VIP is a program of the Arbutus Center, along with the ECE Digital Media Lab.  The VIP program offices are located on the third floor of the Klaus Advanced Computing Building, on Ferst Drive.  General inquiries may be directed to


Edward Coyle
Director, Arbutus Center for the Integration of Research and Education
Director, VIP
John B. Peatman Distinguished Professor
Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar

Phone: 404.894.8136
VIP Office: Klaus 3132


Edward J. Coyle received his B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Delaware in 1978, and master's and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from Princeton University in 1980 and 1982. From 1982 through 2007, he was a faculty member at Purdue University, where he served at various times as assistant vice provost for research, co-director of the Center for Wireless Systems and Applications, and co-founder of both the Vertically-Integrated Projects (VIP) program and the Engineering Projects in Community Service (EPICS) program. During the 2006-07 academic year, he was the Kenan Trust Visiting Professor at Princeton University.

Dr. Coyle joined Georgia Tech in 2008 and is currently the Arbutus Chair for the Integration of Research and Education at Georgia Tech, a Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar, and director of the Arbutus Center for the Integration of Research and Education.

Randal Abler
Associate Director, Arbutus Center
Associate Director

Phone: 404.894.8142
Office: Klaus 3134


Dr. Abler received his bachelors, Masters, and PhD degrees from Georgia Institute of Technology's School of Electrical and Computer Engineering in 1986, 1992, and 2000, respectively.

Dr. Abler worked as a Research Engineer while pursuing his graduate degrees, and was involved in the design and implementation of parallel computers, including VLSI design to miniaturize special purpose processors. He later worked on various networking areas, including IP, ATM, and wide area networks, and was involved in establishing the initial Internet 2 connectivity for Georgia Tech. Dr Abler's hobbies include flying/flight instructing, and woodworking.

Vertically Integrated Projects Program

Julie Sonnenberg-Klein
Academic Program Manager

Phone: 404.894.9362
Office: Klaus 3128

Julie holds a Bachelor of Science in Engineering Physics and a Masters of Education in Education Organization and Leadership, both from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign.  She is now pursing a PhD in Educational Policy Studies with an emphasis on Research, Measurement and Statistics at Georgia State University. Julie has coordinated academic programs, summer undergraduate research programs, departmental recruiting for graduates and undergraduates, as well as community outreach programs. She began her career at the Univeristy of Illinois Urbana Champaign Department of Physics, moved to the the University of Colorado Boulder Department of Physics, and then joined the Georgia Institute of Technology in 2004.

Chris Malbrue

Christopher Malbrue
Educational Support Manager

Office: Klaus 3130

Chris Malbrue manages key operations of the VIP program, and serves as the primary point of contact for students and faculty. Chris joined Georgia Tech in 2008 and previously was the Admissions Coordinator for Electrical and Computer Engineering Graduate Program.

Cahara Murray
Administrative Assistant III

Office: Klaus 3134, Klaus 2123

Cahara holds a Bachelor of Science in Anthropology from the College of Charleston in Charleston, South Carolina. During her time at the College, she pursued work in academic support and student enhancement that initiated her passion for Higher Education administration. In 2018, she joined our VIP team and is ready to make Georgia Tech her new home!

Jaison George
IT Support Prof I

Office: Klaus 2128

Hannah Ai
Student Employee, Database Developer

Office: Klaus 2128

External Collaborations

Ziyo Wang
Online Communications
Ziyo Design


Co-founder, Arts Director and Senior Information Architect of Ziyo Design, Ziyo Wang holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and communication and a master’s degree in human computing interaction.  Wang also has more than ten years of professional experience in graphic design, web design, social media design, interactive touch screen design, SEO design/development, CMS design/development, e-Commerce design/development, online inventory systems, back-end database system integration and software development. She has been practicing fine arts for more than 20 years.

Todd Zhang
Partnership Development
Ziyo Design


Co-founder and President of Ziyo Design, Todd Zhang holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in system engineering with a focus on system analysis and software architecture, as well as an executive MBA.  Zhang has over 25 years of experience in the telecom and dotcom industries.  Zhang's focus is on business development and operation management, for both large corporations and start-ups. In 2006, Zhang and Ziyo Wang established Ziyo Design, combining cutting-edge technology with vision and art to create technology solutions for a wide range of customers.

Digital Media Lab

Marion Crowder
Instructional Media Producer

Phone: 404.385.1530
Office: Van Leer E465

Marion Crowder is an Instructional Media Producer in the ECE Digital Media Lab. He assists faculty with recording and uploading video of short instructional modules. For professors who will be travelling during a semester, he can also help with pre-recording lectures (for non-Distance Learning classes).