Faculty Name

Jerry Volcy, Ph.D.


Director, Spelman Innovation Lab, Brown-Simmons Professor


Innovation Lab



Office Location

Albro-Falconer-Manley Science Center 317


Ph.D., Georgia Institute of Technology, Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering,
M.S., New Jersey Institute of Technology
B.S., New Jersey Institute of Technology


Dr. Jerry Volcy is director of Spelman's Innovation Lab and Brown-Simmons Professor in the Department of Computer and Information Sciences where he also serves as interim chair. The Brown-Simmons professorship was established as part of the College's $12M Mellon matching grant with a generous gift from the John and Rosemary Brown Family Foundation.  
Dr. Volcy graduated from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1996 whereupon he joined Lucent Bell Labs as head of Intelligent Machines and Controls Laboratory, IMAC,  in Norcross, Georgia.  During his three years at IMAC, Dr. Volcy's team engaged in developing nanometer level measurement techniques for the fiber optics industry using machine vision technology.  

When the division was relocated in 2000, Dr. Volcy left and simultaneously began offering firmware engineering consulting services to the scientific and engineering R&D industries while taking the lead software engineering role at Micron Optics, a cutting-edge Atlanta technical startup.  

For 15 years, Dr. Volcy provided engineering services to a growing list of clients representing the fiber-optic, robotic, medical instrumentation, gaming, metrology and manufacturing industries. From 2011 to 2013, Dr. Volcy served as chief operating officer of SoftWear Automation, a DARPA-funded robotic startup where he currently serves on the board of advisers.  

A life-long tinkerer, Dr. Volcy holds two patents and countless trade secret-protected discoveries through his professional engagements. In the summer of 2014, Dr. Volcy was invited to conduct an engineering module for rising Spelman students.  The experience of being in a classroom with bright, capable young women of color crystallized the absence of these very same women, in the actual practice of engineering and technology. Today, Dr. Volcy dedicates his time to the formation of a representative next generation of technology leaders; and his research interests currently focus on CS pedagogy for women.
Dr. Volcy, a frequent collaborator, also worked closely with his Spelman colleagues -- Gene McGinnis Ph.D. (biologist), Ayoka Chenzira Ph.D, and Joe Bigley (artists) -- on the Electric Fish Project, an artistic response in the form of an interactive installation that celebrates our fascination with biological adaptation.


“All-Optical System and Method For Measuring the Concentricity of a Core to a Ferrule”
U.S. Patent No. 6011616, 1/4/2000.

Method and Apparatus for Multiple Scan Rate Swept Wavelength Laser-Based Optical Sensor Interrogation System with Optical Path Length Measurement Capability”
U.S. App. No.7573021, 8/11/2009.


J. Volcy, C. Sidbury, “Effects of Two Experientially-correct Introduction To Engineering Modules on Prospective Female Engineering Students.” Accepted, ASEE 121st Annual Conference, June 15-18, 2014, Indianapolis, IN.

S. Dickerson, J. Volcy, S. Jayaraman et al. “Automated Measurement and Control for Fabric Assembly,” SAMPE Annual Conference, May 6-9, 2013, Long Beach, CA.

J. Volcy, C. Sidbury. “Developing a Summer Bridge Course for Improving Retention in
Engineering.” ASEE 120th Annual Conference, June 23-26, 2013, Atlanta, GA. Best Conference Paper award.

J. Volcy. “STEM Degree In Hand...Now What?–Early Preparation for Success the Day After Graduation”. Address to the incoming minority STEM students of the University of Georgia through the Peach State Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation, 27 July 2011, Athens, GA.

K. Hsu, T. Haber, J. Mock, J. Volcy, T. Graver. “High-Speed Swept-Laser Interrogation System for Vibration Monitoring,” Proceedings of the 4th International Workshop on Structural Health Monitoring, 15-17 Sept 2003, Stanford, CA.