Petit Institute Expands Roster

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The Petit Institute for Bioengineering and Bioscience at the Georgia Institute of Technology has added more depth and breadth to its multidisciplinary community as four new researchers join the ranks: Margaret Kosal, Sebastian Pokutta, Peter Rhee, and Gil Weinberg.

Kosal is an associate professor in the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs within Georgia Tech’s Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts. Her research (which explores the relationships among technology, strategy, and governance) is focused on two areas that often intersect: reducing the threat of weapons of mass destruction, and understanding the role of emerging technologies for security.

The author of Nanotechnology for Chemical and Biological Defense, Kosal’s research considers the role nanotechnology, cognitive science, biotechnology, and converging sciences have on states, non-state actors, balance of power, deterrence postures, security doctrines, nonproliferation regimes, and programmatic choices.

Pokutta is the David M. McKenney Family Associate Professor in the Stewart School of Industrial & Systems Engineering, where his research has concentrated on combinatorial optimization and polyhedral combinatorics, with a particular focus on cutting-plane methods and extended formulations.

His industry research interests are in optimization and machine learning in the context of analytics with a focus on real-world applications, both in established industries as well as in emerging technologies. Pokutta is also director of the Interactive Optimization and Learning Lab and associate director of the Center for Machine Learning, both at Georgia Tech.

Rhee, who might be best known as the attending physician to U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords, as well as other victims, following the 2011 shootings in Tucson, Arizona, is chief of acute care surgery and medical director of the Marcus Trauma Center at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta. Rhee served 24 years in the U.S. Navy, working as a battlefield casualty physician in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Among other things, Rhee was President Barack Obama’s guest at the 2011 State of the Union Address, designated surgeon for President Bill Clinton during a trip to China, and in 2001 was one of the first American military surgeons deployed in Afghanistan. His research interests include hemorrhagic shock, suspended animation for trauma, hemostatic agents, resuscitation immunology and formulation of resuscitation fluids, traumatic brain injury, transfusion and coagulopathy, trauma training, and advanced portable electronic medical devices.

Weinberg is a professor in Georgia Tech’s School of Music and the founding director of the Georgia Tech Center for Music Technology, where he leads the Robotic Musicianship group. A lifelong musician born in Israel, Weinberg developed a number of instruments for novices (such as the Beatbugs and the Squeezables) before conceiving the field of robotic musicianship.

His research focuses on developing artificial creativity and musical expression for robots and augmented humans. Among the projects he’s developed is a prosthetic robot arm for amputees that restores and enhances human drumming abilities.

These four researchers, from a diverse range of disciplines, were recently approved by the steering committee of the Petit Institute, whose roster of world-class researchers is more than 200 members.



Jerry Grillo
Communications Officer II
Parker H. Petit Institute for
Bioengineering and Bioscience


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