The ANAK Society's Annual Award Honors Leaders at Tech Making a Change

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Pictured is former ANAK Society president Sidartha Rakuram with Dr. Holton
Pictured is former ANAK Society president Sidartha Rakuram with Dr. Hirsch

The question of what the ANAK Society is has lingered since the group’s inception in 1908. The society’s membership process is a secret, and its website offers minimal information. (Fun fact: new members used to find out they’d been selected by a tap on the shoulder during interfraternity council dances.)

What is clear is that campus involvement and leadership skills are crucial to becoming a member. The ANAK Society’s activities and members are hard to pin down, but every year, the ANAK Award is presented at the Faculty and Staff Honors Celebration to honor a faculty member who has demonstrated “outstanding service to the Institute and to the student body.” ANAK members vote on who to give the award to, and, starting this year, staff members will also be honored. Sidartha Rakuram, former ANAK president, talked about this year’s ANAK Award and the decision behind naming Dr. Jennifer Hirsch and Dr. Benjamin Holton as this year’s winners.

Both were honored at this year’s virtual Faculty and Staff Honors Celebration in April. When asked about picking Hirsch as a recipient, Rakuram explained, "She has been an amazing leader at the Center for Serve-Learn-Sustain in the Office of Undergraduate Education." Hirsch established the SLS Affiliated Courses Program and, under her leadership the past six years, the number of SLS affiliated courses has grown significantly. She is also a founding leader of the sustainability education network RCE Greater Atlanta, officially acknowledged by the United Nations University – one of more than 175 Regional Centres of Expertise on Education for Sustainable Development across the world.

This year, SLS was part of the Racial Injustice and Sexual Violence collective, which advances the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal of Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions. The collective aims to develop a plan to address issues of inequality and accountability for racial injustice and sexual violence on campus by identifying “gaps, systemic barriers, and areas for improvement that may exist within our institution due to policies, practices, and other norms.” In Rakuram’s words, Hirsch has “pushed Georgia Tech forward in many ways and is an inspiration to the many students who work with her."

When asked about the inaugural staff recipient, Rarkuram said, “Dr. Holton’s impact this past year has been undeniable and his patience and empathy while working with students, faculty, staff, and parents has been clear to all of us.” Dr. Holton has played a key role in coordinating Georgia Tech’s Covid-19 response. His leadership has been vital in rolling out Tech’s Covid-19 policies and protocols, as well as the Institute’s surveillance testing and vaccination programs. “Georgia Tech is safer and healthier because of him and his team at Stamps Health Services," Rakuram said.

For more information on the ANAK Award, visit the ANAK Society website.

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Atlanta, GA

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stucomm@gatech.edu

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Vanesa Vargas

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Tower Awards Celebrate 27th Year

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More than 1,700 students were eligible for a Tower Award this year.

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The 2021 Tower Awards were hosted by OMED: Educational Services (OMED) on April 8 and 9 across three ceremonies at the Georgia Tech Hotel. This year marked the 27th year the awards have celebrated the academic achievements of traditionally underrepresented students at Georgia Tech. Undergraduate and graduating graduate students were honored.

“On behalf of the Georgia Institute of Technology and the entire OMED team, I salute each of you for your hard work, your persistence, and your dedication,” said Georgia Tech alumnus and OMED Director Sybrina Atwaters via a recorded message played at the beginning of the ceremonies to honorees. “You join a select and proud slate of Tower Award recipients. Many, like myself, keep our awards in our homes and our offices to remind us of our ability to overcome any obstacle that we may face and to excel to the highest heights of excellence.”

More than 1,700 students were eligible for a Tower Award this year, up from 2020 and 2019.

