March 24-30, 2014


March 24, 2014

Faculty News


Prof. Amir Etemadi (ECE) has received a one-year, $15,000 University Facilitating Fund (UFF) grant from the Office of the Vice President for Research to develop control strategies that facilitate large-scale integration of wind power.

Prof. Joost Santos (EMSE) has received a three-year grant from the National Science Foundation for a collaborative research project between GW (the lead institution) and the University of Madison-Wisconsin.  The research will explore the formulation of multi-scale models for highway transportation systems, with focus on coordinated optimization of emergency response configurations at the physical network level and their impacts on higher-order regional objectives pertaining to commodity and passenger flow efficiency.  Total funding for the grant is $374,806, and GW’s portion is $215,942.

Media Mentions:

Prof. David Broniatowski’s (EMSE) paper, “National and Local Influenza Surveillance through Twitter: An Analysis of the 2012-2013 Influenza Epidemic,” was covered last week by MSN, the Washington Post, the Daily Mail, and National Journal and was mentioned by more than 15 other sites and news sources.

Allan Friedman (visiting fellow, Cyber Security Policy Research Institute) appeared on CNN’s “The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer” on March 18 to explain why no one used cell phones to report trouble on Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. (Video)

Conferences & Presentations:

Prof. Adam Wickenheiser (MAE), his doctoral student Chris Blower, and undergraduate student Ben Paxson attended the SPIE 2014 Smart Structures/Non-Destructive Evaluation Conference, held March 10-13, in San Diego, CA. Chris presented the paper: C.J. Blower, A. Dhruv, and A.M. Wickenheiser. “A Two-Dimensional Iterative Panel Method and Boundary Layer Model for Bio-Inspired Multi-Body Wings.”  Ben presented the paper:  B. Paxson and A.M. Wickenheiser. “Design Considerations for Small-Scale Wing Energy Harvesters Driven by Broadband Vortex-Induced Vibrations.” Prof. Wickenheiser chaired a session titled “Energy Harvesting and Scavenging: General II.” At the conference he also was elected to chair the ASME Energy Harvesting Technical Committee under the Aerospace Division, Adaptive Structures & Material Systems Branch.  The term of the position is two years.  Prof. Wickenheiser previously served as secretary of this committee.

Other News:

Prof. Claire Monteleoni (CS) has been invited to serve as the student travel award chair for IEEE BigData 2014, which will take place October 27-30 here in Washington, DC.

Prof. Michael Plesniak (MAE) has been appointed to the editorial board of the Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE) -JoVE Bioengineering.  The term of the position is open ended.

Student News

EMSE doctoral student Emmanuel Donkor has published the following paper:  E.A. Donkor. “Empirical Tests of Stochastic Dominance in Capital Investment Planning: A Spreadsheet Framework,” The Engineering Economist, 59(1), 55–78.  In this paper, Emmanuel shows how to use spreadsheet modeling and simulation to compute the p-values required for making dominance inferences when comparing risky capital investments. The paper and its supplemental spreadsheet model can be downloaded for free.


End of support for Microsoft Windows XP: Microsoft will stop supporting Windows XP on April 8. After this date the software will no longer receive security updates and should no longer be used. Windows XP computers will become increasingly more vulnerable to security risks and viruses as they will no longer receive patches from Microsoft. If your system must remain on Windows XP due to compatibility with a specific application or research requirements, we strongly advise that it be disconnected from the network. The Division of IT may turn off Internet access for Windows XP computers after April 8 as a preventative security measure.

If you'd like more information or assistance migrating your computer to a supported version, or if you need to stay on Windows XP, please contact the SEAS Computing Facility at [email protected] or visit

Guest Vignette

Graphene, a single-layer of carbon atoms arranged in a honeycomb structure, has been receiving growing attention from diverse research fields due to its unique electrical, optical, and mechanical properties. The majority of graphene applications require its surface to be patterned on the micrometer or nanometer scale. Such patternings can be done through lithographical processes. However, fabrication of complex patterns with high resolution and on various substrates still remains challenging. Alternatively, patterning can also be achieved using pulsed-laser ablation. In particular, femtosecond (fs) laser ablation provides high quality and repeatable structures due to its non-thermal nature; hence, this method possesses a potential for graphene patterning applications.

Although the best fs ablation resolution observed to date is obtained in multi-pulse exposure, this regime requires high-numerical aperture focusing (hence, very precise sample positioning) and can compromise the purity of the graphene. Our recent collaborative studies with Prof. Selcuk Akturk’s group (from Istanbul Technical University) indicate that fs pulses with Bessel beam profiles provide significant advantages on thin-film type structures including graphene-like atomically thin-layered materials. In the single-pulse-ablation regime, proper adjustment of the sample translation speed allows nanometer size resolution and complete removal of graphene, while leaving the substrate totally intact. The details of this study will be published in Applied Physics Letters, March 2014.  (Provided courtesy of Prof. Ergun Simsek of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering)

