser plastics identification has improved municipal recycling. Yet the overall field has been challenged by not-quite-easy-enough identification of products in use or at end of life. AI approaches, including computer vision, data fusion, and machine learning provide the additional capability to make asset management and product recycling easy enough to be nearly autonomous. Georgia Tech is well suited to lead in the development of this application. With its strength in machine learning, robotics, sustainable business, supply chains and logistics, and technology commercialization, Georgia Tech has the multi-disciplinary capability to make this concept a reality, in research and in commercial application.

Proposal Title: “Data-Driven Platform for Transforming Subjective Assessment into Objective Processes for Artistic Human Performance and Wellness
PI: Milka Trajkova, Research Scientist/School of Literature, Media, Communication | Brian Magerko, School of Literature, Media, Communication
Award: $15k (co-sponsored by IPaT)

Overview: Artistic human movement at large, stands at the precipice of a data-driven renaissance. By leveraging novel tools, we can usher in a transparent, data-driven, and accessible training environment. The potential ramifications extend beyond dance. As sports analytics have reshaped our understanding of athletic prowess, a similar approach to dance could redefine our comprehension of human movement, with implications spanning healthcare, construction, rehabilitation, and active aging. Georgia Tech, with its prowess in AI, HCI, and biomechanics is primed to lead this exploration. To actualize this vision, we propose the following research questions with ballet as a prime example of one of the most complex types of artistic movements: 1) What kinds of data - real-time kinematic, kinetic, biomechanical, etc. captured through accessible off-the-shelf technologies, are essential for effective AI assessment in ballet education for young adults?; 2) How can we design and develop an end-to-end ML architecture that assesses artistic and technical performance?; 3) What feedback elements (combination of timing, communication mode, feedback nature, polarity, visualization) are most effective for AI- based dance assessment?; and 4) How does AI-assisted feedback enhance physical wellness, artistic performance, and the learning process in young athletes compared to traditional methods?

-         Christa M. Ernst
]]> Christa Ernst 1 1697811144 2023-10-20 14:12:24 1697815459 2023-10-20 15:24:19 0 0 news The goals of the funded proposals include identifying prominent emerging research directions on the topic of AI, shaping IDEaS future strategy in the initiative area, building an inclusive and active community of Georgia Tech researchers in the field that potentially include external collaborators, and identifying and preparing groundwork for competing in large-scale grant opportunities in AI and its use in other research fields.

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2023-10-20T00:00:00-04:00 2023-10-20T00:00:00-04:00 2023-10-20 00:00:00 Christa M. Ernst |  Research Communications Program Manager
Robotics | Data Engineering | Neuroengineering
christa.ernst@research.gatech.edu

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672113 672113 image <![CDATA[Grant RFP Image IDEaS FY24.jpg]]> image/jpeg 1697810595 2023-10-20 14:03:15 1697810595 2023-10-20 14:03:15
<![CDATA[New Polymer Membranes, AI Predictions Could Dramatically Reduce Energy, Water Use in Oil Refining]]> 27446 A new kind of polymer membrane created by researchers at Georgia Tech could reshape how refineries process crude oil, dramatically reducing the energy and water required while extracting even more useful materials.

The so-called DUCKY polymers — more on the unusual name in a minute — are reported Oct. 16 in Nature Materials. And they’re just the beginning for the team of Georgia Tech chemists, chemical engineers, and materials scientists. They also have created artificial intelligence tools to predict the performance of these kinds of polymer membranes, which could accelerate development of new ones.

The implications are stark: the initial separation of crude oil components is responsible for roughly 1% of energy used across the globe. What’s more, the membrane separation technology the researchers are developing could have several uses, from biofuels and biodegradable plastics to pulp and paper products.

“We're establishing concepts here that we can then use with different molecules or polymers, but we apply them to crude oil because that's the most challenging target right now,” said M.G. Finn, professor and James A. Carlos Family Chair in the School of Chemistry and Biochemistry.

Read the full story on the College of Engineering website.

]]> Joshua Stewart 1 1697463299 2023-10-16 13:34:59 1697801415 2023-10-20 11:30:15 0 0 news The membranes would improve distillation processes that account for 1% of the world’s energy use.

]]>
2023-10-16T00:00:00-04:00 2023-10-16T00:00:00-04:00 2023-10-16 00:00:00 Joshua Stewart
College of Engineering

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672055 672055 image <![CDATA[Crude Oil DUCKY Membrane]]>

A sample of a DUCKY polymer membrane researchers created to perform the initial separation of crude oils using significantly less energy. (Photo: Candler Hobbs)

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<![CDATA[NSF Grant to Develop Carbon ‘Nutrition Labels’ for a Sustainable Internet of Things]]> 27338 Edge devices, such as wearables, cameras, smartphones, and smart home devices, have become the foundation of our daily interactions with technology. But the exponential growth in the number of these devices comes at a significant environmental cost, currently accounting for more than a third of the 4% of global carbon emissions attributed to information and communication technologies. This ecological impact is projected to worsen as the number of edge devices surges into trillions over the next few decades.

Josiah Hester, associate professor in the College of Computing, along with researchers from Cornell and Harvard Universities, has received a $2 million grant from the newly established Design for Environmental Sustainability in Computing program at the National Science Foundation. The investigators aim to study and mitigate the environmental impact of edge computing devices. Their winning project will make carbon and sustainability a first-order design parameter for future edge computing devices that range from tiny, energy-harvesting Internet of Things devices — often found in manufacturing lines, cars, agriculture, and cities — to higher performance consumer electronics like tablets and smartphones.

As part of the research, investigators will capture a first-of-its-kind dataset on actual emissions and resource usage of complex fabrication processes, build and validate tools for carbon-aware design, and establish an Electronic Sustainability Record for edge devices, similar to nutrition labels for food, or a digital health record, that allows consumers and manufacturers to understand the carbon costs of computing devices and use that in decision-making. The grant proposal was catalyzed through the Brook Byers Institute for Sustainable Systems Initiative Leads program, with additional funds from the Institute for Data Engineering and Science.

“Right now, hardware designers, programmers, and consumers have only a vague idea of the actual carbon cost of the phone, wearable, or smart device they are working with. With rising e-waste and technology’s increasing contributions to climate change, we have to figure out how to do better. This project will lay the foundations for edge devices that can last for decades, or at least have a lifetime commensurate with the carbon cost, potentially reducing e-waste, emissions, and environmental footprint,” said Hester. “Our design tools, new datasets, and carbon models will consider factors like energy, e-waste, and water usage from the manufacturing of computational devices, as well as operational carbon footprint from factors like machine learning and software lifecycles.”

With the grant money, Hester’s team will develop an end-to-end framework that prioritizes environmental impact, while considering user experience, performance, and efficiency when designing edge devices. The framework, which they are calling Delphi, will enable sustainable technological growth by laying out a path for the design of environmentally conscious edge devices with substantially longer lifecycles.
 
“Eventually, this research could lead to a kind of ‘nutrition label’ for computing devices, like your phone, to empower consumers with data to make more sustainability-friendly purchasing and use decisions,” Hester said. “This could incentivize and enable hardware companies to build lower carbon devices meant to last for many years, versus trading up after a contract renewal. We have a long way to go before this is reality, but this project will lay foundational steps in data collection, model building, and design tools — a sustainable vision of edge computing.”

]]> Brent Verrill 1 1697668606 2023-10-18 22:36:46 1697730143 2023-10-19 15:42:23 0 0 news Josiah Hester, associate professor in the College of Computing, along with researchers from Cornell and Harvard Universities, has received a $2 million grant from National Science Foundation. The investigators aim to study and mitigate the environmental impact of edge computing devices. Their winning project will make carbon and sustainability a first-order design parameter for future edge computing devices that range from tiny, energy-harvesting Internet of Things devices — often found in manufacturing lines, cars, agriculture, and cities — to higher performance consumer electronics like tablets and smartphones.

]]>
2023-10-18T00:00:00-04:00 2023-10-18T00:00:00-04:00 2023-10-18 00:00:00 Brent Verrill, Research Communications Program Manager, BBISS

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672104 672104 image <![CDATA[Josiah_Hester_Lab_portrait.jpg]]> Josiah Hester sits at a desk in an electronics lab at Georgia Tech with an array of prototype projects and test equipment in front of him.

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<![CDATA[Milestones Along the Pinnacle Journey of Erick Maxwell]]> 35832 Awards are often the “gold at the end of the rainbow” of an arduous journey. For Erick Maxwell, a Principal Research Engineer in the Aerospace, Transportation & Advanced Systems Laboratory (ATAS) at GTRI, the prestigious National Society of Black Engineers’ (NSBE) “Distinguished Engineer of the Year” Award was major milestone along a journey that has been about more than just his engineering accomplishments.

Distinguished Engineer

Erick received the award during the Golden Torch Awards ceremony during the recent NSBE 49th Annual Conference, held earlier this year in Kansas City, Missouri. For Maxwell, the award represented the confluence of his academic, professional, and community service pursuits, and an acknowledgment of his lifelong commitment to fostering diversity within the field of engineering.

Expressing the profound significance this award had for him, Maxwell said, "This award is my pinnacle. It tops my list, signifying not only my professional achievements but also my academic trajectory and my efforts in serving the community."

Tom McNeil, Principal Research Scientist and Associate Lab Director of ACL—which Erick used to be a part of--specified just some of Erick’s engineering accomplishments, and contributions to GTRI:

Among his STEM activities, Erick co-led the High School Internship Program along with Therese Boston, a Senior Research Associate in the Information and Communications Laboratory (ICL). That role involved reviewing/approving 42 proposals, and hiring 72 tech temps, and ensuring compliance for each of the 119 participants with federal, State, University System of Georgia (USG), Georgia Tech, GTRI, and STEM @GTRI program policies.

His High School Internship team received a Provisional Patent for "Soldier Reader Gloves: Provisional: E. Maxwell, et al. “Tactical Passive RFID Transponder Gloves with Morphological Actuation.”

Erick’s achieving NSBE’s highest honor is a source of pride for the local chapter of the organization, of which Erick is a member. NSBE Atlanta Professionals chair Catherine Johnson said of Maxwell: “His living legacy of contributions to the field of engineering are insurmountable, and we are delighted to celebrate his well-deserved recognition. The Atlanta Professionals look forward to circulating this wonderful news among our members.”

STEM Outreach

However, Maxwell's achievement does not stand in isolation. In tandem with his illustrious career in RF/microwave circuits and systems, he has also been committed to nurturing the next generation of engineers through STEM outreach and mentoring.

"My personal involvement in STEM outreach developed and grew over the years," Erick said.

He reflected on his beginnings at the University of South Florida, where he was the only black doctoral student in Electrical Engineering following the departure of his mentor. Under the guidance of Bernard Batson, Director of Diversity Programs for the College of Engineering, he helped to transform the program by significantly increasing the number of black doctoral students through outreach and recruitment.

His participation in the McKnight Doctoral Fellowship, an initiative of the Florida Education Fund to increase the number of African Americans and Hispanics earning Ph.D.s in crucial disciplines, helped shape his understanding of the need for a more diverse engineering workforce. This was one of Erick's early significant accomplishments in developing the next generation of engineers and promoting diversity in the field.

At the University of South Florida, he helped transform the Electrical Engineering department completely. By the time he graduated, "40% of the doctoral students in that department were black students."

Maxwell recollected a significant moment during his early STEM outreach when he served as site-lead for a community-based applied SAT Preparation Summer Camp in engineering for high schools. Despite low expectations for SAT scores, an applied learning model coupled with real-world examples led to remarkable progress among the students, including perfect scores in the math section.

Reflecting on this achievement, Maxwell remarked, "We connected what they were learning in the classroom to an applied model. We made mathematics relevant to engineering. They built train sets and were excited about it."

Maxwell's commitment to STEM outreach extended beyond his alma mater, the University of South Florida. Upon joining GTRI, he saw the opportunity to broaden his impact further.

Tom McNeil highlighted what Erick brings to GTRI, saying: “Erick exemplifies a GTRI and ACL researcher. Beyond his technical contributions as an RF engineer and his role as a branch leader, Erick is dedicated to STEM education for Georgia’s youth.”

GTRI has been a crucial support system in Maxwell's endeavors. He stated, "GTRI has enabled creativity in the internship space and provided necessary funding and support."

He expresses profound gratitude to GTRI, particularly to ICL Principal Research Associate and Director of STEM@GTRI Leigh McCook, who he says was instrumental in establishing STEM@GTRI’s High School Internship Program, which he co-directs with Therese Boston, a researcher for which he has great respect and praise. The program is a massive undertaking. Maxwell mentions that the last cohort saw more than 1,300 applicants for fewer than 70 slots.

"When I first arrived at GTRI, Jeff Hallman, a Principal Research Engineer, asked me to bring in some high school students. Based on the feedback from our college students, I realized we needed a program to offer enrichment activities, experience, and training."

Maxwell started the Rapid-EDP program for his interns, which served as an early model for today’s High School Internship program, a platform that provides practical exposure to aspiring engineers. In 2019, the last time Rapid-EDP program statistics were compiled, 67% of Maxwell’s mentees received an offer to attend Georgia Tech, and 100% continued on to college.

About the internship program, Maxwell stated, "I aim to provide an enriching experience that will make their resumes stand out."

Maxwell's hands-on approach ensures students understand not only the theoretical aspects of engineering but also how to apply them in real-life scenarios. In a recent project, high school students collaborated with the Third Infantry Division to work on a provisional patent, becoming listed inventors before they had even graduated.

Maxwell appreciates the freedom GTRI has given him to shape the internship program. "It's a massive undertaking that requires time and a committed support system," Maxwell acknowledged.

GTRI's support extends beyond financial resources. Maxwell appreciates the institute's recognition of the need for STEM outreach and for its assistance in establishing collaborations with other departments on campus, including the Research Security Department (RSD), and at GTRI, including RSD, Strategic HR Partners (sHRp; formerly Talent Management Department), and Legal, among others. This collaborative work environment and shared vision of STEM accessibility have been instrumental in Maxwell's successful initiatives.

Maxwell believes in fostering genuine experiences and mentorships to encourage students to pursue engineering careers. He has played a vital role in providing such experiences, developing GTRI’s Rapid Engineering Design Process (Rapid EDP) program, which transitions students from concept to prototype right away.

As Erick puts it, "I tell all my students, 'If you can make them feel, you can get the funding.' So, I strive to provide an enriching experience." Erick ensures his mentees gain not only theoretical knowledge but also hands-on experiences, like their collaboration with the U.S. Army’s Third Infantry Division (3ID), which allowed high school mentees to be listed as inventors on a provisional patent.

Promoting Engineering for All

Erick Maxwell's passion for mentoring and promoting diversity in STEM fields is evident in his significant contributions in this regard. Erick's work extends far beyond GTRI's Internship program. 

Some of his many other accomplishments and contributions that were noted by the NSBE Award. Erick led the GT Charitable Campaign and raised more money for charities than any other unit in the state of Georgia. For this, Erick received a personal letter of thanks and praise from the GT President for the effort. That campaign also earned Georgia Tech the Governors Award. The Governor's Award recognizes a University System of Georgia (USG) college for contributing the highest number of donations among all USG institutions.

Also, Erick developed a program for black males for the Atlanta Inner City Ministry to assist youth who are growing up without fathers.  "I based the program on a book by Harold David titled, 'Talks My Father Never Had With Me.' The Atlanta Inner City Ministry recognized that effort by awarding me a service award in 2017."

A full rundown of Erick's accomplishments and eleemosynary efforts would be far too much for a single article. Also, Erick continues to add to his distinguished ledger as he continues along his professional and life journeys.

Erick Maxwell's pioneering efforts in shaping programs to assist young people in STEM education and professional work, along with his personal commitment to his mentees, has been instrumental in promoting STEM outreach and paving the way for a more inclusive future and more “gold at the end of the rainbow” for young people in the engineering field.

Congratulations--and moreso, thank you-- Dr. Maxwell!

 

Writer: Christopher Weems 
Photos: Christopher J. Moore
GTRI Communications
Georgia Tech Research Institute
Atlanta, Georgia

The Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) is the nonprofit, applied research division of the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech). Founded in 1934 as the Engineering Experiment Station, GTRI has grown to more than 2,900 employees, supporting eight laboratories in over 20 locations around the country and performing more than $940 million of problem-solving research annually for government and industry. GTRI's renowned researchers combine science, engineering, economics, policy, and technical expertise to solve complex problems for the U.S. federal government, state, and industry.

]]> Michelle Gowdy 1 1697643757 2023-10-18 15:42:37 1697644288 2023-10-18 15:51:28 0 0 news For Erick Maxwell, a Principal Research Engineer in the Aerospace, Transportation & Advanced Systems Laboratory (ATAS) at GTRI, the prestigious National Society of Black Engineers’ (NSBE) “Distinguished Engineer of the Year” Award was a major milestone along a journey that has been about more than just his engineering accomplishments.

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2023-10-18T00:00:00-04:00 2023-10-18T00:00:00-04:00 2023-10-18 00:00:00 (Interim) Director of Communications

Michelle Gowdy

Michelle.Gowdy@gtri.gatech.edu

404-407-8060

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672082 672083 672082 image <![CDATA[GTRI Researcher Erick Maxwell]]> Headshot photo of GTRI Researcher Erick Maxwell

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672083 image <![CDATA[GTRI Researcher Erick Maxwell]]> Photo of GTRI Researcher Erick Maxwell

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<![CDATA[Learning Never Stops for Alan Nussbaum ]]> 35832

As GTRI Principal Research Engineer Alan Nussbaum can tell you, the value of an education never gets old. 

At 72 years old, Nussbaum recently earned his Ph.D. from the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) in computer science with a minor in electrical engineering. Although the degree took him 11 years to complete, Nussbaum said the concepts he learned and the lifelong relationships he formed made it all worth it. 

Close to half of all doctoral recipients in the U.S. are 26 to 30 years old, while just 7% are over 45, according to recent data from the National Science Foundation. But it can be beneficial taking on the Ph.D. later in life.

“Getting a Ph.D. was hard,” Nussbaum said. “But I’m glad I did it at this stage in my life because I was able to apply more life experiences to my coursework and research, which was rewarding.”

Nussbaum’s Ph.D. research focused on improving signal processing to provide better information to radar systems about sudden changes in a target’s velocity and acceleration. To do this, Nussbaum used a specific algorithm known as an expectation-maximization (EM) algorithm, which can calculate unknown variables, such as velocity and acceleration, with exceptional accuracy, and is also a scalable and cost-effective solution for radar signal processing.

“This is a new way of doing signal processing in real time to achieve higher fidelity tracking results,” Nussbaum said.

Nussbaum has had an extensive career in the defense space, including working for Northrop Grumman and Raytheon Technologies as a technical software manager before joining GTRI’s Sensors and Electromagnetic Applications (SEAL) Laboratory in 2010. Nussbaum has had the goal of earning a Ph.D. since 1981, when he earned a master’s degree in computer science, but was working for Northrop Grumman outside of Boston at the time, and was unable to take time out of the workday to travel into the city to attend school.

Nussbaum chose to work for GTRI because it gave him the flexibility to be more creative with the research he performed for sponsors and its commitment to advanced education meant he wouldn’t have to put his career on hold to go back to school. "Working at GTRI made getting my Ph.D., which would have been very difficult anywhere else, manageable,” he said.

As a Ph.D. student, Nussbaum sought to balance the demands of work, school, and family by taking as many early-morning classes as possible, and then after work, he would spend nights attending any remaining classes or doing coursework.

“I had to learn to super-organize my time and keep both school and work moving in the right direction,” Nussbaum said.

Nussbaum most enjoyed learning about several advanced computer science concepts throughout the program, which were a nice complement to the radar research he was performing at GTRI, but said taking tests could be challenging at times.

“I understood my course materials but being older than 65 years old, and my work responsibilities, affected my memory,” he added.

Nussbaum also enjoyed building relationships with the other students in his program and his advisor, Kishore Ramachandran, a professor in the College of Computing and School of Computer Science. 

Ramachandran, who has expertise in distributed and real-time computing systems, described Nussbaum as an accomplished yet humble individual who brought an impressive amount of industry knowledge and experience to the program. 

“It was such a joy working with Alan,” Ramachandran said. “Because of his seniority and background, he became an integral part of my research group. At the same time, he was not the type to brag about all of his accomplishments, but was eager to learn from the other students who were considerably younger than him.”

GTRI Principal Research Engineers Dale Blair and Byron Keel also played a key role in supporting Nussbaum during his Ph.D. journey. Blair served as Nussbaum's co-advisor and supported the target tracking aspects of his research while Keel supported the signal processing portions of the research. Their knowledge and algorithm verification, combined with Nussbaum's software engineering experience, ensured the achievement of all the research’s functional and real-time performance goals.

Right now, Nussbaum, who is based in Lexington, Massachusetts, and works out of GTRI’s New England Field Office, said he is enjoying spending time with family, including his four grandchildren. Looking ahead, he plans to continue growing his division at GTRI and utilizing his research on future radar applications.

Nussbaum said he is grateful for the professional and personal support he received throughout his Ph.D. journey. To anyone who might also be considering taking a professional or personal leap of faith, Nussbaum said the path might not always be linear or easy, but it will almost always be worth it.

“If you are willing to maintain the commitment for many years and understand the required process, the feeling is very good when you are completed,” he said.

 

Writer: Anna Akins (anna.akins@gtri.gatech.edu)
GTRI Communications
Georgia Tech Research Institute
Atlanta, Georgia USA

The Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) is the nonprofit, applied research division of the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech). Founded in 1934 as the Engineering Experiment Station, GTRI has grown to more than 2,900 employees, supporting eight laboratories in over 20 locations around the country and performing more than $940 million of problem-solving research annually for government and industry. GTRI's renowned researchers combine science, engineering, economics, policy, and technical expertise to solve complex problems for the U.S. federal government, state, and industry.