Award categories included: Ph.D. Awards; Master’s Awards (graduating GPA of 3.5 or higher); Graduating Senior Awards (cumulative GPA of 3.15 or higher); Sustained Awards (cumulative GPA of 3.15 or higher); Yearly Awards (GPA of 3.15 or higher over the past three semesters); Transfer/Dual-Degree Awards (cumulative GPA of 3.15 or higher); and First-Year Awards (cumulative GPA of 3.15 or higher). Within each award category, except Ph.D. and Master’s Awards, sub-categories included Bronze (GPA of 3.15-3.49); Silver (GPA of 3.50-3.94); and Gold (GPA of 3.95 or higher).

Special awards were also presented: Laurentino Castro, Titilayo Funso, Jadon Pauling, Jasmine Ramirez, and Amelia Smith took home a Student Leader Impact Award; the Georgia Tech Black Alumni Organization Unsung Hero Award was presented to graduating undergraduate student Kusona Fortingo; and women’s basketball player Kierra Fletcher took home the inaugural Women of Color Student-Athlete Impact Award.

Emeka Obikwelu, who successfully defended his dissertation for a doctorate in electrical and computer engineering in February, said “I want to thank the sponsors for this program and, particularly, I want to thank OMED for doing such a great job – for all that they do.”

OMED, part of Institute Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion’s Center for Student Diversity and Inclusion, was supported by more than two dozen corporate partners and sponsors who provided honorees with messages of support and raffle giveaways at the ceremonies.

To learn more about the Tower Awards, visit the OMED: Educational Services website at: omed.gatech.edu.

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Atlanta, GA

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courtney.hill@gatech.edu

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Courtney Hill
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Institute Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
courtney.hill@gatech.edu

Georgia Tech Team Awarded NSF Partnerships for Innovation Grant to Change the Game for the Afterlife of Wind Turbine Blades

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Wind turbines are, by design, green solutions for the production of power. Wind turbines produce zero carbon emissions; however, the blades themselves pose an environmental challenge as they depreciate. To address this concern, the Georgia Institute of Technology, in partnership with Logisticus Group, was awarded the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) Partnerships for Innovation (PFI) grant.

The PFI Program within the Division of Industrial Innovation and Partnerships (IIP) provides researchers from science and engineering disciplines funded by the NSF with the opportunity to take their research and technology from the discovery phase to the marketplace for the benefit of society. 

Russell Gentry, Professor in the Georgia Tech School of Architecture, serves as the project’s principal investigator (PI). The three-year grant continues Gentry’s research on the reuse of retired wind blades and builds on the proprietary technology developed as part of the Re-Wind Tripartite Research program funded by the U.S. NSF, Science Foundation of Ireland, and the Department for the Economy of Northern Ireland.  

“In our foundational NSF grants, our team demonstrated the potential for wind blade re-use and the positive environmental benefits that will come from the re-use of these amazing composite materials in civil infrastructure,” said Gentry. “This potential is embodied in the two patents we are pursuing and in the follow-on Partnership for Industry grant from NSF. The team is now advancing our hardware and software technology and has partnered with companies in the wind energy and electrical transmission industries to pilot these technologies.”

Logisticus Group joins the project as the key provider of transportation for the retired wind turbine blades. As one of the largest wind blade transporters, Logisticus Group brings supply expertise for the complex logistics of transporting decommissioned wind turbine blades, which are approximately 50 meters in length. 

"We are thrilled to partner with Georgia Tech on this project. Their team has always had a passion to conduct research and development on proprietary technology when it comes to reusing wind blades. We feel, as a company, that we need to be a part of the solution to find ways to recycle and repurpose these blades,” said Will Stephan, founder of Logisticus Group.”

Wind turbine blades are made from high-quality Fiber-Reinforced Polymer (FRP) composite materials, which are not biodegradable or recyclable. Currently, turbine blades are landfilled or incinerated at their end-of-life stage. Georgia Tech and Logisticus will conduct research and development to commercialize mass-market architectural, engineering and construction (AEC) products from repurposed FRP composite of decommissioned wind turbine blades.

