April 29 - May 5, 2019


April 29, 2019

Faculty News

Saniya Leblanc
Headshot of Ekundayo Shittu

Dr. Saniya LeBlanc (left) and Dr. Ekundayo Shittu (right)


Dr. Saniya LeBlanc (MAE) and Dr. Ekundayo Shittu (EMSE) have received a six-month, $100,000 Department of Energy award for their project “Improving the Generation of Synthetic Time Histories for Electricity Demand, Prices and Variable Renewable Electricity Production.” This project will develop novel algorithms that will improve the time history generation of prices, demand, and supply of renewable energy in the architecture for Nuclear Hybrid Energy Systems. The existing approach has a significant amount of computational stress leading to delayed outcomes and less than optimal results. The proposed approach will consider a better methodology for sampling over the current two-step process of decomposing a prototypical year with discrete Fourier Transform based on an arbitrary number of frequencies by using the normalized difference between the transformation and original time history to train an Auto-Regressive Moving Average model. Dr. Rene van Dorp (EMSE) is an advisor on the project.




Conferences & Presentations:

Dr. Michael Plesniak

On April 25, Dr. Michael Plesniak (MAE) presented a lecture titled “Pulsatile Flow over a Surface Protuberance & Human Speech” as part of the MAE Grand Challenges Distinguished Lecture Series at the University of Virginia’s Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering.


Other News:

Headshot of Tarek A. El-Ghazawi
Dr. Sorger

Dr. Tarek El-Ghazawi (left) and Dr. Volker Sorger (right)

Dr. Matthew Lumb is not pictured.


Last week, the SEAS newsletter reported on the success of Dr. Mona Zaghloul’s (ECE) team at GW’s 2019 TCO Innovation Competition. Two other SEAS teams also placed in the competition. Dr. Matthew Lumb (research scientist, ECE) won the First Place Prize in the physical science category for his poster, "Switching-free DC Voltage Conversion.” This type of converter could be useful in devices with components sensitive to excess noise, such as medical devices or defense systems. Dr. Lumb’s converter would be an alternative to current options, which generate waste heat and can require multiple components. The Second Place Prize in the physical science category was claimed by the team of Drs. Tarek El-Ghazawi and Volker Sorger (ECE) and doctoral students Engin Kayraklioglu and Shuai Sun for their poster, “The Reconfigurable Optical Computer.” This nanophotonic analog reconfigurable computer is capable of computing out of first principles by solving those partial differential equations that are used for most simulations in science and engineering. The team already a U.S. patent for this--US Patent No. 15/369,371: T. El-Ghazawi, V. J. Sorger, S. Sun, A. H. A. Badawy, V. K. Narayana, (2017).


Student News
Dr. Murray Snyder (MAE) invites the SEAS community to view a music video created by MAE freshman Samir Aziz to highlight the GW Baja team’s recent SAE Baja competition in Cookeville, TN.


ECE doctoral student Shiyuan Wang, a member of the GW Smart Grid Laboratory, was awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) Student Travel Grant to attend the “Smart Grid Edge Analytics Workshop,” which will be held June 4-5 at Georgia Tech University. The workshop is organized by The Georgia Institute of Technology, in collaboration with Texas A&M University, Temple University, and the South Big Data Innovation Hub. Shiyuan is advised by Dr. Payman Dehghanian (ECE).


