February 25 - March 3, 2013


February 25, 2013

Faculty News


Patrick Forrest (EMSE part-time faculty) and EMSE master's student Alex Hilliker co-authored "Why the Department of Homeland Security Needs an Office of Net Assessment," which was recently published by Risks, Hazards & Crisis in Public Policy.

Conferences and Presentations:

Prof. Pinhas Ben-Tzvi (MAE) has been invited to serve as the general chair for the 2013 IEEE International Symposium on Robotic and Sensors Environments - IEEE ROSE 2013. The conference will be held October 21-23, and will be hosted by SEAS. The focus of the IEEE ROSE conference series is on sensing systems and technologies for robotics and industrial automation, as well as their impact on autonomous robotics and intelligent systems development and applications. Interested SEAS faculty and students are encouraged to submit papers. More details about the conference are available on the conference website.

Prof. Michael Keidar (MAE) has been appointed to the editorial board of Scientific Report, a journal published by Nature.

Student News:

Congratulations to the winners of the 2013 SEAS Student Research & Development Showcase and their mentors:

First Place - $5,000
Ms. Jiaoyan Li
Project title: The foundation of nanoscience: multiple length/time scale modeling of multi-physics for nano/micro material systems
Advisor: Prof. James Lee (MAE)

Second Place - $4,000
Mr. Mohammadreza Ghahremani & Mr. Hatem ElBidweihy
Project title: Exploration of energy efficient and environmentally friendly magnetic refrigeration systems
Advisors: Profs. Edward Della Torre and Lawrence Bennett (ECE)

Third Place - $3,000
Ms. Anastasia Wengrowski
Project title: Changes in cardiac function upon light-activated release of norepinephrine from sympathetic neurons expressing channelrhodopsin
Advisor: Prof. Matthew Kay (ECE)

Entrepreneurship Award - $2,000
Mr. Yash Jain & Mr. William Murphy
Project title: Propagation of a cold atmospheric plasma jet through an endoscopic tube
Advisor: Prof. Michael Keidar (MAE)

Undergraduate Prize - $2,000
Ms. Elizabeth Hubler
Project title: Evaluation of synthetic self-oscillating models of the vocal folds
Advisor: Prof. Michael Plesniak (MAE)

Runner-Up Prizes - $500 each
Mr. Matthieu Andre
Project title: Experimental study of surface dynamics of a liquid jet
Advisor: Prof. Philippe Bardet (MAE)

Mr. Benjamin Holmes
Project title: 3D Fabrication of biomimetic nanocomposite scaffolds for tissue interface engineering and regenerative medicine
Advisor: Prof. Grace Zhang (MAE)

Ms. Marjan Nabili
Project title: Ultrasound-enhanced delivery of antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drugs into the eye
Advisor: Prof. Vesna Zderic (ECE)

Undergraduate Runner-Up Prize - $500
Mr. Christopher O'Brien
Project title: The effect of BMP-2 loaded PDO nanospheres and nano hydroxyapatite in PCL scaffolds for bone regeneration
Advisor: Prof. Grace Zhang (MAE)

Other News:

Congratulations to SEAS alumnus Bill Westenhofer (MS '95), who received his second Academy Award for achievement in visual effects last night. He won the Academy Award for his work supervising the visual effects for the movie "Life of Pi."

Guest Vignette:

NASA has been gathering data concerning the Earth’s climate with growing intensity, since climate change is a topic of increasing importance. Using these data, NASA has constructed Global Circulation Models (GCM) of the atmosphere/oceans and of their forcing functions. One of the land surface forcing functions not adequately taken into account is soil moisture. A better knowledge of soil moisture will improve Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP), in the short term. In the medium term, it will enable forecasters to improve their monitoring of droughts and their prediction of floods from oversaturated soils. In the longer term, measurement of soil moisture should contribute to more accurate prediction of climate change.

In October, 2014, NASA will launch a satellite to monitor global soil moisture. The satellite is called SMAP for Soil Moisture Active Passive. The name indicates that the satellite will measure Soil Moisture using a radar (active) and a radiometer (passive). Both instruments will operate at frequencies close to 1 GHz (L-band).

Prof. Roger Lang and his students, in conjunction with the Hydrology Sciences Laboratory at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, have constructed a truck-mounted L-band radar/radiometer to act as an SMAP simulator (see accompanying photo). Last summer the radar/radiometer was positioned between corn and soybean fields. Radiometer data were taken of the microwave emission from the soil and from the vegetation while backscatter from the crops was measured by the radar. At the same time, both the soil moisture and the biophysical characteristics of the vegetation (including its dielectric constant) were monitored. These measurements were made over the whole growing season.

These data will be used to test and to improve algorithms that will be used to sense soil moisture from space. One of the chief concerns in making soil moisture measurements is the absorption and scattering by the vegetation. Before the soil moisture can be measured, these effects must be taken into account. Prof. Lang, along with his present and former students, has had an active interest in modeling vegetation in the microwave regime. He and his students are planning to use this modeling work and these measurements to improve the SMAP algorithms. (Provided courtesy of Prof. Roger Lang of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering)

SEAS Events:

ECE Research Blitz #2, Featuring Graduate Students
Monday, February 25
3:00 - 4:30 pm
405 Marvin Center
ECE graduate students will provide five-minute descriptions of their research projects. Topics include biomedical engineering, electrical engineering, and computer engineering. GW faculty, graduate students, and undergraduate students are invited. Refreshments will be served.

MAE Seminar: "Building Micro-/Nano-Scale Bio-systems: A Bio-inspired Approach"
Dr. Mingjun Zhang, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Thursday, February 28
11:00 am
736 Phillips Hall

Special Guest Lecture: "The Cyber Domain: Global Digital Commons or Free Fire Zone?"
General Michael Hayden, retired United States Air Force four-star general, former director of the National Security Agency, and former director of the Central Intelligence Agency
Thursday, February 28
6:00 - 7:00 pm
Marvin Center, Continental Ballroom
This lecture is co-sponsored by GW's Cyber Security and Privacy Research Institute (CSPRI) and the CS Department.

MAE Seminar: "Nanotherapeutics: Optimizing Delivery of Genetic Medicine with Engineering Strategies"
Dr. Kam W. Leong, Duke University
Thursday, March 14
2:00 pm
736 Phillips Hall

CS Colloquium: “Hardening Code without a Large Trusted Computing Base”
Dr. Greg Morrisett, Harvard University
Monday, March 18
4:00 pm
640 Phillips Hall

Dissertation Defenses:

Name of Student Defending: Jeff Miller
Title of Dissertation: “Analysis and Process Model Development for Situation Awareness during Military Humanitarian Assistance Operations”
Advisor: Prof. Joseph Barbera
Monday, March 4
2:00 pm
1776 G Street, Conference Room 120

Entrepreneurship Events

2013 Startup Career Expo
Wednesday, March 6
1:00 - 4:00 pm
Marvin Center, 3rd Floor