Luyi Gui, a PhD student in the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE), is the recipient of the 2011 Blanchard Award Fellowship in honor of the late Ray Anderson, (IE 1956, Honorary PhD 2011), noted environmentalist and founder and chairman of Interface, Inc. Gui was honored at the meeting of the Rotary Club of Atlanta on Monday, December 5, 2011, where she received a check for $25,000 to be used to further her research in sustainability.
The Blanchard Award, which is funded by the Georgia Lottery, the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, and Georgia Trend, is administered by The Ledlie Group and has been awarded over the last three years "to recognize outstanding stewards of business ethics and corporate responsibility". This year, the Blanchard Award was given to Ray Anderson posthumously. Accompanied by a $25,000 fellowship to a graduate student, the Blanchard Award also demonstrates the need for business support of education at all levels in Georgia. Anderson’s family requested that the Blanchard Award Fellowship be given to a graduate student in ISyE who is studying in the area of sustainability/energy.
John Lanier, Anderson’s grandson, attended the meeting to congratulate Gui and represent the Anderson family. As part of the introduction of the Blanchard Award, a short video put together by Interface, Inc. was shown, highlighting Anderson’s work to secure a greener world for future generations through his championing of the business case for sustainability. Following the video, Margaret DeFrancisco, president of the Georgia Lottery Corporation and lead sponsor of the Blanchard Award, presented Gui with a check for $25,000.
“Luyi’s work exemplifies Ray Anderson's vision of the potential contributions of industrial engineering in the area of sustainability, and demonstrates the importance of graduate education in Georgia,” said Valerie Thomas, Anderson Interface Associate Professor of Natural Systems in ISyE.
Gui’s research focuses on how to promote effective and efficient implementation of environmental policies, in particular, the extended producer responsibility (EPR) legislation that has been widely adopted in the U.S. to treat the waste stream of various products including electronic waste, mercury lights, carpets, packaging, paint, and pharmaceutics. Her work with Ozlem Ergun, associate professor in ISyE, Atalay Atasu, assistant professor in the Georgia Tech College of Management, and Beril Toktay, Nancy J. and Lawrence P. Huang Professor of Operations Management in the College of Management, addresses the coordination problem of different stakeholder perspectives that arise in the translation of an EPR policy into a working system in practice using mechanism design approaches. She is also studying on the influence of EPR legislation on producers' incentives to adopt more environmentally friendly design of their products, which is crucial to long-term environmental and business sustainability.
Industrial and Systems Engineering