College Recognizes Outstanding Woodruff School Graduates at Annual Alumni Awards

College Recognizes Outstanding Woodruff School Graduates at Annual Alumni Awards

May 3, 2024
By Ashley Ritchie | Photos by Gary Meek

Four graduates from the George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering were among those honored at the College of Engineering’s 2024 Alumni Awards Induction Ceremony held on April 20. The College annually celebrates alumni who have contributed to the profession, advanced in their careers, and enhanced the lives of others both personally and professionally.

Honorees are nominated by committees within each of the College’s eight schools and formally submitted for selection. The event is held each spring.

Shweta (Shay) Natarajan joined the College’s Council of Outstanding Young Engineering Alumni based on her early achievements. Barry Edward Powell entered the College’s Academy of Distinguished Engineering Alumni for his significant and distinguished contributions as a senior leader in the field.

The awards ceremony culminated in the induction of 11 new members of the College of Engineering Hall of Fame, the College’s highest honor, including D. Fort Flowers, Jr., founder and executive chairman of Sentinel Trust Company.

Raheem Beyah, dean of the College, Southern Company Chair, and a two-time Georgia Tech graduate, presented two other special honors during the event, including the Dean’s Impact Award, which went to FIXD, a company founded by graduates John Gattuso (mechanical engineering) and Frederick Grimm (industrial engineering). The duo built a sensor and app that reads diagnostic data for any vehicle manufactured since 1996, easing the stress of car problems for millions of customers. 


Council of Outstanding Young Engineering Alumni Award

The Council of Outstanding Young Engineering Alumni Award recognizes alumni who have distinguished themselves through professional practice and service to the Institute, the engineering profession, or society at large. They are on the fast track and have made rapid advancement within their organizations. Already, they have been recognized for early achievements by others within their profession, field, or organization.

 Shweta (Shay) Natarajan

Shweta (Shay) Natarajan
B.S. ME 2009, M.S. ME 2012
Partner – Strategy, Mobility Impact Partners

Natarajan started her career as a business operations manager at Apple, where she was responsible for the technical and operational strategy of iPhone displays and accessories. She went on to hold senior roles at McKinsey & Company for five years, where she advised Fortune 500 companies on their growth strategy. After McKinsey, Natarajan was the head of enterprise strategic initiatives at Caterpillar, where she crafted the company’s strategic growth plan.

As a current partner at Mobility Impact Partners (MIP), she leads the identification of MIP’s investment strategy.

Natarajan is a member of the Woodruff School’s Advisory Board and chair of the School’s Young Alumni Council. She also sits on the board of CurrentFleet, a mobility startup focused on fleet electrification.


Academy of Distinguished Engineering Alumni Award

The Academy of Distinguished Engineering Alumni Award recognizes alumni who have provided distinguished contributions to the Institute, profession, field, or society at large. Candidates are highly placed executives and are actively involved in engineering, management, industry, academia, or government.

Barry Powell

Barry Edward Powell
B.S. ME 1989, M.S. ME 1991
North America Regional CEO, Electrical Products Business Unit, Siemens

In his role as regional CEO, Powell has transformed Siemens Electrical Products into the best-in-class provider of electrical infrastructure solutions for customers ranging from Microsoft to Tesla to Intel, as well as to iconic sites such as the Freedom Tower in New York City. He oversees a progressive $4 billion organization that is leading the overall company in data analytics, digitalization, and supply chain optimization. He is the founder of the Siemens Manufacturing Council in the U.S. and led his business to winning the Werner von Siemens Award as best overall Siemens business in 2020 and 2023.

Powell is a recognized national leader in the electrical industry, currently serving as the treasurer and board of governors executive for the National Electrical Manufacturers Association. He recently served as secretary and executive board member for the Electric Safety Foundation International.

Powell serves as the vice chair of the Woodruff School’s Advisory Board and has been actively involved with the School via course sponsorship and collaboration on Covid-19 PPE production. He and his wife, Darlene, B.S. IE 1990, M.S. IE 1992, are active supporters of other Tech initiatives.


Engineering Alumni Hall of Fame

Membership in the Engineering Alumni Hall of Fame is reserved for individuals holding an engineering degree or honorary degree from Georgia Tech. Those selected have made meritorious engineering or managerial contributions during their careers.

D. Fort Flowers, Jr.

D. Fort Flowers, Jr.
ME 1983
Founder and Executive Chairman, Sentinel Trust Company

Sentinel Trust Company is a full-service wealth management firm that provides investment and family office services for 40 families and is responsible for more than $6 billion of their assets. Flowers has managed and served on the boards of firms in the energy, mining, engineering, manufacturing, and banking industries.

He has served on the boards (and in many cases chaired the investment committees) of The Presbyterian Church (USA) Foundation, The Texas Presbyterian Foundation, St. John’s School, and Interfaith Ministries for Greater Houston. Flowers is now serving his third term on the Georgia Tech Foundation Board of Trustees. He has also served on the visiting committees for mechanical engineering at MIT (where he received his master’s) and the University of Texas.

Flowers and his wife, Beth — an associate professor of psychiatry at Baylor College of Medicine — split their time between Houston and their ranch outside of Brenham, Texas. They have five children who collectively have earned 11 college degrees (thus far), including their son, Daniel, who earned his MBA at Tech.


Dean's Impact Award

Many College of Engineering alumni have devoted themselves to fostering a more equitable global community that also is ecologically, socio-culturally, and economically sustainable. The Dean’s Impact Award recognizes the efforts of these alumni who are focused on developing globally relevant, locally sustainable innovations that meet societal challenges across the world. The College of Engineering is committed to a multicultural, multidisciplinary, sustainable, and international engagement by our students. This award recognizes those graduates who embrace engineering through this lens and have a vision to find solutions for the world’s grand challenges.


John Gattuso, ME 2015, Chief Executive Officer, FIXD
Frederick Grimm, IE 2014, Chief Operating Officer, FIXD

FIXD takes the stress and worry out of car trouble, breaking car problems down into simple and understandable terms so drivers don’t get taken advantage of when they go to a repair shop. The FIXD Sensor plugs into the diagnostic port of any car manufactured since 1996 and communicates via Bluetooth to the FIXD smartphone app. With more than 3 million sensors sold, FIXD has given millions of drivers the tools and resources they need to have peace of mind and save money over the life of their car.


About the Alumni Awards

The College of Engineering Alumni Awards were created in 1994 under the leadership of John A. White during his tenure as dean. He passed the torch to Jean-Lou Chameau, former Georgia Tech provost and engineering dean, whose outstanding service to the College led him to receive the 2006 Dean’s Appreciation Award from then-Dean Don P. Giddens, a Tech engineering alumnus. For the next six years, the program would fall under the guidance of Dean Gary S. May, who received his B.S. degree in electrical and computer engineering from Georgia Tech. In 2017, Steven W. McLaughlin was appointed dean and served until 2020, when he was named the Institute’s provost. The Awards are now under the leadership of Dean Raheem A. Beyah, a native Atlantan who earned his Georgia Tech master’s and Ph.D. degrees in electrical and computer engineering.