June 21-27, 2021


June 22, 2021


Faculty News



Dr. Lorena Barba

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded Dr. Lorena Barba (MAE) a one-year, $56,623 grant for “Generating trustworthy computational evidence to support FDA’s regulatory evaluation of medical devices, via transparency and reproducibility.” The award is under the NSF/FDA Scholar-in-Residence program.

Dr. Xitong Liu

Dr. Xitong Liu (CEE) has recently received two intramural fund awards. The first is a one-year GW Cross-Disciplinary Research Fund grant for the project “Anti-Fouling and Chlorine-Resistant Reverse Osmosis Membranes Enabled by Hydrophilic Aromatic Polyamide Brushes.” The project is in collaboration with Dr. Stephen Boyes (Chemistry). State-of-the-art thin-film polyamide reverse osmosis (RO) membranes are widely used in desalination and water/wastewater treatment, but they suffer a high propensity for fouling and are vulnerable to chlorine-induced membrane degradation. The overarching goal of this project is to develop RO membranes with enhanced resistance to both fouling and chlorine attack. The second award is a one-year GW University Facilitating Fund (UFF) grant for the project “Understanding and Controlling Interfacial Phenomena for Selective Electrochemical Lithium Extraction from Oil and Gas Wastewater.” The global transition to renewable energy and electric mobility spurs growing demand for lithium-based rechargeable batteries. To address the urgent and fast-growing demand for lithium, the goal of the project is to develop a selective and durable electrochemical system for lithium extraction from industrial wastewaters. 


Dr. Rahul Simha

Dr. Rahul Simha (CS) has received three recent grants. Working with colleagues at Purdue, RIT, University of New Hampshire, University of Alabama, Tuskegee, and the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, he is part of a multi-university $2.6 million National Science Foundation grant titled “A Data-Driven Employer-Academia Partnership for Continual Computing Curricular Change.” The goal of this project is to develop long-term mechanisms for direct feedback on curricular experience from computer science alumni employed in industry. GW’s portion of the grant is approximately $172,000. Dr. Simha is also a co-principal investigator (PI) on two GW Cross-Disciplinary Research Fund grants. He has teamed with Dr. Hui Lu (Pharmacology and Physiology) on the project “Bridging the gap between individual neurons and behavior: studying circuits in Rett syndrome,” which aims to develop a computational neuroscience approach to modeling neuronal ensembles and applying these models to mouse/human neurodegenerative diseases. He also is working with PI Dr. Mark Reeves (Physics) and co-PIs Drs. Tenagne Haile-Mariam and Neil Sikka (Emergency Medicine), and Dr. Chen Zeng (Physics) on the project “Sick Buildings to Hygenic Buildings: Creating a framework for atmospheric hygiene.” In this project, the team will use particle-sensors in indoor environments with the general goal of understanding indoor airflows inside buildings, potential mitigations, and their impact on air quality.

Dr. Mona Zaghloul
Dr. Zhenyu Li

On May 25, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued Patent No. 11,013,462 for “ Wearable Wireless Multiple-Lead ECG Sensor Embedded in a Flexible Finger Ring” to Dr. Mona Zaghloul (ECE), Dr. Zhenyu Li (BME), and Dr. Quan Dong, a recently graduated PhD student advised by Dr. Li. Dr. Brain Colitz of GW's Technology Commercialization Office (TCO) helped prosecute the patent application. SEAS faculty or students who have an idea for which they would like to discuss trying to get a patent for, may contact the GW TCO office.



Dr. Lorena Barba

Dr. Lorena Barba (MAE) has published the following article: L.A. Barba, “The Python/Jupyter Ecosystem: Today’s Problem-Solving Environment for Computational Science,” Computing in Science & Engineering, Vol. 23(3):5–9. With her students and collaborators, she also recently published: 1) T. Wang, R. Yokota, and L. A. Barba, “ExaFMM: a high-performance fast multipole method library with C++ and Python interfaces,” Journal of Open Source Software, 6(61):3145; and 2) P-Y. Chuang, T. Thorleifson, and L. A. Barba, “geoclaw-landspill: an oil land-spill and overland flow simulator for pipeline rupture events,” Journal of Open Source Software, 6(62):3114.

Photo of Professor Luyao Lu
Dr. Igor Efimov
Dr. Xitong Liu

Dr. Luyao Lu (BME)Dr. Igor Efimov (BME)Dr. Xitong Liu (CEE), and their past and present students have published the following journal paper: Z. Chen, N. Boyajian, Z. Lin, R. T. Yin, S. N. Obaid, J. Tian, J. A. Brennan, S. W. Chen, A. N. Miniovich, L. Lin, Y. Qi, X. Liu, I. R. Efimov, and L. Lu, “Flexible and Transparent Metal Nanowire Microelectrode Arrays and Interconnects for Electrophysiology, Optogenetics, and Optical Mapping”, Advanced Materials Technologies, 2021, 2100225."


Media Mentions:

Dr. Scott Sklar

The Wall Street Journal quoted Mr. Scott Sklar (director of renewable energy, SEAS Environmental and Energy Management Institute) about the recent growth of solar electricity generation in the United States in the June 9 article “First Solar to Build New Solar-Panel Factory in Ohio.”