]]> Michelle Gowdy 1 1697643176 2023-10-18 15:32:56 1697643466 2023-10-18 15:37:46 0 0 news Close to half of all doctoral recipients in the U.S. are 26 to 30 years old, while just 7% are over 45, according to recent data from the National Science Foundation. But it can be beneficial taking on the Ph.D. later in life. As GTRI Principal Research Engineer Alan Nussbaum can tell you, the value of an education never gets oldAt 72 years old, Nussbaum recently earned his Ph.D. from the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) in computer science with a minor in electrical engineering. Although the degree took him 11 years to complete, Nussbaum said the concepts he learned and the lifelong relationships he formed made it all worth it. 

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2023-10-18T00:00:00-04:00 2023-10-18T00:00:00-04:00 2023-10-18 00:00:00 (Interim) Director of Communications

Michelle Gowdy

Michelle.Gowdy@gtri.gatech.edu

404-407-8060

]]>
672079 672078 672079 image <![CDATA[GTRI Team with GTRI's Angry Kitten® electronic attack system]]> Nussbaum and members of his software division pictured with GTRI's Angry Kitten® electronic attack system that they developed. Angry Kitten® was first developed in 2013 and utilizes advanced sensing and attack techniques to combat the most modern sensor systems. Several versions of the Angry Kitten® technology are utilized across the DoD (Photo Credit: Sean McNeil, GTRI).

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672078 image <![CDATA[GTRI Researcher Alan Nussbaum]]> Alan Nussbaum (left) with his Ph.D. advisor, Kishore Ramachandran (right), a professor in Georgia Tech’s College of Computing and School of Computer Science. They are pictured in the courtyard of the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering. (Photo by Sean McNeil)

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<![CDATA[Using Summer to get a Firm Grip on Research]]> 27863 Christian Hable and Matthew Zhu, two students from Walton High School in Marietta, Georgia, displayed an interest in engineering that began in early childhood when both explored designing and building with Legos. In middle and high schools, Christian’s time competing in the Science Olympiad and Matthew’s time volunteering as a pianist at a senior living facility furthered their drive to explore how automation and robotics can assist humans from tasks as disparate as deep-space and planetary exploration to providing better living and care standards for the elderly.

Over the summer of 2023, the two students served as research interns for Ye Zhao, Assistant Professor; School of Mechanical Engineering and a member of the Institute for Robotics and Intelligent Machines, and Ting Zhu, Woodruff Professor; School of Mechanical Engineering and a member of the Institute for Materials, both learning from the experience and proposing new research paths to their hosting lab team.

Mentored by graduate students Kelin Yu and Chaitanya Mehta, Christian and Matthew were introduced to the basics of robotic grippers with embedded tactile sensors and training via convolutional neural networks, a powerful artificial intelligence approach that imitates the way humans learn things. After this introductory period, the pair proposed their own approach to testing the robotic gripper on various objects with different textures and shapes. The two discovered that by changing several parameters of the neural network they were able to increase the precision of the robotic arm so that it can more accurately identify the grasped object, adjust its force accordingly to hold the objects firmly but without breakage.

“Following an extensive period of learning and exploration, Matthew and Christian identified and proposed a novel research topic, followed by the development of a comprehensive research plan. Their proposed topic effectively integrates deep learning and tactile sensing to enhance the accuracy of object identification by robotic hands, “said graduate student and mentor Kelin Yu. “They introduced a novel approach to object classification by utilizing deformations of grasped fruit objects and deep learning models. Moreover, Matthew and Christian played important roles in various phases of the research, including the intricate tasks of model training, meticulous data acquisition, and the execution of experiments on robotic hardware. Their active participation was pivotal in driving the project to successful completion.”

In addition to gaining new skills, such as using SOLIDWORKS for design and modeling and 3D printing for prototyping, the two gained valuable insights into the importance of collaboration across specialized teams for productive research outcomes.

Prior to having this opportunity, I never would have imagined that so many specialized groups had to work together and communicate with each other. I would see the Cassie foot team members come in some days and they would discuss topics with the Robotic gripper team members Chaitanya or Colin. – Christian Hable

Georgia Tech has a cutting-edge research environment, such as at Professor Zhao’s lab, where research on robotics and artificial intelligence intersects. I am very impressed by how dedicated and hardworking my mentors, Colin and Chaitanya, were. Our wonderful research experience would not have been possible without the dedication of my mentors. – Matthew Zhu

Kelin, Chaitanya, Zhao and Ting are currently in the process of preparing a journal manuscript on the research, with Matthew and Christian as co-authors. The tentative title of the manuscript is “A robotic hand for object identification through tactile sensing and neural networks”.

- Christa M. Ernst
]]> Christa Ernst 1 1694715916 2023-09-14 18:25:16 1697488502 2023-10-16 20:35:02 0 0 news Christian Hable and Matthew Zhu, two students from Walton High School in Marietta, Georgia, displayed an interest in engineering that began in early childhood when both explored designing and building with Legos. In middle and high schools, Christian’s time competing in the Science Olympiad and Matthew’s time volunteering as a pianist at a senior living facility furthered their drive to explore how automation and robotics can assist humans from tasks as disparate as deep-space and planetary exploration to providing better living and care standards for the elderly.

]]>
2023-09-14T00:00:00-04:00 2023-09-14T00:00:00-04:00 2023-09-14 00:00:00 Christa M. Ernst
Research Communications Program Manager
Topic Expertise: Robotics | Data Engineering | Neuroengineering
Research @ the Georgia Institute of Technology
christa.ernst@research.gatech.edu

]]>
671709 671709 image <![CDATA[Ye Zhao with Christian Hable, Matthew Zhu, and Chaitanya Mehta]]> Professor Ye Zhao (GT-ME), high school intern Matthew Zhu, graduate student Chaitanya Mehta, and high school intern Christian Hable with the lab's robotic arm with tactile sensors

]]> image/png 1694715264 2023-09-14 18:14:24 1694715603 2023-09-14 18:20:03
<![CDATA[The Second Research Test News Item]]> 28778 Bacon ipsum dolor amet pork loin swine cupim turkey landjaeger hamburger turducken picanha porchetta chislic t-bone venison shank. Jerky chislic beef strip steak, flank corned beef pork loin short loin sausage. Spare ribs venison kevin, ham hock swine pastrami hamburger shoulder sirloin ground round cupim tail brisket salami jowl. T-bone turkey meatball chislic cupim, shoulder ground round ball tip meatloaf flank alcatra pastrami leberkas pork loin. Landjaeger capicola shank turducken kielbasa, turkey rump hamburger tri-tip. Turkey short loin leberkas picanha ham hock.

Cupim pork loin flank shoulder burgdoggen. Hamburger burgdoggen t-bone tongue cupim. Pork loin frankfurter boudin tail, pancetta meatloaf pork chicken filet mignon cupim brisket alcatra. Fatback t-bone alcatra, cow filet mignon brisket hamburger picanha spare ribs. Tenderloin turducken sausage shoulder, brisket ground round tri-tip tongue chuck pork chop ball tip t-bone buffalo prosciutto. Boudin ball tip buffalo, pork loin bresaola leberkas pancetta salami doner. Pork chop tri-tip andouille beef tongue filet mignon strip steak.

Corned beef t-bone ball tip, sausage ham hock hamburger chuck strip steak shankle beef frankfurter chicken pork belly tenderloin. Frankfurter tenderloin ribeye pork chop, t-bone pork belly beef jerky shoulder. Cupim short ribs jerky drumstick. Tongue venison turducken landjaeger meatball pork loin burgdoggen ribeye spare ribs. Salami pork loin chicken capicola.

]]> Timothy Whelan 1 1688650575 2023-07-06 13:36:15 1697482860 2023-10-16 19:01:00 0 0 news Landjaeger capicola shank turducken kielbasa, turkey rump hamburger tri-tip. Turkey short loin leberkas picanha ham hock.

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2023-07-06T00:00:00-04:00 2023-07-06T00:00:00-04:00 2023-07-06 00:00:00 Tim Whelan

tim.whelan@research.gatech.edu

Web Dev Lead

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<![CDATA[Wilbur Lam Elected to National Academy of Medicine]]> 34760 The list of titles following Wilbur Lam’s name is long, given his appointments at Georgia Tech, Emory University, and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. Now he has a new one: member of the National Academy of Medicine (NAM).

Lam is one of 100 newly elected members of the Academy for 2023, an honor reserved for people who’ve made major contributions to medicine, healthcare, and public health. He joins a roster of just 2,400 or so individuals. Membership is considered one of the highest recognitions in health and medicine.

“This honor is extremely humbling because it’s given to me as one person. But it really reflects the team effort that’s surrounded me all these years,” said Lam, W. Paul Bowers Research Chair in the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech and Emory University.

“If you look at all the work that they’re recognizing me for, it starts with my laboratory, then goes beyond — into the centers that we’ve developed related to diagnostic technologies, and then, all the work that we’ve done for the National Institutes of Health during the pandemic.”

New NAM members are nominated and elected by current members, and they’re expected to contribute to National Academies activities providing independent analysis and advice to help the nation tackle complex problems.

Lam, who is a pediatric hematologist/oncologist at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta in addition to a researcher, was cited “for outstanding contributions in point-of-care, home-based, and/or smartphone-enabled diagnostics that are changing the management of pediatric and hematologic diseases as well as development of microsystems technologies as research-enabling platforms to investigate blood biophysics.”

Read the full article on the College of Engineering website
]]> Laurie Haigh 1 1697123602 2023-10-12 15:13:22 1697124150 2023-10-12 15:22:30 0 0 news Lam is a biomedical engineer and pediatrician whose work has included leading national efforts to rapidly verify Covid-19 tests and get them to market.

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2023-10-11T00:00:00-04:00 2023-10-11T00:00:00-04:00 2023-10-11 00:00:00 Joshua Stewart (jstewart@gatech.edu)

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635950 635950 image <![CDATA[Wilbur Lam, MD, PhD, faculty member of the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering.]]> image/jpeg 1591281214 2020-06-04 14:33:34 1591281252 2020-06-04 14:34:12
<![CDATA[Computing Faculty Supporting Research That Could Cut Cancer Deaths in Half]]> 32045 A surgically implantable device the size of a pinky finger could be a huge step toward a cure for cancer. A multi-institutional team of researchers that includes Georgia Tech faculty received $45 million from the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H) to develop sense-and-respond implant technology for cancer treatment.

The National Cancer Institute estimates more than 600,000 people will die of cancer in the U.S. in 2023, but the researchers say their project could reduce the number of U.S. cancer-related deaths by 50%.

Josiah Hester, an associate professor in Georgia Tech’s School of Interactive Computing, is a co-principal investigator on the project and is responsible for the sensing and computing technology in the implantable device. He will also assist with large-scale experimentations and coordinate the integration of the technology.

Hester specializes in developing sensing, battery-free, and sustainable technology for wearable and mobile devices. He previously worked on a team that developed the first battery-free handheld gaming console.

Celine Lin, associate professor in Georgia Tech’s School of Computer Science, is working with Hester to develop ultra-energy-efficient chips for signal processing and embedded control. Together, they will develop a robust platform that is energy-efficient enough to last for months.

The device contains genetically engineered cells catered to each individual patient that attack and eliminate cancer cells in the body. Thanks to Hester’s efforts, the device can monitor a patient’s cancer and adjust the dosage of the genetically engineered cells in real time.

“We must keep the cells alive to fight the cancer, and we must understand and control our progress in delivering this treatment,” Hester said. “Releasing too many cells could be toxic, and not releasing enough could be ineffective.”

Omid Veiseh, a bioengineer at Rice University, serves as principal investigator on the project and genetically engineers the cancer-attacking cells.

Along with Hester and Lin, Veiseh’s team consists of 19 co-PIs from the University of Texas, Stanford University, Carnegie Mellon University, Northwestern University, the University of Houston, and Johns Hopkins University.

The researchers named their project Targeted Hybrid Oncotherapeutic Regulation (THOR) and named the implantable device Hybrid Advanced Molecular Manufacturing Regulator (HAMMR).

Over the next five years, the team will test this unique approach to cancer treatment on patients with ovarian, pancreatic, and other difficult-to-treat cancers. They expect to not only improve immunotherapy outcomes for patients, but to make treatment more accessible.

Hester said once the device is surgically implanted, it is designed to remain in the body for six months or more, making it a minimally invasive alternative to chemotherapy.

“If you’re a patient with advanced stage cancer, you might be going in weekly to do various invasive and painful procedures,” Hester said. “This implant could remove a lot of the burden and make cancer treatment more accessible.

“Instead of driving three or four hours to get your treatment — which is expensive, and you may not be able to do it — you can have this implant. You come for the surgery, then you leave, and it stays with you for six months. The localized treatment should reduce the pain and terrible symptoms that chemotherapy and other systemic treatments cause in current protocols.”

ARPA-H is a federal funding agency established in 2022 to support research that has “the potential to transform entire areas of medicine and health.” THOR is the second program to receive funding from ARPA-H after its first Open Broad Agency Announcement solicitation for research proposals.

The first funding contract went to a team of researchers led by Philip Santangelo, a professor in the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech and Emory. Their project, known as CUREIT, uses mRNA drugs to activate or switch off certain genes to help the immune system fight cancer and other chronic diseases.

]]> Ben Snedeker 1 1695749667 2023-09-26 17:34:27 1696614180 2023-10-06 17:43:00 0 0 news A multi-institutional team, including Georgia Tech researchers, has received $45 million from ARPA-H to develop a surgically implantable device the size of a pinky finger, called HAMMR, which contains genetically engineered cells for real-time cancer treatment and monitoring, potentially reducing U.S. cancer-related deaths by 50%.

]]>
2023-09-26T00:00:00-04:00 2023-09-26T00:00:00-04:00 2023-09-26 00:00:00 Nathan Deen, Communications Officer

School of Interactive Computing

 

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671840 671840 image <![CDATA[Georgia Tech Associate Professor of Interactive Computing Josiah Hester]]> image/jpeg 1695750013 2023-09-26 17:40:13 1695750013 2023-09-26 17:40:13
<![CDATA[Reinforcement Learning Approach in Electronic Design Automation Earns Top Honors at DAC 2023 - Cloned]]> 34760 Researchers from the Georgia Tech Computer-Aided Design (GTCAD) Laboratory in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering have received this year’s Design Automation Conference (DAC) Best Paper Award For Research.

The award-winning paper was co-authored by Motorola Solutions Foundation Professor Sung Kyu Lim and Yi-Chen Lu (ECE Ph.D. ’23, currently at Apple), in collaboration with a team from Synopsys, Inc comprised of Wei-Ting Chan, Deyuan Guo, Vishal Khandelwal, and Sudipto Kundu.

The research, titled “RL-CCD: Concurrent Clock and Data Optimization using Attention-Based Self-Supervised Reinforcement Learning,” received Best Paper recognition out of 1,157 submissions. It presents a Reinforcement Learning (RL) agent in Concurrent Clock and Data (CCD) optimization — a technique used in modern computer design tools to improve the performance and reliability of digital circuits. The introduction of an RL agent enables systems to intelligently enhance their ability to correctly rank violating endpoints according to machine learning-based optimization strategies. This contributes to an optimization flow that maximizes the overall efficiency and effectiveness of the system's performance.

The team was presented the award at DAC 2023 — the flagship conference in electronic design automation (EDA) — in San Francisco this July.

Last year, Lim and his research team were presented with the Donald O. Pederson Best Paper Award for their research on Compact-2D physical design tools at DAC. The work was recognized as the best paper published in IEEE’s Transactions on Computer-Aided Design of Integrated Circuits and Systems (IEEE TCAD), the flagship journal of the IEEE Council on Electronic Design Automation (CEDA).

Top photo caption: The team receiving the Best Paper Award For Research this July at the Design Automation Conference. Left to right: Sung Kyu Lim, Wei-Ting Chan, Yi-Chen Lu, and Deyuan Guo (not pictured: Vishal Khandelwal, and Sudipto Kundu).

]]> Laurie Haigh 1 1696613284 2023-10-06 17:28:04 1696613790 2023-10-06 17:36:30 0 0 news The cutting-edge research on intelligent Concurrent Clock and Data optimization from Professor Sung Kyu Lim’s GTCAD lab has received the highest acclaim at leading electronic design automation (EDA) conference.

]]>
2023-08-31T00:00:00-04:00 2023-08-31T00:00:00-04:00 2023-08-31 00:00:00 Dan Watson

]]>
671563 671563 image <![CDATA[Lim_DAC Award 2023.jpg]]> The team receiving the Design Automation Conference (DAC) Best Paper Award For Research in July. Left to right: Sung Kyu Lim, Wei-Ting Chan, Yi-Chen Lu, and Deyuan Guo (not pictured: Vishal Khandelwal, and Sudipto Kundu).

]]> image/jpeg 1693526978 2023-09-01 00:09:38 1693526978 2023-09-01 00:09:38
<![CDATA[Reinforcement Learning Approach in Electronic Design Automation Earns Top Honors at DAC 2023]]> 36172 Researchers from the Georgia Tech Computer-Aided Design (GTCAD) Laboratory in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering have received this year’s Design Automation Conference (DAC) Best Paper Award For Research.

The award-winning paper was co-authored by Motorola Solutions Foundation Professor Sung Kyu Lim and Yi-Chen Lu (ECE Ph.D. ’23, currently at Apple), in collaboration with a team from Synopsys, Inc comprised of Wei-Ting Chan, Deyuan Guo, Vishal Khandelwal, and Sudipto Kundu.

The research, titled “RL-CCD: Concurrent Clock and Data Optimization using Attention-Based Self-Supervised Reinforcement Learning,” received Best Paper recognition out of 1,157 submissions. It presents a Reinforcement Learning (RL) agent in Concurrent Clock and Data (CCD) optimization — a technique used in modern computer design tools to improve the performance and reliability of digital circuits. The introduction of an RL agent enables systems to intelligently enhance their ability to correctly rank violating endpoints according to machine learning-based optimization strategies. This contributes to an optimization flow that maximizes the overall efficiency and effectiveness of the system's performance.

The team was presented the award at DAC 2023 — the flagship conference in electronic design automation (EDA) — in San Francisco this July.

Last year, Lim and his research team were presented with the Donald O. Pederson Best Paper Award for their research on Compact-2D physical design tools at DAC. The work was recognized as the best paper published in IEEE’s Transactions on Computer-Aided Design of Integrated Circuits and Systems (IEEE TCAD), the flagship journal of the IEEE Council on Electronic Design Automation (CEDA).

Top photo caption: The team receiving the Best Paper Award For Research this July at the Design Automation Conference. Left to right: Sung Kyu Lim, Wei-Ting Chan, Yi-Chen Lu, and Deyuan Guo (not pictured: Vishal Khandelwal, and Sudipto Kundu).

]]> dwatson71 1 1693526930 2023-09-01 00:08:50 1696613144 2023-10-06 17:25:44 0 0 news The cutting-edge research on intelligent Concurrent Clock and Data optimization from Professor Sung Kyu Lim’s GTCAD lab has received the highest acclaim at leading electronic design automation (EDA) conference.

]]>
2023-08-31T00:00:00-04:00 2023-08-31T00:00:00-04:00 2023-08-31 00:00:00 Dan Watson

]]>
671563 671563 image <![CDATA[Lim_DAC Award 2023.jpg]]> The team receiving the Design Automation Conference (DAC) Best Paper Award For Research in July. Left to right: Sung Kyu Lim, Wei-Ting Chan, Yi-Chen Lu, and Deyuan Guo (not pictured: Vishal Khandelwal, and Sudipto Kundu).

]]> image/jpeg 1693526978 2023-09-01 00:09:38 1693526978 2023-09-01 00:09:38
<![CDATA[$50M Cancer Moonshot Grant Will Build an Atlas for Earlier Cancer Detection]]> 27446 The Georgia Institute of Technology will lead development of a new generation of cancer tests capable of detecting multiple types of tumors earlier than ever with up to $50 million from President Joe Biden’s Cancer Moonshot initiative.

Led by biomedical engineer Gabe Kwong, the project will map the unique cellular profiles of cancer cells and leverage that knowledge to build new bioengineered sensors to detect those profiles. The goal is to create a new kind of multi-cancer early detection test that would allow oncologists to start treating the tumors sooner, when they’re still small and most responsive.

The funding announced Sept. 26 is from the new Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H) and part of the Biden administration’s efforts to cut the cancer death rate in half in 25 years.

Read the full story on the College of Engineering website.

]]> Joshua Stewart 1 1696010215 2023-09-29 17:56:55 1696609915 2023-10-06 16:31:55 0 0 news Biomedical engineer Gabe Kwong will map cancer cell biomarkers, then engineer new sensors to hunt for multiple kinds of cancer.

]]>
2023-09-28T00:00:00-04:00 2023-09-28T00:00:00-04:00 2023-09-28 00:00:00 Joshua Stewart
College of Engineering

]]>
671905 671905 image <![CDATA[Gabe Kwong]]> image/jpeg 1696010886 2023-09-29 18:08:06 1696010948 2023-09-29 18:09:08
<![CDATA[New Battlefield Obscurants Could Give Warfighters a Visability Advantage]]> 35832

Clouds of tiny structures that are lighter than feathers – and whose properties can be remotely controlled by radio frequency (RF) signals – could one day give U.S. warfighters and their allies the ability to observe their adversaries while reducing how well they themselves can be seen. 

Using miniaturized electronics and advanced optical techniques, this new generation of tailorable, tunable, and safe battlefield obscurants – which could be quickly turned on and off – could provide an asymmetric visibility advantage. Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology are among several teams funded to develop a new generation of battlefield obscurants as part of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA) Coded Visibility (CV) program. 

