Message from the Executive Vice President for Research


I am proud to present to you Georgia Tech’s 2020 Research Report. Within these pages lie exciting and inspiring examples of the work of the thousands of faculty members, researchers, students, and staff who comprise the Institute’s research enterprise.

The year 2020 is one we will never forget. It might have been largely defined by the difficulty, disruption, and devastation of the pandemic, but our Georgia Tech community proved resilient and agile. The story of our research success despite unimaginable circumstances is a great testament to the cooperation by our colleagues within the schools and colleges, the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI), our research centers, and the 11 interdisciplinary research institutes. As we look back, we celebrate both the triumphs and the hardships, knowing that our path forward will be charted with ingenuity and invigoration as one of the top research universities across the globe. 

We know that our role, and that of university research in general, is critically important to the health and vitality of our community, state, region, and world. That served as the guide and inspiration for our Commission on Research Next, which kicked off in 2020. Even amid the crisis, as our operations were modified, some research activity disrupted, and others pivoted to address the pandemic, the Commission’s members continued their work. They set out to discover how to leverage Georgia Tech research to respond to current and future disruptions, while continuing to address the grandest challenges of our time and bolster the Institute’s position as a leading global engine of innovation, entrepreneurship, commercialization, and opportunity. We assume our responsibility in defining and building a more inclusive, resilient, and agile university research enterprise with renewed vigor and humility.

The year 2020 scrambled our expectations and had many lessons to teach us. We have seen that our impact is far more than just solving big issues, and that our strengths also lie in our agility and fortitude to pivot and respond to crises, as well as our engagement to help frame policy and scientific questions, and to help communicate them to the public. I look forward to seeing the fruits of our work carry through in the years to come as part of the Institute’s overall strategic direction. That is what Georgia Tech research is about – executing on a mission that is driven by the initiation, facilitation, and acceleration of innovative new solutions, products, and technologies that improve the human condition.

Chaouki T. Abdallah

Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Executive Vice President for Research

Georgia Institute of Technology