Celebrating Our World-Class Faculty and Staff

Celebrating Our World-Class Faculty and Staff

Engaging with industry, government, and community organizations keeps Georgia Tech’s faculty and staff members on the leading edge of identifying and resolving the world’s pressing challenges. These dedicated professionals ensure that Georgia Tech continually pursues what’s next.

Prestigious Honors

Obama Names Annie Antón to Cybersecurity Commission

President Barack Obama selected School of Interactive Computing Chair and Professor Ana (Annie) Antón to serve as one of 12 members of the Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity. The bipartisan commission, created by presidential executive order, is part of the Cybersecurity National Action Plan.

According to the executive order, the Commission “will make detailed recommendations to strengthen cybersecurity in both the public and private sectors while protecting privacy, ensuring public safety and economic and national security, fostering discovery and development of new technical solutions, and bolstering partnerships between federal, state, and local government and the private sector in the development, promotion, and use of cybersecurity technologies, policies, and best practices. The Commission's recommendations should address actions that can be taken over the next decade to accomplish these goals.”

“I look forward to working with the other members to address ways in which our nation can leverage technological advances to enhance cybersecurity while preserving privacy.”

 Annie Antón

The Commission will submit its final report to Obama on December 1, 2016.

“It is an honor to be asked to serve on the Commission,” Antón said. “I look forward to working with the other members to address ways in which our nation can leverage technological advances to enhance cybersecurity while preserving privacy.”

An expert on software compliance with federal privacy and security regulations, Antón was previously a professor of computer science at North Carolina State University. A leader in privacy and cybersecurity since the late 1990s, she is an ACM Distinguished Scientist and senior member of IEEE.

El-Sayed Wins 2016 Priestley Medal

Portrait of Mostafa A. El-Sayed

For nearly 60 years, Mostafa A. El-Sayed, Regents Professor and Julius Brown Chair in the School of Chemistry and Biochemistry, has conducted highly acclaimed chemistry research and served as a chemistry educator and journal editor. In recognition of his decades-long contributions to chemistry, El-Sayed was awarded the Priestley Medal, the highest honor accorded by the American Chemical Society.

Director of Georgia Tech’s Laser Dynamics Laboratory, El-Sayed began his independent research career in 1961 at the University of California, Los Angeles, before coming to Georgia Tech more than 20 years ago. These two periods have been marked by distinguished contributions to two diverse but important areas of research: molecular electronic energy relaxation and the science and technology of nanoscale objects. Over the past several years, El-Sayed has managed to knit these topics together, pioneering the biological application of nano-plasmonic phenomena and materials.

Among many other honors, El-Sayed was awarded the National Medal of Science in 2007, and he continues to serve on the president’s National Medal of Science Selection Committee. He is an elected member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences as well as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

At Georgia Tech, he has anchored the continued development of an internationally renowned physical chemistry division while embodying the Institute’s dedication to interdisciplinary science and technology.

Crittenden Wins Clarke Prize in Water Sustainability/Treatment Technology

The National Water Research Institute named John Crittenden winner of the 2015 Clarke Prize, citing his contributions to the sustainability of urban water resources. Crittenden is a professor of civil and environmental engineering, director of the Brook Byers Institute for Sustainable Systems, Hightower Chair, and Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar in Environmental Technologies.

“I was extremely happy and honored to receive the 2015 Clarke Prize in recognition for our work in water research and to join the ranks of such an outstanding class of former laureates,” Crittenden said. “I consider the Clarke Prize to be one of the greatest honors that one who conducts water research can receive.”

The award is one of only a handful of worldwide prizes for scholarly and practical achievements in water research, and the International Congress of Distinguished Awards recognizes it as one of the world’s top honors.

John Crittenden standing on catwalk above water being treated with City of Atlanta tank and skyline in background

John Crittenden at the City of Atlanta's Hemphill Water Treatment Plant.