Smoke screens created to hide troop movements or ships at sea have been used in past conflicts. Often based on burning fuel oil, these conventional techniques have many disadvantages, including limiting the visibility of both sides and using materials that are potentially harmful to warfighters. The new approach being developed at Georgia Tech will instead use lightweight and non-toxic electrically reconfigurable structures that would form obscuring plumes able to hang in the air over a battlefield.

Nanophotonic Technologies Change Properties

“We will bring nanophotonic structures into the real world and be able to change their properties remotely without having direct contact such as with an optical fiber,” said Ali Adibi, a professor in Georgia Tech’s School of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the project’s principal investigator. “They could be part of a cloud of nanostructures formed from a foil material with different dimensions, from millimeters to centimeters. They could include an antenna and diode or heater that would allow them to respond to an RF signal, changing their properties to collectively affect light passing through.”

The transparent foil structures might be used to change the optical properties of the plume to favor visibility in one direction, depending on the RF signal sent. With differences in their sizes and properties, the plumes could include a variety of structures that would respond to different frequencies, potentially allowing the obscurant cloud to be tuned for conditions.

“We will utilize a known electromagnetic concept that, by having a different distribution of scattering properties and absorptive properties, will allow us to control the asymmetric visibility,” he said.

Adibi’s research group has pioneered development of reconfigurable nanophotonic devices, fabricating phase-change optical materials that transition from amorphous to crystalline. The technique has been used to change such properties as the colors reflected from the structures.

Structures Take Advantage of Optical Properties

Transparent materials like the foils planned for use in the project can also reflect light, similar to the way a car’s windshield allows drivers to see out – while also creating reflections, noted Brent Wagner, a co-principal investigator of the project and a principal research scientist at the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI).

“A transparent material will reflect light, just because it’s in air, which gives it a different refractive index,” he said. “The light doesn’t have to reflect back in the direction it came from. It can reflect to the right or left, or even back through itself. The clouds we will be creating will tend to scatter light, which means the light carrying information will get bounced at different angles.”

The coded visibility plumes likely won’t permit picture-perfect visibility, but should give friendly forces enough information to tell what an enemy is doing. At this stage, the researchers don’t know how well the technique will ultimately work, though modeling the scattering and absorption is so far encouraging.

“We’ll be doing a lot of modeling and simulation looking at the kind of obscurants that can be created and the scattering properties at different light angles and wavelengths,” Wagner explained. “We’ll create a cloud model to study where the particles are and how they are oriented.”

Interdisciplinary Tradeoffs Guide Decisions 

The researchers are using machine learning to help select optimal phase-change materials that can be altered with minimal power. The AI technique will also help the team design the most efficient antennas and maximize the extent to which the particles can be reconfigured by the RF signals. 

“These nanophotonic devices will be very small, but we will need to reach each one of them and provide enough power to change their properties,” Adibi noted. “The more power that is needed to create that change, the more sophisticated the antennas will have to be.” During the final phase of the multi-year project, the team will conduct a demonstration of their reconfigurable obscurant in a 27-cubic meter instrumented test room. That will require producing large volumes of particles and demonstrating how their manufacture could be scaled up for actual use.

The project has brought together multiple specialties to the research team, which includes approximately a dozen faculty members, postdoctoral fellows, and students from the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering and GTRI. Additional key contributors to this multidisciplinary research project included Oliver Pierson and John Stewart of GTRI as well as Prof. Seung Soon Jang of Georgia Tech. 

“This is a true multidisciplinary project that combines technologies such as antenna design and electromagnetics with circuit design concepts and optical materials, optical devices, and AI with system-level electromagnetic analysis and characterization,” Adibi said. “We will also need to consider the effects of wind, how the clouds move and other factors. Expertise from all of these disciplines will be essential to making the project successful.”

 

Writer: John Toon (john.toon@gtri.gatech.edu)
GTRI Communications
Georgia Tech Research Institute
Atlanta, Georgia USA

The Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) is the nonprofit, applied research division of the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech). Founded in 1934 as the Engineering Experiment Station, GTRI has grown to more than 2,900 employees, supporting eight laboratories in over 20 locations around the country and performing more than $940 million of problem-solving research annually for government and industry. GTRI's renowned researchers combine science, engineering, economics, policy, and technical expertise to solve complex problems for the U.S. federal government, state, and industry.  

]]> Michelle Gowdy 1 1696516520 2023-10-05 14:35:20 1696516731 2023-10-05 14:38:51 0 0 news Clouds of tiny structures that are lighter than feathers – and whose properties can be remotely controlled by radio frequency (RF) signals – could one day give U.S. warfighters and their allies the ability to observe their adversaries while reducing how well they themselves can be seen.

]]>
2023-10-05T00:00:00-04:00 2023-10-05T00:00:00-04:00 2023-10-05 00:00:00 (Interim) Director of Communications

Michelle Gowdy

Michelle.Gowdy@gtri.gatech.edu

404-407-8060

]]>
671948 671949 671948 image <![CDATA[Testing Electronic Circuitry on a Nanophotonic Structure ]]> Electronic circuitry on a nanophotonic structure under test will change the optical properties of the structure when it absorbs radio frequency energy. (Credit: Christopher Moore)

]]> image/jpeg 1696516072 2023-10-05 14:27:52 1696516259 2023-10-05 14:30:59
671949 image <![CDATA[Team of GTRI Researchers Testing Nanophotonic Devices]]> Researchers from the Georgia Tech Research Institute are shown in the anechoic chamber where nanophotonic devices were tested. Shown are Connor Frost, Zhitao Kang, Ryan Westafer, Joshua Kovitz, Brent Wagner and Taylor Shapero. (Credit: Christopher Moore)

]]> image/jpeg 1696516279 2023-10-05 14:31:19 1696516372 2023-10-05 14:32:52
<![CDATA[October Events Celebrate Campus Sustainability Month]]> 35028 October is Campus Sustainability Month, an international celebration of sustainability on college and university campuses. Georgia Tech will host sustainability-focused events all month. With the recent release of the Institute’s Sustainability Next plan, these campus opportunities underscore our commitment to the objectives outlined in the plan. There are numerous options centered on climate and social sustainability topics in addition to trips to explore nature around Atlanta. The programming is hosted by diverse campus groups and offers a glimpse into the wide-ranging commitment to sustainability at Tech. 
 

Event Lineup 
 

Climate Action Plan Student Engagement Workshop 
Monday, Oct. 2  
5 – 6 p.m.  
The Kendeda Building for Innovative Sustainable Design, Room 210 

As a deliverable of the Sustainability Next Plan, the Georgia Tech Climate Action Plan is a roadmap for integrating climate action strategies across operations, research, and education focusing on climate justice and reducing emissions. Students are invited to join the Office of Sustainability for an interactive, in-person event to learn about the climate action strategies in the plan, share input, and enjoy free pizza. 

For registration and additional information, click here. RSVP required. 

 

Climate Action Plan Campus Town Hall (Virtual) 
Wednesday, Oct. 4  
11 a.m. – noon  
Virtual via Zoom (RSVP Required) 

The entire Georgia Tech community can learn more about the Georgia Tech Climate Action Plan and share input during a virtual campus town hall hosted by the Office of Sustainability. 

For registration and additional information, click here.  

 

Approaching the Limits of Climate Viability: Urban Heat Vulnerability in Atlanta and How to Adapt 
Wednesday, Oct. 4  
Noon – 1:30 p.m.  
Scholar’s Event Theater, First Floor, Price Gilbert Library 

As part of Georgia Tech Library’s initiative to highlight research that makes data accessible and meaningful to the public, Brian Stone Jr., a professor in the School of City and Regional Planning, will present a lecture on the urban heat island effect and its context for Atlanta.  

Find more details and registration information here.  

 

Brook Byers Institute for Sustainable Systems Seminar Series, Baabak Ashuri — Valuation of Investment in Sustainable Buildings and Renewable Energy Infrastructure 
Thursday, Oct. 5  
3 – 4 p.m.  
Hybrid Event: BBISS Offices, 760 Spring St., Suite 118, and on Teams 

Baabak Ashuri, a professor in the School of Building Construction and the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and a Brook Byers Institute for Sustainable Systems Fellow, will speak about how a new set of tools for the valuation and appraisal of renewable energy projects can enhance investment decision-making.  

 

Liam's Legacy Symposium 2023: Humanitarian Engineering with Juan Lucena 
Thursday, Oct. 5  
4 – 6 p.m.  
Coda Building, Ninth Floor Atrium 

Juan Lucena, director of the Humanitarian Engineering Undergraduate Program and professor of engineering, design, and society at the Colorado School of Mines will visit Georgia Tech for the annual Liam’s Legacy Symposium. Lucena will explore the relationship between engineers, engineering, and the well-being of communities, social justice, and sustainability.   

This event is presented by the Center for Sustainable Communities Research and Education in partnership with the School of History and Sociology, through a grant from the Gertrude and William C. Wardlaw Fund in support of the Conference on Human Rights, Changes, and Challenges. 

 

Sustainable Careers and Shared Value Panel 
Thursday, Oct. 12  
2 – 3:15 p.m.  
Scheller College of Business, Room 221 

Join the Ray C. Anderson Center for Sustainable Business to hear from three panelists at various stages in their careers and diverse types of corporations about how sustainability is incorporated and how it has shaped their roles. 

More information and registration here.  

 

Lullwater Preserve (Emory) Bird Walk 
Friday, Oct. 13  
7 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.  
Meet at Cherry Emerson  

Ride the GT/Emory bus with Birdwatchers @ GT to Lullwater Preserve, a beautiful, forested park on Emory’s Druid Hills campus. Open to beginner and expert birders alike — make sure to RSVP if you need binoculars. 

For more information and registration, click here

 

Campus Energy Challenge 
Oct. 16 – 22  
Residence Halls Across Campus 

Housing and Residence Life’s annual Energy Competition takes place the week of Oct. 16. The competition will give all campus residents a chance to see the daily energy use of their residence halls, along with tips on how to reduce their individual use. The residence hall that reduces its use the most will win a prize. 

Contact Malte Weiland, senior sustainability project manager, Auxiliary Services, for more information. 

 

A Conversation With Victor Luckerson, Author of ‘Built From the Fire’ 
Tuesday, Oct. 17  
7 – 8:30 p.m.  
Scheller College of Business, Room 100  

A panel discussion with Victor Luckerson, author of Built From the Fire, moderated by Todd Michney, associate professor in the School of History and Sociology. The book follows a multigenerational saga of a family and a community in Tulsa’s Greenwood district, known as “Black Wall Street,” that in one century survived the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, urban renewal, and gentrification. 

 

Staff Council Drive-Thru Recycling Event  
Wednesday, Oct. 18  
2 – 4 p.m.  
O’Keefe Building Parking Lot, 151 Sixth St. NW 

The Georgia Tech Staff Council and CPEC subcommittee are hosting a recycling collection event for faculty and staff. Drop off items such as plastic bottles, mixed paper, household batteries, electronics, and glass.  

 

Brook Byers Institute for Sustainable Systems Seminar Series – Dylan Brewer: Who Heeds the Call in an Energy Emergency? Evidence from Smart Thermostat Data 
Thursday, Oct. 19  
3 – 4 p.m. 
Hybrid Event: BBISS Offices, 760 Spring St., Suite 118, and on Teams 

Dylan Brewer, an assistant professor in the School of Economics and BBISS Fellow, will present research exploring the relationship between compliance with calls to conserve energy during a shortage situation and in an environment of political polarization.  

 

Climate and Innovation Business Forum  
Friday, Oct. 20  
1 – 5:30 p.m.   
Global Learning Center  

The Climate and Innovation Business Forum will convene stakeholders from various sectors to explore strategies for driving innovative climate solutions. Attendees are invited to participate in discussions on harnessing the potential of climate technology, forging innovative collaborations, and mobilizing capital for environmental and social impact. 

 

Administration and Finance Virtual Town Hall 
Friday, Oct. 20  
2 – 3 p.m.  
Virtual via Zoom gatech.zoom.us/j/95142941085 

Celebrate Sustainability Month at the A&F virtual town hall and learn about activities designed to promote sustainability across the Institute. We will share highlights from the recently published Sustainability Next plan, developing strategies from the Climate Action Plan, and how Georgia Tech is harnessing the power of data throughout our utility management efforts to foster a living campus for all.    

 

Georgia Tech Undergraduate Sustainability Education Panel  
Tuesday, Oct. 24  
11 a.m. – noon  
The Kendeda Building for Innovative Sustainable Design, Room 210 

Learn more about sustainability-focused campus educational opportunities at this panel discussion and hear from affiliated faculty, staff, and students. Snacks will be provided.  

 

Surviving the “Zombie Apocalypse” at Kendeda 2023 
Friday, Oct. 27  
4 – 7:30 p.m.  
The Kendeda Building for Innovative Sustainable Design 

The Kendeda Building is an example of resilient infrastructure, with its potable water storage, solar power system, composting toilets, and ability to grow food on its rooftop garden. This Office of Sustainability event will focus on the lessons that The Kendeda Building has taught us about sustainability, regenerative design, and the benefits of being more self-sufficient. Join us for a spooky Kendeda Building tour, snacks, and lessons in sewing and food pickling.  

Get tickets here

 

Extension of Community: What It Means to Be Sustainable in a Digital World  
Throughout October  

Locations include The Kendeda Building, the Library, and the Georgia Tech Media Bridge 

Experience an interactive art exhibit at the intersection of science and technology addressing sustainability and the climate crisis.  

Fourteen artists and scientists reflect on community and sustainability within their practice and question the impact of technology on the environment and society. The exhibit, curated by Birney Robert, addresses themes of plastics and waste, social and environmental justice, and imagined futures. 

For more information, click here

 

Explore the Campus Sustainability Month 2023 Calendar for a comprehensive list of events and updates. Campus groups, departments, and organizations interested in adding their sustainability-focused event to the calendar can email sustain.gatech.edu. 

]]> cbrim3 1 1695946512 2023-09-29 00:15:12 1696007515 2023-09-29 17:11:55 0 0 news October is Campus Sustainability Month, an international celebration of sustainability on college and university campuses. Georgia Tech has a vast line-up of events open to the entire campus community.

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2023-09-28T00:00:00-04:00 2023-09-28T00:00:00-04:00 2023-09-28 00:00:00 Abby Bower
Program Support Coordinator
Office of Sustainability

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671894 671894 image <![CDATA[October is Sustainability Month]]> image/png 1695948483 2023-09-29 00:48:03 1695948483 2023-09-29 00:48:03 <![CDATA[The Sustainability Next Plan Transforms Vision Into Reality]]>
<![CDATA[Supporting Research Across IPaT Labs]]> 27513 Tim Trent is known at Georgia Tech’s Institute for People and Technology (IPaT) for his dedicated and enthusiastic research, operations, and makerspace support. Last year, Trent, a faculty member of IPaT and a computer science graduate of Georgia Tech, helped unveil the Craft Lab, Georgia Tech’s newest makerspace — and one of several makerspaces he manages. The Craft Lab, located in the Technology Square Research Building (TSRB) Room 225B, is a unique makerspace that offers students hands-on industrial tools to delve into computational craft, e-textiles, and soft electronics. The equipment in the lab is particularly well-suited for wearable and flexible electronic systems and making soft goods.

“The Craft Lab is a new makerspace launched during GVU’s 30th anniversary. What is exciting to me is that we’ve gathered crafting tools and industrial precision machines in a single location,“ said Trent. “I have never seen a makerspace at Georgia Tech with the types of capabilities we have concentrated in our new lab.”

Trent also supports the IPaT/GVU prototyping lab. This lab houses 3D printers, a waterjet, CNC mills, CNC Router, saws, metal grinders, drill press, and other tools found in traditional makerspaces including surface-mount printed circuit board production and silk screening. The prototyping lab is located in the TSRB basement, Room S21.

“The Craft Lab has industrial machines that can really help folks when they have gotten past the initial prototype stage of their research,” said Trent. “For example, if someone needed to make 100 versions of something like sensor embedded clothing to deploy it, being able to have the speed and consistency of our industrial sewing machines could be critical to meet research timelines and prototype creation needs.”

In addition to managing laboratories, Trent provides diverse operational support for IPaT that spans audiovisual services, website management and programming, and event support.

“Tim is an asset to IPaT and the IPaT community. He never hesitates to assist in any capacity,” said Cynthia Moore, assistant director for business operations for IPaT. “During our annual Foley Scholars event, Tim was readily available and jumped in where needed, from assisting with A/V needs to providing tours of IPaT's labs. As a research technologist, Tim has become the go-to person for all things lab support, A/V needs, and so much more for IPaT.”

“Tim Trent and his research faculty colleagues at IPaT are a critical component of Georgia Tech’s complex research enterprise,” said Maribeth Gandy Coleman, director of research for IPaT and a Regents’ Researcher.

“The mission of IPaT is to advocate for and support the use of human-centered techniques throughout the research life cycle. Toward this goal, IPaT provides a variety of core facilities and services for the campus community, which spans a wide array of disciplines. Tim’s unique expertise lies at the intersection of technology, human computer interaction, and design coupled with many years of experience in research operations. This skill set allows him to support faculty and students throughout the human-centered design process of user experiences that involve the integration of computing devices with the physical world and objects. Tim helps researchers utilize our lab facilities to create a wide range of prototypes, starting with low fidelity prototypes using cardboards and paper all the way to systems ready for deployment with complex embedded hardware and tangible 3D components.

“He is an experienced human computer interaction researcher, which means that he understands the methods employed by the IPaT community as well as the requirements of systems intended for scientific experiments. Tim’s contributions to Georgia Tech research both catalyze new projects that otherwise might not be possible and amplify their impact, to the benefit of society,” said Coleman.

]]> Walter Rich 1 1695738171 2023-09-26 14:22:51 1695760569 2023-09-26 20:36:09 0 0 news Tim Trent is known at Georgia Tech’s Institute for People and Technology (IPaT) for his dedicated and enthusiastic research, operations, and makerspace support.

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2023-09-19T00:00:00-04:00 2023-09-19T00:00:00-04:00 2023-09-19 00:00:00 Walter Rich

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671844 671844 image <![CDATA[Tim Trent]]> Tim Trent

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<![CDATA[GTRI’s DART Program Supports DoD Research Opportunities for HBCUs ]]> 35832 Historically black colleges and universities, or HBCUs, contribute an estimated $15 billion to the U.S. economy each year and produce one-fourth of all Black graduates with critical degrees in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). But funding inequities prevent many HBCUs from providing the necessary infrastructure to perform impactful research, including in the defense space.  

The Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) is addressing that challenge through its Defense-University Affiliated Research Traineeship (DART) Program. DART’s main goal is to leverage the pipeline of researchers underrepresented in STEM and accelerate their awareness, knowledge, access, and opportunities in research and development (R&D) contracting for the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD). GTRI launched DART as a pilot program this summer where it partnered with a faculty member and an undergraduate student at Alabama A&M University (AAMU) in Huntsville, Alabama, to conduct research for the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Aviation & Missile Center (AvMC). 

“GTRI has benefitted from almost 90 years of DoD research, which has taught us a lot about how to build out our infrastructure,” said Lee Simonetta, a GTRI principal research engineer who serves as DART’s principal investigator (PI). “Our partnership with Alabama A&M was a mentor-protégé opportunity, where we provided the research facility and capabilities and they contributed their exceptional talent and expertise as we worked together to address a pressing need for one of our sponsors.” 

GTRI hosted AAMU’s Kenneth Sartor, an assistant professor of math, and Malcolm Echols, a fourth-year electrical engineering student, at its research facility in Huntsville. Sartor and Echols worked under the guidance of GTRI Principal Research Engineer Eric Grigorian. Grigorian is also the chief engineer and division chief of GTRI’s Applied Systems Laboratory’s (ASL) Architecture and Systems Development Division. The group’s research project involved using machine learning to improve predictive maintenance for the Army’s helicopters.

In the DoD realm, predictive maintenance is used to predict the failure of the components of weapon and delivery systems so that they can be replaced before they fail. The technique is particularly beneficial for military equipment as its frequent exposure to harsh conditions can make it more prone to wear and tear. 

Machine learning is a subset of artificial intelligence that can rapidly learn from data, identify patterns, and make recommendations with minimal human intervention. The technology could optimize predictive maintenance by collecting and analyzing data in a fraction of the time it takes humans and reduce uncertainties around when assets might fail. 

AAMU and GTRI developed and incorporated advanced machine learning algorithms into AvMC’s data repository of helicopter maintenance records to augment its maintenance prediction models. 

“Our group developed a few algorithms that AvMC had not yet considered, which was great progress for an initial study,” said Grigorian. “Ken’s mathematical background and Malcolm’s technical knowledge really enhanced the solutions we developed, and I enjoyed working with them and learning from them.” 

Sartor, who holds a Ph.D. in applied mathematics from Florida Institute of Technology and a master’s and bachelor’s degree – both in electrical engineering – from North Carolina A&T University and the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech), respectively, called his collaboration with GTRI a full-circle moment. 

“This program gave me a chance to kind of take all those skills I developed in my career since graduating from Georgia Tech and apply them this past summer,” Sartor said.

Before joining AAMU in 2012, Sartor spent his career in private industry, including working for and ultimately retiring from Northrop Grumman as a systems engineer, where he gained expertise in topics such as algorithm development, modeling and simulation, and systems analysis. 

“One of the reasons I went into teaching is because both of my parents were teachers and I have always had a passion for giving back to the next generation, including showing students how to use concepts they learn in the classroom to solve real-world problems.” 

Sartor said Echols’ technical skills, including his coding experience, along with his tenacity and eagerness to learn, made him a great fit for the program. 

Echols said Sartor’s academic and DoD research experience helped him achieve maximum success. He also called DART an eye-opening experience that gave him the confidence to tackle new challenges. Echols will be returning to GTRI to work as a student researcher during the 2023-2024 school year.   

