3 Ga Tech Professors Named 2022 AAAS Fellows

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Three professors from the esteemed Georgia Institute of Technology have been recently honored with election as Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). The prestigious distinction has been awarded to Dr. Manu Platt of the Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering, Dr. Mary Lynn Realff of the Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering and Dr. David Brock of the School of Chemistry and Biochemistry.

Dr. Platt is being honored for his groundbreaking achievements in the field of biomaterials. His research has focused on the design, development and delivery of implantable medical devices and the associated tissue engineering strategies. In his lab, he has cultivated new strategies for using lipids to generate 3D microstructures for organ-targeted drug delivery, developed three-dimensional printing technologies to produce biomedical implants, and engineered biomaterials that can detect and neutralize bacteria and viruses.

Dr. Realff is being recognized for her seminal contributions to the field of system engineering. Her outstanding research accomplishments span the engineering spectrum, including the development of supply chain algorithms, semiconductor manufacturing decision-making systems, and robotic platform decision support systems. Her impact in the field of engineering has been felt throughout her career and has particularly been used to solve grand challenges in the fields of healthcare and energy.

Dr. Brock is being honored for his pioneering achievements in the field of chemistry. His contributions to the advancement of our understanding of the chemistry of metal-oxide surfaces and of advanced materials for photonic and energy storage applications have helped provide researchers with the tools to expand and deepen our knowledge. His work has enabled the development of new functional materials for energy storage and new opportunities for optoelectronic applications.

These well-deserved awards mark a major milestone for the respective professors and for Georgia Tech. We are proud of the incredible accomplishments of these academicians and look forward to the continued contributions that they will bring to the Georgia Tech and broader research communities.

Regarded amid the nation’s most distinguished leaders, three Georgia Tech professors have been chosen as Fellows by the American Affiliation for the Progression of Science for 2022.

A trio of Ga Tech professors has joined the ranks among the nation’s most distinguished leaders in science, engineering, and innovation, as Marion Usselman, Loren Williams, and Samuel Graham have been named American Association for the Development of Science (AAAS) Fellows for 2022. 

The world’s largest normal scientific society, AAAS has been awarding the honor since 1874. With the addition of Usselman, Williams, and Graham, virtually 100 Georgia Tech professors have been recognized for their achievements. In whole, the AAAS Class of 2022 capabilities 506 people today next in the footsteps of earlier honorees such as sociologist and civil rights leader W.E.B. Du Bois, astronaut Ellen Ochoa, Nobel laureate Steven Chu, and pc programming pioneer Grace Hopper. 

Marion Usselman – Education 

Honored for distinguished contributions to gender fairness in universities and big contributions to curriculum and trainer expert enhancement. 
(Faculty of Sciences and CEISMC)

Marion Usselman, a principal exploration scientist in the Centre for Training Integrating Science, Mathematics, and Computing (CEISMC), arrived at Ga Tech in 1996 with a Ph.D. in Biophysics from The Johns Hopkins University and a passion for strengthening instruction and access in commonly white male-dominated STEM fields. At that time girls made up just 28% of the Institute’s undergraduate population. She has used the past 26 many years working diligently to enable raise that number and give the upcoming generation of women and other traditionally underserved populations a accurate seat at the STEM table. 

As section of the Integrating Gender Fairness and Reform NSF undertaking, Usselman and her colleagues performed an in-depth Ga Tech institutional self-analyze that examined the boundaries that ladies and minorities faced when choosing their profession path, as very well as the methods employed in the classroom that might have influenced their options.  The benefits of the analyze, and of a lot of subsequent instructional jobs, showed Usselman that there was a great deal of operate to be done, especially in the K-12 arena. 

To that conclusion, Usselman has spearheaded the work to reform K-12 STEM education in Ga and nationally, major up a CEISMC crew devoted to coming up with and building academic improvements. She’s co-authored over 60 refereed journal and meeting papers and brought in much more than $40 million in funding as the major writer on over 20 funded STEM-instruction grant proposals.  In addition, her team has created extensive curriculum materials for K-12 students and instructors, especially in the engineering and laptop science parts, and implemented many STEM-relevant experienced studying possibilities for K-12 lecturers.

