February 17-23, 2014


February 17, 2014

Faculty News


Prof. Volker Sorger (ECE) has received a three-year, $360,000 Young Investigator Program (YIP) award from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR). The objective of his research project, titled “Breaking Photonic Limits: light-matter-interaction enhanced devices for atto-joule & THz Datalinks,” is to test the hypothesis that strong light-matter-interactions in electro-optic modulators and switches result in a significant performance boost for opto-electronic devices beyond classically known limits. This investigation is expected to enable nanoscale device footprints and surpass the fundamental modulation efficiency-loss and speed-power tradeoffs. The technology could be suitable for “un-leveling the playing field” (i.e., helping an institution keep its competitive edge) in modern military and civil communication systems and in computing architectures.

Prof. Suresh Subramaniam (ECE) has received a three-year, $282, 284 National Science Foundation grant for the project “Cost-Effective and Scalable Architectures for Multi-Granular Optical Networks.” In this project, he will collaborate with researchers from Nagoya University in Japan who will be supported by NICT, the Japanese equivalent of NSF.


Prof. Pinhas Ben-Tzvi (MAE) and his doctoral student William Rone have published the following peer-reviewed journal paper: W. Rone and P. Ben-Tzvi. “Continuum Robot Dynamics Utilizing the Principle of Virtual Power,” IEEE Transactions on Robotics, Vol. 30, Issue 1, pp. 275-287, February 2014. The IEEE Transactions on Robotics is one of the most prestigious publications in its field. It is ranked #1 in Google Scholar's Top Publications among robotics journals (based on its h5-index) and is ranked #1 on ISI Web of Knowledge's Journal Citation Report (2012) among robotics-focused journals for its 5-Year Impact Factor and Total Cites. Acceptance rate for this journal is consistently below 25%.

Profs. Edward Della Torre (ECE) and Lawrence Bennett (ECE) have published the following paper: E. Della Torre and L. H. Bennett. “Negative Remanent Magnetization,” Journal of Applied Physics, 115, 17A720 (2014).

Profs. Howie Huang (ECE) and Matthew Kay (ECE) have recently published an article resulting from their collaboration using GPGPU architectures for cardiac arrhythmia simulations. Their paper is: W. Wang, L. Xu, J. Cavazos, H.H. Huang and M. Kay. “Fast Acceleration of 2D Wave Propagation Simulations Using Modern Computational Accelerators,” PLoS ONE 9(1): e86484. doi:10.1371/journal.pone. 0086484

Prof. Saniya LeBlanc (MAE) has recently had an article published in Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews: S. LeBlanc, S.K. Yee, M. Scullin, C. Dames, and K.E. Goodson. “Material and Manufacturing Cost Considerations for Thermoelectrics,” Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 32 (2014). The work was done in collaboration with colleagues at Georgia Tech, Stanford University, UC Berkeley, and Alphabet Energy.

Prof. Ekundayo Shittu (EMSE) has co-authored the following journal article: L. Nyiwul and E. Shittu (2013). “Market structure and the enforcement of emissions taxes,” Interdisciplinary Environmental Review, Vol. 14, No. 3/4, pp.269-280. DOI: 10.1504/IER.2013.058933.

Prof. Mona Zaghloul (ECE) and her doctoral student Bhaven Mehta recently published the following paper: B. Mehta and M.E. Zaghloul. “Tuning the Scattering Response of the Optical Nano Antennas Using Graphene, ” IEEE Photonics Journal, Vol.6, No.1, pp.1,8, Feb. 2014  doi: 10.1109/JPHOT.2014.2300501.

Conferences & Presentations:

Prof. Rachael Jonassen (part-time faculty, EMSE) and two colleagues from NOAA (Marina Timofeyeva and Fiona Horsfall) presented a paper on February 6 as part of the Ninth Symposium on Policy and Socio-Economic Research at the 94th Annual Meeting of the American Meteorological Society, held in Atlanta, GA. The paper is titled “Pro-Active Adaptation to Unpredicted Climate Change: Challenging Projections.” Dr. Jonassen is currently on assignment in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

On February 12, GW Library and Vice Provost Geneva Henry hosted a panel discussion on “Writing and Publishing on Cybersecurity.” The panel explored the issues related to multidisciplinary research in cybersecurity, the challenges of communicating with a diverse audience, and other issues associated with academic endeavors related to cybersecurity.  The panel members included Rhea Siers, scholar in residence and coordinator of the GW Cybersecurity Initiative; Prof. Diana Burley (GSEHD); Dr. Rohan Amin (EMSE graduate), and Prof. Julie Ryan (EMSE)

On February 12, Prof. Ekundayo Shittu (EMSE) presented “Introduction to Energy Use: Learn to Save Energy and Money” to the Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) Task Force of the District of Columbia Public Service Commission. The talk was a pilot run of the consumer education curriculum developed here at the Environmental and Energy Management Program at EMSE for the Potomac Electric Power Company (Pepco). Also in attendance at the talk from GW were Prof. Jonathan Deason (EMSE), Prof. Joe Cascio and doctoral student Iryna Poyosova (EMSE).

