Ignite Seattle 2023

Pictured left to right: Woodruff School IT staff members Christopher Aldridge, Stephen Fuller, Veronica Leak, and Shawn Hayden.

Woodruff School IT Staff Attend Microsoft Ignite

December 21, 2023
By Chloe Arrington

George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering information technology (IT) staff recently attended Microsoft’s annual signature event, Microsoft Ignite. Hosted in Seattle, Washington, Microsoft Ignite is aimed at industry leaders and IT professionals. 

The 2023 conference was a comprehensive showcase of Microsoft's latest technological advancements and strategic initiatives. Staff members Christopher Aldridge, Stephen Fuller, Shawn Hayden, and Veronica Leak participated in workshops and presentations from some of Microsoft’s leading personnel, particularly in areas that they predict will have an impact at Georgia Tech and within mechanical engineering. 

“Microsoft Ignite 2023 was a great experience to learn about opportunities that our department and Georgia Tech can seize to not only enhance IT performance but also improve customer service capabilities,” said Hayden, IT support professional manager. “We will be able to assist faculty and staff in achieving optimal results.” 

Hayden is excited about exploring and utilizing generative AI to optimize processes, working with the Azure infrastructure to enhance security and compliance, and utilizing cloud computing to provide cost benefits and reduce workloads. 

Fuller, director of IT, says Georgia Tech will now be able to leverage AI to assist staff, faculty, students, and researchers securely and live within already installed applications like Microsoft Edge and soon within Teams and other applications. 

“Of particular importance to this is that our access to Microsoft’s AI tools is aligned with the need to have any data in chats or other AI modes secure and not used as part of model building or exposed outside the organization, giving Georgia Tech and other partners the necessary data sovereignty to make the tool that much more useful,” Fuller said. 

Overall, the team expressed that Microsoft Ignite 2023 provided a panoramic view of the company's commitment to innovation, collaboration, and addressing challenges in the evolving digital landscape. They are excited and already hard at work finding ways to integrate new tools for teams at the Woodruff School and Georgia Tech.