New Venture Competition Winners: SEAS congratulates the SEAS student finalists in GW’s 2019 New Venture Competition (NVC). The following SEAS students won prizes at the competition:


  • Manyung Emma Hon (SEAS '20) and her teammate Samuel Magaziner won the Tech Track Prize ($20,000), the Blank Rome’s Best Undergraduate Prize ($10,000), and Opportune Clean Energy and Healthcare Prize ($5,000) for Plast-ways. Plast-ways is an engineered consortium of plastic eating microbes intended to increase landfill lifespan.
  • Ali Gerami Matin (SEAS '21) and Mohammad Shams (SEAS '19) won the Fosun International Venture Prize ($10,000) for ALLDOTs. AllDOTs provides a complex automated dual-target system for pavement condition detection and maintenance planning optimization.
  • Jonathan Lau (SEAS '22), Justina Pruski (SEAS '21), Raymond Yau (SEAS '22), and Giavanna Corazza (SEAS '22) won the Runner Up Prize ($5,000) for Mobility Innovators. Mobility Innovators is an innovative, compact tray, designed for US veterans who are wheelchair bound and lack independence.
  • Randall Ray (SMHS '22), Parker Johnson (SEAS '19), and Nirmal Ravi won the Runner Up Prize ($5,000) and Best Medical Device Venture ($7,500) for Perpetua. Perpetua presents Meerkat, a climate-controlled glovebox that makes it possible to use modern point-of-care medical labs in the developing world.
  • Sydney Bailes (SEAS '19), Caitlyn Pratt (SEAS '21), and Solomon Abrams (GWSB '19) won the Runner Up Prize ($5,000) for Takin' it Easy. Takin' it Easy is a user-friendly, cost-effective automated pill dispenser providing medical safety and autonomy for users and families.
  • Sam Bunger (SEAS '21), Saramarie Puzzanghera (SEAS '22), Nathaniel Bury (SEAS '22), and Ryan Fornara won the Honorable Mention Prize ($2,500) for Voxion. Voxion provides a user-friendly and cost-effective solution for consumer-facing businesses to build custom voice applications.
  • Christian Trummer (SEAS '21) and his teammate Jagan Doodala (CCAS '19) won the Quinn Prize for Best International and Social Entrepreneurship Venture ($7,500) for WATTerWagon. WATTerWagon increases water carrying capacity and eliminates strenuous labor for hundreds of millions living in rural water-scarce regions.


A full list of prize winners is available on the NVC website.


Other News

Photo of Ya-Qin Zhang

SEAS and ECE alumnus Dr. Ya-Qin Zhang (DSc ’89) has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Founded in 1780, the Academy honors excellence and convenes leaders from every field of human endeavor to examine new ideas and address issues of importance to the nation and the world. With his election to the Academy, Dr. Zhang joins the company of notable members such as Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, Alexander Graham Bell, Albert Einstein, Winston Churchill, and more than 250 Nobel and Pulitzer Prize winners. Upon receiving word of his election, Dr. Zhang thanked his former academic advisors, Dr. Raymond Pickholtz (professor emeritus, ECE) and Dr. Murray Loew (BME), “for laying the foundation for my academic research.” Dr. Zhang will be inducted into the Academy at a ceremony in Cambridge, MA, in October.

GW’s Office of Corporate and Foundation Relations (CFR) invites faculty and staff to visit the CFR website and review more than 200 current corporate and foundation requests for proposals. The website hosts a variety of grant seeking and proposal development tools to assist faculty and staff in finding funding to advance their programs. Corporate and foundation relations staff are available to answer questions and provide assistance at [email protected].


SEAS Events Re-cap

Dr. Heller

On April 26, SEAS officially launched the SEAS Center for Women in Engineering at an event in the Lehman Auditorium attended by faculty, staff, students, alumni, and friends. The Center is a landmark program that serves as a model to overcome the challenges facing women faculty, staff, students, and alumni in engineering.


Associate Dean Bhagirath Narahari kicked off the event, followed by brief remarks of support from GW Provost Forrest Maltzman. The Center’s director, Dr. Shelly Heller (CS), gave a brief overview of the Center’s purpose, the initiatives and activities it will undertake, and why SEAS is so well positioned to host a center for women in engineering. She thanked the supporters of the Center, particularly its advisory board and donors, and encouraged SEAS community members to become involved in the Center's work.


