February 27 - March 5, 2017


February 27, 2017

Faculty News

Awards & Honors:

Prof. Lorena Barba (MAE) was notified on February 22 that she has received an Honorable Mention in the Open Education Awards for Excellence by the Open Education Consortium . She is among four internationally recognized educators honored, in recognition of their achievements and contributions publishing a significant body of open educational resources and demonstrating innovative open education practices. The Open Education Consortium is a global network of educational institutions that promote, support, and advance openness in education around the world.

Congratulations to Prof. Royce Francis (EMSE), who was just named the recipient of GW’s 2016-2017 WID (Writing in the Disciplines) Distinguished Teaching Award.

Congratulations to the SEAS faculty who received awards from SEAS students at this year’s Engineers Ball. Professor of the Year awards went to: Prof. Jason Zara (BME), Prof. Rahul Simha (CS), Prof. Shahrokh Ahmadi (ECE), Prof. Tom Mazzuchi (EMSE), and Prof. Santiago Solares (MAE). The students also gave SEAS Community Awards to Prof. Royce Francis (EMSE), Prof. Joost Santos (EMSE), and Prof. Vesna Zderic (BME).


Prof. Megan Leftwich (MAE) is the principal investigator (PI) on a three-year, $1.4 million grant from the Office of Naval Research for her project “Investigating Sea Lion Locomotion as the Basis for Shape Changing UUVs.” She is working on it with three co-PIs: Dr. Frank Fish (a biologist from Westchester University) and Drs. James Tangorra and Harry Kwanty (a roboticist and control theorist, respectively, both at Drexel). The project aims to determine the feasibility of a maneuverable, flexible autonomous vehicle with amphibious capabilities based on the performance of the California sea lion.

Conferences & Presentations:

On February 19, Prof. Shelly Heller (CS) gave the talk “FORWARD to Professorship: Inclusive Faculty Development Strategies That Work” at the AAAS annual meeting. Her talk was part of the session “Policies and Practices Affecting the Success of Women in Science and Engineering.”

Prof. Rumana Riffat (CEE) was an invited speaker at the workshop on “Women in STEM Fields” hosted by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs on February 14. The event was attended by professionals from 21 countries who are participating in the International Visitor Leadership Program.

Student News

Congratulations to the winners of the 2017 SEAS Student R&D Showcase and the Entrepreneurship Prize Competition:

R&D Showcase Competition

Theoretical Poster Category
Best Theoretical Poster-1st Place ($5,000) - Nima Mobadersany, MAE graduate student, for “Perforation of cell membranes using contrast agent microbubbles in the presence of ultrasound” (Mentored by Professor Kausik Sarkar)

Best Theoretical Poster - 2nd Place ($4,000) - Jingxin Wu & Maotong Xu, ECE graduate students, for “Routing, fiber, band, and spectrum assignment (RFBSA) for multi-granular elastic optical networks” (Mentored by Suresh Subramaniam)

Best Theoretical Poster – 3rd Place ($3,000) - Mahdis Bisheban, MAE graduate student, for “Computational geometric system identification” (Mentored by Professor Taeyoung Lee)

Experimental Poster Category
Best Experimental Poster -1st Place ($5,000) – Elizabeth Manning, CEE graduate student, for “The role of viscosity in mesophilic anaerobic digestion” (Mentored by Professor Rumana Riffat)
Best Experimental Poster - 2nd Place ($4,000) - Qinmin Zheng, CEE graduate student, for “Achieving sustainable water purification: tailored graphitic carbon nitride for the removal of organic persistent contaminants” (Mentored by Professor Danmeng Shuai)
Best Experimental Poster – 3rd Place ($3,000) - Christopher Gloschat, BME graduate student, for “Novel capacitive electrode for cardiac model” (Mentored by Professor Igor Efimov)

Best Undergraduate Poster Category
Best Undergraduate Poster ($2,000) – Joseph Marbach, BME student, for “Oxytocin benefits patients with obstructive sleep apnea” (Mentored by Professor Matthew Kay)

Additional R&D Showcase Awards
Runners-Up Awards ($1,000 each towards conference travel to present research):

