Home at Georgia Tech: Then and Now

Susan Burns

By Zoe Elledge
College of Engineering

For most Yellow Jacket students, Georgia Tech was a temporary home. They spent four or more years on campus and left. Some never returned. Others have made a regular pilgrimage back to Atlanta, sometimes coinciding with Homecoming.

And then there are alumni who made Georgia Tech a home for a second time, returning after graduation as a faculty or staff member.

Nearly a thousand current faculty and staff members hold Georgia Tech degrees. In the College of Engineering, they include the dean, Raheem Beyah, who received his master’s and Ph.D. degrees in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

His Double Jacket status pales in comparison to some of his peers. Sixteen College faculty boast three of more Georgia Tech diplomas. The group spans seven of the eight schools, with research fields that include drones, signal processing, and chemical behaviors of soils.

Why did they come back to Georgia Tech — or in a few cases, why did they never leave? Why is campus a special place for them? As we prepare for Homecoming 2021, these longtime Jackets reflect on a lifetime at Tech.

Susan Burns

Associate Chair for Finance and Administration & Professor
School of Civil and Environmental Engineering
B. CE ‘90, M.S. CE ‘96, M.S. EnvE ‘96, Ph.D. CE ‘97

The passion of the engineering student body and faculty brought Susan Burns back to Georgia Tech seven years after earning the last of her four degrees. As a student, Georgia Tech challenged Burns to expand her knowledge in many ways. Her experiences also taught her to dream, create, and work to make the world a better place – an outlook she hopes to pass on to her students.

“Our students come here wanting to be civil and environmental engineers because they love the subject matter and the idea that their work will make an observable impact on the world. The seriousness of Tech students and the intensity with which they commit themselves to their work makes this a professor’s dream job.”

Click here to read more about the other fifteen designees.