The keynote address for the launch was given by Ms. Cecilia Kang, a technology correspondent for The New York Times. Ms. Kang directed her comments to the need to involve women in the design and creation of technology, stating that she believes technology is better when it is created by diverse teams of people who reflect the users and consumers of the technologies.


SEAS Computing Facility
Computers available for checkout/3D Printing Services: SEAS students, faculty, and staff may borrow Dell laptops and desktops through the end of the semester and may have access to 3D printers for research and academic projects. Please visit the SEAS CF website for more information about borrowing computers or getting access to the 3D printers.


High Performance Computing Cluster resources available in SEAS: SEAS researchers and faculty have access to Colonial One, a shared High Performance Computing Cluster hosted in GW's data center. A new 2.1 PFlops system is in the final stages of deployment and will be available this coming summer. For access and questions, please email the SEAS CF support ticket system.


Web Services: SEAS students, faculty, and staff have access to a GW hosted Wordpress platform for personal, conference, research, or institute websites. All websites can have a customized name under the SEAS domain, such as “powerlab” or “conference2019.” SEAS CF will work with faculty and staff to migrate/update existing sites or build a new website. For access and questions, please email the SEAS CF support ticket system.


Upcoming SEAS Events
ACM – CS Internet Distinguished Speaker Series: “How to (Not) Regulate the Internet”
Speaker: KC Claffy
Tuesday, April 30
7:00 – 8:30 pm
SEH, Lehman Auditorium
KC Claffy is a leading researcher in Internet measurement, winner of the IEEE Internet Award, and member of the Internet Hall of Fame. She will discuss the social and economic implications of the changing landscape of the Internet, the history of Internet interconnection, and lessons from her experience in shaping policy. Following the lecture, there will be an opportunity for questions and a reception with light refreshments. This event is sponsored in collaboration with the GW chapter of the Association for Computing Machinery. It is open to the public.


Biomedical Engineering Society Alumni Networking Night
Friday, May 3
7:00 – 9:00 pm
SEH, B1 Level
Come mingle with us over hors d'oeuvres and learn what recent graduates are doing with their engineering degrees.


BME Senior Capstone Presentation
Monday, May 6
5:20 – 7:20 pm
SEH, First Floor Studio Lab
BME invites SEAS faculty and staff to join BME faculty, staff, students, and their families for the department’s Senior Capstone Presentation. This year’s senior design projects include a catheter training device, a CPR device for infants, classroom accessibility devices, and a medical records system for medical teams working in the developing world.


SEAS Graduate Student Send Off
Monday, May 13
6:00 – 8:00 pm
SEH, B1 Greenwall
Student RSVP required
The SEAS Career Services Center invites graduating Masters and PhD SEAS students to meet and mingle with local GW alumni. Connect with SEAS alumni who have graduated within the past few years to hear advice for beginning the next stage of your career. Whether you are entering the work force or continuing on with your education, come out and celebrate joining the GW alumni community. Students will receive a special gift. Attire is business casual. Light refreshments will be served. All SEAS alumni, faculty, staff, and graduating masters and PhD students are welcome to attend.


Software Carpentry Workshop
Thursday and Friday, May 16 and 17
9:00 am – 4:30 pm
Gelman Library, Room 101
RSVP is required
Join us for two days of hands-on instruction in automating tasks with the Unix shell, data analysis and visualization with Python, and version control with Git. Participants must register ahead of time and attend for both days. The course is designed for GW graduate students, faculty, and other researchers; however, advanced undergraduate students are also welcome. You don't need to have any previous knowledge of the tools that will be presented at the workshop. The workshop is free to any GW-affiliated participant. Visit the GW Libraries’ Github website for more details and the workshop schedule.


Entrepreneurship News & Events
Apply to be a GW Entrepreneurial Fellow: Calling all currently enrolled GW students—The GW Office of Innovation & Entrepreneurship's Entrepreneurial Fellow program is accepting applications now to start in the fall of 2019. Apply today for this paid fellowship opportunity.