Dr. Peng Wei

Dr. Peng Wei (MAE) was featured in the June 10 GW Today article “How Artificial Intelligence Is Changing the Future of Air Transportation.” The article describes his research as the principal investigator on a new $2.5 million NASA grant that aims to design and develop a safety management system for electric autonomous aircraft. It also covers research he is doing under three additional new grants.


Conferences & Presentations:

Photo of Professor Luyao Lu

Dr. Luyao Lu (BME) served as the lead organizer of the symposium “Wearable and Flexible Electronic and Photonic Technologies 3” and moderator of four live topical sessions at the 239th Electrochemical Society Meeting, held virtually May 30 – June 3.


Student News


April 2021 Rocket          Ben Wormuth and Phoenix Price          

Treaux Jackson

Left: GW Rocket prior to test launch in April 2021; Middle: Jackson with the winning MARCO POLO payload; Right: Ben Wormuth and Phoenix Price with the test stand, which measures thrust produced by the student-made booster.


The GW Rocket Team won First Place in the Space Dynamics Lab Payload Competition and received an honorable mention in the 10,000 ft (altitude) Student Research and Development (SRAD) Solid Booster Competition at the 2021 Virtual Spaceport America Cup.  The Spaceport America Cup is the largest collegiate rocket competition in the world. This year’s competition, held virtually during June 18-20, included 75 student teams from around the world.


The GW Rocket Team, advised by Dr. Murray Snyder (MAE), was led by Ben Wormuth (2021 ECE graduate). Payload captain Treaux Jackson (junior, MAE) led construction of the payload from his home in Kansas, supported in software and design development by both Mark Yamakaitis (junior, MAE) and Phoenix Price (sophomore, MAE and Physics). Propulsion captain Ben Wormuth led assembly and testing of both the rocket and SRAD solid rocket motor, supported by Phoenix Price and Amy Chang (sophomore, MAE). Recovery captain Ariana Lesniak (2021 MAE graduate) and aerostructures captain Adam Brewer (2021 ECE graduate) worked together to coordinate computational fluid dynamics analysis projects and other virtual learning activities for team members, while working to train their successors to take up leadership roles this fall. Other active members of this year’s team include Eliese Ottinger (sophomore, EMSE) and Aidan Worthington (sophomore, MAE).


The team sincerely would like to thank Dr. Murray Snyder and Dean John Lach, esteemed mentors Ben and Elaine Russell, and GW machinists Bill RutkowskiTom Punte, and Nick Batista, without whom the team believes their achievements during this difficult year would not have been possible.


BME doctoral student Shuyue Guan, advised by Dr. Murray Loew (BME), is the first author on this recently published manuscript: S. Guan and M. Loew, “Understanding the Ability of Deep Neural Networks to Count Connected Components in Images,” 2020 IEEE Applied Imagery Pattern Recognition Workshop (AIPR), 2020, pp. 1-7.


Dr. Tao Ye, the first Ph.D. to graduate from Dr. Danmeng Shuai’s (CEE) research group, has accepted a tenure-track assistant professor position in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at South Dakota School of Mines and Technology. 




GW’s Institute for Data, Democracy & Politics (IDDP) is pleased to announce a call for funding proposals in support of research projects aligned with IDDP's mission to help the public, journalists, and policymakers understand digital media's influence on public dialogue and opinion, and develop sound solutions to disinformation and other ills that arise in these spaces. Any GW faculty member is eligible to apply for funding. More information about funding availability, project requirements, and application process can be found on IDDP's website. The deadline for proposals is July 15. Proposals and any questions may be sent to IDDP Associate Director David Broniatowski.


Upcoming SEAS Events


SEAS Environmental and Energy Management Institute Virtual Seminar: “Clean Technologies for Lithium and Copper Mining”

Speaker: Dr. Adam Cohen, President, Associated Universities, Inc. (AUI)

Thursday, July 8

11:00 – 11:30 am (ET)

WebEx link

Dr. Cohen will discuss clean technologies for lithium and copper mining and related energy and environmental implications. AUI is a $100 million+ non-profit established in 1946 to manage Brookhaven National Laboratory, one of the first federally funded research and development centers. Through seven decades of discovery, AUI research has earned six Nobel prizes in a variety of energy and technology fields and convened scientists from across the globe to collaborate for the enlightenment of humanity. Until May 2017, Dr. Cohen served as the deputy undersecretary for science and energy at the U.S. Department of Energy, overseeing basic science, applied energy research, technology development, and deployment efforts, including stewardship of 13 of the 17 DOE national laboratories.


External Events

Walsh Group 2021 Faculty Summit Series

Thursday, September 30: Transportation Division

12:00 – 1:30 pm


The summit will cover the topics “Federal Projects: Come hear the federal division explain the challenges to build back military installations in the wake of natural disasters (panel discussion),” and “Reality Capture: How we utilize 360 photos and laser scanning for our projects.”


Dissertation Defenses


Student Name: Libin Sun

Dissertation Title: “Plasmonic Sensing Platform Design, Simulation, Fabrication, and Optimization with Applications for Both Gas-phase and Liquid-phase Biosensing”

Advisor: Dr. Mona Zaghloul (ECE)

Wednesday, June 30

8:30 – 9:30 am

WebEx link


Student Name: Andrew William Chen

Dissertation Title: “Studies of the Effects of Therapeutic Ultrasound Using Various Imaging Modalities”

Advisor: Dr. Vesna Zderic (BME)

Thursday, July 1

3:00 – 5:00 pm

Zoom link


Human Resources News
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