The team, comprised of Georgia Tech faculty, laboratory staff, and graduate and undergraduate students in architecture and engineering, will develop commercial products using Generative Design software, architecture studios, and workshops, structural and Finite element analysis, life-cycle analysis, light detection and ranging (LiDAR) technology, and full-scale testing of prototypes in Georgia Tech’s 20,000 sq. ft. Digital Fabrication Laboratory

“The success of our project comes from the diverse talents and viewpoints represented on the team. It’s rare to have architects, engineers, and social, geospatial and environmental scientists working on the same fundamental problem,” said Gentry. “As we move to commercialize, we are building an entrepreneurial team and linking with industry. We look forward to seeing our re-use applications implemented in the next three years.” 

Prior to receiving the NSF PFI grant, researchers at Georgia Tech developed proprietary algorithms for a tool called the “Blade Machine” and created unique testing methodologies to rapidly characterize any wind turbine blade currently in production for architectural and structural analysis and design purposes. 

This fall the team is participating in the NSF Innovation Corps (I-Corps) program with Angie Nagle from the University College Cork in Ireland and Chloe Kiernicki, Bachelor of Science in Architecture student at Georgia Tech, serving as entrepreneurial leads.  James Marlow, founding CEO of Atlanta-based Radiance Solar, is serving as the I-Corps team’s industrial mentor.

About the Georgia Tech School of Architecture

The Georgia Tech School of Architecture offers five distinct degree programs – a Bachelor of Science in Architecture, a Master of Architecture, a Master of Science in Architecture, a Master of Science in Urban Design, and a Ph.D. in Architecture.  Embedded in the heart of Atlanta and a part of a top-ranked research institution, the School of Architecture combines research, technology, and design to form a well-rounded, interdisciplinary, future-focused education as students prepare to make an impact on the built environment.  www.arch.gatech.edu

About Logisticus Group

Logisticus Group (LLC), a certified Minority Business Enterprise (MBE), specializes in transportation logistics, project management, and technology solutions serving projects throughout North and South America. At Logisticus Group, we believe our processes, technology solutions, personnel, and business model deliver a more predictable, controlled, efficient, and expedited project. To learn more visit, www.logisticusgroup.com

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carmen.new@design.gatech.edu

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Carmen New Marketing & Event Coordinator II Georgia Institute of Technology | School of Architecture carmen.new@design.gatech.edu

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PhD Student Aditya Anupam Wins Best Presentation Award for TAPIA Doctoral Dissertation

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Digital Media PhD student Aditya Anupam’s fall semester is off to an impressive start. On September 15th, he presented his research, “Designing Learning Environments to Foster Inquiry as a Situated Practice”, at the Tapia Conference, held virtually this year. His presentation earned him the Best Presentation Award for the Doctoral Consortium. 

The ACM Richard Tapia Celebration of Diversity in Computing Conference (Tapia) is an annual conference presented by the Center for Minorities and People with Disabilities in IT (CMD-IT) to "acknowledge, promote and celebrate diversity in computing”. The conference was held virtually this year, from September 15th-18th. 

Anupam’s research challenges the conventional educational approaches to teaching scientific inquiry, and instead proposes “the design and use of digital learning environments such as games and simulations for cultivating inquiry as a situated practice”. To be selected for the Tapia conference’s Doctoral Consortium, Anupam submitted an extended abstract for review by a select panel of professors from across the US. 

Among the applicants, only 12 PhD students were selected to present their work at the conference. Each student had 45 minutes to present their research. Based on these presentations, the panel selected Anupam as one of two students to receive the Best Presentation Award. 

CSE Professor and Co-Executive Director of IDEaS Honored with Prestigious Iowa State University Award

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School of Computational Science and Engineering Professor and Co-Executive Director of Institute for Data Engineering and Science Srinivas Aluru was selected to receive this year’s coveted John V. Atanasoff Discovery Award.

One of the highest bestowed by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Iowa State University (ISU), the award is given annually to an alumnus who has significantly advanced scientific knowledge through laboratory accomplishments and management. The award was established in 2005 in honor of the father of modern computing, Professor John Vincent Atanasoff, who invented the first electronic digital computer at ISU in 1942.

