In the News

  • Georgia Tech-Savannah & CEMA Team Up to Host Virtual Hurricane Conference with Timely Focus on How to Prepare During a Pandemic

    Hurricane season is difficult enough to prepare for and endure, and the addition of this year’s ongoing COVID-19 pandemic could complicate things even further. With that possibility in mind, Georgia Tech-Savannah and the Chatham Emergency Management Agency are looking to make it easier for communities to ready themselves for the challenges the next few months may bring. The two entities have partnered to host a virtual Hurricane Preparedness Conference on July 30.

    Savannah CEO, Jul 16, 2020

  • Atlanta residents and businesses continue acts of kindness amid the Covid-19 outbreak

    Momar Inc., an Atlanta-based manufacturer of specialty chemicals for the commercial, industrial and institutional markets, recently partnered with the Georgia Institute of Technology to donate 7,000 gallons of hand sanitizer to more than 50 metro Atlanta medical facilities in need.

    Rome News-Tribune, Jul 13, 2020

  • United Nations Says World May Hit 1.5 Degrees Warming Threshold Within 5 Years

    The report — which comes just weeks after a Siberian town hit a record temperature of 100 degrees — also notes that the last five years have been the warmest on record. Kim Cobb says that 1.5 degrees of warming is “a line that was drawn in the sand” by the U.N. and world leaders because of the disastrous consequences that come with higher temperatures.

    Here & Now, Jul 10, 2020

  • Want to volunteer for a COVID-19 vaccine trial? Here’s how

    M.G. Finn said that since vaccines are given to healthy people, researchers need way more trial volunteers than with other types of drugs. "Getting the people to actually participate in the test is often the most difficult thing ... There's a lot of vaccines being developed for the same condition, obviously, and so having a central place where volunteers can go, I think, makes a lot of sense."

    WSB-TV, Jul 9, 2020

  • Ozone gas can provide a safe means to disinfect personal protective equipment

    Health care facilities have used ultraviolet light, vaporized hydrogen peroxide, heat, alcohol and other techniques to disinfect these items, but until recently, there had not been much interest in ozone disinfection for PPE, said M.G. Finn ... Loren Williams introduced the research team to a manufacturer of ozone disinfection chambers, which allowed evaluation of the equipment using the test protocol ... After subjecting face masks and respirators to ozone disinfection, the team worked with Ng Lee (Sally) Ng to evaluate the filtration capabilities of the items. Related coverage: Healthcare Facilities Today, Environmental News Network | Life Sciences, Jul 9, 2020

  • Can air conditioning be contributing to the spread of COVID-19?

    "Most air conditioning systems will not filter out or kill the virus in any way," M.G. Finn, director of Georgia Tech's chemical biology center, said. "In a restaurant, the air conditioning makes it comfortable for you to be in the restaurant. If there are other people there with the virus, then there is an increased chance of exposure."

    WSB-TV Atlanta, Jul 7, 2020

  • Georgia Tech Professors Speak Out on Reopening Plans

    More than 800 of Tech’s 1,100 faculty members outlined their concerns to the Georgia Board of Regents in a letter titled “Statement of Academic Faculty of Georgia Tech on the COVID-19 Crisis and Fall 2020 Semester.” ... Among those who signed were some of the university’s top researchers, including renowned physicist Walter de Heer, psychologist Randall Engle, chemist Seth Marder and atmospheric scientist Nga Lee Ng. Related coverage: AJC, AP, CNN (Seth Marder), NPR (Joshua Weitz), The Chronicle of Higher Education.

    GBP/NPR, Jul 6, 2020

  • Flying Snakes Need to Wriggle Through the Air to Glide

    Georgia Tech physicist Jennifer Rieser, who studies snake slithering, but was not involved in this new study, tells NPR that the research is a “cool” finding. The paper provides evidence that the way the snake moves in the air "actually seems to have a pretty important consequence for their movement,” she says. Related coverage: NPR.

    Smithsonian Magazine, Jul 2, 2020

  • Pandemic strands graduate students and postdocs away from their labs

    Al Kurdi struggled with depression before the pandemic, and some of those problems resurfaced when he was stranded at home. “What I found more difficult than actually just working from home is that I just felt so disconnected,” he says. “I’m two continents away. And I don’t know when I’ll be back.” He’s found comfort in talking to his adviser, Seth Marder. Marder says he tries to remind Al Kurdi and his other students that this won’t last forever. “Keep your eyes on the big picture,” Marder says. Since the pandemic began, Marder is checking in more often with all his group members to make sure they stay focused. “Psychologically they will be better if they’re making progress,” he says.

    Chemical & Engineering News, Jul 1, 2020

  • Mounting Faculty Concerns About the Fall Semester

    Joshua Weitz, a professor of biological sciences at Georgia Tech who is currently working on Covid-19 modeling, said that “a broad set of policies -- from mask wearing, testing strategies, to rules undermining the ability of faculty to decide how to teach -- are likely to put students, staff and faculty at Georgia Tech at greater risk.” Many in the campus community have advocated for “more aggressive, public-health driven approaches to prepare for the fall term,” Weitz said. Now, he continued, “we have approximately six weeks left before the start of the fall term, and these next few weeks will be crucial to change course.”

    Inside Higher Ed, Jun 30, 2020