April 26 - May 2, 2021


April 26, 2021

Faculty News
Honors & Awards:

Dr. Shahrokh Ahmadi

Congratulations to Dr. Shahrokh Ahmadi (ECE), who was selected to receive GW’s 2021 George Washington Award. The George Washington Award recognizes students, faculty, or staff who have made exceptional contributions that have advanced the university to: develop students' abilities to the fullest, provide for superior instruction and facilities, provide for a balanced program of student extracurricular activities, or utilize its historical, geographical and functional relationship to the nation's capital. The George Washington Award is given annually during the Excellence in Student Life Awards, which is GW’s largest celebration of student life and a beloved campus tradition, honoring the individuals and groups who work tirelessly to enhance student life on campus and work alongside our surrounding community. Dr. Ahmadi was nominated by ECE department chair, Dr. Suresh Subramaniam.

Photo of Professor Santos

Dr. Joost Santos (EMSE) has been selected as a Fulbright Scholar for AY 2021-22. The prestigious Fulbright program has produced an impressive roster of alumni and projects with global impact. Its presidentially appointed 12-member board is responsible for supervising the Fulbright program worldwide and approving the selection of all Fulbright recipients. The project proposed by Dr. Santos seeks to develop infrastructure and economic resilience models to enhance disaster risk management, which has escalated in importance in recent years. In particular, the goal of this project is to develop and specialize the Inoperability Input-Output Model (IIM), a method that is capable of identifying and prioritizing the critical interdependencies across infrastructure and economic networks. The host country for this Fulbright scholarship is the Philippines, which has experienced the world’s strongest typhoons and has also recently struggled with mitigating the COVID-19 pandemic, making it to the top of the ranking of recorded cases among Southeast Asian nations. GW Today has more information on Dr. Santos’ Fulbright research in its article “GW Engineering Professor Named Fulbright Scholar.”


Research & Grants:

Dr. Samer Hamdar

Dr. Samer Hamdar (CEE) and his colleagues from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign and Northwestern University are among only two teams nationwide to be selected for a Broad Agency Announcement: Acquiring Connected and Automated Vehicle (CAV) Performance Dataset grant. This two-year, $432,717 grant is for their project, “Third Generation Simulation Data: A Closer Look at the Impacts of Automated Driving Systems on Human Behavior.” The GW Transportation Program (GWTP)—in coordination with the GW Division of Information Technology (IT) and Facilities Planning, Construction, and Management staff members—will install equipment and use artificial intelligence to extract autonomous vehicles’ trajectory level data at the GW Foggy Bottom campus in an urban multi-modal traffic set-up. The GWTP share of the award is $140,000.


Dr. Ekundayo Shittu
Dr. Rene van Dorp

Drs. Ekundayo Shittu (EMSE) and Rene van Dorp (EMSE) have received a one-year, $120,000 Department of Energy (DOE) award for their project “Improving the Generation of Synthetic Time Histories for Electricity Demand, Prices and Variable Renewable Electricity Production.” This is the third consecutive year that Idaho National Labs is supporting their project, aimed at improving the generation of time histories for wind energy demand. In this phase of the project, emphasis will be on the enhancement of low probability sampling for risk-averse optimization by integrating the developed umbrella sampler from the previous round into RAVEN and investigating sampling efficiency. RAVEN is a flexible and multi-purpose uncertainty quantification, probabilistic risk assessment, and model optimization framework for the DOE’s Nuclear Energy Advanced Modeling and Simulation Program.



Dr. Paymen Dehghanian

The IEEE Industry Application Society (IAS) invited Dr. Payman Dehghanian (ECE) to contribute an article to IEEE Industry Applications Magazine in his capacity as IAS webinar program chair. Dr. Dehghanian submitted the following article: P. Dehghanian, “Webinars: Equity in Education through IAS Digital Citizenship,” vol. 27, no. 3, pp. 83-84, May/June 2021.


Dr. Shahram Sarkani
Dr. Thomas Mazzuchi

Drs. Shahram Sarkani (EMSE) and Thomas Mazzuchi (EMSE) have published two recent papers with their jointly supervised PhD students, Robert Hill and Mark Calafut: 1) R. Hill, S. Sarkani, and T. A. Mazzuchi, “Managing in a post Covid19 world: a stakeholder network perspective,” IEEE Engineering Management Review, vol. 49, no. 1, March 2021, pp. 63-71; and 2) M. Calafut, S. Sarkani, and T. A. Mazzuchi, “Effective decision-making behaviors for defense R&D: accounting for dynamic competition,” Defense Acquisition Research Journal, vol. 28, no. 2, April 2021, pp. 190-233.


