Seven ISyE Alumni Receive Honors at COE Alumni Awards Induction Ceremony

Mar 21, 2011 | Atlanta, GA

At its annual Alumni Awards Induction Ceremony, the College of Engineering recognized 36 alumni who, in the words of President G. P. “Bud” Peterson, personify “the Institute’s essence: a strong technological education, the ability to think critically and to analyze problems and above all, a drive for excellence.”

Among the 36 inductees honored at the awards ceremony held on March 11, 2011, at the Georgia Tech Hotel and Conference Center, 7 are alumni of the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE).

Guy Primus (IE 1992, MS IE 1995) and Heather S. Rocker (IE 1998) were inducted in the Council of Outstanding Young Engineering Alumni, an award that recognizes alumni who have distinguished themselves through professional practice and/or service to the Institute, the engineering profession, or society at large. They are on the “fast track,” have made rapid advancement within their organizations, and have been recognized for early professional achievements by others within their profession, field, or organization. They are considered future leaders.

J. Louis Fouts (IE 1990), J. Chris Gaffney (IE 1985, MS 1986), Ellis Johnson (Applied Mathematics 1960), and Hanif Sherali (MS OR1976, PhD OR1979) are the new inductees in the Academy of Distinguished Engineering Alumni. This award recognizes alumni who have provided distinguished contributions to the profession, field, Institute or society at large. Candidates are highly placed executives and are actively involved in engineering, management, industry, academia, or government.

John H. Morris (IE 1965) has the distinction of being inducted in the Engineering Hall of Fame, an honor reserved for those who have made meritorious engineering and/or managerial contributions during their careers.

The Awards Ceremony was created in 1994 under the leadership of then Dean Dr. John A. White to highlight the significant impact Georgia Tech students make on the world.  White passed the torch on to Dean Jean-Lou Chameau, and today, Dean Don Giddens continues the tradition of recognizing select alumni who have contributed to the profession, advanced their careers, and enhanced the lives of others personally and professionally.

More about ISyE’s award recipients:

J. Louis Fouts, IE 1990 --  Partner, Water Street Capital

Fouts is a partner at Water Street Capital, a large Jacksonville-based hedge fund founded in 1987 that manages money for leading endowments, institutions, and family offices. Fouts heads up Water Street’s initiatives in the commodity, energy, transportation, and automotive industries. Water Street is known for taking large stakes in under-appreciated growth opportunities such as Apple Computer in 2003 and commodities (fertilizer, crude oil, coking coal) from 2004-2008. Upon graduation from Georgia Tech in 1990, Fouts went to work for SysteCon, a logistics and distribution consultancy where he specialized in supply-chain restructuring. After two years at SysteCon, Fouts joined the Boston Consulting Group’s Russian office in 1993 and participated in the restructuring of the Russian agricultural logistics network. He earned his Masters of Business Administration from Harvard Business School in 1996, and in 1998 was recruited to New York City to help develop the private equity initiatives of Caxton Corporation, one of the largest hedge funds in the world at that time. Fouts joined Water Street in 2002 and became the firm’s youngest partner in 2004.

 J. Chris Gaffney, IE 1985, MS 1986 --  Senior Vice President for Product Supply Strategy,Coca-Cola Refreshments

Gaffney has been with the Coca-Cola Company for sixteen years. He began his Coca-Cola career with the Coca-Cola Fountain Division as a distribution project manager and later took on the role of director of national distribution before joining the Coca-Cola North America Supply Chain team as director of logistics. Before taking on the leadership of Coca-Cola Supply in December 2008, Gaffney led the Coca-Cola North America Logistics and Planning team for four years. In 2010, he was selected as the strategy leader for the Coca-Cola Refreshments Product System Supply team. Before joining the Coca-Cola Company, Gaffney worked for four years with AJC International, a global food trader, as global operations manager. He started his career with Frito-Lay holding various roles in distribution and logistics.

 Ellis Johnson, Applied Mathematics 1960 --  Coca-Cola Chair Professor, Georgia Tech School of ISyE

Johnson’s main area of research is mathematical programming, especially integer programming. He has developed theory and computational approaches and has worked on problems inmanufacturing, distribution, and transportation. Much of Johnson’s recent work has been in airline planning and scheduling. His research with the National University of Singapore focusedon air cargo and included projects with SATS (Singapore Air Terminal Services) and SIA Cargo. He was co-editor of two books and has published a research monogram and over 90 papers. He was awarded the John von Neumann Theory Prize from INFORMS in 2000, the Dantzig Prize from SIAM and the Math Programming Society in 1985, and the Lanchester Prize from ORSA/TIMS in 1983. Johnson was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 1987, and in 1990 was named IBM Fellow. In 2002, he became one of the initial group of INFORMS Fellows. In 2009, Johnson was elected as one of the initial class of SIAM Fellows. Before being named an IBM Fellow, Johnson was the manager of IBM’s optimizing center and was a research staff member. From 1964 to 1968, he worked as an assistant professor at Yale University.

