Lunch and Learn Series Spring 2021

“Manufacturing in Unstructured Environments” – the first in a series of free webinars hosted by the Georgia Tech Manufacturing Institute (GTMI).

Gary McMurray, Ph.D.
Director and Principal Research Engineer, Georgia Tech Research Institute, and Institute for Robotics and Intelligent Machines

Monday, Feb. 8   -Online Seminar-
Noon – 1:00 pm Eastern Time, U.S. 

Abstract: Robotic systems have traditional been very successful in performing tasks where the inputs are well defined and known in advance. Automotive and electronic manufacturing are the classic success stories where robotic systems have demonstrated incredible value for the industry. The tasks performed by the robots almost exclusively involve the manipulation or interacting with objects whose physical properties are known a priori and the objects are rigid and dry. In the many manufacturing sectors, robotic systems must be able to work in an unstructured environment where every product is unique, deformable and even wet. This presentation will discuss various approaches to enable autonomous solutions to these problems. This will include software to minimize manual programming of robots as well systems that integrate advanced perception and control technologies to perform complex tasks like cutting, grasping, and manipulation. 

Bio: Gary McMurray is a Principal Research Engineer and Division Chief for the Intelligent Sustainable Technologies Division at the Georgia Tech Research Institute. He is also an Associate Director for the Institute for Robotics and Intelligent Machines (IRIM) at Georgia Tech. IRIM serves as an umbrella under which robotics researchers, educators, and students from across campus can come together to advance the many high-powered and diverse robotics activities at Georgia Tech. The Intelligent Sustainable Technologies Division conducts innovative research to improve the human condition through transforming the agricultural and food systems, sustainable use and access to energy and water, and safety of people at work and from pandemics. Mr. McMurray’s research has focused on the development of robotic technologies and solutions for the manufacturing and agribusiness communities, including the protein and the fruit and vegetable industries. He is an expert in visual servoing – the use of vision for the real-time control of robotics, and the author of over 50-refereed technical papers and journal publications in robotics.  

Mr. McMurray serves on the advisory board for Advanced Animal Systems for the Foundation of Food and Agricultural Research. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the Robotics Industry Association.

The Georgia Tech Manufacturing Institute (GTMI) hosts a Lunch and Learn Series each semester. This spring, sessions will be held every Monday at noon (12:00 pm EST) as live, online events. These sessions are excellent opportunities for Georgia Tech faculty, undergraduate and graduate level students and researchers, as well as a global manufacturing community to learn and share advanced manufacturing knowledge. Upcoming topics and speakers are shown below. 

Mark your calendar. All are encouraged and welcome to attend. Registration is not required.

February 15:
“Approaches for In-depth Studies of Workpiece Surface Integrity in Machining”
Dragos Axinte, Ph.D.
Professor, University of Nottingham, UK
Meeting link:

February 22:
“Resilient Manufacturing: The Georgia Manufacturing Survey 2020”
Jan Youtie, Ph.D.
Director of STIP (Science, Technology, and Innovation Policy),
Georgia Tech, EI2
Meeting Link:

March 1:
“Ultra-precision Machining of Optical Surfaces”
Senthil Kumar, Ph.D.
Professor and Co-Director of the SimTech-NUS Center for Large Format Machining, National University of Singapore
Meeting Link:

March 8:
“TBA, Additive Manufacturing (AM)”
Aaron Stebner, Ph.D.
Professor, Georgia Tech, School of Mechanical Engineering
Meeting Link:

March 15:
“TBA, Synthetic Biology and BioMade”
Douglas Friedman, Ph.D.
Executive Director of the (EBRC) Engineering Biology Research Consortium, BioMade – EBRC, University of California, Berkeley
Meeting Link:

March 22:
“Digitalization for AM — How to Leverage Digitalization in AM Operations”
Tim Bell, AM Business Manager – Head of the Center of Competency for AM, Siemens Digital Industries
Meeting Link:

March 29:
“TBA, Additive Manufacturing”
Marco Zani, Founder and CEO
Mark One
Meeting Link:

April 5:
“Monoclonal Antibody Manufacturing: Transforming Our Most Important Biologics Manufacturing Process from an Artform to a Science”
Olav Lyngberg, PhD.
Senior Scientific Fellow,
Janssen Pharmaceutical, a Johnson & Johnson Company
Meeting Link:

April 12:
“Model-Based Manufacturing and Smart Manufacturing Systems Test Bed at NIST”
Moneer Helu, Ph.D.
Group Leader, Program Manager, and Project Leader,
NIST Model-Based Enterprise, Smart Manufacturing Systems Test Bed
Meeting Link:

Weekly Lunch and Learn topics include (but are not limited to) critical challenges addressed by advanced manufacturing research; innovative manufacturing equipment, facilities, processes, or technologies; the capabilities and needs of industrial manufacturers; tech transfer and rapid prototyping for startups;  employment/workforce training opportunities for students considering a manufacturing career; and more!