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Georgia Tech

The George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering


ISSUE 22  •  DECEMBER 2015


Happy Holidays from the Woodruff School

Wishing you all the best this holiday season and into the New Year.




Students Create the Next at the Fall Capstone Design Expo

Capstone Design Expo isn't your average science fair. This year's participants, the bulk of whom are about to graduate, came up with projects that tackled real needs — increasing the efficiency of businesses, designing life-altering medical products, or developing products that could disrupt commercial markets.

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Capstone Design Expo Trophies Produced in the Invention Studio

To build the Fall Capstone Design Expo awards, Lauren Murphy, undergraduate student in the Woodruff School and Invention Studio Prototyping Instructor, used a variety of tools available in the Invention Studio. Murphy cut out flat plates from an aluminum sheet using the waterjet cutter, then engraved the text using laser cutters.

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A Hairy Situation

Georgia Institute of Technology researchers combed through more than two dozen studies and did surface measurements for 27 mammals and insects to better understand how animals are able to clean themselves. The findings could have implications for keeping manmade structures — such as sensors, robots and unmanned aerial vehicles — free from pollutants, pollen and dirt. The review study is published in the Journal of Experimental Biology.

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The Infinite Ways to Move a Robot

Want to know what the future looks like? A good place to start is with Georgia Tech’s star-studded research in robotics. Gil Weinberg’s robotic prosthesis for drummers made news around the world. Ayanna Howard’s child-sized bot helps children with motor skills disabilities and brought the launch of startup company Zyrobotics. Andrea Thomaz’s Socially Intelligent Machines Lab — home to Simon, a near-celebrity droid — has deepened understanding of human-robot interactions.

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Kim Designing New Tools to Fight Brain Tumors

Medulloblastoma (MB) is a big and potentially terrifying word given to a fast-growing, malignant brain tumor that attacks the cerebellum. It accounts for just 1-2 percent of all primary brain tumors, but it is the most common malignant brain tumor in children under 10.

Like most brain tumors, the typical treatment for MB involves surgery followed by radiation and chemotherapy. While the survival rate for children is 60 to 80 percent (depending on the child’s age when diagnosed), the conventional treatment can lead to side effects, including neurocognitive deficits that diminish quality of life.

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Bassiri-Gharb Elected President-Elect IEEE UFFC-S

Nazanin Bassiri-Gharb, Associate Professor with the Woodruff School, was recently elected as the President-elect of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers’ (IEEE) Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics and Frequency Control Society (UFFC-S). She will serve a term of 2 years (2016-2017) as President-elect, before serving as President in 2018-2019. Her term will continue for four more years, first as junior and then as senior past president.

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A Message from the School Chair

I extend my wishes for a relaxing and happy holiday season to the Woodruff School’s faculty, alumni, students, staff, and friends. Celebrating with family and loved ones helps us to appreciate and reflect our good fortune in being associated with such a fabulous community. Happy Holidays!

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Giving > Life@ME >

George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering
801 Ferst Drive
Georgia Institute of Technology
Atlanta, GA 30332-0405
Phone: 404-894-3200
Fax: 404-894-1658
Copyright 2015 by the George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering.
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