July 2-15, 2018


July 2, 2018

Faculty News
The U.S. Department of Energy has awarded Dr. Philippe Bardet (MAE) a Nuclear Energy University Programs (NEUP)/Nuclear Energy Advanced Modeling and Simulation (NEAMS) grant of $800,000 for his project “Validation of pressure relaxation coefficients in RELAP-7 Seven-Equation model.” Dr. Bardet will collaborate with Dr. Eric Johnsen (University of Michigan) on the project, which aims to provide unique and complete datasets to validate RELAP-7 with high confidence and offer a new class of experimental and numerical tools.


Dr. Howie Huang (ECE) has received a four-year, $1.65 million grant from DARPA for the project “Graph Learning System for Automated Threat Detection and Characterization.” Large enterprise networks face the daily challenge of cyber attacks that originate from software and hardware vulnerabilities and result in data theft, service interruption, and monetary loss. This project develops a novel graph learning system that combines graph algorithms, machine learning, and high-performance processing to achieve precise and efficient threat detection. The research outcome of this project is expected to promote progress in related areas in AI and computer systems, and in industrial applications including finance, health care, and e-commerce.


Dr. Danmeng Shuai (CEE) is the principal investigator of a recently awarded three-year, $549,546 National Science Foundation grant for the project “Integrated Experimental and Computational Studies for Understanding the Interplay of Photoreactive Materials and Persistent Contaminants.” The purpose of the project is to understand the photo-catalytic transformation of persistent organic contaminants in a natural aquatic environment. Dr. Shuai’s collaborators on the project are Dr. Hanning Chen (GW Department of Chemistry) and Dr. Nan Jiang (University of Illinois at Chicago, Department of Chemistry). The grant was awarded under NSF’s Environmental Chemical Sciences Program, and Dr. Shuai's share of the grant is $310,000.


Dr. Danmeng Shuai (CEE) also has received funding under two additional grants. The U.S. Department of Agriculture awarded his colleagues Drs. Haibo Huang and Zhiwu Wang, both of Virginia Tech, a three-year, $327,517 grant to research food waste processing and butanol recovery. GW is the sub-awardee, and Dr. Shuai's share of the grant is $93,517. Separately, he and his colleagues Dr. Santiago Solares (MAE) and Dr. Mimi Ghosh (GW Department of Epidemiology and Biostatics) have been awarded $40,000 under GW’s Cross-Disciplinary Research Fund to conduct the one-year project “Biomineralized Human Viruses: Fate and Inactivation in Nutrient Recovery.”


Dr. Muhtar Ahart (CEE) and his collaborators have published the following article: T. Yamanaka, M. Ahart, H–K. Mao, and H. Yan. “New high-pressure tetragonal polymorphs of SrTiO3—molecular orbital and Raman band change under pressure," Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter, Vol. 30, Issue 26, pp. 265401 (2018). Dr. Ahart is an associate research professor with the Institute of Materials Science and CEE, and his work is supported by the Capital/Department of Energy Alliance Center (CDAC) at GW.


Dr. Igor Efimov (BME), his doctoral student Jaclyn Brennan, and collaborators have published the following paper: K. Tsutsui, O. J. Monfredi, S. G. Sirenko-Tagirova, L. A. Maltseva, R. Bychkov, M. S. Kim, B. D. Ziman, C. V. Tarasov, Y. S. Tarasova, J. Zhang, M. Wang, A. V. Maltsev, J. A. Brennan, I. R. Efimov, M. D. Stern, V. A. Maltsev, and E. G Lakatta. “A coupled-clock system drives the automaticity of human sinoatrial nodal pacemaker cells,” Science Signaling, Vol. 11, Issue 534. doi: 10.1126/scisignal.aap7608.


