May 3-9, 2021


May 4, 2021

Faculty News

emilia entcheva

Dr. Emilia Entcheva (BME) has published a new paper with three of her former graduate students, a former postdoc, and a collaborator: P. M. Boyle, J. Yu, A. Klimas, J. C. Williams, N. A. Trayanova, and E. Entcheva, “OptoGap is an optogenetics-enabled assay for quantification of cell–cell coupling in multicellular cardiac tissue,” Scientific Reports, 11:9310, 2021. The study provides experimental and computational validation of a new method for quantifying electrical coupling between cells using optogenetic approaches.


Media Mentions:


Conferences & Presentations:

Dr. Michael Keidar

Dr. Michael Keidar (MAE) gave an invited talk titled “Some recent progress in plasma medicine: plasma adaptation and plasma action mechanism” at an EU workshop on plasma applications. The workshop was hosted in Cyprus and held online April 27-28.

Dr. Volker Sorger

Dr. Volker Sorger (ECE) gave a keynote presentation at the Materials Research Society's annual spring meeting, held April 19-23. His presentation covered novel material developments towards photonic nonvolatile memory with reprogrammability, as well as twist-tronics, a new degree of freedom for device engineering.


Other News:

Dr. Ken Chong

Dr. Ken Chong (MAE) was elected recently as a member of the board of directors of the Rho Psi Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to the education and development of youth. His three-year term extends to 2024. He will also serve as a judge for the foundation’s scholarships.


Student News

Group photo of Dr. Aslani with his team in lab

Dr. Amir Aslani (ECE) and his capstone project students, Nicholas Brignola, Caitlyn Pratt, Justina Pruski, Shannon French, and Courtney Dutile, visited Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on April 29 to test the equipment that they designed and developed for the Extremity Trauma and Amputation Center of Excellence (EACE). EACE is the leading advocate for research and treatment of Department of Defense (DoD) and Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) patients with extremity trauma and amputation.


Abnormal mechanics of movement resulting from lower-limb amputation (LLA) may increase stability demands on the spinal column and/or alter existing postural control mechanisms and neuromuscular responses. Adequate neuromuscular control of the lumbar spine is required to prevent lumbar injuries. A seated balance task is used to investigate the effects of LLA on trunk postural control and stability.


Dr. Aslani’s students redesigned and fabricated an autonomous wobble chair for EACE to characterize and quantify postural control of the lumbar spine during unstable sitting. The team's automated design reduces the effort and time required by researchers to operate the chair, improves measurement accuracy, and reduces the burden for chair users by allowing them to remain seated while adjustments are made.


Dr. Aslani and the team would like to sincerely thank William Rutkowski, Nicholas Batista, and Thomas Punte of the SEAS Machine Shop and mentor Dr. Carl Wick for their exemplary assistance throughout this process. Additionally, they would like to thank the Quality of Life Plus (QL+) organization and Dr. Barbara Springer, who challenged the students to create innovative technology solutions that improve the quality of life for injured veterans, first responders, and others who have served our nation. Last but not least, they offer many thanks to Dr. Bradford Hendershot, facility research director at DoD-VA Extremity Trauma and Amputation Center of Excellence, for his outstanding support.



The EMSE team of Christina Berger, Kayleigh Calder, Sarah Cassway, and Caroline Walton won the Best Paper Award in the Energy and Environment track at the IEEE Systems and Information Engineering Design Symposium, hosted by the University of Virginia and held virtually on April 29-30. The team’s paper is titled “Developing a Dashboard for High Occupancy Buildings.” Also competing at the conference were teams from the University of Virginia, Purdue University, George Mason University, the University of Alabama, the Air Force Academy, and other universities.


Congratulations to SEAS sophomores Claire Allison and Makeda Melkie, who have been selected as Clare Boothe Luce Research Scholars for 2021-2023. Both candidates were selected on the basis of their outstanding academic records, their clear research proposals, and the support of their faculty mentors. Claire, who is mentored by Dr. Vesna Zderic (BME), will study, “Ultrasound Induced Localized Hyperthermia to Trigger Chemotherapeutic Drug Release from Heat Sensitive Liposomes for Treatment of Retinoblastoma.” Makeda will study “Creating a Model for Heart Failure Preserved Heart Ejection (HFpEF) in Rodents through Systematic Dietary Plans” with her mentor, Dr. Matthew Kay (BME).


Upcoming SEAS Events
Festival of Animation
Monday, May 10
4:00 pm (ET)
Please visit the Festival of Animation webpage for instruction on how to participate.
This is your chance to see the projects for computer graphics, computer animation, virtual reality, augmented reality, and computer games courses; hang out and mingle with other students and faculty; and celebrate together the end of an eventful year. You will also have the chance to vote for the winners of the various categories. The Festival will be held in the 3D virtual Science and Engineering Hall. You can participate through your computer terminal or using a VR head mounted display if you have one.


SEAS Order of the Engineer Induction Ceremony
Thursday, May 13
4:00 pm (ET)
Register (Only SEAS faculty and staff may register at this link. Please register by Friday, May 7.)


External Events
Security and Sustainability Forum Webinar Series: “Sixty Minutes with Plug Power CEO Andy Marsh”
Friday, May 28
11:30 am – 12:30 pm (ET)
Join Andy Marsh for a discussion on the hydrogen revolution and its implications the future of fuel cells. The discussion is part of the Security and Sustainability Forum’s Leadership in Our Time webinar series, co-hosted with GW. Ambassador András Simonyi, senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, will interview Mr. Marsh.


Human Resources News
HR Corner Hero

Find updates on benefits, employee resources, and more at the HR Corner. Please visit the HR Corner to get the latest news and information.