Staff and Faculty Honored with Woodruff School Awards

Earlier this semester the George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering welcomed back faculty and staff and recognized some of their achievements with newly created awards.

Staff of the Year- Woodruff School S.H.O.E. Cabinet

  • Lula Baker, Director-Human Resources
  • Melody Foster, Unit Administrative Officer
  • Ann Lamb, Administrative Supervisor & COESCAC Representative
Lula Baker, Ann Lamb, and Melody Foster with School Chair Samuel Graham

Founded in December 2020, The S.H.O.E Cabinet, which stands for Staff Happiness and Organizational Effectiveness, has been working towards creating an inclusive environment in the School where staff members feel valued and are enabled to reach their potential. Specifically, the S.H.O.E. Cabinet is an advisory group to the School Chair and is charged with providing them with a list of activities and initiatives including, but not limited to:

  • Social events that can strengthen the community
  • Strategies for reorganization and restructuring of the staff, building on the strengths of individuals in order to increase efficiency and productivity
  • Professional development opportunities for staff that will enable them to reach their potential and improve outcomes

These activities have contributed to the Woodruff School’s success and will help reduce turnover of highly qualified staff resulting, in significant cost and time savings associated with posting new positions, interviewing, hiring, and training new staff.

During the pandemic the group set up virtual meetings with more than 60 individual staff colleagues in order to solicit candid feedback on the needs and challenges of the staff. That feedback was processed and delivered to the school chair in the form of a report.

Researchers of the Year

  • Assistant Professor Anirban Mazumdar
  • Woodruff Professor Susan Thomas
Ani Mazumdar

Assistant Professor Anirban Mazumdar was recognized for his recent work on dynamic hypersonic wind tunnel testing which has created new knowledge, led to a unique national capability, and has generated substantial exposure for the Woodruff School in a research area of national importance. Working closely with Dr. Katya Casper and her team at Sandia National Laboratories, Mazumdar helped create unique testing capabilities for hypersonic aircraft. The ongoing project involves developing new hardware, formulating new algorithms, designing relevant tests, and analyzing data. The work is foundational in the hypersonics field and will pave the way for future technological innovations. Mazumdar and his Georgia Tech research team have been critical to the success of this project and continue to support the effort through system design, experimental testing, and control system development.

Susan Thomas with School Chair Samuel Graham

Woodruff Professor Susan Thomas was honored for leadership and service in her research area as well as for her contributions to the research field. Thomas’ group develops drug delivery technologies and approaches for immunotherapy. To achieve this, she runs an interdisciplinary team operating at the intersection of engineered biomaterials, biotransport, drug delivery, and immunology. In a grouping of manuscripts that were published in 2020 she describes a technology and generalizable principle for how to improve drugging of the immune system based on multistage drug delivery systems and further outlines innovations in drug delivery to the lymphatic system and lymph nodes her group is pioneering.

With respect to service, Thomas is a standing member of the NIH Center for Scientific Review’s Nanotechnology (NANO) study section and is a sought after invited speaker and panelist at leading professional conferences and prestigious university-led symposia. Significantly, Thomas has spent the past two years organizing the founding of the first Gordon Research Conference (GRC) on ImmunoEngineering, which was selected for support and will have its inaugural meeting in 2022. In addition to playing a crucial role in its thematic planning, speaker selection and invitations, grant proposal preparation, amongst other organizing roles, she will serve as Vice Chair and Discussion Leader at the inaugural meeting and will serve as Chair of the 2024 meeting.

Congratulations to all of the award winners.