Micajah McGarity Selected for Fulbright Fellowship

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Micajah McGarity, a senior studying at the Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering, has been awarded the Fulbright Award in the Student Category in Poland.

The Fulbright Scholarship, founded in 1946 through the efforts of Arkansas Senator J. William Fulbright, has fostered "mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries of the world through the exchange of persons, knowledge, and skills." The Fulbright Program is a highly prestigious awards program that provides funding for students, scholars, and professionals to undertake graduate studies, research opportunities, and teaching programs in over 140 countries worldwide.

Selected nationally as one of ten Fulbright Fellows to Poland for the 2009-2010 academic year, McGarity has been awarded a nine-month grant to study at the Krakow University of Technology. While overseas, McGarity plans to apply his background in systems engineering and programming toward improving the sewer system in Krakow, Poland.

"The quality and workmanship that went into the sewers in the 1980s was rushed and poor," McGarity said, "That's why it was a good area for statistics and systems engineering to come into play."

McGarity's project proposal entitled "Prioritization of Sewer Network Repairs in Krakow Poland" incorporates stochastic models of failure rates for leaky and aging pipes and aims to generate intervention strategies that compare the cost-of-failure to the cost-of-repair. His research into the preventative maintenance of the sewer system could prove valuable, considering factors such as location, cost, and impact.

McGarity cited his experience in studying systems engineering at Georgia Tech and his senior design project with Children's Healthcare of Atlanta as factors that have given him the confidence to model existing situations and to present project proposals. "ISyE has given me a lot of tools that I will use," the senior said, "such as modeling tools and also ways to think about things from the large systems perspective." In particular, McGarity thanked faculty member Jiangang (Jim) Dai for challenging him in the classroom and for advising his undergraduate research in the area of advanced stochastic modeling.

"I am interested in reestablishing the link between environmental engineering and public health," he said, hoping to "model real world systems and improve upon optimization models" that might be used to reduce the impact of disease on civilization, mentioning the work he has previously done with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

McGarity, a senior expecting to graduate in August after participating on the Georgia Tech Beijing-Singapore Summer Program, said he will have a month in between trips abroad to take immersive Polish language classes. McGarity has lived in Poland before with his family and father, a two-time recipient himself of the Fulbright Fellowship in Poland. After completing his fellowship in Poland, McGarity will again follow in his father's footsteps as he enters graduate school at the Johns Hopkins University, working toward a Masters of Public Health and a Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering.

McGarity is one of six students representing Georgia Tech abroad as a Fulbright Fellow for the 2009-2010 academic year. Josh Krisinger (INTA/GRMN) is performing an English teaching assistantship in Poland. John Akin (INTA/ECON) and Carrie Freshour (HTS) are traveling to Indonesia on teaching assistantships. Jennifer Munson, a Ph.D. student in Bioengineering, is conducting research in Switzerland; and Kathryn Stucki (INTA/ECON) is the recipient of a Fulbright Binational Business Grant to Mexico.


  • Workflow Status:Published
  • Created By:Barbara Christopher
  • Created:04/21/2009
  • Modified By:Fletcher Moore
  • Modified:10/07/2016