February 8-14, 2021


February 8, 2021

Faculty News

Headshot of Elias Balaras

Dr. Elias Balaras (MAE) has received a two-year, $279,125 National Institutes of Health grant for the project “Computational Modeling of Right Ventricular Intracardiac Flow in Repaired Tetralogy of Fallot.” The project is a collaborative effort with pediatric cardiologists at the Children’s Research Institute. The main focus is patients with “repaired” congenital heart disease (CHD), who typically undergo life-saving intervention as a neonate. While most patients after surgical repair reach adulthood, there are significant morbidities such as reduced exercise capacity and heart failure. The proposed work focuses on the dilemma of optimal timing in pulmonary valve replacement (PVR) for Tetralogy of Fallot patients, which minimizes such risks and improves quality of life. Dr. Balaras’ lab will develop advanced computational tools that, starting from low resolution imaging data, will reproduce the details of the biomechanical state of the right ventricle and surrounding vessels to identify biomarkers that correlate with the optimal timing of PVR.

Dr. Megan Leftwich

Dr. Megan Leftwich (MAE) and her lab have been awarded a three-year, $1.5 million grant from the Office of Naval Research for the project “Locomotion and Transitions of an Amphibious System: Biologic to Robotic.” This project has two main objectives: 1) to refine our knowledge of the novel propulsion mechanisms of the California sea lion (Zalophus californianus) and extend it to high demand underwater environments; and 2) to develop a biological, i.e. morphologic and kinematic, understanding of sea lion locomotion on land. The proposed work will build on and extend fundamental studies of the California sea lion’s swimming mechanism and thrust production capabilities. Additionally, it will extend preliminary work on the sea lion’s ability to operate on land, including the development of a prototype amphibious robotic platform. This is an interdisciplinary project with co-principal investigators from Drexel University and West Chester University.



Dr. Volker Sorger

Dr. Volker Sorger (ECE) and his colleagues have published a new study in the article “Electronic Bottleneck Suppression in Next-Generation Networks with Integrated Photonic Digital-to-Analog Converters.” Science Daily quoted Dr. Sorger in its February 2 article about the study, “Researchers create novel photonic chip.” The journal article citation is: J. Meng, M. Miscuglio, J. K. George, A. Babakhani, and V. J. Sorger, “Electronic Bottleneck Suppression in Next-Generation Networks with Integrated Photonic Digital-to-Analog Converters,” Advanced Photonics Research, 2020; 2000033 DOI: 10.1002/adpr.202000033


Conferences & Presentations:

Dr. David Broniatowski

Dr. David Broniatowski (EMSE) was an invited panelist at a January 27 online event, “Trusting a Covid-19 Vaccine: The Role of the Media and Misinformation,” hosted by the Center for Strategic & International Studies. A recording of the panel is available online.

Dr. Paymen Dehghanian

Dr. Payman Dehghanian (ECE), the GW SmartGrid Laboratory director, was an organizing committee chair for the 2021 IEEE Big Data & Analytics for Power Systems Workshop, which was held February 4-5 and consisted of two panels. The participants discussed the challenges and opportunities of advancing energy infrastructure resilience to attacks, natural disasters, extreme weather events, and pandemics, and they laid out emerging solutions of leveraging advanced data analytics and AI to secure critical infrastructure in energy systems of the future. This workshop brought together researchers and practitioners in the energy and AI domains from universities, national laboratories, and industry. The visions, insights, and success stories shared at the workshop will help identify research gaps and prioritize the research needs of future AI solutions to enhance energy system resilience.


Other News:

Dr. Ken Chong

Dr. Ken Chong (MAE) was invited by the Hong Kong Research Grants Council (RGC) for a February 1-3 Zoom site meeting at the RGC Headquarters. The meeting featured the mid-term progress and findings of 15 Collaborative Research Fund (CRF) projects in Hong Kong. CRF projects are similar to group awards at the National Science Foundation. The purpose of the meeting was to monitor the projects and to discuss research activities and other areas of common concern with faculty and students. Some collaborative research projects with US and European professors were included in the CRF projects.


Other News
The American College of Cardiology’s Journal of Clinical Electrophysiology (JACC: Clinical Electrophysiology) has selected BME postdoc Dr. Jaclyn Brennan to receive the prestigious 2020 Young Author Achievement Award for her manuscript “Evidence of Superior and Inferior Sinoatrial Nodes in the Mammalian Heart,” which was published in the December issue of JACC: Clinical Electrophysiology. This paper was the main result of her doctoral research. She will receive the award at the 2021 American College of Cardiology Scientific Sessions, to be held in Chicago. Dr. Brennan is a former doctoral student of Dr. Igor Efimov (BME).


Upcoming SEAS Events
WiE Webinar: "On Securing Elections"
Wednesday, February 10
12:00 – 1:00 pm (ET)
Register (You will receive the Zoom link in your confirmation)
Join the SEAS Center for Women in Engineering (WiE) webinar “On Securing Elections,” a timely discussion with Dr. Poorvi Vora (CS). After summarizing security challenges to elections in the US, Dr. Vora will describe her deployed research on securing elections. She will focus on the most recent work on statistical election tabulation audits, the Minerva audit. The work is collaborative research conducted with a number of others, including GW undergraduates and doctoral students.