“My team has put in the last 15 to 20 many years building curricular exemplars, based mostly on effectively-established investigation on how individuals find out and aspects that really encourage a sense of belonging and identification, so that instructors can test out inclusive methods of instruction and working experience accomplishment in participating college students who are usually underrepresented in STEM fields,” she said. “It is critical to transform teachers’ hearts and minds, but we think that is greatest completed by supplying them a thing to try out that functions, not by lecturing. Due to the fact that is how men and women discover.”

Loren Williams – Biological Sciences 

Honored for distinguished contributions to the fields of biophysics and the origins and evolution of lifestyle on Earth, especially for advancing our knowledge of the evolution of the translation technique. 
(University of Chemistry and Biochemistry)

Loren Williams was content material in his work as a crystallographer, but when he commenced learning new ribosome constructions at the switch of the century, he found a correct passion for uncovering the origins of life on Earth and established out on a path that has now attained him the difference of getting an AAAS Fellow.

When its primary functionality is to create proteins, Williams seen that the ribosome could offer a previously unseen search into the previous. Even though he admittedly did not know considerably about evolution at the time, Williams couldn’t shake his curiosity bordering the similarities in bacterial and archaeal ribosomes throughout the span of approximately 4 billion years.

“Ninety per cent of every thing became unexciting from that stage on, for the reason that all of a sudden what I was searching at was modest. I and I held going for a couple yrs, but in my head, I was like, ‘What am I performing below?’ I just believed, ‘OK, I never know what to do.’ I just saved staring at the ribosome,” Williams reported.

Continuing his award-profitable and NASA-funded investigation as “a scientist in a sea of engineers at Ga Tech,” Williams stated that the translation system unites all residing points and predates LUCA — the past universal frequent ancestor — even though serving as a molecular time equipment.

“It’s been frozen at any time due to the fact. So, if we can fully grasp the origins and evolution of the translation technique, we are seeking again ahead of LUCA, which is definitely on the lookout back to the origin of everyday living,” he claimed. “In my lab more than the last 15 decades, we have worked out how to understand the evolution of the ribosome, which is variety of like a movie of the origin of everyday living and we’re bit by bit on the lookout at it body by body and figuring out how to do that.”

Williams’ preliminary curiosity in the buildings outmoded his drive to receive grants or publish papers, and at the time, he did not see the makings of a feasible investigation system. Even so, regardless of some original rejection, Williams pressed on, and now, as an AAAS Fellow can now mirror on the gamble he took. 

“I feel like I have form of occur back from the useless in a way, and it is really a great feeling mainly because I really thought I was concluded,” he claimed. “Science is a amusing small business.”

Samuel Graham Jr. – Engineering

Honored for producing optical/electrical strategies and versions to characterize thermal reaction/homes of huge bandgap electronics like RF and energy electronics and for building chip-embedded cooling for significant warmth flux procedure.
(George W. Woodruff College of Mechanical Engineering)

Graham is remaining regarded for his chopping-edge investigate into the thermal characterization and thermal administration of gallium nitride-dependent vast bandgap semiconductors employed in radio frequency communications, solid-condition lighting, and electrical power electronics. His perform has been instrumental in quite a few Office of Defense and industrial programs in the improvement of these systems, and he was recently recognized with the 2022 ASME Allan Kraus Thermal Management Medal and the 2022 Hawkins Memorial Lecture in Warmth Transfer at Purdue University.  

Graham served as the Eugene C. Gwaltney Jr. School Chair for the George W. Woodruff University of Mechanical Engineering at Ga Tech, in which he stays a professor, whilst also serving as dean of the A. James Clark Faculty of Engineering at the University of Maryland. He holds a Ph.D. and a master’s diploma in mechanical engineering from Tech, a area that permitted him to fulfill his childhood dream.

“I am honored to be acknowledged as a fellow of AAAS. Moreover, I am thankful for my learners and collaborators during my profession that have designed my perform pleasing and have inspired me to make an impact on technologies that will advantage society. I desire to say thank you to AAAS and am happy to support its mission to advance science for the reward of all,” he said.

Graham also serves on several advisory boards to progress science and engineering. This includes serving as chair of the Rising Systems Technological Advisory Committee in the U.S. Department of Commerce, the Engineering Science Exploration Basis of Sandia National Laboratories, the AT SCALE initiative at Pacific Northwest Nationwide Laboratory, and the Institute for Nuclear Power Functions.

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