The Department of Computer Science Faculty and Staff Recognition and Awards Committee at ISU nominated Aluru to receive this year’s award, which was presented during a ceremony held October 27, during the ISU Alumni Association luncheon. Additionally, Aluru was honored at an award ceremony held the previous evening during a dinner event hosted by the College during ISU’s homecoming week.

Aluru has a long history with ISU, having received his Master’s and Ph.D. in computer science from the university and later on spending 14 years as a faculty in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at ISU, from 1999 to 2013, after which he began working at Georgia Tech.

Since the award’s creation in 2005, Aluru is the first and only graduate from the computer science program to receive the honor, which highlights the importance of this year’s vote, as the award itself recognizes the creation of the first electronic digital computer, known as the Atanasoff-Berry Computer.

However, Aluru’s ties to this computer reach beyond his degree in computer science at ISU. While at Iowa State University, Aluru’s first advisor was Professor Gurpur Prabhu, who still serves as a faculty member there. After advising him initially, Prabhu connected Aluru with his second Ph.D. advisor, John Gustafson, to work at the Ames Laboratory in the Department of Energy at ISU. Gustafson is chiefly known for his work in high-performance computing (HPC) and, coincidentally, for leading the reconstruction of the Atanasoff-Berry computer in 1997 after the original had been mistakenly dismantled.

In his 14 years with Iowa State University Aluru held the Ross Martin Mehl and Marylyne Munas Mehl endowed professorship (2009-2013) and the Richard Stanley Chair in Interdisciplinary Engineering in the College of Engineering (2006-2009). He chaired the interdepartmental Bioinformatics and Computational Biology graduate program (2005-2007), served as associate chair for research in the department (2003-2006), and led the Dean's Research Initiative in high-throughput computational biology, a multi-disciplinary and multi-investigator initiative at the interface of HPC and computational biology. He was also a recipient of university level awards for Outstanding Achievement in Research (2011) and Mid-Career Achievement in Research (2006), Young Engineering Faculty Research Award (2002) within the College of Engineering, and the Warren B. Boast Undergraduate Teaching Award (2005).

Carl Chang, professor of computer science and chair of the ISU awards committee that nominated Aluru, said, "Srinivas is an exemplar among the ISU graduates who have achieved outstanding academic careers. We are extremely pleased the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences selected Srinivas to receive this award, and share in the excitement of welcoming him back to the Iowa State University campus to receive this unique award.”

Halcyon Lawrence Receives 2018 CCCC Scholars for the Dream Travel Award

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Halcyon Lawrence, a Brittan Fellow in the School of Literature, Media, and Communication (LMC) at Georgia Institute of Technology, is one of 20 recipients to receive the 2018 Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCC) Scholars for the Dream Travel Award. Lawrence will be presented the award on Thursday, March 15, during the 2018 CCCC Annual Convention in Kansas City, Missouri.  

CCCC is an integral organization within the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) that sponsors the Scholars for the Dream Awards to encourage scholarship by historically underrepresented groups. This includes Black, Latinx, Asian, American Indian/Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, or other Pacific Islander scholars. 

CCCC offers to scholars up to twenty travel awards of $1,000 each, sponsors a reception for all award winners, and offers a one-year membership in NCTE and CCCC. The award is presented for work in the field to recognize outstanding scholarship and research in the areas of pedagogy, practice, research, and theory. Applicants are considered for the award based on their originality of research, significance of pedagogical or theoretical contributions to the field, and potential for larger, subsequent projects. 

LMC is part of Georgia Tech’s Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts.

For more information about the CCCC Scholars for the Dream Travel Award, including past winners, visit the CCCC webpage.