SEAS Events

Institute of Biomedical Engineering & CS Colloquium: “Computer-Assisted Interventions: 2D/3D Registration Initialization, and High Fidelity, Low Cost, Simulation”
Speaker: Dr. Ziv Yaniv, Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation, Children's National Medical Center
Tuesday, March 25
1:00 pm
736 Phillips Hall

Cyber Security and Policy Research Institute Event: “DHS Cyber Forward: Resiliency and Partnership in a Networked World”
Speaker: Dr. Phyllis Schneck, Deputy Under Secretary for Cybersecurity and Communications,  National Protection and Programs Directorate, Department of Homeland Security
Wednesday, March 26
6:00 – 7:00 pm
Gelman Library, Suite 702

MAE Seminar: “The Simplest Complex Fluid? The Remarkable Rheology of Hard-sphere Suspensions”
Speaker: Dr. Jeffrey F. Morris, Chair of Chemical Engineering, City College of the City University of New York
Thursday, March 27
2:00 pm
221 Funger Hall

ECE Colloquium Series: “Performance Debugging Support for the Many-Core Era”
Speaker: Dr. Milos Prvulovic, Georgia Institute of Technology
Monday, March 31
2:00 – 3:00 pm
771 Rome Hall

ECE Colloquium: “Coding Theory and Access Control for Distributed Wireless Networking”
Speaker: Dr. J. Rockey Luo, Colorado State University
Tuesday, April 1
11:00 am – 12:00 noon
569 Rome Hall Room

ECE Colloquium Series: “How Can Data Centers Save Water For 'Free'?”
Speaker: Dr. Shaolei Ren, Florida International University
Tuesday, April 1
2:00 – 3:00 pm
565 Rome Hall

MAE Seminar: “Statistical Analysis and Simulation of Random Shock Waves in Burgers Turbulence”
Speaker: Professor Daniele Venturi, Division of Applied Mathematics, Brown University
Monday, April 7
1:00 pm
736 Phillips Hall

MAE Seminar: “Modeling Inelastic Behavior of Metals at Multiple Scales for Multiple Purposes”
Speaker: Dr. David L. McDowell, Georgia Institute of Technology
Tuesday, April 8
11:00 am
736 Phillips Hall

SAVE THE DATE: SEAS Faculty Awards Presentation
Thursday, April 10
3:00 – 5:00 pm
307 Marvin Center

CS Colloquium: “Latent Variable Models for Tracking Illness Severity in Infants”
Speaker: Dr. Suchi Saria, Johns Hopkins University
Friday, April 11
12:00 pm
736 Phillips Hall

MAE Seminar: “Enabling Faster, Better Medical Device Development and Evaluation with Modeling and Simulation:Regulatory Perspective”
Speaker: Dr. Tina M. Morrison, Advisor of Computational Modeling Center for Devices & Radiological Health, Food and Drug Administration
Monday, April 14
2:00 pm
771 Rome Hall

SAVE THE DATE: Frank Howard Distinguished Lecture
Speaker: Dr. Mario Livio, Internationally Renowned Astrophysicist & Prize-Winning Author
Thursday, April 17
6:30 – 8:30 pm
Marvin Center, Continental Ballroom
After the lecture, Dr. Livio will be available for a book signing. Copies of his book will be available for purchase. A reception follows the lecture.

MAE Seminar: “Nanogenerators as New Energy Technology & Piezotronics for Functional Systems”
Speaker: Dr. Zhong Lin Wang, Georgia Institute of Technology
Thursday, May 8
11:00 am
736 Phillips Hall

Entrepreneurship Events

3rd Annual Innovation Competition
Wednesday, March 26
1:00 – 4:00 pm
Marvin Center, Rooms 307-309
The GW Office of Technology Transfer (OTT) is showcasing promising and impactful GW research with commercial potential. This event provides a forum for idea sharing between GW researchers, entrepreneurs, and members of the venture community, as well as the opportunity for GW inventors to present technologies to a panel of experienced entrepreneurs, investors, and industry. Finalists will pitch their technologies for a chance to win $20,000 in prizes!

Dissertation Defenses:

Name of Student Defending: Patrick McGeachy Mills

Title of Dissertation: “An Audible Ultrasound Electrolarynx”
Advisor: Prof. Jason Zara (ECE)
Wednesday, March 26
10:00 am
640 Phillips Hall

Name of Student Defending: Juzi Zhao
Title of Dissertation: “Impairment Aware Resource Allocation in Translucent Optical Networks”
Advisor: Prof. Suresh Subramaniam (ECE)
Monday, March 31
10:30 am
Gelman Library, Room B04

External Events:

Alumni Outstanding Service Awards
Thursday, April 3
6:30 pm
JW Marriott Washington DC
1331 Pennsylvania Ave NW
SEAS alumnus Will Alexander (BS '04, GWSB MBA '06) will be one of the six recipients of this year's awards.

USA Science and Engineering Festival Expo
Saturday and Sunday, April 26-27
Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C.
More info
Over 750 leading STEM organizations will present hands-on science and engineering activities for people of all ages. The event is free of charge.