Dr. Danmeng Shuai (CEE), Dr. Santiago Solares (MAE), and their doctoral students Ruochen Zhu (CEE) and Alfredo Diaz (MAE) have published the following paper: R. Zhu, A. J. Diaz, Y. Shen, F. Qi, X. Chang, D. P. Durkin, Y. Sun, S. D. Solares, and D. Shuai. “Mechanism of Humic Acid Fouling in a Photocatalytic Membrane System,” Journal of Membrane Science,” Vol. 563, pp. 531-540. This paper is the first collaborative work of Dr. Shuai’s and Dr. Solares’ groups on membrane systems for water purification. Both Drs. Shuai and Solares are the corresponding authors.


Dr. Volker Sorger (ECE) has published the following article in a special issue of Applied Optics devoted to advanced infrared and technology applications: R. Amin, Z. Ma, R. Maiti, S. Khan, J. B. Khurgin, H. Dalir, and V. J. Sorger. “Attojoule-efficient graphene optical modulators,” Applied Optics, Vol. 57, Issue 18. Dr. Sorger also recently published this article: F. Mokhtari-Koushyar, E. Heidari, H. Dalir, C-J. Chung, X. Xu, V. J. Sorger, and R. T. Chen. “Wideband Multi-Arm Bowtie Antenna for Millimeter Wave Electro-Optic Sensors and Receivers,” Journal of Lightwave Technology, Vol. 36, Issue 16, pp. 3418-3426.


Conferences & Presentations:
Dr. Ken Chong (MAE) was invited by the Hong Kong Research Grants Council for a June 14 panel site visit to the Chinese University of Hong Kong for a collegial exchange and discussion with faculty and students on their research activities and other areas of common concern. The visit included a briefing by President Rocky Tuan and some collaborative research with U.S. professors. Hong Kong will double its expenditure on research and development to 1.5 per cent of GDP in the next five years to boost innovation.


Dr. Payman Dehghanian (ECE) was invited to attend and serve as a session chair at the joint 18thIEEE International Conference on Environment and Electrical Engineering (EEEIC) and 2nd Industrial & Commercial Power System (I&CPS) Europe Conference, held June 12-15 in Palermo, Italy. There, he chaired the special technical session “Power Systems Stability, Security, and Resiliency.”


Dr. Igor Efimov (BME) has recently given a number of invited presentations. They include: 1) “Mechanisms of Arrhythmogenesis in Human Heart,” Siberian Federal University, Krasnoyarsk, Russia, June 15; 2) “New generation of bioelectronics for implantable devices and cardiac research,” Siberian Federal University, Krasnoyarsk, Russia, June 14; 3) “First-in-human trial of low energy atrial multi-stage electrotherapy,” 2nd St. Petersburg Arrhythmology Forum, St. Petersburg, Russia, June 7; 4) “3D wavelength volume predicts ventriocular fibrillation in human heart,” 2nd St. Petersburg Arrhythmology Forum, St. Petersburg, Russia, June 7; 5) “Studying pathophysiological mechano‐electrical interactions in humans,” International Society for Heart Research, Halifax, Canada, May 31; 6) “From Phenotype to Omics Studies of Human Heart” Life of Genomes Symposium, Kazan State University, Kazan, Russia, May 22; 7) “The How to and Why of Arranging International Research Fellowships,” 2018 Heart Rhythm Society annual sessions, Boston, MA, May 10; and 8) “Low Energy Multi-Stage Therapy of AF,” 2018 Stanford Biodesign New Arrhythmia Technologies Retreat, Boston, MA, May 8.


Dr. Emilia Entcheva (BME) was an invited speaker at several recent meetings. At the Channelopathy 2018 Meeting, held June 24-26 in Chicago, IL, she delivered the talk “Massively-parallel all-optical cardiac electrophysiology.” At the European Molecular Biology Lab’s Symposium on Biological Oscillators, held June 3-5 in Heidelberg, Germany, she gave the talk “Using light as a bifurcation parameter for ‘dynamics regime clamps’ in cardiac tissue.” And at the Annual Heart Rhythm Society Meeting, held May 9-12 in Boston, MA, she served as a panelist in the “Pioneers Unplugged” session on regenerative medicine; she also gave an invited talk titled “Optogenetics as an enabling tool for high-throughput cardiac electrophysiology studies.” Separately, Dr. Entcheva is an organizer of a four-week workshop, “Integrative Cardiac Dynamics,” which is taking place June 25 – July 20 in Santa Barbara, CA. The workshop is funded by the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics.


