January 21-26, 2014


January 21, 2014

Faculty News

Honors & Awards:

In a ceremony in the president's office on January 7, the Harbin Institute of Technology (HIT) in China named Prof. Ken Chong (MAE) an honorary professor. He is the 49th honorary professor to be named since the founding of the university in 1920. While at HIT, Prof. Chong also served as a judge for a graduate student paper contest and presented three lectures: on new developments in smart materials and structures; on multi-scale modeling and simulation; and on sustainability and energy. According to China's Ministry of Education, the mechanics program at HIT currently ranks number one in China, tied with the Tsinghua University. HIT has expressed interest in more cooperation and exchanges with GW.


Prof. Samer Hamdar (CEE) has been granted a five-year, $400,998 NSF CAREER Award for his proposal CAREER: Collision Prediction and Vehicular Control Using an Episode-Based Modeling Framework. ” The goal of Prof. Hamdar's project is to predict freeway vehicle-to-vehicle collisions in terms of frequency and type and to specify the pre-collision and post-collision maneuvers that improve traffic mobility and safety. Towards this goal, a hazard-based driving behavioral model is formulated and calibrated using a driving simulator, an instrumented vehicle, and a 3-D driving challenge space. ” High-school and university students will participate in the data collection efforts of this work, which will contribute to providing a safer driving environment especially for younger drivers.

Media Mentions:

Prof. Tarek El-Ghazawi (ECE) was quoted in the December 22 Washington Post article, “A nation conflicted about watchful eyes, ” which discussed the U.S. surveillance program. The story was reprinted by the Daily Herald, as well.

Alan Friedman, a visiting scholar in the Cyber Security Policy Research Institute, was interviewed last week by several media outlets prior to, and in response to, President Obama's January 17 speech on reforms to National Security Agency surveillance programs: Newsweek, “Obama Brings Snoopers to Heel but Approves Spying on Americans; ” National Public Radio, “Surveillance Controversy: NSA Versus Tech Companies; ” San Jose Mercury News, “ Quinn: What the tech industry wants to hear from Obama about NSA spying; ” and Canada National TV, CTV News (video).


Prof. Lorena Barba's (MAE) feature article, “The Gathering Storm: Flipping the Classroom, ” appeared in this quarter's issue of SHPE, the magazine of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers.

Prof. Edward Della Torre (ECE) and his doctoral students Christopher Burgy and Hatem ElBidweihy have published the following papers: 1) H. ElBidweihy, E. Della Torre, and C.D. Burgy. “Hysteresis modeling of sequential application of orthogonal fields, ” Journal of Applied Physics, 115, 17D106 (2014); and 2) C.D. Burgy, H. ElBidweihy, and E. Della Torre. “Application of a Della Torre-Oti-Kadar stress-dependent Preisach model through a numerical model, ” Journal of Applied Physics, 115, 17D112 (2014).

“Optimal Capital Structure and Financial Risk of Project Finance Investments: A Simulation Optimization Model With Chance Constraints, ” a paper authored by Prof. Michael Duffey (EMSE) and EMSE doctoral candidate Emmanuel Donkor has been classified as one of the notable papers published in the Engineering Economist in 2013.

Members of GW's Institute for Magnetics Research, in collaboration with G.E. Global Research, have published the following paper: M. Ovichi, M. Ghahremani, E. Della Torre, L.H. Bennett, F. Johnson, and V. Srivastava. “ Ferri-to-ferro-magnetic and ferro-to-para-magnetic transitions in Ni48Co2Mn35In13Ga2 Heusler alloy, ” Journal of Applied Physics, 115, 17A906 (2014)

Prof. Volker Sorger's (ECE) team, along with Prof. Ergun Simsek (ECE), recently published an article featuring a new design for nanoscale, Silicon-based electro-optic modulators. The citation is: C. Ye, S. Khan, Z.R. Li, E. Simsek, and V. J. Sorger. “lambda -Size ITO and Graphene-based Electro-optic Modulators on SOI, ” IEEE Selected Topics in Quantum Electronics (January 2013), DOI: 10.1109/JSTQE.2014.2298451. This journal's impact factor belongs to the top 4% of all IEEE journals.

Prof. Lijie Grace Zhang (MAE) and her doctoral students Nathan Castro and Christopher O’Brien have published the following paper: N. Castro, C. O’Brien and L. Zhang. “Biomimetic Biphasic 3D Nanocomposite Scaffold for Osteochondral Regeneration, ” AICHE Journal, 60(2):432-442 (2014). The paper was featured as the cover image of this issue of the journal.

Conference & Presentations:

Prof. Lorena Barba (MAE) and her master's student J. Brent Parham (Boston University, 2013) presented the paper “Finding the Force—Consistent Particle Seeding for Satellite Aerodynamics” at AIAA SciTech Modeling and Simulation Technologies Conference, held Friday January 17 at National Harbor, MD.