BME Seminar: “Graduate Education's Role in Preparing Engineering PhD Students for Careers in Academia and Industry”
Speaker: Dr. Monica Cox, The Ohio State University
Wednesday, February 17
11:00 am – 12:00 pm (ET)
WebEx link


Environmental and Energy Management Institute Webinar: “Strategies for System Change and Tackling Wicked Problems”
Thursday, February 18
1:15 – 2:45 pm (ET)
In this webinar, Dr. Bruce Hull, senior fellow at the Center for Leadership in Global Sustainability and author of a new book titled Leadership for Sustainability, will introduce a toolbox of strategies for tackling wicked sustainability problems. As the 2020 US election illustrated, our nation is so divided and dug in that we need new strategies for leadership, and sustainability professionals must apply strategies that extend their influence beyond their organizations to drive change in the cross-sector space where business, government, and nonprofit organizations intersect, and the most pressing sustainability challenges exist. Dr. Hull will present case studies that illustrate several of these tools, discuss the challenges and opportunities of being a systems change agent, and identify resources professionals can use to build their capacities as change agents. This webinar is free to the GW community. If you would like to attend but have a time conflict, registration will enable you to access recordings of these events.


Environmental and Energy Management Institute Webinar: “Steering Societies Beyond GDP to the SDGs: Sixty Minutes with Hazel Henderson and Green Bank Founder Ken LaRoe”
Wednesday, February 24
1:15 – 2:15 pm (ET)
This webinar will feature ecological economist and futurist Hazel Henderson and Green Bank executive Ken LaRoe. In 2009, Ken founded First Green Bank, the first bank of its kind to promote positive environmental and social responsibility while operating as a traditional community bank, and now is launching Climate First Bank, starting in St. Petersburg, as a full-service community bank on a mission to positively impact the triple bottom line: people, planet, and prosperity, introducing Values-Based Banking to an unserved community. This webinar is free to the GW community. If you would like to attend but have a time conflict, registration will enable you to access the recording of this event.


Environmental and Energy Management Institute Webinar: “Sixty Minutes with Europe's Top Climate Action Official, Mauro Petriccione”
Friday, February 26
11:30 am – 12:30 pm (ET)
Mauro Petriccione is the director general for climate action, in charge of overseeing the European Green Deal. He is the highest-ranking European civil servant dealing with climate, and he has 33 years of experience at the European Commission, where he has held various positions covering trade and commerce. Ambassador Andras Simonyi will discuss with Mr. Petriccione the European Green Deal and related climate issues. If you would like to attend but have a time conflict, registration will enable you to access the recording of this event.


BME Seminar: “Human iPSC-based Microphysiological Systems for Disease Modeling, Drug Screening and Space Biology”
Speaker: Dr. Deok-Ho Kim, Johns Hopkins University
Wednesday, March 3
11:00 am – 12:00 pm (ET)
WebEx link


BME Seminar: “High-density EEG, Robotic Lower Limb Exoskeletons, and Bionic Prostheses”
Speaker: Dr. Daniel Ferris, University of Florida
Wednesday, April 7
11:00 am – 12:00 pm (ET)
WebEx link


Entrepreneurship News & Events

GW Innovation Center Events
GWIC Spring 2021—We’re OPEN!

Bring your ideas and questions to the Innovation Center. We are here to help you with a range of expertise, from 3D modeling to equitable venture plans and human-centered design.


M06 Virtual Hours
Mondays 6:00 – 7:00 pm (ET) and Wednesdays 1:00 – 2:00 pm (ET)
GWIC student fellows, Phoenix Price, Isabelle Carney, and Jamie Horowitz, will host virtual office hours to assist in making, design, and social impact project development.


Virtual Mentor Hours with Innovation Center Co-directors
Fridays 12:00 – 1:30 pm (ET): GWIC Founder and SEAS Chief Evangelist, Annamaria Konya Tannon
Thursdays, 1:00 – 2:00 pm (ET): GWIC Co-director, Erica Cusi Wortham


For details and links, please visit the GWIC Events Page and Instagram @gwinnovationcenter.

GW Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship Events:

New Venture Competition Round 2: Develop & Improve Your Feasibility Analysis
Tuesday, February 9
5:00 – 6:00 pm
Register (A virtual room link will be sent to you later.)
A feasibility analysis is a comprehensive document that contains a startup’s financials, business model canvas, descriptions of the venture and descriptions of the team. The feasibility analysis is a critical part of the New Venture Competition Round 2 submission. This workshop will help teams develop this document based on the track they are competing in.


Easy Financials for Startups Workshop
Guest Speaker: Andrew Levy
Tuesday, February 16
5:30 – 7:00 pm
Register (A virtual room link will be sent to you later.)
Entrepreneurs need to understand that financial projections are important for raising capital and gauging the timing of when follow-on investment may be needed, and also to acknowledge the founder’s responsibility to be accountable to that plan. Join us for an engaging workshop that will help student entrepreneurs and other innovators learn how to not only understand what it means to put together a startup's financial projections but also how to present this data in a way that will help you land more investments and teach you the value of running your company by the numbers!