“Throughout the summer, Dr. Sartor kept reminding me to not just limit my thinking to the academic world, but to the actual problem we were looking to solve,” Echols said. “It was a big adjustment, but it also a great experience. I learned a lot.” 

From FY 2010 to FY 2020, about $67 billion in DoD science and technology funding was awarded to 1,183 institutions of higher education, of which 157, or about 13%, were HBCUs or other minority-serving institutions (MSIs), according to a recent study from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. But HBCUs and MSIs received only 1.3% of the total DoD research funding awarded to all institutions of higher education, the data found. 

The study identified three areas as crucial for HBCUs and MSIs to build their capacity and compete for DoD funding: One, a strong institutional research and contract base, including appropriate physical research facilities and skilled research support to enable competitiveness; two, research faculty support, including an articulated vision and support for a research climate and culture by institutional leadership, faculty teaching workloads that allow time for research pursuits, and department/college-based research staff and administrative support; and three, ancillary services, including effective human resources processes and legal/contracting assistance, and robust government relations teams. 

“All of these schools share a similar story – they have talented, capable people, but are held back by a lack of infrastructure,” said William H. Robinson, GTRI’s deputy director for research for its Information and Cyber Sciences Directorate (ICSD). “For this pilot, we were able to navigate that challenge and I believe this is an area where GTRI can continue to provide mentorship going forward.” 

Looking ahead, GTRI aims to expand DART to other HBCUs throughout the country.    

“One of our goals from the beginning was to develop champions, both faculty and students, at HBCUs who can advocate for the importance of DoD research,” said GTRI Principal Research Engineer Erick Maxwell, who first developed the idea for the DART Program. “As we think about expanding this program to other HBCUs, we have this example of success through our work with Alabama A&M that we can continue to build on.” 

GTRI’s Huntsville Research Center (HRC) is the development and technology home for Army air defense systems, missile defense systems, and rotary wing aviation technology, among many other projects. GTRI Huntsville provides on-site research and engineering solutions and has a deep reach-back to GTRI’s Atlanta-based laboratories.

 

Writer: Anna Akins 
Photos: Sean McNeil 
GTRI Communications
Georgia Tech Research Institute
Atlanta, Georgia

The Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) is the nonprofit, applied research division of the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech). Founded in 1934 as the Engineering Experiment Station, GTRI has grown to more than 2,900 employees, supporting eight laboratories in over 20 locations around the country and performing more than $940 million of problem-solving research annually for government and industry. GTRI's renowned researchers combine science, engineering, economics, policy, and technical expertise to solve complex problems for the U.S. federal government, state, and industry.

]]> Michelle Gowdy 1 1695738272 2023-09-26 14:24:32 1695739019 2023-09-26 14:36:59 0 0 news Through the Defense-University Affiliated Research Traineeship (DART) Program, the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) is addressing the challenge of many HBCUs receiving the necessary infrastructure to perform impactful research, including in the defense space. GTRI launched DART as a pilot program this summer, where it partnered with a faculty member and an undergraduate student at Alabama A&M University (AAMU) in Huntsville, Alabama, to conduct research for the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Aviation & Missile Center (AvMC). 

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2023-09-26T00:00:00-04:00 2023-09-26T00:00:00-04:00 2023-09-26 00:00:00 (Interim) Director of Communications

Michelle Gowdy

Michelle.Gowdy@gtri.gatech.edu

404-407-8060

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671831 671830 671831 image <![CDATA[GTRI Principal Research Engineer Eric Grigorian (left) leads a flight simulator presentation at GTRI's Huntsville Research Center]]> GTRI Principal Research Engineer Eric Grigorian (left) served as the DART advisor for AAMU as they developed machine learning algorithms to improve predictive maintenance for the Army's helicopters. Here, he leads a flight simulator presentation at GTRI's Huntsville Research Center. (Photo Credit: Sean McNeil)

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671830 image <![CDATA[DART's AAMU Participants were Kenneth Sartor (left), and Malcolm Echols]]> DART's AAMU participants were Kenneth Sartor (left), an assistant professor of math, and Malcolm Echols, a fourth-year electrical engineering student. (Photo Credit: Sean McNeil)

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<![CDATA[A Morning With Walt Disney Animation Studios]]> 27513 On Sept. 22, representatives from Walt Disney Animation Studios visited Georgia Tech to describe career opportunities available with the animation filmmaking division. The event was hosted by the School of Literature, Media, and Communication in the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts and Georgia Tech’s Institute for People and Technology (IPaT).

Nicole Méndez Dial, associate manager for school relations, and Erika Becerra, senior recruiter, both from Walt Disney Animation Studios, delivered career information about Disney in a panel format with four Georgia Tech faculty members who have expertise in animation and filmmaking. Joining Dial and Becerra were:

Opening remarks and introductions were delivered by Kelly Ritter, chair of the School of Literature, Media, and Communication. Clint Zeagler, co-director of strategic partnerships with IPaT, ended the event with information and closing remarks.

The discussion started with interdisciplinary collaboration and the future of work in animation and film. It ended with detailed information about animation careers with Walt Disney Animation Studios, including computer graphics, animation, visual effects, storytelling, production, and technology. Disney also stressed the importance of attending SIGGRAPH, the international Association for Computing Machinery's special interest group on computer graphics and interactive techniques, which holds a major conference each year. Dial said that Disney’s animation studios interact with the research community through global collaborations. Their publications can be found here: disneyanimation.com/publications.

Located in California, Walt Disney produced its first animated film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, in 1937. The studio is marking 100 years of animation filmmaking since its inception in 1923.

]]> Walter Rich 1 1695736949 2023-09-26 14:02:29 1695737220 2023-09-26 14:07:00 0 0 news On Sept. 22, representatives from Walt Disney Animation Studios visited Georgia Tech to describe career opportunities available with the animation filmmaking division. The event was hosted by the School of Literature, Media, and Communication in the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts and Georgia Tech’s Institute for People and Technology (IPaT).

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2023-09-22T00:00:00-04:00 2023-09-22T00:00:00-04:00 2023-09-22 00:00:00 Walter Rich

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671826 671827 671826 image <![CDATA[Panel discussion]]> Panel discussion

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671827 image <![CDATA[Pictured left to right: Clint Zeagler, Jay Bolter, Nicole Dial, Kelly Ritter, Erika Becerra, Brian Magerko, John Thornton, Maribeth Coleman]]> Pictured left to right: Clint Zeagler, Jay Bolter, Nicole Dial, Kelly Ritter, Erika Becerra, Brian Magerko, John Thornton, Maribeth Coleman

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<![CDATA[Considering People and Technology]]> 27513 Event Overview

On Aug. 24, the Institute for People and Technology (IPaT) sponsored its first fall program aptly named Considering People and Technology. This large IPaT community event focused on people and technology, past and present, and kicked off with a GVU Brown Bag lecture presented by IPaT's new executive director, Michael Best. His talk was titled, “Considering IPaT: Celebrating the Past and Inventing the Future.”

After the lecture, IPaT offered a tour of its labs, a panel discussion featuring distinguished members of the Georgia Tech community in a continuing discussion about people and technology, and ended with a high-spirited reception for guests and speakers. More than 115 people across Georgia Tech, Emory, and other organizations attended Best’s talk delivered to this standing-room-only crowd in the first-floor ballroom in the Technology Square Research Building. This was followed by another large crowd that attended the panel discussion held later in the afternoon.

The panel discussion, focused on the future of people and technology, was moderated by Maribeth Gandy Coleman, director of research for IPaT and a Regents’ Researcher. She is a computer scientist focused on developing novel and scientifically validated systems at the “human technology frontier” designed for purposes such as training, rehabilitation, and cognitive therapy.

Eight distinguished Georgia Tech faculty members across academic disciplines participated in the discussion:

Julia Kubanek, Georgia Tech’s vice president for Interdisciplinary Research, delivered closing remarks for the event.

Considering IPaT: Celebrating the Past and Inventing the Future

“This is a really exciting time to be part of the IPaT family. What IPaT is doing in my estimation cannot be underestimated in terms of the intellectual promise and real-world impact,” said Best. “In addition to IPaT moving to a brand-new space on campus, we’ve also merged with the GVU Center, which has combined two intellectual and research powerhouses along with extraordinary communities where useful synergies and economies of scale will let us build not 1+1=2, but 1+1=20.”

Best, who just started his first year as IPaT’s executive director, is looking for ways to build on IPaT’s strengths to make sure that Georgia Tech’s interdisciplinary community is thinking about the people and technology nexus so that it’s meaningful, creative, and fun when conducting research in partnership with IPaT.

“There is nothing out there, whether it's climate change or political upheaval, that do not have a profound people and technology interface,” said Best. “If you care about global challenges and responding to them, IPaT is the place to be. This is where it's happening.”

Best went on to connect his global perspective to responses to any global challenge. “I'm a professor in the Sam Nun School of International Affairs, I’ve worked with the United Nations, and all of my research work prior to the pandemic occurred outside of the U.S. I'm going to bring my global and international perspective to what I do as the executive director of IPaT. I think that there's an enormous amount of opportunity for building global engagements, especially if we’re focusing on global challenges.”

IPaT is one of 10 Georgia Tech interdisciplinary research institutes (IRI). The goal of these IRIs is to bring together researchers from different disciplines to address topics of strategic importance to Georgia Tech.

IPaT activities encompass industry and community partnership programs, industry engagement projects, and providing research infrastructure and laboratories. It also provides thought leadership, performs outreach and communication to the general public about research, provides research seed and engagement grants, and organizes symposiums and speaker events. This is in addition to the research engineers and scientists who also provide software design and development support.

Panelists Share Thoughts on the Future of People and Technology

Maribeth Gandy Coleman, director of research for IPaT, encouraged each panelist to share challenges or opportunities in the future related to people and technology. Here are some of the thoughts they shared:

Julia Kubanek closed the event by saying, “Our goal [at Georgia Tech] is to be able to open our minds, use the imagination that technology does not bring us, immerse ourselves in an environment that's new to us, like the new communities that Ruthie deals with, and teach our students and ourselves how to think more critically to solve problems and make new discoveries.”

]]> Walter Rich 1 1695575722 2023-09-24 17:15:22 1695576125 2023-09-24 17:22:05 0 0 news On Aug. 24, the Institute for People and Technology (IPaT) sponsored its first fall program aptly named Considering People and Technology. This large IPaT community event focused on people and technology, past and present, and kicked off with a GVU Brown Bag lecture presented by IPaT's new executive director, Michael Best. His talk was titled, “Considering IPaT: Celebrating the Past and Inventing the Future.”

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2023-08-24T00:00:00-04:00 2023-08-24T00:00:00-04:00 2023-08-24 00:00:00 Walter Rich

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671801 671802 671801 image <![CDATA[Michael Best]]> Michael Best

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671802 image <![CDATA[Panelists]]> Panelists

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<![CDATA[IMat Initiative Lead Q&A: Zeb Rocklin]]> 34760 Zeb Rocklin leads the mechanical metamaterials research initiative for the Institute for Materials at Georgia Tech. In this role, he aims to bring faculty together within the Colleges of Sciences, Engineering, and Design to develop, characterize, and apply novel metamaterials — those with programmed structures above the atomic scale, blurring the line between material and machine.

In this brief Q&A, Rocklin discusses his research focus, how it relates to materials research, and the impact of this initiative.

What is your field of expertise and at what point in your life did you first become interested in this area?

I'm a soft matter physicist who studies flexible structures and metamaterials. Flexible structures can support mechanical loads while undergoing complex deformations. Metamaterials are structures engineered with repeating patterns such as holes or creases that imbue them with fundamentally new properties. I have been interested in using math and logic to solve puzzles and figure things out from a very young age. This has grown over the last several years into designing structures with new geometries to convey force in new and useful ways.

What questions or challenges sparked your current materials research?

Flexible structures lend themselves to complex behavior and fascinating puzzles. Why do origami sheets seem to bend in exactly the opposite direction as conventional thin plates? How can you design a structure that can robustly toggle between flexible and stiff? How many different stable shapes can be programmed into a single mechanical metamaterial?

Why is your initiative important to the development of Georgia Tech’s materials research strategy?

This research offers a new way of conceptualizing materials research, connecting with a vibrant and growing international materials community. Materials research often involves manipulating the smallest (atomic) scale, whereas metamaterials aim to take advantage of structure at all scales, up to the human scale of the overall system. This complements existing materials research while connecting it with other disciplines such as robotics and mechanical engineering.

What are the broader global and social benefits of the research you and your team conduct?

As a scientist, I have faith that deeper knowledge leads to broad social benefits. In the case of metamaterials, this benefit is already being realized. Soft robots, sheets of paper, textiles, plants, and the human body itself are all flexible structures. Metamaterial principles are being used widely, from space missions to surgical stents, to create stronger, tougher, cheaper, softer, and lighter-weight structures.

What are your plans for engaging a wider Georgia Tech faculty pool with IMat research?

Georgia Tech has a remarkable set of researchers who work on metamaterials, as well as many others who work in adjacent and complementary areas. Our immediate goal is to strengthen communication and build a sense of community to share ideas and craft teams of collaborators capable of developing new research programs.

]]> Laurie Haigh 1 1695386752 2023-09-22 12:45:52 1695386885 2023-09-22 12:48:05 0 0 news Rocklin leads the mechanical metamaterials research initiative for the Institute for Materials at Georgia Tech.

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2023-09-22T00:00:00-04:00 2023-09-22T00:00:00-04:00 2023-09-22 00:00:00 Laurie Haigh
Research Communications

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671793 671793 image <![CDATA[Zeb Rocklin]]> image/png 1695327288 2023-09-21 20:14:48 1695329568 2023-09-21 20:52:48
<![CDATA[MSE Professor Blair Brettmann and CHBE student Alexa Dobbs Spends Summer at LLNL Exploring Materials Processing and Manufacturing]]> 34760 MSE Professor Blair Brettmann and CHBE doctoral student Alexa Dobbs decided to spend a summer at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) to collaborate with the Lab’s materials science experts and learn more about LLNL’s experimental resources. During Brettmann’s faculty mini-sabbatical, she collaborated with researchers from LLNL’s Energetic Materials Center to refine material manufacturing techniques.

According to LLNL materials scientist Kyle Sullivan, who sponsored Brettmann’s mini-sabbatical, she helped his team take a fresh look at their methodology, enabling them to identify ways to streamline a highly complex process.

“Many of our material development activities start with multi-faceted problems,” Sullivan said. “We were eager to draw from Blair’s experience in pharmaceutical manufacturing to help us identify an efficient methodology to apply to our research.”

Brettmann’s research focuses on material processing, including how a material’s properties influence the optimal processing approach, as well as how novel processing techniques can be used to develop materials with the features needed for specific applications. Her goal is to better understand options for real-time monitoring of material processing, including effective data collection tools, as well as knowing which experimental data would be beneficial to analyze. As she heads back to Georgia Tech to start another academic year, Brettmann is hoping that the insight she gained during her mini-sabbatical will help her research team as they test new analytical techniques for their material formulation experiments.

Dobbs spent her summer at LLNL investigating material formulation techniques. She helped design and conduct experiments that explored ways to optimize material mixing and she developed a new process for analyzing experimental data. During her internship, Dobbs met with LLNL experts in materials processing and advanced manufacturing, who helped her frame her experiments.

“It was great to expand my understanding of the entire manufacturing process and learn about key challenges in the field," Dobbs said. “The opportunity to spend time with energetics experts was one of the highlights of my internship experience.”

Read the full article

]]> Laurie Haigh 1 1695324020 2023-09-21 19:20:20 1695324659 2023-09-21 19:30:59 0 0 news Brettmann’s research focuses on material processing, including how a material’s properties influence the optimal processing approach, as well as how novel processing techniques can be used to develop materials with the features needed for specific applications.

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2023-09-21T00:00:00-04:00 2023-09-21T00:00:00-04:00 2023-09-21 00:00:00
<![CDATA[Lauren Garten Receives Future of Semiconductors Award]]> 34760 The U.S. National Science Foundation today announced 24 research and education projects with a total investment of $45.6 million — including funding from the "CHIPS and Science Act of 2022" — to enable rapid progress in new semiconductor technologies and manufacturing as well as workforce development. The projects are supported by the NSF Future of Semiconductors (FuSe) program through a public-private partnership spanning NSF and four companies: Ericsson, IBM, Intel and Samsung.

"Our investment will help train the next generation of talent necessary to fill key openings in the semiconductor industry and grow our economy from the middle out and bottom up," said NSF Director Sethuraman Panchanathan. "By supporting novel, transdisciplinary research, we will enable breakthroughs in semiconductors and microelectronics and address the national need for a reliable, secure supply of innovative semiconductor technologies, systems and professionals."

View the announcement

]]> Laurie Haigh 1 1695320957 2023-09-21 18:29:17 1695321739 2023-09-21 18:42:19 0 0 news NSF and partners invest $45 million in the future of semiconductors

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<![CDATA[Advanced Radar Threat System Helps Aircrews Train to Evade Enemy Missiles]]> 35832

U.S. pilots and aircrews will be safer flying into contested airspace thanks to training provided by a 142-ton threat simulator system that shows them how radars built to guide hostile surface-to-air missiles (SAMs) interact with warning systems on their aircraft. 

The Advanced Radar Threat System Variant 1 (ARTS-V1) will be used on training ranges to simulate how defensive systems on fifth-generation aircraft engage with a variety of modern target engagement radar systems used by other nations. Gaining experience with the radars and practicing responses to the threats are part of training that helps aircrews improve survivability and increase combat effectiveness.

“Target engagement radars are directly coupled to hostile surface-to-air missile (SAM) batteries, so what we are doing with this simulated system is detecting and tracking targets just like the actual target engagement radar would do,” said W. Jeffrey Rowe, a senior research engineer and the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) director for the U.S. Air Force project. “It is designed to engage the best aircraft the U.S. has and help train their crews to protect themselves under highly realistic conditions.” 

The system, which was built by GTRI for the ARTS-V1 Program Office at AFLCMC/HBZ, uses an electronically steered phased array that can simulate the operation of real threat radar systems.

Carried on two large tractor-trailers, the system is designed to be moved around ranges as needed to provide training on conditions aircrews can expect to encounter. The full system can be hauled by road or flown aboard Air Force transport aircraft. The first ARTS-V1 system was delivered to the Air Force in June 2023, and GTRI is currently under contract to build two additional systems. 

Pilots and aircrews that train with the ARTS-V1 will first be looking to detect its presence, based on signals the system is sending out. The simulator can operate on a wide range of frequencies and with different waveforms, rapidly changing them to challenge the radar warning systems in the aircraft. “There are specific waveform modes that are meant to be hard to detect,” Rowe noted. 

Once an aircrew detects that they are being tracked by ARTS-V1, they must quickly decide how to protect themselves from the missiles that could then be fired at them. Practicing response tactics on a friendly training range under a broad range of conditions will help aircrews respond better in real combat situations.

“When they are flying training missions with this radar on a training range, they will get a feel for the circumstances under which they’ll be able to detect it and know what the radar is doing,” Rowe said. “They’ll be able to avoid it, or deal with it as they proceed with their mission.” 

Beyond the three ARTS-V1 systems, GTRI is providing training for multi-person operator crews, technical support for the systems, and spare parts to ensure they continue to operate. Also included is construction of two system integration labs that will develop software for the radars – one at GTRI and the other at a New Jersey-based contractor.

The ARTS-V1 system is a follow-on to other threat simulator programs. GTRI has over 40 years of experience in threat system technical analysis, exploitation, and development of mobile, transportable, and fixed-site threat air-defense simulators for the test and evaluation and training communities.

Weighing a total of more than 285,000 pounds, the ARTS-V1 system may be the largest system ever built and delivered by GTRI. The trailer housing the radar unit is 81 feet long, while the trailer housing the operator unit is more than 94 feet long. 

Producing the first ARTS-V1 system required years of design work and involved more than 50 GTRI researchers and technicians. The entire team had a great appreciation of how important this work and these systems are to aircrews flying into harm’s way.

“When crews take off on a mission, they have an electronic order of battle brief that shows where threats are expected to be,” Rowe said. “This training will help them fly in, accomplish their mission, and fly back out.”

 

Writer: John Toon (john.toon@gtri.gatech.edu)
GTRI Communications
Georgia Tech Research Institute
Atlanta, Georgia USA

The Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) is the nonprofit, applied research division of the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech). Founded in 1934 as the Engineering Experiment Station, GTRI has grown to more than 2,900 employees, supporting eight laboratories in over 20 locations around the country and performing more than $940 million of problem-solving research annually for government and industry. GTRI's renowned researchers combine science, engineering, economics, policy, and technical expertise to solve complex problems for the U.S. federal government, state, and industry.  

]]> Michelle Gowdy 1 1695240084 2023-09-20 20:01:24 1695240312 2023-09-20 20:05:12 0 0 news U.S. pilots and aircrews will be safer flying into contested airspace thanks to training provided by a 142-ton threat simulator system that shows them how radars built to guide hostile surface-to-air missiles (SAMs) interact with warning systems on their aircraft.

