September 3 - 9, 2012


September 3, 2012

Faculty News

Research and Patents:

Prof. Gabe Sibley (CS), head of the Robotics and Perception Group (RPG), has won $238,566 from the CIA to fund a postdoctoral research scientist for two years to develop and validate power-aware, dense--3D visual-inertial perception algorithms that directly improve the energy-efficiency of ground robot tele-operation. The RPG is leveraging recent advances in tele-operation hat use virtualized reality-which provides the tele-operator with enhanced spatial awareness via a video game-like interface driven by live 3D robot mapping data. Virtualized reality relies on accurate 3D perception, and this approach optimally fuses inertial-sensing and stereo--vision into accurate dense world models in real-time.

Prof. Rene Van Dorp (EMSE) and his collaborator in maritime risk assessment, Prof. Jason Merrick (Virginia Commonwealth University), have been awarded a $75,000 sole source grant from the Makah Indian Tribal Council. During the project, Profs. Van Dorp and Merrick will update risk levels for oil transportation risk in the Puget Sound (Seattle) and San Juan Islands area from the year 2005 to the year 2010. The 2005 risk levels were evaluated under a prior contract funded by BP. The Puget Sound and San Juan Islands in particular are environmentally pristine areas that are under large pressures for increased oil and bulk maritime traffic in the future. The year 2010 analysis will be utilized to establish a new baseline for future risk projections, which Profs. Van Dorp and Merrick hope to have funded under a separate sole source grant from the Puget Sound Partnership in the near future.

Conferences and Presentations:

On August 17, Prof. Ken Chong (MAE) presented a distinguished lecture, titled "Nanotechnology and Civil Engineering," at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. He visited with faculty members and students, including the university president, Prof. Tim Tong, former dean of SEAS. Prof. Chong also gave a college seminar, "Research, Education and Challenges in Nuclear Energy," at the City University of Hong Kong on August 16. He had discussions with faculty members, including the president, Prof. Way Kuo, and the provost, Prof. Art Ellis, on opportunities for visiting faculty and graduate students from the U.S.

Prof. James Lee (MAE) and his doctoral student, Jiaoyan Li, attended the 23rd International Congress of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics, held August 19-24, in Beijing, China. They made the following presentations:

  • Jiaoyan Li, James Lee, and Xianqiao Wang: Multiscale Modeling of Multi-physics
  • Jiaoyan Li, James Lee, and Ken Chong: Damage Propagation in Composite Material reinforced by Randomly-Dispersed Particles
  • Jiaoyan Li and James Lee: Micropolar Theory and its Application to Nematic Liquid Crystal


Prof. Yongsheng Leng (MAE) and his Ph.D. student, Huachuan Wang, attended the International Congress of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics, held August 19-24, in Beijing, China. At the closing ceremony, Huachuang Wang's poster "Molecular Simulations of the Formation of Gold-molecule-gold Junctions in Moletronics Device" won the best poster award by the International Union of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics (IUTAM) Bureau for outstanding presentations by young scientists. A total of three awards are given by the IUTAM: one in fluid mechanics, one in solid mechanics, and one for the best poster (in either fluid or solid mechanics). During the visit to China, Prof. Leng also gave a seminar titled "Squeezing and shearing behaviors of liquid films in confined geometry" at Tsinghua University.

Prof. Murray Loew (ECE) attended the Gordon Research Conference "Scientific Methods in Cultural Heritage Research" from July 29 to August 3 in West Dover, VT.

Prof. Lile Murphree (EMSE) and his former doctoral student, Prof. Charles O. Oluokun (now at Morgan State University in Baltimore), presented a peer-reviewed conference paper at the Third International Conference on Construction in Developing Countries (ICCIDC III) held in Bangkok, Thailand. The paper is: Oluokun, C. O. and Murphree, E. L., "Implications of Younger and Older Construction Workers' Perceptions of Each Other," and was published in the Proceedings of the Third International Conference on Construction in Developing Countries.

Other News:

Prof. Gabe Sibley (CS) has been invited to serve as an associate editor of the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society's Conference Editorial Board for the 2013 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA 2013).

Prof. Rumana Riffat (CEE) has replaced Prof. Martha Pardavi-Horvath as the associate dean of academic affairs for SEAS.

Guest Vignette:

Through a project funded by NSF, Prof. Hyeong-Ah Choi and her Ph.D. student Luca Zappaterra along with her former Ph.D. students Drs. Gomes and Arora-are researching Cognitive Radio Network (CRN) technology that allows higher utilization of wireless resources. By investigating the channel sensing order and channel sensing stopping strategies jointly, they have been able to develop an approach to significantly increase the throughput of the network. As a part of this research, they have developed an optimal algorithm for stopping the search for better channel. This algorithm runs in a polynomial time, which is a significant complexity reduction from the typical backward induction that runs in the exponential order. With her Ph.D. student Khanh Nguyen, Dr. Choi also is researching methods for assessing the value of different contributions in a collaborative editing environment. This approach contains elements of social networking and wikis, and can lead to better tools for learning algorithms and related mathematical topics. (Provided courtesy of Prof. Hyeong Ah-Choi of the Department of Computer Science)

SEAS Events:

EMSE Seminar: " Human and Modeling Approaches for Humanitarian Transportation Planning"
Prof. Erica Gralla, EMSE
Thursday, September 6
12:00 - 1:30 pm
EMSE Conference Room (1776 G Street, NW)