October 19-25, 2020


October 19, 2020

Faculty News


Dr. Thomas Mazzuchi
Dr. Shahram Sarkani

Dr. Thomas Mazzuchi (EMSE), Dr. Shahram Sarkani (EMSE), and their doctoral student Ying Zhou have published the following paper: Y. Zhou, T. A. Mazzuchi, and S. Sarkani. “M-AdaBoost-a based ensemble system for network intrusion detection,” Expert Systems with Applications, Vol. 162, December 2020, Article 113864.


Dr. Michael Plesniak

Dr. Michael Plesniak (MAE) and his former doctoral student Dr. Ian Carr, along with colleagues Dr. Nikos Beratlis and Dr. Elias Balaras (MAE), have published the following paper: I. Carr, N. Beratlis, E. Balaras, and M. Plesniak. “Effects of highly pulsatile inflow frequency on surface-mounted bluff body wakes,” Journal of Fluid Mechanics, 904, A29. This paper presents a fundamental study of flow pulsatility, which is ubiquitous in biological and biomedical fluid dynamics, and its effect as it passes over surface obstacles. Using experiments and CFD simulations, the authors examined highly pulsatile flow over a surface-mounted bluff body. The geometry and flow pulsatility were inspired by pathological polyps that can form on vocal cords. A wake regime map encompassing a range of pulsation frequency was created and a mechanistic explanation of the observed regimes put forth. A non-dimensional parameter applicable to pulsatile flows was developed that has a remarkable similarity to the formation time parameter associated with vortex ring generation.

Dr. Volker Sorger

Dr. Volker Sorger (ECE) published a paper in the American Association for the Advancement of Science journal Science, reporting on a novel spintronic state in 2D materials for an opportunity to be used in photonic quantum information circuits. Topological photonics in strongly coupled light-matter systems can open the possibility for observing new optical phenomena, as well as for fabricating active topological devices that are robust against disorder and defects. Topological polaritons, i.e., non-trivial hybrid exciton-photon quasiparticles, have been proposed to demonstrate robust chiral propagation, but their experimental realization to date has been at deep cryogenic temperatures and under strong magnetic fields. In the paper, the authors demonstrate helical topological polaritons in monolayer WS2 excitons coupled to a nontrivial photonic crystal protected by pseudo time-reversal symmetry. The formation of topological interface polaritons up to 200 K was observed without external magnetic field. The unique helical nature of the topological polaritons was verified in both the real and momentum space where polaritons corresponding to opposite helicities were transported to opposite directions along the topological interface. Topological helical polaritons can be promising for tunable polaritonic spintronic devices for robust classical and quantum information processing applications. The paper citation is: W. Liu, Z Ji, Y. Wang, G. Modi, M. Hwang, B. Zheng, V. J. Sorger, A. Pan, and R. Agarwal, “Generation of helical topological exciton-polaritons,” Science, October 8, 2020. DOI: 10.1126/science.abc4975.


Media Mentions:


Conferences & Presentations:

Dr. Paymen Dehghanian

Dr. Payman Dehghanian (ECE) chaired the session “Power Systems Engineering Track” at the 2020 IEEE Industry Application Society Annual Meeting, held virtually October 10-16. Dr. Dehghanian’s PhD student and GW Smart Grid Lab member Mohannad Alhazmi also participated in the conference, presenting the following paper: M. Alhazmi, P. Dehghanian, M. Nazemi, and M. Mitolo, “Optimal Integration of Interconnected Water and Electricity Networks,” IEEE Industry Applications Society (IAS) Annual Meeting, pp. 1-7, October 2020, Detroit, MI.

Dr. Igor Efimov

On October 9, Dr. Igor Efimov (BME) gave the lecture “Organ conformal and transient cardiac bioelectronics” in the Frontiers of Cardiovascular Bioengineering Series at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Dr. Erica Gralla

On October 6, Dr. Erica Gralla (EMSE) served as a member of the keynote panel “COVID-19 Decision Modeling Initiative” at the Society for Medical Decision Making Annual Meeting. During the panel, she discussed her work “Discrete event simulation for COVID-19 testing: identifying bottlenecks and supporting scale-up.”

