Alumni Spotlight: Rising Stars of Engineering

January 4, 2020 | By Kathrin Havrilla-Sanchez, College of Engineering Magazine

Two graduates of the George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering were featuredin the "Rising Stars of Engineering" section of the most recent edition of the Georgia Tech College of Engineering's Helluva Engineer magazine. Here are their stories.



Kelly Kisling, Ph.D. NRE ’08   

Assistant Professor, UC San Diego School of Medicine
Medical Physicist, UC San Diego Health

As an undergraduate at Georgia Tech, Kelly Kisling shadowed a medical physicist in Georgia to see what life on the job was like using the principles of physics and high-tech science to help people.

“As a medical physicist myself now, my research uses artificial intelligence (AI) to deliver better radiation therapy more efficiently, using less resources, with a special focus on breast cancer, the most common cancer in women in the U.S. and worldwide,” says Kisling. “These AI-designed therapies are more efficient and improve on traditional treatment planning.”

Kisling also works to improve access to radiation therapy globally. As part of her Ph.D. research, she partnered with two cancer centers in South Africa where these automation tools were being tested. She participates in training programs for radiation oncologists all over the world through the International Atomic Energy Agency and works with a South African hospital to train doctors at a cancer center in Uganda to use these new tools.


Chris Golder, Jr., B.S. ME ’04

Shock Engineer, Hendrick Motorsports

Chris Golder, Jr., acquired his love for automobiles and motorsports from his father, who owned an auto repair shop in Atlanta for over 35 years.

“Growing up, I restored classic cars, raced go-karts, and attended races with my dad,” says Golder. “While attending Georgia Tech, we also engineered and built our own racing truck and competed at short tracks in North Georgia, including Lanier National Speedway.”

After graduating, Golder began working for Hendrick Motorsports— one of America’s premier sports series—in Charlotte, NC, first working solely on the Hendrick Motorsports 9 Team before transitioning to support all four of the company’s cars in NASCAR’s Cup Series. He uses computer-based modeling, simulation tools, and testing apparatus to optimize the performance of the race cars, focusing on incremental gains in areas such as increasing tire grip and downforce by fractional, yet meaningful, amounts.

For the last 16 years, Golder has spent 10 months of each year traveling to races across North America working to deliver cutting-edge technology to Hendrick’s team. He has worked closely with some of NASCAR’s most well-known drivers, including Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Kyle Busch and Chase Elliott.