August 26-September 1, 2013


September 03, 2013

Faculty News

New Faculty:

Prof. Lorena Barba
Lorena Barba joins SEAS as an associate professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering.  She earned her M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in aeronautics from the California Institute of Technology, and her B.S. and P.E. degrees in mechanical engineering from Universidad Técnica Federico Santa María in Chile.  Prior to joining GW, she was an assistant professor at Boston University (2008–2013) and a lecturer/senior lecturer at University of Bristol, UK (2004–2008).

Her research interests include computational fluid dynamics, especially immersed boundary methods and particle methods for fluid simulation; fundamental and applied aspects of fluid dynamics, especially flows dominated by vorticity dynamics; fast algorithms, especially the fast multipole method and its applications; and scientific computing on GPU architecture.  Prof. Barba is an Amelia Earhart Fellow of the Zonta Foundation (1999), a recipient of the EPSRC First Grant program (UK, 2007), an NVIDIA Academic Partner award recipient (2011), and a recipient of the NSF Faculty Early CAREER award (2012).  She was appointed CUDA Fellow by NVIDIA Corporation (2012) and is an internationally recognized leader in computational science and engineering.

Prof. David Broniatowski
David Broniatowski is an assistant professor in the Department of Engineering Management and Systems Engineering.  He received his Ph.D. degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he conducted research in the application of natural language processing techniques to study group decision making on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Expert Advisory Panels.  His research areas at GW will include individual and group decision-making under risk, the deployment expertise in technical systems, system architecture, and computational social science. Prior to coming to GW, Prof. Broniatowski was a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Advanced Modeling in the Social, Behavioral, and Health Sciences at Johns Hopkins University, and gained valuable industry experience working at Synexxus, a small business located in Arlington, Virginia, that specializes in systems integration.

Prof. Ekundayo Shittu
Ekundayo Shittu is an assistant professor in the Department of Engineering Management and Systems Engineering. He completed his Ph.D. at the University of Massachusetts Amherst in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research.  He conducts research in the arena of the economics and management of climate change by focusing on the interplay between public policy and energy technology investments.  He employs the tools of microeconomics and the paradigms of operations research to address how uncertainties about climate change, energy demand and supply, and the stringency of policies are likely to impact mitigation and adaptation strategies.  In addition, he investigates the transaction costs faced by firms dealing with market uncertainties, and how firms can choose from alternatives that mitigate market and institutional hazards.  Prior to coming to GW, Professor Shittu was an assistant professor at the A.B. Freeman School of Business at Tulane University.

Prof. Danmeng Shuai
Danmeng Shuai joins SEAS as an assistant professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.  Prof. Shuai received his Ph.D. degree in environmental engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and his B.S. and M.S. degrees in environmental engineering from China’s Tsinghua University. Prof. Shuai’s research interests include novel materials (such as multifunctional nanomaterials) for water treatment with a reduced energy footprint, renewable energy production, and resource recovery.  He received the NANO 2010 Student Platform Presentation Award, 3rd place, at Clemson University (2010), and the NSF-AEESP Grand Challenge Student Paper Award at the University of Iowa (2009).

Honors and Awards:

Prof. Kausik Sarkar (MAE) has been elected a Fellow of the Acoustical Society of America (ASA) for “Contributions to the modeling of ultrasound microbubbles.”  He will be honored and presented with the Fellowship certificate during the plenary session of the annual meeting of the society at San Francisco. 

Research & Grants:
GW has been awarded an NSF Major Research Instrumentation grant to develop a large-scale dense scene capture and tracking instrument.  The total for the project is $714,286.  Participants are Profs. James Hahn and Gabriel Sibley (both of CS), Prof. Taeyoung Lee (MAE), Prof. John Philbeck (Department of Psychology), and Prof. Brian Richmond (Department of Anthropology).  The MRI project will develop a novel instrument for large-scale, real-time, dense 3D motion-capture of dynamic scenes.  This will allow research in a number of disciplines where study of changing shapes is important, such as medicine, robotics, computer graphics, anthropology, exercise sciences, physical therapy, biomechanics, and psychology.

Profs. Diana Burley (GSEHD) and Julie Ryan (EMSE) are the PI and co-PI, respectively, on a $276,783 NSF grant.  The project is called HOLISTiC, and its purpose is to integrate human and organizational skills at the executive level into cybersecurity education.  The HOLISTiC Executive Cyber Corps© program will produce cybersecurity leaders who have: a strong technical foundation; expertise in key human and organizational concepts such as risk, information and change management; and a portfolio of advanced research and analysis skills.  The pilot program will provide full tuition scholarships for six students to study in the GSEHD Executive Leadership Doctoral Program (ELP).  Students are being recruited who have proven expertise in cybersecurity and who are willing to work for the U.S. Government after graduation.  The HOLISTiC program’s advisory board is composed of government and industry leaders.