Dr. M. Ashraf Imam (MAE) attended the 21st International Conference on Condensed Matter Nuclear Science, held June 4-8 at Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO. He gave a lecture on “Materials Challenges” at a short course on the day before the conference. At the conference, he presented the paper “Fabrication, Characterization, and Evaluation of Palladium-Boron Alloys Used in LENR Experiments.” The paper was co-authored by Dr. David Nagel (ECE) and Dr. Melvin Miles (Dixie State University, Utah).


Dr. Megan Leftwich (MAE) and Dr. Michael Plesniak (MAE) organized the symposium “Bioinspired Propulsion” at the 18th U.S. National Congress for Theoretical and Applied Mechanics, held June 4-8 in Chicago, IL. The symposium consisted of four sessions of invited talks, with two keynotes co-chaired by Drs. Leftwich and Plesniak. Dr. Leftwich also presented a talk titled “Force Production of the California Sea Lion Foreflipper,” which was co-authored by Aditya Kulkarni, Dr. Leftwich, Gino Perrotta, and Eli Kashi. At the same congress, Dr. Kartik Bulusu (MAE) and Dr. Plesniak presented the talk “Diffusion and Transport Mechanisms in 3D-printed Scaffolds for Bone Tissue Repair Beyond Pairwise Interactions in Discrete Element Models.” It was co-authored by Dr. Kartik Bulusu, Se-jun Lee, Benjamin Holmes, Philip Paulson, Dr. Lijie Grace Zhang, and Dr. Plesniak in the symposium on Multiphysics and Multiscale Modeling in Mechanics of Materials.


Dr. Tianshu Li (CEE) gave an invited talk titled “Predicting the formation of inclusion-type silicon phases: Inspired by the analogy between silicon and water” at the 26th American Association for Crystal Growth & Epitaxy, held June 11 at Stanford Sierra Camp, Fallen Leaf Lake, CA.


On June 23, the CEE department hosted the 2018 annual Transportation YOU DC Summit of the Women’s Transportation Seminar. The event was a unique program for 26 outstanding young women and their mentors from around the country to expose them to various transportation related careers and introduce them to potential paths for their future. It included a tour of the Mobile Robotics Lab and the Traffic and Networks Lab in the SEH, as well as explanations by CEE students of their research. Dr. Kim Roddis (CEE) and undergraduate CEE student Kyla D’Sa served as the GW organizers for the event.


Dr. Tim Wood (CS) served as a general co-chair for the 2018 IEEE International Symposium on Local and Metropolitan Area Networks, and Dr. Suresh Subramaniam (ECE) served as the local arrangements chair. The symposium was held June 25-27 in the SEH. It has been running since 1996, and this year’s event brought together faculty, students, and industry researchers from around the world to discuss research on “Networking the Intelligent Edge.”


Other News:

2018 Middle School Girls Cybersecurity Day Camp Students

GW hosted the 2018 Middle School Girls Cybersecurity Day Camp June 18-29 on GW’s Mt. Vernon Campus. Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson spoke with the campers on a video link between GW’s camp and a similar camp at Dakota State University. Students at both camps were able to ask questions of the Secretary during her presentation. The information security team from Fannie Mae also visited the camp and shared descriptions and techniques related to their jobs. And Andrea and Fred Gluck (MS ’72, CS) helped arrange a presentation by Liza Mundy on Code Girls. The camp is sponsored by a grant from the National Security Agency. Dr. Shelly Heller (CS) is the principal investigator on the grant.


