October 27-November 2, 2014


October 27, 2014

Faculty News



GW's Institute for Biomedical Engineering has announced the recipients of its 2014-2015 Institute for Biomedical Engineering Interdisciplinary Research Award:


  • Prof. Grace Zhang (MAE) : "Integrating 3D Bioprinting and Biofluid Velocimetry to Build an Innovative 3D Perfused Vascular Network for Tissue/Organ Regeneration"
  • Prof. Geoffrey Hudson (SPHHS): "Calculation of Percent Body Fat Using Virtual Body Models

Media Mentions:


Prof. Lorena Barba (MAE) and her "Practical Numerical Methods with Python" course were featured in the October 21 eCampusNews article, " 'Independent MOOC' reaches global audience with connected course ."




Prof. David Broniatowski (EMSE) has published his latest paper, "Germs Are Germs, and Why Not Take a Risk? Patients' Expectations for Prescribing Antibiotics in an Inner-City Emergency Department," in the journal Medical Decision Making . He co-authored the paper with Eili Y. Klein and Valerie F. Reyna. Prof. Broniatowski presented the same work at the Society for Medical Decision Making annual conference, held October 22 in Miami, FL.

Prof. Kennerly Digges (CEE research professor) was first author on the paper "Factors That Influence Chest Injuries in Rollovers," published in the peer-reviewed journal Traffic Safety Prevention, Vol. 15, Supp1, p.42-48, October 2014. He presented it at the annual meeting of the Association of Automotive Medicine (AAAM), held October 13 in Munich, Germany. At the AAAM meeting, Prof. Digges also was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award by BMW, one of the sponsors of the AAAM conference.
Prof. Kausik Sarkar (MAE) published the following journal article with his graduate student Swarnajay Mukherjee: S. Mukherjee and K. Sarkar (2014). "Lateral migration of a viscoelastic drop in a Newtonian fluid in a shear flow near a wall," Physics of Fluids, 26, 103102.

Conferences & Presentations:


On October 6, Emeritus Professor Peter Bock (CS) participated in a panel discussion at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) here in Washington, DC, the subject of which was "The Future of Artificial Intelligence: Robots and Beyond." CFR is an "independent, nonpartisan organization dedicated to being a resource for its members (government officials, business executives, journalists, educators and students, . . .) . . . to help them better understand the world and the foreign policy choices facing the United States and other countries." Most of the Q&A session afterward focused on the issue of the inherent morality of developing an AI on a par with humans. A video of this discussion and the Q&A session is available at:
https://www.youtube.com/watch? v=fxe7FVI5Ky4.


Prof. David Broniatowski (EMSE) was an invited participant at the Uncertainty in Computation Workshop organized by the Computing Community Consortium Catalyst and held here in Washington DC, October 15-16.

Prof. Azim Eskandarian (CEE) and his doctoral student Mohammad Goli (MAE) published and presented the following paper at the ASME Dynamic Systems and Control Conference, held October 22-24 in San Antonio, TX: M. Goli and A. Eskandarian. "A systematic multi-vehicle platooning and platoon merging: Strategy, control, and trajectory generation." Prof. Eskandarian also participated in various technical committees of the Dynamic Systems and Control Division of ASME.

The Clinical and Translational Science Institute at Children's National (CTSI-CN) invited Prof. Chunlei Liang (MAE) to give a presentation, which he did on October 20. His presentation was titled "High-fidelity Simulations of Femoral Arterial Flow with Multiple Stenoses." This is a funded project by CTSI-CN and performed in collaboration with co-PI Dr. Bao Nguyen of the Department of Surgery and doctoral candidate Liangwei Li. Profs. Liang and Nguyen are mentored by Profs. Morton Friedman (MAE) and Anton Sidawy (Surgery), respectively.

Prof. Volker Sorger (ECE) gave an invited tutorial titled "Opto-electronics Beyond Classical Limits: Lasers & Modulator" at the 2014 IEEE International Photonics Conference, held October 12-16 in La Jolla, CA. The tutorial covered recent findings and results that will be published in early 2015 in the journal Nature Nanotechnology.

Prof. Mona Zaghloul (ECE) was invited to be a keynote speaker at the October 16 SYLICA Workshop, Brno University of Technology, Czech Republic. The title of her talk was "Nanostructured Sensors for Chemical and Biological Systems." The trip and the invitation were sponsored by the Central European Institute of Technology (CEITEC), a scientific center of excellence in the fields of life sciences, advanced materials, and technologies. Prof. Zaghloul visited the research facilities of CEITEC and toured the clean room and nano and micro research laboratories. The groups are working on bio and chemical sensors. Considerable research overlap exists between Prof. Zaghloul's research and that of the CEITEC researchers.

Prof. Rachael Jonassen (visiting scholar and part-time faculty, EMSE) presented two papers at the 39th Annual Climate Diagnostics and Prediction Workshop, October 20 in St. Louis, MO. Rachael and two colleagues from NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), Marina Timofeyeva and Fiona Horsfall, presented "Towards a Five-Year Prediction of Climate." They were joined by two colleagues from the National Snow and Ice Data Center, Elchin Jafarov and Kevin Schaefer, in presenting "Achieving the NOAA Arctic Action Plan: the Missing Permafrost Element."

Prof. Lijie Grace Zhang (MAE) served as symposium chair of "Nanomaterials for Biomedical Applications" at the 51st Society of Engineering Science Annual Technical Meeting, held October 1-3 in West Lafayette, IN.

Other News:


An interview with Prof. Julie Ryan (EMSE) was published on the SciCast website on October 16.


