April 7-13, 2014


April 7, 2014

Faculty News

Honors & Awards:

Michael Plesniak (MAE) was inducted into the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) College of Fellows at AIMBE’s 2014 Annual Event, March 23-25, in Washington, DC.  The AIMBE College of Fellows represent the top 2% of medical and biological engineers nationwide.  AIMBE is an organization of leaders in medical and biological engineering, consisting of academic, industrial, professional society councils, and elected fellows.


Prof. Royce Francis (EMSE) has received a one-year, $15,000 University Facilitating Fund (UFF) grant from the Office of the Vice President for Research for his project, “New Neighborhood Watch: Community-Based Urban Air Quality Monitoring and Sensing.”

Prof. Megan Leftwich (MAE) recently received a two-year, $100,000 early concept grant from the National Science Foundation.  The grant is titled “EAGER: The fluid dynamics of human birth.”  She also has received a one-year, $15,000 University Facilitating Fund (UFF) grant from the Office of the Vice President for Research to study the kinematics and hydrodynamics of sea lion swimming.

Prof. Jason Zara (ECE) and his colleague Dr. Nader Sadeghi (Professor of Surgery) have been awarded a $50,000 Katzen Foundation grant for their project “Concurrent Imaging and Treatment of Epithelial Cancers Using Optical Coherence Tomography and Cold Plasmas:  Imaging and Treatment of Excised Oral Cavity Tumors.”  This work is also being conducted in collaboration with Prof. Michael Keidar (MAE).

Media Mentions:

Prof. Lorena Barba's (MAE) paper “Lift and Wakes of Flying Snakes” is continuing to receive attention. It was the subject last week of an April 1 Live Science article.


Prof. Vesna Zderic (ECE), together with her former doctoral student Dr. Marjan Nabili (currently an ORISE postdoctoral research fellow at FDA) and their SEAS undergraduate researchers and collaborators from GW's Department of Ophthalmology, have published the following paper: M. Nabili, A. Shenoy, S. Chawla, S. Mahesh, J. Liu, C. Geist, and V. Zderic. “Ultrasound-enhanced ocular delivery of dexamethasone sodium phosphate: an in vivo study, ” Journal of Therapeutic Ultrasound. 2014, 2:6  DOI: 10.1186/2050-5736-2-6.

Predictive Analytics For Dummies, a book co-authored by Anasse Bari (visiting professor, CS), Mohamed Chaouchi, and Tommy Jung currently is ranked 6th among Kindle store books, according to Amazon USA, and 3rd among new business enterprises books, according to Amazon Canada.  Predictive analytics encompasses a variety of statistical techniques from modeling, machine learning, and data mining that analyze current and historical facts to make predictions about future, or otherwise unknown, events.  Both Anasse and Mohamed are graduates of the CS Department.  Their book was published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Conferences & Presentations:

On April 1, Prof. Lorena Barba (MAE) gave the invited talk “Reproducible Research and Uncertainty Quantification in Supercomputing” at a mini-symposium in the Uncertainty Quantification Conference of the Society of Industrial and Applied Mathematics.

Prof. Abdelghani Bellaachia (CS) and his doctoral student Mohammed Al-Dhelaan published their fourth research paper, titled “HG-Rank: A Hypergraph-based Keyphrase Extraction for Short Documents in Dynamic Genre,” at the 4th Workshop on Making Sense of Micropost at the 23rd World Wide Web conference. The conference is being held this week in Seoul, South Korea.

Prof. David Broniatowski (EMSE) presented a paper titled “Incorporating Interpretation Into Risky Decision-Making: A Computational Model” at the 2014 International Conference on Social Computing, Behavioral-Cultural Modeling, & Prediction (SBP14), held April 3 in Washington, DC.

Prof. Ken Chong (MAE) gave a seminar, titled “Some New Developments in Mechanics and Structures” at the University of California - Irvine on March.  He also visited with graduate students, faculty members, and Dean Gregory Washington, and toured the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (known as Calit2) and its state-of-the-art facilities.

Prof. Taeyoung Lee (MAE) was invited to the special session of Mechanics and Control at the American Mathematical Society (AMS) Eastern Section Meeting, held at the University of Maryland Baltimore County on March 29-30. There, he gave a talk titled “Geometric Symplectic Uncertainty Propagation for Hamiltonian Systems on a Lie Group.”

Prof. David Nagel (ECE) presented a paper titled “Scientific and Practical Questions about Lattice Enabled Nuclear Reactions” at MIT March 22, during a three-day meeting for the 25th anniversary of the announcement of “cold fusion”.

Prof. Tim Wood (CS) presented the paper “NetVM: High Performance and Flexible Networking Using Virtualization on Commodity Platforms” at the Symposium on Network Systems Design and Implementation (NSDI 14), held April 2-4 in Seattle, WA.  NSDI is the top conference at the intersection of networking and operating systems. The work on the paper was done in part by Prof. Wood's student Jinho Hwang, who recently began a post-doc at IBM Research.

