February 6 - 13, 2012


February 6, 2012

Faculty News

Awards & Honor:

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded Prof. Yongsheng Leng (MAE) a $422,000 grant for his Faculty Early Career project "CAREER: Squeezing and Shear Behaviors of Liquid Films in Confined Geometry." This CAREER project will integrate research and education to establish a computational framework for the study of nanotribological properties (friction and lubrication) of nanoconfined fluids, as well as to promote simulation-based engineering and science education and training for students.

Papers & Publications:

Prof. Michael Keidar (MAE) and his students (Jian Li and Madhu Kundrapu) and post-doc (Dr. Shashurin) have published a video article, "Simultaneous Synthesis of Single-walled Carbon Nanotubes and Graphene in a Magnetically-enhanced Arc Plasma," in JoVE, the Journal of Visualized Experiments.

On January 17, Research Prof. David Nagel (ECE) published a commentary titled "'Cold Fusion' is Real and is Being Commercialized" in Energy Daily.

Prof. Ergun Simsek (ECE) published the following paper: E. Simsek and S. Akturk, "Plasmonic Enhancement during Femtosecond Laser Drilling of sub-Wavelength Holes in Metals," Plasmonics, vol. 6, no. 4, 767-772 (2011).

Conferences & Presentations:

Prof. Samer Hamdar (CEE) and his students/co-authors presented two papers at the Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting, held January 22-26 in Washington, DC: 1) " Safety First: Assessing Congestion Effects on Experienced Driver Risk Using a Microsimulation Approach," and 2) " From Social Networks to Evacuation Traveler Decision Making: Exploratory Departure Time Choice Modeling and Simulation." At the " Use of Simulation to Assess Safety Performance" workshop, he gave an invited presentation titled " Stochastic Acceleration Choice and Changes in Model Parameters Linked to Road Geometric Features."


On January 24, GW hosted a Travel Choice Behavior Simulation Experiment for Exceptional Events during the 91st Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board. As a member of the Traffic Flow Theory and Characteristics Committee, Prof. Samer Hamdar (CEE) collaborated with The Delft University of Technology (The Netherlands) and the National Institute of Informatics (Japan) to organize this event. The research team appreciates the efforts of the SEAS Computing Facility team. Special thanks go to Mrs. Brigitte Comer and to Mr. Marco Suarez for performing the necessary tasks that led to a successful experiment.

On February 1, the US Government, under the auspices of the Information Assurance Courseware Evaluation (IACE) Program, recertified EMSE information security courseware as meeting all of the elements of the Committee on National Security Systems (CNSS) National Training Standards for Information Systems Security (INFOSEC) Professionals, NSTISSI No. 4011; Senior Systems Managers, CNSSI No. 4012; and Systems Certifiers, NSTISSI No. 4015. This recertification is valid through June 2017 and applies to EMSE courses 6540, 6543, 6544, and 6545. Prof. Julie Ryan (EMSE chair) manages this courseware certification program, which is an integral part of GW's designation by the Department of Homeland Security and the National Security Agency as a Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education, a designation GW has held since 2002.

Prof. Ergun Simsek (ECE) has been invited to organize the #34;FEM and CEM Applications in Optics and Nanophotonics#34; session for the 11th International Workshop on Finite Elements for Microwave Engineering to be held June 4-6, in Estes Park, CO.

Other News

Nominations for the 2012 SEAS Excellence Awards for Teaching and Research are due by Friday, February 17th. The criteria and nomination forms for each of the awards are posted on the SEAS website at:

  • SEAS Distinguished Teacher Award for Full Professors and Associate Professors
  • SEAS Outstanding Young Teacher Award for Assistant Professors
  • SEAS Researcher Awards (the Distinguished Researcher and Outstanding Young Researcher awards share the same nomination form)


The awards will be announced by mid-March, and shortly after that, Dean Dolling will host an awards ceremony, at which each recipient will receive a $5,000 cash award and a commemorative plaque.