 John H. Morris IE 1965 --  Co-chair (Retired), StoneCreek Capital

Morris obtained a Bachelor of Industrial Engineering degree from Georgia Tech in 1965. He was employed by the First National Bank as an internal consultant from 1968 to 1971. While working for the bank, Morris obtained an MBA in Finance from Georgia State University. He later earned a CPA certificate from the State of Georgia in 1974. After graduation, he joined Booz, Allen and Hamilton and then Touche Ross & Co., a predecessor of Deloitte and Touche, where he worked for nine years as a management consultant. After leaving Touche Ross, Morris joined Kelso & Company, a boutique private equity firm in 1982 and moved to California with Kelso in 1985. While at Kelso, Morris was responsible for several large buyouts, including Spectramed, IHOP, Arkansas Best, and Landstar Systems, and he served on the committee that approved all Kelso acquisitions. In 1992, he and the other west coast partner of Kelso left to form StoneCreek Capital. Morris is retired co-chair of StoneCreek Capital, a merchant banking firm that sponsors leveraged acquisitions and leveraged buildups in partnership with management teams. Morris is a member of the ISyE Hall of Fame and the ISyE Academy of Distinguished Alumni, and he was honored with the College of Engineering Distinguished Alumni Award in 1996.

 Guy Primus, IE 1992, MS IE 1995 -- Chief Operating Officer, Overbrook Entertainment

Primus is chief operating officer at Overbrook Entertainment, a company that has produced a diverse slate of both critically acclaimed and blockbuster feature films. In addition to runningOverbrook’s operations, Primus leads the company’s Strategic Ventures Group, an organization dedicated to expanding and optimizing Overbrook’s business portfolio. He serves on the board of directors of Starling TV, a new social TV platform that allows viewers to chat, play, and interact with one another while watching television. He also serves on the advisory boards of JibJab Media and Interactive One. Prior to joining Overbrook in 2007, Primus was the director of digital media at Starbucks Entertainment. In this role, Primus was responsible for setting the strategic direction of Starbucks’ digital entertainment initiatives. He has also served as group product marketing manager at Microsoft, where he oversaw marketing and revenue advertising for MSN Entertainment. Prior to joining Microsoft, Primus worked as vice president of strategy and planning for Blue Flame, the marketing and advertising arm of Sean “Diddy” Combs’ Bad Boy Entertainment. Guy started his career at Georgia Tech’s Office of Minority Educational Development before moving on to CAPS Logistics and then to A.T. Kearney.

Heather S. Rocker IE 1998 -- Executive Director, Women in Technology

Rocker joined the Atlanta-based nonprofit organization, Women in Technology (WIT) in 2007 as the group’s first executive director. Prior to joining WIT, Rocker was a product manager at the Georgia Center for Nonprofits, steering the implementation of the Nonprofit Marketplace (which assists non-profits in managing the costs and time associated with everyday purchases). Previously, she was a senior consultant for EnerVision, Inc., where she led projects such as rate/pricing strategy, power supply and strategic and business planning for the electric utility industry. Rocker currently serves her community as immediate past board president of Atlanta Women’s Alliance, executive team member and past state chair for the Distinguished Young Woman of Georgia Scholarship Program, trustee and past Young Alumni Committee chair for the Georgia Tech Alumni Association’s Board of Trustees, and volunteer training director for the Junior League of Gwinnett and North Fulton counties. Rocker’s story and advice are profiled in the book Change Your Career: Transitioning to the Nonprofit Sector, and she is a contributing author to the recently published book, CLIMB: Leading Women in Technology Share Their Journeys to Success.

Hanif Sherali, MS OR 1976, PhD OR 1979 --  University Distinguished Professor, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (VPI&SU),  W. Thomas Rice Endowed Chaired Professor of the College of Engineering, VPI&SU

Sherali earned his MS and PhD in Operations Research from Georgia Tech and has gone on to provide research contributions in analyzing problems and designing algorithms for linear, nonlinear and integer programs arising in various applications, global optimization methods for nonconvex programming problems, location and transportation theory and applications, and economic and energy mathematical modeling and analysis. He has been a principal investigator on 62 research projects sponsored by several agencies including the National Science Foundation, Naval Surface Warfare Center, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, U.S. Department of the Interior, Association of American Railroads, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Federal Highway Administration, U.S. and Virginia Departments of Transportation, and the Federal Aviation Administration. Hanif has published 271 refereed articles in various journals including Operations Research, Management Science, Mathematical Programming, Journal of Global Optimization, Naval Research Logistics, Journal of Optimization Theory and Applications, Transportation Research, European Journal of Operational Research, Annals of Operations Research, and IEEE Transactions. Sherali has also published seven books, directed 40 PhD dissertations and 43 MS theses, and is a committee member for a total of 172 students.

  • J. Louis Fouts (right) receives Distinquished Engineering Alumni Award from Dean Giddens
    J. Louis Fouts (right) receives Distinquished Engineering Alumni Award from Dean Giddens
  • J.Chris Gaffney (right) receives Distinguished Engineering Alumni Award from Dean Giddens
    J.Chris Gaffney (right) receives Distinguished Engineering Alumni Award from Dean Giddens
  • Ellis Johnson (right) accepts Distinguished Engineering Alumni Award from Dean Giddens
    Ellis Johnson (right) accepts Distinguished Engineering Alumni Award from Dean Giddens
  • Guy Primus (right) accepts Outstanding Young Engineering Alumni Award from Dean Giddens
    Guy Primus (right) accepts Outstanding Young Engineering Alumni Award from Dean Giddens
  • Heather Rocker (right) receives Outstanding Young Engineering Alumni Award from Dean Giddens
    Heather Rocker (right) receives Outstanding Young Engineering Alumni Award from Dean Giddens
  • Dean Giddens (left) presents Hanif Sherali with Distinguished Engineering Alumni Award
    Dean Giddens (left) presents Hanif Sherali with Distinguished Engineering Alumni Award

For More Information Contact: 

Barbara Christopher
Industrial and Systems Engineering