On February 2, Prof. Volker Sorger (ECE) delivered the invited talk “Ultra-Compact Plasmonic MOS-based Electro-optic Switches & Modulators” at the SPIE 2014 Photonics West annual conference, held in San Francisco, CA. The talk explored how enhancing the light-matter-interaction in nanoscale optical devices enables novels designs with unprecedented performance benchmarks.

Other News:

Prof. Suresh Subramaniam (ECE) is spending his sabbatical as a visiting faculty member at the Research Laboratory of Electronics (RLE - Dept. of EECS) at MIT. HE will be pursuing research on optical network architectures with faculty at MIT RLE and researchers at MIT Lincoln Labs.

Student News

Nathan Castro, Benjamin Holmes, Wei Zhu and Christopher O’Brien, four doctoral students from Prof. Lijie Grace Zhang’s (MAE) lab, gave the following presentations at the ASME 3rd Global Congress on NanoEngineering for Medicine and Biology, held February 2-5 in San Francisco, CA:

  1. N. Castro and L.G. Zhang. “3D Printing of Bioactive Graded Nanostructured Scaffolds for Osteochondral Regeneration”
  2. C. O'Brien and L.G. Zhang. “3D Bioprinting of Functionalized Graphene Nanoplatelet-doped Hydrogel for Neural Tissue Regeneration”
  3. W. Zhu, M. Keidar and L.G. Zhang. “Cold Atmospheric Plasma Modified Electrospun Scaffolds with Embedded Nanoparticle for Improved Cartilage Tissue Regeneration”
  4. B. Holmes, J. Li, J. Lee and L.G. Zhang. “Enhanced Mechanical and Cytocompatibility Properties of Novel 3D Printed Osteochonral Scaffolds”

Christopher O’Brien received the Audience Choice Poster Award, and Wei Zhu was selected as finalist of the poster competition at the conference.

Patrick Murphy, a doctoral candidate studying with Prof. Rene van Dorp (EMSE), recently published a research article with colleagues from Uganda: P.M. Murphy, S. Twaha and I. Murphy. “Analysis of the cost of reliable electricity: A new method for analyzing grid connected solar, diesel and hybrid distributed electricity systems considering an unreliable electric grid, with examples in Uganda,”Energy (2014).

Guest Vignette

“Tackling Global Warming with Smart Meters”

Do you know what a smart meter is and how to use it? Most people with smart meters don't know either! The Potomac Electric Power Company (Pepco) -- the electric utility serving Washington, D.C. -- began installing smart meters at all customer locations about three years ago. The purpose of Pepco’s smart metering project is to help energy consumers better manage their energy use by providing real-time electricity consumption information that can help them reduce their energy bills. In addition, the project is expected to reduce the need for the construction of additional electricity generating plants by shifting time-of-day energy consumption to times when excess power generation capacity already exists, thereby reducing carbon emissions. However, Pepco has found that most customers aren’t taking advantage of these new capabilities because they don't know how to use the new smart meters.

To tackle this problem, Pepco turned to SEAS. Under a research grant from Pepco, EMSE Prof. Jonathan Deason, visiting scholar Joe Cascio, and graduate students Priya Swamy, Ira Payosova, Junchao Gu, Soala Whyte, and Benjamin Heras are developing a smart energy consumer education curriculum and consumer research program on smart meter usage. In light of the hugely important challenge the world is facing from global climate change, the work of this graduate student-faculty team well illustrates the direct impact that graduate students in the EMSE Environmental and Energy Management concentration are having on the sustainability of our planet while pursuing their educational goals.  (Provided courtesy of Prof. Jonathan Deason of the Department of Engineering Management & Systems Engineering)

SEAS Events

8th Annual SEAS Student Research & Development Showcase
Wednesday, February 19
12:00 – 3:00 pm (Poster set-up, Judging)
  3:00 – 6:00 pm (Opens to the public)
Marvin Center Grand Ballroom
More info

CEE Seminar: “Structure/Property Measurements of Polymer Membranes via Poromechanics”
Speaker: Dr. Christopher Stafford, Research Chemist, Materials Science and Engineering Division, National Institute of Standards and Technology
Friday, February 21
11:00 am – 12:00 pm
640 Phillips Hall