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2023-09-20T00:00:00-04:00 2023-09-20T00:00:00-04:00 2023-09-20 00:00:00 (Interim) Director of Communications

Michelle Gowdy

Michelle.Gowdy@gtri.gatech.edu

404-407-8060

]]>
671769 671768 671767 671770 671769 image <![CDATA[ ARTS-V1 System Components Loaded into a C-5M Super Galaxy]]> Photo taken at dusk shows components of the ARTS-V1 system loaded into a C-5M Super Galaxy. (Photo: Vince Camp, GTRI)

]]> image/jpeg 1695232081 2023-09-20 17:48:01 1695232251 2023-09-20 17:50:51
671768 image <![CDATA[ARTS-V1 System Loaded on a C-5M Super Galaxy]]> Components of the ARTS-V1 system are loaded on a C-5M Super Galaxy for delivery to the Air Force. (Credit: Sean McNeil, GTRI)

]]> image/jpeg 1695231929 2023-09-20 17:45:29 1695232032 2023-09-20 17:47:12
671767 image <![CDATA[GTRI ARTS-V1 Systems Team of Researchers and Technicians ]]> More than 50 GTRI researchers and technicians worked on the ARTS-V1 system. Shown with the system are six members of that team. (Credit: Sean McNeil, GTRI)

]]> image/jpeg 1695231711 2023-09-20 17:41:51 1695231886 2023-09-20 17:44:46
671770 video <![CDATA[Advanced Radar Threat System Helps Aircrews Train to Evade Enemy Missiles]]> U.S. pilots and aircrews will be safer flying into contested airspace thanks to training provided by a 142-ton threat simulator system that shows them how radars built to guide hostile surface-to-air missiles (SAMs) interact with warning systems on their aircraft. The Advanced Radar Threat System Variant 1 (ARTS-V1) will be used on training ranges to simulate how defensive systems on fifth-generation aircraft engage with a variety of modern target engagement radar systems used by other nations. Gaining experience with the radars and practicing responses to the threats are part of training that helps aircrews improve survivability and increase combat effectiveness.

]]> 1695234121 2023-09-20 18:22:01 1695234208 2023-09-20 18:23:28
<![CDATA[ Bridging Military Expertise with Research: GTRI’s Hiring Our Heroes Fellowship ]]> 35832 At the nexus of military excellence and cutting-edge research, Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) has embraced the Hiring Our Heroes (HOH) Fellowship, a U.S. Chamber of Commerce initiative. With a mission to ensure seamless transition and integration of military personnel into the civilian workforce, the Hiring Our Heroes program is indicative of GTRI's commitment to being a “people-first” organization. The Hiring Our Heroes partnership is not one of convenience. It is GTRI “walking the talk” of what is written in our Strategic Plan: “GTRI does not profit from national security; we stand shoulder-to-shoulder with our government partners to serve national security.”

GTRI’s Latest HOH Cohort is ‘Mission-Ready’

We spoke with members of the “23-3” cohort of GTRI’s Hiring Our Heroes program as they began their fellowships in early September. Their insights show the importance of the HOH program, both for the fellows and for GTRI.

The GTRI HOH Experience

For many warfighters, transitioning from the structured military environment to a research institution can be daunting. But at the heart of this transition is guidance. Each fellow is paired with a sponsor from one of GTRI's eight prestigious laboratories.

The Impact of HOH

It's not just about employment; it's about community, integration, and mutual growth. For those in the military community considering this path, the fellows have some advice.

Below, we present the fellows’ thoughts in their own words.

Meet the GTRI Hiring Our Heroes Fellows in the ‘23-3’ Cohort

Zachary Guyton:

Zach’s sponsor is Jeffrey O’Hara, Principal Research Scientist, ASL

Give an overview of your military career. How long did you serve, and in what capacities?

I have served 12.5 years in the Army as an infantry officer. During this time, I have held the positions of platoon leader, company commander, operations and logistics planner, operations officer, and assistant professor at USMA. I have multiple combat and operational deployments (Afghanistan twice, Kuwait, and Korea) and have been in both light infantry and Armor (Tank) formations. 

How did you first learn about the Hiring Our Heroes (HOH) Fellowship at GTRI?

Prior to joining the 23-3 cohort, I interviewed for a GTRI position that I did not get. I maintained contact with the GTRI Division/Branch leadership, which led to a HOH fellowship. Throughout the process, GTRI was extremely professional and engaged while setting me up for the fellowship and potential post-fellowship employment.

What type of research will you be conducting in your assigned laboratory at GTRI?

I am working in the Human Systems Engineering Branch (Human Centered Engineering Division) within the Applied Systems Laboratory. I will be conducting human factors and human systems integration/engineering research in support of efforts to improve future Army fighting and transportation vehicles. 

How do you think programs like HOH impact the broader military community in transitioning to civilian roles; and what advice would you give to future transitioning service members considering the HOH Fellowship at GTRI?

Hiring our heroes is an outstanding opportunity for transitioning servicemembers to immerse in a civilian job and determine the type of the work they want to do following military life. It also can provide a direct path to employment following the fellowship.

I would tell future GTRI Hiring our Heroes candidates to ask questions, learn as much as possible, and stay proactive as they consider GTRI as an option. There are plenty of opportunities within GTRI and finding the right spot within the organization will help ensure GTRI is a good fit.

Amana Norris:

Amana’s sponsor is Eric Scott, Principal Research Associate, Information and Cybersecurity Department (ICD)

Give me an overview of your military career. How long did you serve, and in what capacities?

I enlisted in February 2003 in the U.S. Army, and will officially retire in March 2024, thereby spanning a 20-year career in Information Technology and Cybersecurity. I began as a 25B--Information Services Specialist, in the Signal Corps, reaching the rank of SSG before applying to become a Warrant Officer as 255A--Information Services Technician. Later, when the Cyber Corps was being established around 2014, I decided to transition as a 170A, where I am now a CW3.

Throughout my career in the Signal and Cyber Corps, I have been stationed and deployed to various organizations in Korea; Germany; Fort Liberty (formerly Bragg), North Carolina; Fort Eisenhower (formerly Gordon), Georgia; Kuwait, and Afghanistan. My various roles included the opportunity to exercise my leadership skills and demonstrate my skillset in Helpdesk Operations, COMSEC security, server technician, and cybersecurity. Within my military career, it has been my passion to increase my technical skills as much as possible since Information Technology and Cybersecurity are translatable into a civilian career. The mission and operations are the only difference between the military and civilian sectors. Tools used and knowledge gained remain the same.

How did you first learn about the Hiring Our Heroes (HOH) Fellowship at GTRI?

I was contacted by email to interview for a position within the Information and Cybersecurity Division (ICD), where I would be able to continue using my technical skillset. I signed up for the HOH fellowship program because I wanted something that would allow me to operate in a civilian setting outside the DoD. I view this fellowship as an opportunity to apply my knowledge, identify areas I may be lacking, and adapt to civilian operations. I was not aware that GTRI had various HOH Fellowships throughout their various labs and was actually referred to ICD when I was conducting an interview for a program management position. Personally, I was not interested in program management and wanted something that fell into IT or Cyber. Luckily, my information was sent to ICD, where I found the work/life balance to be an attractive incentive in accepting the fellowship with GTRI and ICD.

What type of research will you be conducting in your assigned laboratory at GTRI?

As part of ICD, I am part of the support services in threat-hunting cybersecurity incidents. Research will consist of identifying new cybersecurity threats and sharing that information.

How do you think programs like HOH impact the broader military community in transitioning to civilian roles; and what advice would you give to future transitioning service members considering the HOH Fellowship at GTRI?

Programs like HoH provide service members an opportunity to find their strengths and weaknesses outside a military setting. The transition time helps ease a service member’s mindset in letting go of the military while possibly learning a new skillset or applying their current skills to the position they select. There are some organizations that monopolize a service member’s transition time and don’t allow them the opportunity to gradually become a civilian again. When you join the Army, you go through basic training to shed the civilian mentality and become a soldier. Without programs like the HoH, I feel some service members would experience shock in the transition. Those are the ones who would most benefit from a program like the HoH Fellowship.

Brian Trainor:

Brian’s sponsor is Stan Sutphin, Principal Research Engineer, SEAL

Give me an overview of your military career. How long did you serve, and in what capacities?

I was an Electronic Warfare Officer in the USAF for a little over 23 years.

How did you first learn about the Hiring Our Heroes (HOH) Fellowship at GTRI?

I learned about GTRI during the resume release portion of the HoH program.

What type of research will you be conducting in your assigned laboratory at GTRI?

I will be helping research and create a roadmap for the Electromagnetic Spectrum Operations test and training infrastructure at the National Space Test and Training Complex (Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado).

How do you think programs like HOH impact the broader military community in transitioning to civilian roles; and what advice would you give to future transitioning service members considering the HOH Fellowship at GTRI?

I think programs like HOH help expose transitioning service members to follow-on career options that they may not have been aware of or even considered realistic options before entering the fellowship program. My advice to future transitioning service members would be to take as many opportunities to connect, speak, and interview with as many companies as possible during the "interview stage" of the program. I know that getting that exposure to multiple different companies and how they operated helped me narrow down and ultimately decide where I wanted to be--GTRI.

Ric ‘TAC’ Turner:

TAC’s sponsor is John Bennell, Principal Research Associate, Sensors & Intelligent Systems Directorate (SISD)

Give me an overview of your military career. How long did you serve, and in what capacities?

I have over 20 years of experience as a leader, test pilot, fighter pilot and engineer in the United States Air Force.

What type of research will you be conducting in your assigned laboratory at GTRI?

I conduct cutting-edge research and development projects in aerospace engineering. I am passionate about the integration of systems--especially as they cross domains to provide capability, as well as advancing the state-of-the-art in air, space, and cyberspace systems, and look forward to leveraging my expertise, experience, and network.

Cody Waits:

Cody’s sponsor is Clayton Besse, Principal Research Associate, CIPHER

Give me an overview of your military career. How long did you serve, and in what capacities?

I served in the Army for 7.5 years as a Signal Officer, the majority of the time with Special Operations and Airborne community. I deployed in support of Operation Inherent Resolve and managed tactical information network nodes and secure radio communications. As a Signal Officer, I was the IT Operations manager for multiple organizations within my career. I allocated tactical IT assets to mission-based requirements to provide consistent and clear communications to ground forces and higher headquarters.

How did you first learn about the Hiring Our Heroes (HOH) Fellowship at GTRI?

I did not even know about the fellowship opportunity until [CIPHER Senior Research Associate] Steven Bartels reached out to me to set up an interview to talk. I was immediately interested and after interviewing, GTRI was my most interesting opportunity and I accepted the bid to conduct my fellowship with GTRI.

What type of research will you be conducting in your assigned laboratory at GTRI?

I will be conducting cloud integration/migration and cybersecurity research within the CIPHER Laboratory.

How do you think programs like HOH impact the broader military community in transitioning to civilian roles; and what advice would you give to future transitioning service members considering the HOH Fellowship at GTRI?

I think that programs like HoH are an amazing asset to the military community, this allows a unique opportunity where employers will reach out to you instead of applying to multiple applications online without even receiving an initial response. With the current job market climate, HoH proves to be invaluable to separating service members. I would advise future GTRI fellow candidates to highly consider GTRI, I believe this is a work environment that will still give you that sense of purpose and fulfillment that you will miss upon separating from the military.

GTRI’s Hiring Our Heroes Fellowship program is more than just an employment opportunity—it's a bridging of two worlds where skills, dedication, and innovation intersect. Through this program, GTRI not only gains valuable expertise but also reinforces its commitment to giving back to those who've served. For the fellows, it’s a chance to chart new horizons, building on their rich military past. While each HOH Fellowship cohort lasts 12 weeks, the relationships built and the skills acquired have long-lasting implications.

 

Writer: Christopher Weems

GTRI Communications
Georgia Tech Research Institute
Atlanta, Georgia

 

The Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) is the nonprofit, applied research division of the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech). Founded in 1934 as the Engineering Experiment Station, GTRI has grown to more than 2,900 employees, supporting eight laboratories in over 20 locations around the country and performing more than $940 million of problem-solving research annually for government and industry. GTRI's renowned researchers combine science, engineering, economics, policy, and technical expertise to solve complex problems for the U.S. federal government, state, and industry.

]]> Michelle Gowdy 1 1695041929 2023-09-18 12:58:49 1695042620 2023-09-18 13:10:20 0 0 news At the nexus of military excellence and cutting-edge research, Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) has embraced the Hiring Our Heroes (HOH) Fellowship, a U.S. Chamber of Commerce initiative. GTRI’s HOH Fellowship program is more than just an employment opportunity—it's a bridging of two worlds where skills, dedication, and innovation intersect. Through this program, GTRI not only gains valuable expertise but also reinforces its commitment to giving back to those who've served.

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2023-09-18T00:00:00-04:00 2023-09-18T00:00:00-04:00 2023-09-18 00:00:00 (Interim) Director of Communications

Michelle Gowdy

Michelle.Gowdy@gtri.gatech.edu

404-407-8060

]]>
671731 671731 image <![CDATA[GTRI's Hiring Our Heroes]]> GTRI Hiring Our Heroes Fellows in the ‘23-3’ Cohort]]> image/jpeg 1695041538 2023-09-18 12:52:18 1695041686 2023-09-18 12:54:46
<![CDATA[Common Probiotic Bacteria Could Help Boost Protection Against Influenza]]> 35832 A newly funded research project might one day lead to the development of a pill or capsule able to boost the effectiveness of traditional vaccines against influenza, which kills as many as 52,000 people and leads to hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations a year in the United States.

Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) have received funding to study the concept of using modified strains of probiotic bacteria – that are already part of the human gut microbiome – to stimulate the formation of antibodies against the flu virus in the body’s mucosal membranes. Respiratory viruses like influenza infect the body through mucosal membranes, and the proof-of-concept project will help evaluate whether snippets of influenza proteins – tiny fragments of the virus – could be added to two common bacterial strains to create the antibody response. Antibodies in the mucosal membranes might then complement those created by traditional intramuscular injections to head off flu infection.

The research, supported by the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), will study whether or not the harmless bacteria can be successfully modified to carry snippets of a viral coat protein that could stimulate the desired response in mucosal membranes lining the gut. Beyond reducing influenza infection in the general population, improved protection against the flu could have a significant impact on the U.S. military, which wants to provide the best possible protection for its warfighters to reduce possible impacts on readiness and training from influenza outbreaks. 

At Georgia Tech, the project is a collaboration between researchers at the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) and the Georgia Tech School of Biological Sciences. All of the research at Georgia Tech will be done using BSL-2 facilities designed for this type of study. The award does not include research on animals or humans.

“Ultimately, this could one day make vaccination programs much more effective,” said Michael Farrell, a GTRI principal research scientist. “This isn’t going to be a replacement for flu vaccines as they currently exist, but it could act as an adjuvant – something that’s done in addition to vaccination to increase the overall immune response. To benefit from it, you might take a pill like you do with probiotics now.”

Using Common Probiotic Bacteria as Vehicles

The project will focus on two common probiotic bacteria: Escherichia coli – a gram-negative bacterium better known as E. coli – and Lactococcus lactis, a gram-positive bacterium found in cheese, buttermilk, and other dairy food items. The researchers will attempt to coax the bacteria to express the influenza virus’ Hemagglutinin (HA) receptor protein on their outer cell surface. There, the protein would stimulate an antibody response in the gut mucosal membrane as it passes through the body’s gastrointestinal tract.

“We’re using some well-established probiotic bacteria that have been utilized for dozens of years, are well vetted and safe for humans,” said Brian Hammer, an associate professor in the School of Biological Sciences who specializes in bacterial genetics. “Ultimately, the idea is to use these bacteria as a chassis to create living vaccines, since the body already tolerates them both well.”

Researchers at AFRL and Georgia Tech envision that a single pill or capsule would carry the bacteria into the gastrointestinal tract to provide the necessary antibody stimulation. The bacteria would be modified so they could not reproduce, preventing them from becoming part of the body’s gut microbiome – a diverse collection of bacteria that live in the body and help carry out specific functions, including metabolizing food and modulating the immune system.

“We know the human microbiome is intimately involved in human health and disease, influencing processes in ways that have both positive and negative outcomes for us,” said Richard Agans, senior research biological scientist at the U.S. Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine (USAFSAM). “Recently, we have started to better understand how the microbiome communicates with our bodies and how we can identify, target, and promote the beneficial aspects. Currently, we are working to determine how to utilize these microbial communities to better protect our warfighters as well as the general public.”

Overcoming Challenges of Manipulating Bacteria

Hammer’s lab specializes in manipulating proteins of organisms such as bacteria and viruses to create novel fusions. Among the techniques available is the new CRISPR-Cas, the gene-editing technology that was the subject of a Nobel Prize in 2020, but other more traditional techniques may also be used to get the influenza surface protein where the researchers want it to be.

Among the challenges ahead is that adding a new component to bacterial organisms can be difficult. 

“In general, bacteria have evolved with the genetic components they need to survive,” Farrell explained. “If you add something else, they may just kick it out. It’s very hard to find a neutral location in the bacterial genome where we can stably add new functionality. This is especially true for this effort, in which there will be no cointroduction of antimicrobial resistance markers.”

In addition, the probiotic bacteria strains that are widely used in research as model organisms, or “lab rats,” are adapted to living in laboratory conditions. This project, however, will use natural commensal strains that co-exist in humans. That approach may make it even more challenging to add the appropriate material for expressing the viral proteins on the bacteria cell surfaces, Hammer said.

“We used to perceive that genes could be shuffled around in the bacteria without much effect on them, but we’re learning now that location really matters,” he said. “One of the concerns is that tools that work on the ‘lab rat’ versions of these bacteria will not be as readily accepted by these commensals.”

As part of the project, the researchers will have to show that the addition of the protein doesn’t cause instability in the bacteria, and that the modified bacteria generate the correct response when exposed to human immune cells in culture. 

Proof of Concept Could Lead to Broader Vaccine Therapies

Beyond its importance to the military, influenza was chosen to study this adjuvant approach because a number of vaccines exist for this virus, and they have been well studied over the years. If this approach works with influenza, the combination of pill and injection might be useful for vaccines against other respiratory viruses.

“If this is ultimately successful, it could be the first foray into showing that these vehicles, these probiotics, could potentially be scaled up for lots of different therapeutic uses,” said Hammer. “By customizing the cargo, this approach could be rapidly adapted to address new and emerging threats that may arise in the future.”

Project Provides Student Opportunity

The two-year project life was chosen because of the expected difficulty – and because another of its goals is to train a master’s degree student in the bacterial modification techniques being utilized.

The Georgia Tech researchers have chosen an underrepresented minority student who holds an undergraduate degree in biology from Kennesaw State University and has worked in a commercial DNA laboratory. Katrina Lancaster will begin work on this project during fall semester, collaborating with both Hammer and Farrell – and the students and other researchers in their labs.

“This student will have excellent opportunities, not only to learn the skills in the lab and take the coursework, but also to develop a rich network of connections, both in the School of Biological Sciences and at GTRI, that will be helpful in moving forward and advancing their career,” Hammer said. “It’s a really beautiful combination of components for this project.”

The project is funded through the AFRL’s Minority Leaders Research Collaboration Program (ML-RCP).

“Partnering with academic institutions, such as GTRI, presents great opportunities for our team to interact and work with top minds in these fields to develop better outcomes for everyone,” Agans said. “We are especially grateful for the opportunity to mentor and provide opportunities for underrepresented students with STEM aspirations. We are excited to work with GTRI in this endeavor and envision this being just the first step.” 

USAFSAM is part of the Air Force Research Laboratory’s 711th Human Performance Wing. 

 

Writer: John Toon (john.toon@gtri.gatech.edu)  
GTRI Communications  
Georgia Tech Research Institute  
Atlanta, Georgia

The Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) is the nonprofit, applied research division of the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech). Founded in 1934 as the Engineering Experiment Station, GTRI has grown to more than 2,900 employees, supporting eight laboratories in over 20 locations around the country and performing more than $940 million of problem-solving research annually for government and industry. GTRI's renowned researchers combine science, engineering, economics, policy, and technical expertise to solve complex problems for the U.S. federal government, state, and industry.

]]> Michelle Gowdy 1 1694791935 2023-09-15 15:32:15 1694792184 2023-09-15 15:36:24 0 0 news A newly funded research project, going underway at the Georgia Institute of Technology, might one day lead to the development of a pill or capsule able to boost the effectiveness of traditional vaccines against influenza, which kills as many as 52,000 people and leads to hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations a year in the United States.

]]>
2023-09-15T00:00:00-04:00 2023-09-15T00:00:00-04:00 2023-09-15 00:00:00 (Interim) Director of Communications

Michelle Gowdy

Michelle.Gowdy@gtri.gatech.edu

404-407-8060

]]>
671719 671718 671719 image <![CDATA[3D computer-generated rendering of a whole influenza (flu) virus]]> This illustration depicts a 3D computer-generated rendering of a whole influenza (flu) virus, rendered in semi-transparent blue, atop a black background. The transparent area in the center of the image, revealed the viral ribonucleoproteins (RNPs) inside. (Credit: CDC/ Douglas Jordan)

]]> image/png 1694787546 2023-09-15 14:19:06 1694788025 2023-09-15 14:27:05
671718 image <![CDATA[GTRI Researchers Michael Farrell and Brian Hammer]]> Researchers Michael Farrell (left) and Brian Hammer are working on a potential new way to boost the effectiveness of influenza vaccines. (Credit: Sean McNeil)

]]> image/jpeg 1694786377 2023-09-15 13:59:37 1694787520 2023-09-15 14:18:40
<![CDATA[TRIAD Streamlines Edge Processing of Data in Phased-Array Antennas]]> 35832 As the number of elements on phased array antennas continues to grow, so does the volume of data that must be processed to extract information from the signals gathered. Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have developed a new approach to intelligently process that data closer to where it is generated - on the antenna subarrays themselves.

Combining technologies including machine learning, field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs), graphics processing units (GPUs), and a new radio-frequency image processing algorithm, the research has streamlined the modular handling of radar signals to reduce processing time and cost. The improvements – as much as two or three orders of magnitude – could lead to real-time analysis of RF image data from sources ranging from potential enemy targets to speeding automobiles headed toward collisions.

The research, which has been tested on a 16-element digital antenna array, was funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA) Tensors for Reprogrammable Intelligent Array Demonstrations (TRIAD). While the project has so far focused on real-time imaging operations on vast amounts of data, it supports the conventional beamforming operations also done by phased arrays.