Introduction to Lean Innovation Session
Friday, February 19
1:00 – 3:30 pm
Register (A virtual room link will be sent to you later.)
Do you hope to solve a global problem, start a new business, develop a new product, or simply have an idea? We’re inviting the entire GW community to attend a half-day introductory workshop to learn how savvy innovators start the process. This workshop is offered the third Friday of each month.


Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship Speaker Series: “The Merging of Health Devices and Technology into Business and Entrepreneurship”
Speakers: Dr. Feng Tian of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati; and Dr. Igor Efimov (BME)
Saturday, February 20
2:00 – 3:15 pm (ET)
Are you curious about what a medical device patent is and how it works? Do you want to better understand what it takes for an entrepreneur to commercialize a medical device? Join Feng Tian, a medical device patent attorney, and Dr. Igor Efimov, founder of implantable cardioversion and defibrillation device company Cardialen and co-founder of catheter technology company NuSera Biosystems, who will discuss how he has been able to make a mark in the cardiovascular device market.


Business Model Canvas Workshop
Monday, February 22
5:00 – 6:00 pm (ET)
Register (A virtual room link will be sent to you later.)
Originally created by Alex Osterwalder, the Business Model Canvas (BMC) is a strategic management and entrepreneurial tool. Join us for an interactive, virtual workshop that will help students through a brief overview of the BMC, along with details about the nine key elements of a startup venture.


External Events
George Talks Business
Speaker: Nicol Turner Lee, Director of the Center for Technology Innovation, The Brookings Institution
Wednesday, February 10
12:30 - 1:00 pm (ET)
Dr. Turner will discuss the current role of AI in society, bias in algorithms, and other related issues. Dean John Lach (SEAS) and Dean Anuj Mehrotra (GWSB) will moderate the discussion.


GW Undergraduate Series: “Climate Crisis: An Exhibition in-development at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum”
Thursday, March 4
3:00 – 4:00 pm (ET)
Register (Students must register in advance using their GW email address. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.)
To invoke the word “crisis” is to stake out a strong position in presenting the topic of climate change and its increasing impacts on life on our home planet. In the face of such destabilizing change, what actions might we take, whether at global or local scales? What conceptual tools might we need? What responsibilities do we have to fellow humans and to the planet? In particular, what responsibilities does the Smithsonian have as one of our nation’s preeminent science and cultural institutions in presenting this topic to diverse national and international audiences? This presentation will bring you into the exhibit team’s work, our choices, and the special place of exhibitions in stimulating public dialogue on a vital contemporary issue. Dr. Martin Collins, curator of the National Air and Space Museum’s Department of Space History, will present. Dr. Rachel Riedner, associate dean of undergraduate studies, will moderate the discussion. This session is part of the GW Undergraduate Series, “Can't Get to DC Museums, Historical Sites, and Political Institutions? We will bring them to you!”


GW Research Showcase (formerly GW Research Days)
Monday, April 12 – Friday, April 16
Presenting at GW Research Showcase is a résumé-worthy opportunity for students to receive feedback on their projects, hone their presentation skills, and compete for prizes. This year’s event will be held virtually. All students and trainees are invited to submit their abstracts, which are due by 11:55 pm on Tuesday, March 2.


The WOWTALK (What’s Our Work) Series brings together colleagues and students from disciplines associated with GW's Science and Engineering Hall—and related fields—to present new research and share ideas. These short talks (15 minutes each) are designed to introduce members of the GW community to current and exciting research projects, to initiate discussion, collaborate, share expertise, and promote research performed in the SEH and at GW. Students are welcome to attend. All WOWTALK sessions will be held via Zoom.


Wednesday, March 3
4:00 pm
Zoom link will be made available later
Zhenyu Li - Biomedical Engineering
Dale Lupu - The End of the Story Matters: Implementing supportive (palliative) care for people with kidney disease
Mark Reeves - Physics


Wednesday, April 7
4:00 pm
Zoom link will be made available later
Dwight Kravitz - Psychological and Brain Sciences
David Nagel - Electrical and Computer Engineering
Diana Pardo Pedraza - Anthropology


GW Career Center Events & Services:

Virtual coaching appointments available: Make your appointment with Dr. Merrill, the STEM industry coach. If you need tips on the virtual job search or virtual Interviewing or would like to work on your career strategy, spruce up your resume, or land an internship, make a virtual coaching appointment with her in Handshake or email her for more information.


Technical interview preparation: If you have a technical interview coming up, sign-up for the new technical interview slots in Handshake! See tips for technical interviews in Handshake Article # 18641, Technical Interview Tips.


Conference and Career Fair Prep Boot Camp I
Tuesday, February 9 | 12:00 – 1:30 pm | RSVP
Conference and Career Fair Prep Boot Camp II
Thursday, February 11 | 4:00 – 5:30 pm | RSVP
At this interactive event, students can have their resumes reviewed, as well as their Handshake, LinkedIn and GW Career Connect profiles. You will also have an opportunity to develop and practice your “pitches,” and there will be a brief overview of professional branding, networking, and employment prospects.