Your Support Matters. A Lot.
Farah A. Kashlan
The Daniel Guggenheim School of Aerospace Engineering is named after one of our most celebrated supporters, philanthropist Daniel Guggenheim. But AE would not be one of the top-ranked aerospace engineering schools in the country if our support stopped there.
The alumni, faculty, staff, parents, and friends of AE are the bedrock of our success, providing the technical direction, financial support, and career connections that ensure that our future is as bright as our legacy.
Over the last three years, we've seen the impact of that support: US News & World Reports ranked both the undergraduate and graduate programs of the Daniel Guggenheim School of Aerospace Engineering as the #2 in the nation. This is the first time in our history that both Georgia Tech AE programs have been so highly ranked. We out-performed many better-funded private institutions simply because we had the will and the vision to work a little harder, a little smarter.
That same formula will serve us well as forge our future. To meet the growing demands of our students, faculty, and industry partners, the Daniel Guggenheim School must invest in more faculty, revamped classrooms, modernized labs, and cutting-edge equipment. We need to aggressively support our best students with grants and fellowships, our best faculty, with endowments that allow their most innovative thinking to flourish.
In short, we need to work a little harder, a little smarter.
We hope you see yourself in our future. There are so many avenues open for you to impact it. Contributors to the Daniel Guggenheim School include individuals, corporations, and foundations -- all at a variety of giving levels. To learn more about how you can offer your support, contact AE development director, Farah Kashlan (404.894.1297).
Andrew and Stephanie Ollikainen:
Giving Back to Tech is a Labor of Love
The road that took Andrew Ollikainen from working construction to earning three engineering degrees and a career at Northrop Grumman starts --and ends-- in the same place: hard work.
|Andrew Ollikainen, BSAE '07 and his wife, Stephanie, have made a strong statement about their support for the AE School.|
Along the way, he learned that finding the right work – and a good woman – could make that road a whole lot easier to travel. That part of the lesson he got while at the Georgia Tech School of Aerospace Engineering.
“Coming to Georgia Tech changed our lives forever,” says Ollikainen, BSAE ‘07. “Opened doors. Made things possible for us…”
Andrew’s wife, Stephanie, continues her husband’s thought…
“I would say we were struggling before, but, really, we were just working hard. That’s what we do. And when Andrew decided he wanted to be an engineer, we worked really hard to get into Georgia Tech.”
Almost on que, the couple erupts into laughter.
“And we worked really hard to get out of Tech, too.”
Their shared sense of purpose – and gratitude – recently prompted the Ollikainens to make an estate donation to GT-AE. Their relatively young age belies the couple's mutual commitment to a timeless legacy.
“We do not plan to have children, but we want our lives to have meant something to someone else,” says Stephanie, a medical aesthetician and a firearms instructor.
“And if we leave it to [GT] aerospace, it will really be there forever, a little something for someone else’s future.”
There is no need for Andrew to confirm his wife’s lofty sentiments. A quiet nod tells listeners that the couple is completely in sync. She smiles as he continues:
“Georgia Tech extracted everything I could give it. It was the best experience I could have had. Now, I didn’t graduate cum laude or anything like that, but my grades were good enough to get into graduate school. They were good enough to get me into a profession that I love.”
|During a recent visit to campus, Andrew (now an engineer at Northrop Grumman) couldn't resist rolling up his sleeves to join in some of the undergraduate design projects in the ASDL. We were glad to have him.|
'Good enough' might be an understatement.
After leaving Tech, Andrew Ollikainen was scooped up by an Air Force contractor, MacAulay Brown to support the Special Operations Command (AFSOC) in electronic warfare. From there, he transferred into the Air Force Civilian Service to work as a structural engineer on C-130s, and C-17s at Robins Air Force Base.
It was a far cry from his days as a manual laborer, and he’ll not soon forget it.
“When I was working construction –sweaty, muddy, and exhausted out in the field all day– I would see the site engineer drive up in his shiny white truck, with his clean blue jeans and white safety helmet. He’d get out, check some things off on his clipboard, and drive away again in his air-conditioned truck. And I would think to myself, ‘Man, that guy has the life!, ’” he says.
Andrew Ollikainen laughs at this memory.
“Well, as an aerospace engineer, I do keep a reflective belt and hard hat handy, but I don’t work out of pickup trucks or construction sites--I get to work on jets."
While with the Air Force, Ollikainen completed a master’s degree in mechanical engineering and another in military operational arts and sciences in joint warfare.
“That’s one that the Air Force usually reserves for captains and majors, but they opened it up to Air Force civilians, and I was interested, so they let me in.”
Even then, Andrew’s aspirations were set on yet another target.
“Since graduating from Tech, I’ve become something of a perpetual dreamer – drives Stephanie crazy sometimes – but I just don’t feel like I’m done. I knew I wanted to keep going in school and I had to find a way to do it.”
That 'way' materialized Northrop Grumman, where Andrew Ollikainen now works as a senior structural integrity engineer. The position meant the couple had to move to Florida. It also meant Andrew would be supported in pursuing a doctorate, which he began in January of 2016.
Andrew and Stephanie Ollikainen roll their eyes in unison. Laughter ensues.
"I remember when he got accepted to Georgia Tech, we knew our lives were going to change. Forever,” says Stephanie. “And the adventure continues.”
Helen and Roger Krone:
Supporting the Dreams of AE Students
A recent provision made by Helen and Roger A. Krone, AE '78, has enabled the Daniel Guggenheim School of Aerospace Engineering to significantly increase its commitment to faculty support and exceed its 11-year, $25 million Campaign goal.
The Helen B. and Roger A. Krone Faculty Endowment Fund will give School Chair Vigor Yang the flexibility to meet needs as they arise - including (but not limited to) the creation of director’s chairs, faculty chairs, professorships, and early career professorships.
“As I have found success in my personal and professional life, I am better able to put my time at Tech in perspective,” Krone explained. “The four years in Aerospace Engineering helped me to realize my dream. It is our hope that this gift will help other students realize their dreams.”
Yang left little doubt but that this gift will inspire great things.
“The generosity of Roger and Helen Krone has long been an inspiration to the Guggenheim School,” he said.
“Their latest act of philanthropy is truly transformative. Not only does it enable us to exceed our ambitious Campaign goal, but it will allow the School to recruit and cultivate the best minds for our future faculty. We are humbled by the faith they have placed in our educational mission. And we are committed to making them proud of that support.”
For the Krones, the key to a world-class aerospace engineering program at Georgia Tech is the faculty, which is also one of the Guggenheim School’s top fundraising priorities.
“To be the best, Tech needs to continue to attract the best. Competition for faculty is high. Having another endowed faculty position gives the School a place to attract and retain another outstanding faculty member,” he said.
Krone is the CEO of Leidos, a leader in science and technology solutions in the areas of national security, health, and engineering. Prior to joining Leidos, he served as president of Network and Space Systems for The Boeing Company. He was vice president and treasurer of McDonnell Douglas at the time of its 1997 merger with Boeing. He joined McDonnell Douglas in 1992 as director of financial planning after a 14-year career at General Dynamics.
Helen Krone is secretary, treasurer, and financial manager for the Krone Foundation. She serves on the board of trustees for the Mountain Retreat Association, which manages the Montreat Conference Center, a national Presbyterian conference center in North Carolina. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas, Austin.
Roger Krone currently serves on the board of the Georgia Tech Foundation, and he has been a member and chair of the Georgia Tech Advisory Board. He also served as an ex-officio member of the Campaign Steering Committee.