CS Colloquium: “Distributed Algorithms in a Wireless World”
Speaker: Dr. Calvin Newport, Georgetown University|
Friday, February 21
2:00 pm
736 Phillips Hall

The Engineers’ Ball: A night of fine dining, dancing, and celebrating our engineering faculty, staff and students
Saturday, February 22
Cocktail Reception: 6:30 pm
Dinner & Dancing: 7:30 pm
Tickets are available in Tompkins 104

  • Engineering undergrad $30
  • Non-engineering undergrad $35
  • Faculty, staff, grad students $40

Questions? Contact E-Council at: [email protected]

Society of Women Engineers (SWE): Networking Night for Students, Faculty, and Alumni
Wednesday, February 26
7:00 – 9:00 pm
Duques Hall, 6th Floor
The GW student chapter of the Society of Women Engineers invites SEAS alumni, students, and faculty to their spring networking night. Meet new contacts and reconnect with familiar faces. Refreshments will be served.

CEE Seminar: “Emergent Metal-insulator Transition in Vanadates”
Speaker: Dr. Jiwei Lu, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Virginia
Friday, February 28
11:00 am – 12:00 pm
640 Phillips Hall

CS Colloquium: “A Scalable Information-Centric Networking Architecture for the Future Internet”
Speaker: Dr. Hang Liu, Catholic University of America
Friday, February 28
2:00 pm
736 Phillips Hall

CEE Seminar: “The Influence and Role of Technical Institutes in Advancing the Industry”
Speaker: William Nickas, Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute
Tuesday, March 4
2:20 – 3:35 pm
359 Duques Hall

MAE Seminar: “Statistical Analysis and Simulation of Random Shock Waves in Burgers Turbulence”
Speaker: Professor Daniele Venturi, Division of Applied Mathematics, Brown University
Monday, April 7
1:00 pm
736 Phillips Hall

MAE Seminar: “Modeling Inelastic Behavior of Metals at Multiple Scales for Multiple Purposes”
Speaker: Dr. David L. McDowell, Georgia Institute of Technology
Tuesday, April 8
11:00 am
736 Phillips Hall

Career Center Events

SEAS Career Fair Prep Workshop
Thursday, February 20
7:00 – 9:00 pm
Marvin Center Grand Ballroom
Prepare for the upcoming GW Spring Career Fair at this career development workshop exclusively for SEAS students during E-Week.  Resume critique, interview skills, and more!

Entrepreneurship Events

Dolphin Tank: Pitch Practice Session
Wednesday, February 19
359 Duques Hall
6:00 – 8:00 pm

Other Events

GW-wide Big Data Town Hall Meeting
Led by the GW Task Force on Big Data
Tuesday February 25
1:00 – 4:30 pm
407 Marvin Center
All faculty are invited. RSVP by February 19 to: [email protected]

Today data-intensive scientific discovery is prominently recognized as the fourth paradigm of scientific exploration. It is believed that 2.5 quintillion bytes (Exabyte or 1018bytes) of data are created daily and that 90% of all the world’s data has been created in the last two years alone.  The federal government and industry are launching initiatives to address those rapid developments. In order for GW to respond to the rapid developments, a task force from GW faculty has been assembled and is putting together a university-wide initiative, BASE (GW Big Data Applications, Science and Engineering Initiative), led by SEAS. 

How to participate:

  1. RSVP and attend and ask questions and make your voice hear; and/or
  2. Submit up to 1 page of thoughts, ideas and suggestions; and/or
  3. Submit a 1-chart .PPT slide for possible presentation (time permitting).

RSVP, submit solicited input as an attachment, or send questions by February 19 to: [email protected].

Tentative Program:
1:00-1:45 Social lunch (brown bag provided, PLEASE RSVP for lunch)
1:45-2:00 Opening remarks by VP Chalupa and SEAS Dean Dolling
2:00-2:30 Overview of initiative by SEAS Task Force Committee on BASE
2:30-3:15 Representative presentations from GWU faculty engaged in Big Data issues
3:15-4:00 Open discussion
4:00-4:30 Informal coffee and mingling

Dissertation Defenses

Name of Student Defending: Hatem ElBidweihy
Title of Dissertation: “Measurements and Modeling of the Effects of External Stimuli on the Magnetic and Magnetostrictive Properties of High-Strength Steel”
Advisor: Prof. Edward Della Torre (ECE)
Thursday, February 27
11:00 am – 1:00 pm
204 Exploration Hall, Virginia Science and Technology Campus