Student News

Students from GW's CEE Department competed with students from 14 other regional universities in various competitions at the  American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) 2014 Virginia Student Conference, held April 3-5 at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, VA. GW's CEE students received the following awards:

1st Place: Marr Technical Paper
1st Place: Display – Steel Bridge
1st Place: Stiffness – Steel Bridge
1st Place: Structural Efficiency – Steel Bridge
2nd Place: Overall Score – Steel Bridge

The GW Steel Bridge Team’s performance allows the university to advance to the National Steel Bridge Competition, which will be held May 23-24 in Akron, OH.

Congratulations to ASCE chapter advisor, Prof. Samer Hamdar, and the participating CEE students: Mark Arnoldy, Eric Burke, Thompson Hunt, Andrea Keeler, Collin Krahe, Clay McKenna, Miles Miliken, Eric Prokop, and Sara Rifai. Prof. Hamdar thanks CEE students Kayla Pingel, Thomas Steckel, and Elizabeth Manning for their help and extends a special thanks to the CEE faculty, particularly Profs. Kim Roddis and Majid Manzari; to CEE executive assistant Joyce Randolph; and to the GW SEAS shop staff –William Rutkowski, Tom Punte, Tyler Miller, and Nick Batista–for their support.

Andrea Lehn (BME, junior) has received an Undergraduate Research Award from GW’s Center for Undergraduate Fellowships and Research to develop a pulsing uterus apparatus.  Prof. Megan Leftwich (MAE), who is studying the fluid dynamics of human birth, is her mentor for the project.

Congratulations to our SEAS student winners of GW Research Days 2014.  Research Days, held April 1 and 2, is a University-wide event sponsored by the Office of the Vice President for Research to promote student research throughout GW.  Day 1 covers a broad range of disciplines including the arts, humanities, social sciences, engineering, business and law, while Day 2 focuses on health-related areas and medicine.

Day 1

Graduate Winners:

1st Place* - William Rone (MAE): “Biomimetic robotic tails for agile maneuvering of field mobile robots” (Prof. Pinhas Ben-Tzvi)  *William tied for 1st Place with a CCAS student.
2nd Place - Tse-Huai Wu (MAE): “Vision-based spacecraft attitude formation control” (Prof. Taeyoung Lee)

Day 2

Undergraduate Winners in BME:

1st Place - Daina Brooks (ECE): “A comparison of the effects of acetylcholine and bisphenol A on the left ventricular pressure and contractility of the heart” (Prof. Matthew Kay)
2nd Place - Elizabeth Hubler (MAE): “Evaluation of synthetic self-oscillating models of the vocal folds” (Prof. Michael Plesniak)
3rd Place - Michael Leggiero (MAE): “Dynamical systems characterization of fluid flow in a curved artery model under pulsatile forcing” (Prof. Michael Plesniak)

Graduate Winners in BME:

1st Place - Anastasia Wengrowski (ECE): “Optically mapping the effects of light-activated norepinephrine release from cardiac sympathetic neurons” (Prof. Matthew Kay)
2nd Place - Nathan Castro (MAE): “3D printed bioactive nanostructured scaffolds for osteochondral regeneration” (Prof. Lijie Grace Zhang)
3rd Place - Benjamin Holmes (MAE): “Enhanced mechanical and cytocompatibility properties of novel 3D printed osteochondral scaffolds” (Prof. Lijie Grace Zhang)

Guest Vignette      

The peak electric demand for air conditioning during the summer months is one of the major factors in U.S. energy consumption, and the electricity for it comes largely from coal-fired power plants.

The team of Professors Chunlei Liang and Charles Garris, both of MAE, is making progress to nurture a transformative technology to enable energy-efficient residential air conditioning, to promote the usage of natural gas, and to reduce carbon effluents into the atmosphere. The key to designing small air conditioning units is the Crypto-Steady Supersonic Pressure Ejector (CSSPE) technology, which Prof. Garris pioneered and for which he received funding from NSF and the Environment Protection Agency (EPA). Using natural gas, the CSSPE technology can efficiently drive the flow train in the refrigeration cycle directly from thermal power.

There are two basic refrigeration cycles that can be used for residential air conditioning: the absorption cycle and ejector refrigeration. Due to the excessiveness of their cost, complexity, size, and weight, absorption cycle chillers are used primarily for large buildings and are inefficient for units of 20 tons or less, and they are not suitable for the residential market of average American households. Moreover, conventional ejector refrigeration suffers from a low coefficient of performance (COP), which increases the energy consumption. The CSSPE technology uses the reversible and efficient work of interfacial pressure forces present in supersonic non-steady flow to achieve flow induction as well as a considerably higher COP.