Guest Vignette

With today' s technology, we can build electronic components much smaller than one micrometer, but they cannot work at frequencies higher than 100 GHz due to thermal and signal delay issues. Contrarily, photonic devices operate at much higher frequencies (in or near visible), but their dimensions have to be comparable to the wavelength, so they cannot go nano. The main mechanism behind this limitation is the diffraction of light into dielectric media: the electromagnetic energy cannot be localized into dielectric regions with the dimensions much smaller than its wavelength. One possible way of beating the diffraction limit and localizing the electromagnetic energy into sub-wavelength regions is by using metal nanoparticles.

When excited with light, metal nanoparticles support and guide surface plasmon-polariton (SPP) modes thanks to noble metal's negative dielectric permittivity below their plasma frequency. Collective oscillations of electron plasma inside these tiny metals allow electromagnetic energy to be localized and guided through the nanoparticle chain. Since the particles are only a few or a few tens of nanometers, they circumvent the diffraction limit. This is why plasmonics has a strong potential to build nano circuits and devices working at extremely high frequencies and to act like a bridge between electronics and photonics.

In fact, the existence of the SPP waves has been known for decades. Their importance has increased over time in parallel to our fabrication skills. Thanks to recent developments, we now can fabricate and characterize materials on the nanometer scale and come up with new types of optical devices such as waveguides, gratings, antennas, sensors, etc. On top of that, it has already been shown experimentally that the periodically located nanoparticles can lead to giant electromagnetic field enhancement, which can be useful for detecting molecules at low concentrations. Surface or tip enhanced Raman scattering, efficient solar cells, and nonlinear frequency generation are some other applications. (Provided courtesy of Prof. Ergun Simsek of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering)

SEAS Events

NCAC: Free MADYMO Training Class
Tuesday, February 7 - Thursday, February 9
8:30 am - 5:30 pm
129 Exploration Hall, Virginia Science and Technology Campus
TASS and GW's National Crash Analysis Center (NCAC) are offering a free MADYMO training class to all
GW faculty, staff, and students. Lunch will be provided. MADYMO is a mathematical dynamic model
developed by TASS (TNO Automotive Safety Solutions).
Space is limited. To reserve your seat, please contact Fadi Tahan at [email protected], or (703) 726-8327.

ECE Colloquium: "High-Throughput Data-Intensive Computing: I/O Sharing In Scientific Databases and
the Cloud"
Randal Burns, Department of Computer Science, Johns Hopkins University
Friday, February 10
2:00 - 3:00 pm
640 Phillips Hall

CS Colloquium: "You Can Pick Your (Best) Friends"<
David Liben-Nowell, Ph.D., Carleton College
2:00 pm
736 Phillips Hall

CSPRI Seminar: "The End of K Street Deals?: Is Netizen Direct Lobbying the New Norm?"<
Wednesday, February 15
12:00 pm (Lunch at 1:00 pm)
302 Marvin Center

Engineers Week

University Seminar on Technology in Emergency Carer
Tuesday, February 21
5:00 - 7:00 pm

SAVE THE DATE: SEAS Student R&D Showcase
Monday, February 27
3:00 - 6:00 pm
Marvin Center Grand Ballroom

MAE Seminar: "Autonomy is Overrated: Towards Shared Human-Machine Control for Vehicles and Other
Mechanical Systems"
Karl Iagnemma, Principal Research Scientist, Mechanical Engineering, MIT
Tuesday, February 28
2:00 pm
736 Phillips Hall

Entrepreneurship Events

The Dolphin Tank:
Tuesday, February 7
6:00 - 8:00 pm
651 Duques Hall

Dissertation Defenses

Name of Student Defending: Roger Cortesi
Title of Dissertation: "Modeling and Control of Joint-Actuated Buoys"
Dissertation Director: David Chichka
Wednesday, February 15
11:00 am - 12:00 pm
640 Phillips Hall