GW's Traffic and Networks Research Laboratory (TNRL), in collaboration with multiple research institutes, presented four papers at the Transportation Research Board 's 93rd Annual Meeting, held January 12-16 in Washington, DC. Three TNRL students advised by Prof. Samer Hamdar (CEE) presented at the conference: Ms. Claire Silverstein (M.S. student, CEE), Mr. Mark Arnoldy (senior undergraduate student, CEE), and Mr. Justin Schorr (Ph.D. student, CEE). The four papers are:

  1. C. Silverstein, J. Schorr, and S. Hamdar. “Work Zones Versus Nonwork Zones: Risk Factors Leading to Rear-End and Sideswipe Collisions” (Paper Number: 14-3840)
  1. M. Danaf, S. Hamdar, M. Zeid, and I. Kaysi. “Comparative Assessment of Aggressiveness at Signalized Intersections Using Driving Simulators: Exploratory Case Study” (Paper Number: 14-3862)
  1. A. Talebpour, H. Mahmassani, F. Mete, S. Hamdar, and B. Dalla Chiara. “Near-Crash Identification in a Connected Vehicle Environment” (Paper Number: 14-3631)
  1. M. Arnoldy, A. Talebpour, S. Hamdar, and J. Dong. “The Effects of Safety Parameters on Vehicular Emissions: An Integrated Car Following and Fuel Consumption Modeling Approach” (Paper Number: 14-5194)

Other News:

Prof. Suresh Subramaniam (ECE) recently has completed two major service contributions to the research community: a six-year term as an associate editor of the IEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking, and a two-year term as chair of the IEEE Communication Society's Optical Networking Technical Committee. He previously had served as secretary and vice chair of the committee for two years each.

Student News

Lauren Gaczewski, an undergraduate student in Prof. Lijie Grace Zhang’s lab (MAE), has been selected to receive a GW Undergraduate Research Award. The award will provide $5,000 for Lauren and $1,000 for the lab.

Three SEAS sophomores have been named to Theta Tau's All-Academic TeamLauren Auerbach (MAE), Brittany Brumback (BME), and Lauren Ryan (BME).  They are among the 93 students from Theta Tau chapters throughout the U.S. who were selected based on high grade point average in the previous semester and active engagement in their chapters.

Guest Vignette

Wolfgang Pauli, winner of the Nobel Prize of Physics in 1945, was once quoted as saying, "God made the bulk; surfaces were invented by the devil.”

Several years ago, we started an effort on a concept called “surfaces by design.” Is it possible to control the surface properties by shaping its topography, physical and chemical structures, and hierarchical features? The first attempt was to control interfacial friction by surface texturing. The effort was supported by DOE to increase fuel economy of cars and trucks. Working with engine manufacturers, the Surface by Design Group has demonstrated by fabricating discrete dimple and grooves patterns on actual engine parts (we invented a new soft mask technique coupled with electrochemical etching) that we have achieved 70% friction reduction between production piston rings and liners in an engine manufacturer’s simulator rig. Last May, this invention won the GW innovation grand prize. A chemical company signed an agreement to market this technology for GW. Following this success, and working with the largest offshore association, we have turned our attention to icephobic surface design by adding nanoparticles and molecules on surfaces, reducing ice formation more than 80% in a newly developed ice accumulation test in our lab. The sponsor recently signed an agreement to provide funds to establish an icephobic surface technology certification lab at GW. We are now in a position to combine all these techniques to create multiscale, multifunctional surfaces. Potential applications in other areas such as antifouling, antidrag, omniphobic antiseptic surfaces are anticipated.  (Provided courtesy of Prof. Stephen Hsu of the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering)

SEAS Events

CEE Seminar: “Roles of Nano- and Microscale Subsurface Geochemical Reactions on Safe and Efficient Geologic CO2Sequestration Operations”
Speaker: Dr. Yandi Hu, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Houston
Wednesday, January 22
4:00 – 5:00 pm
640 Phillips Hall

ECE Colloquium: IEEE Magnetics Society Distinguished Lecture Series 2014, “Opportunities and Challenges in Two-Dimensional Magnetic Recording”
Speaker: Jonathan Coker, HGST, a Western Digital Company
Wednesday, February 5
2:00 pm
640 Phillips Hall

MAE Seminar: “Drag Augmentation via Supersonic Retropropulsion for Atmospheric Deceleration”
Speaker: Dr. Noel Bakhtian, U.S. Department of Energy
Tuesday, February 11
3:00 pm
736 Phillips Hall

SAVE the DATE: 8th Annual SEAS Student Research & Development Showcase
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
12:00 – 3:00 pm (Poster set-up, Judging)
  3:00 – 6:00 pm (Opens to the public)
Marvin Center Grand Ballroom
More info

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

Engineering Career Fair & Panel
A career and networking fair exclusively for SEAS students, alumni and employers
Thursday, February 20
6:00 – 6:45 pm: Q&A Panel (Student RSVP Required)
7:00 – 9:00 pm: Career & Networking Fair
GW Marvin Center Grand Ballroom

Entrepreneurship Events

Entrepreneurial Session: Choosing the Form of Organization for Your Business with Deloitte and the GW Business Plan Competition
Wednesday, January 22
5:10 pm
353 Duques Hall

Entrepreneur Office Hour
Friday, January 24
2:30 – 3:30 pm
2033 K Street, NW, Suite 750

2014 Student Startup Showcase
Thursday, January 30
3:00 – 5:30 pm
Marvin Center Great Hall (1st floor)
Applications required.

GW Business Plan Competition deadline: Please be reminded that the deadline for the competition is 11:59 pm on January 21.

Other Events

Office of Industry and Corporate Research: Brown Bag Discussion
Speaker: Gilbert V. Herrera, Director of Microsystems Science, Technology and Components at Sandia National Laboratories
Monday, January 27
11:30 am – 1:00 pm
Dean’s Conference Room (107 Tompkins Hall)
Space is limited, first come first served. To reserve a spot, please contact Kirsten Gercke at [email protected] or 202-994-6191.

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