1) Jaclyn Brennan, BME graduate student, (experimental) for “Differential electrophysiological effects of β1- vs β2- adrenergic stimulation in the isolated canine right atrium” (Mentored by Professor Igor Efimov)
2) Yuanfei Bi, CEE graduate student, (theoretical) for “Free energy landscape and nucleation pathways of gas hydrate nucleation” (Mentored by Professor Tianshu Li)
3) Zhitong Chen, MAE graduate student, (experimental) for “Novel micro-cold atmospheric plasma device for cancer treatment” (Mentored by Professor Michael Keidar)
4) Kyle Choy, MAE undergraduate student, (theoretical) for “Molecular simulation of aqueous methane between na-montmorillonite clay interlayers” (Mentored by Professor Yongsheng Leng)
5) Kara Garrott, BME graduate student, (experimental) for “Chronic activation of hypothalamic oxytocin neurons improves cardiac function in a rat model of left ventricular hypertrophy-induced heart failure” (Mentored by Professor Matthew Kay)
6) Mahmudul Hasan, CEE graduate student, (experimental) for “Optimizing the dewatering of sludge obtained from different treatment processes along with the full scale application” (Mentored by Professor Rumana Riffat)
7) Engin Kayraklioglu, ECE graduate student, (experimental) for “Mitigating communication costs in emerging parallel programming languages” (Mentored by Professor Tarek El-Ghazawi)
8) Shankar Kulumani, MAE graduate student, (theoretical) for “Robotic autonomous exploration via exact occupancy grid mapping” (Mentored by Professor Taeyoung Lee)
9) Margaret Nowicki, MAE graduate student, (experimental) for “Four dimensional printing of gradient scaffolds for cartilage tissue engineering” (Mentored by Professor Michael Plesniak)
10) Hongchen Shen, CEE graduate student, (experimental) for “Graphitic carbon nitride as a promising antimicrobial photocatalyst” (Mentored by Professor Danmeng Shuai)

Entrepreneurship Prize Competition

The judges selected six winners and awarded them each $2,000.

1) Scott Barnes, MAE undergraduate student, for “Predictive collaborative manufacturing robotics”
2) Evan Kaufman, MAE graduate student, for “A robotic vacuuming software tool with autonomous exploration via exact occupancy grid mapping”
3) Alina Kline-Schoder, BME undergraduate student, for “Ultrasound-Enhanced Drug Delivery for Treatment of Onychomycosis”
4) Ivan Suarez Castellanos, BME graduate student, for “SonoInsulin: an ultrasound based treatment for type 2 diabetes”
5) Shuai Sun, ECE graduate student, for “Hybrid photonic plasmonic interconnects (HyPPI)”
6) Zhehan Yi, ECE graduate student, for “A centralized power management system (PMS) for grid-connected photovoltaic-battery distributed generation systems”

AgileTrailblazers Innovation Award ($2,000), provided by SEAS alumnus Naeem Hussein of Agile Trailblazers, Inc. – Connor Roberts, EMSE graduate student, for “Internet of Things device for a safer, more efficient medical asset management system.”

Other News

MATLAB and SOLIDWORKS workshops and tutoring: SEAS Computing Facility will hold a series of workshops covering MATLAB and SOLIDWORKS programming through April 1. The workshops will be held in Tompkins 405 from 2:00 to 4:00 pm. The remaining workshops are:


  • March 4 : MATLAB Programming Basics II
  • March 18: Figures & 3D Plotting
  • April 1: Linear Equation & ODE Solving

Register for the MATLAB workshops


  • March 11 : Special features
  • March 25: Assembly basics

Register for the SOLIDWORKS workshops

MATLAB and SOLIDWORKS tutoring also will be offered from 1:00 to 5:00 pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays in Tompkins 401. To schedule a tutoring appointment, please email support@ticket.seas.gwu.edu . The MATLAB and SOLIDWORKS workshops and tutoring will be hosted by SEAS graduate student Makan Payandehazad.