Headshot of Zhengtian Xu

Dr. Zhengtian Xu (CEE) was selected as one of the three presenters at the 2020 VASITE/WDCSITE Joint Virtual Technical Meeting, held virtually on October 7. His presentation, titled “‘Congestion’ in Mobility Systems,” broadened the notion of congestion in transportation as a consequence of users’ inefficient competition for shared resources. Such a notional extension is crucial for transportation system management nowadays, as shared services are becoming increasingly important in urban mobility systems.


Other News:

Dr. Rachael Jonassen

Dr. Rachael Jonassen (director, Climate Change EEMI) has completed a 13-month assignment with the Asian Development Bank (ADB), leading a team of 44 specialists designing a low carbon plan for the city of Xiangtan, China. The ADB has now approved loans to support the $400M development costs over the coming five years. Dr. Jonassen was responsible for documenting the carbon reduction impacts of the project throughout the 25-year lifetime of the loan, and her work has been cited by the ADB as a “best practice” and “model project for low carbon development.” Eight GW graduate students supported this project.


Other News

Dr. Jaclyn Brennan is first author on the paper “Evidence of Superior and Inferior Sinoatrial Nodes in the Mammalian Heart,” which was highlighted in the October 2020 editorial “The U.S. National Institutes of Health and the Universal Language of Humanitarianism,” by Dr. Kalyanam Shivkumar, the editor of the Journal of American College of Cardiology: Clinical Electrophysiology. The editorial was dedicated to the 60th anniversary of the National Institutes of Health. (Note: The paper is currently in pre-print and has not yet been certified by peer-review.) Dr. Brennan was advised by Dr. Igor Efimov (BME) as a doctoral student. She recently graduated and has joined Dr. Efimov’s lab as a postdoctoral scientist.


Upcoming SEAS Events

POSTPONED: 2020 SEAS Student R&D Showcase

Originally scheduled for Friday, October 23, the 2020 SEAS Student R&D Showcase is being postponed to a future date. More information will be provided as soon as a new date is set. Thank you to all SEAS students who have registered for the Showcase. Your application will remain valid, and you will not need to resubmit it.


SEAS Community Workshop: Money Matters
Tuesday, October 20 | 4:30 – 5:30 pm ET | Join the webinar
Monday, November 16 | 12:00 – 1:00 pm ET | Join the webinar
This workshop will be held twice; please choose the date above that is more convenient for you. The workshop will be presented by the SEAS Undergraduate Advising and Student Services Office.


Tesla Information Session
Wednesday, October 21
11:00 am – 12:00 pm PT (Note: This is 2:00 – 3:00 pm ET)
Held via Microsoft Teams Meeting
For more information and to RSVP
Join Tesla for a GW information session to learn more about internship opportunities within its Applications Engineering and IT Operations organization.


SEAS Community Workshop: The Best of Growth Worlds
Wednesday, October 21 | 5:00 – 6:00 pm ET | Join the webinar
Tuesday, November 17 | 12:30 – 1:30 pm ET | Join the webinar
This workshop will be held twice; please choose the date above that is more convenient for you. The workshop will be presented by the SEAS Undergraduate Advising and Student Services Office.


SEAS Alumni Career Panel
Tuesday, October 27
1:00 pm ET
Register on Webex
Hear from SEAS alumni about their experiences and perspectives on adapting to work during a pandemic. Alumni panelists include: Sana Al-Hajj, Manager at International Finance Corporation (IFC); Lauren Cephas, Senior Systems Engineer at CGI; and Mounir Alafrangy, Senior Analyst and Space Exploration Program Lead at Mosaic ATM. This event is open to the GW community and is co-hosted by the W. Scott Amey Career Services Center, the SEAS Office of Graduate Admissions & Student Services, and SEAS Office of Development & Alumni Relations. If you have any questions about the event, please email the Career Services Center.


SEAS Community Workshop: Engineers Can Write, Too
Thursday, November 12
5:00 – 6:00 pm ET
Join the Webinar
The workshop will be presented by the SEAS Undergraduate Advising and Student Services Office.


