August 31 - September 6, 2020


August 31, 2020

Faculty News

Dr. Erica Gralla

COVID testing has been plagued by bottlenecks and inefficiencies, inhibiting the scale-up of testing to needed levels for the safe re-opening of society. Dr. Erica Gralla (EMSE) and colleagues from the University of Maryland and Polytechnique Montreal are developing models to help COVID testing labs scale up operations and remove bottlenecks, so that more people can be tested and results can be provided faster. They are developing discrete event simulation models to represent the sequence of steps in COVID sample collection and testing, then experimenting with what-if scenarios to show the performance benefits or detriments from changes in process (e.g. batch sizes, sample collection standards, assays) and in regulations. Their collaboration with a major Maryland testing center will enable their models to be validated against a real setting and their insights to be shared and implemented through workshops with Maryland testing stakeholders. The interdisciplinary team consists of Dr. Gralla, Dr. Patti Gravitt (epidemiology) and Dr. Jacques Ravel (genomics) of University of Maryland, Dr. Nadia Lahrichi (operations research) of Polytechnique Montreal, and SEAS systems engineering masters students Kai Friesecke and Jad El Hage. This research is funded by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation through Grant GBMF9634 to Johns Hopkins University to support the work of the Society for Medical Decision Making COVID-19 Decision Modeling Initiative.

Photo of Professor Luyao Lu

Dr. Luyao Lu (BME) has received a $15,000 GW COVID-19 Research Fund grant to work on the project “Wireless multimodal soft wearable sensors for remote physiological monitoring of COVID-19 symptoms.”


Faculty News


Dr. Paymen Dehghanian
Dr. Omur Ozel
Dr. Ekundayo Shittu

An interdisciplinary team of GW faculty, led by principal investigator Dr. Robert Orttung (GW Office of Sustainability), won a one-year, $150,000 planning grant from the National Science Foundation to improve low-income household energy access in DC. The GW research team will bring technical, financial, public health, community engagement, public policy, and legal knowledge and resources to the project. The team also includes co-principal investigators Dr. Payman Dehghanian (ECE), Dr. Omur Ozel (ECE), Dr. Donna Attanasio (GW Law School), Dr. Wendy Ellis (Milken Institute School of Public Health), and senior personnel Dr. Harrison Newton (Milken Institute School of Public Health), Dr. Ekundayo Shittu (EMSE), Dr. John Forrer (GW School of Business), Dr. Gregory Squires (Department of Sociology), and Meghan Chapple and Kehan Desousa, both of GW’s Office of Sustainability.


Dr. Saniya LeBlanc

Dr. Saniya LeBlanc (MAE) has teamed with Drs. Joy Gockel and Tanvi Banerjee at Wright State University and the company Arctos to conduct the project “Accelerating Additive Manufacturing Process Design for Energy Conversion Materials using In-situ Sensing and Machine Learning.” Awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy Advanced Manufacturing Office, the two-year, $500,000 ($150,000 GW share) project will wrap a machine learning framework around in-situ thermal tomography, particle ejection monitoring, profilometry, and spectroscopy sensor data during additive manufacturing processing to predict optimal processing parameters for thermoelectric materials.

Dr. Lijie Grace Zhang

In the Journal of Biomedical Semantics article “Disclosing Main authors and Organisations collaborations in bioprinting through network maps analysis,” Dr. Lijie Grace Zhang (MAE) and GW are ranked among the most influential authors and institutions, respectively, in the field of bioprinting. Dr. Zhang was ranked 7th in the study’s “List of most influential authors found on this study” (Table 3), while GW was ranked 10th in the “Top ten institution[s] and number of publications in bioprinting” list (Figure 4). In addition, the names of many of her lab members appear in the study’s “Co-authors network map.”



Dr. Paymen Dehghanian

The GW SmartGrid Lab, directed by Dr. Payman Dehghanian (ECE) published and virtually presented this paper at the International Conference on Probabilistic Methods Applied to Power Systems, held August 18-21 in Liege, Belgium: M. Nazemi, P. Dehghanian, and Z. Yang, “Swift Disaster Recovery in Resilient Power Grids: Integration of DERs with Mobile Power Sources.”

Dr. Michael Keidar

Dr. Michael Keidar (MAE) is the editor of the recently published book Plasma Cancer Therapy. The book, written by key researchers in the field, provides a comprehensive analysis and overview of the state-of-the-art of plasma-based cancer therapy. Written by a global, cross-disciplinary group of leading researchers, the book covers basic theory, generation, diagnostics, and simulation of cold atmospheric plasma, as well as their clinical application in cancer therapy, immunotherapy, and future outlook, giving a complete picture of the field. Dr. Keidar also recently published the following paper, along with his graduate student Keir Daniels, post-doc Denis Zolotuchin, and their collaborator: D. B. Zolotukhin, K. P. Daniels, L. Brieda, and M. Keidar. “Onset of the magnetized arc and its effect on the momentum of a low-power two-stage pulsed magneto plasma-dynamic thruster,” Physical Review E, 102, 021203(R), 2020.

