Thomas Kurfess and Alexander Alexeev

Pictured left to right: Regents' Professor Thomas Kurfess and Regents' Innovator Alexander Alexeev.

USG Honors 2 Woodruff School Faculty Members with Regents’ Titles

April 17, 2024
By Joshua Stewart

The University System of Georgia Board of Regents honored two George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering faculty members with Regents’ appointments at its April meeting.

Thomas Kurfess was named Regents’ Professor and Alexander Alexeev received the Regents’ Innovator title.

Regents’ Professor, Innovator, and Entrepreneur are the highest distinction from the system and recognize faculty members for academic, innovation, and entrepreneurial excellence. Altogether, the Regents honored 12 Georgia Tech faculty members across campus.

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Thomas Kurfess

Regents’ Professor
HUSCO/Ramirez Distinguished Chair in Fluid Power and Motion Control and Professor

Kurfess researches advanced manufacturing systems, designing, developing, and optimizing new approaches for complex production systems. He helps lead a $65 million effort to use artificial intelligence in manufacturing and transform Georgia’s industrial economy. The Georgia AI Manufacturing (GA-AIM) Technology Corridor is creating and deploying new AI innovations across all manufacturing sectors while training the necessary talent and workforce.

Kurfess also serves as the executive director of the Georgia Tech Manufacturing Institute, and he is the 2023-24 president of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). 

He served as chief manufacturing officer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory from 2019 to 2021, overseeing strategic planning in advanced manufacturing. Kurfess also previously led the advanced manufacturing team at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy during the Obama administration from 2012 to 2013.

Kurfess is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and a fellow of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, ASME, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

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Alexander Alexeev

Regents’ Innovator
Joseph Anderer Faculty Fellow and Professor

Alexeev’s work looks to nature to solve complicated engineering problems. He designs active microfluidic systems that can carry out complex functions like sensing, acting, and logic that are inherent to biological microorganisms.

Engineering these systems involves coupling hydrodynamics, soft materials, fluid-structure interactions and more. It’s work that could improve targeted drug delivery with synthetic membranes that have controllable pores akin to the way cell membranes allow some molecules to pass while blocking others. It could inspire the design of micro-scale robots that can perform specific tasks and propel themselves through microfluidic systems.

Alexeev is chief technology officer and co-founder of CellFE, which has developed a scalable, high-throughput microfluidic device for the efficient delivery of gene-editing molecules into cells.