High Performance Computing: SEAS Computing Facility, in collaboration with the Colonial One HPC support team, will hold a series of workshops on High Performance Computing. The workshops will leverage Colonial One, GW's Central HPC cluster. The remaining workshop will be held in on March 3 in Tompkins 405 from 2:00 to 4:00 pm. The workshop will cover: MPI; OpenMP; Python package management; and Allinea. Please email support@ticket.seas.gwu.edu with any questions or comments. Register

SEAS Events

BME Seminar: “Design of Ultrasonic Devices for Conformal Therapies”
Speaker: Dr. Cyril Lafon, Research Director and head of LabTAU, INSERM, at the Universite Claude Bernard Lyon
Tuesday, February 28
2:00 – 3:00 pm
SEH, B1220

GW MAPs-U Speaker Event: Prof. Amrinder Arora
Wednesday, March 1
5:00 – 6:00 pm
SEH, B1270
Join us for an inspiring discussion with GW's Prof. Amrinder Arora, also CEO of BizMerlin, who will discuss the development of his career in founding an HR management firm and how he applied his study in computer science to various tech positions. GW MAPs-U events are geared toward, but not limited to, seniors, graduate students, medical students, and post-docs in STEM-related fields.

BME Seminar: “Finding Bacteria: The Bad, The Good, and The Better”
Dr. MinJun Kim, Southern Methodist University
Monday, March 6
4:00 – 5:00 pm
SEH, B1220

2nd Annual Women in Engineering Professional Development Event: Navigating Your Career
Thursday, March 9
6:00 – 9:00 pm
Marvin Center, Continental Ballroom
This event brings together female engineering students and SEAS alumnae to discuss successfully navigating your career. Hear from our key note speaker, Paige Atkins (MS ’89), the associate administrator of the Office of Spectrum Management at the U.S. Commerce Department's National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA); engage in round table discussions; share lessons learned; and network with fellow classmates, alumnae, and SEAS faculty. This event is open to both undergraduate and graduate female SEAS students. Please register in GWork or your school-based system.

Carreer Center Events

Spring 2017 SEAS Undergraduate Career Development
Walk-in hours (no appointment needed): Wednesdays & Thursdays 5:00 – 7:00 pm
And by appointment
SEH, 1630

Entrepreurship Events

Financials for Startups Workshop
Monday, February 27
5:30 – 7:00 pm
Funger Hall, Room 108
In this workshop, you'll learn how to create concise financial models of your business.

How to Pitch to an Investor Workshop
Tuesday, February 28
5:30 – 7:00 pm
Funger Hall, Room 108
Do you have trouble coming up with a compelling pitch? Want to learn how you can confidently pitch your business idea or current business to a potential investor? Learn from our experts in this workshop!

2017 GW Startup Career Fair & Guest Panel
Wednesday, March 1
Guest Panel: 12:00 – 1:00 pm
Career Fair: 1:00 – 3:30 pm
Marvin Center, 3rd Floor Ballrooms
Registration and more information 
The GW Startup Career Fair is a partnership between GW and other local universities. Some of the hottest startups along with hundreds of the area’s most entrepreneurial students will gather to network for internships and job opportunities. The event is free, but all startup employers and students must register to participate. Don’t miss out on meeting and speaking with our special alumni guest panel and the opportunity to meet with various startups all in one venue! The event is hosted by GW’s Office of Innovation & Entrepreneurship. Please email Jasmine Bautista or call (202) 994-2780 with any questions.

Student Night at the New GW Incubator
Thursday, March 2
7:30 – 9:30 pm
GW Incubator, Tompkins Hall M06

Save the Date: Research Days 2017 Competition
Tuesday, April 4
9:00 am – 6:00 pm
Marvin Center, 3rd Floor
GW’s Research Days Competition is open to all GW faculty, staff, and students. The competition is sponsored by the Office of the Vice President for Research.

TCO 2017 Innovation Competition
Wednesday, April 12
1:00 – 5:30 pm
SEH, B1220
The GW Technology Commercialization Office is showcasing promising and impactful GW research with commercial potential. This event provides a forum for idea sharing between GW researchers, entrepreneurs, and members of the venture community. Finalists will pitch their technologies for a chance to win $30,000 in prizes for the development of a prototype or proof-of-concept! All are welcome to attend. Registration for competition entries is now closed.