June 1-14, 2020


June 1, 2020

COVID-19-related News

Dr. Danmeng Shuai

The May 14 GW Today article “SEAS Researcher Developing Air Filters That Could Trap COVID-19 Virus” features the research of Dr. Danmeng Shuai (CEE), which aims to use electrospinning techniques to create microscopically fine mesh for use in PPE and other filtration systems. Dr. Shuai received a National Science Foundation RAPID grant to support this project.


Faculty News

Dr. Xitong Liu

Dr. Xitong Liu (CEE) has received a one-year, $42,380 GW Cross-Disciplinary Research Fund grant to work on the project “Elucidating the Role of Organic Matter in Regulating Nucleation and Growth of Mineral Scales.” This project is in collaboration with Dr. Xiangyun Qiu (Department of Physics). The formation of mineral scales on surfaces poses a technological challenge to water treatment and many industrial processes. This work will investigate the role of natural organic matter and synthetic polymers in regulating the formation of mineral scales using X-ray and neutron scattering technique. Dr. Liu’s graduate student Yarong Qi will work on this project.

Dr. Ekundayo Shittu

Dr. Ekundayo Shittu (EMSE) has received a six-month, $40,000 Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) award for his project “Functional Requirements of an Advanced Nuclear Reactor and Energy Storage IES.” UT-Battelle Integrated Energy Systems (IES) may feature the coupling of advanced nuclear reactors with various energy storage options and variable renewable energy sources. The work will contribute toward quantifying how local grid characteristics affect the economic proposition and operational performance of an IES. The synthetic data along with physical models will be used to create a topography describing the system performance under differing grid boundary conditions. Ted Baker (EMSE) is the PhD student working with Dr. Shittu on this project.



Photo of Professor Michael Kay

The collaborative research projects of Dr. Matthew Kay (BME) and Dr. David Mendelowitz (SMHS) to unravel the interaction between the autonomic nervous system and the heart has resulted in two new publications. BME co-authors include Jeannette Rodriguez, John Schloen, Mary Kate Dwyer, and Dr. Kate Schunke. The paper citations are: 1) J. Dyavanapalli, J. Rodriguez, C. Rocha dos Santos, J. B. Escobar, M. K. Dwyer, J. R. Schloen, K. Lee, W. Wolaver, X. Wang, O. Dergacheva, L. C. Michelini, K. J. Schunke, C. F. Spurney, M. W. Kay, and D. Mendelowitz. “Activation of Oxytocin Neurons Improves Cardiac Function in a Pressure-Overload Model of Heart Failure,” JACC: Basic to Translational Science, 2020;5:484–497; and 2) J. Dyavanapalli, A. J. Hora, J. B. Escobar, J. R. Schloen, M. K. R. Dwyer, J. Rodriguez, C. F. Spurney, M. W. Kay, and D. Mendelowitz. “Chemogenetic activation of intracardiac cholinergic neurons improves cardiac function in pressure overload induced heart failure,” American Journal of Physiology: Heart and Circulatory Physiology. 2020 May 15. doi: 10.1152/ajpheart.00150.2020. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 32412778.


Other News:

Photo of Professor Vora

Athena, an election tabulation audit approach, was used in the primary election audit of Montgomery County, OH, on May 20. The audit was carried out by Mark Lindeman, director of science and technology policy at the nonpartisan election advocacy nonprofit Verified Voting. Athena (algorithm and software) was developed by Dr. Filip Zagórski (Wroclaw University of Science and Technology, Poland), Dr. Poorvi Vora (CS), Neal McBurnett (independent software consultant), and CS undergraduates Grant McClearn and Sarah Morin. The research is/was supported in part by National Science Foundation awards 2015253/1421373.


Upcoming SEAS Events

Please note that all SEAS and GW events will be virtual events until further notice.


EEMI Webinar: “Leadership in Our Time”
Speakers: Michael Chertoff, former Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security; and András Simonyi, former Ambassador to the United States and NATO
Wednesday, June 17
1:15 – 2:15 pm
The SEAS Environmental and Energy Management Institute will present this free webinar with former Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff and former Ambassador to the United States and NATO András Simonyi. Messrs. Chertoff and Simonyi will discuss global cooperation in a post COVID-19 world in the fight against pandemics, global warming, and efforts to stop backsliding of democracies and the challenge of an ever more assertive China. The webinar is open to the public.


External Events
Webinar: “How COVID-19 Can Inform Resiliency”
Thursday, June 18
1:15 – 2:30 pm
This webinar will analyze lessons learned to date from the COVID-19 pandemic as they relate to preparedness planning and business continuity and share approaches to maximize the time between potential waves to enhance capacity and capability needed to achieve comprehensive business resilience across the public and private sectors. This event is hosted by the Security and Sustainability Forum and the Cadmus Group.


The American Solar Energy Society’s annual conference, previously scheduled to be held in GW’s Marvin Center on June 23-25, has been converted to a virtual event due to COVID-19. EMSE Visiting Scholar Scott Sklar (director of renewable energy, SEAS Environmental and Energy Management Institute) will serve as the general chairman of the event, which already has over 600 registrants. More information is available on the ASES website and on its magazine website, SolarToday.


Human Resources News
HR Corner Hero

This week's HR Corner includes information about GW employees' access to the Headspace mindfulness app, as well as important information regarding the paid time-off option, qualified life event changes in status, medical virtual visit costs, and other topics. Please visit the HR Corner to read these updates.