“The goal is to push processing up front, to where all the raw data is coming in,” said Ryan Westafer, a principal research engineer at the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI). “We work to manage the high-dimensional data there and extract features in real-time. With so many data sources from autonomous vehicles to drones, we can’t be sharing all those raw data feeds. We need to be analyzing the data locally and sharing only the information content – the relevant features.”

With potentially hundreds or even thousands of subarrays generating terabytes of data every second, Westafer says this “edge intelligence” can pull out the desired information in real-time, allowing defense and transportation applications alike to get the important details right away – when they need it – without waiting for processing by backend servers.

“Classical approaches process the data in the analog format, choosing only certain components of the vast information flow for digitizing where needed,” noted Alex Saad-Falcon, a Georgia Tech Ph.D. student and former GTRI researcher who co-led the project. Other portions of the data can be stored on a server for later analysis.

“We want to digitize all of the data, then off-load a smaller digital portion to be shared,” he said. “That gives more flexibility to antenna array algorithm designers, because it is much easier to create an algorithm in the digital domain because you can write it in code, versus analog, where you have to design a circuit and get it built. That also facilitates reprogramming when conditions change.”

FPGAs and GPUs are keys to Georgia Tech’s modular TRIAD approach. With low power consumption and high processing speeds, the FPGAs are located adjacent to the analog-to-digital converters on antenna subarrays. With help from graphics processing units (GPUs), they process the data, quickly sending it to a CPU where information from other subarrays is aggregated.

As a key feature of the project, GTRI researchers collaborated with academic researchers in Georgia Tech’s School of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) to utilize SoloPulse, a new array processing algorithm designed for radio-frequency images generated in synthetic aperture radars (SAR).

“The algorithm provides an estimate of energy coming from different points in the vicinity of the array,” Saad-Falcon explained. “That allows you to form an image, though you have some uncertainty about where the actual source is. The goal was to train the machine learning model to reduce that uncertainty, or learn from it to predict the source location.”

Though SoloPulse was not originally designed for the purpose the GTRI researchers needed, their collaborators – ECE Professor Christopher Barnes and Research Technologist J. Michael McKinney – supported its adaptation to the TRIAD goals.

Programming in the digital domain can utilize tensors, which are multilinear algebraic entities that describe the relationships between objects in terms of scalars and vectors. Utilizing tensor operations also allows data representations to be shared with machine learning algorithms such as deep neural networks, which can learn how to improve their operation every time they receive new data.

“You funnel the data into the new artificial intelligence tensor operations, which you also bundle up, and then at the end you get a detection, some kind of an end result that is human-actionable,” said Saad-Falcon. “The whole idea is that because you frame both the traditional algorithms and the machine learning algorithms in the same format as these tensor operations, you can effectively chain them together and get speedups that you wouldn’t be able to get otherwise.”

Beyond accelerating the data processing, the use of FPGA and GPU chips could help conserve power, which can be critical for mobile applications. “You have a finite compute budget on the array, so you need to intelligently allocate the computation and use an algorithm that extracts the information you want from the signal most effectively,” he said. “This is of interest to a lot of different applications in the industry right now.”

Part of the project’s goal was a demonstration to process radar pulses received by the 16-element array. The researchers used a moving emitter on a turntable in their lab to evaluate TRIAD’s imaging ability. “We could immediately see the result and our total latency from emitter motion to screen update was on the order of about 20 milliseconds – almost faster than the human eye can see.”

The DARPA project concluded in December 2022 and the researchers are now looking at other potential applications for the technologies. Among the possible uses is shared perception, which could have applications in autonomous vehicle networks, both for commercial and defense needs.

In addition to those already mentioned, the research included Jonathan Andreasen and Clayton Kerce from GTRI, and Jonathan Beaudeau from Pareto Frontier LLC, who supported the FPGA digital signal processing (DSP) component of the project.

Writer: John Toon (john.toon@gtri.gatech.edu)
GTRI Communications
Georgia Tech Research Institute
Atlanta, Georgia

 

The Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) is the nonprofit, applied research division of the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech). Founded in 1934 as the Engineering Experiment Station, GTRI has grown to more than 2,900 employees, supporting eight laboratories in over 20 locations around the country and performing more than $800 million of problem-solving research annually for government and industry. GTRI's renowned researchers combine science, engineering, economics, policy, and technical expertise to solve complex problems for the U.S. federal government, state, and industry.

]]> Michelle Gowdy 1 1694785777 2023-09-15 13:49:37 1694786278 2023-09-15 13:57:58 0 0 news As the number of elements on phased array antennas continues to grow, so does the volume of data that must be processed to extract information from the signals gathered. Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology are working to develop a new approach that could lead to real-time analysis of RF image data from sources ranging from potential enemy targets to speeding automobiles headed toward collisions.

 

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2023-09-15T00:00:00-04:00 2023-09-15T00:00:00-04:00 2023-09-15 00:00:00 (Interim) Director of Communications

Michelle Gowdy

Michelle.Gowdy@gtri.gatech.edu

404-407-8060

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671715 671716 671715 image <![CDATA[GTRI TRIAD demonstration setup]]> Image shows the final TRIAD demonstration setup, with the transmit antenna in the foreground on a metal arm attached to a turntable and the elemental digital array in the background. Shown are Ryan Westafer and Alex Saad-Falcon. (Credit: Sean McNeil, GTRI)

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671716 image <![CDATA[GTRI final TRIAD demonstration setup]]> Image shows the final TRIAD demonstration setup, with the transmit antenna in the foreground on a metal arm attached to a turntable, and the elemental digital array in the background. Shown are Ryan Westafer (left) and Alex Saad-Falcon, who is holding a metal screen to show the effect of adding an additional scatterer. (Credit: Sean McNeil, GTRI)

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<![CDATA[SERV@GTRI PACT Act Information Event]]> 35832 On Sept. 26, the SERV@GTRI ERG will host a Veterans Administration (VA) team and VETLANTA to talk about impacts of the PACT Act and how they might benefit some of our veterans or families of veterans. The primary purpose of this event is to assist Veterans in filing claims at the event.

At the event will be teams from the VA from both the Health and Benefits groups as well as the Georgia Department of Veterans Services, all focused on action for you. The event will be held from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Click here to register.

This is not just an information session; it is meant for you to come in and get your claim processed with the VA team from Atlanta.

The PACT Act, signed into law August 10, 2022, expands health care eligibility to several groups of veterans who may not have been eligible before.

The new eligible groups include:

The event will take place from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at GTRI Headquarters (250 14th St, Atlanta), Rooms 119A, 119B, and 119C.

VETLANTA is a club operated exclusively for veteran social and business networking and community service purposes. Its mission is to make Atlanta the premier community in the country for veterans and their families to work and live.

Useful Information About the PACT Act:

PACT Act: FAQ

PACT Act: Gulf War

PACT Act: Scams

PACT Act: Survivor Benefits

Presumptive Disability Benefits

Previously Awarded Benefits: FAQ

Tricare Rate Hikes

]]> Michelle Gowdy 1 1694626239 2023-09-13 17:30:39 1694626239 2023-09-13 17:30:39 0 0 news On Sept. 26, the SERV@GTRI ERG will host a Veterans Administration (VA) team and VETLANTA to talk about impacts of the PACT Act and how they might benefit some of our veterans or families of veterans. The primary purpose of this event is to assist Veterans in filing claims at the event.At the event will be teams from the VA from both the Health and Benefits groups as well as the Georgia Department of Veterans Services, all focused on action for you. The event will be held from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.Click here to register.

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2023-09-13T00:00:00-04:00 2023-09-13T00:00:00-04:00 2023-09-13 00:00:00 (Interim) Director of Communications

Michelle Gowdy

Michelle.Gowdy@gtri.gatech.edu

404-407-8060

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<![CDATA[Finding Flicker’s Therapeutic Pathway]]> 28153 Annabelle Singer was a postdoctoral researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology when she helped develop a light and sound therapeutic system that opened the door to a hopeful future of non-invasive treatments for neurodegenerative diseases.

Singer, now a faculty researcher at Georgia Tech, has since demonstrated dramatic success in treating mouse models of Alzheimer’s disease with flickering lights and buzzing sounds. Two years ago she and her team completed the first human feasibility study of this “flicker” treatment, delivered to patients via goggles and headphones.

“And there’s a long list of clinical trials going on right now using flicker stimulation – people are using the technology in a variety of different contexts,” said Singer, associate professor in the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech and Emory University. “But the mechanism underlying all of this is a major mystery. As scientists, we want to nail down the one key question: What is actually happening?”

She’s been piecing the flicker mystery together for years, along the way building a novel way to manipulate the neuroimmune system and prevent Alzheimer’s damage.

Her prior work focused on using flickering light and sound set to a frequency of 40 Hertz (40 times per second) to stimulate gamma waves, which play a main role in functions such as perception and memory, and which are deficient in Alzheimer’s disease. Singer’s flicker treatment set neurons on a rhythmic dance that recruit microglia, the brain’s primary immune cells, which engulf pathogens and secrete cytokines – small proteins that alert other immune cells to the cause.

Now Singer and a team of multidisciplinary researchers from Georgia Tech and Emory are providing answers to that one key question – what is going on to make all of this happen? – and they shared their research this month in the journal Science Advances.

Studying Rhythm in a Healthy Brain

Singer’s collaborators include fellow faculty researchers Levi Wood, associate professor in the George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering at Georgia Tech, and Dieter Jaeger, professor in Emory’s Department of Biology, where his work focuses on the rhythmic motor patterns generated and modulated in the central nervous system.  Both Jaeger and Wood have appointments in the Coulter Department. The lead authors are Ashley Prichard, postdoctoral researcher in Singer’s lab and Kristie Garza, former graduate researcher in the lab.

For this study, Singer took a different approach.

“In the past, our focus was on the diseased state. It was important for this research that we focus on brain rhythms in the healthy brain, to see the effects of sensory stimulation outside the context of Alzheimer’s pathology,” Singer said.

Also, this time the team used flicker stimulation to induce electrical activity at two different frequencies in mice: 40Hz, corresponding to gamma brain waves; and 20Hz, corresponding to beta wave.  These brain rhythms occur naturally in the brain during everyday life and in response to flickering lights and sounds. With Jaeger’s lab, the team first showed flicker lights and sounds drive these brain rhythms using cutting edge imaging of electrical signals across the brain surface.

“We compared different frequencies, so we’d have a better idea of the effects on the rhythmic activity of neurons,” said Singer. “That’s important because different frequencies of activity have distinct effects on microglia and cytokines.”

Previously, the team noted the effects of different frequencies on cytokine protein expression – for example, 20Hz flicker could induce neural activity, but led to lower cytokine expression, which can be a good thing. Cytokines are necessary for a healthy immune system, but in the right amounts – cytokines run amok can lead to harmful inflammation.

According to Wood, “although cytokines often come from immune cells, like microglia, we thought the cytokines might come from other kinds of brain cells. To help sort out the sources, we isolated the nuclei from different cells in the brain and looked at the genes affected by 40Hz flicker. We found that 40Hz stimulates immune genes in neurons that may regulate production of cytokines. We also found changed genes in microglia, but they were mainly involved in controlling cell shape or morphology.”  Singer added “to see that such a simple thing, flickering lights and sounds at different frequencies, lead to differences in immune genes was really cool.”

Indeed, the team saw the effects that different frequencies can have on the microglia, dramatically altering its morphology – its shape and function. “Forty Hertz and twenty Hertz were both different from no stimulation at all, and in opposite directions,” Singer said.

Different Shapes, Different Functions

At 20Hz, microglia assumed their ramified, surveillance mode – lots of branches, or dendrites, reaching out from the cell body. At 40Hz, they look more like amoeba, an amorphous blob that eats, or engulfs, pathogens. So, microglia do a different dance based on the rhythm.

Furthermore, their research revealed an underlying mechanism allowing all of this to happen. It’s a protein complex called nuclear factor kappa B, or NFkB. This signaling mechanism, which regulates immune function, is the pathway that links flicker stimulation to inspire the brain rhythms and the resulting immune response.

Singer, who is a mother, compared these different effects to a toddler making his way in the world. “When microglia surveil their environment, they stretch out to the things around them, like a toddler touching ever dirty thing they can get their hands on,” she said. “And when microglia enter their engulfing state, it’s like a toddler sticking everything in their mouth.”

She added, “The important thing is, in some disease contexts, you want the surveillance state – you want to turn down the immune response. In others, you want the more active, engulfing state that we see at the higher frequency.”

So, a different kind of stimulation for a different disease state? Or a new, non-invasive way to maintain an already healthy brain? Possibly both, eventually.

“The potential is, we can non-invasively manipulate the brain’s immune system in either direction, turning it up or turning it down, depending on the stimulation,” Singer said. “That has important implications for using this technology in a lot of different ways, in the presence of disease, or as way to boost this function or that function.”

 

]]> Jerry Grillo 1 1693402025 2023-08-30 13:27:05 1694097371 2023-09-07 14:36:11 0 0 news Georgia Tech and Emory researchers probe the mechanisms underlying the rhythmic dance of neurons that recruits the brain’s immune system

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2023-08-30T00:00:00-04:00 2023-08-30T00:00:00-04:00 2023-08-30 00:00:00 Jerry Grillo

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671528 671528 image <![CDATA[Wood, Singer, and Jaeger]]> Left to right: Levi Wood, Annabelle Singer, and Dieter Jaeger

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<![CDATA[New NEETRAC Director Joe Hagerman Aims for Center to Lead Amid Power Grid Transformation]]> 27338 As the nation's power grid undergoes a transformative shift with historic investment in clean energy, Joe Hagerman understands the importance of this moment for the National Electric Energy Testing, Research and Applications Center (NEETRAC). It presents the center with a distinct opportunity to showcase expertise, drive progress, and actively shape the future of the grid.

NEETRAC, a leading research and testing resource for the electric energy industry, housed under the Georgia Tech School of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE), has announced the appointment of Hagerman as its director, starting June 1.

“Under the leadership of former Director Rick Hartlein, NEETRAC has established itself as a trusted authority in testing and research for the electric power industry,” said Hagerman. “Thanks to this reputation, we are now poised to take a leading role in the country's de-carbonization and re-electrification priorities. The potential for strengthening our ties with the Institute, the state of Georgia, and federal entities is a once in a lifetime opportunity.”

Hagerman joins NEETRAC after directing the Energy, Policy, and Innovation Center (EPICenter), a division of the Strategic Energy Institute.

 

Prior to Georgia Tech, Hagerman served as a section head at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory. He also has served as the deputy chief scientist of the ;National Rural Electric Cooperative Association and as a senior policy advisory at the U.S. Office of Energy’s Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.

“As NEETRAC prepares for the next phase of its journey, Joe's passion, visionary approach, and bridge-building abilities will be indispensable for success,” said Arijit Raychowdhury, professor and Steve W. Chaddick School Chair in ECE. “His policy work and technical expertise in grid systems speak for themselves, especially regarding emerging areas like renewables, connected equipment, and cybersecurity. I’m thrilled to have Joe leading the way.”

The Right Time for Growth

The domestic demand for electricity continues to steadily rise because of the government's ambitious renewable and carbon-free energy objectives, the increased electrification of transportation and heating, and the growing demand for digitally connected devices.

Add this to an aging power grid, and incentives and investments for making the grid stronger and more resilient are at an all-time high for the electric power industry.

Hagerman looks to leverage his governmental research reputation and knowledge of the Georgia Tech landscape to enhance NEETRAC's existing strengths and explore new opportunities. He seeks to establish new connections — both inside and outside of the Institute — for the center, enabling it to effectively drive innovation and address the evolving needs of the industry.

“The power grid stands as a remarkable feat of human engineering, and its sheer physical scale is incredible,” said Hagerman. “Incorporating changes is not as simple as flipping a switch. It requires extensive knowledge and countless hours of rigorous testing. Thankfully, NEETRAC and Georgia Tech possess an abundance of expertise — and a world class staff — that can be harnessed to navigate these challenges successfully.”

An Invaluable Industry Resource

For more than 25 years, NEETRAC — located just south of the Atlanta campus, near the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport — has played a vital role in facilitating collaboration between the electric energy industry and academia.

Everything connected to the power grid — even power poles to bucket trucks — can be tested and researched at the center. NEETRAC’s experienced engineers and technicians seek to deliver innovative, effective solutions to all problems related to the transmission and distribution of electric energy.

As a membership-supported center, NEETRAC's member companies comprise utilities that represent around 65% of U.S. electric customers, along with manufacturers who contribute significantly to the products and services offered in the electric utility industry.

“NEETRAC is much more than a testing laboratory to us,” said Sherif Kamel, vice president of New Product Development at Southwire, a NEETRAC member organization. “The deep knowledge and expertise that NEETRAC uses to support our industry’s needs is unparalleled.”

This diverse membership base promotes collaboration and knowledge exchange, keeping NEETRAC at the forefront of industry challenges, advancements, and opportunities.

Sherif, NEETRAC's advisory board chair and a member of the search committee that recommended Hagerman, stated that NEETRAC's staff and facilities aid Southwire in developing, improving, and supporting customers. Additionally, the center enhances the credibility and proficiency of the company's test results. Southwire was founded in 1937 by Roy Richards, a graduate of Georgia Tech, and is a NEETRAC founding member.

Future Potential

Hagerman stressed that with so much uncertainty regarding the future of the domestic power grid, one thing is clear: To evolve NEETRAC will need to enhance its relationship with the industry and scale to help its current and future members throughout North America.

“There’s excitement in not knowing how everything will unfold,” he said. “It’s important for us to be nimble and ready to adapt, but to also use our position to anticipate the needs of our members and provide value and insights to our partners.”

According to Hagerman, the future services of NEETRAC could be driven by several important factors, namely the integration of renewable energy sources, ensuring the security of the grid both in physical and cyber aspects, and harnessing the power of big data.

Investing and expanding in the expertise of NEETRAC's skilled scientists and engineers, its technical staff, and its administrative staff is arguably the most crucial approach to meeting the uncertain demands of the future.

“By nurturing the talents and skills of the team and by incorporating an inclusive approach, we all work toward the shared future of NEETRAC and the Institute. We are all one Georgia Tech,” said Hagerman. “NEETRAC’s role in that future is defined by its cutting-edge evaluations, its world class research, and its continued support of innovation for a resilient and secure domestic power grid for all.”

]]> Brent Verrill 1 1694021833 2023-09-06 17:37:13 1694022065 2023-09-06 17:41:05 0 0 news As the nation's power grid undergoes a transformative shift with historic investment in clean energy, Joe Hagerman understands the importance of this moment for the National Electric Energy Testing, Research and Applications Center (NEETRAC).

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2023-05-25T00:00:00-04:00 2023-05-25T00:00:00-04:00 2023-05-25 00:00:00 Dan Watson

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671616 671616 image <![CDATA[NEETRAC Meeting_150_cropped.jpg]]> The NEETRAC advisory board meeting on May 17, at Georgia Tech. New NEETRAC Director Joe Hagerman (front row, second to left) was introduced to the board during the meetings.

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<![CDATA[Karmella Haynes Leads Exploration of the Genome’s Dark Regions]]> 28153 By Jerry Grillo

Karmella Haynes wants to shine some light on the “dark matter” of the genome, and the National Science Foundation (NSF) is helping her flip the switch.

Haynes, assistant professor in the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech and Emory University, is leading a team of multi-disciplinary investigators who were awarded a four-year, $2.1 million grant from NSF to explore this dark matter and illuminate how the genome controls living systems in all their diversity and complexity.

It’s large space to explore. Only two percent of the human genome is known to provide instructions to build proteins, a process essential to higher functioning life. This leaves 98 percent of the genome as a biological frontier known as dark matter – these segments do not encode for protein, like the other two percent.

“A lot of progress has been made in studying this part of the genome, but what we don’t know yet can be very useful,” said Haynes, whose lab works on the front line of synthetic biology, and is typically dedicated to protein engineering, including the investigation and design of chromatin-based systems for controlling gene expression in cancer and other cells.

For this project, funded through February 2027, Haynes is expanding her focus to include RNA engineering, noting that some of those dark regions of the genome can produce long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs). Usually found in very small amounts within a cell, lncRNAs have nonetheless been found to have an impact on biological processes like cell growth and survival, cell identity and environmental interactions, and various human and animal diseases.

“The next step would be to tap into the biomedical and biotechnology potential of these RNAs,” said Haynes, who is principal investigator on the multi-institutional project. Her co-principal investigators are Alisha Jones, assistant professor of chemistry at New York University, and Keriayn Smith, assistant professor of genetics at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Joining them are Emory biochemist Anita CorbettTian Hong, a computational biologist at the University of Tennessee; and Aaron Johnson, a molecular geneticist at the University of Colorado.

Together, they’ll delve into the mysteries and mechanisms of lncRNA.

Investigators, Assemble!

Haynes met her collaborators at an NSF Ideas Lab gathering in the summer of 2022. The program had an acronym that sounds like something borrowed from Star Wars, D2R2, which actually stands for Dark Dimensions of the RNA Regulome

Ideas Labs are intensive workshops facilitated by NSF with the intention of finding innovative solutions to grand challenges. D2R2 brought together engineers, chemists, mathematicians, computer scientists, and others with a goal of developing new theories and models for understanding non-coding RNAs, and new approaches for manipulating and controlling non-coding RNA activity. 

“We all received a crash course on what the scientific community understands about all of this, then we got to work,” said Haynes. Her two co-PIs, Jones and Smith, help comprise what Haynes believes is a unique leadership trifecta. “I rarely hear of a large multi-institutional grant that is led by three black women. I think that is significant.”

Also significant, she added, is the project’s emphasis on outreach. Haynes and her team are working with students from Project ENGAGES at Georgia Tech – a high school science education program in partnership with minority-serving public schools in Atlanta. The plan is to provide the students a focus presentation on RNA technology.

