Professor Emeritus, Georgia Institute of Technology & Founder of Modnar Corporation, DVT Corporation, CAMotion, Inc., RideCell LLC, SoftWear Automation, Inc.
Dr. Dickerson received his Sc.D. (Doctor of Science) degree from MIT in 1965, MSME from Berkeley in 1963, and BSME from IIT in 1962. He was a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Georgia Tech until retirement in 1996, and was elected Fellow of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers in 2004. Automation, advanced manufacturing, and urban transportation are his primary interests.
Specific research projects led to the founding of various companies: DVT Corporation revolutionized machine vision and was sold for over $100 M in 2005; CAMotion, Inc. made breakthroughs in light-weight, high performance robotics and has annual sales now of about $5 M; RideCell uses advanced communications and computing to support urban transportation and is profitable; and SoftWear Automation Inc. is DARPA funded and expects to introduce disruptive solutions in garment cutting and sewing. The last two companies are early stage ventures. He holds several patents covering these technologies. And in each case he made the initial capital investments.
Regarding manufacturing automation Dickerson has invented and introduced a number of innovations. DVT Corporation was founded in 1990 based on research and a patent held by Georgia Tech that enabled very compact and inexpensive machine vision systems where the image detector was coupled directly to the image processing computer. In the end this became the standard for machine vision today and allows very inexpensive manufacture and great performance. CAMotion’s technology is based on the work of three faculty members in Mechanical Engineering at Georgia Tech. Very capable and light-weight and low power robotics is the result. SoftWear Automation is now funded by DARPA to enable the return of garment manufacture to the US. It is thought that domestic production can be at less than the “China price.”
Regarding urban transportation in particular, Dickerson founded the Peachtree City Commuter Program in 1975 that was credited by the US DOT as being the first community based vanpool system in the US. That operation was owned by Modnar Corp. Dr. Dickerson took a leave from Georgia Tech to serve the US Department Transportation as a Research Analyst in 1974-75. Today, RideCell provides higher utilization of transportation resources and improved customer experience through advanced communication between vehicles and customers. He holds a patent that describes an integrated approach to information systems to assist urban transportation.
My time as part of SAA's Ramblin' On committee was a phenomenal one. I simply loved the experience, which allowed me to help plan a major event while developing necessary communication and cooperation skills with both other members of the committee and professionals, as well. Plus, the group of students I worked with ultimately all became my friends, which is an invaluable feeling!! - Josh Brown, HTS 2015, SAA Committee Chair
Mentor Jackets program is awesome. I not only have a wonderful mentor, but also ended up having a lifetime friend who can offer me advice and help whenever I need it. I will participate in this program every year. The program provides precious opportunities for students to connect closely with alumni. - Zhong Chen, Master's CS 2013, Mentor Jackets Participant
Being a part of the Student Alumni Association opened doors at Georgia Tech that I would never have dreamed of. During my time as a member of SAA, I was given the opportunity to coordinate a Dinner Jacket event with Tom Fanning, the CEO of Southern Company and a fellow Yellow Jacket. That was easily one of the most memorable and rewarding experiences from my time at Tech. Plus, I got a free steak out of it! - Imran Ali, MGT 2012, Dinner Jackets Participant