Covid-19 Superheroes

Across the College, faculty and staff are making a difference during this unprecedented pandemic. We asked you to nominate those who are involved in efforts to fight Covid-19. These include creating PPE, sewing masks, creating low-cost ventilators, disease modeling and more. Here are the staff, faculty, students and research teams nominated by you.


Brian Bennett, Shipping and Receiving Supervisor, ECE

Brian did something really neat in his neighborhood before the distancing requirement came in.  Along with some friends, Brian rode through neighborhoods collecting nonperishables while performing from a flatbed trailer. One of Brian’s friend came up with this idea and started setting up the routes by connecting with HOA’s.   Brian humbly said, “I just played acoustic guitar while a friend of mine sang.” Music is power and caring action is power too!

Lee Whitcher, Lab Manager, AE

Lee used his expertise and connections to form a group called AtlantaBeatsCovid to fulfill requests for PPE.  Below are a few videos and articles highlighting the group, including the link to a feature article by Make magazine.


Joyce Lowe, Administrative Professional III, ME

Joyce Lowe contributed her spare time and talents in helping to save lives during this COVID-19 Pandemic. In line with Joyce’s caring personality, she created a variety of facial masks with matching hats. Among the recipients of Joyce’s designs are front-line health care workers, non-essential workers, and friends caring for loved ones that had fallen ill, all of whom were highly appreciative of Joyce’s selfless efforts.

Lori Federico, Assistant to the Chair II, ChBE

While being stuck at home, Lori joined a social media group of sewers that have been using their fabric stashes to make masks for health workers in our community. These include masks designed as filters to go over the N95 units that many nurses and doctors are having to share on their shifts as well as pleated styles for other healthcare workers. The project has been hugely successful and has been featured in the AJC. As of today, contributors to this sewing endeavor have distributed 40,000 masks to the metro Atlanta area!

Adrienne Durham, Academic Program Manager, AE

Hi, I am nominating Adrienne Durham, the Academic Program Manager at ASDL, part of the School of Aerospace Engineering. I recently graduated with my doctoral degree, and Ms. Durham went above and beyond in supporting me during this challenging part of my degree.

Kelsey Gulledge, Communications Officer, AE

Kelsey has been busy sewing and delivering Masks for Atlanta area hospitals.

Angelica Remolina, Engineering & Scientific App. Portfolio Mngr., Dean’s Office

Angelica has been dedicating time to creating PPE (masks) for keeping COE personnel safe during COVID-19.


Johnie Sublett, AE

Johnie has been working on a team with to produce and distribute face shields to hospitals and first responders throughout Georgia.Even the Cobb County Fire Chief got excited about this work when his crew was offered some of these shields.  Johnie’s contributions are particularly impressive given that they come in the midst of his MS thesis preparation and defense.

Mac Guckenbeger, AE

Mac is a PhD student in Aerospace Engineering that has been instrumental in helping plan activities to support the social well-being of current and future ASDL members, as well as getting the ASDL Social Team/Slack website set up and running.


Pinar Keskinocak, William W. George Chair and Professor; ADVANCE Professor; and Director of the Center for Health and Humanitarian Systems, ISyE

Pinar has volunteered her time to sit on multiple COVID-19 task forces (including the Georgia Tech coronavirus task force led by President Cabrera) to help slow the spread of the virus. She has focused her career on heath and humanitarian systems, including hospital operations management, infectious disease modeling, and evaluating the effectiveness of intervention strategies. Since the initial coronavirus outbreak, she has worked on developing a comprehensive agent-based disease spread model, in collaboration with ISyE Professor Nicoleta Serban and Ph.D. students Buse Eylul Oruc, Arden Baxter, and others. The model estimates the spread of the disease geographically and over time; resource needs such as hospital beds, ICU beds, and ventilators; and enables the team to evaluate the impact of various intervention scenarios to determine the best course of action.

Turgay Ayer, George Family Foundation Early Career Professor and associate professor, ISyE

Turgay’s career has focused largely on health care analytics. He helped create models to slow the spread of various diseases. In January, he partnered with a research team from Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital, led by Assistant Professor Jagpreet Chhatwal, as well as a team from Boston Medical Center, led by Associate Professor Benjamin Linas. Together this group created the COVID-19 Simulator ( The simulator, an interactive tool designed to inform COVID-19 intervention policy decisions in the U.S., is also available to the general public. The tool evaluates the impact of different social distancing interventions in reducing the spread of coronavirus in the U.S. on both the national and state level.

Sam Graham (Chair) and Professors Devesh Ranjan, Chris Saldana and Shannon Yee, ME

Faculty members Sam Graham, Devesh Ranjan, Chris Saldana, and Shannon Yee have been using their connections in the medical community and industry to get devices tested and built, often in collaboration with their colleague Susan Margulies from the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering.


Chris Saldana, Associate Professor, ME

Chris and his team are collaborating with physicians at Emory to develop a technology designed to protect providers in the hospital from aerosolized contamination including COVID-19.  The team has rapidly designed and tested multiple versions of this technology, including direct clinical feedback from prototypes, which have also been manufactured in the lab with his graduate students.  Chris’ dedication and selflessness during this project is inspiring.  He and his team members have been working around- the-clock to manufacture and deliver critical protective equipment to front-line providers.

Chris and other team members (Kentez Craig, Max Praniewicz, and Clint Rinehart) also worked tirelessly across several Rapid Response efforts.  Specifically, they helped develop face shields, intubation boxes, and bvm-ventilators.  Much of their work is recorded at

Ryan Lively, Associate Professor, ME

Ryan Lively and his team worked on developing face masks.  The group helped lead efforts to develop instructions and designs for reusable masks. These efforts are recorded on the Rapid Response Website (

Shannon Yee, Associate Professor, ME

Shannon Yee and his team helped produce bvm-ventilators.  The group effort entailed producing videos and detailed fabrication and assembly instructions (Bettina Akhurst, Shawn Gregory, and Andrey Gunawan), electrical design (Jordan Kocher and Michael Adams), and creating and managing the Rapid Response website (Daniel Morton) –

Team: Mechanical Engineering in partnership with other Units

Chris Saldana, Saad Bhamla, Jaime Berez (grad student), Elio Challita (grad student), Kentez Craig (grad student), Patrick Jung (grad student), Jeong Hun Lee (undergrad student), Lance Lu (grad student), Jeff Park (undergrad student), Max Praniewicz (grad student)

Face Shield Research:

Shannon Yee, Chris Saldana, Dan Morton, Mike Adams (grad student), Bettina Arkhurst (grad student), Kentez Craig (grad student), Shawn Gregory (grad student), Andrey Gunawan (grad student), Jordan Kocher (grad student), Max Praniewicz (grad student)

Low-cost ventilator Research:

Chris Saldana, David Gamero (grad student), Zoe Klesmith (grad student) Devesh Ranjan Gokul Pathikonda (grad student) Stephen Johnston (grad student)  Dan Fries (grad student) Cameron Ahmad (grad student) Benjamin Musci (grad student) Chang Hyeon Lim (grad student) Prasoon Suchandra (grad student) Kyle Azevedo (GTRI) Prithayan Barua (grad student in CoC) Chris Ballance (research engineer in AE) Richard Bedell (staff, CoS)

Emergency Ventilators:

Team: Mechanical Engineering

Chris Saldana, Kentez Craig (grad student), Jaime Berez (grad student), Max Praniewicz (grad student)

Incubation Box Research:

Chris Saldana, David Gamero (grad student), Zoe Klesmith (grad student)

Swab Booths