Ultimately, Haynes hopes the NSF project will yield innovations that would enhance our ability to predict and mitigate the effects of changing environments on organisms and ecosystems – in other words, epigenetic control. If they can engineer lncRNAs to fine tune their activity, researchers should be able to generate beneficial biomolecules for biomedical applications.

“We expect at minimum to push the boundaries of knowledge by trying to build functional RNAs,” Haynes said. “But if we could develop an effective tool for this kind of epigenetic control, that would be remarkable. This could have some exciting implications for bioengineering.”

]]> Jerry Grillo 1 1693229815 2023-08-28 13:36:55 1693491139 2023-08-31 14:12:19 0 0 news National Science Foundation supporting research into the mysteries and mechanisms of noncoding RNA 

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2023-08-28T00:00:00-04:00 2023-08-28T00:00:00-04:00 2023-08-28 00:00:00 Writer: Jerry Grillo

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671495 671495 image <![CDATA[Karmella.jpg]]> image/jpeg 1693229845 2023-08-28 13:37:25 1693229845 2023-08-28 13:37:25
<![CDATA[Thomas Kurfess Appointed to Navy Science and Technology Board]]> 27513 Thomas Kurfess, Ph.D., P.E., has been appointed to the Department of the Navy Science and Technology Board (DoN S&T Board). Kurfess is the chief manufacturing officer of the Georgia Institute of Technology and the executive director of the Georgia Tech Manufacturing Institute. He is the HUSCO/Ramirez Distinguished Chair in Fluid Power and Motion Control and professor in the George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering.

The DoN S&T Board is a discretionary federal advisory committee that provides independent recommendations on matters relating to the Department of the Navy's scientific, technical, manufacturing, acquisition, logistics, medicine, and business management functions. These matters include, but are not limited to, the pressing and complex scientific and technological problems facing the Department of Defense in such areas as research, engineering, organizational structure and process, business and functional concepts, and manufacturing. The board will help to identify new technologies and new applications of technology in those areas to strengthen national security. Membership on the board consists of private and public leaders, with a diversity of background, experience, and thought in support of the DoN S&T Board mission.

Kurfess’ appointment to the board was confirmed by the secretary of defense in August.

]]> Walter Rich 1 1692970077 2023-08-25 13:27:57 1692970765 2023-08-25 13:39:25 0 0 news Thomas Kurfess, Ph.D., P.E., has been appointed to the Department of the Navy Science and Technology Board (DoN S&T Board). Kurfess is the chief manufacturing officer of the Georgia Institute of Technology and the executive director of the Georgia Tech Manufacturing Institute. He is the HUSCO/Ramirez Distinguished Chair in Fluid Power and Motion Control and professor in the George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering.

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2023-08-25T00:00:00-04:00 2023-08-25T00:00:00-04:00 2023-08-25 00:00:00 658806 658806 image <![CDATA[Tom Kurfess]]> image/png 1654892794 2022-06-10 20:26:34 1654892794 2022-06-10 20:26:34
<![CDATA[The Institute for Materials Announces Initiative Leads for the 2023-24 Academic Year]]> 34760 Materials research is foundational to the creation of new technologies and economic growth in a variety of areas, which include transportation, energy storage and generation, recyclability, information and communication, infrastructure, and healthcare. To facilitate advances in materials research, Georgia Tech’s Institute for Materials (IMat) brings together researchers from academia and industry to facilitate interdisciplinary collaborations in materials research to address the opportunities and challenges in these areas.

To enable this research, IMat leadership has supported strategic interdisciplinary initiatives since 2021. Each initiative has a dedicated faculty lead to guide the initiative and prepare teams to compete for mid- and large-scale, multi-investigator research centers with academic, national laboratory, and industry partners. Initiative leads also work to increase the campus’ collaborative spirit by working with other Interdisciplinary Research Institutes, campus units, and the Georgia Tech Research Institute to design and support research programs. Initiative leads serve for one academic year and may be considered for renewal based on their progress in achieving community-building goals and their impact on IMat and the materials innovation ecosystem at Georgia Tech.

“The goal of our initiative lead program is to provide support for these strategic interdisciplinary research areas,” said IMat Executive Director Eric Vogel. “Now that we are in the third year of the program, we have seen significant growth in many of the initiatives we have supported, including batteries and energy storage and materials laboratories for the future.”

Materials for Energy Storage Initiative to Become Georgia Tech Advanced Battery Center

Matthew McDowell has served as an IMat initiative lead in Materials for Energy Storage, a joint initiative with the Strategic Energy Institute (SEI), since the program began in 2021. With the nation’s increased focus on electric vehicles, battery storage technologies have gained significant attention since McDowell launched his initiative. In addition, the state of Georgia is becoming the epicenter of the battery belt of the Southeast, with more than $25 billion invested or announced in EV-related research in the past three years. The Materials for Energy Storage Initiative has worked to highlight Georgia Tech’s strong energy storage research community and how it can help shape the development of next-generation energy storage devices. In 2023, McDowell and his team hosted Georgia Tech Battery Day, a sold-out event that brought together more than 230 energy researchers and industry representatives to advance energy storage technologies.

This year, the Materials for Energy Storage Initiative will become the Georgia Tech Advanced Battery Center, with McDowell and Gleb Yushin as co-directors. The new center will build community at Georgia Tech, work to enhance relationships with industrial partners, and create a new battery manufacturing facility on Georgia Tech’s campus. The Advanced Battery Center is the latest initiative to gain external funding and become a center, in addition to the Center for Organic Photonics and Electronics and the Georgia AI Manufacturing coalition led by former IMat Initiative Lead Aaron Stebner.

Meet the 2023-24 IMat Initiative Leads

 

Materials for Solar Energy Harvesting and Conversion

Juan-Pablo Correa-Baena is an assistant professor and the Goizueta Early Career Faculty Chair in the School of Materials Science and Engineering. He holds a B.S. in management and engineering and an M.S. and Ph.D. in environmental engineering, all from the University of Connecticut. Correa-Baena runs the Energy Materials Lab at Georgia Tech, which focuses on understanding and control of crystallographic structure and effects on electronic dynamics at the nanoscale of low-cost semiconductors for optoelectronic applications.

As an initiative lead, Correa-Baena will work to create a community around solar energy harvesting and conversion at Georgia Tech. He aims to integrate photovoltaic, photodetectors, and related devices into IMaT-related research; energize research in these areas at Georgia Tech at large; and consolidate the expertise of the many research groups working on or around photovoltaics/photodetectors that will allow us to target interdisciplinary research funding opportunities. He also wants to provide an official link at Georgia Tech for industry partners to interact with faculty on photovoltaics, with a special aim at First Solar and QCells, the largest solar panel factory in the western hemisphere.

Autonomous Research for Materials

Mark Losego is an associate professor, MSE Faculty Fellow, and Dean’s Education Innovation Professor in the School of Materials Science and Engineering. He holds a B.S. from Penn State University and an M.S. and Ph.D. from North Carolina State University, all in materials science and engineering. The Losego research lab focuses on materials processing to develop novel organic-inorganic hybrid materials and interfaces for microelectronics, sustainable energy devices, national security technologies, and advanced textiles.

As an IMat initiative lead, Losego will help build a community at Georgia Tech that works toward developing autonomous and intelligent systems (robots) that execute physical experiments — processing, characterizing, and measuring the properties of materials — and then uses this knowledge to iteratively and intelligently execute subsequent experiments that produce new knowledge about process-structure-property relations, which inform materials discovery and design. He also hopes to learn what technical questions, training opportunities, or other incentives would compel Georgia Tech roboticists to collaborate with materials scientists to develop autonomous materials discovery systems and what the Georgia Tech materials community can do with emerging, inexpensive, and simple-to-use robotics systems to drive autonomous materials discovery.

Macromolecular Materials at Biotic and Abiotic Interfaces

Valeria Tohver Milam is an associate professor and MSE Faculty Fellow in MSE. She holds a B.S. from the University of Florida, and an M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, all in materials science and engineering. Her research interests are in DNA-based ligands for molecular, macromolecular, and mesoscale targets and bio-inspired colloidal assembly for multifunctional drug delivery vehicles and colloidal-based sensing. She also leads the Milam Group.

As an IMat initiative lead, Milam will work to build an inclusive and active community across and beyond Georgia Tech to identify emerging research directions in macromolecular materials. Macromolecules, whether natural, bio-inspired, or completely synthetic, hold promise for enabling the next generation of materials to successfully perform at biotic as well as abiotic interfaces. Motivated by broad applications ranging from health to the environment, this initiative will bring together experimental and computational engineers and scientists focused on fundamental studies of macromolecular systems. The goal is to identify pathways to novel compositions, structures, synthesis, and characterization approaches to designing and implementing macromolecular materials.

Mechanical Metamaterials

D. Zeb Rocklin is an assistant professor in the School of Physics. He holds a B.Sc. in physics and economics from the California Institute of Technology and a Ph.D. in physics from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. His research interests include soft condensed matter physics and adjacent fields like statistical physics, physics of living systems, and hard condensed matter with a particular focus on the relationship between the geometric structure of a system and its mechanical response. He leads the Rocklin Group at Georgia Tech, which focuses on the structure and motion of soft materials.

As an IMat initiative lead, Rocklin aims to bring faculty together within the Colleges of Sciences, Engineering, and Design to develop, characterize, and apply novel metamaterials — those with programmed structures above the atomic scale, blurring the line between material and machine. They can reveal fundamentally new physics while also incorporating new functionality for flexibility, strength, and intelligent processing of mechanical force and energy.

Materials and Interfaces for Catalysis and Separations | Marta Hatzell
Marta Hatzell is an associate professor in the George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering and the School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. She earned a B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. in mechanical engineering and an M.Eng in environmental engineering from Pennsylvania State University. Her research group focuses on exploring sustainable catalysis and separations with applications from electrofuels and solar fuels to desalination.

To mitigate issues related to climate change, there is a societal push to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050. Thermal separations and catalysis are the primary sources of carbon emissions in industry today. Thus, there is a growing research focus on developing next-generation materials for net zero catalysis and separation processes. In year one, Hatzell aided in bringing together faculty for two center-level proposals through the NSF and DOE. She also helped run a workshop to disseminate information regarding the DOE Earthshot call. In her second year as an initiative lead, Hatzell will continue to bring faculty together who are working on materials-related issues aimed at decarbonizing industrial separations and catalysis, identify the bottlenecks for new materials, and assess their long-term impacts.

Quantum Responses of Topological and Magnetic Matter | Zhigang Jiang
Zhigang Jiang is a professor in the School of Physics. He holds a B.S. in physics from Beijing University and a Ph.D. in physics from Northwestern University. He was also a postdoctoral research associate at Columbia University jointly with Princeton University and NHMFL from 2005 to 2008. His research interests are in the quantum transport and infrared optical properties of topological and magnetic materials. His current projects include infrared magneto-spectroscopy of topological semimetals, band-engineering topological phases in metamorphic InAsSb ordered alloys, and developing new materials for portable, real-time radiation monitoring devices.

The goals of this initiative are twofold: first, to anchor, develop, and promote the community of researchers working on the fundamental magnetic properties of quantum materials. And second, to connect these researchers to application-centric initiatives led by other science or engineering colleagues across Georgia Tech. The focus will be on fundamental research progress in topological and magnetic matter and to communicate their importance, relevance, and significance to Georgia Tech’s research audience. In addition, this initiative aims to leverage fundamental discoveries in quantum materials and explore how they can be translated in their own right into quantum systems with new functionalities for spintronics, qubits, and electronic devices.

Materials in Extreme Environments | Richard W. Neu
Richard W. Neu is a professor in the Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering and the School of Materials Science and Engineering. His research involves the understanding and prediction of the fatigue behavior of materials and closely related topics, typically when the material must resist degradation and failure in harsh environments. He has investigated a broad range of structural materials, including steels, titanium alloys, nickel-base superalloys, metal matrix composites, molybdenum alloys, high entropy alloys, medical device materials, and solder alloys used in electronic packaging. 

Neu served as an initiative lead in 2022 and will continue in this role in 2023. He will continue to engage and build an interdisciplinary research community to address the complex issues associated with new materials in extreme environments. These environments include high temperature, high pressure, corrosive, wear/erosion, cyclic loading, high-rate impacts, and radiation. In harsh environments, materials are continuously evolving and deforming, presenting a roadblock in advancing engineering systems due to the uncertainty in the performance of new materials or new process methods such as additive manufacturing. Managing this risk by predicting the uncertainties, both internal to the material (its structure feature) and external environment, is an important consideration that materials engineering must address.

Organic Photonics and Electronics | Jason Azoulay

Jason Azoulay is an associate professor and Georgia Research Alliance Vasser-Woolley Chair in Optoelectronics in the School of Chemistry and Biochemistry, with a joint appointment in the School of Materials Science and Engineering. He received his Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of California at Santa Barbara and performed postdoctoral studies at Sandia National Laboratories. His research group unites strong synthetic foundations with physics, materials science, and engineering to synthesize and apply next-generation functional materials. Research within his group includes homogeneous catalysis applied to polymer synthesis; electronic, photonic, magnetic, and quantum materials; device fabrication and engineering; chemical sensing in complex aqueous environments for environmental monitoring; and the synthesis, application, and engineering of high-performance polymers across multiple technology platforms.

Emerging semiconductor materials open new pathways and opportunities to address critical national needs with global societal impacts in climate change, manufacturing, energy, healthcare, information science, consumer applications, defense-wide applications, and many others. Azoulay will work across multiple Georgia Tech centers, topical working groups, and institutes to create a unique materials research environment that spans traditionally siloed disciplines and materials classes. These efforts will advance the chemistry, materials science, and application of emerging photonic, optoelectronic, semiconductor, spin-based, and quantum technologies and raise the recognition of the materials innovations at Georgia Tech to the international stage.

Materials for Biomedical Systems | W. Hong Yeo

W. Hong Yeo is an associate professor and Woodruff Faculty Fellow in the Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering and the director of the IEN Center for Human-Centric Interfaces and Engineering at Georgia Tech. He received a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering and genome sciences from the University of Washington and did a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. His research focuses on the areas of nano-microengineering, soft materials, molecular interactions, and biosystems, with an emphasis on nanomembrane bioelectronics and human-machine interfaces.

 

Yeo led the Materials for Biomedical Systems initiative in 2022 and will continue in this role in 2023, where he will continue to foster collaborations between faculty, researchers, and clinicians to advance research in biomaterials and biomedical systems. In 2022, this initiative successfully hosted the MBS Day by inviting more than 80 people from academia, industry, and national labs to share knowledge, research ideas, and commercialization opportunities. Yeo believes collaborative research environments between materials science and engineering and medicine will result in fundamental breakthroughs in bioinspired materials, human-centered designs, and integrated biomedical systems, which will significantly advance human healthcare. He also hopes to enhance human health via multidisciplinary materials research to tackle the National Academy of Engineering Grand Challenge to engineer better medicines in collaboration with both academic and industry partners.

]]> Laurie Haigh 1 1692910889 2023-08-24 21:01:29 1692912555 2023-08-24 21:29:15 0 0 news Each initiative has a dedicated faculty lead to guide the initiative and prepare teams to compete for mid- and large-scale, multi-investigator research centers with academic, national laboratory, and industry partners.

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2023-08-24T00:00:00-04:00 2023-08-24T00:00:00-04:00 2023-08-24 00:00:00 Laurie Haigh

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671479 671479 image <![CDATA[IMat Initiatives include researchers from a variety of schools and research areas]]> image/png 1692911828 2023-08-24 21:17:08 1692911914 2023-08-24 21:18:34
<![CDATA[IEN Opens Its Doors for Chip Camp]]> 34760 Sixty-six students visited Georgia Tech on Friday, July 21, for the final day of Chip Camp, a three-day STEM camp for rising sixth through eighth graders. The camp is sponsored by the Micron Foundation and is designed to “pique students' curiosity and challenge their minds through hands-on STEM and semiconductor activities.”

The day began at the Institute for Electronics and Nanotechnology (IEN), where students learned about ferrofluids, thin films, magic sand, measuring their height in nanometers, and the size and scale of the universe. They also visited the Materials Characterization Facility for an introduction to characterization and demonstrations of some of its tools, including the digital optical microscope and atomic force microscope. The IEN portion of the day concluded with a window tour of the IEN cleanroom and an opportunity to gown up in “bunny suits,” the standard uniform worn by cleanroom users.

“We’re committed to developing the pipeline of the future microelectronics workforce,” said Mikkel Thomas, assistant director of workforce development at IEN. “This includes K-12 students who may not know what microelectronics are, or the career paths associated with them. We were glad to host part of Chip Camp and introduce these students to IEN.”

Following a lunch break, campers visited the Invention Studio makerspace, where they built their own rockets — and then launched them in Tech Green.

Micron Chip Camp is a global initiative offering opportunities to students in the U.S. and Asia both in person and online. Micron teamed up with STE(A)M Truck, Atlanta's leader in hands-on STEAM education, for the Georgia session.

In addition to hosting students for camps, IEN provides a variety of outreach programs for K-12 and adult learners, which include short courses and seminars, research experiences for undergraduates, and research experiences for teachers. To learn more about these opportunities, visit research.gatech.edu/nano/workforce-development.

]]> Laurie Haigh 1 1692895982 2023-08-24 16:53:02 1692896682 2023-08-24 17:04:42 0 0 news Sixty-six students visited Georgia Tech on Friday, July 21, for the final day of Chip Camp, a three-day STEM camp for rising sixth through eighth graders.

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2023-08-24T00:00:00-04:00 2023-08-24T00:00:00-04:00 2023-08-24 00:00:00 Laurie Haigh

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671474 671474 image <![CDATA[Chip Campers in bunny suits]]> image/png 1692896232 2023-08-24 16:57:12 1692896315 2023-08-24 16:58:35
<![CDATA[Maribeth Coleman Named Regents’ Researcher]]> 27513 Maribeth Coleman, director of Research and associate director of Interactive Media for the Institute for People and Technology (IPaT), was named a Regents’ Researcher by the University System of Georgia’s Board of Regents (BOR).

Regents’ distinctions may be granted to outstanding faculty members for a period of three years by the BOR and are awarded only after unanimous recommendation from the president of the recipient’s university, their chief academic officer and dean, and three additional members of the faculty who are named by the university president. Approval by the chancellor and the BOR Committee on Academic Affairs is also required. These distinctions are given to those who make outstanding contributions to their respective institutions.

Coleman received her bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in computer science from Georgia Tech. She has more than 23 years of experience as a research faculty member in catalyzing, funding, and conducting transdisciplinary research programs in the areas of computer science and human computer interaction, with a focus on augmented/virtual reality and wearable technologies applied to healthcare, assistive technology, education, and the future-of-work.

In 2017, she received the GVU 25th Anniversary Impact Award. In 2022, she was one of three finalists for an Atlanta Women in Technology award in recognition of her research contributions as well as her record of supporting historically underrepresented groups in the technology field. Additionally, she presented a TEDx talk on the importance of diversity in teams in the context of her NASA-funded augmented reality research program.

She currently leads a team of a dozen full-time research faculty within IPaT, along with a large community of student assistants. In her role as director of research, she is charged with developing processes to help connect principal investigators and teams across campus with research faculty to provide continuity and capacity to their research programs.

]]> Walter Rich 1 1692735158 2023-08-22 20:12:38 1692735235 2023-08-22 20:13:55 0 0 news Maribeth Coleman, director of Research and associate director of Interactive Media for the Institute for People and Technology (IPaT), was named a Regents’ Researcher by the University System of Georgia’s Board of Regents (BOR).

Regents’ distinctions may be granted to outstanding faculty members for a period of three years by the BOR and are awarded only after unanimous recommendation from the president of the recipient’s university, their chief academic officer and dean, and three additional members of the faculty who are named by the university president. Approval by the chancellor and the BOR Committee on Academic Affairs is also required. These distinctions are given to those who make outstanding contributions to their respective institutions.

]]>
2023-08-22T00:00:00-04:00 2023-08-22T00:00:00-04:00 2023-08-22 00:00:00 671452 671452 image <![CDATA[image0-copy-Maribeth-smaller.jpg]]> Maribeth Coleman, director of Research and associate director of Interactive Media for the Institute for People and Technology (IPaT), was named a Regents’ Researcher by the University System of Georgia’s Board of Regents (BOR).

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<![CDATA[Phoenix Challenge: Collaborating to Improve the Information Environment]]> 35832 Generative AI has captured worldwide attention for its potential applications in such areas as disease diagnosis, data analysis, writing, and computer coding. But at a recent meeting held at the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) in Atlanta, attendees were concerned about how very different applications of AI may be affecting critical operations in the information environment (OIE).

Nearly 250 attendees from more than 200 government, academic, and industry organizations convened at the Phoenix Challenge June 20-23 to discuss how misinformation, disinformation, and the propagation of bad information may affect the world – and how organizations across those three sectors can work together to address growing concerns about the effects of what’s happening in this arena. Although AI was among the top concerns, there were many other issues on the agenda.

The conference was organized for the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Policy (OUSDP) by GTRI, the University of Maryland Applied Research Laboratory for Intelligence and Security (ARLIS), and the Information Professionals Association.

The June Phoenix Challenge conference was part of a series of events designed to promote collaboration on efforts ranging from research and acquisition to operational planning and execution, with goals of reducing enterprise ambiguity in the Department of Defense, promoting awareness, and exchanging information. Recommendations coming out of the meeting’s working groups are being briefed to appropriate offices in the Department of Defense and other agencies.

“The idea for the Phoenix Challenge is to create a watering hole where everyone can participate with equal standing,” said Austin Branch, professor of the practice at ARLIS, which is funded by the OUSDP to convene the Phoenix Challenge events. “By bringing these communities together, government can enjoy additional critical thinking and testing of ideas, offering new concepts, technologies, and methodological approaches in an environment that’s collaborative and includes everyone.”

