First Woman to Present Gegenheimer Lecture

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When it comes to responding to disasters, there are limits to what humans can do — limits that don’t apply to robots. 

This year’s Gegenheimer Lecture on Innovation will be presented by Dr. Robin Murphy, whose work focuses on artificial intelligence, robotics and human-robot interactions. The title of her lecture on humanitarian robots is “Robots to the Rescue!” 

“Professor Murphy is unique in that she has taken her research on search-and-rescue robots and applied it to real disasters, such as that at the World Trade Center,” said  Richard Salant, Georgia Power Distinguished Professor of Mechanical Engineering and chair of the Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering’s Distinguished Lecture Committee. “She was able to see how robots actually performed in the field, and from this learned what must be improved.”  

The lecture will be held on Dec. 2 at 11 a.m. at the Ferst Center. Murphy, who earned her bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees from Georgia Tech, will be the first woman to present the lecture since it was established in 1995. 

The talk will explore how robots can reduce deaths, accelerate damage assessment and minimize economic downtime after a disaster. Murphy is currently Raytheon Professor of Computer Science and Engineering, and directs the Center for Robot-Assisted Search and Rescue and its Roboticists Without Borders program at Texas A&M University. 

“Robin Murphy’s work exemplifies how engineers innovate to benefit humanity,” said  William Wepfer, Eugene C. Gwaltney, Jr. Woodruff School Chair. “I encourage the Georgia Tech community to attend what I think will be a fabulous lecture.” 

This lecture series was established through an endowment from Harold Gegenheimer, class of 1933, to support student programs that encourage creativity, innovation and design.

The event is free and open to the public. A reception will be held following the lecture.  



  • Workflow Status:Published
  • Created By:Amelia Pavlik
  • Created:11/22/2010
  • Modified By:Fletcher Moore
  • Modified:10/07/2016