Media Mentions:

Prof. Lance Hoffman (CS) was quoted in the article “Cyber Heroes in Training,” published in the August 12 issue of the Washington Post Express.

Conferences & Presentations:

Prof. Ken Chong (MAE) attended the 6th International Conference on Nonlinear Mechanics, held August 12-15, in Shanghai, China. The conference was sponsored by the IUTAM (International Union of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics) and other organizations. He presented a plenary lecture titled “Some new developments in non-linear solid mechanics,” chaired two sessions, and gave closing remarks at the end of the conference.

Prof. Chunlei Liang (MAE), along with his colleagues from University of Michigan, UC Berkeley, and Imperial College London, organized a mini-symposium at the 12th U.S. National Congress on Computational Mechanics.  The symposium, titled High-Order Methods of Computational Fluid Dynamics, was held July 23-25 in Raleigh, NC.  Participants presented 24 papers at the mini-symposium. Prof. Liang and his co-organizers are also editing a special issue on high-order methods of computational fluid dynamics for the journal Computers & Fluids.

Student News

Mr. Junfeng Wang, a doctoral student of Prof. Chunlei Liang (MAE), successfully passed an annual review of his Newkirk graduate fellowship on August 10 at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR).  He received an extension of his Newkirk fellowship for one additional year.

Other News

Solar Decathlon 2013 Team Capitol DC Harvest Home Send Off
SEAS students, faculty, and staff are invited to the Harvest Home Send-off before Team Capitol DC departs for Irvine, California, the site of the 2013 Solar Decathlon.  The send-off will take place August 28 at 3:00 pm and will include a tour of Harvest Home.

The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon is a biennial competition that challenges 20 collegiate teams from around the world to design, build, and operate solar-powered homes. GW and SEAS are part of Team Capitol DC, a partnership that also includes American University and Catholic University of America, which has designed and built Harvest Home.

Harvest Home is located at Catholic University of America in the parking lot immediately to the west of the Seventh Street entrance to campus. The Brookland/CUA Metro station is only a couple of minutes’ walk from Harvest Home. Parking is available behind Pangborn Hall.  Please contact Mary Rothemich ( to obtain a parking permit.

Recent EMSE graduate, Dr. Earl Crane, gave the keynote address for the Meritalk Cyber Security Brainstorm conference, held July 24. The talk was well received by the roughly 400 attendees.

Guest Vignette

“Multidisciplinary Research to Detect and Treat Epithelial Cancers”
Researchers from the ECE and MAE departments, GW Medical School, and GW Medical Faculty Associates are working together to develop a novel probe capable of detecting cancers using OCT (optical coherence tomography) and then selectively treating the cancers with cold plasmas.  This probe has the potential to have significant impact on the treatment of a range of epithelial cancers, including those in the oral cavity, urinary bladder, cervix, and esophagus.  OCT, particularly when combined with computer-aided diagnosis, has the potential to produce high-resolution images of subsurface structures, and has the possibility to serve as an ‘optical biopsy’ technique.

Once cancerous and pre-cancerous lesions are detected, the researchers propose to treat the lesions with cold atmospheric plasma jets.  Plasma is an ionized gas that is typically generated in high-temperature laboratory conditions.  However, recent progress in atmospheric plasmas led to creation of cold plasmas with ion temperatures close to room temperature.  Cold, non-thermal atmospheric plasmas can lead to a new paradigm in cancer therapy by offering a minimally-invasive surgery technique that allows specific cell removal without affecting the whole tissue.  This project is a collaboration among SEAS Profs. Jason Zara and Michael Keidar, Prof. Mary Ann Stepp of the GW Medical School, and Dr. Nader Sadeghi of GW Medical Faculty Associates.  The project is funded by the Katzen Foundation. (Provided courtesy of Prof. Jason Zara of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering)

SEAS Events

CS Colloquium: “A Year of Teaching and Coordinating MOOCs: A Positive View without Hyperbole”
Speaker: Dr. Dan Grossman, University of Washington
Tuesday, September 17
12:00 pm
736 Phillips Hall

Dissertation Defenses

Name of Student Defending: Chi-Lung (Ron C.) Chiang
Title of Dissertation: Understanding and Optimizing I/O  Virtualization in Data Centers
Advisor: Dr. Howie Huang (ECE)
Wednesday, August 28
10:00 am
640 Phillips Hall