December 15-21, 2014


December 15, 2014

Faculty News


Prof. Erica Gralla (EMSE) has received a one-year, $173,256 contract from the U.S. Department of the Interior Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement Oil Spill Response Division. Her project is titled "Developing a Capabilities-Based Framework for Designing and Evaluating Oil Spill Response Exercises." She and her students will develop a framework that identifies critical capabilities that lead to readiness for oil spill response, and maps them to exercise design concepts that test each capability and evaluation techniques to evaluate each capability within an exercise.

Media Mentions:

Prof. Lorena Barba (MAE) was quoted in the December 10 issue of US News & World Report/Education, in the article "Online Courses Experiment with Digital Badges." She addressed her use of open digital badges as part of the open course Practical Numerical Methods with Python, GW's first MOOC (massive open online course). Prof. Barba designed the course as a set of six modules. Participants are eligible for a digital badge after completing each one.

Allan Friedman (research scientist, Cyber Security Policy Research Institute) was quoted in the December 3 GovInfo Securityarticle "Breach Delays USPS Financial Report" and the December 4 Chicago Daily Law Bulletin article, "In cybersecurity, knowledge is a weapon—at least against lawsuits."


Profs. Tom Mazzuchi (EMSE) and Shahram Sarkani (EMSE) and their doctoral students have published the following articles: 1) J. W. Eggstaff, T. A. Mazzuchi, and S. Sarkani, "The development of progress plans using a performance-based expert judgment model to assess technical performance and risk," Systems Engineering, Vol. 17, No. 4, p. 375-391; and 2) M. W. Grenn, S. Sarkani, and T. A. Mazzuchi, "The requirements entropy framework in systems engineering," Systems Engineering, Vol. 17, No. 4, p. 462-478.

Prof. Zoe Szajnfarber (EMSE) and her graduate student Ademir Vrolijk have published the following article: A. Vrolijk and Z. Szajnfarber, "When Policy Structures Technology: Balancing upfront decomposition and in-process coordination in Europe's decentralized space technology ecosystem," Acta Astronautica, 2015 vol.106, pp 33-46.

Conferences & Presentations:

Prof. Kausik Sarkar (MAE) attended the executive committee meeting of the Division of Fluid Dynamics as the chairman of the Andreas Acrivos Dissertation Award committee during the American Physical Society Division of Fluid Dynamics annual meeting, held November 23-25 in San Francisco, CA. He also chaired the invited session on the Andreas Acrivos talk.

On December 8, Prof. Claire Monteleoni (CS) gave an invited tutorial at the top conference in her field, Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS). Her tutorial was titled " Climate Change: Challenges for Machine Learning," and her co-presenter was Arindam Banerjee, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. The conference attendance topped 2,400 people, and attendance at her tutorial was in the hundreds.

Student News

Grace Liu, a doctoral student studying under Prof. Tim Wood (CS) received one of four HP Women of OpenStack scholarships to support her research on software-based networks for cloud data centers. The scholarship provides $10,000 and internship opportunities at HP Labs.

Other News

Graduate Recruiting and Admissions:
The Graduate Admissions Office will hold online information sessions on December 15 at 12:00 pm and on December 17 at 7:00 pm. A full calendar of recruitment events can be found on the front page of the The office will be closed from December 22 through January 2, and the staff will be working remotely. All inquiries during this time should be directed to

The office is still accepting spring semester applications for domestic students who already have completed the GRE. The fall 2015 deadline for Ph.D. applicants has been moved from December 15 to January 15.

Graduate Career Services:
The SEAS Graduate Career Service Team continues to meet with students to review and discuss resumes, cover letters, job search strategies and interview preparation tips.
Upcoming Student Career Development Opportunities

2015 Spring Career & Internship Fair: February 11 from 1:00 to 5:00 pm at the Charles E. Smith Center. Registration is now open in GWork!

SEAS Student R&D Showcase: February 18 - 19

Weekly Featured Graduate Career Services Informational Resource

  • How Stereotypes Can Drive Women To Quit Science, NPR
  • Holiday Gift Guide: Top Learning Toys to Build S.T.E.M Skills in Children

Guest Vignette

Prof. Mona Zaghloul is collaborating with researchers at the National Institute of Standard and Technology (NIST) and the Army Research Laboratory (ARL) in the areas of microelectronics, nanotechnology, energy harvesting, and chemical and biological sensors. Her students are using the facilities at these labs, which include clean room fabrication at the nano-scale and excellent measurement facilities. Several of the students are on fellowships from the government to support their work and their studies at GW.

Recently, she and her doctoral student Bhaven Mehta developed a chemical gas sensor using an optical nano antenna. The device, which also has biomedical applications, is a unique design that can be transformed into portable devices. The sensor can detect very small amounts of gases in the environment, which is important in safety and chemical warfare applications. The device measurement, calibration, and sensitivity characterization are being done at NIST in collaboration with experts in chemical gas sensors. The work was recognized in a student paper competition at the IEEE Antennas and Propagation Symposium in 2013, and it won First Prize at the SEAS Student Research and Development Showcase in February 2014. This work also was presented recently at the October 2014 IEEE Sensors Conference in Valencia, Spain. (Provided courtesy of Prof. Mona Zaghloul, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering)

Dissertation Defenses

Student's Name: Zhou Ma
Dissertation Title: "Sensing and Force-Feedback Exoskeleton (SAFE) Robotic Glove Mechanism and Its Applications"
Advisor: Prof. Pinhas Ben-Tzvi (MAE)
Monday, December 15
1:00 – 3:00 pm
771 Rome Hall

Student's Name: Zidong Yang
Dissertation Title: "Atomistic Modeling and Simulation of Nanopolycrystalline Solids"
Advisors: Profs. James Lee (MAE) and Azim Eskandarian (CEE)
Tuesday, December 16
2:15 – 4:15 pm
736 Phillips Hall

Student's Name: David Scott
Dissertation Title: "Microwave Diagnostics of Atmospheric Plasmas"
Advisors: Prof. Michael Keidar (MAE) and Research Scientist Alexey Shashurin (MAE)
Thursday, December 18
3:00 – 5:00 pm
771 Rome Hall