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Rebecca Keane
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rebecca.keane@iac.gatech.edu
404.894.1720
 

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Georgia Tech’s Center for Co-design of Chip, Package System (C3PS) partners with Notre Dame in $26 million multi-university research center developing next-generation computing technologies

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John Pippin Chair in Microsystems Packaging & Electromagnetics in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) and Director of the Center for Co-Design of Chip, Package, System (C3PS), Georgia Tech.
Associate Professor in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology

In today’s era of big data, cloud computing, and Internet of Things devices, information is produced and shared on a scale that challenges the current processing speeds and energy load demands placed on electronics devices. These challenges are only set to expand, as the ability to create and store data increases in magnitude over the next decade.

With these computing challenges in mind, the Semiconductor Research Corporation's (SRC) Joint University Microelectronics Program (JUMP), which represents a consortium of industrial participants and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), has established a new $26 million center called the Applications and Systems-driven Center for Energy-Efficient integrated Nano Technologies (ASCENT).

Georgia Tech’s Center for Co-design of Chip, Package System (C3PS) led by Profs. A. Raychowdhury and M. Swaminathan, deputy director and director, respectively, both from the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and with support from the Institute of Electronics and Nanotechnology, headed-up Georgia Tech’s winning proposal that resulted in a 5 year, $3.5M award that will fund up to 10 GRA positions.

The multidisciplinary, multi-university center will focus on conducting research that aims to increase the performance, efficiency and capabilities of future computing systems for both commercial and defense applications. By going beyond current industry approaches, such as two dimensional scaling and the addition of performance boosters to complementary metal oxide semiconductors, or CMOS technology, the GT team seeks to provide enhanced performance and energy consumption at lower costs.

Profs. Raychowdhury (PI) and Swaminathan (co-PI) will work in the area of heterogeneous integration, with a focus on the design of high speed die-to-die networks, the incorporation of power, logic, memory and RF components on a common substrate that enables 2.5D and 3D integration.

“Our involvement in the ASCENT center provides us with unique opportunities to partner with the academic and industrial leaders to explore foundational technologies in computing. We will leverage our expertise on high-speed circuit design, device-circuit interactions and advanced packaging to address logic and memory challenges for next-generation computing and communication systems,” said Prof. Raychowdhury, the ON Semiconductor Jr. Associate Professor of VLSI Systems.

“Georgia Tech has always had a long history of working with SRC and we are therefore excited and honored to continue that effort through JUMP,” said Prof. M. Swaminathan, John Pippin Chair in Microsystems Packaging & Electromagnetics and C3PS director. “Through JUMP we plan on expanding our current center capabilities on power delivery, machine learning, multi-physics simulation and system design to include new circuit architectures, power converters, magnetic materials, high frequency components, vertically integrated tools and other platform technologies on a common interconnect fabric.”

This is one of the largest JUMP centers funded by SRC and will work synergistically over the next five years to provide breakthrough technologies.  Other universities involved in the 13-member team include; Notre Dame (lead), Arizona State University, Cornell University, Purdue University, Stanford University, University of Minnesota, University of California-Berkeley, University of California-Los Angeles, University of California-San Diego, University of California-Santa Barbara, University of Colorado, and the University of Texas-Dallas.

- Christa M. Ernst

2018 Regents’ Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Award Recipient

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Rebecca Burnett (Class of '58 Professor and Director of Writing and Communication)
has been chosen as the 2018 recipient of the Regents’ Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Award. She will receive the award and a $5,000 check at the 2018 Regents’ Scholarship Gala in early March. The event includes approximately 450 guests including the USG Presidents, Regents, the Chancellor, our corporate sponsors and elected officials, including the Governor and First Lady.

EDA’s CAEML Grows More Humps: Al Expands Role in Design

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John Pippin Chair in Microsystems Packaging & Electromagnetics in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) and Director of the Center for Co-Design of Chip, Package, System (C3PS), Georgia Tech.

The use of AI in EDA is a hot topic due to significant progress with applying machine learning to the issues of chip design.

Over the past year, the Center for Advanced Electronics through Machine Learning (CAEML) has gained four new partners. The team of 13 industry members and three universities has expanded both the breadth and depth of its work. CAEML is funded in part by a National Science Foundation program. In the past, CAEML focused on signal integrity and power integrity, but this year, the team has diversified its portfolio with system analysis, chip layout and trusted platform design.