Ancis Elected Fellow of APA Division

Headshot of Julie Ancis

Julie Ancis, associate vice president of Institute Diversity, was elected a Fellow of the American Psychological Association (APA) in Division 35: Society for the Psychology of Women for outstanding contributions with respect to scholarly publications and impact in the psychology of women.

To achieve Fellow status, APA members must meet a number of criteria including active engagement in the advancement of psychology and evidence of outstanding contribution or performance in the field of psychology. 

The author of several books, Ancis has published and presented extensively in the area of racial and gender attitudes, multicultural competence, university climate, and women’s legal experiences. She is currently working on a co-edited text about women and girls in the legal system with NYU Press. In addition, she is co-principal investigator on a $3.8 million U.S. Department of Education First in the World Grant.

Ancis was previously a professor in the Department of Counseling and Psychological Services at Georgia State University.

Dr. Rohatgi

National Academy of Inventors Names Rohatgi as Fellow

Ajeet Rohatgi, Regents Professor and John H. Weitnauer Jr. Chair in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, was named a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI).

Election to NAI Fellow status is a high professional distinction accorded to academic inventors who have demonstrated a prolific spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on quality of life, economic development, and the welfare of society.

The 2015 Fellows account for more than 5,300 issued U.S. patents, bringing the collective patents held by all NAI Fellows to more than 20,000.

After joining the ECE faculty in 1985, Rohatgi initiated a program in photovoltaics that has become one of the best in the country. An internationally recognized leader in photovoltaics, Rohatgi is the founding director of the first university-based U.S. Department of Energy Center of Excellence in Photovoltaic Research and Education. He is the author of more than 400 publications and holds 16 U.S. patents.

Rohatgi has received numerous awards and distinctions from professional societies and Georgia Tech. He is also the founder and CTO of Suniva, a leader in the research, development, and manufacturing of high-efficiency, low-cost crystalline silicon cells.

Faculty Honored through Fellow Appointments

Georgia Tech faculty from across campus were named Fellows of various prestigious associations during the 2015-16 academic year:

American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
  • Yury Chernoff (Biology)
  • Christoph J. Fahrni (Chemistry and Biochemistry)
  • Jean Lynch-Stieglitz (Earth and Atmospheric Sciences)
  • Philip Shapira (Public Policy)
  • Marie Thursby (Scheller College of Business)
  • Paul H. Wine (Chemistry and Biochemistry)
American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA)
  • John-Paul Clarke (Aerospace Engineering)
  • Marilyn J. Smith (Aerospace Engineering)
Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
  • Faramarz Fekri (Electrical and Computer Engineering)
  • Xiaoli Ma (Electrical and Computer Engineering)
  • Calton Pu (Computer Science)
  • Karsten Schwan (Computer Science) *awarded posthumously


Faculty Appointments

Former Fortune 50 CEOs Join Scheller College Faculty

The former CEOs of Fortune 50 companies The Home Depot and Walmart are now affiliated with the Scheller College of Business. Frank Blake, former chairman and CEO of The Home Depot, and Mike Duke, former president and CEO of Wal-Mart Stores Inc., are serving as distinguished executives in residence. They are working with Scheller College Dean Maryam Alavi on strategic initiatives and strengthening partnerships with the local and national business communities.

“Georgia Tech and the Scheller College are tremendous assets for Atlanta and Georgia,” Blake said. “Dean Alavi has an engaging vision for the role Scheller College can play locally, nationally, and internationally. She brings a focus on the future role of technology in business that fits well with Georgia Tech’s strengths and the community’s needs.”

“It is a great honor to be affiliated with the Scheller College, and I accepted this offer because of my love of Georgia Tech and the opportunity for the College of Business to make such a difference in the lives of the students,” said Duke, a Tech alumnus. “I want to impact the lives of students so they can have an outstanding future in whatever they pursue.” In doing so, he wants to help Georgia Tech “to be recognized as producing the best business leaders in the world.”