The U.N. Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) has accepted a proposal from Dr. Costis Toregas (director, Cyber Security and Privacy Research Institute) and Dr. Joost Santos (EMSE) to include their paper on cybersecurity and its cascading effect on societal systems in the UNISDR’s Global Assessment Report 2019. This is the first time that the UNISDR is explicitly introducing the inclusion of cybersecurity risks as an element of disaster assessments at the national and global levels.


Student News
The MAE undergraduate team of Alexus Camero, Jack Eaton, and Connor Itani has been selected to compete in the 2018 Wood Stove Design Challenge, sponsored by the Alliance for Green Heat. They are one of 12 teams from across the country that will participate in the competition, which will be held in November on the National Mall. The team is mentored by Dr. Saniya LeBlanc (MAE) and recently was featured in the Alliance’s blog.


EMSE graduate students Michael Smith and Deniz Marti presented the following talks at the 6th International Engineering Systems Symposium, held June 20-22 in Tokyo, Japan: 1) H. D. Marti and D. A. Broniatowski. “How Do NASA Engineers Perceive MMOD Risks? A Fuzzy Trace Approach,” and 2) M. C. Smith and D. A. Broniatowski. “Measuring Public Perception of Engineered Systems: Opportunities and Challenges of Public Opinion in Vaccination.” Michael and Deniz are advised by Dr. David Broniatowski (EMSE).


ECE doctoral students Bo Wang and Mohannad Alhazmi, the student leaders of the GW IEEE Power Systems Engineering Student Chapter, have been awarded a travel grant from the IEEE Industry Applications Society (IAS) to attend the IEEE IAS Annual Meeting 2018. They were nominated for the grant by Dr. Payman Dehghanian (ECE). The meeting will be held September 23-27, in Portland, OR, and is the major annual event of the IEEE IAS. Bo and Jordan will represent the GW IEEE Student Chapter at the meeting.


Other News
Dr. K. Benjamin Lee, M.D. has won the Gründeman Scientific Research Award for his work, titled “The Surgical Implantation of Novel Epicardial Pacemakers in Rodents,” which was conducted in the laboratory of Dr. Igor Efimov (BME). The award was sponsored by the International Society for Minimally Invasive Cardiothoracic Surgery. Dr. Lee is a research fellow in cardiothoracic surgery at DC VA Medical Center and GW Hospital.


Undergraduate student Sarah Schrup (Biophysics, CCAS), who has been performing research under the guidance of Dr. Emilia Entcheva (BME) and Dr. Villagra (Cancer Center) since 2016, was the only GW student to be named a 2018 Barry T. Goldwater Fellow. The highly competitive award is given annually to approximately 250 undergraduates across the United States pursuing STEM degrees.


SEAS Events
GW COMPASS & GWPA Event: Networking Success Secrets
Wednesday, July 18
11:30 am – 12:30 pm
SEH, 2000
Join us for a FREE lunch-time event to get advice on effective networking! Open to graduate students and postdocs, this event is co-hosted by GW COMPASS and the GWPA. Participants will learn techniques such as: starting a conversation, engaging in small talk, mastering the handshake, constructing an elevator pitch, and leveraging social medial to expand your network. This event will be led by the director of the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs at the Moffitt Cancer Center.


Entrepreneurship News & Events
Dolphin Tank
Thursday, June 28
Join us for the 2nd Springboard Dolphin Tank event with BEACON, the community-led campaign to make Washington, DC the #1 city for women entrepreneurs!


GW’s Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (OIE) is looking for Entrepreneurial Fellows to work with its office during the upcoming academic year. The position is open to both FWS and non-FWS students. Interested students may find more information on the OIE website and may apply for the positions via Handshake.


Doctoral Dissertation
Student’s Name: Pablo Bolton
Dissertation Title: “Annotation Scaffolds for Robotics”
Advisor: Dr. Rahul Simha (CS)
Tuesday, July 10
11:00 am – 1:00 pm
SEH, 2990