“One of the challenges we face is getting access to data from companies,” said Professor Madhavan Swaminathan, the John Pippin Chair in Microsystems Packaging & Electromagnetics and Director of Center for Co-Design of Chip, Package, System (C3PS) at the Georgia Institute of Technology, a CAEML host. “Most of their data is proprietary, so we’ve come up with several mechanisms to handle it. The processes are working fairly well, but they are more lengthy than we’d like.”

Previously, the group had a sort of coming-out party. It started with backing from nine vendors including Analog Devices, Cadence, Cisco, IBM, Nvidia, Qualcomm, Samsung, and Xilinx. Its initial interest areas included high-speed interconnects, power delivery, system-level electrostatic discharge, IP core reuse, and design rule checking.

After this year, it is clear that the EDA industry is entering its second phase in its use of AI (moving past high-speed interconnects, power delivery etc. and into the realm of machine learning), which the next phase of product development in optimizations that speed turnaround time. Often hindered by current algorithmic limitations.

Researchers are exploring opportunities to replace today’s simulators with AI models (faster) after a reported 40 MHz increase in speed last year. "Relatively slow simulators can lead to timing errors, mistuned analog circuits, and insufficient modeling that results in chip re-spins, said Swaminathan. In addition, machine learning can replace IBIS for behavioral modeling in high-speed interconnects."

Chip researchers are currently combatting the issue with research in data mining, surrogate models, statistical learning, and neural networking models (used by Amazon, Google etc).

“The amount of training data required is high,” said Christopher Cheng of Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, another member of the CAEML team. “Classifiers are static, but we want to add the dimension of time using recurrent neural networks to enable time-to-failure labels. We want to extend this work to more parameters and general system failures in the future.”

https://www.eetimes.com/document.asp?doc_id=1332917

Thomas Honored with Class of 1934 Outstanding Interdisciplinary Activities Award

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Portrait of Professor Valerie Thomas

Valerie Thomas, professor in the Georgia Tech School of Public Policy, has been awarded the Class of 1934 Outstanding Interdisciplinary Activities Award by the Faculty Honors Committee. The award was established to recognize Georgia Tech faculty who have made significant interdisciplinary contributions to teaching and research.

Professor Thomas has been active in a wide variety of research areas including nuclear arms control, energy policy, high-energy physics, environmental sustainability, and technology assessment. Her collaborations are equally varied, including colleagues from academia, and the public and private sectors. The nature of her collaborations and diverse subject expertise has resulted in research that engages the public and has had meaningful impacts in policy making. The award will be presented at the annual Georgia Tech Faculty and Staff Honors Luncheon to be held on Wednesday, April 11, 2018.

Professor Thomas holds a joint appointment in the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering and in the School of Public Policy at Georgia Tech. Thomas’s research interests include energy systems, sustainability, industrial ecology, technology assessment, international security, and science and technology policy. Current research projects include the environmental impacts of biofuels and electricity system policy and planning. Thomas is a member of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)/ Department of Energy (DOE) Biomass Research and Development Technical Advisory Committee. In 2004 - 2005, she was the American Physical Society Congressional Science Fellow. Thomas is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and of the American Physical Society, and has been a member of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Science Advisory Board. She is currently a member of the board of the Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance and a member of the Federation of American Scientists Board of Experts. She has previously worked at the Department of Engineering and Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University, and at Princeton University’s Environmental Institute. Thomas received a B.A. in physics from Swarthmore College and a Ph.D. in theoretical physics from Cornell University.

The School of Public Policy is part of the Georgia Tech Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts.

For more information on the luncheon and award, visit Georgia Tech’s Events page.

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Atlanta, GA

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rebecca.keane@iac.gatech.edu

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Rebecca Keane
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rebecca.keane@iac.gatech.edu
404.894.1720
 

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