OIE – a discipline that in years past was known as information warfare – can include such topics as electronic warfare, cyber operations, military deception, and psychological operations in a broad cognitive security space. “The Phoenix Challenge is a recognized platform for collaboration and sharing, in both technical and non-technical areas, and in the hard sciences and soft sciences,” Branch said. “Participants have to be prepared to work because we’re working on solutions, and there is a sense of mutual accountability.”

Beyond the recommendations to the government, participants from industry and academic communities benefit from obtaining a better understanding of the government’s needs, plans, and concerns.

“Here, we can have everybody concentrated and focused, with a great value proposition in being able to reduce ambiguity about what the requirements are and for the government to articulate what the needs are, then allow this broader enterprise to work on those things,” Branch added.

At the Atlanta meeting, there were three panel discussions, including one on generative AI, which has both positive and negative implications for the world’s information environment.

“This technology is going to have an enormous impact on us going forward,” said Theresa Kessler, a GTRI research scientist who was among the Atlanta event’s organizers. “AI and machine learning tools can make the OIE challenges worse, or be used to make them better. There’s also a cybersecurity component and the human element of how people can be so accepting of bad information.”

The goals of the Phoenix Challenge include much more than identifying the issues. Attendees participated in six working groups organized to highlight potential solutions and make recommendations to be considered by the government. And those making the recommendations are expected to play a role in carrying them out.

“Ultimately, the goal is to affect the national defense strategy, with these output products, recommendations that the working groups built,” Kessler explained. “We had a huge representation of industry partners, along with academic participants, including multiple universities, University Affiliated Research Centers (UARCs), and Federally-Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDCs). Each of our working groups had a representation from industry, government, and academia.”

That broad representation helped provide a perspective not limited to a single constituency, she said. “The working groups were designed and facilitated in a way that everybody’s opinion was pulled in and valued. Involving all these different groups provides a more holistic presentation of the problem and the solution set.”

In addition to a classified working group, the breakout sessions focused on:

Among the conference speakers were:

The June Phoenix Challenge event was the first hosted by GTRI, but the event has a long history, beginning decades ago and including recent meetings in London and Charleston, South Carolina. In 2022, GTRI hosted an Information Warfare Summit on its Atlanta campus, but elected to join forces with the Phoenix Challenge in 2023. The next event is likely to be held in the Washington, D.C., area during 2024.

 

Writer: John Toon (john.toon@gtri.gatech.edu)
GTRI Communications
Georgia Tech Research Institute
Atlanta, Georgia

 

The Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) is the nonprofit, applied research division of the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech). Founded in 1934 as the Engineering Experiment Station, GTRI has grown to more than 2,900 employees, supporting eight laboratories in over 20 locations around the country and performing more than $800 million of problem-solving research annually for government and industry. GTRI's renowned researchers combine science, engineering, economics, policy, and technical expertise to solve complex problems for the U.S. federal government, state, and industry.

]]> Michelle Gowdy 1 1692630409 2023-08-21 15:06:49 1692631892 2023-08-21 15:31:32 0 0 news Nearly 250 attendees from more than 200 government, academic, and industry organizations convened at the Phoenix Challenge June 20-23 to discuss how misinformation, disinformation, and the propagation of bad information may affect the world – and how organizations across those three sectors can work together to address growing concerns about the effects of what’s happening in this arena.

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2023-08-21T00:00:00-04:00 2023-08-21T00:00:00-04:00 2023-08-21 00:00:00 (Interim) Director of Communications

Michelle Gowdy

Michelle.Gowdy@gtri.gatech.edu

404-407-8060

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671444 671443 671444 image <![CDATA[2023 Phoenix Challenge: USG Leader Panel at GTRI]]> The USG Leader Panel discussed frameworks for competition in the information environment. The panel moderator was Elizabeth Chamberlain, (SES) A2A6. Panel participants were: RDML Mike Brown, OPNAV / N2N6 (SES), Russ Meade, Executive Director, Marine Corps Information Command, Col. John Agnello, Director, Army Information Advantage Program Office, Daniel Kimmage, Principal Deputy Coordinator at the Department of State Global Engagement Center, and Joe Miller, Deputy USASOC. (Credit: Christopher Moore, GTRI)

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671443 image <![CDATA[2023 Phoenix Challenge at GTRI]]> Nearly 250 attendees from more than 200 government, academic, and industry organizations convened at the Phoenix Challenge conference at the Georgia Tech Research Institute in June 2023. (Credit: Christopher Moore, GTRI)

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<![CDATA[Two GTRI Researchers Honored with Regents’ Researcher Title]]> 35832 The University System of Georgia’s (USG) Board of Regents has awarded two GTRI researchers the title of Regents’ Researcher. The two are Doug Denison, director of the Advanced Concepts Laboratory (ACL), and Linda Viney, principal research engineer and chief of the Systems Integration Division in the Applied Systems Laboratory (ASL).

The USG may grant the Regents’ Researcher title to outstanding full-time principal researchers at Georgia Tech and three other University System research institutions. The title may be awarded upon the recommendation of the USG institution President, chief academic officer, and three members of the faculty named by the President, and upon the approval of the Chancellor and the Committee on Academic Affairs.

“GTRI’s Regents’ Researchers embody the best of technical excellence and make a profound impact, leading GTRI by example to achieve our mission to enhance Georgia’s economic development, secure our nation, improve the human condition, and educate future technology leaders,” said Mark Whorton, GTRI’s Chief Technology Officer.

Viney has been a member of the Georgia Tech research faculty for 25 years, serving as Division Chief for the Electronic Systems Integration Division in the Electronic Systems Laboratory (ELSYS), and now as Division Chief of the Systems Integration Division of the Applied Systems Laboratory (ASL). She holds master’s and bachelor’s degrees in Electrical Engineering from Georgia Tech.

Her research interests include the development and integration of new technologies for operational military aircraft, including multi-sensor fusion, automated threat countertactics, secure communications, and Live, Virtual, Constructive (LVC) electronic combat training. She has served as principal investigator (PI) or co-PI for more than 37 research programs valued at over $68 million, and in program development for securing funding of over $55 million.

Through her research in LVC training, she led the development of a range-less electronic combat training program for military aircrews known as the Virtual Electronic Combat Training System (VECTS), which has been fielded on the F-16, A-10, and C-130 aircraft. Viney also led the development of the Advanced Integrated Electronic Combat System (AIECS), a net-centric warfare solution that fuses information from electronic warfare sensors, tactical data links, and intelligence data to provide aircrews consolidated threat situational awareness and automated countertactics. AIECS is on a path for operational fielding on C-130H aircraft later this year.

Denison’s career at GTRI spans 23 years at ACL, where he served as Branch Head, Division Chief, Laboratory Chief Engineer, and Associate Lab Director before becoming director. He received a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and master’s and bachelor’s degrees in Electrical Engineering from the University of Alabama.

His primary research interests are in the areas of novel electromagnetic and radio frequency (RF) systems and numerical methods for the solution of electromagnetic radiation and scattering problems.

Denison has made contributions across a diverse range of topics in electromagnetics, including the numerical design of quasi-optical microwave mirrors to improve the efficiency of high-power gyrotrons that enable scalable tokamak plasma fusion reactors; full-physics simulation and genetic design of planar electrode RF ion traps for quantum sensing and computing; design, integration, and field characterization of advanced RF systems deployed on Department of Defense platforms; and theoretical and numerical methods for exploring the influence of electrostatic fields on protein binding in biological systems.

He is an author of 38 refereed journal articles and conference proceedings, and he has served as the Project Director/Principal Investigator on over $20 million in funded research from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), and other government agencies in the national security space.

Viney and Denison are among 12 Georgia Tech faculty members receiving Regents’ Researcher, Regents’ Professor, Regents’ Entrepreneur, or Regents’ Innovator distinctions for the first time in 2023.

Writer: John Toon (john.toon@gtri.gatech.edu)
GTRI Communications
Georgia Tech Research Institute
Atlanta, Georgia

 

The Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) is the nonprofit, applied research division of the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech). Founded in 1934 as the Engineering Experiment Station, GTRI has grown to more than 2,900 employees, supporting eight laboratories in over 20 locations around the country and performing more than $800 million of problem-solving research annually for government and industry. GTRI's renowned researchers combine science, engineering, economics, policy, and technical expertise to solve complex problems for the U.S. federal government, state, and industry.

]]> Michelle Gowdy 1 1692628553 2023-08-21 14:35:53 1692628632 2023-08-21 14:37:12 0 0 news The University System of Georgia’s (USG) Board of Regents has awarded two GTRI researchers the title of Regents’ Researcher, Doug Denison, director of the Advanced Concepts Laboratory (ACL), and Linda Viney, principal research engineer and chief of the Systems Integration Division in the Applied Systems Laboratory (ASL).

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2023-08-21T00:00:00-04:00 2023-08-21T00:00:00-04:00 2023-08-21 00:00:00 (Interim) Director of Communications

Michelle Gowdy

Michelle.Gowdy@gtri.gatech.edu

404-407-8060

]]>
671442 671442 image <![CDATA[2023 GTRI Regents Researchers]]> Doug Denison and Linda Viney have been named Regents' Researchers.

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<![CDATA[IPaT Summer Interns Present Research Projects]]> 27513 Seven Georgia Tech students hired for the 2023 summer research internship program sponsored by the Institute for People and Technology (IPaT) presented their projects on Aug. 4. The program is run in partnership with Serve-Learn-Sustain, and this paid summer experience is tailored to students looking to gain real-world experience related to research and community engagement. Students received up to $6,000 for their full-time research internship. Below are the students and their final projects.

* Alexa Hanna, a senior majoring in computer science, presented “Integrating Esports Into Cybersecurity Education.”

* Amrita Manickandan, a junior majoring in computer science, presented “Augmented Reality Aircraft Maintenance Project.”

* Corinne Cutts, a sophomore majoring in psychology, presented her experience working with the Cognitive Empowerment Program focusing on the installation of smart home technology and safety.

* Geehoon Jung, a junior majoring in computer engineering, presented work and research related to the Aware Home. The home is an interdisciplinary research facility aimed at addressing the fundamental technical, design, and social challenges for people in a home setting. Machine learning approaches for indoor location using the Apple watch and Bluetooth were explored.

* William Dyches, a junior majoring in electrical engineering, presented a proposed solution and analysis of using satellites to deliver water level sensor information to support the Coastal Equity and Resilience Hub, which  is working to help communities across coastal Georgia reduce the impacts of extreme weather and climate change.

* Suchir Sur, a junior majoring in mechanical engineering, helped to develop a working simulation of a moving toilet system to assist people with impairment issues or disabilities. His research was done with Georgia Tech’s Aware Home research team.

* Ritu Atreyas, a junior majoring in computer science, worked on a user interface related to CellWatch, a mobile app that allows you to record, view, and analyze cellular connectivity. This research project is focused on measuring and characterizing the availability and quality of mobile broadband in rural areas.

IPaT congratulates each intern for helping to further people and technology research this summer.

]]> Walter Rich 1 1692379630 2023-08-18 17:27:10 1692379787 2023-08-18 17:29:47 0 0 news Seven Georgia Tech students hired for the 2023 summer research internship program sponsored by the Institute for People and Technology (IPaT) presented their projects on Aug. 4. The program is run in partnership with Serve-Learn-Sustain, and this paid summer experience is tailored to students looking to gain real-world experience related to research and community engagement. Students received up to $6,000 for their full-time research internship. Below are the students and their final projects.

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2023-08-18T00:00:00-04:00 2023-08-18T00:00:00-04:00 2023-08-18 00:00:00 671428 671428 image <![CDATA[MicrosoftTeams-image (7)-2 copy.jpg]]> IPaT 2023 summer interns with IPaT research faculty members

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<![CDATA[GTRI Researchers Win Top Poster Prize at Epidemiologists' Conference]]> 35832 Andrew Stevens MS (pictured), Jon Duke MD,  and Richard Boyd Ph.D. secured the Outstanding Poster Presentation Award at the 2023 Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists Annual Conference.

Their winning project, “Automated Extraction of Social Determinants of Health from Electronic Health Records,” addresses the challenge of extracting crucial social determinants of health (SDoH) data from electronic health records (EHRs).

The researchers are all members of GTRI. Stevens is a Research Engineer I, Duke is a Principal Research Scientist in ICL, and Boyd is a Senior Research Scientist. All are affiliated with the Health Emerging and Advanced Technologies (HEAT) Division of GTRI's Information and Communications Laboratory (ICL).

The team developed an FHIR-based prototype that automates the extraction of SDoH information from clinical notes using ClarityNLP’s custom modules. This prototype successfully retrieved clinical notes via FHIR, processed them through ClarityNLP, and converted findings into structured codes adhering to United States Core Data for Interoperability guidelines.

The system efficiently extracted SDoH details like housing status, education, employment, primary language, and immigration status, showcasing its potential in enhancing patient and population analyses in public health. Future plans involve expanding the system to cover additional SDoH categories as defined by the Gravity Project, solidifying its impact on health care and public health initiatives.

The CSTE Annual Conference, held recently in Salt Lake City, Utah, connected more than 2,500 public health epidemiologists from across the country to meet and share their expertise in surveillance and epidemiology as well as best practices in a broad range of areas, including informatics, infectious diseases, substance use, immunizations, environmental health, occupational health, chronic disease, injury control, and maternal and child health.

]]> Michelle Gowdy 1 1692210453 2023-08-16 18:27:33 1692210657 2023-08-16 18:30:57 0 0 news GTRI researchers' winning project, “Automated Extraction of Social Determinants of Health from Electronic Health Records,” addresses the challenge of extracting crucial social determinants of health (SDoH) data from electronic health records (EHRs).

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2023-08-16T00:00:00-04:00 2023-08-16T00:00:00-04:00 2023-08-16 00:00:00 (Interim) Director of Communications

Michelle Gowdy

Michelle.Gowdy@gtri.gatech.edu

404-407-8060

]]>
671411 671411 image <![CDATA[GTRI Researcher Andrew Stevens]]> Andrew Stevens MS (pictured), Jon Duke MD, and Richard Boyd Ph.D. secured the Outstanding Poster Presentation Award at the 2023 Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists Annual Conference.

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<![CDATA[GridTrust Helps Protect the Nation’s Electric Utilities from Cyber Threats]]> 35832

A new cybersecurity technology that relies on the unique digital fingerprint of individual semiconductor chips could help protect the equipment of electrical utilities from malicious attacks that exploit software updates on devices controlling the critical infrastructure.

The GridTrust project, which has been successfully tested in a real substation of a U.S. municipal power system, combines the digital fingerprint with cryptographic technology to provide enhanced security for the utilities and other critical industrial systems that must update control device software or firmware.

Led by researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) in collaboration with the City of Marietta, Georgia, the project was supported by the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Cybersecurity, Energy Security, and Emergency Response (CESER). GridTrust also included researchers from Sandia National Laboratories and Protect Our Power, a security-focused not-for-profit organization. The three-year, $3 million project began in 2021.

GridTrust Improves Security for Device Updates

“The security of updates applied to equipment is critical to maintaining operation of the nation’s electricity grid,” said Santiago Grijalva, the project’s principal investigator and Southern Company Distinguished Professor in Georgia Tech’s School of Electrical and Computer Engineering. “We have demonstrated that GridTrust can block direct cyber-attacks through the equipment supply chain in multiple configurations and scenarios, while also preventing a whole array of potential errors. What we have developed and demonstrated will provide multiple layers of additional security to the existing electricity grid.”

The project focused on power system controllers, including sensors, actuators, and protection relays that are normally located in power substations distributed throughout a utility’s service area. Malicious actors may attempt to alter the software controlling the devices to, for instance, turn off power or damage the equipment. The attacks could take place if technicians attempt to use corrupted software to make updates at utility substations or other facilities.

Authentication Uses Semiconductor PUFs, Cryptography

Installed as part of the substation equipment, GridTrust would verify the authenticity of the software before any updates were installed, and it would ensure that the software was being applied to the correct device – by a person authorized to do so. In addition to cryptographic technologies, the system uses a new form of security based on unique physically unclonable functions (PUFs) that exist in certain semiconductor chips. PUFs are a set of unique characteristics created by minor variations that occur during chip fabrication.

“The PUF relies on random behavior based on variations in the manufacturing process, and they cannot be changed after fabrication,” said Vincent Mooney, an associate professor in Georgia Tech’s School of Electrical and Computer Engineering. “During an update, the GridTrust interfacing device first proves its identity using the PUF, then it verifies both utility and vendor signatures using their public RSA keys. Only if all these checks are passed will the firmware update be successfully installed. If the update isn’t installed, the device will continue to operate with its previous firmware version, and the utility’s network operations center will be notified to investigate.”

The GridTrust technology can operate as a standalone device with existing utility equipment or be built into new devices. Utility sensors, actuators, relays and similar control devices are currently produced by multiple manufacturers, and the Georgia Tech researchers have been in contact with an existing supplier that is interested in incorporating the technology, Grijalva said.

GridTrust Evaluated in a Real Utility Substation

Initial testing of the GridTrust system took place in Georgia Tech laboratories, then researchers worked with technical staff at the city of Marietta to evaluate the system in one of the utility’s substations. Located northwest of Atlanta, Marietta’s power network serves approximately 42,000 customers, including several critical electrical loads. The testing was done in a substation circuit isolated from the grid to ensure that the research activity would not affect customers.

“When Georgia Tech approached us about participating in an operational technology security research project, we were excited to participate, especially considering that our mayor and city manager have always supported working with state and local universities to develop new programs and technologies to solve real-world challenges,” said Ronald Barrett, Director of Information Technology for Marietta.

GTRI Cybersecurity “Red Team” Challenges the System

As part of the testing, Grijalva and Mooney involved “red team” cybersecurity researchers from the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI), Georgia Tech’s applied research organization. GTRI researchers Trevor Lewis, David Huggins, Sam Litchfield, and Matt Guinn led an effort to challenge the GridTrust system with sophisticated attempts to install software that simulated the kind of potential malware that could affect utility equipment.

“They pretended to be black-hat hackers who wanted to compromise the system by pushing a malicious configuration file to one of the devices or initiating a firmware update without being authorized to do that,” said Huggins, a GTRI senior research engineer. “They had several attack methods and strategies aimed at multiple components of the system – and were not successful.”

Such third-party validation is important to a broad range of systems, noted Lewis, a senior research engineer who participates in “red team” test scenarios for many critical systems. “We are routinely contracted to perform assessments on a variety of system architectures to emulate the actions of real cyber attackers, and to test and evaluate the security of all components within an architecture under test,” he said.

Next Step: Implementation in Utility Industry

While there are multiple manufacturers of equipment for the utility industry, the devices provide similar functions and have similar needs for periodic updating. The protection system developed by Georgia Tech should be broadly applicable to devices produced by different manufacturers, and could therefore have broad application to the utility industry.

“Georgia Tech is creating technology that makes energy delivery systems safer, and protecting that critical infrastructure is important for national security,” Huggins said. “Reliable electrical power is critical to every aspect of our society today.”

In addition to ensuring the safety of device updates, the GridTrust system will also help utilities inventory the software operating on substation devices. Large utility companies can have hundreds or thousands of substations in their service areas, each with dozens of devices that may need periodic updates.

The three-year GridTrust project is now moving into the commercialization phase where it could be licensed to manufacturers or spun off into a start-up company, Grijalva said. For utilities like Marietta Power that want to be on the cutting edge of cybersecurity, that comes as welcome news.

“We believe the work that Georgia Tech has done is critical to maintaining a safe and secure electrical grid,” said Eric Patten, Marietta Power’s electrical director. “Our goal for this project was to see a system that added another layer of security from attacks, and from what we have seen, we believe this was a success.”


Writer: John Toon (john.toon@gtri.gatech.edu)
GTRI Communications
Georgia Tech Research Institute
Atlanta, Georgia USA

 

The Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) is the nonprofit, applied research division of the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech). Founded in 1934 as the Engineering Experiment Station, GTRI has grown to more than 2,800 employees supporting eight laboratories in over 20 locations around the country and performing more than $800 million of problem-solving research annually for government and industry. GTRI's renowned researchers combine science, engineering, economics, policy, and technical expertise to solve complex problems for the U.S. federal government, state, and industry.

]]> Michelle Gowdy 1 1692209987 2023-08-16 18:19:47 1692210268 2023-08-16 18:24:28 0 0 news A new cybersecurity technology that relies on the unique digital fingerprint of individual semiconductor chips could help protect the equipment of electrical utilities from malicious attacks that use software updates on devices controlling the critical infrastructure.

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2023-08-16T00:00:00-04:00 2023-08-16T00:00:00-04:00 2023-08-16 00:00:00 (Interim) Director of Communications

Michelle Gowdy

Michelle.Gowdy@gtri.gatech.edu

404-407-8060

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671410 671408 671409 671410 image <![CDATA[GridTrust system]]> Left: A Marietta electrical substation was used for testing the GridTrust system. Right: The Georgia Tech research team is shown in the Marietta substation yard with collaborators from the city of Marietta. (Credit: City of Marietta)

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671408 image <![CDATA[Semiconductor chip to help create the cybersecurity for the GridTrust system]]> Left: The physically unclonable functions (PUF) of a semiconductor chip help create the cybersecurity for the GridTrust system. Right: A “red team” from the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) tested the GridTrust system’s ability to protect substation devices from cyberattack. (Credit: City of Marietta)

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671409 video <![CDATA[GridTrust Helps Protect the Nation’s Electric Utilities from Cyber Threats]]> A new cybersecurity technology that relies on the unique digital fingerprint of individual semiconductor chips could help protect the equipment of electrical utilities from malicious attacks that use software updates on devices controlling the critical infrastructure.

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