Mike Duke speaking to an audience in a Georgia Tech lecture hall

“It is a great honor to be affiliated with the Scheller College, and I accepted this offer because of my love of Georgia Tech and the opportunity for the College of Business to make such a difference in the lives of the students.”

Mike Duke

Frank Blake addressing a Georgia Tech audience

“Georgia Tech and the Scheller College are tremendous assets for Atlanta and Georgia. Dean Alavi has an engaging vision for the role Scheller College can play locally, nationally, and internationally.”

Frank Blake

Prominent Military Leaders Join International Affairs Faculty

The Institute’s depth of expertise in security-related strategy, policy, and leadership took a giant step forward last year with the addition of two renowned military leaders: Admiral James “Sandy” Winnefeld, former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and General Philip Breedlove, former NATO Supreme Allied Commander in Europe.

Newly minted Distinguished Professors in the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs in the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts, both men are not only undergraduate alumni of Georgia Tech, but they were also Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity brothers during their time here.

A 1978 aerospace engineering alumnus, Winnefeld is working with Tech faculty, researchers, and students on a number of projects, classes, and presentations; he brings recent experience in the fields of strategy and policy, leadership, and defense investment to the Institute.

Breedlove, a 1977 civil engineering alumnus, works with faculty, staff, and students on security issues and policy. He brings a wealth of both deep and recent experience in the world’s toughest security and policy issues as well as leadership in situations spanning both peace and conflict.

Staff Achievements

Tech Wins Three USG Service Excellence Awards

The Chancellor’s Service Excellence Awards recognize University System of Georgia employees for high levels of performance; highlight service projects and process improvements; and honor a commitment to customer service excellence. Georgia Tech staff members brought home three of the 2015 awards.

Kim Harrington receiving her award and congratulations from USG Chancellor Hank Huckaby
Gold Service Excellence Leadership Award, Human Resources Associate Vice President Kim Harrington

Harrington, who began her career at Tech in 2001 and previously served as director of the Student Center, was nominated for her leadership in both Human Resources and the Student Center.

VOICE initiative staff in a group photo with USG Chancellor Hank Huckaby
Silver Outstanding Process Improvement: Increase Service to Students Award, the VOICE initiative

VOICE is a collaborative initiative of the Women’s Resource Center, Greek Affairs, and Health Promotion focused on sexual violence prevention and education. The group has worked over the past year to broaden its reach to students, faculty, and staff by presenting at local conferences, initiating a peer education program for students, and developing an on-call victim advocate program to support students who have experienced sexual violence.  

Adam Smith holding his award and standing next to USG Chancellor Hank Huckaby
Bronze Chancellor’s Service Excellence Effectiveness and Efficiency Improvement Initiative Team Award, Adam Smith and the Compliance and Controls System Improvements Team

Smith, an IT support professional, was nominated for his work with the Legal Affairs and Risk Management team in building new web tools and resources for the Compliance Partners Group, a new group of around 40 mid-level compliance partners on campus.


Institute Cited for Outstanding Contributions to Campus Space

Georgia Tech administrators and facilities received four awards last fall at the University System of Georgia Board of Regents Facilities Conference.

  • Steve Swant, executive vice president for Administration and Finance, received the Cornerstone Award for his strong and passionate leadership qualities and ability to navigate the institution with enthusiasm and perseverance.
  • Chuck Rhode, vice president for the Office of Facilities Management, received the Distinguished Service Award. Rhode has led the effort to restructure the Facilities department, resulting in economies, efficiencies, and best practices throughout the organization.
  • The Chapin Building Rehabilitation Project received the Sustainability Award. A renovation in 2014-15 restored the early character of the 1910 building by removing non-original walls and restoring the original historic fabric.
  • Technology Square received the Regents Award of Excellence for its embodiment of a “spirit of place” on the Georgia Tech campus.


What's next?  Making an Impact through Research