Braun urges class of 2012 to be innovators

Before a crowd of more than a thousand engineering seniors, Robert D. Braun, the David and Andrew Lewis Professor of Space Technology and director of the Space Systems Design Laboratory at the Georgia Institute of Technology, exhorted the class of 2012 to change the world through innovation.

"We are a nation of dreamers. A nation never satisfied with the status quo. A nation continually striving to out-innovate ourselves in the creation of new knowledge and new capabilities. A nation that remains full of opportunity," Braun told the audience on Friday evening, May 4,  at the Bryce Jordan Center. "There is no better place or better time to be an engineer."

He continued, "The 21st century will be won by those who innovate, seek breakthroughs and develop new technologies. You are this country's future and your future is bright. Be innovative. Take risks. Apply your energy, your skills and your education to problems that stir your passions. I look forward to living in the future that you will create."

The college conferred 1,009 degrees during the spring commencement ceremony.

Before joining the Georgia Tech faculty, Braun was a leader and senior manager for multiple, large engineering organizations at NASA. From 2010 to 2011, he served as the first NASA chief technologist in more than a decade. In this capacity, he was the senior agency executive for technology and innovation policy and programs, reporting directly to the NASA administrator.

At Georgia Tech, Braun leads an active research and education program focused on the design of advanced flight systems and technologies for planetary exploration and has contributed to the design, development, test and operation of several robotic space flight systems.

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Last Updated May 08, 2012