Agricultural Technology
Research Program


Volume 17 | Number 1 | Spring 2005 | Automation Issue

page 1
Innovative Computer Vision System Detects Foreign Material on Food Processing Lines

page 2
Researchers Tackle Challenge of Automatically Inspecting Package Integrity

page 3
Mathematical Modeling

page 4
Project Spotlight - Sensor-based Cutting System for Deboning Poultry

page 5
Georgia Tech Dedicates New Food Processing Technology Building

page 6
The French Connection


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Georgia Tech Dedicates New Food Processing Technology Building

Food Processing Technology Building

The Food Processing Technology Building.

High Bay

The 4,370-square foot High Bay.

Ribbon Cutting

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony (pictured from l to r): Dr. Stephen Cross, Vice President, Georgia Tech and Director, Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI); Dr. Edward Reedy, former Director, GTRI; Mr. Craig Wyvill, Division Chief, GTRI Food Processing Technology Division; Mr. Abit Massey, President, Georgia Poultry Federation; The Honorable Sonny Perdue, Georgia Governor; Dr. Thomas Meredith, Chancellor, University System of Georgia; Dr. G. Wayne Clough, President, Georgia Tech; Mr. Gary Black, President, Georgia Agribusiness Council and Executive Coordinator for Georgia’s Food Processing Advisory Council; The Reverend Dr. Cameron Alexander, Pastor, Antioch Baptist Church North.

Georgia Governor Purdue with science winners

Governor Perdue and students from Centennial Place Elementary School watch a demonstration of one of the many prototype systems being developed in the new facility.

The Georgia Institute of Technology recently held a grand opening for its new Food Processing Technology Building. In a ceremony on May 19, Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue officially dedicated the $7.3 million state-of-the-art facility, which houses more than 36,000 square feet of laboratory and office space dedicated to the development of new and emerging technologies for the food processing industry.

“Innovations are making lives better and moving industry forward,” said Governor Perdue. “This facility will be a great place to develop the future of food processing and test prototypes of products that people will want, and will help Georgia grow jobs in the value-added agricultural fields.”

The facility contains offices and research laboratories for automation, information, and environmental technology development; a 4,370-square foot high-bay prototyping area; a 48-seat auditorium; a large conference room for industrial and organizational meetings and events; and an interactive lower lobby exhibit highlighting the growing role technology is playing in food and poultry processing operations.

The new building serves as headquarters for the Food Processing Technology Division of the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI), the nonprofit applied research arm of Georgia Tech. The division conducts significant industrial research under two major programs: the Agricultural Technology Research Program (ATRP) and Georgia’s Traditional Industries Program for Food Processing, which is managed through the Food Processing Advisory Council (FoodPAC).

Abit Massey, president of the Georgia Poultry Federation, spoke of the industry’s long-standing relationship with ATRP. “This is the most exciting day for the Georgia Poultry Federation, which has had more than a 30-year relationship with the program. The program benefits all aspects of industry, and is a classic example of a public-private partnership.”

“The completion of the Food Processing Technology Building marks the start of a new era for Georgia’s food processing research activities,” said J. Craig Wyvill, division chief. “The building is expected to serve as a cornerstone for multidisciplinary research and development that creates innovative new technology designs for the food industry.”

“We want this facility to be a focal point also for joint university collaboration and for collaboration with technology companies that do not have an existing focus on the food industry,” added Wyvill.

In addition to its main focus of driving technology innovation, a major goal of the facility is to foster outreach and educational activities that introduce the community and educational groups to the food processing industry. A special highlight of the ceremony was the attendance of 30 science fair winners from nearby Centennial Place Elementary School, a theme school for science, mathematics, and technology. The students joined the Governor for one of the first tours of the building.

Other officials who spoke at the ceremony were University System of Georgia Chancellor Thomas Meredith, and Georgia Tech President Wayne Clough. The Reverend Dr. Cameron Alexander, pastor of Antioch Baptist Church North, delivered the invocation. GTRI Director Steve Cross served as master of ceremonies.

The ceremony was attended by more than 100 guests, including agri-business executives, state and local officials, university researchers, and community leaders.

The $7.3 million facility was funded through state-issued bonds and private sources that included pledges and donations from 17 corporate donors. It is the first new GTRI facility to be built in more than 20 years, and marks the completion of the first phase of a two-phase construction project. A campaign is under way to raise $2.1 million needed to construct the Phase II addition, which will add 10,000 square feet for offices and laboratories for human factors, food safety, and bioprocessing research.


Food Processing Technology Building

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High Bay

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Ribbon Cutting

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Georgia Governor Purdue with science winners

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All photographs are property of the Food Processing Technology Division unless otherwise stated.

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PoultryTech is published by the Agricultural Technology Resarch Program (ATRP), Food Processing Technology Division (FPTD) of the Georgia Tech Research Institute. ATRP is conducted in cooperation with the Georgia Poutry Federation with funding from the Georgia Legislature.