The current state-of-the-art design of the CSSPE technology requires a deep understanding of the complex fluid structures in the ejector, and the ability to maximize the non-steady interfacial flow induction and minimize turbulent flow mixing. The team of Professors Liang and Garris is building novel state-of-the-art computational fluid dynamics software to routinely simulate the supersonic flow in the CSSPE ejectors and to optimize the design of these ejectors. The proposed innovations of this purposely-built software include new technologies of mesh adaptation to capture the intricate shock wave structures associated with the CSSPE processes as well as a novel sliding-deforming mesh methodology to deal with the rotating reference frame. (Provided courtesy of Professors Chunlei Liang and Charles Garris of the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering)

SEAS Events

MAE Seminar: “Statistical Analysis and Simulation of Random Shock Waves in Burgers Turbulence”
Speaker: Professor Daniele Venturi, Division of Applied Mathematics, Brown University
Monday, April 7
1:00 pm
736 Phillips Hall

MAE Seminar: “Modeling Inelastic Behavior of Metals at Multiple Scales for Multiple Purposes”
Speaker: Dr. David L. McDowell, Georgia Institute of Technology
Tuesday, April 8
11:00 am
736 Phillips Hall

SAVE THE DATE: SEAS Faculty Awards Presentation
Thursday, April 10
3:00 – 5:00 pm
307 Marvin Center

GW Business Plan Competition Finals
Friday, April 11
Duques Hall, Rooms 651 and 652
9:00 am – 5:00 pm

CEE Seminar: “Origami-Inspired Deployable Shelters with a Novel Erection Strategy”
Speaker: Prof. Ashley Thrall, University of Notre Dame
Friday, April 11
11:00 am – 12:00 pm
640 Phillips Hall

CS Colloquium: “Latent Variable Models for Tracking Illness Severity in Infants”
Speaker: Dr. Suchi Saria, Johns Hopkins University
Friday, April 11
12:00 pm
736 Phillips Hall

MAE Seminar: “Enabling Faster, Better Medical Device Development and Evaluation with Modeling and Simulation:Regulatory Perspective”
Speaker: Dr. Tina M. Morrison, Advisor of Computational Modeling Center for Devices & Radiological Health, Food and Drug Administration
Monday, April 14
2:00 pm
771 Rome Hall

CEE Seminar: “Nano- and Micro-Composites for Biomedical Applications”
Speaker: Prof. Ulrike Wegst, Dartmouth College
Thursday, April 17
4:00 – 5:00 pm
640 Philips Hall

SAVE THE DATE: Frank Howard Distinguished Lecture
Speaker: Dr. Mario Livio, Internationally Renowned Astrophysicist & Prize-Winning Author
Thursday, April 17
6:30 – 8:30 pm
Marvin Center, Continental Ballroom
After the lecture, Dr. Livio will be available for a book signing. Copies of his book will be available for purchase. A reception follows the lecture.

Free COMSOL Multiphysics Workshop at GW
Thursday, April 18
For more information and to register, please visit: http://www.comsol.com/events/ cmhtffw/29651

MAE Seminar: “On the Damping-Induced Self-Recovery Phenomenon in Mechanical Systems”
Speaker: Prof. Dong Eui Chang, The University of Waterloo, Canada
Tuesday, April 22
2:00 pm
736 Phillips Hall

ECE Colloquium: “Optimal Control of Wireless Networks: From Theory to Practice”
Speaker: Dr. Eytan Modiano, Laboratory for Information and Decision Systems, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Wednesday, April 23
11:00 am – 12:00 pm
640 Phillips Hall

CEE Seminar: “Environmentally Relevant Properties of Polymer Carbon Nanotube-Nanocomposites”
Speaker: Dr. Howard Fairbrother, Johns Hopkins University
Friday, April 25
12:00 – 1:00 pm
640 Phillips Hall

ECE Colloquium: “Coordinated Task Management and Scheduling for MapReduce”
Speaker: Prof. Weikuan Yu, Auburn University
Friday, May 2
11:00 am – 12:00 pm
640 Phillips Hall

MAE Seminar: “Nanogenerators as New Energy Technology & Piezotronics for Functional Systems”
Speaker: Dr. Zhong Lin Wang, Georgia Institute of Technology
Thursday, May 8
11:00 am
736 Phillips Hall

SAVE THE DATE: Pelton Senior Design Competition & Senior-Alumni BBQ
Wednesday, May 14
5:00 – 9:00 pm
Marvin Center Grand Ballroom

MAE Seminar: “Microfluidics Assisted Bio- and Nano-materials Synthesis”
Speaker: Prof. Amy Shen, University of Washington
Monday, May 19
1:00 pm
736 Phillips Hall

MAE Seminar: “Geometry of Collectives: Control, Dynamics, and Reconstruction”
Speaker: Dr. P. S. Krishnaprasad, University of Maryland College Park, Institute of Systems Research
Thursday, May 22
2:00 pm
736 Phillips Hall

External Events:

USA Science and Engineering Festival Expo
Saturday and Sunday, April 26-27
Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C.
More info
Over 750 leading STEM organizations will present hands-on science and engineering activities for people of all ages. The event is free of charge.