Dr. Omur Ozel
Dr. Suresh Subramaniam

Drs. Omur Ozel (ECE) and Suresh Subramaniam (ECE) have published the following paper with ECE graduate student Peng Zou: P. Zou, O. Ozel, and S. Subramaniam, “Optimizing information freshness through computation-transmission tradeoff and queue management in edge computing,” IEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking, vol. 29, no. 2, pp. 949-963, April 2021. Edge computing improves the performance of latency-sensitive applications by moving computing capability closer to the data. Their paper examines the freshness of information delivered to an edge server from a sensor node by analyzing the tradeoff between preprocessing and transmission.


Media Mentions:

Dr. John Helveston on CNN

CNN’s “The Climate Crisis” Town Hall featured a question from Dr. John Helveston (EMSE) about climate actions that can be taken that won’t be undone by the next administration if it denies climate science. (Watch the video)


Conferences & Presentations:

Dr. Paymen Dehghanian

Dr. Payman Dehghanian (ECE), the GW SmartGrid Laboratory director, was invited to speak at an April 14 energy and infrastructure panel hosted by the National Capital Chapter of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineering. During the panel, Dr. Dehghanian discussed the topic “Weathering the Storms: Lessons Learned from the Texas 2021 Cold Extreme and The Need for Resilience.”


Student News
GW SmartGrid Lab member and ECE PhD student Yifu Li presented his paper at the 52nd North American Power Symposium: Y. Li, S. Wang, L. Li, and P. Dehghanian, “Artificial Intelligence for Real-Time Topology Identification in Power Distribution Systems,” The 52nd North American Power Symposium (NAPS), pp. 1-6, April 11-14, 2021, Tempe, AZ.


Steel bridge team

Congratulations to the GW Steel Bridge Team for winning the AISC (American Institute of Steel Construction) 2021 MidAtlantic/Carolinas Regional Supplemental Student Steel Bridge Competition and qualifying for the national finals competition, to be held on June 3. This year, AISC launched a new, design-only team contest that allows for full virtual participation from start to finish. This supplemental competition provides another opportunity for teams to experience the Student Steel Bridge Competition in light of restrictions related to the ongoing pandemic.


In the competition, student teams design a steel bridge that must span approximately 20 feet, carry 2,500 pounds, and meet all other specifications of the competition rules. Bridge aesthetics are also judged and considered in the final results of the competition. The team must determine how to fabricate their bridge and then plan for an efficient assembly under timed construction. Student teams also submit a written report and a video summarizing their design and construction sequence for the bridge. The GW Steel Bridge Team is led by team captains Savana Stewart, Julie A'Bonney, and Matt Carlone. Team members include: Ashley Kraekel, Audra Foster, Bassant Sabry, Chris Lemkan, Erin McNamara, Evalyn Maxwell, George Commissiong, Harry Keo, Kevish Shah, Marcus Giff, and Stephanie Carapia. Dr. Kim Roddis (CEE) is the team’s faculty advisor.


Other News

Photo of Dr. Christine Mann Darden

SEAS is pleased to announce our 2021 SEAS Celebration speaker, Dr. Christine Mann Darden. Dr. Darden is a retired NASA director and aerospace engineer, an internationally recognized authority in the field of sonic-boom minimization, and one of the women whose story was featured in the 2016 bestseller, Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race. She also is a GW-SEAS alumna, earning her doctor of science degree in mechanical engineering from GW in 1983. In 2019 GW awarded her an honorary Doctor of Science, and in 2017 SEAS inducted her into the GW Engineering Hall of Fame.

SEAS alumnus Samson March, BS ‘14, recently released a YouTube video that demonstrates his latest innovation, a “smart wand”—think Harry Potter. In this light-hearted video, Samson explains the genesis of the project, shows the process from idea to finished product, and demonstrates the wand’s use. He also notes that he will make his plans for building the wand open source so that others can recreate the project.


Upcoming SEAS Events
MAE Seminar: “Simulations of Additively Manufactured Components with Integrated Particle Dampers”
Speaker: Dr. Daniel Kiracofe, University of Cincinnati, Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering
Thursday, April 29
2:00 pm (ET)
Zoom link


Entrepreneurship News & Events

GW Innovation Center Events
GWIC Spring 2021—We’re OPEN!

Bring your ideas and questions to the Innovation Center. We are here to help you with a range of expertise, from 3D modeling to equitable venture plans and human-centered design.


M06 Virtual Hours
Mondays 6:00 – 7:00 pm (ET) and Wednesdays 1:00 – 2:00 pm (ET)
GWIC student fellows, Phoenix Price, Isabelle Carney, and Jamie Horowitz, will host virtual office hours to assist in making, design, and social impact project development.


Virtual Mentor Hours with Innovation Center Co-directors
Fridays 12:00 – 1:30 pm (ET): GWIC Founder and SEAS Chief Evangelist, Annamaria Konya Tannon
Thursdays, 1:00 – 2:00 pm (ET): GWIC Co-director, Erica Cusi Wortham


For details and links, please visit the GWIC Events Page and Instagram @gwinnovationcenter.


Human Resources News
HR Corner Hero

Find updates on benefits, employee resources, and more at the HR Corner. Please visit the HR Corner to get the latest news and information.