Student News


Prizes announced for the 2015 SEAS Student R&D Showcase:
The Showcase is open to all SEAS undergraduate and graduate students, and this year it includes a new selection of prize categories:


• Theoretical Research: 1st Place - $5,000; 2nd Place - $4,000; 3rd Place - $3,000
• Experimental Research: 1st Place - $5,000; 2nd Place - $4,000; 3rd Place - $3,000
• Undergraduate Research: $2,000
• Entrepreneurship: $2,000
( Winning mentors receive $1,000 toward their R-Funds)

The deadline to apply to the Showcase is November 1, 2014. To be eligible to compete in the Showcase, students must submit their two-page abstracts by 5:00 pm on November 1. More information for student participants is available on the SEAS website's R&D Showcase Student Participants page.

Prof. Lijie Grace Zhang's (MAE) doctoral students, Nathan Castro, Benjamin Holmes, Wei Zhu and Christopher O'Brien, gave the following presentations at the 51st Society of Engineering Science Annual Technical Meeting, held October 1-3 in West Lafayette, IN:

  1. B. Holme, K. Bulusu, M. Plesniak, and L. Zhang. "Enhanced Human Bone Marrow Mesenchymal Stem Cell Function on 3D Printed Nano Bone Scaffolds with Vascular Mimicking Microchannels."
  2. W. Zhu, M. Keidar and L. Zhang. "A Cold Atmospheric Plasma Modified Biomimetic Cartilage Scaffold."
  3. C. O'brien and L. Zhang. "3D Bioprinting of Functionalized Graphene Nanoplatelet-doped Hydrogel for Neural Regeneration."
  4. B. Holmes, W. Zhu and L. Zhang. "3D Printed Biomimetic Bone Model for the Study of Breast Cancer Metastasis Into Bone."
  5. N. Castro and L. Zhang. "Highly interconnected porous nanocomposite scaffolds manufactured by table-top 3D printing."

Benjamin Holmes (MAE) , a doctoral student from Prof. Lijie Grace Zhang's lab, has received a travel award for the 2014 Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine International Society-Americas (TERMIS-AM) Annual Conference and Exposition, which will be held December 13-16 in Washington, DC.

Other News
Grad Recruiting & Admissions: The Office of Graduate Admissions will hold an information session and happy hour on Thursday, October 30 at 5:30 pm at the State Plaza Hotel Bistro on F Street. For a complete list of recruitment activities, please see the front page of our microsite at www.graduate.seas.gwu.edu.

Graduate Career Services: The GW SEAS Graduate Career Service Team will host its monthly International Coffee Hour on October 30 from 4:00 to 5:00 pm. Several SEAS graduate ambassadors will be present and students will have the opportunity to get their LinkedIn photos taken as well.

Guest Vignette


The wheel is one of humanity's greatest inventions. On planar surfaces, its efficiency is unparalleled. But much of terrestrial Earth consists of irregular terrain that is not readily traversable by wheels, and transforming those surfaces to roads (and maintaining those roads) requires considerable resources. Even navigating within our urban environments is not always straightforward with wheeled vehicles. Americans with Disabilities Act compliance ensures that the DC metro, for example, is accessible to wheelchairs, but users of such devices must take circuitous paths and are often inconvenienced by elevator malfunctions, among other challenges. In many cases, legged locomotion is superior.


GW's POSITRONICS Lab has been investigating legged locomotion, which has applications in autonomous robots, human exoskeletons, powered prostheses, and human biomechanics. We (Prof. Evan Drumwright and CS Ph.D. student Sam Zapolsky) have been studying the problem of how a robot would follow a prescribed path over arbitrary terrain, which entails selecting footholds, generating a gait (walking, jogging, running), keeping the robot balanced, and determining control torques to feed to the robot's actuators.

To address these problems, we implemented a spline-based gait generation system and a balancing scheme base that models the robot as an inverse pendulum. For transforming desired accelerations into control torques, we developed an inverse dynamics controller, which uses the multi-rigid body model of the robot and a predictive model of contact between the feet and the ground to attain superior performance over simpler model-free approaches. We addressed this open problem of inverse dynamics with predictive contact by solving a two-phase convex quadratic program, which we are able to do at real-time rates (125 Hz).

Inverse dynamics control allows our robot to move compliantly, which means that the scheme is robust to sensing and positioning errors, and accurate in dynamic simulations. We are currently implementing this work on a real quadruped robot that Zapolsky designed and constructed, which we call R. Links. We are "open sourcing" all of the software to control this robot, which will allow researchers, hobbyists, and educators to experiment with legged robots without needing to understand the complex algorithms necessary for walking and balancing. (Provided courtesy of Prof. Evan Drumwright, Department of Computer Science)

SEAS Events

SEAS 6200 (Launching Technical Ventures): Entrepreneur/VC Guest Panel
Wednesday, October 29
6:40 – 8:40 pm
201 Tompkins Hall
The Entrepreneur/VC guest panel is hosted by SEAS alumnus Richard Stroupe and is open to all GW students and alumni .

MAE Seminar: "Molecular Engineering of Microbubble Shells"
Speaker: Dr. Mark Borden, Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science & Engineering and Bioengineering, University of Colorado, Boulder
Thursday, October 30
3:00 pm
736 Phillips Hall

MAE Seminar: "Bio-inspired Flow Sensing, Control, and Actuation for Autonomous Underwater Vehicles"
Speaker: Dr. Derek A. Paley, Department of Aerospace Engineering & Institute for Systems Research, University of Maryland
Wednesday, November 5
3:00 pm
736 Phillips Hall

MAE Seminar: "Mechanics in Action: From Nano to Continuum"
Speaker: Prof. Ken Chong (SEAS MAE)
Thursday, November 13
3:00 pm
736 Phillips Hall  

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