Alumni Stories

Out-of-this-World Alumnae

Sandra Magnus, PhD CerE 96, NASA astronaut
Magnus was one of four astronauts to serve on the final U.S. space shuttle mission that touched down on July 21, 2011, and ended NASA’s 30-year program. She is also one of 14 Tech alumni over the years to serve as a NASA astronaut. In her 17-plus years as an astronaut—five of them spent in training—she completed a total of three shuttle missions and racked up four-and-a-half months aboard the International Space Station in 2008 and 2009. Read more

Tech's Most Famous Alumnus

George P. Burdell 

He’s served honorably in every major conflict since WWII. He’s earned multiple degrees from Georgia Tech. He’s traveled the world and even reportedly to outer space.

And now, Georgia Tech’s most famous student has achieved yet another accolade after being asked to record his story for Georgia Tech’s Living History Program. Read more.


Movie Magic

Justin O’Neal Miller, Arch 05, Set Designer
You may be familiar with Miller’s work without realizing it.
Miller has designed sets for some of today’s most popular movies and TV shows, including zombie series The Walking Dead and action movies The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Parts 1 and 2. After getting into the movie business, Miller realized the skills he learned at Georgia Tech’s College of Architecture translated perfectly to designing sets. Miller is now using his talents as an assistant art director to help craft the overall look and feel of upcoming films. Read more.

Champion Golfer

Matt Kuchar, Mgt 00
Kuchar, a top professional golfer, developed his game as a star on Georgia Tech’s men’s golf team. Anyone who follows golf has likely watched “Kuch” playing in elite televised golf tournaments. According to the PGA, Kuchar is currently 10th in the Official World Golf Ranking. Kuchar and his wife Sybi, Mgt 99, are very supportive of their alma mater. “What I got out of Tech was so valuable; it was such a great experience. My education and experiences there helped develop me into the person I am on and off the course. I knew that when I got out, I hoped I’d be able to give back. I know there were alumni ahead of me who gave back that helped pave the path for me and my classmates, and I’m happy to do the same,” Kuchar says. Read more.

Elite Fighter Pilot

Lt. Jenny Lentz Moore, AE 05
Moore is one of the world’s most elite fighter pilots, who not only flies an F/A-18 Super Hornet, but lands it on the deck of a Naval aircraft carrier — at night. Moore started her military career as an instructor at the Navy’s Nuclear Power School. But Moore always dreamed of flying, and her childhood dream came true when she was accepted to the Navy’s flight school. But attaining one of the Navy’s most intense aviation positions isn’t the only thing that makes her unique. Moore also recently welcomed her first child, which makes her quite possibly the Navy’s only fighter pilot who’s also a mom.  Read more.

Computing Powerhouse

Chris Klaus, Cls 96, Founder and CEO of Kaneva Inc.
Internet pioneer Chris Klaus’ name is synonymous with computing at Georgia Tech through his donation of the Klaus Advanced Computing Building. While still a student at Tech, Klaus sensed a need for security in the early days of the Internet and created a company called Internet Security Systems. The successful company was acquired by IBM in 2006 for more than $1 billion. Later, Klaus founded Kaneva Inc., a company dedicated to three-dimensional, virtual reality gaming. Read more.

Presidential Scholar

Juan Carlos Varela, IE 85
Varela is among the most influential and powerful Yellow Jackets in the world. The engineering alumnus is serving his first term as the president of Panama, a role he was elected to in 2014 after serving as the nation’s vice president. Varela returned to campus for a visit in October of 2014. Varela, who has been active in politics since the 1990s, says his training at Tech prepared him well for the challenge of running the Central American nation. “Engineers can solve many problems. We are problem solvers, not problem finders,” Varela says. Click here to watch more

Breaking Barriers

Deborah Nash, IE 78, Technology Executive
Nash had a long and distinguished career in technology, retiring in 2003 as senior vice president of Microsoft.  Twice named to Fortune Magazine’s list of the 50 Most Powerful Women in Business, she achieved many firsts for women in technology during her time as an executive for IBM and Microsoft. Nash is a passionate advocate for healthcare whose philanthropy to Tech has funded ovarian cancer research. Along with her brothers and fellow Yellow Jackets, Nash endowed the Harold R. and Mary Anne Nash Early Career Professorship at Tech in honor of her parents. Read more.

Out-of-this-World Alumna

Sandra Magnus, PhD CerE 96, NASA astronaut
Magnus was one of four astronauts to serve on the final U.S. space shuttle mission that touched down on July 21, 2011, and ended NASA’s 30-year program. She is also one of 14 Tech alumni over the years to serve as a NASA astronaut. In her 17-plus years as an astronaut—five of them spent in training—she completed a total of three shuttle missions and racked up four-and-a-half months aboard the International Space Station in 2008 and 2009. Read more.

Speed Merchant

Franco Cimatti, ME 81, Ferrari Automotive Designer
Over the last two decades, there’s perhaps been no more influential force on Ferrari vehicle designs than Tech alumnus Franco Cimatti. As director of vehicle concepts and pre-development for the famed Italian automaker, Cimatti holds a legacy that hit high gear in the mid-1990s when he took the lead on designing the Ferrari 360 Modena. He supervises a team of engineers and designers charged with developing new automotive platforms and technologies ranging from Ferrari’s first all-wheel-drive transmission to the carmaker’s radical, hybrid 2013 LaFerrari. Read more.