BME Seminar: “Flexible, Hybrid Opto-Electro-Chemo Implants for Neural Interfaces”
Speaker: Dr. Wen Li, Michigan State University
Wednesday, December 2
11:00 am – 12:00 pm
Join via WebEx


Entrepreneurship News & Events
Fall Fridays at the GW Innovation Center:
Check out the GWIC Innovation Center’s line-up of fall Friday events. All events will take place from 3:00 to 5:00 pm. Please visit the GWIC Events page for links and details.


Movie Screening: Frontline documentary “Plastic Wars”
Friday, October 23
GWIC kicks off a focus on plastic with a screening of the Frontline documentary “Plastic Wars.” Stay tuned for details about a discussion on innovations in plastic recycling scheduled for November 20.


DIY Plastic Recycling Workshop
Friday, October 30
Join GW Precious Plastics founder Isabelle Carney and learn how to turn plastic bags into useable fabric.


Live Music
Friday, November 6
Chill out at the end of election week to live music. Featured artists to be announced.


GWIC Podcast Series: “Graduated, What's Next?”
Friday, November 13
Join us for the second edition of our new podcast series “Graduated, What's Next?” with GWIC Founding Fellow Sarah Shavin (BA ’19).


Discussion: Plastic Recycling: Fact or Fiction?
Friday, November 20
Join us for a discussion with industry experts on innovations in plastic recycling.


GWIC Cookie Contest: Winning Cookie Baked Live
Friday, December 4
Watch live as Chief Evangelist and GWIC founder Annamaria Konya Tannon bakes the winning cookie recipe. Keep an eye out for the cookie recipe contenders and make sure to cast your vote for your favorite recipe on Instagram (@gwinnovationcenter) on 11/30 and 12/1.


GW Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship Events:


Speaker Series: A Conversation on Angel Investing and Early-Stage Funding
Speaker: Roland W. Schumann III (MSc ‘97), President of Sierra Angels
Tuesday, October 27
2:00 – 3:00 pm
Join the GW Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship for an afternoon session with Mr. Schumann on his experiences as an angel investor and on perspectives on early-stage startup funding; what angel investors are looking for in startups and businesses; and what student entrepreneurs should be thinking about as they start their businesses.


Jumpstart Bootcamp: Global Challenge Innovation
Saturday and Sunday, November 7 and 8
Saturday and Sunday, November 14 and 15
10:00 am – 12:00 pm ET on each of the four dates
Students will discover and breakdown complex global problems, innovate new solutions, and design a business plan to launch a startup. This virtual event will feature four, two-hour interactive sessions. Guests who register for this event must attend all four sessions.


External Events

Cybersecurity Across Borders Panel Discussion
Friday, November 6
12:00 – 1:00 pm
Dr. Costis Toregas (director, Cyber Security and Privacy Research Institute) will be a participant in the Cybersecurity Across Borders webinar, a technology and diplomacy series panel. He will address academic efforts across national boundaries to share security frameworks and workforce pathways such as apprenticeships.



The GW Honey W. Nashman Center for Civic Engagement and Public Service hosts GW Votes, a non-partisan coalition of students, faculty, and staff that promotes voter registration and participation among GW students. This fall, GW Votes is hosting a number of programs and initiatives leading up to the November 3rd elections. Visit GW Votes for more information.


GW Coders
Weekly, on Fridays
11:00 am
Complete this short form to learn more
GW Coders is a new community that brings together students and faculty to apply computational and data analytics skills in research. We will share coding experiences, learn some new skills, and build our professional networks. GW Coders is for everyone, from those just getting interested in coding to those who have years of experience; for undergraduate and graduate students; for faculty in any discipline; for others in the DC community who want to join us.


Office of Research Integrity Seminar: “Responsible Conduct of Research”
Weekly, on Thursday
12:00 – 1:30 pm
This fall 2020 seminar course is designed to develop and strengthen ethical problem-solving skills and foster sensitivity to ethical issues in the conduct of research. Registration is open to the entire campus community but will be capped at twenty participants. Please register early to secure your space. If you have questions about the seminar, please email the Office of Research Integrity.


Human Resources News
HR Corner Hero

This week's HR Corner includes information related to the temporary suspension of employer base and matching contributions to retirement plans, changes to campus access, updates to GW's FY21 holiday schedule, and more. Please visit the HR Corner to read these updates.