Dr. David Nagel

PhD student Bengisu Sisik (MAE) and Dr. David Nagel (ECE) have published this paper: B. Sisek and D. Nagel. “Review of Seebeck Calorimeters Used in LENR Experiments,” Journal of Condensed Matter Nuclear Science, Vol. 33, pp 234–251.


Conferences & Presentations:

Dr. Volker Sorger

Dr. Volker Sorger (ECE) gave four invited talks at the SPIE Optics and Photonics Conference, held virtually August 24-28. The talk titles were: “Photonic tensor cores for machine learning,” “Photonic nonvolatile memory for optical matrix multiplications,” “Massively parallel Fourier-optics based processor,” and “Advanced 2D material optoelectronic devices.”


Other News:

Dr. Lorena Barba

The IEEE Computer Society president has appointed Dr. Lorena Barba (MAE) as editor-in-chief of Computing in Science and Engineering, a flagship technical magazine for the interdisciplinary computational sciences. The Board of Governors confirmed the appointment on August 18. Dr. Barba will serve for a period of three years, starting January 1, 2021.

Photo of Professor Michael Kay

Dr. Matt Kay (BME) has accepted an invitation from the National Institutes of Health to serve as a member of the Myocardial Ischemia and Metabolism Study Section, Center for Scientific Review, for a three-year term. The invitation notes that “Members are selected on the basis of their demonstrated competence and achievement in their scientific discipline as evidenced by the quality of research accomplishments, publications in scientific journals, and other significant scientific activities, achievements and honors.”

Dr. Ekundayo Shittu

Dr. Ekundayo Shittu (EMSE), Dr. Tiffany-Rose Sikorski (GW School of Education and Human Development), and Dr. Erica Wortham (GW Innovation Center) have been awarded a three-year, $300,000 National Science Foundation (NSF) grant for their project, titled “Service Learning Projects to Improve Engineering Students’ Civic Engagement and Capacity for Innovation.” Dr. Shittu is the lead principal investigator and has participated in two national NSF I-Corps programs. The project will seek to develop students’ capacity for innovation while they use their engineering skills and knowledge to decrease suffering, marginalization, or exclusion of particular groups. Many engineering programs emphasize the economic opportunities that engineering degrees will open to graduates, such as working for the private sector. However, engineering students are increasingly interested in ways to use their engineering education to pursue careers in which they can see the human impact of their work. The premise of this project is that opportunities for civic engagement can improve student engagement in engineering education through human-centered design and problem solving with empathy. By helping students develop these skills, students will be better positioned to use their engineering knowledge in the future to benefit society. Ms. Annamaria Konya Tannon (GW Innovation Center) is senior personnel on the project, which will be executed under her capacity as SEAS chief evangelist for innovation and entrepreneurship.


Upcoming SEAS Events
BME Seminar: “Materials-enabled Neurotechnologies for Brain Research”
Speaker: Dr. Guosong Hong, Stanford University
Wednesday, September 2
11:00 am – 12:00 pm
Join via Webex


BME Seminar: “Flexible, Hybrid Opto-Electro-Chemo Implants for Neural Interfaces”
Speaker: Dr. Wen Li, Michigan State University
Wednesday, December 2
11:00 am – 12:00 pm
Join via WebEx


External Events
GW Coders
Every Friday, beginning September 11
11:00 am
Complete this short form to learn more
GW Coders is a new community that brings together students and faculty to apply computational and data analytics skills in research. We will share coding experiences, learn some new skills, and build our professional networks. GW Coders is for everyone, from those just getting interested in coding to those who have years of experience; for undergraduate and graduate students; for faculty in any discipline; for others in the DC community who want to join us.


Office of Research Integrity Seminar: “Responsible Conduct of Research”
Weekly, beginning Thursday, September 3
12:00 – 1:30 pm
This fall 2020 seminar course is designed to develop and strengthen ethical problem-solving skills and foster sensitivity to ethical issues in the conduct of research. Registration is open to the entire campus community but will be capped at twenty participants. Please register early to secure your space. If you have questions about the seminar, please email the Office of Research Integrity.


Postdoc Appreciation Day 2020
Friday, September 25
Join the Webinar
You are invited to celebrate the great work of GW postdocs and advance your career at the GW Postdoc Association (GWPA) Postdoc Appreciation Day. The GWPA will host a set of career development talks with speakers who will advise postdocs on both industry and academic careers. This will be followed by a set of 10-minute presentations (TED talk style) by GW postdocs. Cash prizes will be awarded (1st = $300, 2nd = $200, 3rd = $100) for the best presentations. The deadline to submit topics for the presentations is September 10th.


Human Resources News
HR Corner Hero

This week's HR Corner includes information related to the temporary suspension of employer base and matching contributions to retirement plans, changes to campus access, updates to GW's FY21 holiday schedule, and more. Please visit the HR Corner to read these updates.