ME Students Design Morehouse Anniversary Torch
The Sesquicentennial Torch of Excellence, commissioned by the leadership of Morehouse College, was designed and constructed through a collaboration between faculty and students at Georgia Tech and Morehouse College. The project was originally conceived of by Dr. Keith Hollingsworth and the team of students was advised by Dr. Katherine Fu, Assistant Professor in the Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering, and Dr. Willie Rockward, Associate Professor and Chair of Physics & DDEP at Morehouse College. The team of students included four Woodruff School mechanical engineering students: Eli Brand, then a senior, now an alum; David Gamero, junior; Joshua Von Holtz, junior; Veronica Spencer, alum and MID candidate, and two Morehouse physics students: Jared Mitchell and James Stukes. The project was supported by the Woodruff School Chair, Dr. William Wepfer, and the College of Engineering Dean, Dr. Gary May.
“The relationship between Georgia Tech and Morehouse goes back decades, notably through our Dual Degree Engineering Program (DDEP). Reaffirming that partnership through
Dr. Fu and Dr. Rockward assembled a team of Woodruff School and Morehouse students, tasked with creating a torch that would signify Morehouse College’s role as a beacon of education, leadership and service for more than 150 years. Faced with a one semester time-line, the team set out to design a torch that encompassed the spirit of Morehouse College and that would also house a GPS tracker for location, a camera for live-streaming, and have the capability of surviving a 150 mile relay with the flame intact.
Created from powder-coated aluminum with a cloth wrapped handle, the torch stands at a height of 26.5 inches with a weight of 1.6 pounds. Fabrication of the actual torches and stands was completed over the course of two weeks in the Woodruff School’s Invention Studio, and logged in 500 person-hours. “Every part of the torch and the stands was made in either the Invention Studio or the Montgomery Machining Mall. Although the build was very challenging, we had a strong and talented team and incredible support from the school and our advisors,” said team member Eli Brand. The team plans to find a place to display the Georgia Tech - Morehouse commemorative Torch of Excellence within the Woodruff School.